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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

When is the admissions deadline for the CEES 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 CEES 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 CEES to ask questions about my application?

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

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

Professor Robert Austin, CEES Associate Director and Graduate Coordinator: robert.austin@utoronto.ca or 416-946-8942 

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 CEES Program & Internship Coordinator to discuss your specific application requirements.

Does CEES accept deferrals?

In general, CEES 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 CEES 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 CEES. 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 CEES? What kinds of academic and/or professional goals do you hope to achieve with a CEES MA? If you wish, you may also tell us about any specific regions of interest that you hope to study at CEES.

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 CEES MA?

All incoming students at CEES 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/Eurasian topics, there are no set prerequisite courses to apply for CEES. If possible, we do encourage incoming students to begin working toward their foreign language requirement before their first semester at CEES. This can help ease your course load during your degree.

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

No, but you will need to fulfil the CEES 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 CEES 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 CEES.

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 CEES 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 CEES? Is there a different tuition rate for international students?

Tuition rates for the 2023-2024 school year are approximately $8,300.00 for domestic students and $31,500.00 for international students.

What funding is available to CEES students?

We offer several funding options to our students, both from CEES and the University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies. Funding is generally awarded on the basis of academic merit, and CEES offers several endowed awards for the study of specific regions in Europe, Russia, and Eurasia. Once accepted to the program and depending on eligibility, CEES 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 CEES?

Yes! We welcome applicants from a wide range of academic backgrounds. The CEES 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 CEES regions of study. Once accepted as a CEES 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 CEES regions of study.

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

Absolutely. While many of our students begin studying at CEES directly after their undergraduate degrees, many others come to CEES after time spent working in a variety of jobs and careers. If you have any questions or concerns about whether the CEES 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 CEES?

No. In your first semester at CEES, 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 CEES?

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 CEES 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 CEES MA program?

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

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

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

When does the CEES MA program begin?

New MA students at CEES 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 CEES 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 CEES 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 CEES MA?

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

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

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 CEES?

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