Flex-time PhD


The Department of MIE seeks to conduct world-class research while promoting the mutually beneficial transfer of knowledge between the University of Toronto and industry and government partners. One means by which we enable such collaboration is by offering the opportunity for select highly-qualified engineers, working in an R & D setting, to pursue a Ph.D. while continuing to work. The flex-time Ph.D. option is meant to foster a three-way partnership between a student, their employer, and an MIE professor, where the research is both industrially motivated and of academic interest.

Flex-time Ph.D. Program Requirements

The program requirements of the MIE flex-time Ph.D. option are the same as the requirements of the full-time Ph.D. program.

To accommodate the additional time likely to be required to take five half courses, the deadline for a qualifying exam is 16 months from initial registration, rather than the usual 12.

Students in the flex-time Ph.D. program option will register full-time during the first four years and part-time during subsequent years of the program. Students will pay full-time fees for the first four years and part-time fees thereafter. Students in this option are expected to be self-funded.

Transfers between the full-time Ph.D. and flex-time Ph.D. are not permitted.

Applying to the Flex-time Ph.D. Program

The Department of MIE will admit a flex-time Ph.D. student only after careful consideration. As a first step, prospective applicants are asked to contact the MIE Graduate Coordinator (gradchair@mie.utoronto.ca), before applying, to discuss the program.

If the Coordinator deems the prospective applicant a good fit for the program, then the applicant, a representative of the applicant’s employer, and a prospective MIE supervisor will be invited to prepare a brief proposal for the MIE Graduate Studies Committee, that articulates a thesis topic, the extent to which the employer will provide time and resources for the student to work on their Ph.D., and a proposal on how the IP policies of the University will be respected. Based on the proposal, if the Committee is satisfied that the prospective student, his/her employer, and an MIE professor are all committed to the success of the student’s program, the student will be invited to submit a formal application.