Biochemistry Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Question:  Are there specific course requirements in order to be eligible to apply?

Answer: There are no strict course requirements, however we expect that students would have taken some advanced level (4th year) courses in biochemistry or molecular biology along the lines of our 4th year BCH or MGB courses (see the U of T calender or our department website for descriptions).  Undertaking a relevant research project, also has a significant influence on admissions.

2.  Question:  Do I need to be a Biochemistry Specialist to apply?

Answer: A Biochemsitry Specialist is NOT required for entry into graduate school in our department.  We accept students with diverse backgrounds but like to see some advanced level (4th year) courses with a molecular emphasis (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Proteins, Molecular Genetics, etc).

3.  Question:  Can I still apply if I have not taken a full course load in my final year?

Answer:  Students with a full course load are generally looked on more favourably than those with a reduced load.  However, this is just one factor that is taken into consideration and we have certainly accepted students with 5 year bachelors degrees with outstanding marks and/or research lab accomplishments.

4.  Question: What courses or how many Biochemistry courses should I be taking in my last year?

Answer: It is recommended that you take the 4th year Biochemistry courses that are relevant to the type of research you plan to undertake for your Graduate program.

5.  Question: Are there certain courses I am required to take in order to be eligible to apply or have a strong, competitive transcript?

Answer:  The strongest application is one whereby your letter of intent states an area of interest to pursue for your graduate studies, followed by a transcript that shows you have taken the best relevant courses for your proposed area of study. As important, are strong letters from PIs in whose lab you have conducted independent research

6.  Question:  Is it required to secure a Supervisor before submitting an application?

Answer: No it is not necessary.  Supervisors are typically selected after the application has been reviewed by the Graduate Admissions.  When an offer of Admission is made, we will also include a list of Potential Supervisors who are actively recruiting students for the session to which you have applied (ie. September 2016, January 2017).

7.  Question:  Do I need to submit a GRE General score if I am a Canadian Citizen who completed their degree from an Institution outside of Canada?

Answer:  Yes.  The GRE General is required for all applicants that have received their degree from outside of a Canadian Institution regardless of Citizenship.

8.  Question:  I am an International student who is completing my degree at a Canadian University.  Am I still required to submit a GRE General?

Answer:  Although you are applying as an International student based on your Legal Status in Canada, you are not required to submit either a GRE General or English-language Proficiency test such as a TOEFL or IELTS since you are completing your degree from a Canadian University.

9.  Question: I am not clear about how the tuition fee/stipend/funding works?

Answer:  The stipend that our Graduate Students receive is the combination of a "living allowance" (ie. rent, food, transportation..) plus the full cost of tuition.  Students are responsible for making payments to their tuition from the stipend they receive. 

10.  Question:  My referee does not have an institutional email address, what should I do?

Answer:   Referee’s without an institutional email address will be unable to use the online application system.   You will need to contact the Graduate Program Administrator ( to request your referee be sent the required Reference Form and instructions on how to submit it.

*Important – Original hard copies of references not uploaded directly to the application will be required