Medical School Application Guide


Prerequisite Classes


One very important thing to know before applying is whether pre-requisites need to be completed before application or before admission to the medical school. For the University of Toronto, the applicant is disqualified unless all pre-requisites are complete or will be completed before the beginning of June preceding registration. This means that applicants cannot plan to finish their pre-requisite requirements during the summer in case they are admitted to the programme. Some schools like McMaster University, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, the University of Western Ontario, Queens University and Dalhousie University do not have any pre-requisite courses for 2015 entry. The University of Alberta will not have any pre-requisite courses from 2016 entry. For other universities like the University of Calgary, courses are recommended to serve as a guideline for the coursework that will help an applicant succeed on the MCAT and succeed in medical school, rather than giving the applicant an advantage in the admissions process. There are several prerequisites frequently required or recommended by many Canadian schools. These include Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Inorganic Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, English, Social Sciences and Humanities. Most science courses, with the exception of Biochemistry, are required to have a laboratory component to satisfy the pre-requisite requirements. It is important that you check the pre-requisites for the schools you are applying to. The pre-requisite course requirements for each of the English taught medical programmes in 2014 are summarized in the table below and listed in the school specific sections with additional details.


Some universities such as British Columbia allow AP and IB credits to fulfil part of their requirements. Others such as McGill University only accept IB and AP credits at the discretion of the admissions office. Details on each school’s policy regarding AP and IB credit can be found on the schools’ websites or by contacting the admissions offices.


 UniversityCourse Requirements
Western Canada
University of Alberta For the 2015/16 Admissions cycle and onward prerequisite courses will no longer be required.
University of British Columbia 1 full of year of biochemistry, biology, English, general chemistry and organic chemistry are required. Courses in behavioral sciences, biometrics, statistics and physics are recommended, but not required. AP and IB credits may be used to fulfill part of these requirements.
University of Calgary The university recommends several courses for preparation for medical school, but completion of these courses is no longer graded as part of the application evaluation. The courses recommended to prepare for medical school are: biology, chemistry, physics, English, organic chemistry, biochemistry and physiology as well as a semester of psychology, sociology, anthropology, and either calculus or statistics.
University of Manitoba Year 1 Biology and Chemistry, Year II Organic Chemistry and Year II Biochemistry courses are required to apply. It is advisable to also take a Physics course as well as an English course at the university level to help with MCAT questions. Applicants who will write the MCAT 2015 are also recommended to take psychology and sociology. Applicants who complete a 4-year major or honors programme may waive up to 12 credit hours of the humanities/social sciences prerequisite, however, applicants with a general BSc or BA must complete the full requirement.
University of Saskatchewan For the 2015/2016 application onwards, prerequisite courses are RECOMMENDED ONLY and are not required. These are as follows: 1 full year of biochemistry, biology, physics, English and social sciences/humanities as well as half a year of general chemistry and organic chemistry.
McMaster University There are no prerequisite course requirements.
Queen’s University There are no course requirements.
Northern Ontario School of Medicine There are no course requirements. See the school specific section for a list of recommended courses.
University of Ottawa The course requirements are the following: 1 full year of biology, 1 full year of humanities/social sciences and the equivalent of two full-year courses of the following chemistry courses: i) general biochemistry without laboratory session; ii) general chemistry with laboratory session; iii) organic chemistry with laboratory session.
University of Toronto Applicants are required to complete at least two full year courses or four half-year courses in life sciences, and at least one full year course or two half year courses in humanities, social sciences or languages. Applicants are also recommended, but not required, to take one course in statistics and two courses that require expository writing.
University of Western Ontario There are no course requirements.
Quebec and Maritime
McGill University 1 full year of biology, chemistry and physics as well as half a year of organic chemistry. Distance or correspondence education courses are not acceptable. The university accepts AP and IB credit toward course requirements at the discretion of the admissions office
Dalhousie University There are no course requirements. See the school specific section for recommended courses.
Memorial University The only prerequisite course requirement is a full year (6 credits) of English. AP and IB credit can be used toward this prerequisite.

Table. Course requirements for Canadian medical schools in 2013

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