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.

Winter 2021 MASc/PhD Orientation Session slides are available here.

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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
  • For Fall 2021 Admissions: 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:- July 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 submitting application

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

  • 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 will not be allowed to sit the qualifying exam, and a recommendation to terminate the program will be submitted to SGS.

Date of Exam: Students will either have their qualifying exam in the Fall or Winter terms. It will occur during a specific window of time:

  • For students who must take their exam in the Fall term, it should occur during August to October. Thus, on September 30 they should either have had their qualifying exam or have scheduled the exam on the GMS system to occur before October 30.
  • For students who must take their exam in the Winter term, it should occur during December to February. Thus, on January 31 they should either have had their qualifying exam or have scheduled the exam on the GMS system to occur before February 28.


PhD Program Start Program Q.E. held between Deadline for Q.E. scheduled & submitted on GMS
Fall PhD August 1 to October 30 Sept. 30th (13 months after start)
Winter Direct Entry PhD Sept. 30th (21 months after start)
Fall Fast-Track PhD Sept. 30th (13 months after start)
Winter Fast-Track PhD Sept. 30th (9 months after start)
Winter PhD December 1 to February 28 January 31th (13 months after start)
Fall Flex-time PhD January 31th (17 months after start)
Fall Direct Entry PhD January 31th (17 months after start)


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

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 from the date of their registration. 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 paramters:
    • 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

Due To COVID-19 Restrictions: Until further notice all exams are to be conducted remotely via video conferencing

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
  3. The written thesis has been submitted to their supervisor

The Final Oral Examination (FOE) committee and scheduling

For questions about the Final Oral Exam, send email to

MIE requires that the FOE committee have at least five voting members:

  • the thesis supervisory committee (no more than 3 members may vote)
  • one other examiner from the University of Toronto not closely involved in the supervision of the thesis
  • an SGS approved examiner external to the University of Toronto
  • quorum is 4 voting members, no more than two from the thesis committee

The student’s supervisor must submit an External Appraiser Request Form to the Graduate Studies Office at least eight weeks before the proposed exam date.

SGS must approve the external examiner, based on criteria included in the Guidelines for the Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

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

To request external examiner approval, please complete request form.  Form must be accessed with a UofT/MIE email address for the security of c.v.* document upload.

Examiner Request form

*Important: the external examiner's c.v. is required for the approval process.  SGS is looking for the following:

  • Examiner's current title (academic position).
  • Year current title was attained.
  • 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 approved, the written thesis may then be sent to the external examiner, who must return a written appraisal at least two weeks before the exam, to be distributed to the student and the exam committee.

At least 6 weeks before the scheduled oral exam, the student must:

Upon confirmation of the exam date, the Graduate Program Administrator will:

  • Provide the examiner with the requirements of appraisal report
  • Instruct SGS to find a chair and book an exam room at SGS (63 St George street)

Due To COVID-19 Restrictions: Until further notice all exams are to be conducted remotely via video conferencing

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. Note additional MIE 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.

Once the thesis has been approved by their supervisor, the student must upload the document to ProQuest following the SGS thesis submission guidelines.

After submitting their thesis to ProQuest, the student must:

Scholarships & Funding

Registered PhD candidates receive enough funding to cover tuition and incidental fees. In addition, PhD candidates receive a minimum of $18,500 per year for up to four years.

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.

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


Please send requests for information via email for a timely response as the Grad Office remains closed due to COVID.


MASc & PhD applicants:

MC108, 5 King's College Road

Monday to Friday (except Thursday), 9 am - 4 pm
Thursday: 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

© 2021 Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering