How Graduate Funding Works in A&S

The Faculty of Arts & Science provides funding to graduate units to support students and sets broad policies for graduate funding, including the establishment of base funding levels.

For 2020-21, base funding is $25,859 for most units and $26,359 in Science units. The base package consists of a base amount, plus tuition and fees.

For 2020-21, the base amount is $18,500 for most units and $19,000 for the Sciences. Graduate units can distribute up to 5 years of doctoral-stream funding between Master’s and PhD programs. For specific program details, visit Years of Funding and Base Funding Levels by Graduate Unit.

In A&S, graduate students are expected to fund their graduate studies by applying for major internal scholarships and external scholarships and by seeking out Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant opportunities. If income from these sources is lower than the A&S base funding package, students receive additional funds in the form of University of Toronto Fellowships (UTF). 

The table below illustrates this concept, by showing the composition of funding packages for students with various high value awards, compared to a funding package for a student without an award, in 2020-21: 

A table of how graduate funding works.
This image shows (1) how major academic awards, like Vanier and CGSD awards, cover the full $25,859 funding package, (2) how smaller awards like SSHRC and OGS awards cover part of the funding package and are topped up with UTF funds from the Faculty of Arts and Science, and (3) how students who do not have awards contribute TA and RA income to the package, with income from these sources being topped up with UTF funds from the Faculty of Arts and Science so they receive the A&S base funding package.

Components of the Base Funding Package

While the A&S base funding package consists of a base amount and tuition and fees, totalling $25,859 for most units ($26,359 Sciences) in 2020-21, how that base amount is achieved varies by department and by student. The following are the main components of funding packages:

  • External Awards: e.g. SSHRC, NSERC, OGS, CONNACyT, Vector
  • TA-ship: $8,200 is the maximum TA income included
  • RA-ship: may take the form of stipendiary or hourly RA-ships
  • Other Paid Experience: training opportunities related to the program of study
  • University of Toronto Fellowships: stipend or tuition award
  • Other Awards: e.g. A&S restricted awards, departmental awards
  • University of Toronto Fellowship Top-ups: provided above the base package, usually for students with high-value scholarships or award applicants

All students receive the Faculty of Arts & Science Base Funding Package. However, the package total may vary depending on the sector and may exceed the A&S base funding level depending upon the following factors:

  • which department the student is in – the base amount is higher in the Sciences
  • the availability of TA opportunities in the department
  • research funding held by faculty which can be used for RA-ships
  • the availability of awards and endowments
  • competitive offer type awards made by departments
  • other departmental top-ups or enhancements