Canadian Medical Schools
There are 17 medical schools in Canada, 13 of which offer their medical programme in English, 3 offer their medical programme in French and 1 offers 2 medical programmes, one in English and one in French. On this website, we cover the application process to the 14 English taught medical programmes in Canada, but not the French medical programmes. Most medical programmes in Canada are 4 years in length except the two 3-year programmes offered at the University of Calgary and at McMaster University.
In the 2013/14 application cycle, there were 26,466 applicants to Canadian medical schools. There were 2,974 applicants enrolled in medical school. This shows an enrolment rate close to 11% but the true offer rate is much higher as many applicants may get multiple offers and some candidates may reject their offers. In general, Canadian medical schools place more weight on grades and test scores in their admissions processes than medical schools in the US. The average GPA for 2014 can be found in each individual school section.
Although every school accepts some out-of-province students, almost all schools favor in-province applicants. The two schools in Canada that do not favor in-province students are the University of Toronto and Queen’s University.
Many schools require applicants to complete prerequisite courses and/or a certain number of credits before applying, but unlike some European medical schools, there are no universities in Canada that require applicants to have an undergraduate degree in a scientific discipline to be eligible. All undergraduate majors are accepted equally as long as the prerequisite and minimum credit requirements are met, and the courses taken show academic endeavor. The six medical programmes in Canada that do NOT require any prerequisite courses are those offered at McMaster university, Queens University, the University of Calgary, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, the University of Western Ontario and Dalhousie Medical School. The University of Saskatchewan no longer require pre-requisite courses for the 2015/2016 application onwards.
Outside Ontario, prospective students apply directly to the medical school through their website. In Ontario (6 universities), the application process is centralized through the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS, available at www.ouac.on.ca/omsas). Most applications close between September and November.
Many medical schools in Canada do not require students to hold an undergraduate degree to enter their programme and allow students who are in their second or third year of their undergraduate studies to apply for admission.
Regarding standardized examinations, most schools require the MCAT except the University of Ottawa, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine , and the 3 programmes in Quebec taught in French. At McGill University, CEGEP students are exempt from taking the MCAT, and submission of MCAT scores is optional for students applying with degrees from Canadian universities. Previously, the University of Saskatchewan did not require the MCAT for in-province applicants under certain conditions . However, for applications as of October 2015 (start date August 2016), all Saskatchewan residents now require the MCAT. In addition to grades and MCAT scores, the application consists of reference letters, personal statements, essays and/or activity lists. The specific requirements for each medical school are outlined in the school specific sections. All medical schools in Canada interview students before offering a place. Most Canadian schools now use MMI format interviews. Application statistics and selection ratios for each school are listed in the school specific sections. Links to the schools’ statistics on their websites are also provided.