Summer Mentorship Program
The Summer Mentorship Program (SMP) gives high school students of Indigenous or African ancestry a chance to explore health sciences at the University of Toronto over four weeks in July. You will:
- Explore health science education and careers through hands-on activities, experiments, lectures, and special projects
- Learn from and connect to a variety of health science faculty, professionals, and students
- Enjoy valuable mentoring experiences from a variety of professionals
- Earn a credit you can use on your University and/or College applications
What you learn
If you participate in the program, you will gain skills to help you further your academic and professional career. You’ll get to try your hand at a variety of health science professions, including medicine, dentistry, kinesiology, medical radiation sciences, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and social work. You’ll need to complete various exercises and assignments with your teacher during the four-week program.
You will also be connected to a student-mentor who is studying in a health science field of interest to you. You’ll meet the mentors at the beginning of the program, and you’ll be encouraged to continue the relationship once the program is completed. You’ll also be able to connect with and learn from various health professionals to give you deeper insight into a variety of health science careers.
We want to provide you with the skills you need to be a successful student and professional. The health sciences are a broad field with a vast range of career opportunities and we’re here to help you find a career that’s right for you.
What you earn
Students who attend a provincially funded Ontario school can earn a credit in Science, Grade 12 University/College Preparation (SNC 4M). That’s a credit that will be applied to your Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). To be eligible, you must be 16 years of age by June 30. You must have completed a Grade 10 Science, Academic or any Grade 11 university (U), university/college (M), or college (C) preparation course in the science curriculum. Preference will be given to grade 11 students that are returning to school for at least one semester.
Please direct any questions about the Summer Mentorship Program to OHPSA.Outreach@utoronto.ca
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. Our hope is to deliver the 2023 program in-person on campus.
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.
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.