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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

When is the admissions deadline for the CERES MA?

Completed applications (including all supporting documents and reference letters) must be received by February 1 to be considered for funding. Any applications received after February 1 will not be eligible for funding.

How do I begin my application?

You apply to CERES through the School of Graduate Studies online portal: https://admissions.sgs.utoronto.ca/apply/.

Through this portal, you can save and return to your application, upload supporting documents, submit your completed application, and check the status of your application.

Also, please make sure to read our application instructions and these FAQs carefully before beginning your application.

Who can I contact at CERES to ask questions about my application?

Our CERES staff and faculty are happy to speak with prospective students. Please contact:

Katia Malyuzhinets, Program & Internship Coordinator:ceres.graduate@utoronto.ca or 416-946-8962.

Professor Robert Austin, CERES Associate Director and Graduate Coordinator: robert.austin@utoronto.ca or 416-946-8942 (on leave from January 2023 to January 2024)

I’m an international student. Do I have different admissions requirements?

Yes. You must review the SGS Admission Guide for International Students (https://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/international-portal/applying-as-an-international-student/) to check if your international degree and transcript grades are considered equivalent to those from Canada. You may also need to complete English language testing. Please consult with the CERES Program & Internship Coordinator to discuss your specific application requirements.

Does CERES accept deferrals?

In general, CERES does not defer admission except on medical grounds.

Who should write my letters of reference?

We strongly prefer that your letters come from academic references. In cases of rare exception, we may accept letters written by other individuals (such as employers), however, please consult with the CERES administration before submitting a letter from a non-academic reference.

What should I write in my statement of intent?

The statement of intent is our chance to get to know you and your motivations for choosing CERES. Take this opportunity to tell us why you are interested in our program and the reasons why you would make an excellent candidate. What academic, personal, or professional experiences have led you to where you are today? Why do you want to pursue an MA at CERES? What kinds of academic and/or professional goals do you hope to achieve with a CERES MA? If you wish, you may also tell us about any specific regions of interest that you hope to study at CERES.

Please note: the statement of intent should be no longer than one page.

What should I use as my writing sample? Are there any specific requirements?

Your writing sample should be something that you feel best represents your academic writing ability. Usually, applicants submit an essay or a research paper from a previous degree. There are no specific requirements in subject matter or length, however, please keep in mind that the sample should be appropriate for a Master’s-level application. Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding your writing sample.

Are there any course prerequisites or recommended preparation courses for the CERES MA?

All incoming students at CERES are required to have a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree, or its equivalent. While it is helpful to have taken several undergraduate courses on European/Russian/Eurasian topics, there are no set prerequisite courses to apply for CERES. If possible, we do encourage incoming students to begin working toward their foreign language requirement before their first semester at CERES. This can help ease your course load during your degree.

Do I need to speak a foreign language to apply to CERES?

No, but you will need to fulfil the CERES foreign language requirement in order to graduate, so any prior language training is helpful. All students must demonstrate at minimum a reading competence in one of the CERES regions’ languages by the end of their second year. If you have previous knowledge of a foreign language, you may be able to fulfil this requirement by passing a University of Toronto proficiency test or providing an original language certificate from a recognized institution (such as Alliance Française or Goethe Institute). You may also begin language classes in a higher level when you begin your studies at CERES.

If you have no previous language training, it still possible to fulfil the requirement by starting a 100-level language class in your first year at CERES and completing the 200-level by the end of your degree.

Will I be notified when my application and supporting documents are received?

It is your responsibility to log into the SGS portal to check whether your application and supporting documents have been successfully uploaded. We will not send individual confirmation that we have received your application.

How much is tuition at CERES? Is there a different tuition rate for international students?

Tuition rates for the 2021-2022 school year are approximately $7,890.00 for domestic students and $26,210.00 for international students.

What funding is available to CERES students?

We offer several funding options to our students, both from CERES and the University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies. Funding is generally awarded on the basis of academic merit, and CERES offers several endowed awards for the study of specific regions in Europe, Russia, and Eurasia. Once accepted to the program and depending on eligibility, CERES students may also apply for funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), and other University of Toronto awards.

I don’t have a background in history or political science. Can I still apply to CERES?

Yes! We welcome applicants from a wide range of academic backgrounds. The CERES MA is an interdisciplinary degree, which will allow you to pursue your specific research interests, while also gaining a strong base of knowledge in the history and politics of the CERES regions of study. Once accepted as a CERES student, you will also choose a major field of study, which can be from any discipline, provided you complete up to 2.0 FCE (full credit equivalent) of coursework and that the focus of your research is related to the CERES regions of study.

I have been out of school for several years. Can I still apply for CERES?

Absolutely. While many of our students begin studying at CERES directly after their undergraduate degrees, many others come to CERES after time spent working in a variety of jobs and careers. If you have any questions or concerns about whether the CERES MA would be a good fit for you, please contact Professor Robert Austin, who would be happy to discuss the program in more detail.

Do I need to know where I want to go for my internship and/or exchange when I apply to CERES?

No. In your first semester at CERES, you will attend orientation sessions and workshops that will prepare you to apply for your internship and/or exchange.

Are there any programs that I can combine with my MA at CERES?

Yes, there are three options: the Combined MA and Juris Doctor Program in Law, the Collaborative Program in Jewish Studies, and the Collaborative Graduate Program in Ethnic, Immigration, and Pluralism Studies. Please see “Joint Programs & Specializations” on our website for more information.

How long is the CERES MA program?

Two years. In general, our students complete two full years of study, with their internship in the summer after their first year and potentially an exchange in the fall semester of their second year. Students can take up to three years to complete their degrees, however, funding options are not available after the first two years.

How many students are admitted to the CERES MA program?

Our admission process is highly selective, and an annual CERES cohort usually has only about 20 to 25 students.

Can I enroll in the CERES MA as a part-time student?

No, all CERES MA students must be enrolled full-time.

When does the CERES MA program begin?

New MA students at CERES are admitted in the fall of each year. There is no winter admittance. You will begin classes after Labour Day in September.

What kinds of careers will the CERES MA prepare me for?

Our graduates go on to a wide variety of careers. Many people work in government, diplomacy, or other public service positions. Others go on to work in non-profit organizations, communications, public relations, cybersecurity, culture and heritage, and education. The CERES MA also prepares students for future academic endeavours; many of our graduates have gone on to complete PhDs in fields such as history, anthropology, or political science. We are always happy to facilitate meetings between alumni and current students to help with career preparation.

Can I apply for a PhD after my CERES MA?

Yes, many of our graduates have gone on to pursue doctoral degrees after their time at CERES, either at the University of Toronto or elsewhere. CERES does not offer a doctoral program.

When will I find out if I’ve been accepted to CERES?

First round decisions are made in late-February and applicants will hear directly from the Graduate Coordinator. Subsequent admissions will follow until June.

When do I need to accept an offer of admission from CERES?

Decisions regarding offers of admission should be accepted by late-March.