Summer Mentorship Program

Student walking on campus

About Summer Mentorship Program (SMP)

The Summer Mentorship Program (SMP) was founded in 1994 by the Faculty of Medicine and the Toronto District School Board, together with the Association for the Advancement of Blacks in the Health Sciences. The program was created to help address concerns about the under-representation of Black and Indigenous peoples within the health sciences.

The SMP aims and continues to create learning environments that are safe and equitable for Black and Indigenous students. To effectively do so, we encourage students of Black or Indigenous ancestry to apply to our SMP program.

Learn more about the SMP's history!

What do we do?

Our SMP curriculum is designed such that it allows high school students to:

  • explore health science careers through engaging online workshops, synchronous and asynchronous activities, and a special group project
  • learn from and connect to a variety of health science faculty and professionals
  • enjoy valuable mentoring experiences from students in professional health science programs
  • earn a credit towards a high school diploma: Science, Grade 12, University/College Preparation (SNC4M) [note: completion of a Grade 10 Science, Academic or any Grade 11 university (U), university/college (M), or college (C) preparation course in the science curriculum is required].
  • gain a greater understanding of careers in health science and personal goals

Learn more about the SMP curriculum!

Applications are open starting October 4, 2022. It is recommended that applications are submitted early as spots are limited!

After the 4-week program, stay connected with your newfound community via SMP Discover!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Am I eligible for the program if I am attending a college/university in September?

You need to return to high school in September 2023 to be eligible for the 2023 summer program. Please consider joining our Community of Support Program if you are in your final year of high school and interested in pursuing health sciences.

Can I attend if I am not a student/resident in Toronto?

You can attend if you live outside of Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area. You must be a resident or student of a high school in Ontario to participate in the SMP.

Where does the program take place? 

Traditionally the program takes place on the St. George campus at the University of Toronto. In 2020, the program transitioned to online delivery in accordance with public health/university guidelines. We will continue to follow public health advice to determine whether you can join us in-person on campus for SMP 2023.  

How much does it cost to attend the SMP?

There are no admission fees for the SMP. When the program is delivered in-person, we work with your local school board to subsidize the cost of student fares. We continue to work with our partners to address barriers to student participation.

Can I apply to the program if I am not of African or Indigenous ancestry?

Yes, we accept applications from all applicants. Priority will be given to those of you who identify as a student with African or Indigenous ancestry, or as a student that is experiencing financial barriers to accessing post-secondary.  

How long is the program and when does the program begin?

The Summer Mentorship Program runs Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. over four weeks in July. The start and end dates will change yearly.

Am I required to attend all four weeks of the program?

Yes, if you are accepted into the program, you will need to complete all four weeks to earn the credit. The attendance requirements are the same as the attendance policy for summer school. If you are unable to attend all four weeks, then you cannot participate in the program.

Is the Summer Mentorship Program a co-op credit?

The Summer Mentorship Program is not a co-op credit. The SMP is a Science, Grade 12, University / College Preparation (SNC4M) credit and cannot be transferred to a co-op credit.

How old should I be to apply to the SMP? Are there any prerequisites for the program?

You must be at least 16 years of age by June 30 of the program year to be admitted. You also must have completed a grade 10 or 11 science, social science, or humanities course.

How many students are admitted to the program?

We admit approximately 110 students to the program.  Apply early because space is limited. 

How high should my GPA be in order to be eligible for this program?

There is no academic threshold for this program. We are looking for candidates that have an interest in health sciences but face challenges and a lack of mentorship in attaining this goal. All applicants will be invited to an interview and this will help us to determine if you are the right fit for the program.

How do I send in my transcript?

The transcript is attached directly to the application in PDF or JPEG format. Please use a scanner to convert paper copies to digital copies. You may also submit a photo of the transcript.  Please ensure that all aspects of the transcript are clearly visible in the photo. 

Can I still apply if my transcript does not show a completed Grade 10 Science, Academic or any Grade 11 university (U), university/college (M), or college (C) preparation course in the science curriculum?

Yes, you can request a credit counselling summary from your guidances office or your school board's equivalent. The credit counselling summary allows us to see the credits that are currently in progress or planned for this academic year.