Graduate Policies

Full-Time Status | Full-Time-Off Campus Registration | Ph.D. Thesis (Topic and Language) | Preparation of Thesis | Time Limit for Completion of Thesis | General Leave and Maternity Leave | Unsatisfactory Performance | Good Standing for Ph.D. Students | Library Carrels

Full-Time Status

Full-time graduate students are defined according to government regulations as follows:

They must be pursuing their studies as a full-time occupation and identify themselves as full-time graduate students.
They must be designated by the University as full-time students.
They must be geographically available and visit the campus regularly.
They must be considered to be full-time students by their supervisors.

If an academic program requires an absence from the University, students must apply through their graduate unit for permission to be off-campus.

Full-Time-Off-Campus Registration

According to government and SGS regulations, off-campus registration may be granted by the Department if the student is still under supervision and is absent from the University for academic reasons (in order to visit libraries, do field work, or attend a graduate course at another institution).

Ph.D. Thesis  (Topic and Language)

During the first year in the Ph.D. program candidates will choose a thesis topic in consultation with their thesis supervisor, subject to the approval of the Department. A form to be completed and signed by the candidate and his/her supervisor may be obtained from the Graduate Co-ordinator during the winter and must be submitted by March 1st.

To assist students in selecting a topic, information on the members of the graduate faculty and a list of the theses currently being written will be distributed.

Permission may be granted to write the thesis in Italian (subject to final approval by the School of Graduate Studies) to candidates who first pass a supervised essay-type English examination to demonstrate proficiency in writing correct and idiomatic English prose.  The examination is administered by the Department of Italian Studies.

N.B. Theses written in Italian must be accompanied by a supplementary Abstract in English of about 5,000 words. The Ph.D. oral exam (thesis defence) must be conducted entirely in English.

Preparation of Thesis

The following remarks are based on departmental regulations established some years ago on current departmental practice and on recommendations concerning thesis supervision made by the School of Graduate Studies.

Each thesis committee, consisting of three members, is appointed by the Thesis Director of the committee.  Agreement of all parties involved is required. The Graduate School recommends that there be regular consultations (every month, for example) between the candidate and the supervisor. Candidates will need to keep informed of their supervisor’s office hours and research leaves.  A form regarding thesis progress must be completed each year when the candidate meets with the committee. The supervisor, whose duties include giving editorial direction and making corrections (but not proofreading), should circulate each section of the thesis which has been prepared to the other members of the committee but only when the supervisor has approved it.  Supervisors are expected to return chapters within a few weeks of receiving them. The committee members should communicate their comments to the candidate through the supervisor.  Candidates have the right to present themselves for the final oral examination in spite of objections arising from the members of the thesis committee.  The committee for the final oral examination will usually include an external examiner,  another member of the Department, an extra-departmental member, and the Chair appointed by SGS. In writing the thesis the candidate should follow the Modern Language Association Style sheet and SGS regulations.  If the thesis is being written in Italian, some variations may be allowed.  The supervisor should be consulted. Students from this Department will be responsible for paying the fee for the microfilm processing of their thesis abstract.

Time Limit for Completion of Thesis

The Graduate School has changed its policy concerning extensions for the completion of the thesis. There is reluctance to grant even a first extension unless a good portion of the thesis has been written, submitted, and approved. The Graduate School prefers to let the student’s program lapse. This means the student may not enrol further but, after an interval, may apply to be reinstated once only as a candidate for the purpose of presenting a thesis and defending it at a final oral examination. Usually fees for one post-program year only, or for part of one year, must be paid.

General Leave and Maternity Leave

Consult the Calendar and the Graduate Co-ordinator for the regulations concerning maternity leave and general leave for exceptional health or personal reason, which may be from one to three terms.

Unsatisfactory Performance

See the calendar entry on unsatisfactory performance, which can lead to termination of the candidacy.

Good Standing for Ph.D. Students

Ph.D. students who hold University of Toronto fellowships, a teaching assistantship and/or other scholarships must maintain a “good-standing status”.  A good-standing status implies that students respect all deadlines for courses, Ph.D. exam language requirements, and thesis preparation.  Financial assistance will be terminated if no adequate justification (eg. medical reasons) is provided for delays in completing work by specified deadlines.

Library Carrels

Students are eligible to apply for carrels in the Robarts Library and in the Kelly Library. Consult the departmental bulletin board for application deadlines.