Black Student Application Program
University of Toronto’s MD Program is committed to excellence through equity. The admission requirements for all students are identical in Grade Point Average (GPA) and Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) scores. What differs for those applying through the black students admissions program is the requirement to submit a personal essay and to have representation from black health leadership in admissions file review and interviewing. There are no fixed seats or quotas.
The Black Student Application Program (BSAP) is an optional application stream for Black applicants who self-identify as Black African, Black Caribbean, Black North American, multi-racial students who have and identify with their Black ancestry, etc.
The aim of this application program is to increase and support Black medical student representation at the University of Toronto. Through BSAP, we hope to break down some of the barriers that might impede black students from applying and nurture an inclusive environment that is welcoming to all.
Applicants applying through BSAP must submit the following additional materials along with all other admission requirements through the Ontario Medical Schools Application Service (OMSAS):
- Students can chose to apply through BSAP by self-identifying on the OMSAS application.
- Applicants will be required to submit a BSAP Personal Essay highlighting why they have chosen to apply through this application stream. This essay must be 250 words or less.
Application Program Information
- Applicants must meet the same academic requirements for Medical College Application Test (MCAT) results, grade point average (GPA) and course prerequisites as all other applicants.
- The BSAP program does not have a designated quota for admission.
- Members of the Black community, as well as Black physicians, faculty members, and students will take part in admissions file review and admission interviews.
- All required application materials must be submitted by the OMSAS deadline.
- Both domestic and international candidates are invited to apply through this application stream
Prospective applicants are invited to join the Community of Support (COS). COS is a collaborative initiative to increase the number of medical students who are Black, Indigenous, racialized or economically disadvantaged at the University of Toronto. Interested students can sign up to join via the COS Form.
- Faculty of Medicine: Inclusion and Diversity
- Office of Health Professions Student Affairs
- Scholarships for Black medical students
This program reflects the Faculty of Medicine’s strong commitment to diversity as demonstrated in its diversity statement .
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why has U of T Medicine started a Black Student Applicant Program?
A: Through BSAP, we hope to break down some of the barriers that might prevent Black learners from applying and nurture an environment that’s inclusive and welcoming of everyone. Research shows that increased diversity of medical students leads to unique learning opportunities and to better physicians with a greater ability and understanding of diverse communities. It can also improve access to care for underserved communities and provide better health care to all patients, including minority communities that face unique health challenges.
2. What is different about a BSAP application?
A: Members of the Black community, as well as Black physicians, faculty members and students will take part in admissions file review and admission interviews. Applicants must still meet the same admissions requirements (MCAT, GPA and course prerequisites) as applicants through the general application stream. Students can choose to apply through BSAP by self-identifying on the OMSAS application and must submit an additional personal essay highlighting why they’ve chosen to apply through this stream.
Q: Is U of T Medicine establishing a quota for Black students?
A: No, BSAP will not have designated seats. Black student applicants who choose not to participate in or are not selected for this program are still eligible for admission through the general application process.
Q: Is BSAP more competitive than the general admissions stream?
A: No. All qualified BSAP applicants will move forward to interview and selection, just as in the general admissions stream.
Q: Will the admission requirements for Black students be lower than other students?
A: Absolutely not. The standards for admission (MCAT, GPA and course prerequisites) remain the same for students who apply through BSAP as they do for all other available streams.
Q: Does having a stream like BSAP not disadvantage qualified non-Black applicants?
A: As there are no designated seats for BSAP applicants that we’re seeking to fill, and as the application requirements are the same for all applicants, non-Black applicants are in no way disadvantaged.
Q: Would I be guaranteed to proceed to the interview stage as a BSAP candidate if I satisfy all admissions requirements?
A: No, just as with all of our other admission streams, we will continue to invite qualified candidates to the MD admissions interview based on their file review scores. Meeting the minimum admissions requirements does not guarantee your progression to the interview stage.
Q: Do Black students have to apply through BSAP?
A: No, it is not mandatory. Black students can apply through the general or MD/PhD streams.
Q: What are the advantages to applying under BSAP?
A: File review and interviews for all BSAP applicants will include members of the Black community who are affiliated with and/or have extensive knowledge of healthcare and/or post-secondary education, admissions and outreach. This way, there may be less room for unconscious or conscious bias. Applicants selected to interview will also have the opportunity to connect with community resources within the Faculty of Medicine, through additional programming offered to BSAP applicants during the interview days.
Q: Are you going to be looking for a commitment to social justice or involvement within the Black community? Any other way that you might be looking for different criteria in these applicants?
A: Just as we will not lower admission standards for students applying through BSAP, we will also not apply additional requirements upon those applicants. We will be applying the same expectations for BSAP applications as we do for all of our students.
Q: How do students prove they’re qualified to apply under BSAP?
A: Students must self-identify as Black African, Black Caribbean, Black North American, multi-racial students who have and identify with their African ancestry.
Q: What should I include in the BSAP essay?
A: Whatever you want. We have left this very open-ended, so it is your chance to tell us about anything that you feel is relevant.
Q: Who are appropriate admissions reviewers for this specialized application stream?
A: Anyone can participate. Our aim is to include members of the Black community on our admissions process (including physician, medical students, medical residents, health professionals and other community members). In addition to this, we welcome a diverse group of admissions reviewers who are comfortable assessing ethical and professional attributes and persons of diverse backgrounds.