Canadian College Application-University of Toronto

<p>I found really cool program at University of Toronto and I really dig Toronto as a city, I'm an American though so I'm curious what the application standards are and what things I would need in my application.</p>

<p>I want to get a MA or a PHD in History from there, I have an overall GPA of 3.85 and a major GPA of 3.98 in History. I went to an ok public college but it's definitely not a place Canadian would know. The minimum requirements are 3.3 for MA and 3.7 for PHD with no test requirements, the school is also ranked 25th in the world by many rankings. It seems too good to be true. Could I actually get into this school or do they only take people from elite colleges and that's why they don't have a GRE requirement?</p>

<p>I go to school in canada, and I would say it tends to be a bit less competitive than in the states, and most schools in canada just don’t bother asking for GRE scores because we think they’re irrelevant to how well you’ll do in grad school. It’s not because they would only take people from elite schools. As for what you need in your application, again I don’t know what things are like for history, but in the sciences, you often need to find a supervisor before you apply that is willing to take you into their lab. Your GPA seems good though, so I would say your chances are pretty good. Good luck!</p>

<p>Haha yeah the GRE is killing me here in the states, I have a hard time settling for a mediocre program when I know I could do so much better. I’m terrible on the quantitative section. Canada has some really good schools, University of Toronto is better ranked than Vanderbilt and Johns Hopkins in the states, that’s quite a feat!</p>

<p>Plus the tuition, even for “international students” (I’m like like 9 hours away) is only 15k a semester at a phd program. Are you kidding me? It would could triple that to go to Vandy or Hopkins. It really makes me realize how over-inflated out college costs are. I would have to pay more even if I got a grant in the US.</p>

<p>Thespartan18, I’m not sure if this is the same for history, but biomedical PhDs (most) come with a tuition waiver. Something to look into - you don’t want to have to pay $30k for tuition for several years if you don’t have to!</p>

<p>Do you have any advice on how to make my application better? I’m a little worried about the reputation of my alma mater, our history program is really good but its overall reputation isn’t great.</p>

<p>No matter what I do I’m definitely not going to be in school next year as all the deadlines are passed and I’d like to be able to put something on my app in that years time that is better than being a sales manager or something.</p>

<p>Well, I’m not sure what your GRE score is, but I can give you some advice if your GRE is not great like mine (450V, 640Q). Like you, I had a strong GPA and I knew I could do better than my GRE scores were allowing. I decided to take 2 years and complete a masters degree. This has given me a ton of experience, I now have a strong graduate level GPA, and excellent letters of recommendation. Also, I will retake the GRE when I apply for PhD programs.
My advice for you, coming from a non-history major, is to get into a decent masters program - a lot of masters programs have spring entrance, so you wouldn’t have to take a year off. From you username and being 9 hrs from Toronto, you go to Michigan State? If so, look there, Oakland University (where I went and I know that they are somewhat decent), or even try to go for UMich However, if you don’t go there, look for a semi-strong masters and when it comes time to apply for PhDs, even if you cannot raise your GRE significantly, you will be able to focus your personal statement on your success as a graduate student and will have graduate level letters of recommendation. My advice, whatever it’s worth</p>

<p>I know I may be rambling (I’m procrastinating homework), but you should compare tuition/future salaries. For example: if you decided to stay in the states 2 years masters and then 4-7 years phd - which could all be funded(?) vs. going to Toronto paying $30k for 5 years ($150k), but then have 1-4 years of working as a PhD for $X salary. I would suggest talking to your history advisor or a trusted professor.</p>

<p>Well I honestly don’t think I’m going to be going in the states due to the fact it’s expensive and there is an over-emphasis on the GRE. So that breaks it down to University of Toronto and Mcgill University in Montreal, both Top 100 global programs. My big issue is I have no idea if I could get into these places. Sure, I blow away the 3.7 gpa requirement at Toronto and the 3.5 at Mcgill but I went to Northern Kentucky University (my username is my xbox live SN). It’s ranked like 500th or something, I went there because it was free. I feel perfectly confident in my abilities but without the GRE I fear they may simply use my alma mater as my achilles heel instead but I have no idea because I’m an American and I know very little about PHD/masters programs, even in the states.</p>

<p>When it comes to law schools at least, I know they really don’t give a hoot about your alma mater unless you are applying to Harvard, but Toronto University IS the Harvard of Canada. It’s a bit intimidating. I know if I applied to Harvard, even with a very solid GRE score, I still likely would not get in. But their minimum requirements are just so much lower, it makes me feel like I have a shot you know?</p>



<p>TheSpartan, have you listened to some of the posts above? In the US, a PhD education is often FREE. Not always, mind you, but usually, although the current economic landscape is making admission much more competitive when it comes to funding.</p>

<p>As for the GRE, history program might overlook a subpar Q section. I’m not in history, but I know enough to say that your writing sample, letters of recommendation, and foreign language preparation are going to outweigh your test scores. I would assume that this is the case in both the US and Canada. Or anywhere.</p>

<p>I know various people on the faculty at Toronto, including my sister-in-law. She was an undergraduate at an Ivy League college, and turned down a PhD program offer from MIT to follow her then-husband to Toronto, where she has lived for the past 40 years. She speaks and takes visiting appointments all over the world. </p>

<p>My point is that Toronto (and McGill, too) are major international research universities, and don’t really have different standards for PhD candidates than equivalent American universities, except for the fact that they feel compelled – perhaps legally; I don’t know – to have a high number of Canadian citizens in their programs. They may not require the GRE, or care much about it, but I’m sure if you look you will see the same pattern as at strong public US universities: Hundreds of applications per slot available, ultra-low admission rates, shrinking budgets and spaces available. You aren’t going to sneak in anywhere.</p>

<p>Also, no highly ranked program will admit you as a PhD student in an academic department without at least giving you tuition remission, and usually employment and/or a stipend in addition to that. The nominal tuition for PhD students is irrelevant to you, because you won’t be paying it if you are accepted, and neither will anybody else. To compare programs, what you need to know is what kinds of funding packages they give, how many strings are attached, and how many years is it guaranteed for?</p>

<p>I would really be perfectly cool with a MA program. I would prefer seeing if I like the program before I jump into the PHD program, I’m not sure if that even works but I’ve heard people doing that.</p>

<p>My main question here is can I get into the place? I mean this school is ranked 29th in the WORLD, my undergrad school was ranked 505th in the U.S. I feel perfectly confident in my abilities to perform well but if I have one weakness on my application, it’s that I didn’t go to a very prestigious school ( It would have cost me around 95k min. to transfer to Miami for instance, instead of free). If I was wanting to go to University of Calgary or something, I’d feel perfectly confident but this school is on the level of Ivy league schools in the states, and I know those institutions are highly blue-blooded about your alma mater. </p>

<p>Granted, I feel since the min gpa is 3.3, my overall is 3.85, major gpa is 3.98, and I have a correlating major, I’d be foolish not to apply at least. I’m extremely excited about it though and if it’s still a shot in the dark I’d like to know so I don’t get my hopes up. I’m pretty confident I could get into their undergrad program based on my research, they seem to take anyone for sure as long as they have above around a 3.6-3.8 but that’s undergrad.</p>

<p>I honesty don’t think they care about whether you went to a prestigious school or not, as long as your GPA and letters of rec are good. I think you would have a better chance applying to the masters program though, because students usually start off with a masters degree in canada, and then switch to a PhD along the way. Often, only extremely qualified students with a lot of prior research experience are accepted straight into a PhD program.</p>

<p>Yeah I figured as much, 6 years of school is too much for me to commit to in one swoop, it’s just something to consider for the future if things go well.</p>

<p>So that leaves me at the 3.3 minimum mark, I think that it will in actuality be around 3.5-3.6, but that’s ok because I have a 3.8 anyway you slice it.</p>

<p>3.85 overall
3.8-3.83 in the last two years
3.98 major gpa</p>

<p>I will likely also apply to McGill, I think they look at the major GPA in that program. I prefer Toronto as a city to Montreal though so even if I got into both would probably still go to U of T.</p>

<p>Let me tell you something straight up. If you are going to worry about these minor details such as rankings, you are going to drive yourself nuts in graduate school and be at the risk of not finishing a program, be it masters or doctoral. You must focus on your accomplishments and sell them! Nobody cares about certain minor details that you’re worried about but you.</p>

<p>I think you are far from being ready to apply to (very) competitive history programs. You haven’t stated beyond costs why you want to study in Canadian universities specifically. Unless you want to do Canadian history, there are many fine programs in the United States that you can go for free or little cost. No, programs aren’t going to care too much about what university you’re coming from, only how well prepared you are such as coursework, languages, and research experience (usually a thesis).</p>

<p>You need to focus on finding out where the historians of your favorite history books are teaching and look at their departments, and consider applying there. Regardless of the ranking. You need to know what geographical or thematic area you want to study so you can find out whether or not the department has enough faculty members for you to work with.</p>

<p>I’m glad you’re taking time off but given what you’ve written here, I wouldn’t shoot for Fall 2012 just yet.</p>