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.

General Guidance

See the Collaborative Specialization Guidelines.

Creating a New CS

Creating a new CS is a major modification (Word).

Proposals are developed in close consultation with the lead Faculty Dean’s Office and the VPAP Office.

Changing an Existing CS

Changing an existing CS is a minor modification (Word).

Examples of changes include:

  • changing the admission or specialization requirements
  • updates to the required course
  • adding or deleting participating programs.

All changes to an existing CS should be considered by the CS committee, followed by the appropriate curriculum committee at the lead Faculty.

Note: changes to CS committee membership do not require governance approval and should be overseen by the CS director.

Cyclical Review of a CS

Under the UTQAP, all CS are subject to cyclical review at least every eight years.

Each individual CS review is commissioned by the Dean of the lead Faculty.

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.


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)

Evolution of collaborative specializations in Ontario


For questions about the creation of a new CS:

Jennifer Francisco
Coordinator, Academic Change

Annette Knott
Coordinator, Academic Change

For questions about modifications to CS and CS reviews:

Alexandra Varela
Special Projects Officer