University of Toronto began in 1827 as King’s College at York, York being the name of the city of Toronto at the time. Although master’s degrees were being awarded by the middle of the 19th century and the doctorate was established in the 1890s, the School of Graduate Studies did not become a distinct academic division within the University of Toronto until 1922. In 1965 the School was reorganized and expanded. Today it comprises more than 80 graduate units (departments, centres and institutes), offering more than 150 graduate programs.
Most graduate units, while large enough to have a diversity of graduate courses, are small enough to allow students to have a sense of belonging to a recognized community of scholars, colleagues and associates. The goal of graduate studies at the University of Toronto is to provide students with the best material and human resources to learn the methods and standards of research necessary to work professionally at the frontiers of knowledge. Research is central to graduate studies, particularly at the doctoral level. Research-oriented training conveys the importance of keeping pace with a subject, the knowledge of which is always changing. It fosters intellectual curiosity and a creative response to problems. It encourages students to communicate original discoveries effectively.
In the process of education, the graduate student comes to grips with the phenomenon of emerging knowledge. The process enriches the individual as well as the community participating in the exercise. The training and experience is valuable for all areas of work, whether one is teaching in a university; conducting research in government, industry or private enterprise; or pursuing a professional career.
Research-oriented graduate training provides the means to embark on a lifelong voyage of intellectual discovery, an opportunity and challenge that gives graduate studies pre-eminence in formal education.