Dear Fall 2020 Year 1 Master's students, welcome to the Faculty of Information!
Welcome message from the Assistant Dean, Stephanie Rose:
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. As you probably already know, we casually refer to this Faculty as the iSchool. And no, we don’t study eyes, and we aren’t sponsored by a tech company who puts an “i” in front of everything. And even though I know that the “i” stands for Information, I also like to think that it stands for much more. Here at the iSchool, the “i” also stands for some of the principles that we integrate into our community:
Integrity: Here in the Faculty we strive to maintain integrity in all of our interactions. We expect that people may disagree with each other, as can often happen around the exchange of ideas, but we also expect that it is done in a respectful manner. If you’re ever in need of support around an exchange that has taken place, do not hesitate to seek our assistance. If we are unable to provide what you need, we will refer you to someone who can.
Interconnectedness: While you may select one, or two concentrations, or degrees for that matter (CDP), we fully expect that our curriculum will reinforce to our students the idea that these concepts are all interconnected. With concentrations, a combined degree program, and collaborative specializations, our Student Services Team can help you understand the unique academic pathways available to you.
Interdisciplinary: This goes hand-in-hand with interconnectedness. Our students and instructors, their academic backgrounds, and the topics taught in the Faculty are very much interdisciplinary in nature. It is from that difference of perspectives that we create a rich dynamic learning environment. Our team is here to help you find the ways that you can use those strengths when seeking a co-op, practicum, or internship opportunity, or a job upon graduation.
Introspection: We are a community of learners. All of us are, as that is the nature of an educational institution. So what this means is that we expect everyone to reflect on what we are learning, how we are acting, and how we are always evolving to make this Faculty, campus, and greater community a better place. This takes time, energy and work. We are here to engage with that process, and support you as you do the same.
We know this place will keep you on your toes, as you always keep us on ours. And for that we thank you, and welcome you once again to the iSchool.
Assistant Dean – Registrarial and Student Services
Get to know your key academic dates & deadlines!
Fall 2020 delivery
As the COVID-19 pandemic situation continues to evolve, the Faculty has determined that Fall term classes will be delivered remotely. There might be some instructors that want to meet with students in person, if possible, and health restrictions allow; however, this is still being looked at on a case-by-case basis. Even if there were to be any in-person activities at all, the instructors will ensure that all students that can access the class content remotely, as to not negatively impact anyone’s learning experience. Bottom line, we will not expect you to attend in person at a class in the Fall.
Connecting for remote learning
The University of Toronto, has outlined the minimum technical requirements (computer specifications), recommended accessories, internet connection and frequently asked questions about learning remotely.
International students in areas with internet content restrictions, or who are working remotely on sensitive research, may require access to the University’s general purpose virtual private network (VPN). If you do require the VPN to connect to university resources, please see this page for more information and instructions.
Please note that the VPN does not provide or enhance connectivity to the internet, and will not assist with connectivity issues caused by the recent general increase in web traffic.
Cybersecurity considerations at home: Access the University’s Remote Security Matters page to learn more about creating a cyber secure home.
For our students in mainland China, University of Toronto has recently announced the availability of a new network service – Alibaba Cloud Enterprise Network (CEN).
This latest network service is located in the People’s Republic of China and will allow for a fast, reliable and consistent connection to U of T’s network and in turn its online learning resources such as Quercus, Collaborate Ultra and more. This optional service will enhance the student experience.
To learn more about the features and benefits of this service visit the ITS website.
Getting set up
|Step 1: UTORid & T-card|
Your TCard is your permanent U of T student card. It serves as photo identification for academic purposes and as a smartcard to access campus activities, services, facilities and libraries. It also contains your UTORid, a unique code you will need to access online University resources, including your U of T Email Account.
When on campus, you will need your TCard almost daily to access spaces and to identify yourself at exams. You can also carry cash on your card through the TCard+ program, which allows you to make purchases at participating food locations and the U of T Bookstore.
You can activate your UTORid online starting on June 1. Visit the TCard Office website for instructions.
|Step 2: Email set up|
U of T uses email as the official means of communication with students. For this reason, it is important the email address you have listed in ACORN is a University-issued email account (called UTMail+). Once you have obtained your TCard, you will be able to create your own U of T email address.
It is your responsibility to keep your email account current and check it daily. You will receive important emails from professors and staff about changes to your schedule or classrooms, upcoming events, marks, exam schedules and more.
ACORN (Accessible Campus Online Resource Network) is U of T’s online student services platform.
You will use ACORN to:
- Update your contact information (including emergency details)
- Enroll into courses (July)
- View your Fall/Winter timetable
- View your financial invoice
- Update direct deposit details (for refunds)
- Obtain/print Print “Educational Credit” tax forms (T2202A)
|Enrolment & registration|
Before you begin selecting courses, you may wish to learn how to read UofT course codes to ensure you are enrolling into courses of the appropriate level, and in the correct term!
Know how many courses you are eligible to take as a part-time and full-time student.
- Keep an eye out for our Fall & Winter enrolment & registration guide – everything you need to know on how to, and when, to get registered and enrolled into your courses for the Fall & Winter term.
If you are ever unsure of where to start, please connect with the Faculty Student Services team. We will be happy to guide you.
Every Faculty of Information student has a dedicated Academic Advisor within the Faculty to provide you with guidance and academic support. You can go to your dedicated Academic Advisor on any topic or question that you might have.
We have also compiled a comprehensive list of resources and services available within the Faculty, University and externally to our students. It is important to us that you are well supported in your journey to pursue higher education.
Meet your Academic Advisors:
Christine Chan: Academic advisor to our MI and Doctoral students
Sherry Dang: Academic advisor to our MI and MMSt students
Lindsay Jackowetz: Academic advisor to our MI and undergraduate students
Be sure you check the timelines if you are applying for government financial aid, awards and scholarships, or work-study positions.
The recommended date to make your minimum tuition payment (or defer your tuition payment if you are receiving government student loan) is August 28th.
Here’s a snapshot on available options:
- pay from a Canadian bank
- online credit card payment (will incur a service charge)
- Convert Aeroplan & TD Travel Rewards Points into credits towards paying fees
- paying with OSAP or other government student loans
- paying through Western Union Global Pay (for students outside of Canada)
- deferring with OSAP or other government student loans
- deferring with a Major Award, scholarship or sponsorship
Finally, note that our Master’s programs run based on a minimum degree fee structure. Regardless of whether you are completing your degree as a part-time student, or a full-time student, you will pay the same minimum degree fee if you are completing the degree within the regular period (2 years of full-time students and 6 years for part-time students).
Being a graduate student means plenty of readings, papers to write, and research to conduct. However, that does not mean you have to chain yourself to your desk! The Faculty of Information is not only the home of 4 student councils ( DSA, MISC, MUSSA, and BISA), our students are also engaged in multiple student clubs, chapters and associations. They participate in all levels at the University and in the community at large.
Living the iLife
Peer Mentoring @ iSchool
Are you wondering what to expect at the iSchool? Do you have questions about life as a student or living in Toronto? Wondering where you can get an informed perspective on the whole iSchool experience?
By joining the Peer Mentoring @ iSchool program, you’ll be able to network with like-minded fellow students and ask questions about classes, student life, food trucks, or anything else that might interest you!
No matter what your interests are, we’ll try our best to match with other iSchool student(s) who will partner with you to make the most out of your time and experience here!
Send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Follow Student Services on our social media accounts!
Welcome message from Prof. Nadia Caidi, Director of International Student Experience
Congratulations, you made it!
It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the Faculty of Information. My name is Nadia Caidi and I am a faculty member (teaching courses in the LIS and CIPS concentrations), and also the Director of International Student Engagement.
Despite the current situation with COVID-19, I can assure you that these will be the best years of your academic career. As someone who has been at the Faculty of Information since 2000 (and a past international student, myself), I can assure that there is no better place than our Faculty at the University of Toronto.
Even though you may not be able to physically join us in September, you will immediately become connected into our vibrant learning community. We have a fantastically interdisciplinary faculty, amazing support from our Student Services office, and access to a range of resources from career to academic to health services and support. We, at the Faculty, are here to support you through your journey.
Stay informed and connected, and I look forward to connecting with you all.
The University of Toronto’s Centre of International Experience (CIE) supports our diverse community of international students and facilitates experiences for domestic students looking to go abroad. Throughout the year, CIE hosts a number of events that will connect you with other students and resources at UofT. CIE events are posted on the Career & Co-Curricular Learning Network.
Below are some CIE resources that you may wish to explore:
Before you arrive in Toronto, there are some things you would need to prepare for – everything from organizing your travel documents to finding a place to live. Check out the CIE pre-arrival guide to ensure you are prepared.
|Advising on Immigration|
As an international student at U of T, you will need to navigate Canadian immigration requirements. Our immigration advisor is here to help you sort through processes and paperwork.
While students are responsible for their own legal status in Canada, the immigration advisor can help you with:
- Understand your document requirements including study permit, entry visas, work permits etc.
- Understand the immigration requirements for your dependents.
- Choose the right immigration workshop and/or information session to learn about study permits, entry visas, work permits, permanent residency, USA or France visas and Canadian income tax.
- Locate additional appropriate services and resources.
International students are automatically enrolled in two separate health care plans: your basic healthcare plan — University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) — and your Supplementary Healthcare Plan. Health care in Canada can be expensive, but UHIP will help cover the costs of medical services at clinics and hospitals, such as visits to a doctor or emergency room, blood tests, X-rays and more.
The dedicated Careers team supports students in connecting with the resources, opportunities, and advice needed to make career decisions that best fit their goals. Students are encouraged to participate in a variety of programs and services designed to facilitate professional development.
Students wishing to discuss Work-integrated Learning offerings or reserving a dedicated time for a Resume/Cover Letter review, Job Search Strategy discussion, Mock Interview, or a general Careers conversation are encouraged to book individual consultations with the Careers team:
Chioma Ekpo, Senior Careers and External Outreach Officer. To book an appointment with her, please email.
MI Co-operative Education Option
A co-operative education (Co-op) is an academic program coupled with experiential education attained in partnership between students, employers and an academic institution. The MI Co-op is open to all concentration pathways within the MI program to complete 2 paid, full-time Co-op work terms and gain both paid professional experience in your field of study as well as course credit.
Please visit the FAQ section for more detailed information.
Note: Students interested in pursuing the co-op option may consider enrolling in the INF3900H (The Emerging Professional) in the 2020 Fall semester. Students who do not plan to enroll in this course can meet eligibility requirements via the Individualized Co-op Preparation Plan (ICPP) instead. An overview with further details will be provided in an orientation session in September to support students in choosing an option which best meets their goals.
The Faculty offers 2 Practicum courses to expose students to professional work designed to strengthen and build on theoretical knowledge and to develop specialized skills in aspects of professional information work and environments through supervised experiential learning. The goal of the practica are to provide students with hands-on experience and support the development of professional competencies.
- 105 unpaid hours towards a dedicated project; Students select projects in the first week of the course
- Traditionally offered in the Summer and Winter terms
- 45 unpaid hours towards a dedicated project; Students select projects in the first week of the course
- Traditionally offered in the Fall term
Note: Practicum are conventionally not open to 1st year students in September. Students interested in the Practicum offering must complete the pre-requisite courses to become eligible.
MI TALint: Toronto Academic Libraries Internship
To enhance student learning, the Faculty of Information has partnered with University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) to oversee TALInt: the Toronto Academic Libraries Internship. This is an immersive mentoring opportunity designed to provide a guaranteed 15 hours/week for the full two years of the program (including the summers). TALint is not restricted to LIS students, but inclusive of all students interested in careers in academic libraries. More information here.
Note: The TALint program is currently on hold. More information will be provided once a return to public spaces is advisable and safe.
The MMSt program offers an optional Internship course traditionally taken in the summer term following first year.
The Internship is a 10-12 week placement in a recognized museum, gallery or related institution and allows students to develop competence in the practice of museum studies, apply theory to practice by engaging in hands-on work with industry professionals, and advance in their individual career goals and interests.
Note: INF3900H (The Emerging Professional) offered in Fall 2020 is a pre-requisite the Summer Internship course.
|EXTRA CURRICULAR CAREERS OFFERINGS|
Information sessions and networking events with professionals in a variety of fields will be organized throughout the year. By attending these events, participants connect and network with peers and alumni, and have a chance to ask specific questions about their professional development plan.
Information on events are typically shared via email by our Careers team – so keep an eye out for those!
Connecting with Alumni
The Faculty of Information Alumni Association (FIAA) offers programs wherein students and alumni may connect and have the opportunity to share interests, ask questions, and hear personal stories from information or museum professionals from diverse areas of expertise, interest, and practice.
Ask an Alum: provides a virtual connection for students interested in connecting with alumni mentors.
Job Shadowing program offers current students an essential opportunity to:
- Gain valuable insights from current information and museum professionals
- Form, develop, and cultivate their personal networks and connections
- Expand their realm of experience
Job Shadowing typically runs from February – August each year.
Career development workshops are offered to all students as part of the Faculty of Information iSkills workshop series.
- 2019 entry Getting Started Guide (PDF download) July 13, 2019
- 2018 entry Getting Started Guide (PDF download) July 14, 2018
- 2017 entry Getting Started Guide (PDF download) July 12, 2017
- 2016 entry Getting Started Guide (PDF download) July 11, 2016
- Top 10 questions asked by 2015 incoming class (July 11, 2015)
Other Resources & Materials from Saturday July 13, 2019 Getting Started Event: