Tuition and Funding

Students are advised to consult the School of Graduate Studies for the most up-to-date information on financial support and fees. The Department of Earth Sciences follows the procedure outlined by the Faculty of Arts & Science to develop graduate funding packages. 

Guaranteed Funding

The position of the University of Toronto as a leading research university depends critically on recruiting outstanding graduate students and enabling them to complete their studies in a timely fashion. Realization of this goal requires that students have adequate financial resources so they can focus on their studies. For this reason, guaranteed financial support packages are extended to eligible graduate students. Financial support packages comprise several components: external and internal scholarships, teaching assistantships (TAs), contribution from the supervisor (the research assistantship, or RA), and a contribution from the University (the UTF).

The funding package covers the student’s tuition and fees and provides a minimum stipend ($20,500 in 2023-24) to assist with living expenses. Funding packages may exceed the base amount if students receive external or internal awards or scholarships. Students admitted to the PhD program after completion of a master’s degree recieve four years of funding, and direct-entry PhD students admitted after completion of a bachelor's degree recieve five years of funding. In 2023/24 our doctoral students received an average of roughly $32,000 plus tuition and fees.

Tuition Fees

The tuition and incidental fees for PhD students for the 2023-24 academic year (September to August) are $8,213.96 for domestic students (Canadian citizens or permanent residents) and $8,969.96 for international (visa) students at the St. George campus. 

Teaching Assistantships

TA hours normally constitute a part of the guaranteed funding package described above. All students who do not hold a major internal or external scholarship are required to apply for a TA position, which in some cases may be found in cognate departments outside the Department of Earth Sciences. A student who refuses a TA assignment that is offered as part of the funding package relinquishes the corresponding funding that the TA assignment provides.
In some cases, TA hours in addition to those required for the funding package are available (for example, summer courses, assignments in cognate departments, exam invigilation and other “emergency” assignments). TA hours above those required to make up the funding package provide extra money directly to the student. Students considering extra TA hours should consult their research supervisors to ensure that the extra hours do not jeopardize their research.

Teaching assistants in the Department of Earth Sciences are automatically members of CUPE 3902, the union representing contract academic staff at the University of Toronto since 1975. Being a member of this union has several benefits, including the Health Care Spending Account (HCSA), Fellowship Defense Fund, Childcare Financial Assistant Funds, and the Fund for International Student Health Expenses. To be eligible for the CUPE insurance plan, a student must have a TAship with at least 30 hours. All new employees must attend a training program of at least three hours in duration that must be included as part of the paid TA contract hours. Each year, AGESS elects a CUPE Liaison; you are encouraged to contact this representative if you have any concerns with regards to TA positions and CUPE. Please visit CUPE 3902 to learn more.

Research Assistantships

These funds are part of a student's funding package and are sourced directly from supervisor research accounts. 

University of Toronto Fellowships (UTF)

The UTF constitutes the University’s contribution to the guaranteed funding package. There are no eligibility restrictions for UTF based on citizenship or status in Canada, nor are students required to apply for UTF awards. Students are required to show progress in a satisfactory and timely fashion, as documented in the minutes of their supervisory committee meetings. An explicit condition for holding a UTF award is that students must be registered degree candidates in attendance for a minimum of 14 weeks in any session in which they hold an award. Except for absences needed for research purposes and approved by supervisors, students must reside within reasonable proximity of the Department. Students not in full-time attendance will be required to repay the award.


Students are strongly encouraged to apply for scholarships. In addition to being financially beneficial in the short term, they provide enduring long-term documentation of meritorious academic and research performance. Several prominent scholarships are described below (the School of Graduate Studies maintains a comprehensive list of scholarships, fellowships, loans, and bursaries).

Note: all eligible domestic students are expected to apply for NSERC and OGS scholarships. Application instructions will be sent to students in the fall.

Follow these links for more information about our internal scholarships and external scholarships.

Other Resources