Doctoral Stream Programs Requirements

Entry into the Institute of Medical Science graduate program is evaluated on three essential criteria:

  1. Academic Requirements
  2. Motivation
  3. References

In order to be considered for admission, you must meet our minimum entry requirements, which are higher than the School of Graduate Studies’ minimum entry requirements. 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.

1. Academic Requirements

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

The original transcript(s) you submit are central to determining your 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. You are expected to have taken level 3 and 4 courses in your senior undergraduate years, including most courses in the general area of your 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.


MSc Program Requirements

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

PhD Direct Entry Program Requirements

  • For outstanding candidates (without a previous 2 years thesis Master's degree)
  • A 4-year undergraduate degree from a recognized university (see above)
  • Previous relevant research experience, outstanding publications, references
  • 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 Requirements

  • MSc (or equivalent) with a research-based written and defended Master’s thesis dissertation (2 years thesis Masters) 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)
  • Must successfully complete a Qualifying Exam within 18 months of start of initial registration in the graduate program

2. Motivation

Academic excellence is necessary, but will not guarantee admission. Motivation to conduct research is important. This can also be demonstrated 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

3. References

Your three required references must be from University/College faculty members who know you well enough to be familiar with your strengths and abilities. At least one reference must be from a faculty with whom you conduct research as a summer or project student. 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.

Ineligible references include:

  • Sessional Lecturer
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Post-doc Fellow
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Research Assistant/Associate
  • Manager

Admissions Guide

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

Funding Policy

Student Funding Policy 2022-2023