Admission to the Doctoral Program

Candidates for admission to the PhD Program normally have an MA degree in Criminology or an equivalent master’s degree.

  • Applicants must have at minimum an A- standing (or equivalent) in their MA degree program.
  • Students from MA programs other than the University of Toronto’s MA in criminology may be required to take additional courses as part of their doctoral program.
  • If you do not meet the program requirements, you should consult the Graduate Coordinator or Graduate Administrator before submitting an application.

Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Our PhD program is a very small one (around a dozen students) and only a very small number of students are accepted into the doctoral program in any year.

In addition to excellent performance at the Masters level, each student accepted into the doctoral program must have a presumptive PhD dissertation supervisor. In making admissions decisions, we seek to ensure that every student who is admitted can be matched with a supervisor who is a good fit with the student’s scholarly interests.

No PhD application will be successful, no matter how well-qualified the applicant, if no member of the faculty is willing to take on (at least initially) the supervision work. PhD applicants who do not establish prior contact with a presumptive supervisor may be successful but this is very unusual.

In applying, therefore, it is important to indicate which member or members of the faculty would be appropriate supervisors for your doctoral research interests.

  • Communicating with faculty members prior to submitting an application is strongly advised.
  • Although a firm commitment from a prospective supervisor is not essential, when you write your application, you should indicate whether you have made contact with a possible supervisor as well as possible dissertation committee members.
  • While we have a number of cross-appointed faculty, the bulk of the work of PhD supervisions is done by a faculty member with their full-time appointment in the Centre.
    • CrimSL assumes that the vast majority of PhD students will be supervised by a core faculty member with their principal appointment in the Centre.
    • Applicants who wish to be supervised by a cross-appointed faculty member must include with their applications a statement explaining why they wish to pursue the PhD in Criminology, rather than in the discipline or department where their preferred supervisor is principally appointed. This might explain why the student wishes to pursue the PhD in an interdisciplinary Centre, or why the other department is inappropriate for the applicant’s range of interests.
    • These applicants should also consult with their potential supervisor about the likely composition of their dissertation committee, since all committees must include core Centre faculty.

Should a prospective Ph.D. student require advice on which faculty member to speak with regarding their proposed research, they should contact:

Professor B. Jauregui
Graduate Coordinator

Successful PhD applicants are invariably those who are very familiar with the research interests of at least some members of our faculty and who have had preliminary contacts with potential supervisors. We thus encourage you to review the current research interests of various faculty members, so that you can then decide if you want to approach particular professors.

For more information, please download copies of the PDF iconCriminology and Sociolegal Studies Graduate Handbook 2023-24 and the SGS admissions application.

Submitting an Application

Applications to the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) through the online application which is housed on a secure server at the University of Toronto.

The Centre will consider your application only after you have entered your personal and academic information in the online application, paid the application fee, and submitted the supporting documents by the deadline date.

The applicant is responsible for assembling and submitting all required material by the application deadline. Complete the SGS online admissions application here.

Once you access the SGS online admissions application and enter your contact information, an applicant identification number and a password will be emailed to you.

  • Remember to enter your SGS applicant ID on the documents.
  • You can leave and return to your application at any point until you move to the payment stage.
  • After the payment stage you can return to check on the status of this application including whether we have received your supporting documents.
  • It is your responsibility to check the system frequently to verify that the documents have been received.

If for some reason you cannot use the online admission application, please contact us at