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Graduate Diploma

This Program, coordinated by the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University, allows a student enrolled in a graduate program at the University to formally specialize in refugee and migration studies, and to be awarded a Graduate Diploma in Refugee and Migration Studies by the Faculty of Graduate Studies upon successful completion of all degree requirements.

The Diploma is intended to give recognition to those students who have undertaken a concentrated research and study program in the area of refugee and migration studies; to encourage students to undertake such a concentration and to provide graduates who can serve both the Canadian and international communities in a vital area of public and humanitarian policy.

The Diploma Program must be undertaken concurrently with the master’s or doctoral degree program in which a student is registered. Please note that the Diploma is awarded by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, York University, and is not awarded separately/independently by the Centre for Refugee Studies.

The Graduate Diploma in Refugee and Migration Studies is a unique opportunity for students to complement their regular graduate degrees, with a specialization in the growing field of forced migration studies. Through the Diploma program, students connect with faculty, students and visiting scholars at York’s internationally recognized Centre for Refugee Studies. At graduation, students receive a printed copy of any Diploma awarded and a notation is made on future transcripts showing Diplomas earned.

Please note that this is not offered as a standalone program. Students must be registered in a graduate program at York University before being eligible to enrol in the Diploma.


Volunteer Hours: For students graduating in the Fall 2022 or later, the usual volunteer hours requirement applies, absent exceptional circumstances.

CRS Seminars: We will be holding the CRS Seminars in hybrid or virtual format - virtually, via Zoom. We will keep track of virtual attendance via an online form, with information provided in the chat about how to access the form during the seminar. An attendance form will also be available for the in person seminars.


1. Candidates for the Diploma must first be admitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies at York University in  MA or PhD degree program.  Candidates should formally register for the Diploma Program following registration in the degree program.

2. Candidates must complete a total of six credits in one or two of the courses listed on list of courses by program.  Other courses must be approved by the CRS Director.

3. Candidates are required to complete 30 hours of volunteer work in total. Volunteer hours must be completed within the time period of the diploma and are not associated with data collection for MRP, thesis or dissertation. Please see “Volunteer Opportunities with Refugee Organizations in Toronto”  for further information.

4. Complete a major research paper, thesis, or dissertation that is supervised/advised by a faculty member who has been approved by the Education Committee.  The topic must be approved by the faculty member and the Education Coordinator of the Centre.  Normally, this will be a major research paper, thesis, or dissertation used to complete the degree requirements and must be successfully completed and/or defended.

5. All students enrolled in the Diploma Program must attend a minimum of 8 CRS seminar presentations over the course of their degree. Note: Any seminar in addition to the regular CRS seminars that are either hosted or co-sponsored by CRS can also count towards fulfilling this requirement.

6. Active membership in CRS Student Caucus is required. For example, attendance at Caucus meetings, participation in annual Graduate Student Conference, etc. For more information about the CRS Student Caucus, please visit their website: CRS Student Caucus

In order to receive the Graduate Diploma in Refugee and Migration Studies upon graduation, candidates must notify the Centre for Refugee Studies, in advance of their application to graduate. This allows the Coordinator to confirm with the Faculty of Graduate Studies that all of the Diploma requirements have been met, and to submit an application for the Diploma to the Faculty of Graduate Studies on the student’s behalf.

How to Apply?

If you are interested in applying for the Diploma Program you must first complete the application for entry to diploma program and submit it to the Coordinator at the Centre for Refugee Studies on the 8th floor of Kaneff Tower or via email at for review.

Once the Centre for Refugee Studies receives your documents, a staff member will contact to inform you on your enrollment status to the Diploma Program.

Note# 1: It is the student’s responsibility to keep the Education Coordinator informed of their academic status.  Upon completion of the Diploma program and prior to graduation, students must ensure that they complete the CRS Diploma Program Application Form  and provide a copy to the Education Coordinator.  As well, they should complete the York University “Convocation Form”.  Failure to do so may prohibit/delay receipt of the Diploma during the Convocation ceremony.

Note# 2:The Diploma is directly awarded to the student by York University and the Centre for Refugee Studies has no authority to issue Diplomas to the students. Please remember to submit your application form to graduate to the Registrar office with a clear indication that you are also eligible to graduate with the Diploma.

Ready to Graduate?

Students who have completed all the requirements must fill in the application to graduate diploma program and submit it to the Centre Coordinator Michele Millard ( where the requirements will be verified.