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 (M.Sc. or Ph.D.); or in the final year of their M.Sc (Ph.D. regular entry).
  • A B+ average or higher cumulatively in a B.Sc. degree to be considered for our M.Sc. program;
  • An A- average or higher cumulatively in their M.Sc. or B.Sc. to be considered for our Ph.D. program.

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

Updated Application Guidelines 

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, application guidelines and requirements have changed for application cycles with admissions in fall 2021. Please note these changes, and adapt your application accordingly. 

1. We encourage students to apply, even if they could not undertake independent research in a lab due to Covid-19 restrictions. 

2. Letter of Intent: We currently require a more structured Letter of Intent that addresses:

  • Past and current research experience. 
  • Research interests, outlining particular topics for your graduate study and faculty you may wish to work with for your thesis (and why!).
  • Long-term professional goals, why will performing an MSc or Ph.D. in MoGen help you achieve these goals.
  • Clarify any details of your academic path relevant to your application.
  • Clarify any impact of Covid-19 on your application (this may be relevant to your research experience statement).

3. Many students will be interviewed by members of the admissions committee this year, especially if they have not had an independent research experience. 

4. Two references are required. Ideally, these would be from professors who are familiar with your performance during independent research under their supervision or your academic performance in their classes.

5. Transcripts are still required, and GPA guidelines are still in effect.

Transcript Requirements 

 The department accepts students with a minimum cumulative GPA of B+ (for MSc) or A- (for Ph.D.) 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 Ph.D.). 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 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 considered for direct entry into the Ph.D. program.

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