Women & Gender Studies Institute

M.A. & Ph.D. Application Procedure

Please follow these instructions carefully. Below you will find a link to an online application form but you will need to refer to this page for full application instructions.

Application Deadline for the 2015-2016 academic year:  DECEMBER 9, 2014.  There is no secondary deadline.

Applications to the MA and PhD in Women and Gender Studies must be submitted through the School of Graduate Studies online admissions application which is housed on a secure server at the University of Toronto (UofT).  Applications are considered complete and can only be reviewed after all supporting documentation is received (this includes letters of reference submitted online by referees, official post-secondary transcripts submitted online and in hard copy, TOEFL scores, etc.).  As per UofT policy, applications that are missing documents after the deadline will not be reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Committee, regardless of whether or not the application fee has been paid.

The online application allows applicants to manage and submit biographical and educational information as well as specific documents (i.e. statement of intent, curriculum vitae, etc.) to the University immediately. A valid email account is needed to complete the online application as the University will correspond with applicants using email. 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. You can leave and return to your application at any point until you move to the payment stage. After you have paid, you can return to check on the status of the application including whether we have received your supporting documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all application documents are received by December 9, 2014We recommend that you PAY YOUR ONLINE APPLICATION FEE by November 1, 2013, as this will give your referees enough time to upload their on-line reference.  Once you pay your application fee, your referees will receive an e-mail prompt from UofT asking them for a reference.

Summary of documents needed:

  • SGS online application (submitted online – see link below)
  • A statement (two pages maximum) of proposed study (submitted online – see link below).
  • Two (2) letters of academic recommendation (submitted online – see link below). Your referees are required to fill out a web-based form via the online application system. When you (the applicant) fill out your online application form, you will provide the email addresses of two academic referees. After you have paid your online application fee (please do this no later than November 1, 2014), your referees will be sent an e-mail prompt asking them to submit their online reference by December 9, 2014. Please notify your academic referees in advance of the deadline specified above and follow up if necessary. If for some reason your referee(s) is unable to submit a reference online, please instruct them to send WGSI a hard copy of the form by December 9, 2014. The reference letter must be written on official university letterhead paper and contained in a signed and sealed university letterhead envelope.
  • A brief academic curriculum vitae (CV), with details of education, awards, teaching and research experience, and other information of academic interest. (Submitted online – see link below).
  • One sample of academic writing (under 30 pages) relevant to Women and Gender Studies, e.g. a course paper or conference paper (submitted online – see link below).
  • Official copies of all post-secondary transcripts, submitted in BOTH ELECTRONIC AND HARD COPY FORM. All applicants, including UofT students, are required to submit official transcripts onlyWE DO NOT ACCEPT UNOFFICIAL ROSI (UofT) TRANSCRIPTS.  Please order official transcripts through your university transcript centre and have them mailed directly to the Women and Gender Studies Institute. Transcripts must be on official university letterhead and contained in sealed, university letterhead envelopes. When you are submitting transcripts electronically, please ensure that each transcript is legible and that you include the transcript legend or grading system. The transcript must show your course grades, and where applicable, the date of degree conferral. International students may include degree/diploma certificates IN ADDITION to their official transcripts & transcript legends.

Application Deadline: December 9, 2014

Please complete all parts (biography, education, program of study, reference contact and payment) of the online application by this date. Also, please submit all supporting application documents (statement, CV, writing sample, academic references, transcripts, and TOEFL scores) by this date.

International Students

INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS should consult the “International Degree Equivalencies” chart to determine if they meet the minimum admission requirement at the University of Toronto. Go to http://portal.sgs.utoronto.ca/current/admission/intdegequiv.asp. Qualifications from a number of world-wide educational systems are listed.  The academic standings indicated are normally accepted as equivalent to a University of Toronto mid-B average if the degree has been awarded from an institution recognized by the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto.  Note that a mid-B average is the MINIMUM required for graduate study at the University of Toronto. Individual departments have their own admission requirements, which are normally higher than the minimum.  As stated above, applicants to the Master’s Program in Women and Gender Studies must have at least a B+ average (GPA 3.3 – 3.6) or better in their final year of study.  Applicants to the PhD Program in Women and Gender Studies must have an A- average (CGPA 3.7).  Direct-entry applicants to the PhD Program in Women and Gender Studies must have an A average (CGPA 4.0) and an A- average (GPA 3.7) in their final year of study.  Applicants who do not meet the minimum UofT requirement of a mid-B average (73% or GPA 3.0) need not applyAlso, applicants who do not meet the minimum UofT English language requirement need not apply.  For details, consult the “How to Apply” section below.

HOW TO APPLY

Please read through these instructions first before taking any of the steps.

  1. Log in to the online application at the web address provided below.
  2. Provide the biographical and education information requested.
  3. Be prepared to submit contact information for at least TWO referees. Work references may not be suitable for academic references. Referees must be able to provide a thorough assessment of your past academic work and future promise for graduate study. Be sure to inform your referees that you are doing this and let them know that they will contacted by the University of Toronto via email. Once you have confirmed your application information by moving to payment, the system will email your referees and ask them to provide references. They will be asked to log on to the online application through a link the School of Graduate Studies will provide. In the rare case that your referee does not have email or does not have an institutional email address, please have your referee fill in a hard copy of the form available on the WGSI website: www.wgsi.utoronto.ca. The form must be received WGSI Program Office (see address below) in a sealed envelope with a signature over the seal. The letter should come directly from the referee to us. Hard copies must be submitted no later than December 9, 2014.
  4. In a Word document or PDF format please describe the analytical question or problem you would most like to pursue in our graduate program and call it the “Statement of Intent.”  For MA applicants, this should be a statement of an intended topic or area of graduate study, and summary of preparatory training in appropriate theories and methods. For PhD applicants, please indicate the question/problem that you foresee as the most likely candidate for the subject of your thesis. You may wish to indicate what theoretical approaches are shaping your thinking on this topic, and why WGSI is an appropriate academic environment for engaging in that work. You may wish to name faculty with whom you would like to work, and explain why you would like to work with them. Please do not make this an intellectual autobiography; the statement of intent is, instead, more like a research proposal. While some biographical background information may be relevant, the statement should primarily be used to indicate in detail your intended topic or area of graduate study, why such a topic is important to study, as well as theories, methods and experiences you will bring to bear on the project. The statement must be no more than 500 words or 2 pages double-spaced. 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. Submit the statement through the online application by following the “submit” link on the document status page.
  5. Official transcripts of all post-secondary education (including exchanges and transfer credits) must be scanned and submitted through the online application electronically AND submitted in hard copy by December 9, 2014All applicants, including UofT students and students from other Ontario universities, must submit official transcriptsWE DO NOT ACCEPT UNOFFICIAL ROSI (UofT) TRANSCRIPTS.  Please order official transcripts through your university transcript centre and arrange for them to be mailed directly to the Women and Gender Studies Institute. Transcripts must be on official university letterhead and contained in sealed, university letterhead envelopes. When you are uploading your official transcripts electronically, please ensure that each transcript is legible and that you include the transcript legend or grading system. For transcripts prepared in languages other than French or English, we require applicants to upload official/certified translations. Please include the original language transcripts with the translation.
  6. Prepare a writing sample (in Word or PDF format) of no more than 30 pages of your written work. It may be an essay submitted for a course, a portion of an MA (or undergraduate) thesis (but not the whole thing), or an analytical policy document (written only by you). Where possible, PhD applicants should submit a writing sample on a topic closely related to the research project proposed. Submit the sample through the online application by following the “submit” link on the document status page.
  7. Include a resume or C.V. of up to one page (in Word or PDF format) that includes information not available elsewhere in your application package, including teaching and research experience relevant to your scholarly interests, academic awards, conference presentations, and publications. Submit the C.V. through the online application by following the “submit” link on the document status page.
  8. Submit a proof of English language proficiency if your primary language is not English (except Canadian citizens whose primary language is French) or if you have not graduated from a university whose primary language of instruction is English.  Your TOEFL scores must be valid (not expired) at the time of application and available by the December 9, 2014 deadline.  We do not accept test scores after the application deadline.  Check the SGS page for the various recognized English tests.  For TOEFL score submissions the institution code is 0982 and the department code is 98.  International students who are completing/have completed an academic program whose primary language of instruction was English must include an official letter from the department stating that this was the case.
  9. Check your document status. You will be able to check whether or not your documents have been received by the Department through the online application website. Please allow at least one week after the deadline of December 9th until you contact the department regarding the status of missing documents. Due to the volume of applications needing to be processed, it takes several days for documents received by the deadline to be indicated online.
  10. Submit your payment (online payment is preferred but mail-in payment is an available option).
  11. Be aware of the December 9, 2014 application deadline. Please complete all parts (biography, education, program of study, reference contact and payment) of the online application form and submit all your supporting documents by this date. If the application form is not filled out and/or all supporting documents are not received by the application deadline, we will not review your application, even if the application fee has been paidUofT policy requires that all applications are complete by stated deadline.
  12. If you are also applying to an interdisciplinary or collaborative program outside of the Women and Gender Studies Institute, please visit the appropriate website to review the application procedures and any special admission requirements of that program.
  13. Once all documents are received your application can be reviewed for admission. It is your responsibility to monitor the status of your documents in the online application and to follow up with your referees if references are not received in advance of the December 9, 2013 deadline.

MAKE AN APPLICATION

Proceed to the SGS online admissions application here.

APPLYING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS

Please note:  If you are in the process of applying to graduate programs for next Fall and it is before October, AND you have an A minus average, then you should seriously consider applying to scholarship programs such as the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council masters or doctoral fellowships (SSHRC). The OGS is available to non-Canadians (Visa students) who are Ontario residents at the time of application. The SSHRC is a Masters or Doctoral Fellowship available only to Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents who are entering a graduate program. OGS applicants must have a minimum A- average, and SSHRC applicants should have at least an A average to be competitive with other applicants.

OGS application instructions and eligibility requirements can be found here.

SSHRC application forms can found here.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do I require transcripts from all of the post-secondary institutions attended?

YES, an official transcript is required from each university attended. Please order official transcripts through your university transcript centre and arrange for them to be uploaded electronically to the UofT online application system AND mailed directly to the Women and Gender Studies Institute. Transcripts sent by mail must be printed on university letterhead paper and contained in sealed, university letterhead envelopes. Applicants who attend/attended universities outside North America must provide notarized English translations to accompany all foreign documentation not written in English.

When you submit your online application, you must also submit electronic copies of all post-secondary transcripts. Please include the transcript legend or explanation of the grading system, which is sometimes found on the reverse side of the transcript. Both the electronic copy and paper/hard copy of your transcript are due by December 9, 2014. We do not accept unofficial transcripts – this applies to all applicants, including UofT students and students from other Ontario universities.

Updated official transcripts will be requested from ALL applicants (including UofT students) that are recommended for conditional acceptance to the Master’s or PhD Program in Women and Gender StudiesWE DO NOT ACCEPT UNOFFICIAL ROSI (UofT) TRANSCRIPTS.  You must arrange for your original transcript/s to be sent to our graduate office (see address below) directly from the institution you attended. Depending on the institution, in some cases this can take weeks (or even months). It is recommended that you consider this timeline when requesting your transcript/s. As per UofT policy, faxed or emailed records are not considered official. Documents will not be returned to the applicant. If academic records submitted at the time of application were interim, the 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 before admission can be finalized. We will also require an official letter from your university Registrar’s Office stating that you have met your degree requirements and are eligible for convocation.

Please mail hard copies of official post-secondary transcripts to:

Marian Reed, Graduate Administrator
Women and Gender Studies Institute
University of Toronto
40 Willcocks Street
Toronto, Ontario  M5S 1C6
Canada

Do I have to provide academic references?

YES, you are required to provide TWO academic references. Work references are not considered academic references. Your referee(s) must fill out the web-based reference form provided via the online application system.

Are there reference letter forms?

Once you have confirmed your application information by moving to payment, the system will e-mail your referees and ask them to provide references. Please note your referees will not receive this e-mail until you pay your application fee. Please pay your fee by November 2013 at the latest. They will be asked to submit an electronic copy of the reference in Word or PDF after logging into the online application through a link the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto will provide. Once they log in to this system, the referees will receive a notice which indicates the questions they are asked to address. In the RARE case your referee does not have an e-mail address, you may collect the letter and drop it off at the WGSI Program Office by December 9, 2014. The letter should be written on institutional letterhead. Ask your referee to provide you with the letter of reference in a sealed, letterhead envelope, signed across the seal. Do not open the envelope(s). Letters of reference will be part of the official student academic record. They are confidential and applicants/students will not have access to them. For hard copy references only, your referee should use this reference form as a guideline.

What do you expect in the statement of intent?

Your statement should clearly describe your proposed area of study and its contribution to scholarship. The statement (two pages maximum) should be 500 words in length. You may submit the statement online in Word or PDF format. The document can be saved by following the “submit” link on the document status page in the online application.

For M.A. applicants, this should be a statement of an intended topic or area of graduate study, and summary of preparatory training in appropriate theories and methods. For PhD applicants, please indicate the question/problem that you foresee as the most likely candidate for the subject of your thesis. You may wish to indicate what theoretical approaches are shaping your thinking on this topic, and why WGSI is an appropriate academic environment for engaging in that work. You may wish to name faculty with whom you would like to work, and explain why you would like to work with them. Please do not make this an intellectual autobiography; the statement of intent is, instead, more like a research proposal. While some biographical background information may be relevant, the statement should primarily be used to indicate in detail your intended topic or area of graduate study, why such a topic is important to study, as well as theories, methods and experiences you will bring to bear on the project

The statement of intent is not to be confused with the section of the online application form that ask you to talk about your “area of proposed study.”  For this section of the form, simply enter a few keywords that most relate to your proposed research area.

I have not completed 7 full courses in Women’s/Gender Studies at the undergraduate level or my  Masters degree is not in Women and Gender Studies? Can I still apply to the graduate program?

 Yes. We also accept relevant or equivalent courses. At the end of your statement of intent, please list any courses which you believe have prepared you well for graduate work in Women and Gender Studies. For details regarding eligibility requirements, please go to http://www.wgsi.utoronto.ca/graduate/applications/ma-phd-eligibility.

Can I apply to the Master’s Program if I have completed a three-year Bachelor’s degree?

Please refer to the School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto website for a detailed response to this and other related questions:

Mailing address for the Women and Gender Studies Institute:

Marian Reed, Graduate Administrator
Women and Gender Studies Institute
University of Toronto
40 Willcocks Street
Toronto, Ontario  M5S 1C6