Application Information

  • Applications for the 2021 academic year are now closed and applications are currently under review.
  • Applications for the 2022 academic year will open in September 2021. Please check back then for specific dates and deadlines.

Application Timeline for 2020–21 Academic Year

Timeline: December Deadline, Pay Application; January Deadline, Upload Supporting Documents


Applications to the Department of Art History must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) through the online admission application. Please visit the "MA Program" and "PhD Program" pages for specific admission requirements.

2020–21 Admissions Timeline

The Online Admissions Application opens on September 21, 2020.

There are two deadlines that applicants should note:

1. Items to be completed and submitted by December 11, 2020:

  • SGS online application 
  • Institutional email addresses of 3 referees*
  • Payment 

*The referees will receive an email from our automated system at the time of your application fee payment with instructions to the template and a notice of their deadline date. Please ensure that you have the approval of your referees before these emails are sent.

2. Items to be completed and submitted by January 15, 2021:

  • All supporting documentation
  • Uploaded references

Offers of admission from the Department of Art History will be sent out both electronically through email and physically mailed. Admissions are decided on a rolling basis from the end of February onward.

Applying to Our Graduate Programs

  • The department will consider your application only after you have completed all steps of the SGS online application.
  • Once you access the SGS online admissions application and enter your contact information, an applicant identification number and a password will be emailed to you.
  • On the SGS online admission form, there will be a section titled “Proposed Area of Study.” Please indicate one (or more) of the following as your area of study in this section: Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, Modern/Contemporary, East Asian, South Asian, or African.
  • Payment is made at the time of application online using only a Visa or MasterCard credit card.
  • Once your payment has been received, emails will be automatically sent to your referees for their letters of reference.
  • You may return at any time to check on the status of this application.

Application Checklist

Please see below for all supporting documentation that should be uploaded onto the SGS online application system.
The checklist is also available for download here: PDF iconArt History Graduate Application Checklist (PDF)

  • Scanned and uploaded transcript(s): See information below on transcript guidelines.
  • Letters of recommendation: You will be asked to supply email addresses for three (3) referees. Emails will be automatically sent to your referees once you have paid your application fee.
  • A sample of your written work: The writing sample should be a research paper (or equivalent) no more than 30 pages in length. PhD applicants should normally submit a paper in their proposed research area.
  • A letter of intent and CV: Your letter of intent (one page in length) should describe your academic interests and your plans for graduate study. We especially want to know about your intellectual trajectory and your current research interests and methodologies. If you are applying as a Direct Entry PhD, make it clear to us in your statement that you wish to be considered initially for the PhD program.
  • Graduate Information Sheet: This form is designed to declare your language facility and your proposed area of study (please choose one): Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Early Modern, Modern/Contemporary, East Asian, South Asian, or African.
  • Proof of English language proficiency: Applicants from universities outside Canada where English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of their application.

Requirements for Scanning and Submitting Transcripts

  • Please scan your transcript in grayscale at the lowest dots per inch (dpi) setting that results in a legible document. We recommend 72 dpi whenever possible.
  • The file must be in .PDF format. Image files, such as those in .jpg or .bmp formats, must be converted to .PDF before uploading.
  • The file size of each scanned transcript file to be uploaded must not exceed 3 megabytes (MB).
  • If your transcript is double-sided, please be sure to scan the front and back of each page.
  • The transcript legend (usually printed on the back of a paper transcript) must appear at least once for every scanned transcript submitted.
  • Scanned documents must be clearly legible and print on standard CDN/US 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper.
  • Do not upload a document that is password-protected or that contains macros

The following option applies to transcripts from Canadian universities only: In lieu of a scanned copy of a paper transcript, applicants may upload a .PDF file of their academic history. Where possible, the file should include the university’s grading legend and your name. If the admissions committee determines that the file is incomplete you may be asked to submit a copy of the transcript instead.

Conditional Acceptance and Official Transcripts

If you are given a letter of offer, as a condition of admission, you will be required to submit complete official paper transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended. The University of Toronto requires an official transcript from each post-secondary institution that you have attended. Each institution will have its own procedures for issuing transcripts, and in some cases this can take weeks or even months. You must consider this timeline when requesting your transcript(s). All non-English language documents must be officially translated into English and submitted to the University of Toronto together with the originals. If you are unable to submit official documents, please contact the Graduate Office directly.

You may submit official transcripts in one of two ways:

  1. Instruct your institution(s) to mail an official transcript directly to the U of T graduate unit to which you are applying. The transcript must be issued directly to the Department of Art History and sent to our mailing address. Documents must be sealed in the original envelope from the issuing institution, with a signature across the seal.
  2. Obtain an official, “issued to student” transcript from your institution and mail it to the Department of Art History. Documents must be sealed in the original envelope from the issuing institution, with a signature across the seal.Photocopies, faxes, or documents arriving in previously opened envelopes will not be considered official.


If you are in the process of applying to graduate programs for September then you should make application to scholarship programs such as the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) and the Canada Graduate Scholarships (Doctoral or Master's) (CGS). Current University of Toronto students (especially 4th year undergraduate students and MA students) should apply through the Department of Art History at U of T. If you are not a current U of T student, apply through your University, or, if you are not currently a student, apply directly to CGS. 

See Tuition and Funding for more information. 

Want to apply to a COLLABORATIVE PROGRAM? 

If you are applying to a collaborative program, its application procedures may differ from ours. Please visit the appropriate website to review the application procedures and any special admission requirements for that program. When submitting documentation ensure that you submit what is needed for the collaborative program application as well.

Applying to the PhD Program

It is strongly recommended that applicants to the PhD program (including Direct Entry) visit the department and meet with the Director of Graduate Studies and the professor(s) in their area of interest. Note: Direct entry PhD applicants if unsuccessful to the PhD Program will automatically be considered for the MA Program. See SGS on Finding a Supervisor.


Please refer to the FAQ page and/or contact the Graduate Assistant.

Technical assistance with the online application system should be directed to the School of Graduate Studies at or 416-978-6614.