Application Procedures

The Women and Gender Studies Institute is no longer accepting MA or PhD application for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Information on 2024-2025 applications will be released in September 2023

Applications to the MA and Ph.D. in Women and Gender Studies must be submitted through the School of Graduate Studies online admissions application portal. 

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. 

Applications are considered complete and can only be reviewed after all supporting documentation is received (this includes letters of reference submitted online by referees, scanned post-secondary transcripts submitted online, 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. It is your responsibility to ensure that all application documents are received by December 12, 2022. 

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Required materials:

  • A statement (two pages maximum) of proposed study (submitted online).
  • Two (2) letters of academic recommendation (submitted online).
    • When you (the applicant) fill out your online application form, you will be asked to provide the email addresses of two academic referees. After you have paid your online application fee, your referees will be sent an e-mail prompt asking them to submit their online reference via a web-based form through the online application system by December 12, 2022.  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 12, 2022. 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).
  • One sample of academic writing, under 30 pages, relevant to Women and Gender Studies, e.g. a course paper or conference paper (submitted online).
  • Scanned (unofficial) copies of all post-secondary transcripts.
    • All applicants are required to upload one electronic or scanned transcript from each post-secondary institution attended. The transcripts do not need to be official transcripts; they can be scans of unofficial “issued to student” transcripts (along with legend or grading guide). The School of Graduate Studies online application instructions explain how to do this. Admissions decisions will be made on the basis of the scanned transcript; however, if you accept an offer of admission, you will then be required to send official paper or electronic transcript(s) to our department.

As part of your supporting documentation, please submit full transcripts for all post-secondary education. In spite of the instructions on the application system, please do not submit screenshots or saved PDF pages of your university’s online student portal. Please ensure that we do not have to re-enter passwords for password-protected transcripts. Please review the file before submitting to ensure that it includes institution name, program, all available grades, and an explanation of your institution’s grading scale and other transcript notations. If you need to combine two documents to produce a complete transcript, please do so. If your transcript is in a language other than English, please include a translation produced by a licensed translator.

  • When 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.

Mailing address for the Women & Gender Studies Institute:

Dimitri Thompson

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

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Application Deadline: December 12, 2022

Please review admissions eligibility for required entrance GPAs. Applicants who do not meet the minimum University of Toronto requirement of a mid-B average (73% or GPA 3.00) need not apply. Also, applicants who do not meet the minimum UofT English language requirement need not apply. For details, consult the “How to Apply” section below.


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

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

  1. Create account and log in to the online application at the web address:
  2. Provide the biographical and education information requested.
  3. Submit contact information for at least TWO academic 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 “PhD Letter of Reference Form” available on the Graduate Forms page. 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 12, 2022.
  4. Submit your payment (online payment is preferred but mail-in payment is an available option).

Once payment is processed, you will be able to complete the rest of your application:

  1. 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.
  2. Transcripts of all post-secondary education (including exchanges and transfer credits) must be scanned and submitted electronically through the online application system by December 12, 2022
    • When you are uploading your transcripts 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. Whenever possible international applicants should also include their degree certificates.
  3. Upload a writing sample (in Word or PDF format) of no more than30 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 12, 2022 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.
  6. Check your document status.
    • You will be able to check whether or not your mailed documents have been received by the Department through the online application website. Please allow at least one week after the deadline of December 10th 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.
  7. Be aware of the December 12, 2022 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 paid.  UofT policy requires that all applications are complete by stated deadline.
  8. If you are also applying to an interdisciplinary or collaborative program outside of the Women & Gender Studies Institute, please visit the appropriate website to review the application procedures and any special admission requirements of that program. You can browse a selection of the programs WGSI participates in here.
  9. 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 12, 2022 deadline.

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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.

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Mailing address for the Women & Gender Studies Institute:

Dimitri Thompson, Graduate and Undergraduate Administrator
Women & Gender Studies Institute
University of Toronto
40 Willcocks Street
Toronto, Ontario  M5S 1C6

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