Graduate Diploma

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 Summer 2021 term who have not yet met the volunteer hours requirement due to COVID-19 disruptions, please reach out to CRS Director Sean Rehaag ( for alternatives. For students graduating in the Fall 2021 or later, the usual volunteer hours requirement applies, absent exceptional circumstances.

CRS Seminars: For the Fall 2021 term, we anticipate holding the CRS Seminars virtually, via Zoom (but if things change, we will inform you). We will keep track of attendance via an online form, with information provided about how to access the form during the seminar. For students who are not able to attend a live seminar via Zoom, recordings may be available (but this will not always be the case). If you are not able to attend a seminar, in cases where recordings are available, you can watch the recording, and then send an email to Michele Millard ( within two weeks of the seminar with:

  1. The title of the seminar and the name of the presenter.
  2. A 750-800 word reflection on the topic. 


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 seeVolunteer 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 Director 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 Centre 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 CRS Coordinator at the Centrr for Refugee and Migration 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 Centre informed of his/her 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 Centre.  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.