Blog 7 – How to Get into the University of Toronto
U of T Overview
Ranked 16 in the U.S. News & World Report university ranking, and highest-ranked in Canada (U of T ranks 16th globally, up one spot, in U.S. News & World Report university ranking, n.d.), this tri-campus university offers an array of undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate programs in Arts, Commerce, Social Science, Humanities, Engineering, and Arts. Among public universities, U of T continues to be ranked fifth in North America and seventh globally among public universities. There is no doubt that U of T’s reputation is on par with the most prestigious institutions in the world, and it continues to be the dream school that tens of thousands of Canadian students strive to enter.
U of T has 3 campuses: St. George, the main campus; Mississauga, the second-largest; and Scarborough. Each campus offers its unique programs with different acceptance requirements.
How Hard is it to Get into U of T?
Compared to other renowned Canadian universities, the University of Toronto’s undergraduate acceptance rate is around 43% in most recent years, which is pretty high compared to most US universities. You can also find the historical data in the table below.
Source: University of Toronto Institutional Data Hub
Of course, the acceptance rate alone does not tell the story since popular programs are definitely more competitive and hence a much lower acceptance rate. I once heard one parent doubting that many moderately-performed kids entered U of T and started to question if U of T is prestigious enough.
Parents must know that faculties and programs in U of T differ dramatically. For example, the Arts and Science faculties in both Mississauga and Scarborough can have admission rates above 80%. In comparison, the Applied Science and Engineering faculty only has an admission rate as low as 25%.
Also, more people are applying for U of T every year, and entering U of T will only become more challenging. As U of T becomes more international and more prestigious, U of T’s international students have doubled from 10120 in 2011 to 23019 in 2019. When U of T is attracting talent from all over the world, you are not only competing with Canadian students for limited enrollments.
What Does it Take to Get into U of T?
Popular programs are more competitive, and as you can see below, the average entering grades review an increasing trend for entering U of T regardless of faculties. Indeed, across all campuses, within Arts & Science and Engineering, the University of Toronto is becoming more selective of students’ entering grade averages.
The entering grades above can definitely be your reference when applying for U of T. However, an academic transcript alone does not guarantee your entrance. It only accounts for about 60% of your odds for entering U of T. The other 40% impacting your acceptance depends on the program you are applying to, your course selection, your extracurricular profile, your timeline, and even the origin of your high school.
Entering U of T, especially into those competitive programs, is not a 5-min effort of clicking the button to submit an application and pay your fees. Most Giraffe Learning students who entered U of T started planning since Grade 9. Since every course you took during Grade 11 and 12 directly impacts your admission, Giraffe Leanrings’ experts ensure there is no mismatch between your high school courses and the program you aim for. Such planning extends to extracurricular activities, which students and parents always overlook.
All in all, it takes years of effort, careful planning, and experts’ help to get into U of T.
How Can You Stand out in Your Application?
Finally, I would like to give some tips for those who are applying for U of T.
1. Plan as early as possible. When I say early, I mean Grade 10. You MUST know the faculty and program you want to enter BEFORE starting the application process. If you are unsure, go to find professional help. Check out Giraffe Learning Career Path Selection Service offered by Team Harvard.
2. Gather materials for your extracurricular activities throughout the years in secondary school. Do NOT leave everything at the last minute. I can guarantee that you will forget something.
3. Do your homework. Explore U of T’s website and know the application procedure and important deadlines.
4. Know who you are! Admission offers are looking for what you are passionate about, your interests, talents, and your commitments. You must give them a holistic view of yourself as an individual, rather than an oversimplified static image of a “good student”.
5. Applying to universities can be very stressful. Make sure you proactively seek help from school counselors, mentors, current students, or alumni from the university you want to enter, and more importantly, seek professional help when you are unsure.
U of T ranks 16th globally, up one spot, in U.S. News & World Report university ranking. (n.d.). University of Toronto News. Retrieved February 26, 2022, from https://www.utoronto.ca/news/u-t-ranks-16th-globally-one-spot-us-news-world-report-university-ranking