PhD Timeline and Related Policies

The following is a timeline and some related policies which should be followed by all PhD students in the Department of Statistical Sciences at the University of Toronto. Any exceptions require prior approval from the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies.



  • Take required courses for their field of interest
  • Attend many department seminars
  • Write all three comprehensive examinations in May


  • Choose PhD supervisor (by October)
  • Upgrade writing skills, as required
  • Choose research area
  • Begin working on thesis research
  • Meet with PhD supervisor on regular basis
  • Attend many department seminars
  • Attend PhD-level courses as appropriate
  • Write up (in tex/latex) a BRIEF thesis research proposal
  • Form PhD thesis committee
  • Meet with PhD thesis committee at least once (by March 15)
  • Deliver a short talk in the Department seminar on the Graduate Seminar Day


  • Work on thesis research, writing up results as you go
  • Meet with PhD supervisor on regular basis
  • Meet with PhD thesis committee at least once/year (by March 15)
  • Continue to upgrade writing skills, as required
  • Attend many department seminars
  • Deliver a short talk in the Department seminar on the Graduate Seminar Day
  • Attend PhD-level courses as appropriate
  • Finish writing thesis
  • Defend thesis at departmental and SGS examinations
  • Correct and bind final version of thesis


  1. A PhD committee should include at least three faculty members, one of whom should be the PhD supervisor. You are encouraged to meet with your committee MORE than once per year if possible.
  2. Each current PhD student must apply each fall for NSERC and OGS scholarships if they are eligible, unless they have already secured other full external funding for the following academic year.
  3. PhD students who comply with the above rules, and who are making satisfactory progress towards their PhD degree, will receive full funding during the first four years of their PhD studies. This currently includes a minimum of $17,500 per year plus full tuition fees. This money may come from a variety of sources, including department and university funds, external scholarships, TA work (including summer TA work), and research assistantships.
  4. During their doctoral studies, students are encouraged to present their research results at seminars, and at conferences such as the SSC annual meeting. The department will make every effort to cover travel expenses for this purpose.
    Students in second and higher years are also required to make annual presentations at the departmental PhD student seminar event.
  5. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the PhD program within four years. For students in the fifth or higher year of PhD studies funding is not guaranteed and will be considered on a case-by-case basis, subject to availability of funds.
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