Graduate Student Registration Instructions

Registration for the 2023-24 academic year opens on July 17, 2023. Registration confirms your attendance in the program and is a separate process which must be completed in addition to course enrolment (selection of courses). Course enrolment does not trigger registration.


  • September 1, 2023 – For students who register by making a payment toward fees, this is the recommended tuition fee payment deadline for students registering in the Fall to ensure that payment is received by University before the September 16 registration deadline. 
  • September 29, 2023 – Deadline to clear any admission conditions and register for the Fall session.
  • January 12, 2024 – Deadline to register for the Winter session.

Please read through to determine your correct path to registration, depending on your status.

Registration Instructions

Please read through the instructions below to determine the correct path for you to register, depending on your funding status.

1. Request for Fees Deferral Online in ACORN

Students who meet the following criteria can register by requesting Fee Deferral in ACORN:

  • Students who are in the “funded cohort” (Geography Master’s year 1 and PhDs year 1-4) and will have fees paid through their funding package (with tuition awards or major scholarships)
  • Students who are not in the “funded cohort” who have been assessed to receive government student aid (e.g. OSAP)

To register online with a Fees Deferral, log in to ACORN and click on “Tuition Fee Deferral” in the Finances tab.

Students who are in the funded cohort who register with fees deferral have until April 30 for their fees to be cleared without service charges to their account. In most cases fees will be cleared with tuition awards or scholarship payments by this date. Students who are not in the funded cohort who receive student aid should refer to the Student Accounts Fee Payment & Service Charge Billing Deadlines to confirm when fees must be paid to avoid service charges.

2. Request for Fees Deferral through the Department

Students who meet the following criteria can register by submitting the SGS fee deferral form to the department:

  • Students who are not in the funded cohort (MSc Planning, Geography Master’s year 2+, PhDs year 5+) who are receiving funding from the university (e.g. major scholarships, awards, TA positions) that cover the “Minimum Payment to Register” amount on their invoice.

To register with a Fees Deferral through the department, complete the SGS Register Without Payment (Fee Deferral) form and attach proof of funding. Submit the form to the appropriate Graduate Advisor: 

MSc Planning students submit the form to

Geography students and PhD Planning students submit the form to

Students who have registered with a Fees Deferral through the department have until April 30 for their fees balance to be cleared. After April 30 service charges are accrued at a rate of 1.5% compounded (19.56% per annum).

3. Fee Payment to Register

Students who are not eligible to register by fees deferral must make a fees payment to register.

The minimum required payment amount is noted on your fees invoice in ACORN. Fee payments can be made through your financial institution – please see the Student Accounts instructions for making a fee payment.  

4. COVID-19 Tuition Fee Exemption

Students who were registered during or before March 2020, who had their research significantly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, may request up to two sessions of COVID-19 Tuition Fee Exemption if they meet the following criteria:

The student was registered during or before the Winter 2020 session and was making good progress with the thesis/dissertation prior to March 2020, and data collection/access to courses was significantly impeded due to pandemic related impacts. This disruption will have been documented using the COVID-19 mentoring record distributed in 2020.

Additional work is needed before the thesis/dissertation can be defended.

The student is outside the funded cohort and receives little to no funding toward tuition in the session for which they apply for a fee exemption.

To request registration with a COVID-19 Fee Exemption, complete the SGS Register with Tuition Fee Exemption on the Basis of Progress Delays due to COVID-19 form and submit it to prior to the deadlines below:

  • Fall 2023: September 16, 2023
  • Winter 2024: January 13, 2024

Students should request the waiver immediately after exiting the funded cohort in order to pair it with the A&S Program Completion Award.