Graduate Studies at UofT
The University of Toronto is a research-intensive university offering a wide diversity of graduate program in four major divisions: Humanities, Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Life Sciences.
The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) is responsible for developing and administrating all graduate programs. U of T has over 80 graduate departments and over 30 collaborative programs (multidisciplinary programs) allowing prospective students to develop innovative programs and cooperation between two or more graduate departments. Formal admission applications to the School of Graduate Studies are handled by the various graduate departments/units. Prospective students are required to contact the departments to which they are applying to obtain an SGS application.
(From SGS website)
The School of Graduate Studies sets minimum admission requirements as outlined below. However, some departments require a higher average. For specific information on departmental admission requirements, please contact the department that offers the program.
MASTER'S PROGRAMS AND FULL-TIME SPECIAL STUDENTS
...an appropriate four-year bachelor's degree with a final year average of at least mid-B from the University of Toronto, or its equivalent from another recognized university.
...an appropriate University of Toronto master's degree, or its equivalent, with an average of at least B+, or demonstrated comparable research competence. Some departments admit directly to the doctoral program from a bachelor's degree.
Admission to the various science graduate departments is competitive and requires more than the SGS minimum. Most graduate departments require at least a B+/A- average over your final two years (or from your senior-level courses) for you to be considered.
In addition, course selection in your third- and fourth-year is important. If you choose research as a career option and intend applying to graduate school, our advice is to take as many 300- and 400-level courses with labs as you can; I recommend one FCE (full course equivalent), or more, beyond BIO 150Y and BIO 250Y. Recommended courses with labs include BCH 370H, BIO 370H, BIO 469H, BIO 471H, BOT 300 and 400 series labs, ENV 315H, HMB 310H, HMB 311H, HMB 312H, MBY 376H, MBY 450H, MGB 312H, MGB 430H, IMM 435H, PCL 471Y, PSL 372H, PSL 374H, PSY 300-series courses with labs, and ZOO 300- and 400-level courses with labs.
In addition, taking a 4th-year research project will give you a "taste" of what research is like. This will also give you the opportunity to show the prospective supervisor your research abilities.
Also, take as many 400-level science courses (4 or 5 FCE at the 400-level; especially within the area of research and within the department you want to do graduate work) to show the graduate committee you are prepared for work at the graduate level!
Why so many labs? Most labs at the 300- and 400-level offer research- oriented techniques and are a great way to gain practical experience, in addition to the 400-level research projects. The more practical experience you have, the more marketable you are, and the better chances of employment whether your goal is graduate school or industry.
Graduate School and Human Biology
Many Human Biology students become interested in grad school after they have started in our programs. While we say to first year students that if you already know you want to go to grad school and pursue research in a particular area of life science you should probably enroll in the specialist program of that discipline, what if you decide on this later?
It's probably true that any graduate department in the life sciences will welcome you as a graduate student if you have very good marks and either a major or specialist in a life science subject. You may have to take some "remedial" courses in the discipline if you lack sufficient background. Contact the department or institute graduate office for information (see next section below).
If you are interested in research that does not clearly fit a discipline, or fits more than one, you may find the Institute for Medical Science at U of T particularly interesting: a significant number of Human Biology students have done their graduate studies here. In "About Us" their web site states that IMS "is a graduate unit in the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, dedicated to the training of medical researchers and dissemination of new knowledge relevant to human biology and pathobiology." They offer students a "variety of multidisciplinary studies in fields such as cardiovascular sciences, neuroscience, bioethics, membrane biology, respiratory medicine, and psychosomatic medicine."
Graduate Programs in the Life Sciences
Below are listed current graduate programs in the life sciences at U of T. To learn more about any of these programs go to the School of Graduate Studies' website where you will find links to the SGS Calendar entry giving details about each program, to the department sponsoring the program, and to contact information.
Addiction Studies (CP)
Aging and the Life Course (CP)
Biomolecular Structure (CP)
Cardiovascular Sciences (CP)
Developmental Biology (CP)
Doctor of Medicine/Doctor of Philosophy
Environmental Studies (CP) including Toxicology (CP)
Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
Human Development, Life Course, and Aging
Human Development and Applied Psychology
Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology
Medical Sciences, Institute of
Molecular and Medical Genetics
Public Health Sciences
(CP = collaborative program)