External courses


Broaden your competencies by taking courses outside of your degree program!


For doctoral students looking to take an external course, please review the information under the PhD degree program page, and click on “Procedures to enrol in elective courses”.

External course information for:

Master students |  Bachelor students


Master students

MI and MMSt students are eligible to take up to 2.0 credits outside of their degree program to fulfill part of their degree requirements. 1.0-credit of the 2.0-credits can even be taken at another University. Please connect with your academic advisor to discuss academic planning after you have reviewed the procedures below.

Procedure to enroll in courses within our Faculty, but outside your degree program
  • Applicable to MSL courses for MI students and INF courses for MMSt students
  • Most INF courses have a limited number of spots available for MMSt students. The same is true for MSL courses and MI students.
  • The number of available spots will vary according to course category (elective, required, or limited enrollment)
  • You can enroll directly in the course once enrollment starts through ACORN, but you will need to submit an Add/Drop course form, to Student Services no later than 5 business days after you have enrolled in the course.
  • For courses within our Faculty, there is no need to get the instructor’s signature or course description. Student Services will take care of that.
Procedure to enrol in courses outside your program, but within UofT:
  1. Try enrolling into the course on ACORN. You may or may not receive an REQ status ( = requested) status on ACORN. This step works for 50% of the graduate units (it’s dependent on how courses are set up on the back-end) – so do not worry if you do not see such a status on ACORN. Regardless of whether you have an REQ status, proceed to step #2.
  2. Connect with the graduate unit offering the course (i.e. host unit). Get their permission to take the course!
  3. Ask the graduate coordinator of the host unit to sign off on their part of the SGS Add/Drop form.
  4. Email Student Services with:
    • the signed SGS Add/Drop form (by yourself and the host graduate unit)
    • a rationale/statement on why you wish to take the course
    • course description
  5. We will get back to you on whether your request has been approved and detailed next step(s) to take.

Some things to consider asking the host graduate unit:

  • Does the course allow external students to be enrolled?
  • When is the enrollment start time for students in the host graduate unit?
  • When would they start enrolling external students?

Do note: Faculty of Information grade submission deadlines must be met, regardless of the deadlines of the other department(s) involved.

Procedure to enroll in courses outside of UofT, but within Canada:
  • Students may take up to two (2) 0.5-credit graduate-level courses (or the equivalent of 1.0 credit) at other universities
  • For universities within Ontario, students will need to fill out the Ontario Visiting Graduate Student Agreement form
  • For students that wish to take courses specifically at McGill University, Université de Montréal, and University of British Columbia, you need to fill out the Graduate Exchange Agreement form.
  • Otherwise, for universities outside Ontario, but within Canada, students will need to fill out the Canadian University Graduate Transfer Agreement (CUGTA).* Please contact the host institution and make sure that they are a CUGTA member!
  • Permission is conditional upon:
    • recommendation from the Faculty of Information
    • approval of the other department(s) concerned
    • approval from SGS
  • Forms, accompanied by the course description and/or course outline, as well as a brief statement outlining the reasons why you wish to take a particular course, must be submitted to Student Services first in order to start this process
  • Grades will appear in parenthesis on the UofT transcript and will have CR, not the actual grade.
  • Students are responsible for arranging to have the transcript from host university sent to SGS directly

*Please note important information regarding the Canadian University Graduate Transfer Agreement (CUGTA):        

  • Students pay fees directly to host university.
  • Some universities may not subscribe to this Agreement. University of Alberta for example does not use this form; it uses a letter of permission instead.”* Once you submit the form to us, we will need to write a letter of permission for UA.
  • Students are responsible for seeking permission from both institutions and making sure the host university subscribes to CUGTA.
Procedure for taking courses at a University outside Canada
  • Review information on the Learning Abroad website
  • Exchanges are managed centrally by the Centre of International Experience office at the University
  • If interested in going for an exchange, students are encouraged to consider going in Year 2 Fall only
  • Students have to meet the requirements set out by the host institution
  • Students are eligible to request up to 2.0-credits to be transferred back to the Faculty (only electives are permitted. Required courses have to be completed at the Faculty)
  • Grades will appear in parenthesis on the UofT transcript and will have CR, not the actual grade.
  • Students are responsible for arranging to have the transcript from the host university sent to SGS directly

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Bachelor students

BI students are required to take 2.0-credits of electives as part of their degree requirements. They may take these elective courses outside of their degree program. Please connect with your academic advisor to discuss academic planning after you have reviewed the procedures below.

Procedure to enroll in courses within our Faculty, but outside your degree program
This applies to BI students interested in taking Master of Information (MI) courses as electives.

  • Most MI courses will have a limited number of spots available for BI students.
  • The number of available spots will vary according to course category (elective, required, or limited enrollment)
  • You will need to submit an BI Add/Drop Form to Student Services. Once approved, Student Services will enrol you in the course on ACORN.
  • For courses within our Faculty, there is no need to get the instructor’s signature or course description. Student Services will take care of that.
Procedure to enrol in courses outside your program, but within UofT:
  1. Speak with your Academic Advisor to ensure that the course is appropriate to satisfy your degree requirements.
  2. Connect with the Faculty/instructor offering the course and get their permission to take the course!
  3. Email Student Services with:
    • the signed BI Add/Drop Form
    • a rationale/statement on why you wish to take the course
    • course description
  4. We will get back to you on whether your request has been approved and detailed next step(s) to take.

Some things to consider:

  • Does the course allow external students to be enrolled?
  • When is the enrollment start time for students in the host Faculty?
  • When would they start enrolling external students?

Do note: Faculty of Information grade submission deadlines must be met, regardless of the deadlines of the other department(s) involved.

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