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Frequently Asked Questions

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Interested in learning more about the PhD program at the Rotman School of Management? Find answers to your questions about admissions, program structure, financial support and life at Canada's leading doctoral program, based at the University of Toronto.

When Can I apply?

Applications for September 2024 are now OPEN. Submitting GMAT/GRE scores is optional for Fall 2024 admission. Application deadline is January 12, 2024.

Do you have rolling admissions?

No, we do not offer rolling admissions.

What tests do you require?


Please note that submitting GMAT/GRE scores is optional for Fall 2024 admission.

We do not have a minimum GMAT or GRE score requirement. There is no minimum score which would result in an application being automatically rejected, however strong test scores are expected for competitive applicants. As a reference, the average test scores for students who have received an offer of admission in the past 3 years are: GMAT 719; GRE verbal 159, GRE quantitative 166. Test scores of successful applicants may vary around this average.

For the purpose of application, only a scan of your GMAT/GRE is required. Paper copies of score reports are requested only after an offer of admission is made.


Applicants whose primary language is not English and previous degree(s) have been completed at a non-Canadian university where the language of instruction and examination was not English, are required to take a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Test of Written English (TWE) to demonstrate competence in the English language. Test scores older than two years are not valid. 

For the purpose of application, only a scan of your TOEFL is required. Paper copies of score reports are only request after an offer of admission is made. 

Minimum scores required in the TOEFL:

• Paper-based: 600 (with at least 5.0 out of 6.0 on the TWE)

• Internet-based: 22/30 for both Writing and Speaking Sections; 100/120 on overall TOEFL score

You are not required to complete an English-language facility test if you are a Canadian citizen who studied at a Canadian university where the language of instruction is French.

If you are an international applicant whose primary language is not English, you may not be required to complete an English-language facility test if you have completed a program of study at a university where the language of instruction and examination has largely been in English. This is at the discretion of the Rotman PhD Program. If you are such an international applicant, please consult with the PhD Program Office to determine if the test will be required. In some cases, an official statement from your institution will be required confirming the use of English as the language of instruction and examination.

NOTE: All test scores need to be uploaded on the online application.


Do you have minimum test scores?

The following are minimum test scores: • TOEFL iBT (internet-based): 100/120 total and 22/30 on both writing and speaking sections • TOEFL PBT (paper-based): 600 total with at least 5/6 on the TWE (Test of Written English) • IELTS: 7.0 (with at least 6.5 for each component) • MELAB: 85 • COPE: 76 (with at least 22 in each component and 32 in the writing component)

As a reference, the average test scores for students who have received an offer of admission in the past 3 years are: GMAT 719, GRE 159 (verbal), 166 (quantitative). 

Can I provide more than two reference letters?

You have the option to provide a third reference letter.

Are there forms for reference letters?

Reference requests are mailed to your references directly from the University of Toronto via the institutional emails you provide in your application. Once you have confirmed your application information and provided payment, the system will email your referees and provide them with instructions.

What do you expect in the statement of intent?

The statement should be one to two pages outlining your research and career interests and reasons for undertaking doctoral education. The document must be uploaded on the ‘supporting documents’ page of the online application.

Do I need an MBA degree before applying?

No, a bachelor's degree or master’s degree in your field of study is required. Applicant’s applying from outside of Canada may be required to hold to a Master’s degree. Please consult the International Degree Equivalency Database  to confirm if a Master’s degree is required for your application.

What are the faculty looking for in applicants?

The faculty are looking for research skills and potential, and focus primarily on your research statement, recommendations, transcripts and test scores.

I'd like to interview before I apply. May I meet with faculty?

Pre-application interviews are not part of our application process. We recommend attending a research seminar during the regular term as a useful way to experience the program and meet doctoral students and faculty. For more information on our research seminars schedules, please contact

If I’m admitted, how long do I have to make a decision?

You generally have two weeks to one month to make a decision and secure your spot.

If I’m admitted this year, can I defer my admission to next year?

Admission deferral is subject to approval by the admissions committee. You may request a deferral if there are extenuating circumstances beyond your control. You will need to provide documentation to support your request.

What tuition fees are required?

Tuition and Academic fees are included in the financial package we offer incoming PhD students. Each year, students pay incidental fees of approximately $1,555.22 and health insurance (international students only) of approximately $636 for single coverage.

Are there opportunities for work experience?

As part of your funding packing you will be required to complete 200 hours of teaching assistance or research assistance work. This requirement is waived in the first year of the program so incoming students can focus on their coursework. Additional work opportunities may be available above and beyond the required 200 hours.

What is the average duration of the program?

It takes an average of five years to complete the program (even if you have an MBA) — two years coursework and approximately three years of research and writing of your dissertation.

What is the program format?

First Year: Students complete foundational courses and exams, Students begin independent research.

Second Year: Students complete core courses and take electives, Students successfully complete their comprehensive examinations, including a paper requirement.

Third Year: Students take specialized courses as needed, Students develop a dissertation proposal.

Fourth and Fifth Year (if needed): Students take specialized courses, as needed, Students complete their dissertation.

Do you offer a distance learning degree or a part-time program?

We do not offer a distance learning or part-time program.

What housing options are available to Rotman students?

On-campus, off-campus and temporary accommodation is available. Read more about finding housing on campus here:

I studied in an English-speaking University; do I need to take the TOEFL?

No. If you have studied at an institution where the language of instruction was English, you will be exempt from the requirement.

Do I need to upload all of my documentation electronically?

Yes, our application portal requires that all documentation be scanned, and copies be uploaded to your application. If an offer of admission is made, the PhD Office will request that official documentation be submitted at that time.

How many people are admitted each year?

Admission rates change each year depending on the applicant pool. We admit between 10 – 20 students each year. For September 2023, we have admitted 13 students.

How many students admitted complete the program and graduate?

87%* of students admitted into the program complete all requirements and graduate with a PhD degree in Management.
*average since 2002

What is your placement record?

We have placed students at Yale, Kellogg, Bocconi, Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, MIT, Oxford, London Business School, INSEAD, Georgia Tech and many other top-tier schools. For further information on our placement records, please visit our graduate pages or contact the PhD Office.

Do you accept visiting students?

We do accept visiting students, but the student must be sponsored by a Rotman faculty member. We receive hundreds of requests for visiting student positions each year and unfortunately we do not have the capacity to accommodate all of them. If you are interested in coming to Rotman as a visiting student, an invitation from a Rotman faculty member must first be extended to you.