WGSI Graduate Funding FAQs

Notes for 2023-24 WGSI Graduate Funding Chart

  • The Graduate Program Administrator handles awards and the Business Officer (BO) administers the graduate funding letters and teaching assistantship contracts. Your first point of contact should be the Graduate Administrator (wgsi.programs@utoronto.ca) and they will connect with the BO if necessary.

    You may be referred to relevant persons/offices to resolve your concerns (e.g., the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) handles most external awards and scholarships; the Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS) takes care of the University of Toronto Fellowships (UTF); the Student Accounts Office (SAO) takes care of ACORN and tuition payments).

  • The funding package is provided for the first year of the MA program, four years in the Ph.D. program, and five years for students admitted directly into the Ph.D. program (direct entry) without a Master’s degree, with the provision that the student makes satisfactory progress through the program. These students are referred to as those in the funded cohort.

    Students in the funded cohort receive a graduate funding letter each year in mid-Aug/early Sep that details of the funding sources and amounts of funding, and the schedule of payments. For details on the graduate funding letter, see the WGSI Financial Support page on Quercus.

    In addition, Ph.D. students - if their studies continue beyond four years - will be assured at least the same number of Teaching Assistantship (TAship) hours in their fifth and sixth years of employment as they get in their first appointment (or second appointment, if the number of hours is greater), and a minimum of 70 hours beyond their 6th year of employment. Note: in cases where a doctoral student holds their first TAship after their first year of study, the year of employment is not the same as the year of enrolment in the Ph.D. program.

  • The domestic doctoral student base funding package for 2023-2024 is calculated as:

    Financial Support $20,000 Tuition, Incidental Fees $8,214 TOTAL: $28,214

    For details on the funding sources and amounts of funding, and schedule of grad funding payments, see the WGSI Financial Support webpage, link HERE.

  • To receive direct deposit of scholarship and awards, you need provide your Canadian banking information on your ACORN account. You will also need to update your Canadian mailing address on your ACORN account. Follow the steps shown in the ACORN how-to guide, under “Finances” and “Profile & Settings.”

    To receive direct deposit of your TAship payroll, you need to fill and send the Business Officer the TD1 Personal Tax Credits Return form, the TD1ON Ontario Personal Tax Credits Return form, the Payroll Bank Authorization Form for Direct Deposit form, and return with a VOID cheque or bank direct deposit form from your bank. These forms are on the WGSI website, under “Payroll.” If you have worked previously at the University of Toronto, your payroll profile should already be set up on HRIS; you will only need to provide forms if there are any changes since you last worked at UofT.

    Students with an external award (e.g., Vanier, CGS-D, CGS-M, OGS) may have to activate and maintain their awards by August of each year; see the SGS website, How to Activate & Maintain Your Award, for more details.

  • You do not pay for tuition directly. You need to defer your fees (i.e., register without payment) online on ACORN by August 31st.

    A portion of your grad funding goes directly towards payment of tuition fees in your ACORN account. For those with base funding, this occurs in September and January; those with a major scholarship or award this occurs in January and May.

  • If you are outside of the funded cohort, you must pay the minimum fee to register by August 31st.

    If you are receiving a major scholarship or award, hold a TAship, or have other funding equal or in excess of the minimum payment to register you may defer your fees (i.e., register without payment); please see the Graduate Program Administrator for the SGS Register Without Payment form.

    A tuition fee deferral prevents the regular service charges from accruing on the outstanding balance during the specified deferral period. Otherwise, interest accrues on the 15th of each month starting in October. The interest on the monthly balance is 1.5%. With a deferral, all outstanding fees are due on April 30th.

  • In addition to the guaranteed funding offered to all of our students, scholarships offered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), there are a number of departmental awards, and awards managed by SGS that you may be eligible for. The Graduate Program Administrator sends out announcements on major award eligibility requirements and deadlines, but you should also visit the Award Explorer website, and speak to your supervisor about awards in your research area.

  • If you are experiencing financial difficulty, first let your supervisor know. They may be able to offer a research assistantship (RAship), but this is not guaranteed.

    After speaking with your supervisor, you should speak with the Graduate Coordinator. If appropriate, you may apply for a WGSI Graduate Program Award that supports students in financial need.
    For students who are out of the funding cohort but need a little more time to complete their programs (about 1 term for MA students and less than 2 years for PhD students), SGS offers the Master’s Tuition Bursary or the Doctoral Completion Award. Please speak with the WGSI Graduate Program Administrator for more information.
    SGS has an Emergency Loan/Bursary program. To be eligible for support, your financial need must be from unforeseen circumstance, e.g. fire or theft. You will need to make an appointment with the Financial Aid Officer at the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) to be considered for this type of assistance.

    If you are a domestic student, you can apply to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for a government loan. If you are an international student, you may be eligible to apply for similar scholarships offered by your home government.

    The Student Accounts Office (SAO) suggests Student Lines of Credit (LOC) as an option. A LOC differs from a loan in that a loan is a specific sum of money that you must begin paying back right away. With a LOC, you are approved for a certain amount, and you need only repay interest payments each month on the amount that you borrow, with repayment of the principal starting six months after completing your studies. If you do not use the LOC, you do not have to pay it back. Please consult with a Financial Aid Officer at the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) for details.

Web resources on graduate student funding and financial aid

  • View fees invoice
  • Defer fees (i.e., Register Without Payment)
  • Set up bank direct deposit
  • Change mailing address
  • View record of awards
Financial Support
  • How Our Funding Package Works: Details of Financial Support
  • WGS Scholarships
Graduate Funding in Arts & Science
  • How Graduate Funding Works
  • Graduate Funding Terms and Conditions
How Funding Works: Research-Stream Programs
  • PhD funding data
  • Funding FAQs
Award Explorer
  • Graduate and Postdoctoral Awards
Scholarships & Awards
  • Scholarships and awards database (search awards by citizenship, award type, degree, and application deadline)
Financial Aid & Advising
  • SGS Grants, Bursaries & Emergency Funding
SGS Tuition Fee Exemption
  • SGS Tuition Fee Exemption (students outside the funded cohort whose research has been disrupted due to COVID-19)
Financial Aid
  • OSAP
  • Other Loans and Student Lines of Credit