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Canadian schools

Medical schools in Canada

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Canadian Medical Schools

There are 17 Canadian medical schools, of which 14 offer medical programs in English. All Canadian medical schools are 4 years in length, with the exception of McMaster University and the University of Calgary, both of which have 3 year programs.


 Medical School US & Canada Links


Medical School Abroad Links




Click here to find out how our guidebook can help you get into a Canadian medical school, a US medical school and elsewhere



Choosing Where to Apply

The application requirements are significantly different from one Canadian school to another, and so are the selection formulae. This is good news for applicants as it means that even if you do not meet the entry requirements to a medical school program, you may be a good candidate based on the selection formula of a different program. For example, Applicant Y has an undergraduate GPA of 3.4 but has completed additional courses with a GPA of 3.8. These additional courses did not lead to any degree. If applicant Y applies to the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, they will not consider the additional courses in the overall GPA calculation. However, if applicant Y applied to McMaster University for example, all his additional courses will be counted towards the overall GPA.

How schools calculate GPA (all years counted equally vs. last years counted more heavily, for example) also may make you a more favorable candidate at some medical schools if your grades have an increasing trend. All of this is showing you that one of the most important facotr in getting into medical school is applying to the right places for your applicant profile.


Looking at selection criteria carefully is important you even if you have strong grades. Some medical schools will give an automatic interview if your GPA is above a certain score and if your MCAT sections have certain minimum scores. If you know you have done well in those exams or are likely to do very well (based on mock exam results), it is worth applying to medical schools that will give you an automatic interview based solely on those results.  There are medical schools who do not interview applicants with a 4.0 GPA which again shows how choosing the right medical schools to apply to can make a significant difference in your odds of admission.


For many students, the main factor taken into account when thinking of where to apply is where they can get in. However, some students may also want consider the class size, the type of curriculum (problem based learning vs. traditional curriculum), the town the medical school is located in, the length of travel during clinical placements and the overall reputation of the medical school in national and international rankings.  


Information on the selection process for each of the 14 English medical programs in Canada is available from the MSAG Worldwide 2013-2014 guidebook, including information obtained directly from the admissions committees that is not available online. This includes the MCAT and GPA requirements but also includes in detail how each medical school calculates their GPA for selection process, which course are taken into account, consideration for applicants with masters and PhD, etc. The unique section entitled "What Are Your Chances - Canada" describes where students have the best chances of admission if they have a high or low GPA, high or low MCAT score, if they had a bad year or bad term, etc. The guidebook includes 136 pages specifically relevant to application in Canada.


Factors that influence admission

Canadian schools generally weigh grades and MCAT scores quite heavily, however, contrary to what some people believe, the extracurricular activities and interview play a very significant role as well. For example, the University of British Columbia rejected 81 in-province applicants with an A average or higher in 2009 and rejected 3 in 2010. Academic credentials are important in the admissions process, but academic credentials alone are not enough to gain admission. What you have done outside the classroom and what your references say about your character carry significant weight. Your essays are also key in gaining admission to medical school.


Studying Medicine Abroad

The MSAG Worldwide 2013-2014 covers medical school application in 13 countries including academic requirements, examination requirements, nationality restrictions, interview information, and statistics on number of applicants and admitted students. This is the only guide on the market that gives such global and comprehensive information on medical school application for prospective students. The 4th edition guide this year includes an expanded special section covering “returning to practice in the UK, Canada or the US” after having attended a foreign medical school, as well as university rankings from different sources for each country, new entrance statistics sections, and an expanded personal statement section with additional examples from successful applicants. For more information on studying medicine abroad, please visit Medical schools abroad.


More Information

You may browse our website or click on the links below to find out more about the following:


You can also find information on medical school application at home and abroad:



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