- Why U of T?
A Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from the University of Toronto's Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy opens the door to diverse and rewarding health-focused careers. Consistently ranked as the top faculty of pharmacy in Canada and one of the top five in the world, we offer a vibrant community of world-leading professionals and researchers, and endless opportunities for growth.
- Why choose pharmacy?
As trusted healthcare professionals, pharmacists occupy a special place in the community and in the broader healthcare system. Today, pharmacists apply their skills in a variety of work environments including community practice, hospital, education and the pharmaceutical industry. A degree in pharmacy gives you the opportunity to build a rewarding and diverse career based on your individual interests.
- What is the difference between a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree and a BSc in Pharmacy?
Both degree programs are designed for individuals wishing to pursue careers as licensed pharmacists. The Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program has a more advanced curriculum and includes a significantly greater experiential learning component than BScPhm degree programs. The University of Toronto was among the first Pharmacy schools to convert to a PharmD program. All Canadian schools of Pharmacy are now offering PharmD programs although the BScPhm degree continues to be a recognized entry-to-practice degree program.
Application Process & Program Costs
- How do I apply?
Applicants must apply using the online application which is accessible directly from the Pharmacy website. Please note that this application is not accessible through the Ontario Universities Applications Centre’s (OUAC) system. The online application is available starting in mid-September of each year, for the following September’s admission, and closes in early January.
- When can I apply?
It normally takes 2 years of university level study to meet the academic requirements. You would first become eligible to apply in the year in which you will be completing your 8th FCE (full-credit equivalent) and in which you will also be completing the minimum number of FCEs in each specified subject area as outlined in the Academic Requirements section. Whereas previous years’ requirements included specific courses, the requirements for the 2021 admission cycle have been changed to be broader and less content specific which facilitates completion within two years of study.
- How many new students are admitted each year?
A total of approximately 240 students are admitted to the PharmD program each year. Since many more candidates apply to the program than can be admitted, we are not able to offer admission to all qualified candidates. (In recent years the number of applications has ranged between approximately 375 to 700 per year.)
- I have completed a university degree. Does this make it easier to gain admission to the PharmD program?
No. All applicants who meet admission requirements will be placed in the same applicant pool. Those who have completed one or more degrees will have no advantage over someone who has completed the minimum requirements for admission.
- Is preference given to University of Toronto students?
No preference is given to University of Toronto students, or students from any other university.
- Will I get special consideration as a “mature” student?
No. No special consideration is given for “mature” students.
- I am not an Ontario resident. Can I still apply to the PharmD program?
Yes. All qualified applicants – from Ontario, from other provinces, from outside Canada – may apply for admission to the PharmD program. However, the class of approximately 240 will be comprised mainly of domestic students. (Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents). Applicants whose first language is not English may also be required to provide proof of English facility.
- Do I need to submit letters of reference or other non-academic materials?
Reference letters and other materials (e.g. award letters, personal profiles, work experience records, etc.) are not required and not considered in our selection process. Please do not send these items in support of your application.
- If I am admitted to the PharmD program, what costs should I expect?
Tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year is $18,060.00 CDN for domestic students. The cost for international students is roughly double the cost for domestic students. In addition, there is a non-academic incidental/ancillary fee that is payable once per session. This fee for the 2020-21 session is approximately $1,416.36 CDN.
There are additional fees associated with course or program requirements that students will be required to pay. These fees include:
- Immunization: there may be costs associated with obtaining required immunizations (per your health care provider).
- CPR/First Aid certification: this fee varies depending on the organization; however, you can expect to pay approximately $100 plus applicable taxes. Students must be certified in CPR/First Aid throughout their registration in the PharmD program which means that there will be an additional fee for re-certification. You will submit your Immunization and CPR/First Aid certification to the Verified by Synergy Gateway platform. You can expect to pay a document verification fee of approximately $47.50 per year while registered in the PharmD program
- Registration as a pharmacy student with the Ontario College of Pharmacists: this fee is currently $469 plus applicable taxes.
- Personal Professional Liability Insurance: this fee varies depending on the supplier; however, you can expect to pay up to $120.
- Fob key: you will need a key to access designated student areas in the Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building. This fee is $20 (refundable).
- In Year 2 students must purchase equipment for the lab component of the course PHM241H1 Topics in Pharmaceutical Quality and Clinical Laboratory Medicine. In 2020-21, these fees are approximately $10.
- Students must be fitted for masks prior to beginning their Early Practice Experience 2 (EPE-2) rotation In 2020-21, the fee is approximately $25.
- Some experiential sites require students to obtain a Police Record Check. The fee for this varies depending on the city in which the Police Record Check is conducted and can cost up to $65.
- Course materials: in Year 1, students must pay for course notes for PHM140H1 Molecular Pharmacology. In 2020-21 this fee is $17.00. In Year 2 students must pay for the lab manual for PHM241H1. In 2020-21 this fee is $7. Fees for course materials are added to the fees invoice you will be able to access on ACORN July each year.
- How long does it take to meet all academic requirements for admission?
You may easily meet the academic requirements within two years of university level study. You may apply during your second year of study, assuming you will be successfully completing at least your 8th full-credit equivalent, and you will be (or have already) competed all required subject areas, by end of your second year. All courses are to be completed by April of the year for which you apply. For details visit the Academic Requirements section of our website.
- What average must I have to gain admission?
There is no average which can guarantee admission as decisions are based on overall performance. The minimum published requirement for initial consideration is 70% (equivalent to a ‘B-’ at the University of Toronto). However, for interview selection or final selections, the minimum required average may be higher depending on the applicant pool. In recent years, the median average of those offered admission has been in the A- (80-83%) range, with a small number of students in the B- range.
- How do you determine the cumulative university average?
The cumulative university average includes all university courses taken by applicants, including graduate and undergraduate courses, any repeats or failures as well as any courses listed as ‘extra’ on transcripts. The cumulative university average will also include summer courses – except for summer courses taken in the same year that the applicant is applying.
The Faculty will convert letter grades to percentage values for the purpose of calculating a cumulative average.
In cases where a student has opted for a CR/NCR, where a letter or percentage grade would normally be reported, the actual percentage or letter grade that is reported in the student record system will be calculated into the cumulative average. This is effective for courses beginning September 2015 or later, but will exclude courses taken in the Winter 2020 session
The cumulative university average does not include any secondary school grades, nor does it include grades obtained in various other systems of study for which university transfer credit is often awarded (e.g. IB, AP, GCE, and CEGEP studies). However, credits obtained in these systems of study may be used for purposes of satisfying individual subject areas. Please refer to ’Information for those who have studied outside Ontario (Non-Ontario and International)’ for details.
The cumulative average will normally also include the grades for internationally obtained university credits (from recognized institutions), taking into account the differences in various worldwide grading practices. The general grading system in the country in which the qualifications were obtained as well as the scale used at the post-secondary institution(s) attended are considered.
- Is there a minimum course load that I must take to be eligible for admission consideration?
While there is no required minimum course load, it is recommended that you have experience with at least one year of successful study at a course load of 5.0 FCEs. This experience managing a full course load will facilitate your preparation for the course load in the PharmD program, which includes up to 6.5 full-credit equivalents per year.
- What is an ‘FCE‘ and how can I determine if I have the needed number of FCEs (or, how can I calculate my course load)?
An FCE refers to ‘full-credit equivalent’. Typically, 1.0 FCE is two terms/semesters and 0.5 FCE is one term/semester. Different universities use different course weighting systems (as explained below). Regardless of the weighting system used at the university you attend, a ‘full-credit equivalent’ is a full year course that usually runs in the regular academic session from September to April, or two half-year courses that run from September to December then January to April. Full year courses typically include at least two lecture hours per week over a period of 24-26 weeks (i.e. a minimum of 48-52 lecture hours in total) to qualify as a full-credit course.
Most universities employ a semester system. Therefore, two courses - each with a minimum of two lecture hours per week - over 12-13 weeks each, will qualify as one full-credit equivalent. While some courses may include three hours or more of lectures per week over two terms (i.e. 78 or more lecture hours), plus labs and tutorials, these courses are still classified as 1.0 FCE. Extra credit is not given for lab or tutorial hours and no single course can count for more than 1.0 full-credit equivalent.
If labs that complement courses are reported separately on your transcript, they are not included in the calculation of course load, but are included in the calculation of the cumulative average. For example, a student taking 10 half-credit (0.5) courses in the regular academic year, in addition to any required labs (at 0.25) , would have a course load of 5.0 full-credit equivalents (the 0.25 lab credits are not calculated into the FCE total).
All courses are considered as full-credit (1.0) equivalents or half-credit (0.5) equivalents. For example, at some universities employing a 6.0 and 3.0 weighting system, there may also be courses at a weight of 4.0. For the purpose of determining course load in such systems, a 4.0 credit course would be a half credit (0.5) equivalent.
The following table illustrates some common weight conversions:
Credit System Example Full-Credit (1.0) Equivalent at U of T Half-Credit (0.5) Equivalent at U of T 9.0, 6.0, 3.0 4.0 York University 9.0, 6.0 3.0, 4.0 3.0 and 1.5 University of Victoria 3.0 1.5 2.0 and 1.0 Ryerson 2.0 1.0 3, 4, and 5 United States universities on semester system N/A 3, 4, and 5
- How can I find out if the courses offered at my university meet the subject requirements for admission?
The updated academic requirements for admission in September 2021 are significantly different than the requirements of past years. The new academic requirements taking effect for the 2021 admission cycle are fewer and less specific than in previous years. Many different courses, covering a broad range of subject material, may be used to meet the subject area requirements. This is explained in the Academic Requirements section. We also provide a table with examples of acceptable course codes at all Ontario universities (and some non-Ontario) universities. This provides examples of course that are typically included as part of most Life and Physical science degree programs.
If you have studied at an institution outside of Ontario, or in various other systems of study (e.g. AP/IB/GCE/CEGEP etc) please view the ‘Information for those who have studied outside Ontario (Non-Ontario and International)’ for general information.
Also, please note that due to time and resource limitations, the Faculty cannot conduct formal reviews of academic qualifications until after an official application has been submitted. Applicants are required to carefully compare the courses completed with the published information to determine, to the best of their ability, whether or not the subjects align.
To help you organize your information, you may download the PharmD Application Handbook and use the worksheet provided. If you require guidance, after reviewing the information, you may contact the PharmD Admissions Office directly with specific questions by sending an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use subject line ‘Academic Eligibility Inquiry’.
- How are the required subjects used in the selection process?
We do not calculate a separate average on the required subject areas alone – they are included in your cumulative average calculation. The minimum requirement for each individual required subject area is a passing grade. The result of all attempts – if more than one for each course - will be calculated into your cumulative average
- Are there any other courses, in addition to those listed as requirements, to help me prepare for the PharmD program?
You will be considered for admission if you meet the published requirements. Although those who have completed additional courses will have no advantage in the selection process, completing additional courses such as Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Statistics, and Human Physiology, would provide a useful background for undertaking our PharmD curriculum.
- How will ‘Credit/No Credit’ designations affect my application?
If you choose to have your final course result reported as a Pass/Fail or CR/NCR, where a letter or percentage grade is normally reported, the following will apply:
For all courses beginning September 2015 and later (excluding Winter 2020):
If you are a University of Toronto student and you elect to have final course result(s) reported as a CR/NCR Credit/No Credit), where a letter or percentage grade is normally reported, the Faculty will assign the percentage grade(s) available in the student record system. These grades will be included in the calculation of the cumulative average. This applies to all courses.
Students from other universities who elect to have their final course result(s) reported as a CR/NCR (or Pass/Fail), where a letter or percentage grade is normally reported, will be required to request that their home university release the grade(s) to our office. Where grades can be reported to us by the issuing university, these grades will be included in the calculation of the cumulative average. Where grades cannot be reported, the CR will be interpreted as the lowest passing grade, although not formally calculated into the average. NCR will be counted as a fail. This applies to all courses.
For all courses completed prior to September 2015:
For students from all universities who elected to have a final course result(s) reported as CR/NCR (Credit/No Credit) where a letter or percentage grade would normally have been reported, no grades will be formally calculated into the average. However, the CR will be interpreted as the lowest passing grade and NCR will be counted as a fail.
- Will summer courses be considered for admission purposes?
Summer courses are considered to be of the same difficulty and rigour as courses taken during the fall/winter. However, grades reported to us after the final transcript deadline do not qualify to meet subject requirements and cannot be included as part of the cumulative university average calculation. Therefore, due to the timing of the release of summer course grades, only those taken at least one year in advance of the application year can be considered (e.g. summer courses completed by July or August 2020 will qualify for 2021 admission consideration).
- May I complete academic subject requirements through online studies?
Yes, we do accept online credit provided it is through a recognized university providing degree-credit courses. Please note:
- Courses must be degree credit courses offered at a recognized university –for example, U of Waterloo, Queen’s University and Athabasca U are well-known Canadian online degree-credit course providers.
- MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) such as those offered through FutureLean, EdEx and Coursera are not recognized.
- Courses offered through the School of Continuing Studies at U of Toronto (SCS), which offers non-degree, non-credit courses, are not recognized.
- The ‘Challenge for Credit’ option offered by some online course providers (e.g. Athabasca University), is not acceptable. You must complete all course components.
- Can I apply directly to an upper year if I have completed one or more degree programs?
No. All applicants are considered for admission into Year 1 including those who have already completed one or more degree programs.
- Will any of my previously completed university credits be considered as transfer credits?
Due to the specialized nature of the PharmD program, there are few equivalent courses offered in other programs. For details of transfer credit assessment and eligibility please click here. All applicants should note, however, that it will normally take four years of study to complete our PharmD program regardless of whether any transfer credits are awarded.
- Does it matter how long ago I completed the academic requirements?
Courses taken more than 10 years ago will be flagged for individual consideration and may not be acceptable in meeting admission requirements. Prospective applicants who have completed their university studies more than ten years ago, or who completed the university-level required subject areas more than 10 years ago, are advised that upgrading in some of the required subjects may be required to qualify for admission.
Previous Education in Pharmacy
- Can I transfer from another Pharmacy program?
Candidates from other Pharmacy programs may apply, although there are no direct ‘transfers’ to our PharmD program due to differences among the sequencing of courses and differences in course material or assessment methods. Candidates from other Pharmacy programs do not have any advantage in the selection process and, if admitted, should expect it will take 4 years to complete the program.
If offered admission, candidates who have successfully completed one or more years of a recognized Pharmacy program may be considered for course exemption on a case-by-case basis. The maximum number of allowable course exemptions for any candidate is 9.0 full-credit equivalents. Please note that this assessment cannot be done prior to the time admission is granted.
Candidates with previous registration in a Pharmacy program must have been in good standing during the most recent session/year of the Pharmacy program to be eligible for admission consideration.
There are no exemptions from the experiential components of our program. For details visit the Course Exemptions section of our website.
- I have a Pharmacy degree from outside of Canada. Do I need to take the PharmD program?
Candidates who have graduated from a non-Canadian Pharmacy program who wish to become licensed in Canada must follow the procedures as set out by the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC). If your credentials are recognized, you will be allowed to write the relevant Board Exams (Evaluating and/or Qualifying Exam). There is no need to complete another entry-to-practice Pharmacy degree unless your degree was not recognized by PEBC, or you were unsuccessful in the Board exams within the maximum allowable number of attempts. For information on the PEBC certification process, please visit the PEBC website at www.pebc.ca.
If your credentials are recognized by PEBC, and you have been successful on the PEBC Evaluating Exam, you may be interested in our International Pharmacy Graduate (IPG) Program. The IPG Program is a unique bridging program designed to assist pharmacists trained in countries outside Canada to meet Canadian entry-to-practice standards
- I hold a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Degree (BScPhm). Should I apply for the PharmD program?
Candidates who have completed a recognized Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BScPhm) degree, or equivalent, and who have successfully passed the PEBC Evaluating Exam (where relevant), may be interested in our PharmD for Pharmacists program.
The PharmD for Pharmacists program at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy is a bridging program designed to bridge the gap between a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy education (from Canada or elsewhere) and an entry-to-practice PharmD program.
Practicing pharmacists, graduates of the Faculty’s Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy program, graduates of other Canadian BScPhm programs, as well as internationally trained pharmacists are eligible to apply for admission to the PharmD for Pharmacists program.
- I have completed a Pharmacy Technician or Pharmacy Assistant Program. Can I transfer to the PharmD program?
Pharmacy Technician and Pharmacy Assistant programs do not directly meet the academic requirements for admission or transfer credit purposes to our PharmD program. Graduates of these programs must supplement their studies by completing academic requirements at the university level. Candidates with at least a 2-year program, and who have already been admitted to and assessed for transfer credit at a university, should contact our admissions Office (email@example.com) for details.
- Must I write the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admissions Test)?
As of the 2021 admission cycle (i.e. for admission in September 2021) we no longer require the PCAT.
- Are there other requirements such as interviews, references, personal statements, or work experience?
The CASPer Test (CSP-10201), which is an online situational-judgement test, is required of all applicants. This test is offered several times each year. You must choose ONE of the test dates occurring between August 2020 and January 2021 for admission in September 2021. The test will take approximately 60 to 75 minutes to complete. Only one test attempt is allowed for each academic year and the same test result is used by (sent to) all schools using the same version of the CASPer test. The last valid test date for admission in September 2021, for the PharmD program at the University of Toronto, will occur January 26, 2021. Please refer to the CASPer test section of our website for further detail. You may also view www.takecasper.com.
Also new beginning with the 2021 admission cycle, is an online, asynchronous interview - using a video-enabled interviewing platform. It will be undertaken by all eligible applicants who meet a minimum academic threshold as well as a minimum threshold in the CASPer test. This replaces the in-person MMIs (multiple mini-interviews) used in past years. The interview will consist of video and written responses and will be used for further non-academic attribute assessment and assessment of written communication skills. A maximum of approximately 500 candidates will be invited to proceed to this online interview stage. Please refer to the ‘Admissions Interview’ section of our website for details.
Other criteria, such as extra-curricular activities, personal statements, references, or work experience records are not part of the criteria used in our admissions process.
- When and how will I be notified of the decision on my application?
All candidates who submit the online application by the deadline will have access to the Applicant website that will contain important information, notices, and communications about admission to the program. After the final CASPer test on January 26, 2021, those meeting minimum academic and CASPer thresholds will be invited to participate in the online interview. These notices will be released between mid-February and early March. Candidates who have been selected to participate in the online interview will be provided with further information at the time these notices are released. Final admission decisions will be posted on the Applicant website by mid-June after the final transcript deadline.
- What criteria are used to determine who is admitted to the program?
Applicants will be assessed on their academic performance, performance on the CASPer Test and performance on the online interview.
Applicants must meet minimum standards in all criteria for eligibility in final selections. The published minimum average is 70% (equivalent to a ‘B-’ at the University of Toronto); however, depending on the applicant pool, the minimum for interview eligibility, or in final selections, may be higher.
The published criteria does not preclude consideration of other possible factors related to academic performance and/or student conduct. Those who do not meet minimum standards in one or more of the criteria will not be considered in final selections.
- What average must I have at the university level to gain admission?
There is no average which can guarantee admission. The minimum published requirement for initial consideration, is 70% (equivalent to a B- at the University of Toronto); however, the average required for interview selections, and/or the average required for consideration in final selections may be higher. Applicants are assessed within the applicant pool in the year in which they are applying. In recent years, the median average of those offered admission has been in the A- range (80-83%).
- How will repeated or failed courses, affect my application?
The grades from all attempts at individual courses, including failures and repeats, are included in the calculation of the cumulative university average.