Visiting & Exchange Opportunities

Photo: Russell Pysklywec

International Opportunities

The School of Graduate Studies and the Centre for International Experience encourage current U of T graduate students to explore international study opportunities.

Consider the benefits studying abroad may yield: international research collaboration, conducting research abroad, gaining access to archives, networking for future degrees and projects, completing language proficiency requirements, and more. You can choose to go on exchange for a session, year or summer. Depending on your graduate unit, you may be approved to go on exchange for up to three sessions.

Eligibility

The program is open to degree-seeking students registered with the School of Graduate Studies. Learn more about your eligibility. Students registered in professional Faculties (such as MBA, PT/OT, Medicine, and Dentistry) should consult their Faculty for study abroad opportunities.

Costs

Students are responsible for the entire costs of an exchange.

Destinations

Universities designated “open to all students” and “open to St. George Arts & Science, UTM, UTSC, and SGS” are available to you. Consult the full list of exchange institutions or get advice on selecting a program and narrowing down your choices.

Advice on Selecting a Destination

It is unlikely that many of the partner institutions will match your interests or research area, so it is important to discuss this decision with your supervisor or graduate unit. Often, U of T professors will have colleagues at a partner institution and this can be a great advantage to your coursework or research.

Course Pre-authorization Prior to an Opportunity Abroad

Graduate course(s) and language proficiency requirements for exchange program participants must be approved in advance by the student’s supervisor (if applicable) and home graduate unit. Submit the Course Pre-authorization form (PDF) to your home graduate unit. If your course(s) and/or language requirements are approved, SGS will notify the Centre for International Experience who will process your graduate exchange application.

Transfer Credit

Graduate students participating in an approved exchange program on the recommendation of their graduate unit, and approval by SGS, may receive transfer credit (PDF) for up to 50% of the course requirements for their degree. You may even be able to satisfy your language requirements. Approval of transfer credits and exemptions must be recommended by your graduate unit and authorized by SGS. It is your responsibility to discuss credit for coursework and language proficiency requirements with your supervisor (if applicable) and graduate unit, prior to applying for an opportunity abroad.

Be aware that it is not the grading scale at the host institution that determines transfer credit but the grading scale at U of T. A minimum grade equivalent to the U of T grade of “B-” must be obtained at your Host University in order for a course to be considered for graduate credit transfer.

For students studying in Europe, note that 6 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits is equivalent to 0.5 full-course equivalent (FCE). SGS makes the decision on how to apply the ECTS transfer credit system and other foreign grading scales to the U of T system.

For more information, review the Transfer Credit Handbook, a reference for graduate students on exchange.

Special Considerations: Coursework vs. Research

Depending on your degree, you may choose to go abroad during the coursework portion of your degree or while you are engaged in the research/writing of your thesis or dissertation. Both periods are acceptable for study abroad, but in either case your plan must be approved by your supervisor (if applicable) and graduate unit.

Language Study

Many graduate degrees have a language proficiency requirement that may be achieved through a summer abroad experience. Currently, the Centre for International Experience offers options to study German, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, and Norwegian during the summer months. The advantage for you as a graduate student is that no additional U of T tuition or incidental fees are required, since your registration lasts through the summer already.

Graduate Funding Packages

During most programs abroad you will remain registered as a U of T student. This means that much of your graduate funding package will also remain intact — with the obvious exception of teaching assistantships. For more information, discuss your situation with your graduate unit.

Approvals

Graduate students must be approved by their graduate unit, supervisor (if applicable), and the School of Graduate Studies before applying for studies abroad. Include the Graduate Student Authorization form (Word) with your application to the Centre for International Experience.

Graduate students must also complete the Course Pre-authorization form (PDF), which will be sent directly by your home graduate unit to the School of Graduate Studies. If your course(s) and/or language requirements are approved, SGS will notify the Centre for International Experience who will process your graduate exchange application.

Applying

Intrigued by the exchange opportunities available to you? It is time to start thinking about applying.

Contacts

For questions related to going abroad, contact the Centre for International Experience.

If you have degree program questions, contact your graduate unit.

U of T Global

Explore learning abroad opportunities and global initiatives undertaken by U of T faculty from across the tri-campus.

Opportunities within Canada

Did you know there are many opportunities for U of T graduate students to participate in exchanges within Ontario and across Canada?

Canadian Graduate Student Research Mobility Agreement (CGSRMA)

As research becomes increasingly interdisciplinary and networked, and as research equipment becomes more specialized and expensive, graduate students from one university may have to spend time at another university in order to complete or enhance their research.

The Canadian Graduate Student Research Mobility Agreement (PDF) sets out a protocol for institutional recognition of visiting graduate research students within Canada.

Canadian University Graduate Transfer Agreement (CUGTA)

The Canadian University Graduate Transfer Agreement (PDF) permits a registered student in good academic standing to take a limited number of degree program course requirements at a Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) member university without completing further admission formalities.

Ontario Visiting Graduate Student Agreement (OVGS)

The Ontario Visiting Graduate Student Agreement (PDF) permits a registered student in good academic standing to take a limited number of degree program course requirements at an Ontario university without completing further admission formalities.

Graduate Exchange Agreement (GEA)

The Graduate Exchange Agreement (PDF) is recognized by U of T’s School of Graduate Studies and has established authorization for graduate course study requests at McGill University, Université de Montréal, and University of British Columbia.

The student pays tuition fees at U of T as per normal and is classified as a non-degree student at the host university.


Are you a student from a partner institution?

Learn more about an exchange opportunity at the University of Toronto.


For Current U of T Students

Type of OpportunityDescription
Outgoing Exchange Opportunities (Transfer Credit)You can receive up to 50% of your course requirements through transfer credit by studying at any institution approved as a U of T Graduate Exchange partner as outlined in the SGS Calendar. Pursue language courses or engage in field-research/graduate research at one of our partner institutions.
InternshipYou can complete an international internship through the Centre for International Experience (CIE)-Administered Students for Development program or through an internship arranged through your program or graduate unit. If eligible, you may gain U of T credit for this work.
International Scholar as Supervisory Committee Member(s)
You can investigate the possibility of inviting an international scholar to serve as a member on your supervisory committee. Talk to your supervisor. Graduate units can arrange for SGS graduate faculty membership privileges to be extended to an international scholar. Be sure to familiarize yourself with both SGS and graduate unit requirements for the composition of supervisory committees.
Conference GrantIf you are a registered, full-time doctoral-stream student in good standing, you can attend a conference or other academic meeting to present your research, with funds from an SGS Conference Grant. Preference will be given to students early in their program who are presenting their research for the first time.
Research Travel GrantIf you are a doctoral student in Division I (Humanities) or Division II (Social Sciences) for whom travel is essential for the completion of research in your program, you can apply for an SGS Research Travel Grant to help fund travel.
Joint Educational PlacementA Joint Educational Placement (JEP) is an opportunity for individual students to pursue their doctoral degree program under the joint supervision of faculty from U of T and a collaborating Canadian or international university. It requires two main ingredients: 1) an existing or emerging collaboration between a supervisor at the University of Toronto and a faculty member at another institution and 2) a full-time doctoral student whose research interests are shared with the two supervisors.

If successful, the student will be awarded a single doctoral degree from the lead institution. The University of Toronto will issue a parchment and transcript indicating that the degree has been “awarded as a single degree under a Joint Placement arrangement with (the other institution).” This other institution may also issue a parchment. The student should verify whether the other institution will issue a separate transcript and parchment.

Note: this agreement is different from an exchange program.

For Prospective, Incoming Exchange, and Visiting Students

Type of OpportunityDescription
Degree-Seeking StudentIf you are thinking about earning your graduate degree at U of T, explore all the different options that U of T has to offer by visiting the Programs page. Application for admission to any U of T graduate program is made via the Online Admissions Application.
Non-degree Special StudentSpecial students are individuals who elect to take coursework and are not registered in a program of study which leads to a degree. All special students must be enrolled in at least one graduate course; some may be enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate courses. Students who are changing disciplines or require preparatory work may apply as full-time special students. If you are interested in taking one or two graduate courses not for degree credit, you may apply as a part-time special student. More information on admission requirements and the admissions process.
International Visiting Graduate Student (IVGS) Study Abroad AgreementFor international graduate students seeking to conduct research at U of T for up to three sessions, the International Visiting Graduate Student (IVGS) Study Abroad Agreement facilitates visits by international graduate students who do not fall under an approved exchange program to participate in short-term research activities at U of T. Learn more about the IVGS program.​
Incoming Exchange StudentIf you are from one of U of T’s partner institutions and are interested in studying at U of T as an exchange student, visit the Centre for International Experience website for information about coming to U of T as an incoming exchange student.
Joint Educational PlacementA Joint Educational Placement (JEP) is an opportunity for individual students to pursue their doctoral degree program under the joint supervision of faculty from U of T and a collaborating Canadian or international university. It requires two main ingredients: 1) an existing or emerging collaboration between a supervisor at the University of Toronto and a faculty member at another institution and 2) a full-time doctoral student whose research interests are shared with the two supervisors.

 

If successful, the student will be awarded a single doctoral degree from the lead institution. The University of Toronto will issue a parchment and transcript indicating that the degree has been “awarded as a single degree under a Joint Placement arrangement with (the other institution).” This other institution may also issue a parchment. The student should verify whether the other institution will issue a separate transcript and parchment.

Note: this agreement is different from an exchange program.