Funding & Awards

Funding Policy for Graduate Studies

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese provides minimum financial support packages to all students in the funded cohort:

  • full-time MA students receive one year of funding;
  • full-time PhD students are funded in years one through four.

To learn more about minimum financial support packages and the average actual income received by full-time active graduate students, please visit the School of Graduate Studies Awards and Funding site.

For updated financial information on the minimum financial support package offered by our Department, please visit this Arts & Science Graduate Funding website and look under "Spanish".


Minimum Financial Support Package

The minimum financial support package for graduate students in Spanish is composed from a variety of sources. It includes, but it is not limited to:

  • University of Toronto Fellowships (to cover tuition and fees, plus stipend)
  • Teaching Assistantships


University of Toronto Fellowship (UTF)

This award provides financial support - through tuition payments and a stipend - for graduate students in good academic standing. Students do not need to apply for UTF since they are automatically considered for the fellowship, provided they complete their application for admission to the graduate unit before its deadline.

UTF covers tuition and fees for all students in the funded cohort, regardless of their domestic or international status. It also covers the incidental fees charged by the campus with which students are affiliated, which in the case of Spanish is St. George. Tuition fees are paid to the University on behalf of the student by the graduate unit. UTF stipends are paid to the student in three instalments in September (Fall term), January (Winter term) and May (Summer term).

Teaching Assistantships

Students entering or currently registered in the MA or PhD graduate program are eligible for Teaching Assistantships as part of their minimum financial support package. Appointments are for at least 180 hours per academic year, but the number of hours may vary. Students must apply for these appointments. A student who has been accepted to a program and fails to apply or declines a Teaching Assistantship will not receive the component of the funding package derived from this source for the academic year.

Teaching Assistantships are subject to the application procedures, allocations, hourly wages and subsequent appointment provisions of the Collective Agreement between the University of Toronto and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Unit 1.

All students in the funded cohort receive an individual funding letter at the beginning of the academic year that outlines the funding package they will receive. There are many factors that can influence the total funding a student receives on top of their minimum financial support, including admission awards, top-up awards for recipients of major external awards, extra Teaching Assistantship hours, and additional funding from other known sources.

To maintain their minimum financial support packages, PhD students must demonstrate adequate progress through the program, as defined by the departmental schedule of program requirements.

Internal Awards

The Department is proud to offer awards and scholarships exclusive to students in our graduate programs, to recognize and support their academic development.

Milton A. Buchanan Fellowship
Awarded to outstanding doctoral candidates to support thesis research.

Joseph Gulsoy Dissertation Scholarship
Awarded to a graduate student in the final stages of a PhD program, for the purpose of encouraging timely completion of their dissertation.

Joseph Gulsoy Doctoral Entrance Scholarship
Awarded on the basis of academic merit to a student entering the first year of PhD program.

For more details on these internal awards, including description, application process and estimated value, please visit the Award Explorer website and search under "Spanish".


Other Possible Sources of Funding

Students can complement their minimum financial support package with other sources of funding, such as:

  • External scholarships
  • Research assistantships


External Scholarships

Graduate students are expected to apply every year for external funding opportunities they are eligible for, such as the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowships, and Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS, for both MA and PhD students).The University of Toronto also awards a number of scholarships to both domestic and international students.

External awards become part of the award winner's funding package. Students who are successful in their applications for major external funding are required to pay tuition to the University. In some cases, external funding is administered through the University of Toronto and tuition will be paid on the student's behalf. Exceptions to this rule include students who receive major award payments directly from a foreign government or other external entity. If applicable, such students are responsible for paying their own tuition.

The Department offers a top-up award to students successful in obtaining external funding, and their resulting funding is typically above the minimum financial support package.

For more information, including eligibility requirements, please refer to the Scholarships & Awards sections of the following websites:


Research Assistantships

Research Assistantships allow students to work on funded research projects. This provides students with great opportunities to work closely with faculty and to engage in hands-on research and academic work experience. These positions are offered at the sole discretion of the faculty members at the Department and there is no provision for specific requests.


Policy for Maximum Acceptable Time Spent on Employment

The Department of Spanish & Portuguese is committed to student success and timely program completion: being a full-time student is a condition of funding. We subscribe the policy for maximum acceptable time spent on employment as defined by the Council of Ontario Universities (included below). Therefore, it is recommended that students limit their paid employment to less than 10 hours per week on average. This limit includes Teaching or Research Assistantships, other positions at the university, and employment outside the university, while receiving the minimum financial support package.

Full-time graduate students are expected to pursue their graduate degree on a full-time basis and make satisfactory progress toward timely completion of all program requirements. It is not possible, or desirable, for the university to monitor and enforce the employment activities of its graduate students outside the university. However, it is both possible and desirable for the university to ensure that it does not itself create a structural situation that jeopardizes the ability of the graduate student to make full-time progress towards the completion of graduate program requirements. Accordingly, the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS) is committed to the principle that full-time graduate students are employed no more than an average of 10 hours per week.


Students Beyond the Funded Cohort

Students in years 5 and 6 of enrolment in the PhD program are not within the funded cohort and are therefore not eligible for University of Toronto Fellowship funding. However, since these students are within the time limit of six years for completion of their degree, they are eligible for other types of funding.

  • In case of full-time students, the Department offers Teaching Assistantships based on the subsequent appointment provisions of the Collective Agreement between the University of Toronto and CUPE 3902 Unit 1 to support students’ progress towards completion of their degrees.
  • Students who demonstrate satisfactory progress through the program may be eligible for a Doctoral Completion Award (DCA) or other restricted departmental awards to which they must apply in the Summer Term of year four.