Applications for admission are adjudicated by the Department's Graduate Studies Committee in consultation with appropriate members of the department. When an applicant's file is complete, the committee has three courses of action:
- It can recommend admission. (Admission is often conditional on the completion of the applicant's BA or MA degree.)
- It can recommend rejection.
- It can delay its decision until additional information is received, and inform the applicant accordingly. For example, there is sometimes a possibility that the applicant's final grades for the current year might improve the applicant's chances of admission. In such cases, the decision is delayed until updated academic transcripts are received. The applicant is then either admitted or rejected.
The committee's recommendation is usually, but not always, accepted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
Applications are adjudicated following the January deadline for applications. Applicants will be notified in the spring.
The Graduate Studies Committee is composed of the Graduate Advisor, who serves as chair of the committee, and such faculty members as the department Head may appoint. Two graduate student representatives (normally one MA and one PhD candidate) join the Committee for policy discussions. The committee is responsible for admissions to the department's graduate program for general supervision of that program, and for giving advice to the department and to students when so requested.
The Graduate Advisor chairs the Graduate Committee and is responsible for the administration of the graduate program of the department. This includes advising students seeking admission to the department, advising students currently enrolled, and organizing applications for financial assistance.
Each successful applicant is assigned a provisional supervisor (or supervisors) whose academic interests will normally be in a field related to the area in which the student has expressed interest. The provisional supervisor is responsible for providing general assistance and advice on the student's program and for overseeing the student's progress.