Collaborative Specializations


The University of Toronto offers more than 40 graduate collaborative specializations (CS), providing students enrolled in participating degree programs an additional multidisciplinary experience as they complete their home degree program.

A CS normally requires students to:

  • complete a core academic activity (such as a core course)
  • participate in activities and seminars offered by the collaborative specialization
  • incorporate the disciplinary focus of the CS into any final research requirements of the home degree programs.

Upon successful completion of all CS requirements, students receive a certificate of completion and a notation on their transcripts.

For full details about CS, please view the Collaborative Specialization Guidelines.

Creating a New CS

Under the University of Toronto Quality Assurance Process (UTQAP), a new CS is brought forward as a major modification. Proposals for new collaborative specializations should be developed in close consultation with the lead Faculty Dean’s Office and the VPAP Office.

Please contact your Dean’s Office or Jennifer Francisco, Coordinator Academic Change (416.946.0094) in the VPAP Office, for questions involving the creation of a new CS.

Modifying a CS

Most academic changes to existing CS are minor modifications, such as changing the admission or specialization requirements, updates to the required course and adding or deleting participating programs. All minor modifications to CS should be considered by the CS committee, followed by the appropriate curriculum committee at the lead Faculty. Some changes to CS, such as specialization committee membership, do not require governance approval and should be overseen by the CS director.

Please contact your Dean’s Office or Alexandra Varela (416.978.7709) in the VPAP Office for questions involving modifications to CS.

Starting a Cyclical Review of a CS

Under the UTQAP, all CS are subject to cyclical review at least every eight years. The schedule of CS reviews is determined by the VPAP Office in consultation with the lead Dean’s Offices. Each individual CS review is commissioned by the Dean of the lead Faculty.

While a CS review may be included as part of a review of the academic unit(s) in which the specialization resides, there may be some benefit in reviewing the CS separately. The review process for CS differs from that for degree credit programs, reflecting the unique nature of these specializations. Please consult section 9 of the Collaborative Specialization Guidelines for full details on the review of CS.


Collaborative Specialization Guidelines
Template: Collaborative Specialization Terms of Reference (Word)
Template: Collaborative Specialization Self-Study (Word)
Template: Collaborative Specialization Memorandum of Agreement (Word)
Template: Collaborative Specialization Summary Assessment Report (Word)
Sample: Collaborative Specialization Review Commissioning Letter from Dean (Word)
Sample: Collaborative Specialization Summary Assessment Report for Circulation Memo (Word)
University of Toronto Quality Assurance Process (UTQAP) (PDF)

Frequently asked questions about implementing changes to collaborative program nomenclature


Jennifer Francisco
Coordinator, Academic Change

Annette Knott
Coordinator, Academic Change