The University of Toronto medical school is one of the most prestigious medical schools in Canada and the world. The program is divided between two campuses, the historic St. George campus downtown Toronto and the modern Mississauga campus. In this blog, you will learn UofT medical school statistics and eligibility, available programs, selection factors, and tips for how to get accepted!
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“We teach, create and disseminate knowledge in primary care, advancing the discipline of family medicine and improving health for diverse and underserved communities locally and globally.”
This four-year program is divided into two phases. The first two years of the program are called foundations. This phase builds your foundational knowledge and skills for the future practice of medicine. You are introduced to the foundational science and clinical topics, and also begin to develop your clinical skills to prepare for learning in the final two years of the program, known as clerkships. Clerkship involves learning while working with physicians and other health care team members in the hospital and clinic. With support from UofT's world-class network of hospitals and clinical care sites, students delve deeper into areas such as pediatrics, family medicine, surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, anesthesia, emergency medicine, and psychiatry.
University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine uses a programmatic assessment that checks student proficiency across diverse professional competencies. This includes frequent lower-stakes assessments with feedback designed to support learning.
To apply to the University of Toronto medical school, you will be using the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS). This is the general OMSAS application timeline:
Admissions Statistics and Eligibility
- Acceptance rates (overall): 8.3%
- Average MCAT: minimum of 125 in each section, with the exception of 124 in 1 section
- Average accepted GPA: 3.94
- Location: Toronto and Mississauga, ON
University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine does give any preference to Ontario residents over non-Ontario residents.
University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine overall acceptance rate:
Wondering about your admissions chances? Check out our Ontario Medical School Chance Predictor!
In addition to admitting Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada, the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine is one of the Canadian medical schools that accept US students and international students who meet both academic and non-academic requirements. International applicants must complete a non-medical bachelor's degree equivalent to a four-year bachelor’s degree in Canada with World Education Services (WES) transcript assessment. Applicants from the US do not need to have their transcripts evaluated by WES.
International medical graduate students who have completed their master's or PhD degree will also be considered.
All applicants must have an MCAT score obtained within the last 5 years.
Did you know that UofT is one of the few medical schools in Canada that accepts international students? Check out our video below:
You must complete at least three years of study (the equivalent of 15 credits) towards your Bachelor’s degree in a discipline of your choosing by the end of April in the year of entrance to 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 before you enroll 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 before you enroll in the MD program.
Additionally, UofT recommends that the courses you are enrolled in should match the level of studies you are completing. If you're in your third year, your course load should reflect third year or higher courses. If you're applying in your fourth year, your course load should include mainly third and fourth year courses.
In terms of medical school prerequisites, you must complete:
- 2 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in any life sciences
- 1 full-course equivalent in any social sciences, humanities, or a language
Additionally, the following courses, while not mandatory, are highly recommended:
- 1 FCE in statistics
- 1 FCE in any writing-focused course such as English
If any of your coursework falls short of these expectations and requirements, you can provide an explanation in your Academic Explanations Essay, which I discuss in further detail below.
The tuition at University of Toronto varies depending on the campus and the student profile.
Canadian students (both in-province and out-of-province) pay the following amount per year:
- Tuition and other incident fees for St. George campus: CAD$25,061.31 for Ontario domestic students. CAD$25,751.31 for Canadian students from other provinces.
- Tuition and other incident fees for Mississauga campus: CAD$25,490.56 for Ontario domestic students. CAD$26,180.56 for Canadian students from other provinces.
International students pay the following amount per year:
- Tuition and other incident fees for St. George campus: CAD$94,451.31
- Tuition and other incident fees for Mississauga campus: CAD$94,880.56
University of Toronto also estimates the additional first year costs, including living expenses and the cost of books and equipment, as CAD$18,577 per year. The actual additional costs may vary depending on the students' spending habits and lifestyle.
The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine offers a variety of funding opportunities to its students. The school does its best to ensure that each student can enter and finish the program despite the steep medical school tuition fees. You should know that most UofT MD students do incur some debt by accessing government student assistance programs and professional student lines of credit. However, there are some grants and bursaries that are offered by the school. As you research these opportunities, make sure to check if you meet the eligibility requirements. Please visit this page to learn about the scholarships that are offers and other important information about your funding options. Learn more about how much medical school costs in our blog.
The University of Toronto medical school evaluates applicants on the basis of a number of factors. While they have minimum GPA and MCAT thresholds, if you meet them, the actual numbers do not play a role in the rest of your application review. They consider your courseload, as well as your non-academic attributes, and how well they align with UofT's mission and their MD program core competencies.
Let’s consider the University of Toronto medical school requirements you need to know about to complete your application.
UofT has a fairly strict medical school GPA requirement. The applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.6 on a 4.0 OMSAS scale to be considered. However, admissions statistics show that matriculants into this MD program typically have a GPA of at least 3.8 and above. To calculate your GPA, the school will use all undergraduate course grades obtained during the fall, winter, and summer terms on a full-time basis, i.e. 3 or more Full Course Equivalents (FCEs) during the fall/winter, and 1.5 or more FCEs during the summer terms. You are eligible to drop 2.0 FCEs of lowest grades if you have taken a full course load during the regular academic year (September to April of most programs) in each year of your undergraduate studies. They do not count grades from part-time courses when calculating your GPA, nor do they include grades from your current year of study (if applicable) since these grades won't be available yet. The final GPA they calculate basis their specific rules might be different than your OMSAS scale GPA and UofT does not release this data to applicants.
If you’re a graduate student, your GPA must be no less than 3.3 on the 4.0 scale to be considered for the program. Statistics show that 3.7 is the average GPA of graduate students matriculating into the UofT MD program.
Note that even if you do not have a competitive GPA, as long as you meet the minimum GPA requirements, UofT will review your entire application, and consider your activities and various essays, before calculating your rating.
You must have a score of 125 in each MCAT section, with an allowance of 124 in one of the sections. Your MCAT score cannot be older than 5 years at the time of application. Important to note, your MCAT score is not used competitively. All you need to do is meet the required minimum to continue in the admissions process. Remember, you will not be considered for the program if your MCAT score does not meet the expected threshold. Preparing for the MCAT is a laborious and long process that requires time and dedication, so make sure you know when to start studying for the MCAT.
Read a lot of challenging materials and use MCAT CARS practice passages to get ready for the test. Take the MCAT diagnostic test to get an idea of your baseline and what areas of knowledge you need to improve. Create a thorough MCAT study schedule and change it to correspond to your improvements and challenges. You need to be scoring consistently in the 90th percentile before you take the actual test. If you are still wondering “When should I take the MCAT?”, make sure to read our blog.
To get help with different sections of the MCAT, make sure to check out our MCAT biology questions, MCAT chemistry questions, MCAT physics equations, and MCAT psychology blogs.
Academic Explanations Essay
This OMSAS optional essay component allows you to address any discrepancies in your academic history and your application, similar to the AMCAS statement of disadvantage or a grad school cover letter. If your transcript has gaps, course withdrawals, or if you carried less than a full course load, you have the chance to explain your reasons in the academic explanations essay. 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 these activities. Although some of this information may be included in other parts of your application, you should also include this here. If there is any reason why you believe your transcript does not reflect your true ability, please outline your extenuating circumstances in the academic explanations essay. This applies to both undergraduate and graduate applicants.
UofT designates four clusters, based on the CANMeds Framework, that identify and describe the abilities a physician must possess to effectively meet the healthcare needs of their patients:
1. Professional: maturity, reliability, perseverance, and responsibility
2. Communicator/collaborator/manager: communication, collaboration, teamwork, time management, and leadership
3. Advocate: advocacy, community service, and social responsibility
4. Scholar: academic standing, achievements in leadership, research, and social responsibility as demonstrated by, but not limited to, awards, conference presentations, publications, and scholarships
These four clusters and their associated skills and qualities will be evaluated based on your autobiographical sketch, brief personal essays, and reference letters.
Not unlike the AMCAS Work and Activities section, your OMSAS Autobiographical Sketch (ABS) is a comprehensive list of your activities outside of school since the age of 16. You will organize them into six categories: employment, volunteer activities, extracurricular activities, awards and accomplishments, research, and other activities. UofT does not expect a specific number of activities or number of hours – what matters is the quality of your experiences. There are also no activities that would give you a competitive edge.
University of Toronto is looking for mature, well-rounded applicants from diverse backgrounds with varied interests, who can demonstrate their commitment to community engagement. Applicants with excellent time management skills, who can prove how their experiences helped them gain skills and maturity, are most likely to be reviewed positively by the admissions committee.
Remember to include structured and non‑structured experiences that demonstrate your experiences and abilities. For example, in addition to including volunteer work coordinated by an organization, identify volunteer activities you performed in non-structured circumstances, i.e. helping an elderly neighbor by driving them to their medical appointments, volunteering to help run a neighbor's farm, etc. Each of your activities must be accompanied by the name of a verifier and their contact information. Their Admissions Office conducts random checks of activity verifiers and you'll receive an email to notify you about this process. OMSAS will arrange the Autobiographical Sketch in the order required by the school.
University of Toronto also asks applicants to submit one accompanying ABS statement of 500 words or less. You need to write this statement in response to the following prompt:
- Write about an impactful experience from your Autobiographical Sketch that demonstrates your personal growth, character and values. How did this experience prepare you for medical school?
To know how to make your OMSAS autobiographical sketch stand out, your essay should show focus on your most meaningful activity and align your experiences with the four attribute clusters.
For each employment, volunteer or extracurricular or research activity you list in your ABS, be sure to include detailed information, including:
- Education level at the time of the activity (i.e., first year of university).
- Indicate if the activity was during the summer or the academic year, before university or after graduation; the total hours (per week or per month); and the start and end date.
- Provide the name of the organization and the location where the activity took place
For awards and accomplishments, you should also specify:
- The type of distinction you received
- Specify when they were received
- Briefly describe the qualifications necessary for receipt and the competition implied, if known
Brief Personal Essays
You will need to write two brief personal essays that address the questions I outline below. These essays are similar in purpose and style to the American medical school secondary essays. Each response must answer specific prompts related to University of Toronto's mission and values and be 250 words or less. The word count does not include titles, references, or verifiers if you choose to include these. UofT may choose to check your essays for plagiarism.
- The COVID-19 pandemic imposed obligatory changes in all our lives. What have you learned and how has this changed you as a person? Are there ways that you adapted that you would keep going forward?
- What is the purpose of a mentoring relationship? What are the 3 most important elements of a mentoring relationship? Discuss a mentoring situation that you experienced in relation to these qualities.
Just like with other Ontario medical schools, you will not be able to submit traditional medical school recommendation letters. You are required to send OMSAS three Confidential Assessment Forms (CAF) as part of your application. These references will be evaluated according to the same four clusters I previously listed. Make sure to provide your referees with the clusters, as well as their attributes, activities, and achievements descriptions to ensure that they can speak to some or all of them in their CAF. Also, ensure that the whole range of clusters is represented among the three references as a whole (individual references may speak to a specific cluster or clusters of attributes, activities, and achievements). Additionally, provide your referees with your transcripts, CV, and any other document that may help them write a stellar reference for your UofT application.
University of Toronto medical school does not accept "non-objective" referees such as family members, relatives, close friends, neighbors, colleagues of family members, or peers. Ideally, your referees should be faculty members, employers, supervisors, and older mentors who can comment on your academic prowess, talents, personal merits, and suitability for medical school.
Your referees need to submit their CAF forms online no later than October 3. It is your responsibility to ensure that your referees send your forms in time. If you miss this deadline, your application will not be considered.
Interview selection is based on file review scores and approximately 640 applicants are invited to an admissions interview in Toronto each academic year. Interview dates are assigned at random as file reviews are completed and do not reflect any ranking in UofT’s admissions process. If you are not selected for an interview, you will receive a refusal letter. Interview invitations and refusal letters continue to be sent until the last interview date as the files are reviewed.
You will receive your interview invitation with an assigned interview date and time via email, and they are usually sent at least two weeks before the interview date. Occasionally, to fill up empty slots, you may receive an invitation closer to the interview date. If you cannot attend the interview on the given date, you'll need to contact the admissions office.
The University of Toronto's medical school uses the interview format which they developed, i.e. the Modified Personal Interview (MPI). Both in-person and virtual MPI interview formats will be used for admission to the UofT's MD program. The MPI consists of four independent interviews assessed by four different interviewers. Interviewers may include physicians, medical students, residents, health professionals, and community members. Each interview is approximately 12 minutes in length. The virtual MPI also consists of four independent interviews assessed by four different raters. Each virtual interview is completed asynchronously and you will have approximately 5 minutes for each.
To get ready for your interview, make sure to research how to prepare for video interviews. Remember, your strategy for how to prepare for your med school interview should not change drastically if the interview is conducted virtually.
Make sure to practice with medical school interview questions and MMI questions. You can also review panel interview questions, as they can be easily incorporated into any interview format.
Check out some sample medical school interview questions and answers:
Acceptance and Waitlist Information
The University of Toronto medical school admission offers are tied to a particular campus. If you decline the campus, you also decline the offer from the university in general. You cannot change the campus in your offer or ask to be put on a waitlist for the other campus. You will use the OMSAS to send your response to the offer. Make sure you check the deadlines for submission of your response stated in the offer. You must submit an electronic and a hard copy of the Response and Consent Form before the indicated deadline.
UofT does have a waitlist. If a space becomes available, the MD program will contact the next person on the list. It is difficult to predict how many additional offers will be made or when, but UofT typically keeps people on the waitlist until the beginning of classes. Final invitations to applicants on the waitlist will be sent as late as September. Learn how to get off a medical school waitlist in our blog.
Admissions Email: [email protected]
1. Should I apply if my GPA and MCAT are slightly below the minimum requirements, even though I qualify in terms of the other requirements?
All applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements to be eligible for the program. If you do not meet the minimum academic requirements, your chances to continue in the admissions process are slim to none.
2. Do I have to have a certain grade in my prerequisite courses to qualify for admission?
No, you must simply pass the prerequisites. University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine asks for a minimum GPA of 3.6 on a 4.0 OMSAS scale for undergraduate applicants and 3.3 on a 4.0 OMSAS scale for graduate applicants.
3. For MD-PHD applicants, can I have duplicate referees in addition to the graduate supervisor (e.g. references that were used for the MD application)?
You are allowed some duplicate referees, but their letters for MD-PhD should focus on your qualities that relate to this program, i.e. your scientific ability and potential.
4. How many years of undergraduate studies do I have to complete to apply?
If you are a Canadian applicant, you must complete at least three years in a program that would lead to a Bachelor’s degree. If you are applying during your third year of study, you must have the equivalent of 15 credits by the end of the third year and have completed the requirements of your degree. Candidates who apply during their fourth year are expected to be completing the equivalent of 20 credits or completing their four-year degree. If you do not meet these requirements, you can outline the reasons in the Academic Explanations Essay on the OMSAS application.
If you are an American applicant, you must complete a four-year Bachelor’s degree. International students must complete the equivalent of a four-year Canadian Bachelor's degree.
5. Is preference given to Ontario applicants? Is there a quota associated with residency or citizenship?
No, there is no preference given to students on the basis of residency or citizenship.
6. Is there an undergraduate program of study that is most suitable for admission to the MD Program?
No, you can pursue the study of any discipline, as long as you meet the coursework prerequisites. For your application to be competitive, you should also complete the recommended courses.
7. How is the MCAT used in the application process?
The MCAT score is not included in an overall academic calculation but is used as a threshold. You need a score of 125 in each MCAT section, with an allowance of 124 in one of the sections. If you apply with a score lower than the threshold, you jeopardize the success of your application. Applications without MCAT scores will not be considered. Your MCAT score must be no older than 5 years at the time of application. Only your most recent MCAT scores will be considered.
8. How many extracurriculars do I need to succeed?
There is no set amount of experiences you need to indicate in your Autobiographical Sketch. You will not be penalized for having more clinical activities than research, or vice versa. You will not be penalized if you have fewer extracurricular/volunteer activities because of your need for employment. There is no required number of activities or a required number of hours. Remember, the quality of your experiences will always trump their quantity.
9. You said nothing about CASPer. Do I need to submit my score?
No, the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine is not one of the medical schools that require CASPer.
10. What is the admissions interview format at University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine?
The University of Toronto's medical school uses their own interview format, i.e. the Modified Personal Interview (MPI). They use both in-person and virtual MPI interview formats as part of their admissions process.
The MPI consists of four independent interviews evaluated by four different interviewers who could be physicians, medical students, residents, health professionals, and community members. Each interview is approximately 12 minutes in length.
The virtual MPI also consists of four independent interviews assessed by four different raters. Each virtual interview is completed asynchronously and you will have approximately 5 minutes for each.
11. How many letters of recommendation do I need?
University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine does not ask for traditional narrative letters of recommendation. Instead, applicants provide three Confidential Assessment Forms (CAF). Referees should complete and submit these by October 1st.
To your success,
Your friends at BeMo
BeMo Academic Consulting
Disclaimer: BeMo does not endorse or affiliate with any universities, colleges, or official test administrators. The content has been developed based on the most recent publicly available data provided from the official university website. However, you should always check the statistics/requirements with the official school website for the most up to date information. You are responsible for your own results.
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