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How to get into the University of Toronto from the US

How to get into the University of Toronto from the US

The University of Toronto is one of the highest ranked universities in Canada. With its (comparatively) easy application process, it offers an excellent opportunity for US students with exemplary grades and test scores.

Kevin Newton
Kevin Newton
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Why study at the University of Toronto?

For students looking for a mix of the UK and the US higher educational systems, a great example can be found in Canada’s largest city. Spread across three campuses, the University of Toronto is one of the world’s great universities, with programs that span a wide variety of fields. Drawing upon the diversity and wealth of opportunity of Canada’s business capital, U of T provides its students with unrivaled chances to not only master their studies, but jumpstart their careers. The University of Toronto is not just the largest university in Canada by enrollment, it’s also one of the most prestigious. Not surprisingly, degrees from U of T are recognized around the world.

What is the University of Toronto known for?

The University of Toronto has gained high levels of achievement across fields of academic endeavor. Most notably, it is where insulin was isolated, as well as the birthplace of the artificial pacemaker. This is not surprising, as the university routinely receives more research funding and external grants than any other university in Canada. In the humanities, it has given rise to its own school of literary thought, known unsurprisingly as the Toronto School. In a blow to many die-hard fans south of the border, the first game of what would be known as American football was actually played at the University of Toronto in 1861. More than anything else, Toronto is known as being Anglophone Canada’s great research university and its rival to the Ivy League, Oxbridge, and the Australian Group of Eight.

University of Toronto Rankings

Depending on who you ask, the University of Toronto is the highest ranked university of Canada (with most of those making the case opposite coming from McGill University). Among global rankings, like QS or the Times Higher Education Supplement, it routinely makes the top 25.

University of Toronto Programs for International Students


Nearly a third of U of T’s student body is graduate students, and they can be found across a wide range of programs. Many students take advantage of favorable immigration policies to leverage a graduate degree in order to secure a future in Canada.


PhD programs at the University of Toronto are structured quite similarly to those in the United States. This means that there can be funding available for those who choose to pursue it, more in line with universities in the US.


Unlike other international programs, where Masters degrees typically only last for a year, many Canadian universities have two year Masters degree programs. While it might be tempting to look at this as a negative, more time as a student also provides more time to network and build relationships with faculty.

Summer Schools

The University of Toronto offers a wide range of summer programs for high school students with a heavy emphasis on STEM. Many of these take place at a satellite campus, but are officially sponsored by the University.

What exams are required to study at the University of Toronto for US students?

The University of Toronto is currently experimenting with going Test Optional, but like many other universities, if you find that your scores are within their middle 50% ranges (29-34 on the ACT, 1350-1500 on the SAT), it is absolutely to your benefit to submit them. This is especially true if you are applying for a more competitive course of study. To that end, AP or IB results can also help make your application more competitive.

University of Toronto Acceptance Rate for US Students

Not surprisingly, Toronto has one of the most competitive acceptance rates in Canada, at nearly 43% (meaning roughly 43 students are accepted per 100 that apply). For international students whose first language is English, some programs see acceptance rates of as high as 60%. While that is nearly ten times that of Harvard, the University of Toronto is also much larger than its US rival. Additionally, due to the University not using holistic admissions to the same degree that American universities do, that means that applicants have a much better idea of their chances of admission. Bear in mind that admissions decisions are made by program, not by the university as a whole.

Is it hard to get into the University of Toronto for US students?

For students who meet the requirements of their proposed course of study, getting into the University of Toronto is considerably easier than many peer colleges in the United States.

University of Toronto Tuition Fee for US Students

The University of Toronto is rather expensive for many American citizens, costing around CAD$60,000 (US$45,000) per year in tuition. Canadian citizens, even those resident in the US, pay almost a tenth of that. As such, Canadian citizens can save substantially by attending U of T.

How to Apply for the University of Toronto from the US?

Depending on what you want to study, applying for admission to the University of Toronto can be relatively straight forward. For many fields, a personal statement and a letter of recommendation are not even required. However, for more competitive subjects, like Business or Computer Science, a supplemental application unique to U of T is mandated. Additionally, many of these supplements have deadlines, at least unofficially, that are well before the University deadline of mid-January.

Upon completing the initial application, students will receive guidance on how to best submit their test scores and transcripts to the university, as well as any other required paperwork.

Typically, however, students find the application process for U of T to be considerably less involved than similarly-ranked universities, even those available on the Common App. Unless a student is applying to other universities in Ontario, they apply directly to the University. From there, they select whatever programs they wish to be considered for, and every degree program has a website that lists exactly what their minimum requirements are to be considered. It is typically advisable to try to exceed these for more competitive fields, like Business.

Upon acceptance, students can coordinate with the university regarding international bank transfers, as well as making sure that the visa process is as smooth as possible. It is worth noting that Americans who lack Canadian citizenship or permanent residency will need a student visa to attend university in Canada.

How to be Accepted to the University of Toronto: 3 Tips From Experts

  1. Apply Early. While Toronto accepts applications into January, the earlier that students apply, the more likely they are to have a favorable outcome, especially if they are not at the top of the qualifications for a given degree choice.
  2. Exceed Requirements for Competitive Courses. Business and STEM courses are especially competitive; make sure your academic achievement surpasses the minimum requirements.
  3. Understand the College System. One aspect of life at U of T that is unique, is the College system. Borrowed directly from Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge), a thorough understanding of how the Colleges work at Toronto will help make sure any informal communication demonstrates a desire to attend.

The University of Toronto offers an opportunity to study at one of the world’s great institutions of learning at a higher acceptance rate and lower cost than many of its peer institutions. With a more clear-cut admissions approach, many students will be relieved to find out that the focus is more directly placed upon their grades and test scores.

If your grades or scores are not inline with the institution(s) you desire to attend, Ivy Tutors Network can help. We work with students to maximize their scores and improve their grades, all while getting attention from professionals who are passionate about their field. Get in touch to learn how we can help make your academic dreams a reality.


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