We are now accepting applications for September 2024 and January 2025

Incoming graduate students to the Department of Biochemistry will participate in rotations during the first term of their studies.  Students will undertake 3 rotations, each lasting 5 weeks. At the end of the third rotation, students will decide in which lab (in agreement with the PI) they will conduct their studies.

The rotation system will improve the fit of the incoming student, with their prospective PI and the laboratory.

International applicants (students who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada) need to find a sponsor before they submit their application. A sponsor is a Faculty member who provides a commitment of placement in the event that you are not able to secure a placement in a different lab after the rotation process.

When reaching out to Faculty members you should include a copy of your CV, Letter of Intent and Transcripts.

Required: In your letter of intent you should include why you are interested in pursuing a PhD in a particular lab

Once you have secured a sponsor, please inform the sponsor that they must submit a Sponsorship Form to Carrie Harber.

Applicants should ensure they have read all of the instructions and admission requirements below before submitting an online application.

Technician working in the Mars2 laboratories

Requirements for Admission

We are looking for students with previous research experience who are motivated and devoted to research. Given the recent social distancing measures, which may have impacted the ability of students to gain wet lab research experience, the admissions committee will consider applicants with limited experience. This can include remote computational biology projects.

Letters of reference are important in the evaluation process. We are particularly interested in receiving letters from research supervisors. If the applicant completed an undergraduate project/thesis course or did research in a co-op session or as a summer student, he/she should ask scientists who have supervised the research projects to write letters of reference on his/her behalf.

Applicants from Canadian Universities

We consider applications from students who have achieved at least a B+ average in their last two years of study in an honours or specialist B.Sc. program in biochemistry, molecular biology, or cell biology, as well as students with strong academic credentials in honours/specialist programs in related disciplines, including physics, chemistry, and computer science. Applications from students with M.Sc. degrees in these areas will also be considered for admission. Applications from outstanding students in other programs or subject areas will also be considered. Applications that do not meet the minimum requirements will not be considered.

Applicants from Universities Outside Canada

Applicants educated outside of Canada require a degree equivalent to that of a Canadian Honours/Specialist degree (i.e. a four-year degree) as described above. In some cases this may be an M.Sc. degree. It should be in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, or in a related subject area before being considered for entry into our graduate program.

 English Language Proficiency (TOEFL/ IELTS Test)

If the language of instruction at your university is not English, we require an English language test.  Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application. Please review equivalent English-language facility test for minimal acceptable scores and exemptions.


Analyzing mutations in fruit flies

Application Process – for all applicants

    1. Online application (submitted electronically)
    2. Letter of Intent (submitted electronically) 1 – 2 pages
    3. Curriculum Vitae (submitted electronically) 1 – 3 pages
    4. Three letters of reference (submitted electronically)
    5. Official transcripts from ALL university programs attended (submitted electronically).
      Note:  Transcripts from Canadian Universities only:  a PDF print out from your schools online student record system will be accepted in lieu of scanned official transcripts for the review process – Provided that it includes your name and grading legend.

Applicants who completed their degree outside of a Canadian University must also submit:

  1. English Language Proficiency exam (University of Toronto code: 0982)


Please note that we are only accepting International students for Ph.D. or Direct-entry PhD.  We are unable to accept International students for the MSc program at this time.

Direct Entry into the Ph.D. Program

Applicants with exceptionally strong undergraduate records may request direct entry into the Ph.D. program.

For additional information, please contact:

Carrie Harber
Graduate Program Administrator


Online Application

All applications to graduate school at the University of Toronto are made online through the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). Get Application: SGS Online Application

Letter of Intent

What drives your passion for research? Please submit a 1 to 2 page Letter of Intent. In the letter of intent, please indicate specific areas of research that are of interest to you, and if possible, specify PIs whose research aligns well with your interests.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

1 to 3 pages.

Letters of Reference

We require three letters of reference from people familiar with the applicant’s academic/research capabilities. To do this, you must submit an email address for each reference at the time of filling out the online application form.

Applicants should use institutional email addresses for their referees (gmail, Yahoo, hotmail etc. will be prohibited).

It is also very important that the applicant enters the correct referee email addresses as revisions cannot be made once the application has been submitted. After the method of payment has been selected, an email will be automatically sent to each of the referees with a link to the reference form and instructions on how to submit it online.

 **Important Notes:
Applicants applying for the January 15th deadline must advise their references the correct document deadline as the system will automatically indicate the March deadline in the instructions they receive.

Please do not enter more than 3 referees.  In the event that more than 3 reference letters are received, you will need to advise which one to remove as only 3 references will be reviewed with your application.

Official Transcripts

All applicants are required to upload a scanned copy of their Official transcripts (including transcript legends) from ALL post-secondary institutions attended.  Accepted applicants will be required to send official paper copies of your transcript(s) as a condition of admission.

It is important that your uploaded transcripts are legible.  Scanning in “gray scale” or black and white may produce the best results.  Preview your PDF for image quality and completeness prior to uploading.  Ensure your transcripts are not password protected.   If you are unable to upload a legible document, you will need to have an official transcript mailed to the Biochemistry Graduate Office.