Application process

How to apply

Review our three admissions categories.

Application materials check-list 

  Undergraduate Graduate Current md student
MD application materials MD admissions MD admissions Not required
Three MD/PhD reference letters Uploaded to OMSAS

Uploaded to OMSAS

Emailed to MD/PhD Office


Uploaded to OMSAS

Uploaded to OMSAS

Emailed to MD/PhD Office

MD/PhD personal essay Completed on OMSAS Completed on OMSAS

Emailed MD/PhD Office with

TOTAL COMBINED # OF REFERENCE LETTERS SUBMITTED WITH MD AND MD/PHD Applications 3 MD references and 3 MD/PhD reference letters 3 MD references and 3 MD/PhD reference letters. MD/PhD letters must include your graduate supervisor. 3 reference letter, including a reference from your graduate supervisor, if applicable

MD/PhD personal essay

You are required to submit one original personal essay that is 250 words or less, responding to the following question:

Reflecting on your personal and research experiences to date, how does your experience relate to your decision to pursue a physician scientist pathway, and the kind of ideas that you wish to pursue in your PhD?


  • Tip for Submitting CV: After you submit your OMSAS application, you will receive your OMSAS number. Then you can upload your academic CV directly to OMSAS via Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM). The deadline for receiving the academic CV is October 6, 2021.

MD/PhD reference letters

You are required to submit three letters of reference. These are separate from the letters of reference used for your MD application, and should reflect the following guidelines:

Purpose: these letters are in addition to the letters that are part of the standard OMSAS MD application in order to help the admissions committee assess your research performance and suitability for an MD/PhD Program. The MD/PhD admissions committee does not review your MD letters.

Referees: at least two of the reference letters should be from individuals, preferably at the faculty level, who can comment on your scientific ability and potential. If you are a graduate applicant, one of these three letters must be from your graduate supervisor. You can use the same referees for your MD Confidential Assessment forms and reference letters, your MD/PhD reference letters, and your graduate reference letters (if applicable), but the content of these letters should differ according to the parameters listed in this section.

Content: there is no template or form provided for reference letters. Letters should be written on the referee’s letterhead and include the name of the candidate. Your referees should comment on the following candidate attributes, with specific examples, when composing their letters:

  • potential for success as a clinician scientist
  • capacity to succeed in both an undergraduate medical and a PhD curriculum
  • self-starting behaviour
  • contribution to the research in which the candidate was involved, including publications, if any
  • capacity to learn from others

Submission: MD/PhD reference letters are now submitted on-line through OMSAS.

Academic curriculum vitae (CV)

The academic CV is an important tool to evaluate your research experience and research potential. Please use the heading and subheadings listed in the instructions below. Be as clear as possible about your specific contributions and time spent on a research project, abstract, presentation or publication. They should not include non-academic activities.

After you submit your OMSAS application, you will receive your OMSAS number. Then you can upload your academic CV directly to OMSAS via Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM). The deadline for receiving the academic CV is October 6, 2021.

We have created a document to help you write your academic CV. 



The 2021-2022 interviews will be conducted virtually and in two steps. Dates are not yet set, but likely be in February 2022.

2022 MD/PhD Interview Format

The 2022 MD/PhD Interviews will occur in two steps. Approximately 45 applicants will be invited to step one of asynchronous interviews. Based on scoring from this round and your file review, approximately 24 applicants will be invited to participate in the second step that is synchronous interviews. Approximately 8 applicants from this second step will be offered admission to the MD/PhD Program for 2022.

The Modified Personal Interview (MPI) was developed by the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine and launched in 2014. The virtual MPI (vMPI), an adapted version of the traditional MPIs, was introduced in 2020 by the MD Program in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and related university closure. Virtual versions of both MPI interview formats will be used for admission to the University of Toronto’s MD/PhD Program in 2022.

Asynchronous vMPI interviews
Approximately 45 applicants will be emailed invitations to this interview in late Janaury. You will be invited for your MD interview and MD/PhD interview in the same invitation. The MD/PhD asynchronous virtual MPI (vMPI) consists of three independent interviews assessed by three different raters. Raters are closely connected to U of T’s medical community and may include physicians, medical students, residents, health professionals and community members. Each virtual interview is completed asynchronously and the video response is approximately 5 minutes in length. We are using the same platform/format as the MD interviews, and you will be invited to testing and training through the MD program.

Synchronous vMPI interviews
Approximately 24 applicants who participated in the asynchronous vMPI’s will be invited to participate in the second round of virtual, synchronous MD/PhD interviews. The synchronous vMPI consists of three independent interviews assessed by three different interviewers. Each interview is approximately 10 minutes in length. Invited applicants will have an opportunity to test the synchronous vMPI interview platform prior to the interview date.

Note: We are not offering alternative dates for the MD/PhD Interviews in 2022 due to scheduling conflicts. We will try our best to accommodate alternative scheduling on the same date, where possible. If you are not able to attend due to illness or other extenuating circumstances, please contact us immediately for further assistance.

How we assess applications

Applicants to the MD/PhD Program are first reviewed by the Enrolment Services Office for the MD Program to ensure that applicants meet the MD Program admissions requirements. They are then reviewed by the Admissions Committee for the combined MD/PhD program to select applicants for interview. While there is separate adjudication by each program, there is close coordination and sharing of information between the two offices.

Applications are reviewed by members of the MD/PhD Admissions Committee by early January, and highly ranked candidates are invited to interview. Typically, our interviews take place in the first two weekends of the MD interviews. MD interviews are normally arranged to coincide with this visit. Interview dates will be posted on the MD page.

A student must be acceptable to both the medical school and MD/PhD Program in order to receive an offer of admission to the MD/PhD Program.

Offers of admission are made on a rolling basis following completion of the interviews. In 2021, all MD/PhD Programs in Ontario agreed that they may not require a response to an offer prior to March 25, 2021.