FAQs about Graduate Admissions

General Admissions Questions

Do I need to have previous research experience?

All potential graduate students should seriously consider incorporating a research project into their course timetables before graduation. Graduate supervisors are reluctant to take into their laboratories students who have had no research experience or training. UofT students who wish to enrol in the Pharmacology or Toxicology graduate programs, and who are completing Major Programs in Pharmacology or Toxicology, or other disciplines, should pay particular attention to this.

What are the advantages of applying early?

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, eligible applicants whose complete applications are received early have the opportunity to receive an early offer of conditional admission. For applicants to the thesis-based programs, an early offer means having the advantage of having their documentation circulated early in the year; thereby increasing the chances of obtaining supervision and funding. 

International applicants to the Ph.D. program whose overall averages are within the "A" range and whose applications are complete by the posted deadline, will automatically be considered for nomination for the Connaught Scholarship. Visa applicants who completed their degrees at the University of Toronto are unfortunately NOT ELIGIBLE for the Connaught Scholarship.

Applications from domestic students whose grade point average is considered borderline, or who have not met the required B+ cutoff in previous completed years of study, will be held until the final year's marks are received, at which time a final decision is made. When an official offer is received, the applicant must meet all of the conditions on the offer before the registration deadline (usually mid-September).

Can I apply to multiple programs?

Each program has specific application deadlines and supporting documentation requirements. For every application submitted, applicants must pay the required processing fee. What works for one program may not necessarily work for another.

What happens after my application is received?

Once the complete application package is received, the application is reviewed by the Graduate Coordinator. All eligible applicants are contacted for a face-to-face interview with a member of the Graduate Education Committee (GEC). Where distance is an issue, telephone interviews might be arranged. The final admission decision rests with the GEC.

How is an offer is made in the thesis-based programs?

In the case of domestic applicants and US citizens, applicants are normally given what is called a "conditional offer". The conditions are usually that the student must complete their degree if in the process of doing so; and supervision and funding must be obtained, prior to the deadline for registration. The applicant’s file is circulated to all graduate faculty; however, it is the applicant's responsibility to take the initiative to contact those faculty with whom they wish to work - in particular, if they have an interest in a specific area of pharmacology.

For all other international applicants, the process is slightly longer. To facilitate and simplify the admission and immigration process, only “clear” offers are made to international applicants. Once the GEC deems that an international applicant is eligible for admission and has met all of the admission requirements, the applicant’s file is circulated to all graduate faculty. As with domestic applicants, it is the applicant's responsibility to take the initiative to contact those faculty with whom they wish to work. An official offer is made only when a faculty member indicates their willingness to supervise and fund that applicant's program.

How is an offer made in the Applied Clinical Pharmacology (course-based) program?

Since supervision and funding are not an issue for applicants to the course-based M.Sc. program, there will likely be very few conditions on the admission offer beyond proof of degree completion, and submission of official documents where required.

At the time of application, international applicants should have already graduated from their degree programs and be able to submit all of the official documentation necessary.

Do I have to wait until I am accepted before I can approach potential supervisors?

Many potential supervisors are not willing to consider an applicant who has not yet gone through the admission process. That said, applicants do not need to wait until they are officially accepted before they approach a potential supervisor. In fact, since it is the applicant's responsibility to obtain supervision and funding, many take the initiative early to approach faculty members in whose labs they wish to complete their degrees.

Please, however, keep in mind that a promise of acceptance by a graduate faculty member does not guarantee admission into the graduate program. All applicants must undergo the full application process and be accepted by the Department before an official offer of admission will be made.  

There are research descriptions for all graduate faculty on our website and applicants should take the time to do some prior reading before they approach a potential supervisor.

Fees, Finances, and Awards

How much is tuition?

The University reviews proposed tuition fees annually in the spring. For further information see University Fees

How does graduate funding work?

Students in research-stream programs receive annual stipends that may be comprised from a variety of sources (e.g., research assistantships, U of T fellowships, and awards). See the Awards and Financial Support page for additional details.

Part-time students and students registered in the Applied Clinical Pharmacology program are not guaranteed stipend support.

How do I apply for financial aid?

For information on financial aid options, please visit the Financial Aid page.

How do I apply for awards?

Applicants should keep in mind that for many awards (e.g., OGS, NSERC), the application is made during the year prior to applying to graduate school; i.e., during the final year of undergraduate study. Applicants who are seriously considering graduate school should investigate any and all available awards for graduate students before completing their final year. For more information, see the SGS Website

Part-Time Studies

Can I apply for part-time studies?

Part-time studies are permitted in the Master's program in Pharmacology,  and can be a viable option for students who are employed outside the University.  

There is no part-time study in the Ph.D. program. 

What are the admissions requirements?

The admission requirements and application procedures are the same as for the full-time program. Applicants are normally required to have taken courses in physiology, biochemistry, or allied sciences sufficient to form a foundation for their work in pharmacology. To be eligible, applicants must also have achieved a minimum grade of B+ (i.e., 77%-79%) in no less than 4 senior-level FCEs (Full Course Equivalents) in their final year (3rd- and 4th-year courses are considered to be senior-level courses).

What are the program requirements?

Students in the part-time program must complete the same program requirements as those in the full-time stream. Degree requirements must be completed within 6 years of first enrolment in the program.

Do part-time students receive financial support?

Program supervisors are not required to guarantee financial support for part-time students. In addition, only full-time students are eligible for UofT Fellowships and most external awards. On the other hand, all qualified graduate students (including part-time) are eligible to apply for Teaching Assistantships and invigilation. 

How much does the part-time program cost?

Fees for part-time students are considerably lower than those of full-time students; see Fees.  Students should be aware that they may be required to pay additional academic fees in order to equal the total minimum fee paid by a full-time student in the same program. This Balance of Degree Fee is assessed just prior to graduation.