I am applying for a PhD position in Canada. I have already talked to a Professor and for some reasons, he really wants to hire me as his student. The problem is that currently, I have no TOEFL score requirement. The professor told me that he may convince the graduate committee to conditionally accept me.

I was wondering how likely he can do it? Who makes the final decision about a PhD applicant?

  • The admission committee makes the final call. Your intended supervisor can only advise this committee to consider you. – Coder Sep 22 '16 at 22:05
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    At my university, graduate admissions are technically under the control of a university-wide graduate school office. As far as I know, these people have always simply ratified the decisions of departmental admissions committees. So, in effect, the departmental committees make the decision. – Andreas Blass Sep 23 '16 at 2:13

Let me explain my comment as an answer.

The admission process works in two different ways: Formal enrolment and informal enrolment


You apply through university web link and select the research areas or supervisor. Then probably you communicate with the chosen supervisor through email(s). If things go well then you might get an interview call or direct admit.


You approach the supervisor first. Discussions or interviews may go on. If everything is alright, you supervisor would speak with the admission committee for your official admit.

In both these types of cases your supervisor recommends for the admission. However, it is the decision of the admission committee to make the final call.

Note: I have skipped the recommendation letters related points which is a major part in both these types of enrolment.

Moreover, each University has their own set of rules. It is wise to go through the same.

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