Evaluation & Program Policies


Grading Scale

Marks in Graduate Courses, MA Forum papers, and PhD Generals papers

Within the parameters set by The University of Toronto's Assesment and Grading Practices Policy, the Department of Linguistics interprets the letter grades assigned in Linguistics graduate courses, MA Forum papers, and PhD Generals papers as follows:

A+: The work is of extremely high quality, and/or is at a very advanced level, surpassing expectations for the student's stage of the program.

A: The work is of very high quality, at an advanced level, comfortably meeting expectations for the student's stage of the program.

A–: While the work is not without minor flaws, it is of sufficiently high quality, and at a sufficiently advanced level, that it meets expectations for the student's stage of the program.

B+: While the work has clear academic merit, it falls somewhat short of what we expect from someone at this stage of the program.

B: The work has academic merit, but it falls short of what we expect from someone at this stage of the program.

B–: The work has some academic merit, but falls substantially below the level expected at this stage of the program.

Coursework Extension

If a student is unable to finish coursework by the deadline for valid reasons, an extension request must be submitted to the department before the deadline by completing the Extension to Complete Coursework form. The student must append a statement detailing the reasons and a timeline for completing the remaining work.

According to the SGS regulations, the extensions are granted only when the following conditions are met:

(i) the reasons for the delay are both serious and substantiated: the student is to provide a statement detailing the reasons, together with a physician's letter in the case of illness;

(ii) the student would not be granted an unfair academic advantage over fellow students in the course;

(iii) the students would not be placing in jeopardy the normal and satisfactory completion of new coursework; and

(iv) the student does have a reasonable chance of completing outstanding requirements within the time to be allotted.

If a coursework extension is not requested by the marks submission deadline, a grade will be assigned based on the work completed so far in the course. Note that Generals papers are also courses and the same rules apply (see section on Generals Papers).

Program Extension

The length of our PhD program is four years (five years for direct entry) with an upper time limit of six years (seven years for direct entry) for degree completion. If students do not complete all degree requirements within six years (seven years for direct entry), students may submit a request for program extension. Program extensions are subject to approval by the department and the School of Graduate Studies. Doctoral students may apply for a maximum of four one-year extensions. To seek an extension, students must submit a program extension form​ along with an explanation for the delay and evidence that the remaining degree requirements may be completed within the period of the extension request. In addition, all program extension requests must be accompanied by two previous May Progress forms.


Students may appeal decisions relating to substantive or procedural academic matters, including grades and other program requirements. Students must first attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor or other person whose ruling is in question. Should the matter not be resolved with the instructor, and should the student wish to pursue the matter, the student must discuss the matter with the Graduate Chair. Should such discussions fail to resolve the matter, the student may then make a formal appeal in writing to the Chair of the Graduate Department Academic Appeals Committee (GDAAC). The chair of the GDAAC for 2023-2024 is Naomi Nagy (lin.chair@utoronto.ca). SGS graduate academic appeals procedures can be found here