MD Application 2020 - 2021 Cycle Updates


Dear prospective and current applicants:

Over the last 5 years, the MD Program at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto engaged in a multi-year consultation with broad stakeholder groups to carefully assess the existing MD admissions process and requirements to ensure that the Program can modernize its recruitment and selection of future physicians who can best serve the rapidly evolving population of our city, country, and the world.

After the long consultation process and support of allies in the community, including OMSAS and our peer Ontario medical schools, the MD Program introduced the first phase of this renewal in July 2019:

  1. MCAT threshold – to allow an exception of 124 in one section in order to reduce the number of re-takes and associated exam costs; and
  2. Standardized references – to ensure that referees from diverse backgrounds, within and outside of the academe, can provide direct feedback on essential competencies.

Under our original MD Admissions Renewal communication plan, we planned to launch the official campaign in April 2020 to share further updates about our three-phased renewal process and updates to ensure that you, our most important stakeholders, were best informed and prepared.

Unfortunately, as we learned of and responded to the COVID-19 related challenges, this announcement was put on a brief hold while we sought advice from our colleagues in the undergraduate and graduate registrarial teams to comprehend the full impact of the pandemic and how we can best support you.

From our careful environmental scan, we understand that there are many issues that are now affecting the higher education learning environments and our learners, including but not limited to the following:

  • Transition to online learning and assessments, including lectures, labs, tutorials, study groups and office hours
  • Professors and teaching assistants’ adaptation to online teaching
  • Changes to, delays in and cancellation of course components and assessments
  • Changes to grading scheme and/or practice, including universal application of CR/NCR grades for the entire Winter 2020 term and placeholder grades
  • Access to quiet study space, technology, and Internet connection
  • Personal and/or family COVID-19 health effects

During this past Winter 2020 term, you may have performed at your best, norm, or worst while managing unexpected academic, personal, and/or health-related circumstances. Recognizing that our applicants confronted this extraordinary term with varying levels of support and resources, we would like to implement the following COVID-19 related admission requirement change effective July 1, 2020:

Grades obtained during the Winter 2020 Term:

  • All grades obtained during the Winter 2020 term will be reviewed on a credit (CR)/no credit (NCR) basis; these grades will not count toward the overall admissions GPA calculation.
  • All credits obtained during the Winter 2020 term will count toward the course-load, credit, and prerequisite course assessments.

Admissions Renewal – Phase 2 Changes

In addition to how we count the Winter 2020 grades, we would like to introduce the following changes in how we calculate the admissions GPA effective July 1, 2020 to ensure that we can further level the playing field for all applicants.

Admissions GPA Calculation:

  • Existing: All undergraduate course grades obtained during the regular academic year on a full-time basis (3.0 or more full-course equivalents (FCE)) will count toward the admissions GPA calculation. Summer courses will be excluded from the admissions GPA calculation.
  • New: With the exception of the Winter 2020 term, all undergraduate course grades obtained during the fall, winter, and summer terms on a full-time basis (3.0 or more FCEs during the fall/winter and 1.5 or more FCEs during the summer terms) will count toward the admissions GPA calculation.

Weighted GPA Calculation (for applicants enrolled in fourth year of undergraduate studies or higher):

  • Existing: Eligible to drop 3.0 or more FCEs of lowest grades if they have taken a full course load during the regular academic year (September to April for most programs) in each year of their undergraduate studies. The number of dropped FCEs is equivalent to the number of undergraduate years completed.
  • New: Eligible to drop 2.0 FCEs of lowest grades if they have taken a full course load during the regular academic year (September to April of most programs) in each year of their undergraduate studies.

Many students are now taking courses over the fall, winter and summer terms to better manage their academics and finances. UofT’s MD Program welcomes students from diverse backgrounds, and strongly believes that this is an important change to ensure that the Program’s admission requirements are in line with the changing student experiences and needs.

2020 Admissions Cycle Recap Session

As we wrap up the current 2020 admissions cycle and plan for the upcoming 2021 admissions cycle, the MD admissions team invites you to join us during our annual Admissions Cycle Recap Session on June 23, 2020, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. EDT (webinar details TBA) to learn more about this current and future admissions cycles and share your feedback.

Please see Frequently Asked Questions – Admissions for additional details about admission application cycle changes and updates

For our other admission requirement updates since the 2019/2020 cycle, please see below.


Admission Requirement Update: 2020/2021 - MCAT Deadline Extended

                                                                                                       MD Admissions Update – MCAT Requirement

Last updated: July 23, 2020

After careful consideration of various updates and feedback from our prospective applicants and the MCAT exam provider, Association of American Medical Colleges, the University of Toronto MD Program will continue to require the MCAT as part of our admissions process in the fall 2020: We will, however, extend the deadline to receive applicants’ MCAT scores from November 6, 2020 to November 30, 2020 to ensure that all applicants have sufficient time.

We understand that circumstances pertaining to COVID-19 are constantly evolving and will continue to monitor the measures that the AAMC and the MCAT testing centres are employing to provide safe testing environments for our applicants. Click here for more information about the safety measures that MCAT testing facilities are following to ensure your safety.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our applicants who have brought this important issue to our attention.

Should you have any questions regarding our MCAT and other admissions requirements, please kindly email our admissions team at:

David Latter MD.CM

Director, MD Admissions and Student Finances

MD Program, University of Toronto

Admission Requirement Changes: 2019/2020 - MCAT

Our new MCAT requirements are: a threshold score of 125 in each section, with an allowance of 124 in one section.

For more information, please take a look at our video below: 

Stay tuned for our next update scheduled on Facebook Live on June 27th at 2:30PM (EST). We will be sharing changes that will facilitate the application process for graduate applicants. 

Admission Requirement Changes: 2019/2020 - Graduate Applicants

Starting with the upcoming application cycle, we will be introducing changes on how graduate students will be assessed to facilitate their application process.  A summary of these changes can be found here

For more information, please take a look at our video below:

Stay tuned for our final webcast from this series of admission updates scheduled on July 10th, at 1PM. We will be informing you on changes to the reference/referee process on OMSAS. You will be able to livestream the webcast here (the video will be posted shortly after its recording session). 

Admission Requirement Changes: 2019/2020 - OMSAS References

Starting with this upcoming cycle, narrative reference letters are no longer required. Instead, referees will be completing a competency-based evaluation form and submitting it online through OMSAS for all Ontario medical schools. A summary of these changes can be found here

For more information, please take a look at our video below: