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Come join our research community!

The University of Toronto is a leading academic institution, and provides many opportunities for our grad students. Toronto is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city—one of the most desirable in the world to study and live.

SGS Admissions Portal

Application portal opens November 1st for: May, September 2024 or January 2025 start dates.
International PhD application deadline date: extended to Jan 9, 2024.
Domestic application deadline is: January 9, 2024.

Applications received after this time will be considered until available positions have been filled.

MSc & PhD Requirements

The Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology offers programs leading to MSc and PhD degrees. Applicants holding a BSc should apply to the MSc program, though exceptional candidates may apply for direct entry into the PhD program. Applicants holding an MSc should apply to the PhD program.

MSc Program

Previous degree

Applicants must hold a degree equivalent to a four-year Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto.

Academic achievement

Grade average equivalent to a University of Toronto B+ in the final year of undergraduate studies, and mid-B in the preceding year.

Background knowledge

Students are expected to have an adequate background in ecology and/or evolution based on coursework and/or research experience.

Unfortunately, due to the university’s funding structure, we are unable to accept international students into the MSc program.

PhD Program

Direct entry stream

Applicants may be admitted for “direct entry” into the PhD program after completion of a BSc degree or equivalent if they:
(1) have an average grade equivalent to at least a University of Toronto A– in courses in ecology and evolutionary biology, and
(2) show evidence of excellent research potential. Applicants will be considered through this entrance stream if they have a master’s degree that is not a research-based MSc in the fields of ecology or evolutionary biology, or that completed a BA degree prior to a master’s degree, or a BSc in an area outside of biology prior to a master’s degree. The direct-entry PhD admission stream provides 5 years of guaranteed funding support.

International applicants must meet the English language requirement (see Application Materials, below).

Both Canadian and international applicants interested in a PhD in our department may request an informal review of your CV and unofficial transcripts by the EEB Graduate Office to assess whether your application may be competitive prior to submitting the university’s application fee. Please include the names of 1-5 professors whose research interests you.

Entry with an MSc

Applicants may be admitted through the “indirect entry” stream after completion of a 4-year BSc degree in biology and a recognized research-based MSc degree in the fields of ecology or evolutionary biology if they: (1) have an average grade equivalent to at least a University of Toronto A– during the MSc, and (2) an average of at least B+ in the final year of the bachelor’s program. The “indirect entry” PhD admission stream provides 4 years of guaranteed funding support.

Transfer to PhD from our MSc program

A limited number of MSc students may transfer to the PhD program each year. To be considered for MSc-to-PhD transfer, an MSc student must complete Transfer Exam near the end of the first year of the MSc and successfully receive recommendation by the supervisory committee and approval by the EEB Graduate Office. MSc students should not assume that they will be able to transfer into the PhD program. Students in the MSc program also may apply to the PhD program via the regular admission process, such that the MSc student could begin a PhD after completing the MSc if their PhD admission application is successful.

Application Process

The graduate program begins in September each year, though it is possible to enter the program in January or May under special circumstances.

Finding a Supervisor

To be admitted to the graduate program, a member of the graduate faculty must agree to supervise you and provide the financial support required for your degree. We strongly advise you get in touch with potential supervisors via email several weeks or months before the application deadline. In your email, you should:

  1. Describe a bit about yourself (e.g. relevant interests, background, experience)
  2. Explain why you are interested in working in that professor’s research group

To search professors by research concentration, click on the EEB Faculty list and select areas of interest from the ‘concentration’ and ‘location’ dropdown menu and click apply.

Online ApplicationPortal opens November 6 for the next round of applications.

Applications are completed through the School of Graduate Studies Online Admissions Application portal.

Offers of Admission

Offers of admission are made between February and May. If you require a status update or an expedited admissions decision, please email both: Kitty Lam and your prospective supervisor(s) describing your situation.

If you have been awarded a major scholarship or are applying for a major scholarship that requires a conditional offer of admission, please email Kitty Lam, Graduate Administrator.

Application Materials

Each of the following must be submitted through your Online Admissions Application. Your application will only be considered once all materials are received.

Statement of Interest

A one-page statement describing your interest in EEB, your goals, and your reasons for choosing our department for graduate studies. Include the name(s) of potential supervisor(s) and areas of research in which you are interested. 

Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Provide a current copy of your résumé or CV. If you have published papers, please provide a URL for each paper on your CV.

Letters of Reference

At least two letters of reference must be submitted electronically by the referees via the SGS Online Admissions Application. Referees will be emailed instructions after you complete the appropriate section of the online application. Applicants should contact their referees early, and check in regularly to ensure their references are submitted by the deadline.


One electronic or scanned (paper) transcript is required from each post-secondary institution attended. These must be up to date and include the transcript legend (usually printed on the back). Ensure the file(s) are complete and readable before submitting. If you are admitted to the program, an official verified copy of your transcript is required before registration.

Current/former University of Toronto students do not need to submit official copies of U of T transcripts after acceptance—the original digital submission will suffice.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity

EEB values equity, diversity, and inclusivity (EDI). The application will invite you to share with the Grad Admissions committee any thoughts you have about how you could contribute to enhancing EDI within EEB. These might be issues around race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic justice and the like. This could be by the perspective you bring through your lived experience (e.g., as a member of a historically underrepresented/excluded community) and/or your education or involvement in EDI-related activities. This section can be as brief as you like. If you choose not to share any thoughts, just put “omit” in the text box.

Application Fee

The university requires a non-refundable application fee of $125 CAD, paid by Visa or MasterCard through the online application system.

Application Fee Waiver Form (optional)Deadline to apply: Dec. 19

Domestic & International students: Please submit your completed application form by Dec 19, 2023. Recipients will be notified of results: Dec. 20.

In the meantime, you may initiate your application through the University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies (SGS) application portal but please do not pay the application fee until you have been notified about the outcome of your application, as we are unable to offer reimbursements.

The Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (EEB) aims to build a diverse community of scientists. We believe that diversity makes us a stronger and more vibrant centre of research and learning. SGS charges an application fee to all applicants. However, EEB is able to provide a fee waiver for 25 applicants to our graduate program. The EEB application fee waiver program aims to remove financial barriers to support our goals of equity, diversity and inclusion among our graduate applicants.

Fee waivers will be distributed by a lottery system in three rounds. The first round of the lottery will be focused on applicants that identify as Indigenous and/or Black. The second round of the lottery will focus on applicants that identify with additional equity-deserving communities that have been historically/currently underrepresented/excluded from the EEB field. The third round of the lottery will be open to all eligible students for which the application fee represents a financial hardship. To enable waivers to support the applicants who need them, we ask that you only apply for a fee waiver if the application fee represents a meaningful financial burden to you.

Completion of this Fee Waiver Application Form is voluntary and your responses to the questions will remain confidential. Additionally, your responses will not be shared with the graduate applications assessment committee and will not influence the assessment of your application into the EEB graduate program.

Graduate School Application Fee Waiver Application Form
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
1) Please enter your Full Name as it appears in your application to the EEB graduate program.
4) Does the $125 SGS graduate application fee represent a financial hardship for you?
5) Voluntary self-identification: Do you self-identify with any of the communities stated below? If yes, please select the statement(s) that apply to you. If no, then you may skip this question.

Language Requirement (International Applicants)

If language of instruction at university was not English

You must submit an official English Language Facility Test (e.g. TOEFL, MELAB, IELTS, COPE). Please review the instructions on the School of Graduate Studies website for electronic submission of official scores. 

If language of instruction at university was English, but institution is located in a country where official language is not English

You must arrange for the institution to send an official statement to the EEB Graduate Office, confirming the use of English as the language of instruction and examination. 

GRE scores are not required.


EEB’s MSc and PhD programs are both fully funded, meaning all students are paid an annual stipend to cover living expenses and the cost of tuition. The base funding amount is approximately $33,214 per year ($21,000 for annual living expenses, $9,000 for tuition and other fees). To receive this base income, graduate students are expected to work as a Teaching Assistant (TA) for only 140 hours per year, which is a very low teaching load by North American standards.


For More Information

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