Application and Instructions

The admissions application for September 2019 entry will open October 9, 2018. The deadline for both domestic and international applicants has been extended to December 17, 2018 (11:59 pm EST). We have only one admissions round annually for September entry.

Your application and supporting documents are submitted electronically through the School of Graduate Studies Online Admissions Application system. There is a required application fee of $120 (CAD).

Please note that “Documents Pending” is the default status after payment of the application fee until approximately December 21st. Unfortunately, the online system doesn’t automatically move the status from “Documents Pending” to “Under Review” upon receipt of all the required application materials. This is updated manually on the department side after the close of the admissions deadline.


Grade Point Average (GPA)

PhD U (Direct Entry): an average of A- in the final two years of coursework (upper level coursework).
PhD: an average of at least B+ assessed at the University of Toronto equivalent or demonstrated comparable research competence.
Please refer to the International Degree Equivalencies Tool to calculate the University of Toronto equivalent GPA.

Letters of Reference

At least three letters of reference from professors or supervisors who are able to speak to your ability and your potential to engage in doctoral level research. It is recommended that you confirm your referees’ availability to provide a reference prior to submitting their contact details. Letters of reference are confidential and applicants will not have access to them.

Once you have submitted the contact details in the “Referees” form and have paid your application fee, the online system will automatically email an applicant reference request to your referees including a link to use for submission of the reference. You are able to resend an applicant reference request to a referee. (The system limits this to one time a day.) Please follow up with your referees to make sure that they have received the request. They should check their spam mail folders for the reference request if they have not received it.

Note that for referee e-mail addresses you should use institutional ones, as the online system will not accept personal email addresses (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail). Please contact the Graduate Office if the institution utilizes Gmail or the like as the official email address, or if you need to correct, update or change referee information.


Electronic or scanned transcripts from each post-secondary institution that you have attended. Transcripts must be up to date and contain the transcript legend (usually printed on the back of a paper transcript). Transcripts submitted without a legend will not be accepted. An official English translation must accompany all documentation not written in English or French.

The online system also requires that each transcript, inclusive of legend, be uploaded as a single PDF file, which may not exceed 3MB in size. A resolution of 200 PPI is recommended (or the lowest readable PPI for larger files); if your transcript is in color, you may need to scan as grayscale. Please be sure that each transcript file is complete and readable before submitting.

Note that while electronic materials suffice for the admissions review process, you will be required to submit official hard copy transcripts if you receive an admission offer. The offer will be conditional on verification of these official transcripts.

Research Statement

The statement should include any special areas of interest in astronomy, why you want to pursue doctoral research, and your skills or qualifications. Describe any related research projects and your particular contributions. Outline your specific research plans and goals. (Approximately one page in length; two pages maximum.)

Publication List/Research Contributions or Curriculum Vitae

If applicable, you should provide a list of publications and research contributions (e.g. scholarly publication, conference presentations, and other evidence of scholarly activities; please differentiate between refereed and non-refereed publications) or a curriculum vitae.

Graduate Record Examination

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not an application component.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

Applicants educated outside of Canada should ensure that they have met the English language proficiency requirement. For full details, please refer to the English language proficiency section.