Academic requirements

Medical students chattingIn order to study medicine at the University of Toronto, and in Canada generally, you must have some previous university experience and cannot enter a program directly from high school.  The earliest you can apply is the beginning of your third year of undergraduate studies. There are different academic requirements depending on your educational background:

  • undergraduate applicants
  • graduate applicants
  • internationally educated applicants

In addition, you must also satisfy the non-academic requirements.

 

Summary of academic requirements

Applicant type Undergraduate graduate: Course-Based Graduate: Research-based International

DEGREE

Completion of at least three years of undergraduate study (equivalent of 15 credits) towards a Canadian university bachelor's degree. Completion of Masters or PhD Completion of Masters or PhD

Completion of a non-medical bachelor's degree equivalent to a four-year bachelor’s degree in Canada with WES transcript assessment

PREREQUISITE 
COURSES

Two full-course equivalents (FCEs) in life sciences and one FCE in a social science, humanities or language Two FCEs in life sciences and one FCE in a social science, humanities or language Two FCEs in life sciences and one FCE in a social science, humanities or language See undergraduate or graduate requirements

MINIMUM UNDERGRADUATE OMSAS GPA REQUIREMENT

3.6 3.0 3.0 See undergraduate or graduate requirements

MINIMUM MCAT SCORE (IN EACH SECTION)

125 125 125 See undergraduate or graduate requirements

ACADEMIC EXPLANATIONS
ESSAY

Optional Optional Optional See undergraduate or graduate requirements

ACADEMIC CV

No No Yes See undergraduate or graduate requirements

GRADUATE SUPERVISOR
LETTER

No No Yes See undergraduate or graduate requirements

PROGRAM COMPLETION DATE LETTER

No Yes No See undergraduate or graduate requirements

Undergraduate applicants

For students studying an undergraduate program at a Canadian university, the academic requirements are:

Bachelor's degree

You must have completed at least three years of study (equivalent of 15 credits) towards a Canadian university bachelor's degree in any discipline by the end of April in the year you plan to start the MD Program.

  • If you are applying in the final year of a three year or four year degree program, you must complete the degree requirements and provide proof of completion prior to the date of enrolment in the MD Program.
  • If you are applying in the third year of a four-year degree program, you must provide proof that you have completed the requirements of that year of your degree prior to the date of enrolment in the MD Program.

You are expected to have taken courses at a level corresponding with the year of your program.

  • If you are applying for admission while registered in the third year of undergraduate studies, you should have at least three third-year or higher courses in your program. If you are in the fourth year of your program, you should be enrolled in a majority of courses at the third- and fourth-year levels. Please note that this is an expectation rather than a requirement.
  • It is recognized that at times, students take courses in lower years for various reasons, such as a change in program or to complete subjects of interest or prerequisites that did not fit the academic schedule previously.  If you have information about your academics that you feel is important for the Admissions Committee to know, please use the Academic Explanations Essay within the OMSAS application.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

You must obtain a minimum GPA of 3.6 / 4.0 on the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS) scale. The possession of the minimum GPA requirement does not guarantee acceptance. Based on statistics from recent admissions cycles, a minimum GPA of 3.8 is considered competitive.

The calculated GPA used to fulfill the academic requirement will not include your current year of study, as this information is not available to us during the application period.

For more information, visit the calculation of GPA and GPA weighting formula page.

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

You must write the MCAT before the application deadline and achieve the minimum MCAT score in each section of the test to be considered.  Your MCAT score is not assessed competitively. Only MCAT scores obtained within five years of the application deadline will be considered.  Only the most recent MCAT score will be considered.

You must achieve MCAT minimum scores of 125 in each of the four sections.

If you have written the old MCAT, a minimum score of nine in each of the three sections are required (the writing sample score will not be used). 

NEW for 2018 - MCAT Fee Assistance Program for Canadians

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) are piloting a new fee assistance program for Canadian examinees in financial need who register for the Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®) during the 2018 testing year. Applications will open on November 1, 2017. For more on this program and to apply, visit the AAMC website.

Prerequisite courses

You must complete:

  • two full-course equivalents (FCEs) in any life science
  • one FCE in any of social sciences, humanities, or a language

For more information, visit the prerequisite courses page.

Academic explanations essay

If your transcript has gaps, course withdrawals, or if you carried less than a full course load, please state the reason in the academic explanations essay section of your application. You should also use this section to document your participation in an educational exchange program, a professional experience year, or co-op program, and the time frame of this activity. Do not assume that we will be able to find this information within your file materials. If there is any reason why you believe your transcript does not reflect your true ability, please briefly outline the circumstances in the academic explanations essay.

Graduate applicants

Graduate students may apply if you have completed or are currently enrolled in the final year of your graduate program. If you will not be completing your graduate degree requirements by June 30 in the proposed year of entry, you will not be considered; this policy is strictly enforced. If you re-classify from one graduate degree to another during the application cycle, you will not be considered for admission.

In addition to the specific requirements outlined below, graduate applicants must submit all of the same application materials as undergraduate applicants, e.g. MCAT and prerequisites. You may also make use of the academic explanations essay, if applicable.

In some cases, graduate applicants may undergo a separate graduate application review if you are able to demonstrate substantial productivity on your academic CV. Aside from presentations, posters and conferences, we are looking to see if you have completed at least one first author publication. When applying to the MD Program after completing a one or two year course-based Master’s program, you will likely be assessed as an undergraduate applicant.

Graduate degree

You must have completed all program requirements, including the successful defense of your thesis (if applicable) by June 30 in the proposed year of entry (this deadline will be strictly enforced). If you have not yet received your graduate degree and are offered a position in the MD Program, you will be required to submit proof of successful completion of all requirements of your graduate program (including successful defense of a thesis, if applicable) prior to June 30 in the proposed year of entry. If you are offered a position on the expectation that your degree will be completed, and you are not able to meet this deadline, you will not be granted an admission deferral and will lose your seat in our program.  We require a final transcript from you, as proof of conferral of your graduate degree.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

You must obtain a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 / 4.0 on the OMSAS scale. Although graduate applicants may apply with the minimum required GPA of 3.0, you need to be aware that the possession of the minimum GPA requirement does not guarantee acceptance. You may be assessed in the undergraduate admissions stream unless you have substantial research productivity and are deemed eligible for a graduate review.  Based on statistics from recent admissions cycles, a minimum GPA of 3.8 is considered competitive for undergraduate assessments.

For more information visit the GPA and GPA weighting formula page.

Additional graduate application requirements

In addition, the following specific graduate applicant materials must also be received by OMSAS. Do not send these materials to the Enrolment Services office at the University of Toronto.

Course-based graduate program applicants

If you have completed or are currently completing a course-based graduate program, you are not required to submit an academic curriculum vitae (CV). You are, however, required to submit:

  • A letter from your graduate program office confirming your (expected) program completion date. This letter must be accompanied by the Graduate Supervisor Form. Graduate program offices must submit the letters online. Please access the Referees section of your OMSAS application to arrange to send the Graduate Supervisor Form and letter request to your graduate program office. This letter must be received by OMSAS by October 2, 2017.

Research-based graduate program applicants

If you have completed or are currently completing a research-based graduate program you must submit:

  • An academic CV. This CV should not include non-academic activities and must adhere to the required format.  See Academic Curriculum Vitae (PDF). After you have submitted your application, you can upload your CV  directly to OMSAS via the Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) tool.  Please note it may take up to 48 hours to activate the SAM tool’s functionality. The Academic CV must be received by OMSAS by October 6, 2017.
  • One confidential letter of reference from your graduate supervisor* submitted to OMSAS. This letter must be accompanied by the Graduate Supervisor Form. Graduate supervisors must submit the letters online. Please access the Referees section of your OMSAS application to arrange to send the Graduate Supervisor Form and letter request to your graduate supervisor. This letter must be received by OMSAS by October 2, 2017. This letter should include details of your:
    • (expected) graduate degree completion date
    • research work
    • academic capability
    • scholarly productivity/scholarly potential

*Your graduate supervisor’s letter of reference must be provided in addition to the three letters of reference sent to OMSAS, even if your supervisor wrote one of those three letters (reference letters are viewed independently of the graduate supervisor’s letter). Your graduate supervisor’s letter is not a personal letter of reference and instead must focus on your performance in the graduate program. It should not include reference to non-academic activities. Please have your supervisor identify this letter in the header as ‘Additional Letter for Graduate Applicant’. Applicants who do not provide details of their degree completion date will not be assessed. 

Internationally educated applicants

If you are currently studying, or have completed your education, outside of Canada, you must have the following in order to be considered for admission:

  • a completed non-medical bachelor's degree that is considered equivalent to a four-year bachelor’s degree in Canada

Transcripts from studies undertaken at universities outside of Canada or the USA must be submitted to World Education Services (WES) for assessment. For admission consideration we require a course-by-course evaluation that includes an overall GPA calculation. 

If you are applying in the final year of your degree program, you must complete the degree requirements and provide proof of completion prior to the date of enrolment in the medical program. You must also fulfill all other academic requirements as listed here:

  • undergraduate applicants
  • graduate applicants

Related links

  • If you are already an international medical student and are hoping to take an elective, we have a visiting electives program at the Faculty of Medicine.
  • If you are an international medical graduate hoping to undertake further training or an observership via the University of Toronto, you should contact Postgraduate Medical Education.
  • If you are an internationally trained physician who is looking to practice medicine in Canada, please see the information on internationally trained physicians.
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