Welcome to Biomedical Engineering!
Congratulations on being offered admission to the Institute of Biomedical Engineering! We look forward to welcoming you to exciting academic and co-curricular learning opportunities. In preparation for welcoming you, we’re carefully considering the implications that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the Fall term’s learning environment. This is a stressful time for everyone – a time of many questions, challenges and uncertainties. We're committed to finding ways to allow newly enrolled students, including international students, to begin their studies at the University of Toronto, regardless of potential restrictions that may be in place in September. Your health and the health of the community remain our priorities during this pandemic and throughout the gradual lifting of restrictions. We would very much like to return to in-person education in September, but if our public health officials recommend against this, we will continue to deliver educational content remotely. As a world-class university, we have high-quality resources available to instructors and students, allowing effective teaching and learning in remote environments. Our outstanding faculty members will continue to work with students, offering the high quality of teaching and mentorship for which U of T is known.
We’re working closely with public health authorities to determine when and how to facilitate a safe return to campus, classrooms and research spaces this fall. Although on-campus activities may be modified, your U of T experience will begin this September. There will be many valuable opportunities for you to interact and collaborate with your peers and to engage in important co-curricular activities to round out an exceptional student experience. Additional academic supports will be provided remotely through the Centre for Graduate Mentorship & Supervision and the Centre for Graduate Professional Development.
The Division of Student Life will provide remote opportunities to orient you to university life, help to develop a sense of community, and bolster your personal health and well-being. For international students, the Centre for International Experiences provides high-quality programming to welcome you to Canada and the University of Toronto. Although there is uncertainty today about the extent of disruption we face, we’re well-equipped and committed to providing you with an exceptional graduate student experience.
Information about COVID-19 from
- Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
- Engineering Graduate Students FAQs
- Office of the Vice-Provost
Ontario’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. Changes will likely occur as the province and its municipalities adjust to new data about the virus. In these circumstances, please be advised that the manner of delivery of courses, co-curricular opportunities, programs, and services is subject to change, in accordance with university policies.
|Program / Topic||Service / Contact|
|Graduate Admissions||Ask BME|
|Graduate Awards||Ask SGS|
|Financial Aid – OSAP, UTAPS||Ask Enrolment Services|
|Financial Aid – U.S. Citizens||Ask Enrolment Services|
|Financial Aid – Provinces outside Ontario||Ask Enrolment Services|
|Tuition & Fees||Ask Student Accounts|
|Study Permits & Immigration||Ask CIE|
Carefully review your admission package. If you have any questions regarding program documents and/or research agreements, please do not hesitate to contact the Graduate Office for clarification.
To accept the offer, please date, sign, and return your confirmation form to the graduate office by:
- Emailing a scanned copy of the form to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Copy your supervisor(s) in the correspondance to ensure that they are aware of your decision.
Learn how to apply for your study permit:
If you already obtained your study permit, we’ve prepared a checklist to help you start your journey at U of T:
Need more help?
- Make an individual appointment; our International Student Immigration Advisors (ISIAs) are here to help
- Attend a weekly Immigration Documents and Legal Status Orientation Q&A
- Watch recorded video webinars
Check out various sources for housing options/information:
- Housing services
- Housing finder
- Affiliated & independent residences
- Graduate house
- Massey College
- Student family housing
- Housing and roomate finder
The Toronto rental market is extremely competitive, especially for rentals beginning September 1. We would like to remind students who are looking for a place to live off-campus for the coming school year - especially those who are not going to be in Toronto over the summer for in-person viewings - that landlord/rental housing scams are real and on the rise in the greater Toronto area and can happen to an unsuspecting renter. Here are our best tips to help you avoid getting scammed:
- Conduct basic research. Be suspicious of any rent or unit that has a price that is listed is far below market value or sounds too good to be true.
- When looking for a rental, never rent sight-unseen and always meet the landlord in person. Consider renting from verified property management companies if you are renting from outside of the GTA and are unable to schedule an in-person viewing.
- Landlords can only legally ask for first and last month’s rent and a refundable key deposit, which should be paid at the time of signing the lease. No other fees are legal.
- Never pay a rental deposit with cash, wire transfer, Moneygram, Bitcoin, or MoneyPak, as these forms of payment are impossible to track.
The TCard is your identification for academic purposes. It includes your photo, UTORid, student number, and a barcode. It provides access to services and facilities such as libraries, athletic facilities, printing services, and more. Some services will be available to you immediately, others as the academic session approaches. Students who have accepted their offer of admission may obtain their TCard at any time. New students are first assigned a JOINid, which is converted to UTORid when the student is admitted and their legal status and identity are verified by TCard Services. Students are issued an institutional email address in parallel. Effective May 1, 2022, students must follow the step-by-step instructions linked below to obtain the TCard:
Activate your U of T email
When you get your TCard you’ll also be issued a UTORid (University of Toronto ID). Activate your UTORid and then create your own @mail.utoronto.ca email address, which should be used for all official correspondence during your time at the University of Toronto. See https://easi.its.utoronto.ca/shared-services/office365/utmail/utmail-for-students/ for more information.
Access the BME Student Services & Academics Portal
After acquiring your @mail.utoronto.ca email address, you can request access to the student portal, which is an exclusive resource for BME students. See https://bme.utoronto.ca/current-students/student-services-academics-portal/
The use of ACORN to enrol in courses means that you agree to abide by all of the academic and non-academic rules and regulations of the University, the School of Graduate Studies, and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering. It also means that you agree to assume the obligation to pay academic and incidental fees according to the policies and requirements of the University of Toronto. You normally will use ACORN to add or cancel courses. If you wish to add a course outside (or beyond) the add deadline, you will need to manually complete and return an add/drop course(s) form to the Graduate Office email@example.com as soon as possible. Students are expected to be responsible when using the system and should not attempt to flood it with requests, or to automate the process of course enrolment. Such activity may clog the system so that other students may be denied access or experience degraded performance. Any student(s) attempting such activity may be denied access to ACORN until after the relevant registration period. For help on using ACORN, see https://help.acorn.utoronto.ca/how-to/ for more information.
You should consult your primary research supervisor before you make a decision on which courses to take to ensure that the courses chosen are interesting and beneficial for your project/degree program. Some courses will require instructor approval, but you still make the requests on ACORN. Once the course instructor(s) approve the list, your status will change from 'INT' to 'APP'. Courses from other departments can be taken with approval from your primary supervisor. However, BME does not have control over other departmental courses, so you will have to find out how to get enrolled. You may consider courses offered at any of the three campuses, regardless of where you are based. If a course you are interested in is full, email the lead instructor to see if they could accomodate another student. Pending instructor approval, you may be added to the class; however, please do not request anything that you are not sure about, just to "hold a space" in the class, which is a common strategy in undergraduate courses that should not be used at the graduate level with small class sizes. Taking up spaces on class lists really hurts other students who may want in. Only request a course that you are certain that you want to take.
OPTION1. Paying your tuition and fees (partial or full)
Students are responsible for paying tuition and fees to the University of Toronto, and are subject to penalties and fines for any late/outstanding payments. Make sure you are aware of when your fees are due. Fees payments are not accepted on campus. Domestic students may pay fees through a bank in person (by printing off a copy of your invoice on ROSI and paying at your bank), online (by setting the University of Toronto as a payee), or through telephone banking. International students may use Western Union’s GlobalPay or send a bank draft or money order in Canadian funds to the University of Toronto. Or make a payment using a credit card through ACORN.
NB1. All students must submit a Supervisor-Student Agreement Form to the graduate office to receive stipend installments. Although, students are required to submit a Supervisor-Student Agreement form regardless of whether they’re receiving a stipend or not.
NB2. For doctoral students, if you pay off your full tuition and you complete your degree requirements prior to the year end, you will be issued a refund based on the specific month you submit your final defended, revised thesis.
OPTION2. Deferring your tuition and fees
You may choose to defer your fees payment on ACORN if you are waiting for financial aid. Students who are in the funded-cohort, who were approved to receive OSAP, or who were awarded scholarship(s) large enough to cover the full tuition amount are eligible for this option. Reminder for all students who deferred tuition and fees: everything needs to be paid by the end of April to avoid service charges. Since the service charges are a percentage of the amount owed (as opposed to being a flat rate), paying off even half of what you owe is better than nothing. You can check your outstanding balance on ACORN any time.
Once you have paid/deferred your fees, you can check your status in ACORN (top right of the window). If the status is “REG”, it means that your payment was received and you are registered.
For more information, please see: https://bme.utoronto.ca/current-students/tuition-and-funding/
i Student stipend typically comprises two parts: 1) supervisor contribution and 2) departmental (BME/UofT Fellowship) contribution. Set up your direct deposit banking information for both payment systems to ensure that your funds are received in a timely manner.
- To setup direct deposit on ACORN (for U of T Fellowship), see instructions.
- To setup direct deposit on HRIS (for supervisor contribution), return the U of T Payroll Bank Authorization Form for Direct Deposit to our HR Office in RS407.
IMPORTANT: Stipends are paid to students. Students are responsible to pay for their tuition by the due date, and should manage how to set aside the portion of the stipend towards the tuition payment. The department does not pay tuition on behalf of students.
All students are required to complete BME safety training before beginning lab work on or off-campus. If your work takes place at an affiliated hospital or institute, you may be required to undergo additional safety training at your work location.
Sign up for BME Health & Safety Orientation: https://bme.utoronto.ca/services/health-safety/
While advisors, faculty, and staff members are available to assist and advise, it is ultimately your responsibility to keep personal and academic information up to date at all times and to follow all University, SGS, departmental and program regulations, requirements and deadlines. ACORN makes it easier for you to check and correct this information. If questions arise about requirements, policies and procedures, you are responsible for seeking answers to these questions by visiting the BME Help Centre.
IMPORTANT: A current and valid mailing address is crucial. Ensure that your mailing address on ACORN is valid and does not have a 'termination date' any time soon. Moreover, almost everyone has direct deposit set up on ACORN (which is not the same as having direct deposit set up for your stipend/award payments as they're two separate financial systems). If you haven't done this, you should enter your bank info on ACORN as soon as possible.
Biomedical Engineering students are not required to teach; however, a limited number of Teaching Assistantship (TA) positions are available to qualified students registered in the program. TA positions are posted online when they become available. You may also be eligible to for TA positions in other departments. It is your responsibility to check other departmental websites for details. See: https://unit1.hrandequity.utoronto.ca/
IMPORTANT: Primary supervisors should be consulted prior to taking any TA position(s).
The health and safety of our students is our top priority. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic the University of Toronto is taking its guidance from public health authorities and governments — currently in Ontario, government-mandated social distancing measures are still in effect and gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. At this time, we cannot predict the timeline for easing restrictions. Therefore, we are planning to deliver the Fall 2020 term remotely. We have developed high-quality resources to allow effective remote teaching and will continue to provide mentorship and support to students throughout the term.
We hope if the current restrictions ease, there may be opportunities for students to meet in person, but cannot forecast when it might be safe to gather. Regardless of any in-person activities that may take place, remote access for the Fall 2020 term is guaranteed for all students. This means we will ensure that all academic requirements can be met remotely, including final exams.
We understand that the decision to be in Toronto in September is complex, and there are many factors to consider — this additional information may help:
- Whether you are unable to be on campus or prefer to participate in your classes remotely, you will still have opportunities to engage with professors and instructors who are world-leading experts in their fields, as well as your peers from around the world. Your online courses may use platforms to facilitate direct interaction, including video conferencing, pre-recorded lectures or online group work. Most graduate courses will feature dedicated time for one-on-one assistance with professors and teaching assistants.
- We will offer you a variety of delivery options for online courses — information about the modes of delivery for each of your courses will be available before registering, or directly from your instructor or graduate administrator. In particular, if you are in a different time zone than Toronto, depending on your schedule, some online courses with live streaming components may be more or less convenient for you to join. Registration for U of T Engineering graduate courses will open August 4, 2020. Students starting in the Fall 2020 can get their student number online at the T-card office.
- If you are an international student, travel restrictions may prevent you from entering Canada. Current travel restrictions can be found here. Currently if you enter Canada on a student visa, you will be required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days upon arrival.
- The University of Toronto continues to offer Student Life services remotely. For the resources and supports available to you remotely, visit the Student Life site or the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering graduate studies web site.
Update Aug. 14, 2020:
The Governing Council of the University of Toronto has approved a Policy on Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings, effective August 10, 2020. This temporary Policy requires non-medical masks or face coverings to be worn indoors in common-use spaces including classrooms on University property at all three campuses. This Policy reinforces the administrative memo issued on July 6, 2020.
This Policy is consistent with the approach outlined in City of Toronto By-Law 541-2020 and City of Mississauga By-Law 0169-2020, and will remain in effect as long as Ontario public health authorities recommend that mask-wearing is necessary in indoor public spaces. It is subject to change and extension at the discretion of the Governing Council of the University of Toronto as public health guidance and understanding about COVID-19 evolve.
Additional information and details about the application of the Policy, exceptions, and medical accommodations are available in an accompanying draft Guideline, which is available on the websites of the Office of the Vice-President & Provost and the Vice President, Human Resources & Equity. The draft Guideline may be updated periodically as our response to COVID-19 evolves.
Your health and safety remain our top priority. There are positive health impacts of using a non-medical mask or face covering to slow the rate of COVID-19 community transmission. This Policy is one of the many steps U of T is taking to support our community efforts to address the pandemic.
More information about the Policy, including frequently asked questions, are available on the U of T UTogether 2020 website. For additional questions and inquiries, please email us via the COVID-19 contact page.
As we prepare for the safe and gradual return to our campuses, the University of Toronto is taking several steps to protect our community and follow public health guidance. Earlier this month, non-medical masks became mandatory for passengers on the TTC. Recently, Toronto City Council approved a new temporary by-law that requires the wearing of a mask or other face covering within enclosed public spaces. Other municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area, including Peel Region have indicated their intention to enact similar rules.
While the new City of Toronto by-law does not apply to post-secondary institutions, the University of Toronto is moving forward with a similar measure that individuals who are in a space in one of our buildings that is normally publicly accessible wear a non-medical mask or face covering. Such spaces may include hallways, lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms, and other common use facilities to which the public normally has access. Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health has advised that this practice is “a necessary, recognized, practical and effective method” to limit the spread of COVID-19 and help protect the safety and well-being of the community. If there are material differences among any requirements that are put in place for University of Toronto Mississauga, members of the community there will be updated at that time.
The new City of Toronto bylaw takes effect on July 7. The new measures at U of T will take effect the same day. U of T will follow the same definition as the City of Toronto by-law, which defines a mask or face covering as a “mask, balaclava, bandana, scarf, cloth or other similar item that covers the nose, mouth and chin without gapping.” The measures would also apply to visitors and contractors in U of T buildings. Relevant signage will be posted.
As previously announced, all faculty, librarians, staff and students will receive two reusable, non-medical masks as part of their return to campus. More information about the distribution of these masks will be provided. Information about the use and care of your U of T non-medical mask can be found on the EHS website.
As is the case with the City of Toronto by-law, the University’s action will be a temporary measure that includes exemptions for specific groups such as those with an underlying medical condition which inhibits their ability to wear a mask, individuals in areas that are not intended for public use, those who are behind a physical barrier and children under the age of two. There is no requirement that individuals who need such an exemption provide proof of the reason. Masks or face coverings may also be removed when taking part in an athletic or fitness activity or where necessary for purposes of receiving services. These new measures also should not be interpreted in a way that conflicts with or replaces existing requirements or obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act or other legislation.
Taking steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 is a responsibility we all share in order to protect vulnerable members of our community. Together with your help, U of T is continuing to respond to this global pandemic in many ways, from research, to education, to training the next generation of health care professionals. Using a non-medical mask in indoor spaces that are normally accessible to the public is another way we can do our part. For the latest information on the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the UTogether 2020 website.
Question: I want to study on campus this fall. Can I enter Canada and come to U of T?
We understand that you may be concerned about regulations and expectations around entry into Canada in the Fall. Currently, Federal Government policy is that the following students are eligible to enter Canada with a non-discretionary reason and should request a letter from BME (by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org):
- Returning or newly-admitted international students with a study permit approved on or before March 18, 2020
- Returning or newly-admitted students traveling directly from the United States to Canada with an approved study permit regardless of study permit approval date or citizenship
Please be assured that you can begin your program through online courses if you are living outside of Canada.
We will update you as quickly as possible if border restrictions change and will be pleased to provide you with a letter stating that your travel is non-discretionary should that be the case. You can request a letter of support for non-discretionary travel, from BME (by emailing email@example.com) if:
- you lived in Canada this past year
- you have planned to complete a 14-day quarantine period as soon as you arrive at your final destination (note all travellers from abroad need to quarantine -- the university can support you in your quarantine plan)
- you begin studying after you complete your quarantine
- you need to be in Canada for your program (for laboratories, workshops, etc.)
- pursuing your studies online is not an option at your school or not possible from your home country (due to internet restrictions or bandwidth limitations)
Who is currently eligible and ineligible to enter Canada with a non-discretionary reason:
Returning or newly-admitted international students with a study permit approved on or before March 18, 2020. (If arriving from the United States see below)
Returning or newly-admitted students traveling directly from the United States to Canada with an approved study permit regardless of study permit approval date or citizenship
Newly-admitted or returning international students, travelling directly from the United States without an approved study permit.
Newly admitted or returning international students travelling to Canada from anywhere except the US without a study permit approved on or before after March 18, 2020
Students applying to the University's Full Quarantine program cannot book a time slot on a date different than their flight arrival date. The arrival date that they indicate in the StarRez Full Quarantine application is used to arrange transportation and hotel, and so it must match the date of their flight arrival.
Students who book a time slot on a date different than their actual arrival date will result in their application being cancelled. This results in some complications for students, and additional administrative work by program administrators.
While spaces in the Full Quarantine program are limited in August, they are based on our capacity to pick up students and accommodate them in our hotel. If students cannot find a date in the Full Quarantine program that meets their flight arrival time, they will need to look to arrange an alternative arrival date or book alternative accommodations and register with the University's At Home quarantine program.
Additional information on the Quarantine program is available here: