Rotman School of Management

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Interested in learning more about the PhD program at the Rotman School of Management? Find answers to your questions about admissions, program structure, financial support and life at Canada's leading doctoral program, based at the University of Toronto.

When Can I apply?

Applications for September 2016 are now closed. We will be accepting applications for September 2017 in October of 2016. Our application deadline is January 1, 2017.

Do you have rolling admissions?

No, we do not offer rolling admissions.

What tests do you require?

A GMAT or a GRE is required to complete an application to the PhD Program. Test scores must be valid within 5 years of the admission deadline.

Applicants whose primary language is not English, and whose previous degree(s) have been completed at a non-Canadian university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must submit an English language facility test, valid within two years of the admission deadline.

Acceptable English language facility tests are:

TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language
IELTS – International English Language Testing System (applicants may be advised to contact their nearest British Council Office)
MELAB – Michigan English Language Assessment Battery 
Certificate of English Proficiency (COPE)
“International ESL – Academic Preparation” course School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto  Required score: B, in level 60 (Advanced)

Do you have minimum test scores?

The following are minimum test scores: • GMAT: 600/800 total score • GRE: 80% on each GRE component • TOEFL iBT (internet-based): 100/120 total and 22/30 on both writing and speaking sections • TOEFL PBT (paper-based): 600 total with at least 5/6 on the TWE (Test of Written English) • IELTS: 7.0 • MELAB: 85 • COPE: 76 (with at least 22 in each component and 32 in the writing component)

Can I provide more than two reference letters?

You have the option to provide a third reference letter.

Are there forms for reference letters?

Reference requests are mailed to your references directly from the University of Toronto via the institutional emails you provide in your application. Once you have confirmed your application information and provided payment, the system will email your referees and provide them with instructions.

What do you expect in the statement of intent?

The statement should be one to two pages outlining your research and career interests and reasons for undertaking doctoral education. The document must be uploaded on the ‘supporting documents’ page of the online application.

Do I need an MBA degree before applying?

No, a bachelor's degree or master’s degree in your field of study is required. Applicant’s applying from outside of Canada may be required to hold to a Master’s degree. Please consult the International Degree Equivalency Database  to confirm if a Master’s degree is required for your application.

What are the faculty looking for in applicants?

The faculty are looking for research skills and potential, and focus primarily on your research statement, recommendations, transcripts and test scores.

I'd like to interview before I apply. May I meet with faculty?

Pre-application interviews are not part of our application process. We recommend attending a research seminar during the regular term as a useful way to experience the program and meet doctoral students and faculty. For more information on our research seminars schedules, please contact

If I’m admitted, how long do I have to make a decision?

You generally have two weeks to one month to make a decision and secure your spot.

If I’m admitted this year, can I defer my admission to next year?

Admission deferral is subject to approval by the admissions committee. You may request a deferral if there are extenuating circumstances beyond your control. You will need to provide documentation to support your request.

What tuition fees are required?

Tuition and Academic fees are included in the financial package we offer incoming PhD students. Each year, students pay incidental fees of approximately $1,388 and health insurance (international students only) of approximately $685 for single coverage.

Are there opportunities for work experience?

As part of your funding packing you will be required to complete 200 hours of teaching assistance or research assistance work. This requirement is waived in the first year of the program so incoming students can focus on their coursework. Additional work opportunities may be available above and beyond the required 200 hours.

What is the average duration of the program?

It takes an average of five years to complete the program (even if you have an MBA) — two years coursework and approximately three years of research and writing of your dissertation.

What is the program format?

First Year: Students complete foundational courses and exams, Students begin independent research.

Second Year: Students complete core courses and take electives, Students successfully complete their comprehensive examinations, including a paper requirement.

Third Year: Students take specialized courses as needed, Students develop a dissertation proposal.

Fourth and Fifth Year (if needed): Students take specialized courses, as needed, Students complete their dissertation.

Do you offer a distance learning degree or a part-time program?

We do not offer a distance learning or part-time program.

What housing options are available to Rotman students?

On-campus, off-campus and temporary accommodation is available. Read more about finding housing on campus here:

I studied in an English-speaking University; do I need to take the TOEFL?

No. If you have studied at an institution where the language of instruction was English, you will be exempt from the requirement.

Do I need to upload all of my documentation electronically?

Yes, our application portal requires that all documentation be scanned, and copies be uploaded to your application. If an offer of admission is made, the PhD Office will request that official documentation be submitted at that time.

How many people are admitted each year?

Admission rates change each year depending on the applicant pool. We admit between 10 – 20 students each year. For September 2015, we have admitted 15 students.

How many students admitted complete the program and graduate?

87%* of students admitted into the program complete all requirements and graduate with a PhD degree in Management.
*average since 2002

What is your placement record?

We have placed students at Yale, Bocconi, Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, MIT, Oxford, London Business School, INSEAD, Georgia Tech and many other top-tier schools. For further information on our placement records, please visit our graduate pages or contact the PhD Office.

Do you accept visiting students?

We do except visiting students, but the student must be sponsored by a Rotman faculty member. We receive hundreds of requests for visiting student positions each year and unfortunately we do not have the capacity to accommodate all of them. If you are interested in coming to Rotman as a visiting student, an invitation from a Rotman faculty member must first be extended to you.



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