The Admissions Process

Updated: November 20, 2017

Applications for admission to our graduate program, with start dates of May and September 2018 and January 2019, will be considered on a continuous basis beginning November 3, 2017 (when the online system will open for applications for 2018-2019 admission), until our departmental admissions targets are met. The first major review of applications by the EEB Graduate Admissions Committee will consider all applications that are complete by January 10, 2018. Applications will not be complete until the application fee has been paid and all documents, including all three reference letters, have been submitted. To be considered for some scholarships, your applications must be complete by January 20. After that date, we will consider all applications until all open positions have been filled, however, some professors make their decisions about which student(s) to take on in January/February so we encourage you to submit your application by Jan. 10 so that you will receive full consideration by as many professors as possible and for as many scholarships as possible.  If you need your application to be considered before Jan. 10, 2018, as part of a non-University of Toronto scholarship application, please contact us. 

As a first step in the application process, applicants should contact professors at one or more of the three campuses of the EEB graduate department, to discuss possible projects and financial support. Only students who have a committed research supervisor can be admitted to our graduate program. 

To do this, please look at a list of all faculty on the EEB Graduate Departmental Faculty Page. You can also look at the list of all faculty by Areas of Interest. From the 'areas of interest' list, you can follow the links to find a list of faculty by sub-specialty. 

Applicants with unconditional support from a faculty member and that meet our admission criteria will received an admission offer via email. Highly qualified applicants with conditional support from faculty will receive notice that they are admissible if/when the conditions are met. Conditions usually involve uncertainty about how many students a supervisor can support, on the success of a professor's grant proposal, and/or on the success of the applicant's application for a major scholarship (eg. NSERC). Grant and scholarship funding decisions are usually announced in April or May (but may be later than that).

Please note: For international MSc applicants, the tuition fees are extremely high and most professors will not be able to support an international MSc student. Please contact potential supervisors before you complete a University of Toronto online application.

Final admissions decisions for international applicants may take more time than those for domestic students.

If, at any time during the application process your situation requires that you need an update on the status of your application or an expedited admissions decision, please email the EEB Grad Office ( and your prospective supervisor(s) describing your situation.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the graduate program must be accepted by a faculty member who agrees to supervise them and to fund their research. Students cannot be admitted until they have the support of a faculty member.

Please contact potential supervisor(s) briefly describing your research experience and reasons that you are interested in doing your graduate work in their lab. Please see a complete list of EEB faculty that you may consider as a potential supervisor on the EEB Graduate Departmental Faculty page. Or see a list of faculty with their research interests on the Areas of Interest page; from this page, you can follow the links to lists of faculty by subspecialty. See this webpage, Prospective Graduate Student, for other information the application process. 

Admission decisions are based on academic achievement as reflected in your academic transcript and on research potential as indicated by research experience and letters of support from referees.

Please keep in mind that you should be evaluating potential supervisors as much as they are evaluating you. This document from the School of Graduate Studies has some useful advice about what questions to ask potential supervisor(s), their graduate students, and other graduate students in the department:

Please also see these documents: FAQs about EEB's Graduate Program and other advice and information

Requirements for entry to EEB's MSc program

Applicants, who have found a potential supervisor, are accepted under the general regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Normally, a four-year University of Toronto BSc degree or its equivalent from a recognized university is required. Applicants must have an average grade equivalent to a University of Toronto B+ or better in the last year of the bachelor's degree as well as an average grade of at least a mid-B in the previous year. Students are expected to have an adequate background in ecology and/or evolution based on coursework and/or research experience.

Requirements for the entry to EEB's PhD program

Applicants, who have found a potential supervisor, are accepted under the general regulations of the School of Graduate Studies.

There are three routes of entry to the PhD program:

  • Applicants already holding an MSc degree or its equivalent from a recognized university with an average grade equivalent to at least a University of Toronto A- during the MSc and an average of at least B+ in the last year of the bachelor's program may be accepted.
  • Applicants may be accepted first into the EEB MSc program from a bachelor's program and, conditional upon evidence of research excellence as judged by the supervisor and the rest of their thesis supervisory committee, may transfer into the PhD program within the first 11.5 months of being in the MSc program.
  • Exceptional applicants may be accepted for direct entry into the PhD with a BSc degree or equivalent if they have an average grade equivalent to a University of Toronto A- or better in courses in ecology and evolutionary biology and if they show evidence of excellent research potential.