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Doctoral Stream Programs

Morshead Lab StudentsEntry into the Institute of Medical Science graduate program is evaluated on three essential criteria:  academic preparation, references and motivation.  In order to be considered for admission, you MUST meet our minimum entry requirements. IMS minimum entry requirements are HIGHER than the minimum entry requirements of the School of Graduate Studies. If you are not sure whether your degree is from a recognized university program, check the International and Exchange Students page on the School of Graduate Studies website.

If you are not sure you meet the minimum entry requirements, email the Admissions Officer or call 416-978-5012.

Academic Requirements

You must meet our minimum academic requirements to be considered for graduate studies in the IMS.

The original transcripts you submit are central to determining you academic readiness for entry to the IMS.  An elaboration of the transcript (what the grades mean, difficulty of the course, explanation for low grades) can be included in the referee’s letter or by the student during the interview.  Students are expected to have taken level 3 and 4 courses in their senior undergraduate years and are expected to have taken most courses in the general area of their proposed graduate degree.

Academic preparation is also reflected in research skills and achievements, especially for those whose schooling ended more than 5 years prior to application.

PhD StudentMSc Program

A 4-year Honours BA or BSc, or an MD from a recognized university program (see above).
Minimum A- (80% or First Class Distinction) average in three of the four years (including final year) of the undergraduate degree.

PhD Direct Entry Program (without a Previous Master’s degree – Outstanding Candidates)

A 4-year undergraduate degree from a recognized university program (see above). Previous relevant research experience, outstanding references, and a personal recommendation from a potential supervisor.
Must successfully complete a Qualifying Exam within 18 months of start of initial registration in the graduate program.

PhD Program (with a Previous Master’s Degree)

MSc (or equivalent) with a research-based written and defended Master’s thesis dissertation from a recognized university program (see above).
Minimum A- (80% or First Class Distinction) average in previous graduate program, and a minimum B+ (77%) average in previous undergraduate program (including final year)

Lab WorkMotivation

Academic excellence is necessary, but will not guarantee admission. Motivation to conduct research is important. Motivation can be displayed through:

  • application for external funding prior to admission. The application itself, even if unsuccessful, speaks to motivation.
  • Summers spent in laboratories or other research settings pertinent to your graduate program.
  • Participation in research presentations.
  • Authorship on publications.
  • Presentation of a proposed research project at the time of interview.
  • A letter of intent that contains a relatively specific outline of the proposed thesis work.
  • Early attempts to contact potential supervisors.
  • Early application for graduate studies.


The three required references must be from University/College faculty members who know you well enough to be familiar with your strengths and weaknesses at research.  We want to know how you might function in an active research environment.  Referees receive requests and instructions for references electronically, as part of the on-line admission process.

For information on admission to the IMS Professional Programs please click here.

Admissions Guide

To assist you in your decision, review the Admissions Guide on graduate studies at the University of Toronto here.

Funding Policy