TRANSFER FROM MASTER'S TO DOCTORAL DEGREE STATUS
Under exceptional circumstances, it is possible for a student enrolled in our MA program to be transferred into
the PhD program prior to the completion of requirements for their MA degree. The School of Graduate and
Postdoctoral Studies regulations on this matter can be found here (section 4.05). These regulations state:
4.05 TRANSFER FROM MASTER'S TO DOCTORAL DEGREE STATUS IN A PROGRAM
Programs may allow students to transfer their registration from the Master's to the Doctoral degree within the same program,
without completion of the Master's degree. The Vice-Provost (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) will consider such requests
on the recommendation of the student's program.
Transfers from the Master's to the Doctoral program must take place before the sixth term of Master's registration, unless the
program's OCGS-approved provisions state otherwise.
Importantly a student who makes such a transfer will receive ONLY a PhD degree and not an MA and a PhD
Students who transfer into the PhD after only 2 terms of our MA program will also miss out on the many
valuable experiences and learning opportunities that go with the full MA – they will never write a full MA
thesis and may not have that first real research/field experience that so many of our MA students get.
The procedure to be followed in MA to PhD transfers is described below:
1. Proposals for MA to PhD transfers should originate with supervisors in consultation with advisors, a
student’s MA teachers, and the student. A proposed applicant will be an exceptional student whose
track record and performance in our MA program clearly indicate capacities for research and
writing appropriate to the PhD level.
2. We will only consider applicants who have completed course requirements for the MA (i.e., after
two terms of study), and will not consider applications after a student has begun their 4
MA study. In most cases, then, we will consider these cases in the spring or summer between the
student’s first and second years of MA study.
3. We will consider transfer cases in much the same way as we currently consider other PhD
applications, meaning that applicants will be asked to prepare an application file that includes a CV,
transcripts, letter of intent, and writing samples. In addition, the applicant’s MA supervisor and
their proposed PhD supervisor (if different from MA supervisor) and PhD advisor will provide
letters in support of the application, offering evidence of the student’s exceptional status and a
clear rationale for considering the transfer.
4. In addition, the student will submit a 5 to 7 page proposal in which they outline the scope of their
proposed PhD project.