Finances, Stipends and TAing

Guaranteed Stipends

For EEB graduate students the base income is approx. $28,500/year ($20,000 for rent, living expenses, etc. and approx. $8500 for tuition and other fees). These base income rates are guaranteed for 16 months for domestic students in the MSc program. For students in the PhD program, funding is guaranteed for four years for those with an MSc degree and guaranteed for five years for those that entering directly from a bachelor's program or transferring from our MSc program to our PhD program. This base funding level will increase by $500 in 2020 and again in 2021. Some funding is available for PhD students after the guaranteed funding period ends if the student is making good progress (e.g., TAing, support from supervisor (at supervisor’s discretion), Doctoral Completion Award from the School of Graduate Studies). 

Unfortunately, the full funding model is quite complicated to accommodate various categories of students, circumstances, and funding sources.  The table below gives a few examples of student income rates:

Income Specified in Support Packages for Different Groups of Graduate Students

Student Group TA hours required* to achieve guaranteed income Total of support package (including TA$) Disposable income after tuition and fees
Base income for a standard science grad student in Arts & Science at U of T 




EEB Students without major scholarship support




Student with a major scholarship

Usually 70

Amounts vary with the value of the scholarship

Amounts vary with the value of the scholarship

As one example: in 2017-18, a domestic student with an NSERC PGSD in the second year of a PhD




A note on TAing

A component of most graduate student’s funding package comes from working as a teaching assistant for undergraduate courses (“TAing”). Students without a major scholarship typically do 140 hours of TAing per year (considerably less TAing than is expected at many comparable graduate programs). Students supported by major scholarships (e.g. NSERC, OGS, FQRNT) are only required to do 70 hours of TAing a year to receive the guaranteed base funding. The TA component of support packages may be increased or decreased based on discussions between a student and their supervisor, and will be contingent on the availability of TA positions. A student is permitted to teach fewer hours than specified in their funding package, but they thereby reduce their total income.

Please ask us if you have questions about our funding packages (Kitty at the EEB Graduate Office,