University description (as per official university website)
U of T is Canada’s largest university with over 70,000 students and is spread across three campuses. But once you understand its structure and get to know the supportive, close-knit communities that give it life and energy, it suddenly seems a lot less intimidating. Find out more about our basic structure and our hierarchy of governance.
The Basic Structure at U of T
U of T began as a handful of buildings in Toronto’s downtown core, but over time it evolved to its current tri-campus structure — in other words, there are now three University of Toronto campuses :
St. George (in the heart of Toronto)
University of Toronto Mississauga or UTM (just west of Toronto in the city of Mississauga)
University of Toronto Scarborough or UTSC (just east of Toronto in the city of Scarborough)
Each campus is divided into academic divisions, which consist of departments. These departments run programs for undergraduate and graduate students who must complete a certain set of courses to graduate.
Centres and institutes
All of U of T’s campuses have centres and institutes, which are hubs of academic exploration. They are often multidisciplinary, seeking to bring together scholars from many different fields and creating links between U of T and the broader community. Most of the centres and institutes are affiliated with a specific department or faculty and run their own programs for undergraduate and graduate students.
The colleges at St. George
The St. George campus is home to seven colleges which offers every arts and science undergraduate student a smaller community within a big university.
St. Michael's College
Students enrolled in engineering, music and physical education are members of communities defined by academic program. Graduate students get their administrative, academic and social support through their department and faculty.
Governance at U of T
U of T has governance at both the senior administrative and student levels. These governments are in charge of everything from student welfare to budgets to academic issues and are run by a combination of appointed and elected volunteers and employees.
There is a very clear administrative governance system at U of T, which is part of what helps it run so smoothly:
Chancellor — the symbolic head of U of T is elected from a pool of alumni to act as the university’s ambassador.
Chair of the Governing Council - is in charge of the leadership of the Governing Council, U of T’s senior governing body, which consists of 50 council members (including eight elected students).
President — reports to the Governing Council and is U of T’s chief executive officer
Vice-President and Provost — is U of T's chief academic and budget officer. The provost manages 30 principals, deans and the chief librarian, and reports to the president.
Vice-presidents —the seven vice-presidential portfolios are divided into academic and operational responsibilities. Vice-presidents report to the president. Two of these vice-presidents are also the principals of the Mississauga Campus and Scarborough Campus.
Deans — chief executive officers in charge of an academic division.
College Principals — in charge of academic programs and student welfare within the constituent and federated colleges.
Chairs — department chairs are in charge of running academic departments.
Four elected student governments collectively represent all students at the U of T. Whether you want to get involved in student government or not, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the groups and all that they do for students.
University of Toronto Students Union (UTSU) — represents 40,000 full-time undergraduate students at St. George and Mississauga
Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students (APUS) — is the association for more than 6,000 part-time undergraduate students at U of T
Graduate Students Union (GSU) — represents the 13,000 + graduate students across the university
U of T Mississauga Students' Union (UTMSU) — represents full-time and part-time undergraduate students on the UTM campus
Scarborough Campus Students Union (SCSU) — represents full-time undergraduate students on the UTSC campus
Additionally, there are a host of college and faculty student councils, program and course unions that represent students to local governance bodies and administration. Become familiar with the benefits and services these organizations offer at the Ulife website.