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Admissions

Applications received between October 15 and January 15 will be given Priority of Consideration. Admissions decisions begin in March and continue until the program is full.

Domestic Applicants: Applications for Fall 2024 are open. We will continue to accept domestic applications until we have filled all available seats.  Once we are closed and are no longer reviewing applications for the current cycle we will post a message on the Application Deadlines page.

International Applicants: Applications for Fall 2024 are closed. Applications for Fall 2025 will open October 15, 2024 to January 15, 2025.

 

Our students come from diverse social sciences, humanities, media, business, cultural production and fine arts backgrounds, and include mature applicants with experience as industry professionals or entrepreneurs. Our program offers a rich curriculum that supports this diversity.

Admission Requirements

Master of Arts

(full- and part-time)

  • A four-year honours Bachelor’s degree (or international equivalent) in a related discipline that provides some familiarity with cultural or social theory: social sciences, humanities, fine arts or related applied program such as media production or communication technology.
  • Minimum grade average of B+ or equivalent in your last 2 years of coursework. Subject to competition, applicants may be required to present averages above the minimum.
  • Evidence of a high level of undergraduate-level achievement in writing, and undergraduate training in either research or cultural production.
  • Demonstrated commitment and potential to develop advanced work in communication and culture.
  • Strong English language skills (see Admission Requirements: English-language requirements)
     

Doctor of Philosophy

(full-time)

  • A Master’s degree in communication and cultural studies (or a related discipline) that provided foundational studies in: social sciences, humanities, fine arts or related applied program such as media production or communication technology.
  • We are looking for an academic background equivalent to a four-year honours Bachelor’s degree (or international equivalent) plus a Master's degree in a related field. If you do not have this, you should consider the MA instead.
  • Applicants without a background in communications and cultural studies may be required to take Master’s level courses in one or both of these fields in addition to their other doctoral courses.
  • Minimum grade average of B+ or equivalent in previous 2 years of coursework. Subject to competition, applicants may be required to present averages above the minimum.
  • Evidence of a high level of achievement in Masters-level writing, and either research or cultural production at the Master’s level.
  • Demonstrated capacity to undertake advanced, independent study in communication and cultural studies.
  •  Strong English language skills (see Admission Requirements: English-language requirements)
     

International students, before submitting an application, review the English language proficiency requirements and international degree equivalencies.

For information about deadline dates, English language proficiency and the online application, please visit the Future Students / Admissions website.  

How to Apply

At Toronto Metropolitan University, all graduate applications are submitted online. Step-by-step instructions are available on the graduate admissions website. Essentially, this is the process:

Gather Your Documents and References Collect all the necessary documents and reach out to two individuals who can provide you with strong letters of recommendation.
Submit Your Application Online Go to the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC) website and follow the step-by-step instructions to submit your application. (instructions)
Check Your Email for Confirmation Within three business days, you'll receive an email containing your Applicant ID, a login for MyServiceHub, and a password.
Upload your Documents Log in to the Applicant Upload Portal on MyServiceHub and upload your documents. See Application Checklist below.  
Wait for the Review Process After successfully uploading all the required documents, your application will enter the review process. It's crucial to ensure all documents are in place. Incomplete applications won't be reviewed.
Monitor Your Application Status Keep track of your application status through the student center in MyServiceHub and the Applicant Upload portal. Typically, the review and decision-making process starts in March and continues until all program spots are filled.

Thinking about graduate school? Learn how to apply to a Toronto Metropolitan University graduate program in three simple steps.

The Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Migration and Integration offers a limited number of stipends to full-time Master's and PhD students who are applying to study at Toronto Metropolitan University on a migration and/or migrant integration-related topic:

• The Governance of Migration in a Globalizing World
• Managing Labour Migration in the 21st Century
• Migration and the City
• Narratives and Politics on Migration and Integration

The Migrant Integration in the Mid-21st Century: Bridging Divides research program offers financial support through the BD Graduate Student Stipend to successful graduate students applying to study in a field related to one of BD’s four themes.

• Health and Well-Being
• Employment and Lifelong Learning
• Place and Infrastructure
• Citizenship and Participation

Our system is easy-to-use and saves you time. Further, this online system is mandatory; We will not accept any emailed or hard copy documents, nor will they be processed.

When to Apply

Our program has a Fall (September) term intake only.

Our application period is normally mid-October to mid-January.  Our Priority of Consideration Deadline (and deadline for international applicants) is in mid-January. Normally, decisions will be made starting in March and continue until our programs are filled.

We will continue to accept domestic applications until we have filled all available seats.  Once we are closed and are no longer reviewing applications for the current cycle we will post a message on the Application Deadlines page.

We strongly encourage applicants to upload all of their documents before the Priority of Consideration Deadline.

Application Checklist

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. See Graduate Studies: Required Documents

Thank you for your interest in our program. To help us evaluate your application effectively, we have provided detailed instructions for crafting your Statement of Interest. Please follow these guidelines carefully to ensure that your application showcases your qualifications and potential for success in our program.

Clarity and Plain Language:

  • Write your statement in clear, plain language.
  • Avoid discipline-specific jargon, acronyms, and highly technical terms.
  • Keep in mind that your application will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary selection committee, not all of whom will be familiar with your area of research.

Required Elements:

  • Your statement should be 500-800 words long.
  • Approximately three-quarters of the statement should focus on your research plan in detail, using plain language and avoiding jargon.
  • Clearly state your current level of study.
  • Identify the degree program you intend to pursue (MA or PhD), including any relevant courses, and explain why you chose the ComCult program.
  • Provide an outline of your proposed research topic, including research questions, context, objectives, methodology, significance, and expected contribution to advancing knowledge, as well as your special interests in the proposed research area.
  • List 2 or 3 professors with whom you would like to work. How does their expertise support your research goals?
  • State your choice of research stream: Media and Culture, Politics and Policy, or Technology in Practice.

Relevant Experience:

  • Describe the research abilities you've gained through past research experience, including special projects, theses, co-op reports, etc.
  • If you have relevant work experience, discuss its relevance to your proposed field of study/research and any benefits you gained from it.
  • Include any training relevant to your proposed research, such as knowledge gained through lived experience and traditional teachings.

Relevant Activities:

  • Describe your participation in relevant professional, academic, and extracurricular activities.
  • Highlight collaborations with supervisors, colleagues, peers, students, and community members.
  • Mention activities such as teaching, mentoring, managing projects, community outreach, volunteer work, and more.
  • Explain how these activities relate to your research plan.

What to include in a research statement:

  • Objectives: Explain your research topic/topics, the problems or challenges you aim to address, research questions motivating your proposal, and their importance.
  • Context: Present relevant scholarly literature, your theoretical approach, and anticipated contribution to knowledge.
  • Methodology: Describe how you plan to achieve your research goals and why you chose this methodology.
  • Expected Outcomes: Discuss potential benefits or outcomes of your research beyond the academic community.
  • Preparation & Relevant Background: Connect your academic and/or professional background to your proposed research. List relevant publications, exhibitions, or conference presentations.
  • Why ComCult? Explain why joining the ComCult program is the best path for your research. Mention specific professors in the program whose work relates to your research.

References/Citations:

  • Most applicants include citations and references in their statement. A citation is when you mention a source in your paper and provide a full reference at the end. 
  • Doing this shows that you've looked into relevant research, making your statement more credible and helping readers understand your influences. 
  • At TMU, we commonly use citation styles like APA, MLA, and Chicago. Use the one you know best, and be consistant.
  • References/Citations should not exceed one page and are not included in the word count.

Seek Feedback:

  • We recommend having 1-2 professors or graduate students review your statement for feedback on clarity and academic tone.
  • Craft your statement similar to an academic assignment or scholarship proposal, especially if applying for a PhD.

Research Stream Ranking:

  • After your statement, rank your choice of research stream: Media and Culture, Politics and Policy, or Technology in Practice.

Contact Faculty:

  • While confirmed supervision is not required for acceptance, doctoral applicants are strongly advised to contact 2-3 faculty related to your research topic to confirm program fit and potential supervisory support.

Additional Information:

  • If you have studied part-time or experienced significant interruptions in your studies due to illness, disability, employment, family responsibilities, etc., provide context in a sentence or two.
  • Part-time Master's program applicants should address challenges of attending daytime classes and maintaining motivation over 3-5 years.
  • If you've applied for a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, mention it in your statement.

We appreciate your attention to these guidelines and look forward to receiving your application. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Submit one short sample (maximum of 10 pages, double spaced) of your best academic writing on a relevant topic. You might condense or excerpt from a previous course essay that performed a critical analysis of cultural theory, an academic interpretation of policy or a case study, or a strong synthesis of a literature review. Choose a sample of work that demonstrates your ability to think critically and articulate your ideas in writing.

Formatting Guidelines:

  • Your Academic CV should be a maximum of four pages in length.
  • Use a professional and easily readable font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, with a font size between 10 and 12 points.
  • Set page margins to one inch on all sides.
  • Include your name at the top of the first page. Do not include your address or telephone number.

Organize in Reverse Chronological Order:

  • Begin with your post-secondary education information, listing all degrees you currently hold or are pursuing.
  • Include the following details for each degree:
    • Degree type (e.g., Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Ph.D.).
    • Major/Field of Study.
    • Institution name and location.
    • Graduation date (or anticipated graduation date).
    • If relevant, include the title of your thesis and the name of your advisor.
    • Scholarly recognitions, scholarships, prizes, awards, and academic distinctions related to each degree.
  • Highlight Scholarly Accomplishments and Skills:
    • Emphasize your research or cultural production experience.
    • Highlight experiences that relied on writing and presentation skills.

Include Relevant Sections:

  • Teaching Experience: List any teaching roles you've held, including teaching assistantships, tutoring, or instructional positions.
  • Research Experience: Detail your research projects, including your role, contributions, and outcomes.
  • Computer and Technical Skills: Mention any relevant technical skills and software proficiency.
  • Professional Experience: Include any employment experiences relevant to your academic and career goals.
  • Relevant Volunteer Work and Internships: Describe volunteer work and internships that relate to your field of study.
  • Publications and Conference Presentations: List your published works and any presentations you've given at conferences or seminars.
  • Professional Memberships and Activities: Mention memberships in academic or professional organizations and any leadership roles.
  • Research Interests: Provide a brief overview of your research interests and areas of focus.
  • Teaching Interests: Mention your areas of interest in teaching and pedagogical approaches.
  • Languages: List languages you are proficient in, including any certifications or proficiency levels.
  • Community Service: Describe any community service or outreach activities you've been involved in.
  • Extra-Curricular Activities: Mention any extracurricular involvement relevant to your academic and personal development.

Do Not Include a Photograph:

  • Academic CVs typically do not require a photograph.

Proofread and Review:

  • Before submitting, carefully proofread your Academic CV for grammar, spelling, and formatting errors.
  • Ask a mentor, professor, or advisor to review and provide feedback on your CV.

Save and Submit:

  • Save your Academic CV as a PDF file with a clear, professional file name (e.g., "YourName_Academic_CV.pdf").

Remember that your Academic CV is an essential document that showcases your academic and professional qualifications. Tailor it to highlight your strengths and experiences relevant to your intended graduate program and future career goals.  

Your referees will be contacted by email within three business days of your application submission. Please make sure that their contact information is correct. All reference letters must come directly from the referee. Student submitted copies will not be accepted. See Features of a Strong Application below.

If you have any technical issues with your references contact gradreference@torontomu.ca.

Transcripts are required from every accredited post-secondary institution you have attended, even if you did not graduate from that institution. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted for admissions evaluation purposes. Applicants from Ontario universities will have the option of ordering their transcripts while completing the OUAC online application.

If your transcripts/documents are in a language other than English, you must provide a notarized English translation. Please note translations do not replace original documentation, both versions must be submitted.

Please include your institution's grading scale, often located on the back of a transcript. Please ensure to upload both sides of your transcript. If your transcript does not list a grading scale, please ensure you upload a document from the university with the grading scale outlined.

See also Admission Requirements (International Equivalencies)

Upon Admittance: If you have been admitted into a Toronto Metropolitan University graduate program and have confirmed your offer, you will be required to request an official final transcript be sent directly from the institution.

Do I need to provide this? See English Language Requirements.

You need to show proof of your English proficiency, unless you:

  • Completed at least two years of full-time postsecondary education at a Canadian university.
  • Completed at least two years of full-time postsecondary education at a university where English was the main language of instruction or obtained a graduate degree (Masters or Doctoral) from a university where English was the main language of instruction.
    • If this is the case, upload an official statement from your institution's Registrar's office confirming English as the Medium of Instruction. 

This applies to all internationally educated applicants, including those in North America. Note: Courses from a Canadian College won't exempt you.

Meeting the minimum English proficiency doesn't guarantee admission.

Features of a Strong Application

Every year, we receive a high volume of applications, and due to limited spots, not all qualified applicants can be admitted. All applications are evaluated individually, and the selection process is competitive. Here are the key attributes of a robust application:

We seek applicants with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) equivalent to a "B+" or higher in their final two years of coursework. For a competitive application, a two-year average of "A-" or above is preferred. The minimum GPA requirement for admission to any Toronto Metropolitan University master's program is a "B" or its equivalent. Doctoral applicants should have achieved a minimum of "B+" or equivalent in their master's program. Applicants falling below these minimum averages may not be considered.

International applicants see also Admission Requirements (International Equivalencies).

Our applicants come from diverse backgrounds, including social sciences, humanities, cultural production, and fine arts. We also welcome mature applicants with experience as industry professionals or entrepreneurs. Preference is often given to applicants with degrees in cultural studies or communication studies or those who have completed relevant courses in related fields. Relevant coursework may encompass topics such as cultural theorists like Marx, Fanon, Foucault, McLuhan, Gramsci, Adorno, Habermas, and subjects like the meaning of culture, subjectivity, identity, constructionism, commodification, the culture industry, hegemony, public sphere, modernity, postmodernity, colonial and post-colonial theories, citizenship, civil societies, as well as various critical traditions like rhetorical, semiotic, phenomenological, cybernetics, and sociocultural studies.

Applicants should demonstrate their interest and ability to engage in advanced, independent study in communication and cultural studies. Additionally, showcasing a high level of achievement in writing or having training or professional experience in research or cultural production is advantageous.

Our program emphasizes high-quality, independent research. Thus, a well-crafted Statement of Research Interest is crucial. Applicants should exhibit a genuine interest in conducting independent, critical research. During the program, students will be exposed to various research methods and approaches, including qualitative and quantitative research design, survey research, content analysis, textual analysis, discourse analysis, historiography, legal and documentary research, research-creation, ethnographic techniques, and cultural studies approaches, among others.

Advice for referees in composing strong recommendation letters for applicants to the Communication and Culture Graduate Program:

  1. Familiarize Yourself with the Applicant: Take the time to thoroughly acquaint yourself with the applicant's qualifications. Review their academic records, research background, and any past interactions you've had with them. This foundational knowledge will allow you to write a more informed and impactful recommendation.
  2. Address Specific Criteria for Master's Students:

    • Academic Excellence: Delve into the applicant's academic history, highlighting exceptional past results, including specific courses, grades, awards, and distinctions. Mentioning their rank-in-class, if applicable, can provide additional context.
    • Research Potential: Provide a comprehensive assessment of the applicant's research capabilities. Discuss their research history, interests, and any notable contributions. Emphasize their proposed research, detailing its potential contributions to the field and expected outcomes.
    • Personal Characteristics and Interpersonal Skills: Illuminate the applicant's personal qualities and interpersonal skills through examples from their professional experiences, extracurricular activities, and collaborations. Share specific instances where their character, collegiality, or growth was evident.
  3. For PhD Students, Go Beyond the Basics:

    • Background Preparation: Evaluate the depth of their background preparation and their ability to apply this knowledge in original and meaningful ways.
    • Originality, Judgment, and Skills: Assess the applicant's originality of thought, judgment, and their written and oral communication skills. Offer specific examples to substantiate your assessment.
    • Research Proposal Evaluation: Analyze the applicant's research proposal's theoretical framework, its alignment with the field, and the chosen research methodology. Express your thoughts on how these elements contribute to the proposal's overall quality.
    • Publication Impact: Discuss the impact of the journals where the applicant has published or the prospects for publication based on their prior work. Consider who the audience for their research might be and how it contributes to the broader academic conversation.
    • Program Suitability: Evaluate how well the Communication and Culture Graduate Program aligns with the applicant's academic aspirations. Explain why you believe this program is the ideal environment for them to excel in their research and scholarly pursuits.
  4. Highlight Research Aptitude and Communication Skills: Emphasize the applicant's research aptitude and their ability to effectively communicate their findings. Offer insights into their capacity for analytical research and academic communication.
  5. Avoid Generic Statements:

    • Steer clear of generic, cliché statements that could be applied to any high-achieving student. Your letter should be unique to the applicant's qualities and experiences.
  6. Detailed, Specific, and Personal: Provide detailed examples, anecdotes, and specific instances where you've observed the applicant's skills, qualities, and growth. This should encompass grades, research projects, collaborative efforts, and moments of problem-solving, insight, and creativity.
  7. Assess Proposed Research with Precision:

    • Explain precisely how the applicant's proposed research is innovative within their field.
    • Discuss how their work is likely to be received, by whom, and in what context.
    • Consider the likelihood of publication and the potential impact of their research on the academic community.
  8. Emphasize Program Fit in Depth:

    • Assess the specific fit between the applicant and the Communication and Culture Graduate Program.
    • Elaborate on the resources and opportunities this program offers and how they will contribute to the applicant's academic journey.
  9. Acknowledge Room for Improvement:

    • At the end of your letter, you can mention areas where the applicant may have room for improvement. However, also highlight how the program will provide the necessary training and support to address these areas.
  10. Promote Diversity and Inclusion:

    • In alignment with the program's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, use inclusive language in your letter. Avoid any language that could be perceived as prejudiced, stereotyped, or discriminatory.
  11. Adhere to Best Practices:

    • Ensure your recommendation letter is accurate, fair, clear, and balanced.
    • Avoid making defamatory or overly personal comments about the applicant.
    • Whenever possible, support your assertions with specific examples of the applicant's accomplishments and contributions.
  12. Use Superlatives Judiciously: If you choose to use superlatives like "excellent" or "outstanding," provide concrete evidence to substantiate these claims.

By following these guidelines, you can craft a powerful recommendation letter that not only supports the applicant's chances of gaining admission to the Communication and Culture Graduate Program but also reflects your genuine assessment of their qualifications while adhering to principles of equity and inclusion.

Strong writing abilities are a fundamental asset for success in graduate school. It is essential that applicants thoroughly proofread their Writing Sample, Statement of Interest, and Curriculum Vitae (CV) to ensure clarity and accuracy.

Admissions: Frequently Asked Questions

When are applications due?

  • Applications for the upcoming Fall term open in mid-October.
  • Priority of Consideration Deadline: Usually in mid- January.
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  • Domestic applicants may apply after the Priority of Consideration date if space is available.
  • See Application Dates

Do you provide funding for students?

  • Full-time domestic applicants are automatically considered for various scholarships, awards, fellowships, and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS).
  • Domestic students are encouraged to apply for CGS-M (Masters) (external link)  or CGS-D (Doctoral) (external link) 
  • International students must secure funding from their home country. Currently, there are limited scholarship opportunities for international applicants.
  • See Financial Matters

What is "Priority of Consideration?"

  • Eligible and completed applications received by this date will receive first consideration for admissions and scholarships.
  • If the program is still accepting applications, domestic applicants may still apply if they miss the Priority of Consideration deadline.
  • See Admissions Deadlines.

Will you accept professional or character references?

  • The preference is for academic letters, but professional references may be substituted.

Do I qualify with a three-year BA and a two-year diploma?

  • MA minimum requirement: Four-year undergraduate (or equivalent) bachelor's degree for master's programs.
  • PhD requires a master’s degree (or equivalent) and research capabilities.

Applicants without these credentials will normally not be considered.

International applicants, carefully review the Admission Requirements (English Language Requirements and International Equivalencies) before applying.

Can I upgrade?

  • Normally, no. Applicants without these credentials will normally not be considered.

When will I hear about a decision?

  • Decisions usually start in March.
  • Some strong applicants may be placed on a waiting list.
  • No interviews are conducted.

How are admissions decisions made?

  • The committee members will review all eligible applicant files (see Admission Requirements above).
  • Four key qualities considered: high CGPA, strong reference letters, excellent research statement, and a high-quality writing sample.
  • Decisions are normally made in March and continue until the program is full.

Do I need to take GRE or GMAT tests?

  • No, GRE or GMAT scores are not required.

Do I need a supervisor to apply?

  • Confirmed supervision is not required for acceptance.
  • Nevertheless, doctoral applicants are strongly advised to contact 2-3 faculty related to your research topic to confirm program fit and potential supervisory support.
  • You should list potential supervisors in your Statement of Interest.

How is my Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) calculated?

  • CGPA and equivalent of the last two years of study are considered. (see Calculating Your GPA)
  • College or CEGEP grades are not included.
  • Multiple degrees are calculated separately.

What is the average grade of accepted students?

  • The average grade varies with each applicant pool.
  • Meeting the minimum requirement is the first step, but admission is competitive.

Can you provide feedback on an unsuccessful application?

  • No individual feedback is given due to the volume of applications.

How many students are accepted each year?

  • The number varies each admission cycle.
  • Recent admissions statistics are available from the Planning Office.

Can I defer my admission to the following year?

  • No, deferral is not an option; reapplication is required.

How does the joint program with York work?

  • Apply to either York or Toronto Metropolitan University.
  • Your "home base" is at one institution, but you will have classes at both campuses.
  • Students can access academic resources, faculty, and scholarly events at both universities.
  • Joint degrees granted.

Is graduate student housing available at Toronto Metropolitan University?

How do I write a Statement of Interest?

  • Tailoring your statement to the specific program you are applying to is crucial for making a strong impression. Steer clear of generic statements that could apply to any program. Tailor your language to reflect why this program, in particular, is the ideal fit for you.
  • Thoroughly research the program, faculty members, and resources to understand its unique strengths and culture.
  • Clearly define your research interests. Explain why these topics intrigue you and their significance in your field. Explain why this program is the right fit for your research interests.
  • Integrate program-specific details into your narrative.
  • Mention specific faculty members and their work, illustrating how their expertise aligns with your research interests.
  • Clearly articulate how your research goals align with the program's objectives and specialties.
  • Showcase how the program's resources will enhance your research, citing specific facilities or opportunities.
  • Use concrete examples to illustrate your points and provide evidence for your fit with the program.
  • Highlight any unique perspective or angle you bring to your research. Discuss how your research might contribute to the broader academic community or society.
  • Edit and review your statement for each application to ensure accuracy and relevance to the specific program.