Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


MIE PhD students produce a thesis of original work with the support of world-renowned researchers and facilities.

MIE Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students work with world renowned faculty members to gain the knowledge and competencies needed for a career in research or industry leadership. The keystone of the doctoral program is a thesis of original work, supervised by a professor.

Students entering the PhD program typically have a Master’s degree. Outstanding applicants coming directly from a bachelor-level program can also apply for direct entry into the PhD program. Full-time PhD students receive funding during the program and can apply for various scholarships.


Jump to:

Admission Requirements

Please note that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. The Graduate Office cannot provide assessments of credentials prior to application.

  • A master's degree with high academic standing from a recognized university (see Alternate Paths to PhD below)
  • Minimum GPA requirement of 3.3 (B+; 77-79%) in the previous two years of graduate study. View U of T's Grade Scale for reference. International students should use the International Degree Equivalencies Tool to see which international credentials are required
  • Evidence of exceptional research ability
  • Applicants from universities outside Canada where English is not the primary language of instruction must provide English Language Proficiency (ELP) exam results unless: 1) The applicant’s admitting degree IS listed under Exemptions on the School of Graduate Studies website or 2) the applicant can provide official documentation from their admitting institution that instruction was in English.
    • To be considered for admission, all applicants that require proof of ELP must meet the minimum score requirement for every component of the English language proficiency exam including reading, writing, speaking and listening
    • All test components must be completed and passed at the same time (applicants cannot combine scores from different exams)
    • For more information, including approved test centres, visit the School of Graduate Studies website


Alternate Paths to PhD:

  • Direct Entry PhD: Exceptionally strong applicants (GPA: A- or higher) with a bachelor's degree may be nominated by an MIE professor for direct entry to the PhD program. Learn more about Direct Entry PhD below.
  • MASc Fast-Track and Retroactive Transfer to PhD: Exceptional MASc students (GPA: A- or higher and no grade lower than B+) may request to transfer to the PhD program before completing all of the MASc program requirements. Learn more about transferring from MASc to PhD

Direct Entry PhD

Exceptionally strong applicants with a bachelor's degree may apply directly to the PhD program.

Additional admissions requirements:

  • GPA: A- or higher
  • An MIE professor must nominate the student for the Direct Entry PhD program by submitting a one page summary outlining the reasons for the nomination and indicating whether they are able to supervise the student to the Graduate Coordinator:

Flex-time PhD

The Flex-time PhD program offers the flexibility for professionals who want to continue to work while pursuing their PhD part-time.

Tuition Fees

The information below is for reference only and is subject to change annually. Registered students should check their fee balance on their ACORN account. View the U of T Student Accounts website for more information about fees.


Pay annually:

  • Domestic students: $8,489.52/year
  • International students: $9,113.52/year

Pay per session:

  • Domestic students: $4,272.26/session
  • International students: $4,896.26/session


Applicants to MIE's PhD program must complete the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Online Admissions Application by the deadline indicated below.

  • September start:
    • Application window: October 1 - January 1 (application fee deadline)
    • Document deadline January 15
  • January start:
    • Application window:- June 1 - October 1 (application fee deadline)
    • Document deadline October15

Same application deadlines for Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents and International Students.

PhD Application Instructions

Students are not required to submit paper copies of their documents unless requested by the Graduate Office.

To apply:

  • Create an SGS applicant profile and pay the application fee (non-refundable/transferable, regardless of the circumstance). See application deadlines above.

Once your profile has been created, the following is required:

  • 2 references. Email addresses for referees must be institution-based (not GMail, Hotmail, etc.). Both referees must hold academic appointments and it is required that one or both of the referees be a previous thesis supervisor. References from friends and family will not be accepted. Instructions will be sent to each referee by email via the SGS system on how to submit a reference letter.
  • Complete (or most up-to-date) academic record / transcript(s). Upload post-secondary institutional transcripts as PDF files. Every transcript must include its respective grading scale. You are not required to submit official paper transcripts unless requested by the Graduate Office.
  • Supporting Documents:
    • Resume/C.V.
    • Letter of Intent: explain why you want to join our program. Describe your research interest, career goals, the courses you intend to take, etc. The letter should be 650 – 1000 words.
  • Field of Study: Students must indicate up to three fields of study.
  • If the student’s admitting degree was issued by a country not listed under Exemptions on the School of Graduate Studies website, the student is required to provide English Language Proficiency (ELP) exam results electronically. MIE requires proof of ELP even if their language of instruction and examination was English. Please note that all test components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) must be completed and passed at the same time (applicants cannot combine scores from different exams). For minimum requirements and approved test centres visit the School of Graduate Studies website.
    Important: If ELP exam results are required, an application is not considered complete until the results are submitted electronically from the testing institution.

Students are not required to submit official paper transcripts unless it is requested by the Graduate Office. The review process will take place using your electronic transcripts.  Please note that a request for an official transcript is for verification purposes and does not mean acceptance into the program.

If you are receive an email request for paper documents, mail to:

PhD Program
Graduate Studies Office, MC108
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
5 King’s College Road
Toronto, ON M5S 3G8 Canada

After application submission

Admission into the PhD programs is extremely competitive: we only offer admission to a small fraction of applicants, because these students must be funded, either by external scholarships or by a professor's research funds. As a result, PhD applicants are strongly encouraged to contact professors with whom they would like to work, either before or after submitting an application. Without funding, we cannot offer admission.

Students can review the status of their application on the SGS Online Admissions Application website.

Documents Pending

Additional documents required. A student's application is not considered complete until all of the required documents have been submitted. Once all documents have been submitted, status will not automatically update to Under Review. Statuses are updated manually on an ongoing basis.

Under Review

Application complete. Faculty members will review applications and may contact students about offering supervision. Students should actively pursue confirming a supervisor as admission can only be granted to students who have secured a supervisor. Students can contact MIE Faculty members directly to inquire about potential supervision.

If the faculty member has confirmed a student's supervision, the student will be notified of next steps including submission of official final transcripts. Confirmation from the supervisor to the Graduate Office is required to proceed in the PhD program.

Students will then be notified of the results of their application and their status will update to Decision Made.

Graduate Research Days

Select applicants will be invited to learn more about research at MIE at Graduate Research DaysApplicants will be notified if they have been selected to attend.

Program Requirements

Winter Orientation was held on December 10, 2024. The presentation is available here.

  • Transfer credit may be requested for up to two previously completed Half Credit Equivalent (HCE) courses (grade of at least A-) that were not used for credit towards a degree
  • PhD students must remain in good academic standing by
    • maintaining an average GPA of A-
    • no grade lower than B- (No failure, FZ, is permitted)
    • completing yearly requirements (see below)
    • progress review meetings (including the Qualifying Exam) must be held at least every twelve months from the initial date of registration to get feedback on the progress and quality of their work

Note: Failure to remain in good academic standing will result in various sanctions such as student ineligibility for funding and registration in the program.

Yearly requirements


View the Program Requirements section above for required courses.

View the Courses page to view all offered MIE courses.


PhD students may pursue collaborative specializations in the following areas:

Qualifying Exam

In MIE, the purpose of the qualifying exam is to assess the prospects that the student will complete a quality PhD thesis and will develop the ability to operate as an independent researcher. The date and time of the qualifying exam is coordinated between the student and their supervisory committee. The committee consists of the student’s supervisor and at least two other professors appointed as SGS Graduate Faculty with expertise relevant to the thesis topic. The majority of committee members should be MIE faculty members.

Requirements: In order to schedule a qualifying exam, the PhD student must meet the following requirements:

  • successfully complete at least four Half Credit Equivalent courses (at least five for Fast-Track PhD), with at least an A- average
  • obtain one credit on ACORN for attending JDE1000H Ethics in Graduate Research seminar
  • obtain one credit on ACORN for attending 70% of MIE's Distinguished Seminar Series (SRD4444Y). Attendance recorded with student's T-card

A student who does not meet the above requirements may be required to delay the qualifying exam until requirements are met.  A substantial delay (1 term or more) without Grad Office permission will result in a request to SGS to terminate the program.

Program Requirement: To maintain good academic standing, doctoral students are expected to hold their qualifying exam according to the following schedule from time of admission:

  • 12 months - PhD students with a completed Master's degree
  • 8 months - Fast Track PhD students (after fast-tracking from a Master's degree).
  • 16 months - Direct entry from a Bachelor's degree
  • 24 months - Flex-time PhD students.

Process before exam: At least 10 business days before the scheduled qualifying exam, the student must:

  • book a room for the exam by contacting
  • Notify the Graduate Office of their qualifying exam via the Graduate Management System (GMS)
  • submit a research proposal to the committee members and upload to GMS
    • This document is typically double-spaced and no longer than 10 pages (including figures, tables, and a short list of references). Consult with your supervisor for specific expectations. Read about how to write a good qualifying exam research proposal

Procedure during exam:

  1. The qualifying exam begins with a student presentation of no more than 20 minutes that summarizes their research proposal.
  2. This is followed by questions from the committee. (note: MIE PhD qualifying exams are open to other students, unless otherwise requested).
  3. Following the exam, the committee assesses progress to date and suitability for the PhD program.
  4. If the assessment is “unsatisfactory”,
    1. the committee decides whether to adjourn the exam and allow the student another opportunity to pass the exam within three months,
    2. or to fail the student and recommend termination of the PhD program.

Annual Progress Review Meetings

Following a successful qualifying exam, a PhD student must meet his/her supervisory committee for a progress review meeting at least every twelve months. These meetings allow the committee to assess the progress of the student, in order to decide whether the student remains in good academic standing (see Program Requirements).

At least ten business days before the scheduled PhD committee meeting, the student must:

  • book a room for the exam by contacting
  • Notify the Graduate Office of their qualifying exam via the Graduate Management System (GMS)
  • upload a progress report to GMS with the following parameters:
    • no more than 10 double-spaced pages
    • summary of recent progress in the research
    • major tasks that remain and a timetable for completion of the program
    • papers (journal and conference, published and submitted) and presentations that have resulted from the work
    • The student may include additional material as appendices to the report (and should refer to this material in the report), however, the committee is not obligated to read any additional material.

Similar to the qualifying exam, a progress review meeting begins with a student presentation of no more than 20 minutes, followed by questions from the committee. Following the meeting, the committee assesses progress since the last exam/meeting. If the assessment is “unsatisfactory”, another meeting must be scheduled within three months, to determine whether to allow the student to remain in the program.

Thesis & Final Oral Examination

Exams maybe conducted remotely via video conferencing, in-person, or a combination (hybrid).

The PhD program culminates in the presentation of an oral and written thesis.

A student is ready to defend the thesis once:

  1. The student's course requirements have been met
  2. The student has successfully passed the Departmental Defence,
    • or the thesis committee has decided to forgo the Departmental via Ballot on GMS
    • Supervisor must trigger the vote to bypass by selecting the Ballot button on the supervisor's student listing on GMS.
  3. The written thesis has been submitted to their supervisor

Once the thesis is ready for the external examiner's appraisal, a member of the supervisory committee must submit the Examiner Nomination Form.

Examiner Nominations

A member of the supervisory committee must submit an External Nomination Form to the Graduate Studies Office via the nomination form at least 10 weeks before the proposed exam date.

The date and time of the oral exam is coordinated between the student and the FOE committee.

SGS will approve the external examiner. Approval criteria can be found in the Guidelines for the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

Approval of the External Examiner

An external examiner nomination form must be submitted to initiate the approval process.  Form must be accessed with a UofT/MIE email address.

C.V. format: website link or document (word, .pdf).

The external examiner's c.v. must contain the following:

  • Examiner's current title (academic position)
  • Year current title was attained

If not included on the c.v., a link to the researcher's website must include the following:

  • Institution where the examiner's degrees were conferred.
    • If at UofT, supervisor must be identified.
  • A list of current and graduated research students (Masters and PhD).
  • A list of publications.

Once the examiner is approved, the written thesis may then be sent to the external examiner.

The candidate may use UTsend, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc to distribute the thesis to the examiner and other members of the committee.

Scheduling the Final Oral Exam

The date and time of the oral exam is coordinated between the student and the FOE committee.

A committee member or the student should use a scheduling tool to arrange the meeting date (e.g. Doodle, Calendly, etc) in order to minimize the interactions with the examiner before the exam.

Once the date is set, the student must submit the PhD Final Oral Scheduling Form at least 8 weeks before the exam date.

Once the scheduling form is received, the Graduate Program Administrator will:

  • Distribute the examiner's instructions to the approved examiner.
  • Instruct SGS to find a chair and book an exam room at SGS (63 St George street) - In person exams only.
    • SGS requires a minimum of 20 business days (excluding weekends, holidays and winter break) to fulfill a chair request.

A member of the supervisory committee must arrange video conferencing details for virtual exams.

The candidate cannot host a virtual final exam.

After the Exam

Following a successful FOE, and once the thesis has been finalized, the PhD student must submit their corrected, final thesis to their supervisor for approval. If the student's supervisor requests a printed copy, visit the SGS website for standard formatting requirements.

If a printed report is requested by the supervisor:

  • the binding of theses should be good quality buckram hard-cover, with gold lettering. Colour of PhD thesis cover must be blue.

SGS does not require a physical copy of the thesis. The student must upload an electronic copy of the supervisor-approved thesis to ProQuest in accordance with the SGS thesis submission guidelines.

The Graduate Office does not require a physical copy of the thesis.

After submitting their thesis to ProQuest, the student must:

Technical problems accessing the clearance form must be reported to:

Departmental IT Support:

Convocation Ceremony

Ceremony details are communicated by SGS and the Office of Convocation.

Final Year Fees

Final year fees are pro-rated by date of final thesis submission.

Stay Connected!


PhD Funding

Registered PhD candidates receive enough funding to cover tuition and incidental fees. In addition, PhD candidates receive a minimum of $25,000 per year for up to four years (5 years for PhD direct-entry and fast-track students).

Most students earn more than the minimum as a result of teaching assistantships and scholarships, such as from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), and the Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) program.

View the Scholarships & Funding page for more information.

Doctoral Completion Award

The DCA provides tuition support to full-time PhD students who are beyond the funded cohort (year 5 for PhD and year 6 for PhD direct and fast-track students)

Applicants must be current with PhD committee meetings and demonstrate need.

For more information contact the Grad Office at

Teaching Assistantships

All full-time graduate students are eligible to apply for Teaching Assistant (TA) paid positions at MIE. TAs assist undergraduate and graduate course instructors with supervision of labs, leading tutorials and marking assignments and tests.

Apply for TA positions and view more job and volunteer opportunities on the Professional Development page.


AMIGAS is the graduate student association at MIE. They host social, athletic, academic, and professional development events for all MIE graduate students, aiming to enrich their professional and personal leadership experiences.

Helpful Links

Student Information Systems



MASc & PhD applicants:

MC108, 5 King's College Road

Monday to Friday, 10 am - 4 pm

Mailing address:
Graduate Studies Office, MC108
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
University of Toronto
5 King’s College Road
Toronto, ON M5S 3G8 Canada



Professor Tobin Filleter

Associate Chair of Graduate Studies

© 2024 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering