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University of Toronto - MD Program: Admissions Information & FAQ (2010 Update)

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  • 3 weeks later...

1) Where can I find the latest and most accurate information?


The Faculty of Medicine has set-up several outlets to help keep the admissions process as dynamic as possible, including:


A) WordPress Blog


UTMedAdmissions's Blog: All things admissions at the University of Toronto's MD Program


URL: http://utmedadmissions.wordpress.com/



B) Facebook Account


University of Toronto MD Program - Admissions & Student Finance


URL: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Toront...e/108185182382



C) Twitter Account


Get short, timely messages from Deborah L Coombs.


URL: http://twitter.com/UTMedAdmissions


The above three interactive resources are managed by Deborah L. Coombs, the Coordinator of Admissions for the MD Program.



D) Official MD Admissions Webpage


The goal of the admissions process of the University of Toronto Medical School is to select individuals who will graduate to become superb and compassionate medical practitioners, scientists, and scholars, and to develop the future leaders of medicine in Canada.


URL: http://www.md.utoronto.ca/admissions.htm (includes an Official FAQ)


Note: The links provided under the "Additional Info" heading on the right-hand side authenticates the validity of the WordPress Blog, Facebook and Twitter Accounts as official and reliable sources of information.



E) Student Admissions Representatives Webpage


U of T Admissions 2010


URL: http://torontomeds.com/admissions/


This webpage is primarily meant for potential interviewees, as it provides interview tips, directions to the interview locations, relevant social events, billeting information, etc.



F) Undergraduate Medicine Admissions and Student Finance - Contact Information


Medical Sciences Building, Rm 2135

1 King's College Circle

Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A8


Tel: 416-978-7928

Fax: 416-971-2163

Email: medicine.admiss@utoronto.ca


Generally, inquiries made via email will be answered by Leslie Taylor, the admissions officer.



G) Admissions Directory - Contact Information


Dr. Mark Hanson, Associate Dean, UME, Admissions and Student Finance

Tel: 416-978-7928

Email: mark.hanson@utoronto.ca


Deborah Coombs, Coordinator, Admissions and Awards

Tel: 416-978-2715

Email: deborah.coombs@utoronto.ca


Leslie Taylor, Admissions Officer

Tel: 416-978-2729

Email: ld.taylor@utoronto.ca


Debbie Lombard, Receptionist

Tel: 416-978-7928

Email: debbie.lombard@utoronto.ca

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2) What are the selection criteria for prospective students?


All candidates' applications are evaluated based on academic and non-academic criteria.


60% of the application is based on academic qualifications, while the remaining 40% is based on non-academic qualifications.


The academic component of the application includes your GPA, MCAT scores and prerequisite courses.


The non-academic component includes your three letters of reference, personal statement and your OMSAS autobiographic sketch (the interview is also considered as part of your non-academic score, in the final ranking).



For the visually-inclined:



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3) What was the GPA for the most recently admitted classes?


The University of Toronto publishes Admissions Statistics for the past several entering classes: over the past few years, the average accepted GPA of the entering class has been approximately 3.9/4.0.


This GPA is calculated based on the OMSAS Undergraduate Grading System (match your undergraduate institution(s) with the appropriate column conversion).


Note that although the minimum academic requirements have the GPA set at 3.6/4.0 (for undergraduate applicants) and 3.0/4.0 (for graduate applicants), the average GPA of the entering class is substantially higher.

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4) Is the published average accepted GPA, the calculated OMSAS GPA or is it after applying Toronto's weighting formula?


The published GPA is based on the calculation applied by Toronto, if applicable (source: personal communication with Leslie Taylor, admissions officer).


Because not all applicants are eligible for the weighting formula, the published GPA will reflect both weighted and unweighted GPAs, depending on the academic records of the entering class.

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5) Are weighted GPAs (wGPA) evaluated differently compared to non-weighted GPAs?


There is no reason to think that this is the case.


However, it is important to remember that the Admissions Office (which calculates your GPA), does have access to your entire OMSAS academic record and official university transcript(s) which display all the courses you have ever taken at an undergraduate level.

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6) How is the MCAT used in the admissions process at Toronto?


Toronto has set minimums of VR=09, PS=09, WS=N, BS=09 (minimum total score of 27N). These minimum MCAT requirements have remained constant over the past seven years (prior to 2003 entry, the MCAT minimums were 8/8/N/8).


Unlike some other MCAT-requiring medical schools in Ontario, Toronto uses the MCAT as a flag only and it is not included in the calculation of the overall academic assessment (which is primarily your GPA).


This means that scores above the minimums do not increase your chances of admission (to reinforce this idea, consider that file reviewers do not even know your scores; only the admissions office as access to them).


If you write the MCAT multiple times, only the most recent set of scores that is used in the application process, although they do receive all your scores. However, there is no penalty/disadvantage imposed on those who make multiple attempts.


Only MCAT scores written within five (5) years of the October application deadline will be considered.

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7) What if I do not meet the minimum MCAT score requirements?


If you fall slightly below the minimums such as one below in one section (e.g. VR=08), then your application receives a close second look and you may still advance in the admissions process (typically, this requires a very competitive GPA). Generally speaking, one below in one section is easily overlooked. Two below is more tricky and would need to be off-set by other aspects of the application.


That being said, if your MCAT scores are consistently (e.g. multiple sections) or substantially (3 or more below in any given section) below the minimums, then application is not recommended.


The point being made here is that the further below the published minimum requirements that you fall, the more likely that MCAT score will jeopardize your application.

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8) What if I don't meet the minimum GPA requirements?


Unlike the MCAT scores, the GPA calculation forms the basis of the academic score, and is of critical importance throughout the selection process.


If your GPA, after applying the weighting formula if applicable, does not the minimum of 3.6/4.0 (for undergraduate applicants) or 3.0/4.0 (for graduate applicants), then application is not recommended.

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9) How is my GPA calculated at the University of Toronto?


Firstly, there is an important distinction to be made here: that of being "full-time" and a "full course-load". A full-time student is normally enrolled in at least 60% of a full course load (this is a definition used by government student loan programs and is accepted by most Canadian universities).


We include all undergraduate courses completed on a full-time basis in our GPA calculation. If an applicant has completed a full course-load in every year of study and has at least three years of grades on their transcript, then we apply our GPA weighting formula to that calculation. A full course load is five courses at most Canadian institutions.


If in any academic year you have carried less than a full course-load (i.e., less than 5.0 credits/year or 28 credit hours/year), then your GPA is calculated without the weighting formula (i.e., no course grades are excluded from the calculation).

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10) Do I need to carry a full course-load to be considered for admission?


No, carrying a full course-load is only relevant for eligibility for the weighting formula.


However, the Admissions Committee is interested in knowing that admitted students will be able to handle the very heavy workload of medical school.


Not taking a full courseload does not mean your application is in jeopardy. But the Admissions Committee does need to know what was happening with that extra time in order to properly assess your academics.

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  • 3 weeks later...

11) How many people apply/are interviewed/are offered admission?


For 2010 entry, there were just over 3,100 applicants (this works out to over 12 applicants per seat in the class). Toronto made 532 interview offers, of which 524 actual interviews were conducted (this includes MD/PhD applicants).


This year, there is a total of 250 first-year positions. Toronto will initially send out more offers than there are spots in the first-year class; the number of extra offers is estimated using a "best guess" approach, based on past data. Most schools take this approach, in an effort to fill the entering class with an initial set of offers and with the intention of recruiting the most highly ranked candidates.


Any additional offers are made from the waitlist. Note that no information will be provided concerning your placement on the waitlist, or how long the waitlist might be. The waitlist activity changes markedly from year to year and it is difficult to predict how many offers, if any, will need to be made.

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What are the costs of attending the program (tuition, living expenses, etc.)?


For the 2009/2010 academic year, the cost for first-year tuition (plus other relatively minor miscellaneous fees) for domestic (Canadian) students is $19,170.90 (i.e. approximately 20K). Additional costs are listed below:


$1,700.00 - Books and Equipment

$9,580.00 - Rent and Food

$7,160.00 - Other living expenses


Therefore, based on this estimation provided by the University of Toronto, the total costs for a first-year medical student is $37,610.90 (let's round up to 40K).

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What are the interviews like?


Our interview is about getting to know you. And about you getting to know us. If you’ve ever had a job interview, or interviewed for a volunteer position, that’s the type of thing you should expect here too. As indicated in your invitation email, the interview is conducted by a team of two – one faculty member and one medical student. They will have had a chance to read through your application and will ask you questions to get to know you better.


Is your application an honest representation of your skills, abilities and activities? Did you think about why you wanted to be a physician prior to applying to medicine? Do you know why you wanted to apply to UofT? If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions (which I am sure you can), then there’s not much more you can do to prepare for your University of Toronto interview.


If you don’t have a lot of interview experience, you may wish to do some mock interviews, to gain comfort. You should be able to arrange this through your university’s Career Centre. This is something you could be doing even before receiving an interview invitation.

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When are the interviews held?


All interviews will take place in person at the Faculty of Medicine, over three weekends from late-February to mid-April. For 2010 entry, the interview dates were as follows: February 26, 27, 28; March 26, 27, 28; April 16, 17, 18.

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When does interview notification (offer or refusal) arrive?


Interview notification occurs on a 'rolling basis'. What this means is that as batches of file reviews are completed, interview notifications are sent out via e-mail. For 2010 entry, some candidates were notified as early as February 2nd, while some candidates were notified in mid-March (e.g. I received my interview offer on Mar 12).


The order of interview notification does not have anything to do with the calibre of the candidates; rather it simply reflects the (random) order in which file reviews were conducted. Typically, grad review occurs towards the end of the file review process; therefore, many graduate applications are notified later on during the process (i.e. closer to mid-March).

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Are there any prerequisite courses, required for admission?


Yes, before you can be admitted into the MD Program, you must have completed the following prerequisite courses: two (2) full-course equivalents (FCE) in Life Sciences, and one (1) FCE in Social Sciences or Humanities or Languages (or some combination of the three, such a 0.5 credits of social sciences and 0.5 credits languages).

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