Academic Requirements


Application materials and standards

Applicants to our graduate program must have:

  • Completed or nearing the completion of a four-year Bachelor of Science degree or equivalent (MSc or PhD (Direct Entry))
  • A B+ average or higher cumulatively in a BSc degree to be considered for our MSc program;
  • An A- average or higher cumulatively in their MSc or BSc to be considered for our PhD (Direct Entry) program.

Applications are considered holistically by examining transcripts, research experience, references, and the applicant's personal statement.

Transcript Requirements 

 The department accepts students with a minimum cumulative GPA of B+ (for MSc) or A- (for PhD) for the most recent degree (see below for Canadian GPA conversions). Applications from students who do not meet the cGPA requirement will still be considered if the student has a final year overall GPA of B+ (for MSc) or A- (for PhD (Direct Entry)). For students still completing a degree, the most recent year will be considered for evaluation. Still, they must maintain the GPA standard for the remainder of the degree and final transcripts provided before enrolment. International degrees will be evaluated using conversion standards summarized here. Note that the Molecular Genetics departmental requirement is higher than the minimal standards of the School of Graduate Studies.

Please note that the department will evaluate all transcripts in detail, in particular considering: academic performance trajectory (i.e. if marks were low in early years, do they improve each year?), specific courses taken, course load, and marks in scientific courses, especially those relevant to Molecular Genetics.

Program Letter Grade 4-Pont Grading Scale 4.33-Point Grading Scale 4.3-Point Grading Scale 9--Point Grading Scale 10-Point Grading Scale 12-Point Grading Scale
Ph.D. Entry A- 3.7 3.67 3.7 7.0 8.0 10.0
M.Sc. Entry B+ 3.3 3.33 3.3 6.0 7.0 9.0

To be considered for the PhD (Direct Entry) program: 

  1. Applicants must have completed or are nearing the completion of a Master of Science degree. Applicants must have distinguished themselves during their MSc to be considered for our PhD (Direct Entry) program.
  2. Applicants who have never been enrolled in an MSc program but have an average of A- or higher in all relevant courses from their BSc may be considered for the PhD (Direct Entry) program.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for direct entry into PhD program. If the requirements are not met for the PhD, the application is automatically considered for the MSc track without a separate application. Throughout the degree there is a straightforward mechanism for PhD-track students, who change their mind on completing the PhD, to transfer into the MSc program. For example, this decision can be made at ~18 months allowing one to complete a 2 year MSc degree.

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
  • Other 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.

Applicants With International Degrees

The Department of Molecular Genetics will determine international degree equivalencies for all degrees completed outside Canada upon receipt of applications. To understand 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 is 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, you must complete an English facility exam. You must meet this requirement at the time you submit your application. Refer to the School of Graduate Studies website for additional information on English-Language Proficiency Testing. Please see below for some tests you can complete.:

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, with at least 6.5 in each component


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.

**Students wishing to apply to the MHSc in Medical Genomics program should see the requirements and instructions here.