Additional Information About Subject Requirements for September 2020

To be eligible for admission to the PharmD program in September 2020, applicants must successfully complete the subjects listed below in time for final grades to be reported to our office no later than May 29, 2020. This requires that all courses be completed by the end of the second term/semester of the 2019-20 academic year, i.e. typically by the end of April.

For examples of acceptable university courses at all Ontario universities, including all three University of Toronto campuses, (as well as some non-Ontario post-secondary institutions) please click here. Important details related to each of the subject requirements are given below.

Introductory Biology

  • Must be university level
  • Minimum of two terms/semesters
  • Laboratory component not required
  • Introductory (i.e. first year) Biology courses such as General Biology, Organisms in Their Environment, and Cell Biology are among the broad range of courses that fulfill this requirement. Anatomy and Physiology courses, however, do not fulfill this requirement (note: Human Physiology is a separate requirement).
  • Equivalent to BIO120H1 plus BIO130H1 at the University of Toronto


Please note that candidates who attend a university where two terms/semesters of Introductory/General Chemistry are offered in first year must complete both terms and would normally require a total of 5 half-credit courses (or 2.5 full-credit equivalent courses) to fulfill the complete Chemistry requirement (combination of Introductory, Organic and Physical Chemistry). Where only one term/semester of Introductory/General Chemistry is offered in first year and Organic Chemistry I is offered as a first year course, the Chemistry requirement may be completed within 4 half-credit courses (or 2.0 full-credit equivalent courses).

Introductory Chemistry

  • Must be university level
  • Minimum of one to two terms/semesters
  • At universities where Introductory/General Chemistry is offered as two half-credit courses (with each being one term/semester), both terms/semesters must be completed to fulfill this requirement. Introductory courses must serve as pre-requisite courses for upper level Chemistry courses to qualify for this requirement.
  • Minimum of 18 hours of laboratory component. If laboratory component is offered separately from the course, applicants must be registered in the laboratory course as well.
  • Equivalent to CHM135H1 or former CHM139H1 at the University of Toronto

Organic Chemistry

  • Must be university level
  • Minimum of two terms/semesters (at some universities the first half may be a first-year credit, while at many universities both halves are second year courses).
  • Minimum of 40 hours of laboratory component. If laboratory component is offered separately from the course, applicants must be registered in the laboratory course as well.
  • Equivalent to CHM136H (or former 138H1) plus CHM247H1 at the University of Toronto

Physical Chemistry (Thermodynamics and Kinetics)

  • Must be university level
  • Minimum of one term/semester
  • Must be a second year or higher level course. Although components of Physical chemistry are taught in many first year chemistry courses, it is the second year material that is required to meet this requirement.
  • Minimum of one term/semester. At some institutions, two terms/semesters may be required to cover the required material.
  • No laboratory component required
  • First year Chemistry and Calculus courses are generally pre-requisites for acceptable Physical Chemistry Courses. At some institutions, first year university Physics courses may also be a pre-requisite.
  • Note that courses in Analytical Chemistry will not meet this requirement.
  • Equivalent to CHM220H1 at the University of Toronto

CEGEP credits do not meet this requirement.


  • Must be university level
  • Minimum of two terms/semesters
  • Must be traditional Calculus that covers differentiation and integration
  • Course must be a pre-requisite for upper/advanced level Calculus and/or physical sciences courses. Courses that do not serve as a pre-requisite for further Calculus/physical sciences courses do not meet the requirement.
  • Pre-Calculus credits do not meet the requirement.
  • Equivalent to MAT135H1 + MAT136H1 or former MAT135Y1 at the University of Toronto


  • Must be university level, generally second year or higher level courses
  • Minimum of one term/semester. At some universities, two semesters may be required to cover required course content.
  • No laboratory component required
  • Courses such as Introductory Biochemistry, as well as some combinations of second/upper year courses in Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, are examples of courses that may meet the Biochemistry requirement. Many of these second or upper year courses have Introductory Biology and/or Organic Chemistry as pre- or co-requisites.
  • Equivalent to BCH242Y1 or BCH210H1 at the University of Toronto

Human Physiology 

  • Must be university level
  • Minimum of one to two terms/semesters (depending on the specifics of the courses offered)
  • Acceptable courses are those which cover all major systems in Human Physiology including Neurophysiology, Endocrine, Cardiac, Respiratory, Digestive, Reproductive, Urinary, Musculoskeletal, Fluids and Electrolytes.
  • At universities where the material is offered over the span of two terms/semesters (e.g. Physiology I and II) both are required.  The course(s) must have an emphasis on human physiology.
  • Equivalent to PSL201Y1 or  PSL300H1 + 301H1

CEGEP credits do not meet this requirement


  • Must be university level
  • Introductory course in statistical concepts and methods
  • Minimum of one term/semester. At some universities, two semesters may be required to cover required course content.
  • Courses that cover other material and include statistics as only one component of the course do not meet the academic requirement
  • First year or upper level courses are suitable
  • Statistics courses offered through other disciplines, such as Psychology or Sociology, may also be considered
  • Equivalent to STA220H1 at the University of Toronto

Humanities/Social Sciences (Note: Language courses are not considered in fulfilment of this requirement) 

  • Must be university level
  • Minimum of two terms/semesters
  • Courses can be introductory or advanced level
  • You may combine one term/semester of Humanities with one term/semester of Social Sciences, or two terms/semesters in the same discipline or subject area
  • A wide range of Humanities  and Social Science courses are acceptable  including, but not  necessarily  limited to, those listed below:
    • Anthropology (excluding Physical Sciences)
    • Classics (excluding languages)
    • Criminology
    • Economics
    • English (excluding language courses)
    • Geography  (Human Geography)
    • History
    • Jewish Studies
    • Linguistics (excluding those classed as Science)
    • Music
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Psychology (Introductory only)
    • Religion
    • Sociology
    • Most U of Toronto seminar courses (excluding SCI and interdisciplinary courses which have a science  component)
    • Most U of Toronto UNI, TRN, SMC, WDW and VIC courses
    • Women and Gender Studies

Some exceptions to the courses listed above include:

  • Upper year courses in some disciplines (such as Sociology and Economics) may be Statistics courses which would not be acceptable for purposes of meeting this requirement.
  • Courses offered under disciplines such as History or Classics, but which are language courses (e.g. Indigenous Languages under ‘History’ or Latin or Greek under ‘Classics’) are not acceptable.
  • Philosophy courses which are math based such as Modern Symbolic Logic (PHL245H1 at U of Toronto) are not acceptable.

Additional Exclusions: The following subject areas, or courses under other disciplines which offer similar material, do not fulfill the Humanities/Social Science subject requirement: Accounting, Astronomy, Computer Science, Geology, Languages, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Statistics, Physical Education, Physical Sciences, Report/Technical Writing, U of Toronto SCI seminar courses.

  • Courses from educational systems such as IB (Higher Levels), Advanced Placement exams, GCE ‘A’ levels (UK or equivalent examining authorities), and CEGEP (Quebec), are acceptable in meeting all or part of the Humanities/Social Science if university transfer credit has been awarded for relevant course(s).  Courses for which no university transfer credit was awarded will normally not be considered for purposes of meeting the Humanities/Social Science subject requirement.    Refer to ‘Information for Candidates – Non-Ontario and International’ for further details including grade requirements.

English (Literature/Composition)

  • Must be university level (Note: this is a change from a Grade 12 requirement as of the 2017 admission cycle)
  • One term/semester
    • A wide selection of English Literature/Composition courses are acceptable.  This includes courses such as Effective Writing, Children’s Literature, The Graphic Novel, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and Poetry and Prose. U of Toronto PCL285H1 (taken 2009 to 2015) will also be accepted in fulfilment of this requirement.
    • English courses completed in one of the systems given below are also acceptable for purposes of meeting the English subject requirement:
      • International Baccalaureate (IB)  Higher Level credit in English Literature [or English Language & Literature] with a grade of at least 5 (Note English B is not acceptable),
      • Advanced Placement examination in English Literature and Composition [or English Language and Composition] with a grade of at least 4
      • General Certificate of Education (GCE)  ‘A’ Level English Literature [or English Language and Literature] from a UK or equivalent examining authority, with grade of at least ‘C’
      • CEGEP English courses (courses codes beginning with ‘603’ – NOTE courses coded ‘604’ do not meet this requirement)
  • Courses may be Introductory (100 level) or advanced (upper year) courses.  Click here to view a listing of some of the acceptable 100 level credits offered at various universities. However, this is not a complete list – it provides examples only of the 100 level credits (including some online course offerings) as well as examples of some English credits which will not meet the requirement.
  • The following do not fulfill the English subject requirement:  Report Writing, Technical Writing,  Business Communications, ESL (English as a Second Language), or courses that focus on Social Media or Drama (Theatre/Performance).
    • With very few exceptions the course must be offered through an ‘English’ department (i.e. coded as ‘ENG’).  Courses in writing or communications for science students, offered through various other departments/disciplines, are among the courses which will not be considered. However, U of Toronto PCL285H1 (taken 2009 to 2015) will be accepted in fulfilment of the requirement.
    • Candidates who have studied outside Canada/USA should note that for purposes of meeting the English subject requirement the course must normally be taken at a university where the medium of instruction is English. If the medium of instruction is English, but the university is located in a country where the dominant language is other than English, the course(s) will be considered on a case-by-case basis (English language credits will not meet the requirement).

Note:  the English academic requirement does not replace the English facility requirement for those required to submit English Facility test scores – they are two separate requirements.


  • Required only at the Grade 12 High school level – (Ontario Secondary School SPH4U or equivalent),
    Alternatively, you may choose to use first-year university level Physics.  At the university level two terms/semesters is generally required to cover all major topics – labs are not required.

    • University academic-bridging courses, which are only one term in duration, typically do not meet the requirement.
    • There is no preference for those with university level credit as opposed to the Grade 12 credit
    • Candidates who have not previously taken grade 12 Physics may opt to take SPH4U online through the Independent Learning Centre ( during their university studies.
    • Physics courses offered to Arts students to fulfill science breadth requirements do not meet the requirement; a traditional Physics credit is required.
Applicants who have studied outside of Canada must submit detailed course outlines for any courses intended to satisfy the Chemistry, Calculus, Biochemistry, Statistics and Human Physiology subject requirements. These detailed outlines are to be submitted after the submission of your online application. Applicants should retain course outlines for the remainder of the required subjects in the event they are requested.