Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Undergraduate course suggestions:
I want to do grad work in MBP, what courses should I be considering?

Applications FAQs:
How do I apply?
When is the application deadline for September 2018 admission?
Can my application fee be waived?
How will my application be evaluated?
What are the essentials of a strong application?
Am I required to find a supervisor before I submit the application?
If a faculty member offers me a position in his or her laboratory, am I accepted into the program?
Do you offer a stipend?
How many students are accepted each year?
How many students are currently in the program?
What is the average time to finish the graduate degree?
Can I be accepted directly into the PhD program?
How can I find out the status of my application?

FAQs on Rotations:
What are rotations?
Can I opt out of rotations?
Do I get to choose which labs I rotate through?
I would like to work with a specific faculty member.  Am I required to participate in rotations?
How long do the rotations last?
What if I am offered a position before I am finished all three rotations?
What if I do not want to work in any of the three labs I rotated through?
What if none of the labs I rotated through agree to recruit me?
Do I receive a stipend during rotations?
Can I take up a summer position with one of the rotation supervisors?

Application FAQs:

How do I apply?
You can submit your application through the University of Toronto’s School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Online Application website. This is accessible through our website at http://medbio.utoronto.ca. Once all components of your application have been received, your application will be processed.
A complete application should include: a letter of intent, two letters of reference, your resume or curriculum vitae, official transcripts and if applicable, GRE & TOEFL test scores.  Please click here to access the online application and for more information.

When is the application deadline for September 2018 admission?
Students are encouraged to submit a complete application by January 8th for early acceptance.  We will continue to accept applications until May 15, 2018.  Alternatively, but less common (~10% of students), applications can also be submitted for a January 2019 start date (deadline is October 2, 2018).

Can my application fee be waived?
The application fee required by University of Toronto's School of Graduate Studies is non-refundable.

How will my application be evaluated?
Applications are evaluated on academic achievement, references and the applicant’s potential for creative research.

What are the essentials of a strong application?
A strong application combines the following:
A minimum average of B+ in the final two years of undergraduate studies (for MSc program applicants) and average of A- during the entire MSc program (for PhD program applicants).  This guideline is flexible, particularly for applicants demonstrating exceptional aptitude for research.
Strong reference letters. Choose referees who can comment knowledgeably on your academic performance and aptitude for research.
Clear communication in your letter of intent of your research interests and aspirations, academic achievements and research experience. Previous experience in research is certainly an asset, but is not required.

Am I required to find a supervisor before I submit the application?
It is not necessary to have a supervisor prior to applying to the program. Eligible applications are circulated to faculty members who are recruiting for potential graduate students. Students have an opportunity to rotate through several labs before making their final choice.

If a faculty member offers me a position in his/her laboratory, am I accepted into the program?
No. The Admissions Committee is responsible for the final decision.  Applicants will be notified after the interview.

Do you offer a stipend?
Yes. For the 2017-18 academic year, all students in the MSc program receive $26,750/year. Students in the PhD program receive $28,780/year. If you receive a competitive scholarship (NSERC, CIHR, etc.), the department provides a ‘top-up’ of $4,000 above the minimum stipend. Success in competitive scholarships can result in substantial increase in your stipend.

 

How many students are accepted each year?
Generally, 40 students are accepted into the program. Do note, however, that each application is evaluated on its own merit; the Department does not process applications on the basis of any quota.

 

How many students are currently in the program?
There are currently approximately 220 graduate students in Medical Biophysics.

What is the average time to finish the graduate degree?
Approximately 2.5 years for the MSc degree, and approximately 5-6 years for the PhD degree.

Can I be accepted directly into the PhD program?
If you have an undergraduate degree, we generally would consider you for entry into the MSc program; however, students with A- average can be considered for direct entry.  Once there, you can reclassify (transfer) into the PhD program. If you have an MSc degree from a Canadian University, you may be accepted directly into the PhD program. Direct entry PhD students are required to pass a qualifying exam within the first 18 months of enrollment.

How can I find out the status of my application?
Applicants should periodically login to the School of Graduate Studies online application system to check the status of any outstanding documents such as transcripts and reference letters. Your application will only be reviewed once all components of your application have been received. Please contact medbio.info@utoronto.ca or 416-634-8751.

FAQs on Rotations:

What are rotations?
On entry to the Department, students rotate through three labs in order to find the best student-supervisor “fit”.

Can I opt out of rotations?
All Masters and PhD students newly admitted to Medical Biophysics are required to participate in rotations.

Can I choose which labs I rotate through?
Yes, you will have an opportunity to specify labs of your choice if you are offered admission.  Students can specify their interest in working with particular faculty members in their letter of intent.

I would like to work with a specific faculty member.  Am I required to participate in rotations?
Yes.  When you are admitted, you can specifiy this faculty member as your first choice for a rotation.  After completing your three rotations, you may join this lab if the supervisor agrees to recruit you.  In our experience, almost half of the students with a specific lab in mind on arrival choose a different lab.

How long do the rotations last?
There are three rotations that each last 5 weeks, beginning in September and ending in December.

What if I am offered a position before I am finished all three rotations?
You cannot accept a position in any lab until you have completed all three rotations. Even if you have already determined which lab you want to work in before  the end of the 3rd rotation, we ask that you complete all three rotations before you inform us of your choice.

What if I do not want to work in any of the three labs I rotated through?
There is the possibility of completing a final rotation in a fourth lab.  If you participate in a fourth rotation, this would become your permanent lab.

What if none of the labs I rotated through agree to recruit me?
You would complete a fourth rotation and then continue in that lab permanently.  If the fourth rotation does not work out, your offer of admission will be withdrawn.  This is rare and generally only occurs if unusual issues become apparent with a student.

Do I receive a stipend during rotations?
Yes, you will receive a full stipend during rotations.

Can I take up a summer position with one of the rotation supervisors?
If you are accepted to MBP, you can be employed as a summer student; however, when you begin rotations in September you must choose two different labs for your initial rotations. The third rotation can be in the lab of your summer student supervisor, if you choose.