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Frequently Asked Questions


May I waive the application fee?

There is no application fee for Domestic applicants Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents) applying through the School of Graduate Studies online system because it is paid for by the Department. Please choose the 'Offline Payment' option to proceed with application.

International applicants will be required to pay the fee at the time of application.


Must I secure a supervisor prior to admission?

No. Students are admitted to the Department of Chemistry, not to a particular research group. Therefore, securing a supervisor is not a condition of admission. Students admitted to the graduate program will have ample opportunity to meet with all prospective faculty supervisors whose research they are interested in. Applicants, however, are strongly encouraged to review our faculty research profiles to learn about the on-going projects within our Graduate Department. You are also welcome to contact the faculty of your interest to learn more about their research.


If a faculty member offers me a position in his/her laboratory, am I automatically admitted to the Department?

No. All applications must be reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee. An offer of placement by a faculty member to his/her research group does not guarantee entry into the graduate program.


What are the bases for admission to the program?

Admission decisions are based on a composite of information including previous academic performance, comments from referees, relevant professional activities, proposed research statements and standardized test scores, if applicable. Applicants are assessed of their academic excellence, research potential and communication.


How many applications does the Department receive each year and how many placements are available?

Chemistry receives over 300 applications annually from all over the world and we have approximately 60 positions. It is extremely competitive. The general average of our intake class is above A- for both the MSc and PhD programs. 


Will the department provide financial support?

Yes, registered students receive a stipend of at least a minimum of $20,300 plus additional funding to cover tuition and fees. Students must maintain good academic standing in the Department of Chemistry to receive funding. Please see Financial Package for more information.


What is the average time to completion for the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees?

The average time to completion of degree is 12-16 months for a Master of Science, and four to five years for the Doctor of Philosophy. Highly qualified applicants with a GPA of A- or higher may also be eligible to enter the doctoral program directly with a Bachelor's degree. A major advantage in registering directly to the PhD program is the time to completion. If you add the time of a MSc on to a PhD, the date of completion can lengthen to 5-7 years.

Incoming graduate students with a Bachelor of Science degree are routinely registered in the Master of Science program. Upon successful completion of one year of graduate study and one full-course equivalent, students may be eligible to transfer directly to the Doctoral program without writing a Master's thesis. All residence and course credits obtained in this first year are then applied toward the Doctoral requirements.


As an international applicant, how do I determine whether my degree is equivalent to a University of Toronto Four-year Bachelor's degree with mid-B standing?

A listing of International Degree Equivalencies is available from the School of Graduate Studies. Please note that although the SGS admission requirement is mid-B, the Department of Chemistry requires standing of at least B+. However, applicants admitted to the graduate program in Chemistry usually hold a higher Grade Point Average than B+.

Please contact gradasst@chem.utoronto.ca for assistance in grade conversion.


Can I apply to become a part-time graduate student?

The Department does not offer part-time status for graduate students; all graduate students must be full-time.


Can I take only graduate courses and avoid research as a graduate student?

Our Graduate program is research based, as opposed to course based. Therefore, while students will be required to complete graduate courses, research is the focus of the program of study.

If you are currently registered in a Graduate program outside of Canada, you can apply under the International Student Exchange program. Students can registered for Departmental courses while remaining enrolled in the Graduate program of their home institution, and pay only one registration fee to their home university. Please visit the Centre for International Experience for details.

If you are not currently a graduate student, you can apply to be a Special Student, which would mean that you would take courses as a non-degree student. Special Students must submit an application for admission for each academic year of study following the usual Application guidelines and requirements. Applicants accepted as a Special Student must meet the same admission requirements as applicants into Graduate Studies. Special Students should specify the course(s) they wish to take and obtain approval from the instructor(s). Special Students accepted with less than mid-B standing may not apply for admission to a degree program at a later date.

On the recommendation of the graduate unit, and with the SGS's approval, graduate courses taken as a Special Student may count for up to one full-course equivalent or 25% of the course requirements for the degree, whichever is greater, in a subsequent degree program at the University of Toronto, provided that they have not already been credited towards another degree, diploma, certificate, or any other qualification. With the approval of the Graduate Office, they may serve to satisfy prerequisite requirements. Special Students programs must include at least one graduate course. Any tuition fees paid as a Special Student cannot be transferred to a subsequent degree program.

Please contact the School of Graduate Studies directly.

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