PhD Application and Program Requirements

The Institute of Medical Science offers a fully funded Doctor of Philosophy. Learn more about the program on offer here.

Application deadlines and more specific application requirements can be found here 

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

  1. Academic Requirements
  2. Research 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

Transcripts are an important component in determining your academic preparedness for entry into the IMS.

You are expected to have taken level 3 and 4 courses in your senior undergraduate years. Most of the courses in your final years should be in the general area of your graduate research interests.

Explanation of transcripts (difficulty of the course, low grades, etc.) can be included in a referee's letter, or during a possible interview.

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

PhD Direct Entry Requirements

  • For outstanding candidates
    • Without a previous 2-year thesis/research based Master’s degree
  • A 4-year undergraduate degree from a recognized university
  • Research Experience
  • Several outstanding publications
  • Letter of Supervision from a potential supervisor
  • Letter of Intent and a Research Proposal

PhD Requirements

  • A 2 year Master’s degree
    • Research-based written and defended Master’s thesis dissertation from a recognized university program
  • At least an A- (80%, 3.7 GPA, First Class Distinction) average in previous graduate program
  • At least a B+ (77%, 3.3 GPA) average in previous undergraduate program
  • Letter of Supervision from a potential supervisor
  • Letter of Intent and a Research Proposal

2. Research Motivation

Academic excellence is important, but will not guarantee admission. As all our graduate programs are research focused, the motivation to conduct research is essential. This can be demonstrated through:

  • Applying for external funding and awards prior to admission. The application itself, even if unsuccessful, speaks to motivation
  • Time spent in laboratories or other research settings pertinent to your graduate program
  • Participation in research presentations
  • Authorship on publications
  • If interviewed, presenting proposed research project
  • A Letter of Intent that contains research interests, research and career goals, research experience
  • Research Proposal contains a relatively specific outline of the proposed thesis work
  • Early application for graduate studies

3. References

The IMS requires three references for all applications. All references must be from a university faculty member who knows you well enough to comment on your strengths and abilities. The referee must have been a faculty member during the time they are commenting on.

At least one reference must be from a faculty member with whom you have conducted research. The IMS wants to know how you might function in an active research environment.

Referees receive requests and instructions electronically as part of the online application process.

Ineligible references include:

  • Sessional Lecturer
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Post-doc Fellow
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Research Assistant/Associate
  • Manager
  • MD without a faculty appointment from a recognized university

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 2023-2024

Ready to apply? Log in to the online application:

To further help you in your decision you can check out the SGS Admissions and Application Requirement, IMS Degree Requirements, Application Deadlines, Admissions FAQ pages.

Applications will be considered after payment of the application fee is received by the School of Graduate Studies and a completed application is received by the application deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applications received passed the application deadline will not be considered.