Information for incoming students


The current, unprecedented situation with COVID-19 means there are deadline and requirement changes as well as some still unresolved issues with regard to the 2020 fall term. We have put together the information below to help you prepare for joining us in September. If you have a question that is unanswered by the information below, please feel free to connect with our admissions team at admissions.ischool@utoronto.ca

Read the latest news from the University regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) here

Faculty of Information Resource Page for Covid-19

Getting started in Fall 2020

Welcome to the Faculty of Information. The Student Services team is your one-stop shop on any questions you might have on your degree program, faculty and university policies and guidelines, how to incorporate and showcase your diverse interests in your time at the faculty, etc. We may not know all the answers to your questions, but we will try our best to point you in the right direction. We hope to work alongside you to help you achieve the goals you have set out for yourself at the Faculty.

We know starting a new program can be tough, so we have prepared a virtual guide on getting you started – things you might wish to look out for over the next 4 months (and we thought you might want to do some light reading!).

In the coming weeks, we will also be posting an enrolment & registration handbook for Fall & Winter 2020-21 – to assist you in getting enrolled into courses, and getting officially registered.

Last but not least, don’t forget to mark off July 18th on your calendar for our live (online) session on Getting Started. More details will be shared once we get closer to that date.

What can I expect in September?

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.

More information will be provided through the new student newsletters, delivered to your inbox.

International Applicants

If travel restrictions continue and prohibit international students from entering Canada for the fall term, courses will be offered remotely. The University assures you that a high-quality education will be provided remotely in the fall. We will maintain our support to international students throughout the summer.

The Centre for International Experience at UofT  offers international students many opportunities to learn about the documents and processes related to studying, working and living in Canada.

Webinar: Study Permits and Other Immigration Related Questions

Students can join one of the following times for our immigration webinar, where representatives from the Centre for International Experience and the School of Graduate Studies Office of Student Academic Services will discuss immigration issues relevant to incoming international graduate students.

Wednesday, July 15 (9:30-11:00 am EST)
Monday, July 20 (9:30-11:00 am EST)

How to Participate

Students will need to click on the following link to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83300619338

The University recommends that international students apply for their study permit as soon as they get their acceptance letter (and prepare the other required documents). The goal of this webinar is to help international graduate students with the application process and answer their immigration-related questions.

Application process timeline

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, processing of application files may take longer than normal. You can expect to hear a decision within six to eight weeks from the date your application’s status changed to “under review”.

Document submission deadline

MI/MMSt Applicants: Our online application deadline (March 31, 2020) for our Master of Information and Master of Museum Studies program has now passed, and our document submission deadline is April 15, 2020. Please note if you are not able to meet this deadline due to individual circumstances, you are welcome to contact our admission’s team to share your circumstances. We are happy to provide you with all of the options you may consider. Applications for all programs can be reviewed based on unofficial transcripts and applicants are strongly encouraged to upload all required online transcripts (electronic records) via the SGS Admissions Application Portal.

Accepting your offer of admission

Please email your signed offer acceptance forms to admissions.ischool@utoronto.ca within 4  weeks of the date of your offer.

Submitting official transcripts

We understand that your current institution may not be mailing your official paper transcripts anymore, and may have offered to send official e-transcripts to other institutions instead. If that is the case, please provide admissions.ischool@utoronto.ca as the destination email address to receive your official e-transcripts.

If your current institution is not providing direct official e-transcripts to be sent to other institutions, please make arrangements for your official sealed transcripts to be mailed to: Student Services Faculty of Information, 140 St. George Street Toronto, ON M5S 3G6, CANADA.

Please note that you do have until the end of August to provide that – hence, a slight delay in us receiving them now will not be a huge issue or affect your offer. There will be delays in getting official paper transcripts received, reviewed and updated to your application. Please bear with us as we get all paper documents processed.

If you are a University of Toronto student, you can give us permission to access your official transcripts by contacting our admissions team.

If you have met all your conditions, you will receive an email from us through admissions.ischool@utoronto.ca.

Meeting the academic requirements of your offer of admission

If you are concerned about meeting specific conditions in your offer, know that we are committed to working with all admitted students who have been been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. We will exercise as much flexibility as possible to make sure you aren’t disadvantaged by circumstances beyond your control.

We understand that your current institution may be developing different ways to help students cope with the current challenges – and one common accommodation appears to be offering students the ability to choose certain courses to be reflected as a CR/NCR (i.e. appears as simply a credit or no-credit, with no actual earned grades). Many of you may be concerned about how the Faculty of Information may view this grading scale and if that will affect your offer of admissions to the Faculty.

We do not have a concern if your University/program is allowing you to select course(s) to be reflected as CR or NCR. It does not affect or change the conditions of your offer. We’ll view your academic performance for this term as presented in your transcript, and your final GPA will be viewed as they are presented on your transcript as well.

If you decide to select course(s) to be reflected as CR or NCR this term, your application will not be viewed negatively by the Admissions Committee or jeopardize your Offer of Admissions from the Faculty.

Meeting the English language proficiency requirement

If you are an international student and need to satisfy the English language proficiency (EP) requirement, we understand that many test centres have now closed with limited availability of testing options. If possible, you may want to consider the TOEFL iBT test because it is now offering a special at-home option within certain countries.

Duolingo English Test (DET): The School of Graduate Studies will temporarily accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) to satisfy the English language proficiency requirement with the following conditions:

  • DET will be accepted for graduate admission to the Fall 2020 session only.
  • The minimum acceptable score for the DET is 120.
  • This offering only applies to applicants from regions where TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition is not available. DET results will not be accepted from countries where the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition is offered.
  • SGS will accept DET taken after February 1, 2020 if the results are received by the graduate program’s deadline.
  • Applicants from the affected regions who were offered admission on the condition of satisfying ELP requirements may use the DET to satisfy the condition; scores need to be received by the deadline specified in the condition.

More information about the DET can be found on their website

If these options are not available to you, please contact our admissions team and we can review your application without an EP test result and if successful, you will be offered a conditional offer of admission with extended time to meet the EP requirement. Please also note that normally, if applicants have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution recognized by the University of Toronto and where the language of instruction and examination is uniformly English, they are not required to submit proof of proficiency in English.

Tuition deposit

Once you have confirmed your acceptance, the next step is to pay your deposit.

A deposit of $500 is due by June 1, 2020 to secure your offer of admission. Your offer of admission will be cancelled if the deposit were not received on or before the above deadline. Your deposit is non-refundable and will be applied to your first term tuition.

If you have received an offer of admission, you now have the option to pay your tuition deposit online by logging into your ACORN account at www.acorn.utoronto.ca using the JOINid credentials that were emailed to you when you completed your application. You must enable your JOINid and create a password to access ACORN .You may contact admissions.sgs@utoronto.ca if you are unable to locate your JOINid.

If you have difficulty finding your balance on your ACORN account, please email us.

Admissions and in-course awards

If you submitted your complete application package by January 31, 2020 you were automatically  considered for our admissions awards. Admissions awards have already been announced.

There are additional scholarships / in-course awards (i.e. awards available to currently registered students) that you can apply for and receive in the Fall and/or Winter.  These are typically awarded based on financial need and /or specific criteria outlined in the awards / scholarship. You will be notified once the Omnibus Financial Aid application for 2020 has opened in August (The deadline to complete this application will be September 30 2020).

UTORID/JOINid

Applicants receive their joinid in an email that SGS sends when they apply.

You must enable your JOINid and create a password if you wish to access ACORN before arriving on campus. This can be done online: https://www.utorid.utoronto.ca/cgi-bin/utorid/enable.pl — you do not have to be here in person.

Your JOINid will not work until you enable it (create a password for it).

If you have trouble locating the email sent to you with your JOINid, please contact admissions.sgs@utoronto.ca.

If you lose your JOINid password, you can use the enabling site to change your password. Please note that updates to passwords can take 24 hours to roll over in the system.

If you are unable to reset your password using the enabling site, please call 978-HELP, or email help.desk@utoronto.ca to reset your password. Please specify that you have already enabled your JOINid.

Residences for Fall term 2020

Residence is an important part of the university experience and we’re excited to be welcoming students to campus this fall. If you applied to live in residence, your experience will be a little different than what you imagined, but our goal is to make your residence life as fulfilling as possible and to support you every step of the way.

Individuals seeking graduate housing or student family housing are invited to refer to the following websites for more information: St. George CampusGraduate House and Student Family HousingUTMGraduate and Medical Housing and Family Housing. 

The Vice-Provost office has also created an FAQ: https://www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/covid-19/#ResidenceFall2020.