FAQ

General

I want to speak to someone in person. Where do I go? Do I need an appointment?

We have staff who are happy to speak to you about the BScPA Program admissions. They are available at any time Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5pm.  An appointment is not necessary. Go to:
Enrolment Services – Undergraduate Medical Education
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
1 King's College Circle, Room 2124, Toronto, ON M5S 1A8

How can I ensure that I am invited to interview?

There are no guarantees, as it will depend on the applicant pool. However, the Supplemental Application is your place to “shine” – tell us as much as you can regarding why you are best suited to this program and career, within the word count limits.

Do I need to move to Toronto if I get accepted into the Program?

No. The Program is a distance education program that promotes the PA role all across Ontario. Furthermore during the clinical year all students are required to complete rotations in southern, Northern and rural areas of Ontario so there is no advantage in moving to Toronto.

Can you provide a resource to help me prepare for the interview?

The website links to MMI information which then provides resources. MMI is an interview process that you cannot truly ‘study’ for.

Academic Prerequisites

I have 15 years of experience as a health care professional, but did not attend university. Can my experience be counted as the 2 years university?

We do appreciate the health care experience – that is definitely something we are looking for. As a second-entry academic program, however, the university requires the previous 10 university level credits to add to the credits received in the program, in order to grant the undergraduate degree.

If I do more than two years of University, will you only take my best two?

All undergraduate University courses will be included – not just two years. Only undergraduate university courses will be included in the cumulative GPA.

I have completed a medical degree outside of Canada, do I have to take all courses in the program?

Yes. The structure of the program requires that ALL students complete the entire 24 month curriculum from the beginning. There is no provision for advanced standing or transfer into the program.

Health Care Experience

Does volunteering count towards my hours?

Yes, we do accept volunteer hours, as long as they add up to the minimum requirement of 910 hours

I’m a new graduate from an allied health program – I have less than one year experience since graduation. Can I include my student clinical experience?

Yes – as a student, although you are supervised, it is still expected that you meet responsibilities and accountabilities of the role for which you were training.

Does the program recognize my profession, even if it is not on the government website provided?

The website is not exhaustive. On the supplemental application form you have the opportunity to describe your role and your healthcare experience.

Applying for the Program

Where do I drop off my transcripts?

Instructions on submitting your transcripts should be available within the first part of the process, the Internal OUAC Application ("Step One"). Any transcripts that are not sent electronically through OUAC must be sent directly to Enrolment Services.

Where do I drop off my Reference letter and assessment form and/or letter of verification?

Reference letters and assessment forms and letters of verification should come to the program directly from the source. The applicant should not be the one submitting them (should not see them at all). For further details, please see the Supplemental Application subsections for Reference Letter and Letter of Verification.

What do I do about my letter of verification if I am self-employed?

Applicants who are self employed as an independent health care provider do not need to submit a letter of employment. On the online supplemental application form there is a question where applicants can indicate whether or not they are submitting a letter of employment. If you are not, there is space to provide an explanation.

How do I know if my documents have been received?

Approximately 1 week after completing Step one of the admissions process (OUAC Application) applicants receive an e-mail from Enrolment Services with their JOINid number as well as instructions on how it activate it and access "Status Check". The online "Status Check" is updated every few days so applicants can monitor their application status throughout all steps of the admissions process (OUAC, Supplemental, Reference assessment and letter, Letter of Verification).

Please note: with the large volume of documents that arrives in the final weeks of the admission process, there is a backlog of documents to be updated.  It may take a couple of weeks for your Status Check to accurately reflect your documents. 

My health care experience is from outside of Canada, can my reference letter and assessment form be completed by my supervisor of this experience?

Yes. Please make sure the letter is either in English, or has been translated into English. The referee should be in a position to make reasonable statements concerning the applicant's character, personal qualities and academic capabilities. Referees may not be members of the applicant's family, nor have received healthcare from the applicant. There is no requirement that says the referee must comment on clinical experience in Canada.

Planning for the Program

Will I be able to work during the program?

Although this is essentially an on-line program, it is a full-time program (30+ hours per week). It is highly recommended that you not work during the program.

Can I be exempt from courses based on my previous education and experiences?

No advanced standing will be granted. It is expected that all students will complete the full program.

What if I am living in another province in Canada?

Students must reside in Canada for the duration of the program, as there are experiential requirements throughout the program that must happen in Canada. However, as the first year of the program is an online distance education program, you can live anywhere in Canada during the first year of the program, but you must attend the Residential Blocks in Toronto. Also, please note that the synchronous meetings will be based on Eastern Standard Time (EST). For the second year of the program, you may need to move to Ontario for the year for your clinical rotations.

Can I use this program to get into medical school? Or Residency?

We are unable to comment on what Medical School admissions would consider for their candidates.

Travel for Placements

Do I have to go a SWAP site for ½ my clinical placements?

All students participate in the SWAP to gain a variety of experiences. One of our guiding strategies is “The commitment to educate PA students and to encourage and support clinical experiences in rural, remote and underserved areas, in order to increase access to healthcare throughout Ontario".

Can I complete my clinical training outside of Ontario?

There is the potential that you may complete your year two clinical rotations in another province in Canada, but we cannot guarantee that at this time.

There seems to be a lot of travel involved. Is there funding support available?

There is funding support for travel and accommodations for clinical placements in the SWAP locations.

Do I have to travel to Toronto for group sessions other than the Residential Blocks?

Although students are required to attend face-to-face sessions for the Residential blocks, the rest of the term is spent completely on-line, without any face-to-face requirements (other than the local Clinical Experiences- see below). In between The Residential Blocks, study groups and interactions with faculty and with other students will be done completely in a "virtual" environment, be it on-line all at the same time ("synchronous") or at unscheduled times ("asynchronous"), like in a discussion board. Skype and Webinars are also used for synchronous meetings. The University of Toronto uses Blackboard as the Learning Management System to support the on-line courses.

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