Graduate Studies FAQ

What is the deadline for applications?

There are two deadlines: The first deadline requires completion of the SGS online application, submission of institutional email address of three (3) referees, and payment; the second deadline requires submission of all supporting documentation and upload of all references. Please refere to the Application Information page for more details.

I have submitted an application. When will I hear back?

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.

Am I required to submit official (paper format) transcripts from all of the post-secondary institutions previously attended?

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.

Are reference letters accepted as hard copy? Is there a form/template? Can I provide more than three reference letters?

All components of the admission package including letters of reference are submitted online. Due to high volume of applications, the Department CANNOT accept admission documents in paper format. Online reference submission process is very straightforward. There is no template. Referees are contacted via their institutional email applicants are required to supply. Referees receive a weblink to take them to a webpage with very detailed instructions. Reference letters can either be typed directly into a text box, or prepared in advance to be inserted. Referees are allowed to save changes, exit and re-enter the system using the same weblink, as necessary. When a reference letter is ready, clicking on "Submit" makes it available to the Department. Do not provide more than three letters of reference.  

What if I am also applying to a collaborative program?

The Department of Art History participates in a number of collaborative degree programs. A complete list of collaborative programs will pop up when you click on the tab “collaborative programs” within the School of Graduate Studies online application. If you are applying to a collaborative program, you may be required to submit separate application information directly to the office of your chosen collaborative program, in addition to the information you submit to the Department of Art History. Application deadlines to the collaborative programs could be different from ours. Please contact the administrators of collaborative programs for their application deadlines and detailed program information.

What if my referee does not have/use an institutional email? Can the reference letter be submitted in paper format?

Due to high volume of applications, the Department of Art History can only accept reference letters in electronic format (to be uploaded to the application system). If you are unable to enter your referee's email address into the system, contact the Graduate Office for assistance.

Am I required to complete the English Language test?

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.

Do I need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?

No, completion of the Graduate Record Examination is not required.

Where can I find some information about our department?

Newly-admitted students should download the welcome package filled with useful information, tips, and resources. For additional about the program, please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook.

When does course registration begin?

Course registration for the fall term typically begins in August. In the summer, we will email you a welcome package that explains the course registration process in detail, including exact dates of course registration for the upcoming academic year. If you haven’t received this package by the course registration date, please contact the Graduate Office. To register for courses, defer fees, receive funding, and update personal information, graduate students will need to become familiar with ACORN.

I need to find a place to live. Where should I begin?

The University of Toronto offers a number of resources:

Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods, each with its own character. There are many great areas in which you could live, but our graduate students recommend the following neighbourhoods:

  • The Annex (immediately north and west of the St. George campus)
  • Little Italy (west of the St. George campus along College Street)
  • The Danforth (east of the St. George campus along Danforth near Pape)
  • Church and Wellesley Village (east of the St. George campus)

I am an international student. What do I have to know about my study visa?

We recommend you read the Centre for International Experience’s pre-arrival guide for international students.

I require academic accommodations. Who do I contact to arrange for my accommodations?

The University of Toronto provides accommodation for students with disabilities. These include accessible classrooms and labs, extensions on coursework, braille, sign language interpretation, note-taking support, and more. Accessibility Services provides support in helping students assess their disability and receive appropriate accommodations. Strict confidentiality is maintained. Visit the Accessibility Services website for more information.

How can I register for a reading course?

You can enrol in a reading course with the permission of the instructor and the Director of Graduate Studies. Once you have obtained permission, please fill out the Request for Research and/or Reading Course form (PDF) and submit it to the Graduate Office.

How do I get an extension on course material?

Please send in a completed Extension to Complete Coursework form (PDF), and contact the Graduate Office to discuss the possibility of an extension.

How do I appeal a grade?

If you would like to appeal a grade, your first point of contact should be the professor who assigned the grade. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of that discussion, you can submit a formal appeal to the Department of Art History Graduate Appeals Committee. Contact the Graduate Office for more information.

How do I request an extension to complete my degree?

You can request an extension by completing the appropriate form from the School of Graduate Studies and submitting it to our Graduate Office:

How do I request a leave of absence?

You can request an extension by completing the appropriate form from the School of Graduate Studies and submitting it to the Graduate Office:

I am a Master's student. What are my language requirements?

The MA degree requires demonstrated reading knowledge of a language other than English for graduation (normally French, German, Italian, or Chinese); This will be tested in the first session of the program. Language exams are administered by the Department and consist solely of a two-hour translation exercise of two art history passages from two areas of study; only hard copy print dictionaries may be used.

I am a PhD student. What are my language requirements?

PhD students are required to pass examinations in two languages (normally German, French or Italian) if they have not already done so in the MA program. This requirement must be completed before taking the comprehensive exams. The appropriate languages will be set by the interim supervisor in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.

Can I take an undergraduate language course?

Yes, you can. However, when enrolled in an undergraduate course, you still need to meet the School of Graduate Studies’ standards. This means you will need to earn a 70 or better to pass the course. Many of our students request to audit undergraduate language courses instead. If you are interested in auditing an undergraduate course, contact the course’s instructor for permission. Note: Undergraduate language courses do not fulfill the Department of Art History’s MA or PhD language requirement(s).

What can I expect on my language exam? How do I prepare for the exam?

The language exam takes the form of a translation exercise, usually from French, German, Italian, or Chiense into English. You will be given two short passages typically from exhibition catalogues or similar publications. They will be from different fields (e.g., one ancient, one modern) and you have two hours to translate the passages. Print dictionaries (i.e., NOT online versions) are permitted. Faculty members in Art History do the marking. To ensure anonymity, students identify themselves on exam scripts only with their student numbers. There is no need to provide certification for the languages that you have taken but you must be able to do the translations.

To help prepare for the language exam, find suitable passages in exhibition catalogues or similar texts (e.g., essays, etc.) and practice reading, with an eye to understanding the meaning of the passage and conveying this in English rather than translating literally word for word. The Louvre Museum's website has a list of passages that may be helfpul for practicing. When you find a passage you would like to practice with, click the red "Select lanaguage" dropdown menu in the top right corner to see the passage in another lanaguage. 

What is the deadline to complete my language exams?

PhD students must complete their language requirements before beginning comprehensive exams. For MA students, the deadline is late February/early March.

How much are tuition fees?

Tuition and ancillary fees vary by your program of study, citizenship, enrolment status (part-time or full-time) and campus. Visit the Office of Vice-President and Provost website for a list of current tuition fees.

How much funding will I be provided?

The School of Graduate Studies website provides an overview of base funding for graduate students. Only PhD candidates are eligible for base funding; Master’s candidates are not eligible.

How does the base funding package work for PhD students?

If you are a doctoral candidate in years one through five of your program, you are eligible for the Faculty of Arts & Science’s base funding package, as long as you remain in good standing and apply each year for major external awards.

If I receive an external award, will it affect my funding?

Your funding level will not drop below the base funding package offered by the Faculty of Arts & Science, but external awards do affect the funding package.

I will soon be moving outside of my funded cohort. What should I do?

Contact the Graduate Office for assistance.

Am I required to take on a teaching assistantship?

A teaching assistantship is one part of the base funding package for PhD students. MA students do not normally hold a teaching assistantship.

Do I have to accept a TA position if it is offered?

Normally, you must accept a TA position if it is offered as part of your guaranteed funding package.  You may request a one-time deferral or you may decline—see below.

Can I defer my TA position/subsequent appointment?

You may request a one-time deferral from the Department.  Deferring your appointment means that while you do not forfeit your subsequent appointment, you DO forfeit the portion of funding for that year.  Subsequent deferral requests will be considered at the discretion of the Department and are not guaranteed.

What happens if I decline a TA position?

If you decline, you will have one fewer remaining appointments and you will forfeit that portion of your funding package for that year.

Is there any training available for students who are teaching assistants or course instructors?

Yes, there is. In fact, all students who are new teaching assistants or course instructors must attend at least four hours of paid training. You can also access programming, training and resources through the University’s free Teaching Assistants’ Training Program or the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation.

How many hours per week will my teaching assistantship duties take?

As a teaching assistant, you are a member of CUPE 3902 Unit 1. Your hours of work and other aspects of your employment are governed by the CUPE 3902 Unit 1 collective agreement.

Who do I talk to about problems with hours or undergraduate students during TAships?

The course instructor is your first point of contact when there is a problem in your TA assistantships. The Undergraduate Assistant and the Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies will be able to provide additional guidance. The Teaching Assistants’ Training Program (TATP) also offers support for both course instructors and teaching assistants.

What are the guidelines for supervision?

The student-supervisor relationship is a key factor in determining a successful and satisfying graduate experience. Please refer to the School of Graduate Studies Supervision Guidelines.

Can someone from another department, faculty or university be my dissertation supervisor?

No. Your supervisor has to be a graduate faculty member within the Department of Art History.

My research interests are changing. What should I do?

Many students change focus over the course of their academic experience. You should talk to your supervisor about it. You can also talk to the Director of Graduate Studies.

I’m having difficulties with my supervisor or members of my committee. What do I do?

If you have an issue with your supervisor or committee members, consult the Graduate Office for advice. We are here to help you with such issues. You might also find it helpful to consult the School of Graduate Studies Supervision Guidelines.

How do I stay connected after graduation?

Stay connect and keep us posted of your success. Email us and follow us on Facebook, Twiiter, and Instagram. For more ways to get involved, visit out Alumni & Friends page.