Academic Requirements

Academic Requirements

Applicants to our Graduate Program must have:

  • completed or be nearing the completion of a Bachelor of Science degree;
  • a B+ average or higher in the last two years of a B.Sc. degree to be considered for our M.Sc. program;
  • an A- average or higher in their M.Sc. or B.Sc. to be considered for our Ph.D. program.

To be considered for direct entry to the Ph.D. program:

  1. Applicants must have completed or are nearing the completion of a Master of Science degree.  Applicants must have distinguished themselves during their M.Sc. to be considered for our Ph.D. program.  
  2. Applicants who have never been enrolled in an M.Sc. program but have an average of A- or higher in all relevant courses from their B.Sc. may be consideration for direct entry into our Ph.D. program. 

Attainment of the minimum admission standards does not guarantee acceptance into our graduate programs.

Competitive applicants will have non-classroom experience in a 'wet' laboratory(i.e., doing experiments at the bench) or 'dry' (i.e. biological investigation in silico) in addition to a background in:

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioinformatics 
  • or related fields 

Students with a background in Physics, Chemistry, Math, Computer Science, Engineering or related quantitative sciences are encouraged to apply.  These applicants will have a competitive application if they have a demonstrated interest in biology, which might include having taken undergraduate classes in biology, and/or having experience in a research laboratory as a summer student, undergraduate project student, or volunteer.  If these applicants' demonstrated interest in biology is limited to the classroom, they must also have non-classroom experience in a 'wet' (i.e., doing experiments at the bench) or 'dry' (i.e. investigation in silico)  laboratory or academic setting in their respective field in addition to any classroom instruction.

Language Requirement

If your primary language is not English and you graduated from a non-Canadian University where the language of instruction and examination was not English, then you must complete an English facility exam. This requirement must be met at the time you submit your application. You may complete any of the following tests:

TOEFL (U of T Institutional code: 0982-00)

  • Paper Based Test & TWE: Overall Score 580, TWE 5
  • Internet-Based Test IBT: Overall Score 93, Writing/Speaking 22

IELTS: 7.0

MELAB: 85
 

COPE: 4 (with at least one in each component and 2 in the writing component)

Academic Preparation Course: Final grade of B in Level 60

** Students wishing to apply to the MSc in Genetic Counselling program should see the requirements and instructions here.


International Students

International Students

In addition to meeting all general admission requirements, International Applicants* to the M. Sc. and Ph.D. programs must:

  • Have secured a sponsoring Faculty member prior to submitting their online application. 
  • Have a current GRE score submitted to the University of Toronto (Institutional code: 0982-00) prior to the document deadline.

International Degree Equivalencies

The Department of Molecular Genetics will determine international degree equivalencies for all degrees completed outside of Canada upon receipt of applications.  To get an idea of how your degree compares to a Canadian degree, you may want to use the School of Graduate Studies' International Equivalencies Tool. Note that the Department of Molecular Genetics' admission requirements are higher than the minimum requirements set out by the School of Graduate Studies.

Language Requirement

If your primary language is not English and you graduated from a non-Canadian University where the language of instruction and examination was not English, then you must complete an English facility exam. This requirement must be met at the time you submit your application. You may complete any of the following tests:

TOEFL (U of T Institutional code: 0982-00)

  • Paper Based Test & TWE: Overall Score 580, TWE 5
  • Internet-Based Test IBT: Overall Score 93, Writing/Speaking 22

IELTS: 7.0

MELAB: 85

COPE: 4 (with at least one in each component and 2 in the writing component)

Academic Preparation Course: Final grade of B in Level 60


* International applicants are those who are not Canadian Citizens, Landed Immigrants in Canada or Permanent Residents in Canada

Application Procedures

Application Procedures

The Department of Molecular Genetics offers admission in September and January. There is no admission in May.

Applicants to the Department of Molecular Genetics must first apply to the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) through the on-line admissions application which is housed on a secure server in the University of Toronto. Your application will be considered only after you have entered your personal and academic information in the on-line application, submitted the application fee and submitted all required supporting documents.

Required Supporting Documents

  • An Applicants Checklist. You should use this checklist as a reference when completing your application to ensure that you are submitting all required documents and that they are in the correct format.
  • A minimum of two reference letters from professors or lab heads who knows you, your work/study habits, and research capabilities.  At least one of the letters should be from a professor who has supervised you directly in a laboratory setting in which the you performed an independent research project.  Letters typically describe the relationship of the referee to you, the research project(s) you undertook, and a candid assessment of your intellectual capacity, aptitude for laboratory research, ability at interpreting and presenting scientific data, motivation, organizational habits, and communication and interpersonal skills.  Any additional information that will inform the admissions committee regarding your suitability for postgraduate education and a career in research is welcome.

    A third letter is optional, but may be helpful.  It can be from someone less familiar with your research skills - for example, a professor who knows you from a course, but not in a research capacity; a non-faculty researcher who has worked with you, a former employer or work term supervisor, etc.  These letters should nonetheless address your attributes that are relevant to graduate study in Molecular Genetics.

  • A scan of your official transcripts (submitted on-line).
  • Your CV (submitted on-line).
  • A letter of intent (submitted on-line). This letter should briefly describe your previous research experience, outline your future goals, and research interests (e.g. tell us which professors in our department you would be interested in working with and why).
  • English Facility Exam score (only students who have completed their post-secondary education in a language other than English).
  • International Applicants only - An email confirmation from your secured sponsor and a GRE score submitted directly to the University.

All documentation must be submitted on-line by the document deadline date


Detailed Instructions

  1. Log in to the on-line application at https://apply.sgs.utoronto.ca.  
  2. A valid e-mail account is needed to complete the on-line application, as the University will correspond with applicants using e-mail. Enter your personal data and contact information on the SGS on-line application and an applicant identification number (Applicant #) and a secure password will be e-mailed to you. You can leave and return to your application at any point. Note: You cannot change personal data after the application fee is paid.
  3. Be prepared to submit contact information for TWO referees. A THIRD referee is optional, but you must have this information on hand if you wish to provide a third reference. Be sure to inform your referees that you are doing this and that the University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies will be contacting them by e-mail. An institutional email address is required for each of your referees.  If one or more of your referees does not have an institutional email address, please contact graduate.coordinator@utoronto.ca, providing the referee name, title, institution, phone number, relationship to you, and a non-institutional email address.  NOTE: all applications are reviewed electronically, therefore hard copies of reference letters cannot be accepted.
  4. Pay the application fee of $120 Canadian. This fee is non-refundable. The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) must receive your application fee before the Department of Molecular Genetics will review your application. When you have submitted the fee you will be able to check the status of your application. Please allow time for processing the payment by the School of Graduate Studies.
    The application fee can be paid on-line by VISA or Mastercard. This payment method is secure as the transaction is handled by Mirapay, a third party authorized by VISA and Mastercard. Mirapay provides the School of Graduate Studies with payment confirmation only. SGS and the University of Toronto will not have access to your credit card information. Please note that the process requires that popup blockers on your web browser be disabled.
  5. You will be asked to submit one electronic or scanned transcript from each post-secondary institution you have attended. Scanned copies must be up to date and must contain the transcript legend (usually printed on the back of a paper transcript). Transcripts submitted without a legend will not be accepted. For transcripts that are not in English, an English translation must be provided. The admissions committee will make a decision about your application based on the scanned transcript. Please ensure that the file is complete and readable before submitting. You will not be required to submit official paper copies of your transcripts until after the committee has made it's decision. If admitted, you will be required to submit an official transcript; verification of your paper transcript will be a condition that must be satisfied before registration.
  6. Once you have paid your application fee, you will be able to upload other supporting documents. A letter of intent must be submitted electronically through the on-line application system. Please save your file as a .pdf before uploading it to your online application.
  7. A Curriculum Vitae or Resume that briefly outlines all of your previous education, work experience, and interests, must also be submitted electronically through the on-line application system. Please save your file as a .pdf before uploading it to your online application.
  8. If your primary language is not English and you graduated from a non-Canadian university where the language of instruction and examination was not English, you must submit acceptable English language facility test scores. Applications with test scores which do not meet the minimum requirements will be rejected. Minimum scores must be achieved at the time of application. For more information on acceptable tests and minimum score requirements see Language Requirements. Test scores are reported electronically to the university at your request. Use the institutional code 0982-00.
  9. International/visa students only:
  • Have secured a sponsoring Faculty member prior to submitting their online application. 
  • Have a current GRE score submitted to the University of Toronto (Institutional code: 0982-00) prior to the document deadline.

APPLICATIONS MISSING ANY OF THE ABOVE COMPONENTS WILL BE CONSIDERED INADMISSIBLE.


Deadlines

Deadlines

This department does not offer a rolling admission option.  Students may only start their M.Sc. or Ph.D. program on the first day of classes in either January or September.

Those who wish to be considered for either September  admission must apply no later than May 1. Those applying for January admission must apply by September 15.

Notes on our Application Deadlines

The Department of Molecular Genetics offers four different deadlines by which applicants can submit their on-line applications and supporting documents.  The deadline you choose will depend on:

  1. When you would like your application to be considered;
  2. When you will be able to submit your supporting documents;
  3. When you would like to begin the program (i.e. January or September)

Other things to consider:

  1. The Department of Molecular Genetics does not have enrollment quotas to fill. If your application is very strong, the deadline you choose is completely up to you.  You will have the same high probability of being admitted to our program regardless of the date.
  2. If your application is very strong and you apply to other schools, some of these schools might require you to accept or decline their offer by a specific date, perhaps as early as January.  If you are applying to these types of schools and want to keep our Department as an option, it is best to apply by the December 1st deadline so that you can make an informed decision with respect to schools that have a hard acceptance deadline.
  3. If you are concerned that your application is weak and need more time to prepare a strong application, try to increase your experience over the fall and winter terms and improve your grades.  Then, apply by our May 1st deadline.
  4. Students who begin the program in September have the added advantage of attending the departmental retreat before choosing their second and third rotations.  This helps students make a more informed choice about who they would like as their permanent mentor (learn more about our rotation system here).

Application and Document Submission Deadlines

September Admission Deadlines

November 15
Online applications must be submitted by November 15. Supporting documents (including references, electronic transcripts, CV and letter of intent) must be submitted no later than December 1. Applicants must inform their referees that their online references must be submitted by December 1 in order for the application to be considered for this early deadline.  Applicants will receive an admission decision in December.

January 15
Online applications must be submitted by January 15. Supporting documents (including references, electronic transcripts, CV and letter of intent) must be submitted no later than February 1. Applicants must inform their referees that their online references must be submitted by February 1 in order for the application to be considered for this deadline.  Applicants will receive an admission decision in March.

May 1
Online applications must be submitted by May 1.  Supporting documents (including references, electronic transcripts, CV and letter of intent) must be submitted no later than May 15.  Applicants must inform their referees that their online references must be submitted by May 15 in order for the application to be considered by this deadline.  Applicants will receive an admission decision in June.

January Admission Deadlines

Applicants who wish to apply for January admission can apply by any of the above deadlines to receive an early response. The final deadlines for January admission are:

September 15
Online applications must be submitted by September 15. Supporting documents (including references, electronic transcripts, CV and letter of intent) must be submitted no later than October 1. Applicants will receive an admission decision in November.

Supporting Documents

Please ensure that all supporting documents (references, electronic transcripts, CV and letter of intent) are submitted online by the dates above. It is entirely the applicant's responsibility to monitor the status of their documents on the online application system and to follow up with their referees if references are not received in advance of the deadline. Only complete applications can be considered for any given deadline.  Incomplete applications that become complete after one deadline will be considered for the following deadline up until May 15 for September admission and October 1 for January admission.  Only complete applications will be reviewed for admission.

Accepting our Offer

Students who receive an offer of admission should confirm their reply to our offer as soon as possible.  We request that applicants return their confirmation forms, indicating their intention, by the beginning of June for September admission or mid-November for January admission.  Requests for deferred admission will be considered.


FAQ's

FAQ's

I have a copy of my transcripts, can I submit those?

You may scan and upload transcripts that have been issued to you as long as they include a transcript legend. If you are admitted to the program you are applying for, you will be asked to submit an official transcript. Transcripts are considered official if they are received by this Department directly from the issuing institution, in an envelope sealed by the issuing institution.

Do I require transcripts from all of the post-secondary institutions attended?

YES, you must scan and upload transcripts for all the post-secondary institutions you have attended. Applicants who attended universities outside North America must provide notarized English translations to accompany all foreign documentation not written in English.

How do I know if my documents have been received?

Application and document submission is done completely online. You can check your online application regularly to ensure that your referees have submitted their references.

My transcripts do not show my final year marks since my courses are still in progress. Should I wait until after my marks are on my transcripts before I order them?

No, your transcripts must be received by us by the application deadline in order for the admissions committee to review your application. If the committee feels that they need to look at your final marks prior to making a decision, you will be contacted.

Are there reference forms?

Referees will receive an e-mail requesting the submission of a reference letter for you. The e-mail will include a will include a link to an e-form that they will submit electronically.

My referee(s) have told me that they have submitted the reference online, but my records say that the letters are still pending.

If your referees have tried to submit their references online but your records show that the references have not been received, the documents were not uploaded properly. Ask your referees to resubmit the references. You can send a reminder via your online application.

When will I know the outcome of my application and how will I be notified?

Most applicants who meet the Early Brid or First Round of admission deadline can expect to receive feedback on their application within 2 months of the deadline. Anyone applying after these deadlines will receive feedback on their application after the Final deadline date. All admission decisions are mailed to the address on the application. No admission outcomes will be communicated over the phone or e-mail.