How to Get Into Rotman Commerce for 2016

Rotman Commerce is offered jointly by the Rotman School of Management and the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Arts and Science and is one of the oldest and best business programs in Canada (for our rankings of best business schools in Canada, please click here).

It is also very difficult to get into as it has some of the toughest entry requirements in Canada. We at CampusRankings have outlined the essentials on how to get into Rotman Commerce. This article thus discusses how to get into Rotman Commerce.

Please note, the Supplemental Application deadline for has been moved up considerably from years past and is now end of day February 16, 2016. 

This submission costs $50 in addition to the U of T application fee. Once you have applied to U of T and gotten your application ID and PIN, go to this website.

Course Requirements

As previously mentioned, Rotman Commerce has tough entry requirements. In addition to simply graduating and getting an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (or equivalent), the applicant requires 6 U or M level grade 12 credits.

This is all pretty standard, but there are additional course requirements. These 6 credits though include English 4U AND Calculus & Vectors 4U. Thus, unlike other schools, Rotman looks at your top 4 credits after ENG4U and MCV4U, meaning your entry average is AVERAGE OF (  ENG4U + MCV4U) + (4 highest grade 12 U or M courses). It is important to note, Advanced Functions is usually a prerequisite for MCV4U, but it itself isn’t a requirement and won’t be automatically used to determine your average, unless it is in your top 4. Make sure you consider this when planning out your high school career.

To compound matters, although they do not explicitly have grade requirements for ENG4U and MCV4U, they do look at these grades individually, and not just your combined average. As a result of this, getting high 90’s in your top 4 and low 70’s in MCV4U and ENG4U will not suffice as they recommend at very least low 80’s for these (which subsequently make the load on your other courses less).


Rotman recommends a high 80’s average which means their actual grade entry requirements are higher. Universities like Queen’s and Western recommend a low to mid 80’s average to apply, but realistically the acceptance average is generally in the high 80’s or 90’s. Therefore, the generally acceptance average for Rotman is generally around 90. However, these grades are not the only thing that are taken into account.

In fact, these are simply just the first process of filtering out students so if you do have an average of 87 or higher, don’t worry too much about improving your grades, but rather focus on your EC’s so that you can submit a better Supplementary Application. This is discussed below:

Supplementary Application

Aside from the entry requirements and the grades, the supplementary application is the most important part of your application. In fact, providing you do have strong enough grades to be even considered for Rotman Commerce (85%+), this is the single most influential part of your application. Therefore, it is essential you knock this out of the park in order to differentiate yourself as this is key on how to get into Rotman Commerce.


Rotman has changed up their application again this year. The essay is still a randomly generated essay question, however, you only have 30 minutes to do the question now.

The questions range quite dramatically, but they typically cover the following themes:
-why Rotman
-why business/commerce
-your goals
-your community involvement
-your leadership

Like all universities, they want the best and brightest leaders. As such, every question is essentially asking the same thing: what have you done in the past that demonstrates your leadership skills and how these will positively impact U of T. Therefore, no matter what question you get, make sure you highlight your strengths and examples of leadership and specifically mention how that will apply to Rotman Commerce. Subsequently, it is important to research the university and the program to ensure that you can relate your answers to Rotman Commerce. Do your due-diligence on what the program itself actually offers as well as look at what societies and clubs are available at U of T.

Doing this will not only assist you in answering the question, but will also show the Admissions Committee that you did your research, which differentiates you from the competition.


This year, they have changed up how the video interview works.

This is drastically different than the previous format. Now after completing the essay, you move right away into the video portion. Then, you’ll be given one question (unlike the choice of three in years past) and you’ll have 1 minute to think about it. After that, you have a max of 2 minutes to complete your answer. At the 2 minute mark, you are cut off.

Don’t be afraid to brag! If you don’t, somebody else will.

Year One – Beware

What makes Rotman Commerce a particularly difficult program is that once you get into Rotman Commerce out of university, you really don’t start Rotman Commerce until year two. The first year is very difficult as you take Calculus as well as other programs and receive a minimum grade just to be allowed to pursue the final 3 years of Rotman Commerce. The requirements are as follows:

  • Complete RSM100Y Introduction to Management with a mark of at least 67%
  • Complete ECO100Y Introduction to Economics with a mark of at least 67%
  • Complete MAT133Y Calculus and Linear Algebra for Commerce (or equivalent) with a mark of at least 50%
  • Accumulate a minimum of 4.0 credits

If you have met the above mentioned requirements, then you can continue with your degree. Don’t take ECO100Y lightly! This is the course that gives students the most grief in their first year due to the fact that you are required to have taken Calculus already, but there is no requirement for econ courses to be taken in high school therefore making this is a tough course.

The first year of Rotman has a very high drop-out rate so please be aware of that. They accept up too many students in first year as they generally expect up anywhere between 20-50% drop out after first year, but mid 30% is typical.

And that’s how to get into Rotman Commerce!

Alex Dorward

Alex Dorward

Alex is the co-founder of UniversityHub (now CampusRankings) and current Technical Director for CampusRankings. Alex grew up in Ottawa before attending St FX in Antigonish, NS. After graduating, he joined Accenture and is currently a Manager in Accenture Digital.

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