How to get into University of Toronto

How to get into the University of Toronto

For Undergraduate (UG) and Masters (MS) degrees

The University of Toronto, a public research university in Canada’s Ontario, was established in 1827 as King’s College but assumed its present name in 1850. It has three campuses—the St. George (Downtown Toronto, main campus), Scarborough, and Mississauga campuses.

As a collegiate university, the “U of T” has eleven colleges under it, each with considerable autonomy and financial independence but with distinct character and history.

As of March 2019, ten Nobel laureates and four Prime Ministers of Canada have been associated with the university. Besides being ranked as the best university in Canada, it has been given global rankings of 18th by US News and World Report and 29th by QS World.

The U of T is also known as an innovation center with the first electron microscope and insulin being first developed here, among other breakthroughs.

The university offers about 700 undergraduate programs and 200 graduate programs on its three campuses in the Greater Toronto area.

The UG programs range from accounting to astronomy, biology to book and media studies, and from management, mathematics, and mechanical engineering to sociology, visual studies, and women and gender studies.

The graduate programs include aerospace science and engineering, cinema studies, economics, financial economics, law, management, physics, statistics, and urban innovation, to name only a few.

As of 2018, the university had over 90,000 students on its three campuses, about 23 percent of them from outside Canada. Of this total number, 19,000 were graduate students. Of the international students, about 12,500 were from China, 1,200 from India, and 880 from the US, according to online sources.

Undergrad admissions at University of Toronto


General rules

If you have attended a recognized university or college outside Canada, your post-secondary average marks will be considered for admission, although the university will also assess your entire academic record. Admission to specific departments is based on whether you meet the requirements of these departments.

You must meet the general admission requirements and program-specific requirements, and be a competitive candidate who has performed well academically and has potential. The final assessment will be based on your performance in the most recent two years of study, including the prerequisite courses, and the strength of your personal statement and profile.

For engineering and applied science courses, international students need to present senior-level courses in maths, physics, and chemistry.

In place of a required prerequisite subject, a SAT subject test or Advanced Placement exam, International Baccalaureate result, or GCE A level can be submitted.

For Indian students

Students holding all-India senior schools certificates issued by the CBSE or the CISCE are considered, as also students holding State board certificates with excellent results.

Early admissions may be given based on excellent 10th board examination results, final 11th results, or predicted 12th board results.

English proficiency

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence of your proficiency in the language (using TOEFL and IELTS scores) unless you have completed four or more years of study in an English language school in a country where English is the dominant language.


The online application form to fill out depends on whether you are an international student or a student from Canada.

You should use the international application form if you are living outside Canada, are not currently studying in, or have studied, in Canada, and you are not applying to any other Ontario university.

When you begin the admission process, you will be transferred to the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC) website, from where you will submit your application. You will need to create an account by entering your particulars. About a week later, you will receive an email acknowledgement with information on how to proceed.

International applicants can use the OUAC 105 application form if they are applying to all universities in Ontario including the University of Toronto.

If you have applied using the OUAC form, you need not apply again using the University of Toronto international applicants form, as only one will be accepted. The application fee is C$180. Residence requests require a separate application.

The university recommends submission of applicants and documents by the “recommended” application deadline and much before the “final” deadlines when all spaces may have been already taken.

Documents required

All documents and transcripts of your post-secondary studies need to be submitted well in advance. Besides, you may need to submit the online self-reported grades’ form, proof of English language proficiency, standardized test scores, and supplemental information.

Electronic submissions are preferred, but unofficial documents may also be uploaded. When required, documents should be mailed.


Most admission decisions on international applicants are announced between mid-December and late May.

Usually, negative decisions are made because the grades in prerequisite subjects are not competitive, you have repeated an unacceptable number of courses for the program selected, you have an insufficient number of available courses at the time of consideration, you have not met the English language requirement, or you have not submitted supplementary information or it was not competitive.

Serious personal, health, or financial circumstances of the applicant may receive due consideration.


A request for a year’s deferral may be considered if you decide to put your studies on hold, but you should have accepted the offer of admission, met all the conditions of the offer, paid the admission deposit (if required), and confirmed that you do not plan to study at another post-secondary institution.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for undergraduate international students can range from about C$38,000 to C$61,000 depending on the program, which is much higher than the fees for UG domestic student, which was around C$8,600, according to online sources (for course-wise details, see this).

Admission scholarships and in-course scholarships of about C$1,500 are available to international UG students. Besides, the University of Toronto International Engineering Scholarships (for 17 students), the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship Program (tuition, books, residence support for 37 students), and other scholarships are available.

Under the work-study program, full-time and part-time students can work for a maximum of 15 hours a week at C$14 per hour and 4 percent vacation pay for a maximum of 100 hours for a full summer session.

Other costs

In addition to fees, you should include other costs such as residence, food and transportation (C$8,000-C$15,000 per academic year). If you are living off campus, your accommodation and food could cost well above C$15,000, besides additional transportation costs.

The cost of books could be C$1,500 per academic year, and additionally, you may also have to spend on computer, telephone, and Internet, clothes and personal care items, and recreation and entertainment. The university provides a financial planning calculator to help you (link).

Graduate admissions


General rules

A complete university degree is required for most graduate programs at the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto. The university’s programs include architecture, law, medicine, dentistry, social work, and theology, leading to master’s or PhD degrees, to name only a few. Management programs are offered by the university’s Rotman School of Management and the Institute of Management and Innovation.

Admission requirements

For master’s programs, an appropriate bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a recognized university, with a final-year average of at least a mid-B, is required.

For doctoral programs, an appropriate master’s or equivalent, with a final-year average of at least B+, is required. Meeting the minimum requirement does not guarantee admission because of the competition for places.

GRE, proficiency in English

You must demonstrate proficiency in English regardless of your country of origin, and graduate applicants from outside Canada must provide the results of an English language proficiency test. Some graduate departments also require GRE (Graduate Records Examination) test scores.


The university provides an online admissions application. The application fee is C$120; you may have to also pay a supplementary application fee depending on your program.

The application deadline varies from program to program, information about which is available on the graduate departments’ websites.

Documents required

Applicants are required to submit transcripts directly to the department that they are applying to (details are given on the university’s relevant FAQ page); two letters of reference (after you apply, the university sends emails to your referees for the letters); additional supporting documents; and GRE, TOEFL/IELTS/COPE scores if you require them as an applicant or if your department requires them.

Fees and funding

The fees for graduate international students are between C$38,000 and $62,000, depending on the program. For most PhD programs, most international students pay fees on a par with the fees paid by domestic students, except in the case of a few programs, according to online sources (see link to program-wise fees in PDF, given above).

For international graduate students, the Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award of up to C$25,000 for one year to one student and C$1,000 for finalists are available for enrolment in PhD programs.

Delta Kappa Gamma Fellowships of up to C$5,300 are available for women scholars entering a full-time master’s or PhD program and meet English language proficiency requirements.

Besides, other scholarships are also available, such as Vanier-CGS-A Tri-Agency Award for PhD students, Ontario Graduate Scholarships for master’s and PhD students, and Ontario Trillium Scholarship Program for PhD students.

To help you with information, an appointment with the university’s Financial Aid and Advising can be made by email and advice received in person, by phone, or by email.


Some early decisions may be available in January/February, but a majority of them come in March and some may continue through April.

As a Quoran says, the University of Toronto is tough to enter and tougher to survive, but the end result may be well worth the struggle.
Also read:
How a computer engineer got into the University of Toronto
Life as an international student at the University of Toronto
Business schools in Canada 
References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25