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Funding & Awards

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Faculty-wide awards

The Faculty of Arts offers multiple awards that recognize students for their academic excellence, as well as their community involvement. Whether you demonstrate high academic skills, strong community engagement, participate in research or are in financial need, there is an award for you! Explore what each award has to offer and find out if you qualify.

The Carla Cassidy Award recognizes an eligible fourth year student enrolled in a full-time Arts program with the highest CGPA across the Faculty of Arts, through 6 semesters of study; must demonstrate financial need. Students with the highest CGPA at the end of the sixth semester and preregistered to take at least four billing units in the upcoming fall semester will be identified and invited to apply to the award.

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Description / The COMMA Book Award in the Faculty of Arts will be awarded in each of the fall and winter terms to a full-time undergraduate student who has demonstrated financial need and who has self-identified as being from a racialized group or who has self-identified as an Aboriginal (Metis, Inuit, First Nations, status and non-status) person.

Background / The name COMMA is an anagram taken from the names of the donor’s parents, whom the award is intended to honour, for the love of books and of learning that they imparted.

Purpose / To provide financial assistance for a student in the Faculty of Arts to facilitate the purchase of text books for their studies.

Award Value / One award of $500 in each of the fall and winter semesters.

Application Deadline / Fall Term: Friday, September 20 2019 (by no later than 4:00 p.m.)

Eligibility / 

  • Applicants must be self-identified as being from a racialized group; or be self-identified as being an Aboriginal (Metis, Inuit, First Nations, status and non-status) person.
  • Applicants must demonstrate financial need by completing the student application form and budget;
  • Preference is given to applicants who are not receiving any other scholarship or financial assistance;
  • Applicants should write, in confidence, to the Faculty of Arts, naming the COMMA Book Award and explaining how they meet the Award criteria;
  • Applicant students must be registered in a minimum 4 courses in the semester in which the award will be received;
  • Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.67 and have a clear academic standing (students entering Ryerson will simply need to have met Faculty entry requirements);
  • Applicants who have received the award previously are eligible to re-apply.

Application Information / Interested candidates will need to submit:

  • a one-page cover letter describing why they are an ideal candidate
  • complete list of awards, bursaries and scholarships received, including dates
  • completed Student Application and Budget for the COMMA Book Award

Selection Criteria (Weighting) / Cover letter, application and budget: 100%

Selection / Members of the selection committee are appointed by the Faculty of Arts Associate Dean, Students and Undergraduate Studies. Applications are reviewed by a selection committee consisting of two tenure-stream faculty members (selected from two Arts departments representing different Arts undergraduate programs). The Selection Committee makes its recommendation to the Associate Dean.

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Nominations are now open for the 2019-2020 Dean of Arts Liberal Studies Essay Prize. Essays submitted in liberal studies courses from ANY Ryerson faculty during the Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 terms may be nominated for this prize.

There are four prizes, each worth $100.00, awarded annually for the best essays in Liberal Studies courses (day and CNED) during an academic year. Two prizes are awarded for essays in lower-level courses, and two are awarded for essays in upper-level courses. To qualify, an essay must achieve a grade of 85% (A) or higher. Nominated essays will be reviewed by a selection committee in May and awarded in June 2020. The students, their program advisors, and instructors are informed of the winners.

Deadline to submit nominations: TBA for May 2020


The Dean's List recognizes undergraduate students' high academic achievement in an academic year. Undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts who meet the academic criteria outlined below will receive a Letter of Congratulations from the Dean in June. This accomplishment will be noted on the student's transcript.

  1. Students must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.67 for the academic year (fall and winter terms).
  2. Students in full-time programs must be carrying an average unit load of 4.0 courses for two terms.
  3. Students in part-time programs must have completed a specified number of courses deemed by the Dean to be the equivalent of a full year of study.
  4. Students in full-time programs who are registered with the Academic Accommodation Support must have completed a specified number of courses deemed by the Dean to be the equivalent of a full year of study. Speak to your Program Administrator if this applies to you.
  5. Students must have all passing grades and a clear academic standing for both terms and cannot have received any Disciplinary Notation on their academic record in the academic year that the misconduct occurred.

The Dennis Mock Student Leadership Award recognizes graduating students who have made outstanding voluntary extracurricular contributions to their school or academic program department, their faculty, or to Ryerson University as a whole. The awards acknowledge and encourage student participation in university affairs.  

The Global Exchange Award provides two annual awards of $2,000 each to Faculty of Arts students to assist in paying for a learning exchange opportunity. The learning exchange must involve taking a credit course at another post-secondary institution that has a formal partnership with Ryerson.

The Irene Gammel & Jean-Paul Boudreau Undergraduate Research Award recognizes excellence in research and academic achievement for a BA student in the Faculty of Arts.  Award recipients will receive a certificate and a monetary award of $1,000 and will be recognized at their program department's awards ceremony.

To be eligible for this award the Undergraduate student must:

  • have successfully completed a minimum of 10 semester courses towards any BA degree in the Faculty of Arts;
  • be enrolled in good standing and have a minimum CGPA of 2.50;
  • have demonstrated minimum of 50 hours of Faculty of Arts based research experience from either a research practicum course, a research volunteership, or a research assistantship;
  • self-nominate or be nominated by a research supervisor;
  • write (if nominated, the nominator must write), in confidence, to the Associate Dean of Arts, Undergraduate Studies, explaining how they meet the Award criteria

Note: In accordance with the award criteria, in 2019, preference will be given to student in a Humanities program.

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The Ryerson Gold Medal is the University's highest student award available across all Faculties. Students are nominated for this award by their academic Program Departments.

Do you need financial support to get your project up and running? The Faculty of Arts Student Projects Grant provides financial support for student-initiated extra-curricular projects and activities that promote experiential learning and student engagement. Applications are collected twice a year, in the Fall and Winter terms. / Read more >

The Faculty of Arts created the Social Venture Prize, to support Faculty of Arts students working on community-based projects and students who are incubating social innovation projects in the Zone Learning Network. The purpose of the funding is to advance an initiative and support the start-up costs, it is not intended to be used as salary. The prize is funded by individual donors, the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Ryerson University. Please check the Social Venture Prize page, opens in new window for more details.

Purpose / The Undergraduate Research Opportunity (URO) grant offers 6 undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts a meaningful opportunity to participate directly in Scholarly, Research and Creative (SRC) activities and to benefit from working directly with a faculty mentor. The URO grants are designed to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to enhance their research, analytical, and writing skills that they can use in their careers or future research projects.

Student Eligibility / The applicant must be a current full-time undergraduate student in a Faculty of Arts program with a cumulative GPA greater than 3.0. The URO award cannot be held concurrently with another student position on campus.

Faculty Supervisor Eligibility / All tenured and pre-tenure RFA members in the Faculty of Arts are eligible to serve as supervisors.  Limited Term faculty members must hold a position in the Faculty of Arts during the award period (May 1 to August 31, 2019). The URO is for SRC assistance on a faculty-member-driven new or existing project. Work that is not part of a faculty member’s SRC project is not eligible for funding. Ineligible projects include those that do not enhance a student’s research or academic potential, for-profit contract research, consulting contract work, and administrative, organizational, or non-academic research projects.

Amount / The total amount for each URO Grant is $10,064.60. The hourly OPSEU negotiated rate including benefits is $20.54. Students cannot work more than 35 hours in any week. The URO grant supports student employment for 14 weeks (490 hours total), from May to August 2019.  The faculty supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the student completes the assigned work within the time frame noted above (no more than 35 hours per week for 14 weeks). Overages will not be covered by the OVPRI.

Review Process / The URO applications will be jointly adjudicated by the Associate Dean of Arts, Undergraduate Studies and the Associate Dean of Arts, Research and Graduate Studies.  The adjudication criteria include:

  1. Quality and completeness of the application
    • Strength and likelihood of success of the project proposal, including the fit between the student and faculty supervisor.
    • Research environment offered by the faculty member/supervisor.
    • Projected outcomes, including presentations, continued involvement in research, and co-authorship on papers.
  2. The quality of the research experience being offered to the student
    • Specific research skills to be developed/enhanced.
    • Opportunity to develop increased understanding of the depth and breadth of the student’s academic field.
    • Direct supervision and mentorship by the faculty member/supervisor and interaction with research team members.
  3. Enhanced academic and career opportunities made available to the student
    • Conference attendance, participation in research seminars, and publications.
    • Potential for developing post-graduation employment contacts/preparation for graduate school programs.

Responsibilities / The URO student must agree to participate in an undergraduate SRC showcase event (details to follow). Financial reporting to the OVPRI is not required, but unused funds must be returned to the OVPRI and cannot be banked for other purposes.

Application / Students must complete the online application below in consultation with their potential supervisor. The URO supervisor form must be completed by the Faculty supervisor.  The URO supervisor form must be attached to the student’s online application.  Please note that URO applications that are missing information or do not include the completed URO supervisor form will not be considered.

Deadline / Closing date:  March 31, 2020.