Registration & Enrolment
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What is the difference between enrolment and registration? To enrol, you add courses. To register, you pay your tuition and incidental fees, or register without payment (defer fees).
The deadlines to enrol in graduate-level courses may vary depending on your graduate unit. See SGS sessional dates for full details.
ACORN stands for Accessible Campus Online Resource Network and is the student web interface to the University’s student information system. Sign into ACORN to enrol in courses, check fees and finances, update your address and emergency contact information, and more.
We make every effort to ensure that registration material is only sent to students who are eligible to register. However, receiving it does not override any other notification you received about your academic status and eligibility.
You can register if you are a:
- New student who has received an Offer of Admission letter from your home graduate unit. If you have conditions placed on your offer letter, you may register but your conditions must be cleared by August 31st, otherwise your registration will be cancelled. Please refer to your Offer of Admission letter or contact your home graduate unit.
- Continuing student who is within the time limit for your degree program
- Student with no outstanding U of T tuition fees
You are considered registered as soon as you have paid tuition and incidental fees or have requested to register without payment (i.e., fee deferral). For information on registering without payment (i.e. fee deferral), visit the Graduate Fees section of the SGS website.
Graduate students who demonstrate that their academic progress was significantly impeded due to COVID-19 related disruptions will be exempt from tuition for up to one academic session. For information on requesting registration with a tuition fee exemption, visit the Graduate Fees section of the SGS website.
The deadlines to register in each session in the 2020-2021 academic year are:
Fall starters: September 11, 2020
Winter starters: January 25, 2021
Summer starters: May 7, 2021
Register by the registration deadline so that you do not lose credit for full-time attendance for income-tax purposes by Revenue Canada (T2202A).
After the final date for registration, enrolment in and access to courses through ACORN will be cancelled for students who are not registered.
If you register after the final date to register without financial penalty, you are required to pay a late registration fee of $44.00. Please complete the online late registration form and online payment here. Once completed, SGS will change your ACORN status to “INVITed,” which will allow you to register.
With the permission of the graduate unit(s) and SGS, you can be simultaneously registered in one full-time and one part-time program, or two part-time programs—but not two full-time programs. Students are responsible for the fees charged for both programs.
If you are a master’s student at U of T who has a minimal amount of work outstanding for your master’s degree and has been offered admission to a doctoral program, you may be permitted to register dually in both the master’s and doctoral programs for one session (fall session or winter session). Please consult your graduate unit for further details.
A dual registrant will be engaged in full-time doctoral studies and will be registered full-time in the doctoral and part-time in the master’s program. Only fees for the doctoral program will be charged.
You must be recommended for the award of the master’s degree by January 22, 2021 if you are a Fall session dual registrant, or April 16, 2021 if you are a Winter session dual registrant. Otherwise your doctoral registration will be cancelled and your fee payment will be applied to your master’s registration.
Available at the master’s degree level only.
Available only in degree programs with approved partner degree programs at U of T. If you have been accepted into each partner degree program separately, you may enrol in the concurrent program option in each degree program, subject to the approval of both programs.
Combined Program Registration
There are a number of combined programs involving two existing degree programs in different disciplines. The combination may be made up of two graduate programs or a graduate and an undergraduate program. In most cases, the combination involves at least one professionally oriented program. If you are interested in a combined program, you must apply to and be admitted separately by two corresponding units or faculties within the University, meeting all admission requirements for each. Students enrolled in combined programs must complete the requirements for both programs in order to graduate from either program.
For information on fees for combined programs, visit the Graduate Fees section of this website.
Non-Degree Special Students
Non-degree special students are individuals who elect to take coursework and are not registered in a program of study which leads to a degree. See also the Graduate Fees section of this website.
Change of Campus Affiliation
You are automatically affiliated with a campus (St. George, UTM, UTSC) based on your program of study and will be charged the appropriate level of campus service fees for Athletics, Hart House, Health Services, and other student services. You may apply to change your campus affiliation if you meet specific criteria:
1. You are supervised by a member of the graduate faculty who is on the academic staff of the campus to which you wish to transfer affiliation;
2. You spend the majority of your academic time on the campus you wish to transfer affiliation.
Deadlines for requesting a change of campus affiliation are the same as the registration deadline at the beginning of each term. Retroactive changes are not allowed. See the Change of campus affiliation form.
See details and access the withdrawal form.
Termination of Registration Guidelines
The deadlines to enrol in graduate courses are:
September 21, 2020 for full-year and Fall session courses;
January 18, 2021 for Winter session courses (due to the varying Winter 2021 course start dates, this deadline may be different for students in some programs. Please consult with your graduate unit);
May 10, 2021 for May to June Summer session courses and May to August Summer session courses; and
July 5, 2021 for July to August Summer session courses.
Most graduate units permit students to use ACORN to enrol in courses within required deadlines. Other graduate units require students to fill out an enrolment form listing their courses. For detailed information and instructions consult your graduate unit.
Please visit the appropriate graduate unit website for course offerings and details. It is your responsibility to ensure that course enrolment is accurate on ACORN.
Changes to your program of study should be made in consultation with your graduate unit. Prior to deadlines, some graduate units allow students make course changes using ACORN. It is your responsibility to adhere to deadlines for dropping and adding courses and to ensure that your program of study is complete and up-to-date.
The deadlines to drop courses are as follows:
October 26, 2020 for Fall session full or half courses;
March 1, 2021 for full-year and Winter session courses;
May 28, 2021 for May-to-June F section courses; and
July 12, 2021 for July-to-August S section courses.
Courses are dropped by using ACORN or the Add/Drop Course(s) form. It is your responsibility to adhere to deadlines for dropping courses.
If you miss the deadline to drop a course:
1. Complete the Add/Drop Course(s) form and submit it to your graduate unit, along with a letter of rationale with supporting documentation (e.g. medical certificate).
2. The graduate unit will consider the request and, if supported, will forward the request to SGS for review.
3. If approved by SGS, the transcript notation of WDR (Withdrawn without Academic Penalty) will be assigned by SGS to the course. The WDR notation carries no credit for the course and is not considered for averaging purposes.
Some graduate units offer modular courses which have enrolment deadlines that do not conform to the deadlines above. Modular courses with non-standard start/end dates require the graduate unit to establish suitable drop dates. Please check with the graduate unit offering modular courses for the drop dates.
Dropping courses may have implications for your progress in the program. For details, check with your departmental graduate administrator.
Enrolment Status (Full-Time, Part-Time, Flexible-Time)
According to government regulations, full-time graduate students must:
- be pursuing their studies as a full-time occupation and identify themselves as full-time graduate students,
- be designated by the University as full-time students,
- be geographically available and visit the campus regularly,
- be considered to be full-time by their supervisors and,
- apply through their graduate unit for permission to be off campus if an academic program requires an absence from the University.
For the formal definition of full-time studies, please refer to section 6.1.2 of the SGS Calendar.
Doctoral students are required to register annually on a full-time basis until all degree requirements have been completed. Students registered in flexible-time doctoral programs are required to register full-time for the first four years; thereafter, they may register part-time. Please consult your graduate unit for further details.
Master’s students in most research programs are required to register annually on a full-time basis until all degree requirements have been completed.
Full-time master’s students in programs with an approved part-time option may be permitted to switch to part-time status if within the program length. Consult your graduate unit for details.
A switch from full-time to part-time status is not permitted once the program length defined for a program has been completed.
Changes to full-time/part-time status cannot be made retroactively.
Part-time students who are studying in an approved part-time master’s program continue to pay a part-time fee until the degree requirements are satisfied.
Part-time master’s students in research programs must maintain continuous registration.
Part-time master’s students who have paid fees only for one academic session in the previous year are required to pay summer fees.
Changes to full-time/part-time status cannot be made retroactively.
Flexible-time programs are offered in units where there is sufficient demand by practicing professionals for design and delivery of doctoral programs that, except for short specified periods of time, permit continued employment in areas related to the fields of research.
Doctoral students may choose this option only if the program offers an approved flexible-time doctoral degree.
Students in flexible-time programs will normally register full-time during the first four years and part-time during subsequent years of the program. Students are required to be registered for every successive session, including summers, following their first session of registration unless granted a leave of absence.
The time limit, between six to eight years, will be specified by the regulations of the graduate unit. Extensions are permitted under the existing policy; students granted an extension may register full-time or part-time.
Transfers between the full-time doctoral program and the flexible-time doctoral program are not permitted.
Collaborative specializations emerge from cooperation between two or more graduate units, thereby providing students with a broader base from which to explore interdisciplinary areas of study and research.
Students must be admitted to, and enrol in, one of the collaborating graduate units and must fulfill all the requirements for the degree in the home unit and any additional requirements of the collaborative specialization. Each is designed to allow a focus in the area of specialty. Upon successful completion of the program, the student receives a transcript notation.
For students seeking admission to a collaborative specialization where the home degree program does not currently participate, please contact the graduate program administrator to access and complete a Non-Standard Collaborative Specialization Enrolment Form (PDF).
Transfer Credit & Exemptions
If you have taken courses at another university, you may request to receive up to 1.0 full-course equivalent (FCE) or 25% of the course requirements, whichever is greater, provided that the courses have not been credited towards another degree, diploma, certificate, or any other qualifications. Such credit may be given on the recommendation of your graduate unit and with the approval of SGS. Transfer credits are normally requested upon admission.
Students participating in an approved exchange program may receive transfer credit for up to 50% of the course requirements for their degree. See Visiting & Exchange Opportunities for more information.
Your graduate unit may exempt you from a specific course requirement permitting the substitution of another course to meet degree requirements; however, overall course credit requirements for your degree may not be reduced.
To request transfer credit(s) or an exemption, submit the transfer credit and/or exemption form to your graduate unit along with the final transcript showing the results of the course(s).
There is no financial credit awarded for transfer credit (only academic credit). In other words, a student transferring a credit from any other institution or U of T program is still required to pay the minimum total program fee.
To take an undergraduate course, you must obtain permission from your home graduate unit and the relevant undergraduate department. Graduate students must register in undergraduate courses through their graduate unit (not as an undergraduate non-degree student).
The graduate grading scale applies to undergraduate courses and any other non-graduate courses for graduate students. Any grade below 70% will be converted to FZ (failure).
Graduate students taking undergrad courses must follow the undergraduate deadline to drop a course (not the SGS deadline).
Undergraduate courses normally do not count towards fulfilling graduate degree requirements.
If you are unable to write an undergraduate examination on the scheduled date, you must request to defer your exam. The authority to grant a request for an undergraduate deferred examination is with your home graduate unit, not the instructor of the undergraduate course.
The request for undergraduate deferred examination form must be submitted to your home unit. Once approved by your home unit, you must pay the undergraduate deferred examination fee immediately. The payment is submitted to the Office of the Faculty Registrar, Faculty of Arts and Science, through the methods described on their website. Following payment, the deferred examinations assistant at the Faculty of Arts and Science will provide further details.
ACORN can help you find what you’re looking for out of a complete list of more than 4,000 innovative courses. SGS works with graduate units to support you every step of the way.
Many instructors manage courses using Quercus. For information on logging in, accessing your course, and submitting assignments, refer to the Student Quercus Guide.