Graduate Application FAQs

If, after reading through the following questions, you have any additional queries, please email

Times of 12:01 am EST and 11:59 pm EST are assumed for opening and closing dates, respectively, but we recommend that applicants try to meet closing deadlines by 5:00 pm because staff are not available beyond that time.

Applications can only be made online via the GradAPP. In cases of extreme difficulty accessing the site, please email us at

Once you have reviewed and submitted the first part of your GradAPP, then you will not be able to edit your application responses. You will be able to pay your application fee, to upload pdfs (transcripts, writing sample, Statement of Purpose), edit your recommender/referee information, and send a reminder email to your recommender.

If you have made an error within an uploaded pdf, please contact as soon as possible.  

If you decide not to continue with your GradAPP, you are also asked to please email the graduate assistant at, as it is very helpful to know if you have withdrawn your application.

You can view the status of your GradAPP through your applicant status portal. We will not confirm receipt of documents by phone, email or mail.

Yes. The University will be closed for the winter holidays from 5:00 pm 21 on December 2023 to 2 January 2024 inclusive and will reopen at 8:45 am on 3 January 2024. Online recommendations/references and supporting documents for the MA and PhD programs can be submitted during this time; however, technical assistance will be unavailable. The Department of English will begin to respond to inquiries that were submitted over the break starting 3 January 2024.   

The entry requirements can be found in the MA Programs section.

Yes, a writing sample is required for the PhD, PhD Direct Entry, MA, and the MA in the Field of Creative Writing programs. You can find more details on our Departmental Application Information page.

No. Students in the PhD program will need to show proficiency in French by the third year of their PhD, but it is not an entry requirement for either the MA or the PhD degree.

Writing samples for the PhD, PhD U, MA, and the MA in the Field of Creative Writing programs must be uploaded to the GradAPP (do not send paper copies to the Department). The only exception is if an MA in the Field of Creative Writing applicant's writing sample includes large photos/illustrations; in this case ONLY, the writing sample should be mailed to the Department of English Graduate Admissions by 9 January 2024. All official transcripts should be requested as soon as possible to ensure that they arrive no later than 9 January. Letters of recommendation cannot be mailed; instead they must be uploaded to GradAPP by the recommender/referee, no later than 9 January.

Yes. Applicants must list all post-secondary institutions attended on their GradAPP application. This includes BA, MA, PhD, certificate, non-degree, or special student studies. You must list all institutions attended, even if a degree was not granted. Transcripts must be complete and include legend/grade scale/guide. Applicants who attended universities outside of Canada must provide notarized English translations to accompany all foreign documentation not written in English.

If academic records are interim, pending completion of studies in progress, official final academic records indicating that the degree has been conferred must be submitted to the graduate office as soon as possible and before admission can be finalized.

Regarding Official Transcripts for current or former University of Toronto students only, please contact the Graduate Assistant at for clarification before ordering Official transcripts from the University of Toronto. 

No. All programs commence in September.

No. If your first language is not English but you have completed your admitting degree at a University where English is the primary language of instruction, you do not require testing of language proficiency.

You may require an attestation letter from the university registrar; see the SGS webpage on English Language Proficiency for information about possible exemptions. Otherwise TOEFL (or equivalent) scores must be supplied. Overall TOEFL scores must be 100 or higher with minimum scores of 22 in both writing and speaking sections.

Please see the SGS website for other accepted language tests (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS, COPE, CAEL, the Academic Preparation Course International ESL Program at the School of Continuing Studies, U of T).

No. Letters of recommendation must be academic. Faculty usually keep records for a considerable time, so choose instructors that knew you best and contact them.

No. If you wish to be considered for more than one program, you must complete a separate GradAPP for each program and submit the necessary supporting documents for each program.

Yes, but we have a very limited number of places for part-time MA students. Part-time students have 6 years to complete the degree and can take a maximum of 2.5 full courses per annum and a minimum of 0.5. The cost is the same as a full-time MA, but it is spread over 6 years. If you wish to apply for the part-time MA, you must indicate this in the GradAPP.

Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents should apply for the OGS (Ontario Graduate Scholarship) award and, if appropriate, the SSHRC fellowship. International students may only apply for the OGS award.

If you are not successful with either of these awards, PhD candidates will receive a University of Toronto Fellowship upon registration in the program.

Unfortunately, there are very few departmental admission scholarships for incoming MAs. However Ontario Graduate Scholarships and SSHRC CGSM are available to MA students and should be applied for before applying to the program. Full-time domestic students will also be considered for internal awards. There are no internal award opportunities for part-time or visa students.

You must have a minimum of 7 full (year-long) courses in English for admission into the MA. However, it is possible to enrol in undergraduate courses as a Non-Degree or Special Student (see Applying as a Non-Degree Student) and these credits would be considered equivalent to your degree credits. Please contact U of T with any further questions on this topic.

You will be able to track receipt of documents through the GradAPP. Transcripts may be mailed to us directly from the issuing institution, or you may mail them directly to the department.

We expect to notify PhD applicants about admission decisions in early March. We contact MA applicants at the end of March/early April.

Normally, applicants to the PhD Program do need to have an MA in English from a recognized university with an average grade equivalent to at least a University of Toronto A- in the applicant's overall program. (An MFA in Creative Writing is generally not considered to be an acceptable alternative.)Applicants without an MA in English, however, but with an appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university that includes at least 8.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in English, with an exceptionally strong record in English and an average grade equivalent to at least a University of Toronto A– in the applicant's overall program, will be considered for admission into the PhD U (direct-entry) program.

Applicants with a BA in English and an MA in a closely related discipline (e.g., Comparative Literature, Literary Theory) may consult with the Associate Director, PhD. On a case-by-case basis, such applicants may be deemed eligible to apply to either the PhD or the PhD U.

No. Supporting documents submitted as part of an application become property of the Department of English and cannot be returned.

No. We are not able to grant Application Fee waivers or exemptions.

No, the Department of English does not require GRE scores to be submitted with your GradAPP for the PhD, PhD Direct Entry, MA, and the MA in the Field of Creative Writing programs. These results will not be considered with your master's or doctoral applications.