The new University of Toronto Scarborough health sciences stream program, now taking applications, is specialized to set students up for prosperous careers.
Canada’s urgent need for more health care professionals has led the country’s top university, the University of Toronto, to develop over 50 innovative undergraduate programs available at its Scarborough campus. They aim to prepare students with the necessary expertise and practical knowledge to enter the health care sector directly and contribute significantly.
Offering numerous programs of study, the new health sciences stream provides distinct advantages like integrated paid co-op programs and an experiential, well-rounded educational approach. Plus, along with degrees in life sciences, physical and environmental sciences, and psychology and health studies, students gain a competitive edge in the job market by earning the new certificate in pathways to health professions.
Through conversations with government officials and industry associations, the University of Toronto Scarborough was inspired to build this program to specifically address local and provincial health care demand.
Building a comprehensive skill set
“There’s a great need for health workers in Ontario, particularly in the eastern GTA,” says Shelby Verboven, registrar and assistant dean of strategic enrolment management at U of T Scarborough “We’re always speaking to professional colleges and health related programs to ensure our students learn core competencies and meet industry standards.”
Students also choose courses to augment their training in areas that interest them like critical and creative thinking, communication and leadership. “The pathways to health professions certificate was created when we realized we needed doctors, nurses, and all health care workers to have a broader understanding of the health care system needs,” explains David Zweig, professor and vice-dean of recruitment, enrolment and student success. “Along with gaining necessary knowledge and skills, we’re giving them the advantage to enter the field with a deeper, well-rounded foundation.”
With small class sizes and access to global health leaders, U of T Scarborough students get top-of-the-line academic advantages. They’ll also gain real-world experience through leading paid co-op work terms with some of Canada’s best organizations.
A career entry point
The co-op work terms are intentionally interspersed in the academic year so students combine in-class skill development with hands-on experiential learning. Students graduate with job connections, above-average professional practice, and a better understanding of the career options they love most.
Additionally, opening at U of T Scarborough in 2026, the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health will provide an inclusive hub for health care education and extend the impact of U of T’s health education programs. The academy will streamline students into Scarborough’s health network while also strengthening connections between health care workers and the diverse communities they serve.
“Access is top priority for us,” says Verboven. “Underrepresentation is an issue in health care and we’re working to change that by creating opportunities that bolster our surrounding neighbourhoods.” Areas of study include medicine, nursing, pharmacy, rehab and therapy, mental health and counselling and health support.
Through its innovative curriculum and community connections, U of T Scarborough is addressing urgent health-care needs in the eastern GTA. A bachelor of science degree plus a certificate in pathways to health professions and co-op experience makes them excellent candidates for graduate health care schools. “We want students to start their career with us,” says Zweig. “They’ll get amazing opportunities that will translate into future professional success.”
Visit uoft.me/utschealthsciences to learn more.