If you are a St. George Campus undergraduate student in the Faculty of Arts & Science and you cannot find an international opportunity to suit your academic needs among the many partner institutions available, you may request to study at a university of your own choosing.


How it works Research your options
Eligibility Some conditions apply
Application and fee Similar to Exchange, but with additional requirements
Contact student.exchange@utoronto.ca

How it works

This program is similar to the exchange program except that you, and not U of T, must determine what programs, costs, accommodation, application processes, deadlines and enrolment procedures you must follow. Once you have done this research, you can then apply to the host university and pay all tuition and incidental fees directly to them. As you do not pay incidental fees to U of T, you will not be covered under the student union health and dental plan at U of T.

In all other ways, CIE will provide self-designed program students with the same services and support available to regular exchange students. This includes a pre-departure orientation, health and safety advice and assistance, and transfer credit administration.

The main advantage of participating in a self-designed program (rather than going completely on your own) is that you will be exempted from the following rule in the Arts & Science Course Calendar: "At least six courses must be 300+series courses (no more than one 300+series transfer credit may be counted toward these six)." That is, you can apply all 300+ self-designed transfer credit towards your degree requirements (instead of just one).


You may apply for the self-designed option if you are:

  • An undergraduate student in the Faculty of Arts & Science, St. George,
  • Have a minimum CGPA of 2.5 and
  • Have completed at least one year of full-time studies.

You may not apply for the self-designed option for:

Application process and fee

You can apply to the Self-Designed Program in the same way and with the same documents as to the regular exchange programexcept that you will also:

  • Be required to pay an application fee of $175 (cheque or money order payable to "the University of Toronto") — unsuccessful applicants will be refunded $100;
  • Submit a Self-Designed proposal (similar to a Statement and questionnaire) of approximately 500 words explaining where you wish to study and why — your proposal must show that the university you have selected is appropriate to your program of study and that none of our current exchange partners meet your academic needs;
  • Upload publication material or print-outs of websites or printed material that provide the Exchange Program Office with 1) information about the institution itself, 2) information about the courses and/ or program that you hope to attend, and 3) information about their credit and grading system; and
  • Interview with both CIE staff and a representative of the Dean's Office of the Faculty of Arts & Science — your application must be approved by both in order to be nominated. 


For more information, contact the CIE Exchange Office.