How to Get Into the University of Toronto From the US

Around 21% of all attendees at the University of Toronto (U of T) are international students coming from nearly 170 countries and regions on the planet. Known for being one of Canada’s most selective schools, you may be wondering how you can apply to it and earn an international degree in preparation for your dream global career.

Getting into the University of Toronto begins with creating an OUAC account and filling out the application form. A high school GPA of not less than 3.6 is preferred by the admissions officers. Most programs at U of T do not require supplemental documents such as admissions essays and recommendation letters.

Applying to U of T may sound simple, but there are some important things you should know beforehand.

Read on if you are considering flying to Toronto in order to become an international student there. I will tell you just about everything you need to know to be able to get into the University of Toronto from the US.

University of Toronto Stewart Building
University of Toronto, Stewart building

Acceptance Rate at the University of Toronto

As of this writing, the acceptance rate at the University of Toronto is 43%. Even if it accepts almost half of all applicants, U of T is still considered one of the most selective institutions of higher education in Canada. Some of the most competitive programs the school offers admit a smaller percentage of applicants.

Graduating high schoolers in the US are used to seeing single-digit acceptance rates at some of the most selective colleges and universities in the land, from Harvard to MIT.

The University of Toronto is just as selective as those, although it has a 43% acceptance rate.

But don’t let that relatively large acceptance rate fool you — U of T is one of the learning institutions not only in Toronto but also in all of Canada that are hard to get into. There are numerous colleges and universities located in the Great White North that intimidate a lot of local students, and U of T is included.

Let’s take a look at some Canadian institutions with the lowest acceptance rates:

York University27%
Western University30%
McGill University42%
University of Toronto43%
Queen’s University45%
University of Alberta51%
University of Waterloo52%
University of British Columbia53%
University of Ottawa54%
University of Montreal57%
Universities in Canada with the lowest acceptance rates

According to U of T itself, some of the most common reasons why applicants, Canadian residents and international students alike, are not accepted to the school include:

  • The GPA and/or grades in prerequisite subjects are not competitive enough.
  • Failure to have enough number of available courses at the time of application review.
  • Supplementary information (if required) was not submitted or not competitive enough.
  • English language requirement (if required) was not submitted on or before the deadline.

When it comes to the revocation of an offer to enroll or the registration, such can usually happen if the personal information and submitted documents are falsified. Besides having your opportunity to attend the University of Toronto taken away from you, other universities in Toronto may be notified as well.

University of Toronto, Arc
The University of Toronto, Art museum arc

How Do Students Apply to the University of Toronto

Students, Canadians and internationals alike, can apply to the University of Toronto through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC). Applicants to other institutions in Ontario have to use the same platform, too. International students, however, have to choose between two application options.

In the US, there are a handful of college admissions applications graduating high schoolers use to apply to their preferred colleges and universities. Two of the most popular ones are the Common App and Coalition App.

Students applying to schools located in Ontario, meanwhile, have to use the OUAC.

Just like what’s mentioned earlier, applicants will have to use the said admissions application no matter if they reside in Canada or are from the US or elsewhere on the planet. But it’s important to note that international students have two ways to apply to the University of Toronto (or any other school) using the said universal platform.

It’s not really a big problem if you make the mistake of creating and using the wrong OUAC account to apply to U of T. However, you might wind up having two different OUAC accounts and spending more cash on application fees than necessary — the OUAC application fee, by the way, is non-refundable.

Let’s take a look at the two ways an international student like you may apply to U of T:

International Application

First things first: the International Application is still an OUAC application. As a matter of fact, if you select it on the website of the University of Toronto in order to create an account, you will be redirected to the OUAC website.

Before you fill out the International Application, make sure you meet all the following conditions:

  • You are currently residing outside of Canada
  • You are not currently attending a school in Canada
  • You have not previously studied in Canada
  • You are not applying to any other university in Ontario

If you meet each and every condition stated above, then you may proceed with filling out the International Application in order to apply to U of T. It all begins with creating an OUAC account, where you will have to provide your first name, middle name, last name, date of birth and email. You will also have to provide a username and a password.

Applying to U of T via the OUAC International Application isn’t free — there’s a non-refundable fee of $180.

University of Toronto, Visitors Centre
University of Toronto, Nona MacDonald Visitors Centre

OUAC 105 Application

There are various types of degree-seeking students who should use the OUAC 105 Application in order to apply to the University of Toronto. They include high school graduates who are no longer attending a high school day program in Ontario or elsewhere on the planet and non-students of U of T in the past or at present.

Students residing outside of Canada may apply to U of T through the OUAC 105 Application, too.

Creating an OUAC 105 account is just like creating an OUAC international account — you will have to provide your name, date of birth and email address, after which you have to choose a username and password.

Applying to U of T via the OUAC 105 Application, by the way, costs $90.

Now that we have talked about the two ways international students can apply to the University of Toronto through the OUAC, it’s time for us to check out a few additional important matters:

  • International students who have already filled out and submitted an OUAC 105 Application no longer have to submit the OUAC International Application. If you do, your OUAC International Application will automatically be canceled and you may say goodbye to the non-refundable $180 fee.
  • Make sure that you complete each and every section of the OUAC International Application or OUAC 105 Application. And just before you click “I Verify and Agree”, double-check everything, including especially your U of T degree program of choice and the corresponding OUAC code.
  • You will be provided with an OUAC Reference Number — remember to record it and keep it in a safe place. You will have to use your OUAC Reference Number whenever you wish to get in touch with OUAC or U of T.
  • Besides the acknowledgment of U of T that it has received your application, other important details coming from the university as well as OUAC will reach you through email. Because of this, see to it that you set your email account’s spam filters to accept email from both U of T and the OUAC.
University of Toronto, pharmacy building
University of Toronto, Pharmacy building

GPA You Need to Get Into the University of Toronto

In order to be considered for admission to the University of Toronto, international students must have a minimum high school GPA of 3.6. As a matter of fact, the high school GPA considered highly competitive is 3.8 or higher. Different degree programs at U of T tend to have different admissions requirements.

The University of Toronto is one of the most prestigious universities not only in Toronto but also in the North American region as well as all over the planet — the school’s high global university rankings serve as proof.

Because of this, it isn’t surprising why U of T is on the hunt for competitive applications only.

Just like what was mentioned above, having a minimum high school GPA of 3.6 is important if you want your application to be considered. And if you want to enjoy even increased chances of getting an offer from U of T to attend it, you should have a high school GPA of not less than 3.8.

But it doesn’t mean right away that you are guaranteed admission even if you meet the GPA requirement.

The school itself says that the high school GPA requirement can vary from one academic year to the next based on the competition among aspirants for available spaces.

Because of having a holistic admissions policy, the University of Toronto also considers other factors, both academic and non-academic ones. So, in other words, preference is given to applicants with the best overall qualifications. It goes without saying that you should be able to impress the admissions officers in more ways than one.

University of Toronto campus
University of Toronto Campus

The University of Toronto and SAT/ACT Requrements

While the University of Toronto requires international students to submit their standardized test scores, it does not have any published minimum SAT or ACT score preference. Standardized test scores should be sent to the admissions office of U of T electronically using the SAT code 0982 and ACT code 5366.

More than 4,000 colleges and universities on the planet use the SAT in the admissions process. Meanwhile, over 3,000 learning institutions use the ACT in evaluating applications.

The University of Toronto is one of those that accept scores from both standardized tests.

It’s true that U of T doesn’t say whether or not applicants should have a minimum SAT or ACT score in order for them to be invited to enroll. However, the school itself discloses that the middle 50% of admitted first-time, first-year students from American high schools have SAT scores of 1330 to 1500.

This means that 25% of accepted students from the US have SAT composite scores lower than 1330 and 25% of them have SAT scores higher than 1550.

On the other hand, the middle 50% of admitted freshmen students from high schools in the US have ACT composite scores ranging from 29 to 34 — 25% of accepted American applicants have ACT composite scores below 29, while 25% of them earned ACT composite scores above 34.

But keep in mind that, according to the University of Toronto itself, the accepted standardized test score ranges can vary from academic year to academic year as well as from campus to campus and from program to program.

As of this writing, by the way, U of T allows international applicants to decide whether or not they will include their SAT or ACT scores on their applications. Needless to say, it’s like many test-optional US colleges and universities. True enough, the school adds that those who choose not to submit theirs will not be disadvantaged in the admissions process.

University of Toronto, Simcoe Hall
University of Toronto, Simcoe Hall

Does the University Give Credit for AP Exams?

The University of Toronto gives credits for AP exams. However, it’s a must for international students to note that it depends on rules and regulations that can vary based on factors such as the academic year, campus and program. Typically, an AP exam grade of at least 4 is a requirement for credits to be awarded.

In Canada, U of T is one of the cheapest schools, which is something that we will talk about in a few — so don’t stop reading now if you are an aspiring international student on a budget!

Getting high AP exam scores in high school can make attending the Toronto-based institution cheaper.

At U of T, you can be awarded a maximum of 3 full credits for every AP exam that you have taken in high school in your home country. However, in order for that to happen, you will need to have earned at least 4 on the AP exam. But take note that the school can only allow you to earn up to a maximum of 12 credits from your AP exams.

Further, it’s also important to keep in mind that taking two AP exams in the same discipline, say, AP World History and AP European History, will only allow you to earn 1 credit.

Besides college credits, AP exams can also be used in order to meet U of T’s prerequisites.

For instance, at the University of Toronto, the vast majority of degree programs in math, science, computer science and even commerce require applicants, whether Canadians or international students, to have completed calculus in high school. Well, instead of that, they may use their AP Calculus course instead.

University of Toronto gates
Gates at the University of Toronto

How Much Does It Cost to Attend the University of Toronto

Using the academic year 2021 to 2022 rate, the cost of tuition at the University of Toronto for first-time, first-year international students can range anywhere from $39,560 to $60,150. Meanwhile, as expected, the cost of tuition at U of T for undergraduate Canadian students is cheaper: $6,100 to $11,420.

Based on a recent report, the number of international students in Canada is on a steady increase.

One of the main reasons for such is that many degree-seeking students who wish to study outside their home countries are well-aware of the fact that the cost of living and, more importantly, studying in Canada is cheaper. Despite this, the quality of education remains high and the opportunities for internship and work come aplenty.

Some of the cheapest colleges and universities in Canada include:

OCAD University$8,429 to $32,432
George Brown College$15,190 to $27,930
Centennial College$15,385 to $28,350
Humber College$15,874 to $25,331
York University$29,572 to $31,598
Ryerson University$29,945 to $38,457

And then there’s the University of Toronto — as mentioned earlier, the tuition for undergraduate freshmen international students ranges from $39,560 to $60,150.

How much you will pay exactly as an international student at U of T will depend on certain factors, such as the program of your choice and the number of credits you enroll. Keep in mind that there are additional costs that will also factor in the overall price tag of an American attending U of T. Some of them include:

Incidental fees$1,885
Residence$11,000 to $16,000
Books and supplies$1,000 to $2,000
Health insurance$756

Doing the math, attending U of T for one academic year as an international student can cost you anywhere from as low as $54,201 to as high as $80,791.

University of Toronto campus
University of Toronto Campus

Just Before You Apply to the University of Toronto

There are many colleges and universities across the globe excellent for degree-seeking American students, and one of them is the University of Toronto, a well-known competitive school in Canada and internationally, too.

As a matter of fact, US News ranks school #16 in Best Global Universities.

Now that you have a much better idea of how you can get into the U of T from the US, you can prepare so much better for the challenging yet exciting academic endeavor ahead, thereby helping to increase your chances of getting admitted to it. Just keep in mind everything you have read in this post and add some confidence and fighting spirit.

Related Article: Getting Into McGill as an American

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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