How the Calendar Changes

The Academic Calendar, at its core, is the official record of the curriculum of the Faculty as approved by the Faculty: all the courses, programs, and degrees offered, and policies and rules around academic life. This information serves other student websites and resources, including the Timetable and Degree Explorer.

The Academic Calendar is published every twelve months, and includes any changes that were approved in the previous twelve months. Changes can be small, like a change to a course title or description, but can also include new courses, changes to program requirements, and even new programs or retired programs. All approved changes will have gone through planning, consultation, and official approval before being published.

When does the information in the Academic Calendar come into effect?

As of April 2019, when a new Academic Calendar is published in May, all the information normally comes into effect in the September after publication. This means students can rely on any Academic Calendar’s information lasting from September through to the end of the following August.

For example: the information in 2020–2021 Academic Calendar comes into effect September 2020. Students already following the 2019–2020 Academic Calendar continue to do so through the Summer of 2020 but can use the new Calendar to begin planning their courses for Fall/Winter (2020-21) course enrolment and for program enrolment in the Spring of 2021.

Specifically, when it comes to any new information regarding courses, programs of study, or degrees offered, this means:

  • Any new courses or changes to courses in a new Calendar do not take effect until September, so courses in the Summer are from the previous Calendar and follow those rules. As an example: the changes to courses or new courses in the 2020–2021 Academic Calendar do not start until September 2020, in the 2020–2021 Fall/Winter session.
  • Changes to programs of study – either to rules on how to enrol in the program or to complete the program – take effect the following Summer. So any changes in the 2020–2021 Academic Calendar apply to students who enroll in the Spring/Summer of 2021 (allowing the 2020–2021 Fall/Winter session to prepare and plan).
  • Changes to degree requirements take effect for students entering the Faculty in September. So students who start their studies in September 2020 follow the rules for their degree requirements in the 2020–2021 Academic Calendar.

This applies not only to changes to the curriculum – to degrees, programs of study, and courses – but also to rules and policies.


There are three different situations where new information in a new Calendar may come into effect right away or as of the start of the Summer academic session (i.e., starting May).

  • Changes to Ancillary Fees – Some courses may charge a special fee to students in the course to offset the cost of specific course materials (for example, lab coats for certain science courses with laboratory work). Fees operate on a different cycle and, if they are changed, this takes effect starting in summer courses. So be sure to note, when using any Academic Calendar, that ancillary fees listed can change in the Summer at the end of that Calendar’s cycle.
  • Special or urgent changes to courses/programs/degrees – If for any reason there is a change to course/programs that are urgently needed, or which are shown to only benefit students if they come into effect right away, these can take effect as of the Summer Session when the new Calendar is published. If this is true, the Academic Calendar will be annotated to make special note.
  • Changes that affect prospective students in high school – Students planning to attend the University of Toronto and the Faculty of Arts & Science are expected to follow the Academic Calendar published ahead of their first classes in September. But if any change in the Academic Calendar could significantly impact the planning for students in  their last year of high school/secondary school, such changes may be published but be delayed by a year (or more) in taking effect, to allow time for students to adjust their studies before coming to the University of Toronto and the Faculty of Arts & Science.

Governing Structure of the Faculty of Arts & Science

The Arts & Science Council

The Arts & Science Council is the governing body in the Faculty of Arts & Science. The Council is composed of elected members from the Faculty’s undergraduate and graduate students, teaching staff, administrative and technical staff, and normally meets six times per year. It approves policy for the Faculty in the areas of admissions, curriculum development, evaluation and academic standing, and determines the Faculty’s academic rules and regulations. Budgetary and administrative matters are not within the purview of Council; those responsibilities lie with the Dean of the Faculty.

The Council has several Standing Committees charged with specific responsibilities to formulate policy and to apply it in specific cases. Those committees are: Undergraduate Curriculum Committees, Graduate Curriculum Committee, Committee on Standing (petitions), Academic Appeals Board, and the Committee on Admissions. There is also an Agenda Committee which oversees the business conducted at each meeting of Council, and which can, in extreme cases, approve items when Council is unavailable and when urgency demands it.

Details on the Council and its sub-committees, along with the Constitution and By-Laws, rules for elections, meeting dates and agendas can be found on the Faculty’s Governance website.

Elections to Council and its Committees

Elections to fill the positions on the Arts & Science Council and its committees are held in the Spring for the following year’s Council and committees. The exception is the election of First-Year representatives, held early in the Fall Term; this time may also be used to fill any seats still empty after the previous Spring.

Notification of the nomination and election dates, as well as nomination forms, will be available on the Faculty’s Governance website.

University and Faculty Leadership

Governing Council & the University of Toronto Senior Leadership

Governing Council of the University of Toronto, established in 1971, oversees the business of the University – its academic programs and planning, its business and finances, and the support for student community.

Governing Council, with this mandate, works closely with senior administrative leadership, including the University’s Chancellor, the President, Vice-Presidents, the Provost and Vice-Provosts.

More about this leadership is available at the following web pages:

  • – For information not only on Governing Council, but the various boards and committees that report to it. There is also a link to the University’s policies.
  • – For more information about the current President, Meric Gertler, and his priorities in leading the University.
  • – This page introduces you to the senior leadership of the University, with links to small bios to learn about each member.
  • – This page introduces the Vice-President and Provost and lists the many Vice-Provosts and their areas of work to support University life.

Arts & Science Council & Officers of the Faculty of Arts & Science

Faculty of Arts & Science Council, unlike Governing Council for the University, only oversees academic policy and curriculum in the Faculty of Arts & Science. The Dean of Arts & Science manages the business and financial side of Arts & Science, supported by Vice-Deans, Associate Deans and senior administration.  The Dean’s Office, along with the Office of the Faculty Registrar, and the senior administration of the seven Colleges work closely with student groups and individual students to support communities of learning and engagement.

More information is available at the following websites:

Faculty Officers for July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021. (Academic appointment terms begin July 1 of a given year.)
Position Until June 30, 2020 July 1, 2020 to
June 30, 2021
Dean, Faculty of Arts & Science Prof. Melanie Woodin Prof. Melanie Woodin
Vice-Dean, Academic Operations Prof. Jamie Stafford Prof. Jamie Stafford
Vice-Dean, Academic Planning Prof. Penelope (Poppy) Lockwood Prof. Virginia Maclaren (Acting, July 1 - December 31, 2020)
Prof. Penelope (Poppy) Lockwood (As of January 1, 2021)
Vice-Dean, Faculty, Academic Life & Equity Prof. Alexie Tcheuyap Prof. Alexie Tcheuyap
Vice-Dean, Graduate Education Prof. Dwayne Benjamin Prof. Jay Pratt (Acting)
Vice-Dean, Research Prof. Jay Pratt Prof. Vince Tropepe
Vice-Dean, Undergraduate Prof. Nicholas Rule Prof. Randy Boyagoda
Associate Dean, Space and Infrastructure - TBA
Associate Dean, Student Affairs - Prof. Asher Cutter (Interim, until October 31, 2020)
Prof. William (Bill) Ju (As of January 1, 2021)
Associate Dean, Teaching & Learning Prof. Alana Boland Prof. Alana Boland
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Issues & Academic Planning Prof. Asher Cutter -
Associate Dean, Unit-Level Reviews - Prof. Gillian Hamilton