MSc & PhD Degree Program – Admission Requirements

The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies has published a Guide for Potential Graduate Students that addresses many of the questions you may be asking yourself.

Academic Background
English Language Proficiency
Supervision and Designation of Supervisors
Official Academic Transcript(s)
Academic References
Supplementary Information - Personal Statement

Please note that we are only accepting International students for our PhD program. We are unable to accept International students for the MSc program at this time.
Unfortunately, university policy does not allow self-funding in our graduate programs.

As required by the School of Graduate Studies and the Department:

a) Academic Background

For admission to the MSc program a four year University of Toronto Bachelor's degree, or its equivalent from a recognized university, is required with an average equivalent to a University of Toronto A- (80-84%) in the final two years or evidence of strong potential as a researcher, having a specialized background in nutrition or other areas of biological or health sciences.

For admission to the PhD program a four year University of Toronto Bachelor's degree, or its equivalent from a recognized university, is required with an average equivalent to a University of Toronto A- (80-84%) or evidence of strong potential as a researcher, having a specialized background in nutrition or other areas of biological or health sciences, and a University of Toronto Master's degree, or its equivalent from a recognized university, with an average equivalent to a University of Toronto A- (80-84%) or evidence of strong potential as a researcher. Candidates admitted to the PhD program with a master's degree will have completed a relevant research degree here or elsewhere. They will have strong recommendations on research potential.

Applicants educated at non-Canadian institutions should note that their educational background will be assessed for equivalency with a University of Toronto degree. Please use the International Degree Equivalencies tool to see which international credentials are required for masters and doctoral admissions at U of T.

b) English Language Proficiency

For non-Canadian applicants who have not received their prior academic preparation in an English language setting (minimum of five years), applications will not be considered until proof of English language proficiency acceptable to the School of Graduate Studies has been submitted. Normally this is accomplished by having results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the associated Test of Written English (TWE) sent to the School of Graduate Studies. At present, the minimum overall TOEFL score is 580 and TWE score is 5.0, or IBT TOEFL: Overall 93, writing 22 and speaking 22.

Alternatively, a score of at least 7.0 with at least 6.5 for each component is required on the academic module of the International English Language Test System (IELTS) or 85 on the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) or COPE overall score 76 with at least 22 in each component and 32 in the writing. Applicants with scores below those levels will be refused admission. Under no circumstances will students be given provisional acceptance subject to subsequent demonstration of English language proficiency.

c) Supervision and Designation of Supervisors

MSc and PhD students are required to meet course requirements as well as complete a research project as the major part of their degree requirements. Students wishing to enrol in the program must first submit an application before contacting potential supervisors. The Admissions and Awards Committee will review applications at the end of March or early April and those found admissible will be notified. Admissible students would then be asked to contact the potential supervisors (from the home page under the About Us tab, click on Faculty Directory). The choice of project is governed by the availability of supervised projects and the candidate’s own interests (see list of students and theses). It is departmental policy not to officially accept a student until there has been a pairing of interest between the prospective student and staff member, who then accepts the formal responsibility of supervision and funding.

Application Procedures and Deadlines

Please follow the instructions below carefully. At the end of the instructions is a link to an online application form.

Applications to the Graduate Department of Nutritional Sciences must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) through the online admissions application which is housed on a secure server at the University of Toronto. The department will consider your application only after you have entered your personal and academic information in the online application and have submitted the application fee.

Once you access the SGS online admissions application and enter your contact information an applicant identification number and a password will be emailed to you. You can leave and return to your application at any point until you move to the payment stage. At that point you can return to check on the status of this application including whether we have received your supporting documents.

Payment of your application fee must be received by the School of Graduate Studies before we will consider your application. You may pay online by VISA or Mastercard. This payment method is secure as the transaction is handled by Mirapay, a third party authorized by VISA and Mastercard. Mirapay provides the School of Graduate Studies with payment confirmation only. SGS and the University of Toronto will not have access to your credit card information. Please note that the process requires that popup blockers on your web browser be disabled.

If you are unable to pay by credit card you may print an invoice from the application and mail it with a certified cheque to the School of Graduate Studies.

To proceed to the SGS online admissions application please click online applications.

The supporting documents, personal statement, curriculum vitae (C.V) and letters of reference can be uploaded on the application website.

Note: Separate applications (each with a required fee) must be submitted for each department for which the candidate wishes to be considered.

a) Official Academic Transcript(s)

All applicants using the SGS Online Admission Application will be required to submit an electronic file of their academic record for each previous institution attended. Usually this will be a scanned transcript, but in the case of Canadian post secondary institutions, the applicant may upload a .PDF file for their academic history from their university’s student web service. Where possible, the file should include the university’s grading legend and your name.

Applicants who are given a conditional offer of admission will be required to provide an official paper transcript (sealed envelope) in order to meet the conditions for registration. Applicants must arrange to have one official copy of their completed academic records from all universities attended when requested. A notarized English translation must accompany all international non-English documentation other than English or French.

b) Academic References

Two references are required from persons familiar with the student's academic ability and research potential. The SGS online system will contact your referees using the institutional email address that you have provided in your application. Reference forms are uploaded by the referees directly to the School of Graduate Studies on-line system.  It is recommended that you confirm your referees’ availability prior to submitting their contact details.

The SGS online system will provide them with the reference form.  If your referees encounter any difficulties in uploading their documents to the SGS online systems, the referees must complete a special form. After completion, this form should be enclosed in an envelope (i.e. business envelope), sealed and signed by the referee and then either collected by the student to submit with other documentation to the department, or mail directly to the department, or upload on the application website.

c) Supplementary Information - Personal Statement

Applicants are required to provide a summary of their interests and experience by submitting a personal statement, i.e., a written statement of their background (why they would be a good candidate) and of their goals, ambitions and expectations of the graduate program. The applicant should also submit a curriculum vitae (CV). If the applicant has the desire to work with a specific staff member, particularly if there has been prior discussion with that staff member, this should be indicated. Both can be uploaded on the application website.

Applicants are encouraged to visit the department and meet staff. Students who are not able to visit the department are encouraged to write directly to faculty members with whom they would like to work. During a visit to the department, prospective students should also meet with graduate students currently working with faculty members of interest.

The department cannot offer admission until a match has been made between an applicant and a supervisor who is willing to take on responsibility for the student and assure funding. The information requested above assists us in facilitating this pairing. While summaries of applications are circulated and files made available to staff who have expressed interest in accepting a student, it is clear that personal contact between an applicant and prospective supervisor can be very influential.

d) Deadlines

For September Admission:
MSc: (Domestic/International) and PhD Domestic:

  • January 15th- Application deadline
  • February 1st – Supporting documents (unofficial transcript, reference letters, personal statement and CV) deadline

PhD: International:

  • January 1st - Application deadline
  • January 15th – Supporting documents (unofficial transcript, reference letters, personal statement and CV) deadline

2nd Round
MSc Domestic/International and PhD Domestic/International:

  • June 15th – Application deadline will be considered if supervisors remain available.
  • June 30th – Supporting documents (unofficial transcript, reference letters, personal statement and CV) deadline

For January Admission:

  • October 15th – application deadline
  • November 1st – supporting documents (unofficial transcript, reference letters, personal statement and CV) deadline

Please follow the online application instructions.

The official transcript should be sent to the following address:

Graduate Admissions
Department of Nutritional Sciences
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Medical Sciences Building, 5th Floor, Room 5255
1 King's Circle College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A8

If you are interested in joining our graduate program, please contact the graduate coordinator - admissions & awards or the administrative assistant for more information or simply follow the links to Admission and Program Requirements.

Prof. Elena Comelli
Graduate Coordinator, Admissions & Awards


Graduate Program Administrator
Phone: 416.978.6071
Fax: 416.978.5882
Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Graduate Admissions:

Graduate Information at the University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies


Admissions Office
School of Graduate Studies
University of Toronto
63 St. George Street
Main Floor (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Toronto ON M5S 2Z9
Phone: 416. 978.6614
Fax: 416.978.4367