Dalhousie medical school, one of the top medical schools in Canada, represents the medical and educational interests of three Maritime provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Preference is given to applicants from these three provinces, while a small number of applicants from other Canadian provinces and territories are accepted each year. In this blog, you will learn about Dalhousie medical school admissions statistics, eligibility, tuition costs, admissions requirements, application procedures, and tips for how to get accepted!


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Mission Statement

“Together, we advance patient care by fostering excellence in research and education.”

Available Programs

Besides their dynamic and innovative MD program, Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine offers MSc and PhD opportunities for students interested in pursuing graduate studies in medicine-related areas of research. These include:

  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Community Health & Epidemiology
  • Medical Neuroscience
  • Microbiology & Immunology
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology & Biophysics

Their graduate degrees are administered by various departments within the School of Medicine, in conjunction with the Dalhousie Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Medical Research Development Office. Dalhousie is known for its vibrant interdisciplinary research community and they provide health and biomedical research opportunities to hundreds of students every year.

Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine does not offer any dual degrees options for their MD students.

Academic Curriculum

Dalhousie’s MD program gives you clinical learning opportunities starting in your first week of medical school.

Application Timeline

Please visit this page for more information on deadlines.

Admissions Statistics

  • Overall success rate: 9.46%
  • Average GPA: 3.8
  • Average MCAT: 508
  • Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Maritime applicants (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island) make up 92.1% of matriculants

Dalhousie Medical School overall success rate:

Eligibility

Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine accepts Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents. International students, including American applicants, are not accepted. For a list of Canadian medical schools that accept US students, please visit our blog. Dalhousie's applicants are categorized into 4 applicant pools. The Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island make up three of the four applicant pools. The fourth applicant pool includes applicants from all other Canadian provinces and territories. Applicants are assigned to each pool based on their residency.

Maritime provinces

Dalhousie University designates two types of applicants to determine their eligibility for admissions purposes. You can be classified as an independent student or a dependent student.

You are an independent student if you:

a) Have been out of high school for four years

b) Have been in the workforce for two periods of 12 consecutive months and were not a full-time student during this period

c) Are married or common-law

d) Have a dependent living with you

e) Have no legal guardian or parents are deceased

f) Are a permanent ward of a child and family services agency

You are a dependent student if you are considered to be financially dependent on parent(s) or guardian(s) and do not meet the criteria of an independent student.

To be considered for one of the three Maritime applicant pools, you must meet one of the following criteria:

1. You are an independent student and have resided continuously in the same Maritime province for a period of 12 consecutive months immediately before the final application deadline, excluding time spent as a full-time student at a post-secondary institution.

2. You are a dependent student and your parents or guardians resided in the same Maritime province for a period of twelve consecutive months immediately before the final application deadline.

3. You have completed 6 consecutive years of post-secondary education in the same Maritime province immediately before the final application deadline.

4. You have been on active duty as an RCMP police officer or as a member of the Regular Force of the Canadian Armed Forces for a minimum of 12 consecutive months before the final application deadline.

You will be required to give complete information on your residency status and residency history in Section 2 of your application.

Additionally, to be eligible to apply, all applicants must have completed or be on track to complete a 90 to 120 credit hour baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution prior to matriculation.

Recommended Courses

Dalhousie does not have a list of strict medical school prerequisites. In acknowledgement of the fact that academic preparation can be acquired through varied means, they also recently removed all their specific course load requirements. While they may not have any specific coursework requirements, academic proficiency is still an important selection factor. To demonstrate your ability to take on the rigorous MD program demands, your academic record should ideally reflect a full, rigorous curriculum and a great GPA. Dalhousie medical school also assesses all undergrad majors equally, but you should make sure your transcript shows your academic consistency, interdisciplinary exposure, and full-time involvement.

Tuition Costs

Total tuition fees for Dalhousie medical school add up to around $24,000. Your living costs will depend on your housing, mode of transportation, utilities, and so on. For reference, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Halifax is around $1,412 per month. Car payments average just over $500 per month, while other expenses like food, clothing, and entertainment can be up to $600 per month. Make sure to read our blog “How much does medical school cost?” to learn more about all your med school expenses.

Do you want to find out how much medical school costs? Check out our video:

Funding Opportunities

Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine has a variety of funding opportunities and medical school scholarships available:

Medical Student Leadership Award recognizes the leadership abilities of outstanding medical students. One student from each of the 17 Canadian medical schools will be selected. A selection committee comprised of student and faculty representatives is asked to collaborate on the selection process. A letter of support from a faculty member addressing your skills as a leader must be included. These letters are an important component in the selection process and should include sufficient information to support your demonstrated interest in family medicine and skills in areas of leadership, academic and/or research achievement, communication skills, publications, and non-medical/community interests.

Indigenous Student Leadership Award recognizes the leadership abilities of an outstanding Indigenous student in their final year of study currently enrolled in one of the 17 Canadian medical schools. A selection committee comprised of student and faculty representatives at each Canadian medical school is asked to identify their nominees for an Indigenous Student Leadership Award. The nominee is not required to match to the same university in order to be considered. A reference letter from a preceptor of the elective in Indigenous health (preceptor may or may not be Indigenous themselves) and/or a scholarly project supervisor indicating leadership in the area of Indigenous Health. This letter of support is an important component in the selection process and should include sufficient information on your candidate’s leadership skills to support the nomination.

INDSPIRE (Indigenous education, Canada’s Future) is an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. With the support of its funding partners, INDSPIRE disburses financial awards, delivers programs, and shares resources with the goal of closing the gap in Indigenous education. INDISPIRE’s Building Brighter Futures Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards program helps alleviate some of the financial stress students may experience. Through this program, INDISPIRE has provided almost $79 million through close to 25,000 financial awards to Canadian Indigenous students. Indigenous students enrolled full-time at a post-secondary institution are eligible to apply.

NSHA (Central Zone) Diversity Bursary Nova Scotia Health Authority (Central Zone: Halifax area and West Hants) is continuing with its Diversity Bursary program as a step to creating a more diverse workforce that better represents the communities they serve. Post-secondary students who identify as African Nova Scotian, Aboriginal, immigrant and/or as persons with a disability are invited to apply for a diversity bursary. Students must be:

  • continuing full- or part-time studies in a health profession
  • attending a Canadian post-secondary institution that is recognized by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
  • a resident of Halifax Regional Municipality or West Hants

Applications are evaluated on a number of factors including: community involvement, financial need, educational goals, and field of study in health care.

Indigenous Medical Student Scholarship is worth $10,000. The scholarship recognizes only one top Canadian First Nations, Métis, or Inuit medical student who has shown an interest in or commitment to a career in family medicine. Indigenous medical students in the second last year of study are eligible to apply.

Johnson Scholarship Foundation Entrance Requirements Support Bursary is an initiative for Indigenous and African Nova Scotians applying to programs that require entrance exams, i.e. medical and dental schools. This funding reduces or eliminates the financial burden associated with application costs. The Bursaries will be awarded as a reimbursement of cost. You may apply for funding more than once; the bursary is subject to availability and application review.

Johnson Scholarship Foundation Conference Bursary is designed to help Indigenous and African Nova Scotians enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine to attend extracurricular programming, i.e. conferences, as part of their professional development. The funds can help you cover registration fees and/or travel expenses. The bursary does not cover courses.

Entrance Awards applications must be submitted for your first year of study before March 15 of the year of entrance. If you have been accepted to Dalhousie, you must pay your deposit, and sign up for your Dalhousie email to access the Entrance Awards application. If you are still waiting to hear about your status, you will need to submit a paper copy of the application (which you can download from their website), before March 15.

Please visit Dalhousie’s website to learn more about their funding opportunities and how to apply.

Application Requirements and Selection Factors

Dalhousie receives thousands of applications per year and employs a rigorous application review process to find their next batch of medical students. They are looking for applicants who demonstrate superior academic proficiency and have all the important qualities required to be a successful physician, such as communication skills, passion for medicine, teamwork, maturity, empathy, resilience, and so on. They also want to know how committed each applicant is to the pursuit of medicine, and how well they can support this ambition via real-world learnings and experiences.

Dalhousie's medical school has its own application process, which includes 2 application sections, an interview, and other required submissions. Let’s go over all the application components you must submit and admissions requirements you must meet to be a competitive candidate for Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine.

Section 1: Online Application Form and Language Proficiency Test

All applicants must submit the completed Section 1 of Dalhousie's online medical school application form by July 31st of the year of application. In this form, you'll provide important personal and contact information. There is a $70 application processing fee.

After you complete the form, if English is not your first language, you must send language proficiency test scores as supporting documents. Unofficial copies of current test score reports (IELTS, TOEFL) will be accepted by email only on a temporary basis.

Section 1 must be submitted for you to receive Section 2 of the application. It will be sent to you within 7 to 10 days after the submission of the first section. Important to remember, the earlier you submit Section 1 the more time you will have to complete Section 2, which contains multiple essay components and supplemental forms.

Section 2: Residency, Transcripts, MCAT, Activities, and Essays

Once you submit Section 1, you receive Section 2 by email. This includes the following:

  • Mandatory residency verification form
  • Mandatory online transcript entry (grades and coursework)
  • Mandatory online MCAT testing date and results entry
  • Mandatory short answer questions
  • Mandatory supplemental information form (activities and experiences)
  • Mandatory statement for non-maritime applicants
  • Optional personal context questionnaire

As you can see, Section 2 contains several critical components of your application that play a crucial role in the admissions process for Dalhouse University Faculty of Medicine. Let’s go through them one by one to understand the requirements and expectations.

Residency verification form

As explained in the Eligibility section above, Dalhousie medical school gives priority to Maritime students. You must provide all the details and supporting documents related to your residency status in Section 2. Your application will be classified and processed accordingly.

Transcripts/GPA

Unofficial Transcripts

As part of Section 2, you need to upload unofficial transcripts including all the details of your undergrad grades and coursework. These will be used to assess your application before issuing an interview invitation. Dalhousie has specific GPA requirements that are critical in their admissions process. Residents of the Maritime provinces must meet a minimum GPA requirement of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale to stay in the applicant pool. Residents of all other Canadian provinces and territories must meet the minimum GPA of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale. To calculate GPA, Dalhousie considers the following:

  • For undergrad applicants: 60 most recent credit hours of graded (alpha/numerical) courses from a completed or in-progress to be completed 90-120 credit baccalaureate degree.
  • For graduate applicants: 15 credit hours of graded (alpha/numerical) courses from a completed or in-progress to be completed graduate degree (Masters or PhD), along with the 45 most recent credit hours of graded (alpha/numerical courses) from a completed 90-120 credit baccalaureate degree.

The OMSAS Undergraduate Grading System Conversion Table is used to determine your GPA and the overall GPA is rounded to the nearest tenth. The GPA calculation does not include Pass/Fail and Credit/No Credit courses, but Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter term courses can be included as long as they contribute to your degree requirements. 

If you’re worried about meeting Dalhousie’s GPA requirements, check out how to get into medical school with a low GPA. However, there are some strategies you can implement to increase your GPA. You can organize your coursework by taking classes in disciplines you know you’re going to ace. Remember, Dalhousie does not have prerequisite courses, but they ideally want to see a full course load with an excellent GPA from their applicants, so try to fill up your curriculum with courses that you know you do well in. If you’re struggling with your course work, reach out to your instructors and teaching assistants. Visit their office hours and ask for help with concepts and assignments you find challenging. You can also plan study sessions with your peers and classmates. Having a schedule will motivate you to complete your readings and assignments on time. If you’re still struggling to improve your GPA, consider hiring a tutor.

Official Transcripts

Once you're selected for an interview, you'll have to submit your official transcripts. You must send one official copy of a transcript from each school you list on your application.

If you participated in an exchange program during your degree, numerical or alphabetical grades for exchange courses are required for GPA assessment. Pass/Fail grades will not be accepted for GPA assessment or course load requirement. If the numerical or alphabetical course grades from the exchange program are not reflected on your home university transcript, then you are required to obtain a World Education Services (WES) assessment for the exchange courses. This transcript assessment must be submitted as part of your application.

If your degree is granted from an accredited university outside of Canada, a World Evaluation Services assessment is required to be submitted by the deadline for section 2 of your application. Those who completed their undergraduate or graduate studies at Dalhousie University do not need to submit transcripts as the Admissions Office can access these online.

Any discrepancies between your official and unofficial transcripts will result in your application being cancelled.

MCAT

You upload your MCAT score and MCAT test dates in Section 2 of your application. 

Maritime and out-of-province applicants have different MCAT score thresholds. Dalhousie medical school determines your MCAT score cut-off in relation to your GPA. That is, if your GPA is 3.3 (the lowest possible GPA required of Maritime applicants), your total MCAT score must be no lower than 499 to be considered. For out-of-province applicants with the lowest possible GPA minimum of 3.7, the MCAT score must be no lower than 503. The higher your GPA, the lower the minimum required MCAT score. For example, if you’re a Maritime applicant with a 4.0 GPA, your minimum required MCAT score is 492. If you’re an out-of-province applicant with a 4.0 GPA, your minimum required MCAT score is 500. However, the minimum MCAT category score required is 123. If you have a score less than 123 in any of the MCAT categories, you will not be considered for admissions, regardless of your total MCAT score. You can check Dalhousie’s MCAT requirements for further details of MCAT requirements in relation to your specific GPA.

Dalhousie accepts MCAT scores no older than 5 years at the time of application. You are personally responsible to release your MCAT scores to Dalhousie Medicine. The school cannot access your MCAT if you do not notify AAMC to release the scores to the program.

If you are just planning to take the exam, make sure you know when to start studying for the MCAT. Preparing for the MCAT is a strenuous and time-consuming process, do not take it lightly and leave it to the last minute. To get a good MCAT score, you will need to know everything there is to know about this exam: its components, study strategies, what to expect on the test day, and so on. Prepare a thorough MCAT study schedule and adjust it accordingly as you study. If you have already taken the MCAT but you are unsatisfied with your score, you should consider retaking the test to improve your result. In Section 1 of your application, you will indicate which set of the MCAT scores you want used for assessment; scores must be from the same test date. This means that Dalhousie will only consider the test scores you want them to. Before taking the test again, study and prepare rigorously. Take the MCAT diagnostic test to make sure you consistently score well (at least 90%). There is no point in sitting the test again if you see no improvement when you take the practice exam. If you are still not sure when you should take the MCAT, check out our blog. If you’re getting ready to take the test, make sure you know the MCAT test dates and release dates.

Activities and Experiences

As part of Section 2 you will also receive a supplemental information form, where you need to provide a detailed history of the activities and experiences that make you suitable for the study of medicine. There are different types of activities you can include, divided into sections within the form. In each section, you can add a maximum of 7 entries, so be selective about the experiences you list. You must only include activities completed during your undergraduate and graduate studies, or within the last 5 years. If you started an activity 5 years ago and it’s ongoing, you may include it. However, you must have started the activity before the application submission deadline for it to be considered.

Try to select activities that would indicate your suitability for the medical profession, such as, but not limited to, intellectual curiosity, social values, personal maturity, communication skills, reliability, teamwork, empathy, leadership, etc. To get more ideas about what kind of qualities medical schools are looking for in their applicants, check out the CanMEDS framework. Though you do not need to meet these expectations as a pre-medical student, you can use this as a guideline to reflect on what kind of experiences you might want to highlight in Section 2.

How you write your activity descriptions is also important. Keep your descriptions concise and direct. In fact, Dalhousie recommends adding activity descriptions in point form to make them easier to assess.

The following are the different activity sections of the supplemental application form:

Extracurricular Activity/Personal Interests. Here you will list extracurriculars for medical school starting with the most recent activities. You will provide a brief description of the activity and why it is important to you. You must provide a verifier and their contact information. Make sure to note if the activity is medically related. You will also specify for how long you were/are involved in the activity, how many hours per week you spend on it, and whether it's an individual, team, or club activity. If it is a sport, you will indicate at which level you performed: recreational, varsity, intramural, provincial, national, international. Up to 7 entries are permitted.

Volunteer Activity. Start with your most recent volunteer activity and indicate whether it’s medically related. You can add formal and informal activities. Make sure you disclose if the activity was part of your educational degree requirements and what was your education level at the time of this activity. Provide a brief description of your responsibilities. List hours per week, the duration of your involvement, and the location. Provide names and contact information of your verifiers. Up to 7 entries are permitted.

Paid Employment and/or Work Training Experience. Once again, start with your most recent employment and indicate if it is medically related. Provide a brief description of your responsibilities, hours per week, location, and the total duration of your involvement, as well as your education level at that time. This section may also include experiences gained as part of your education program, i.e., practicums, internships, clinical, etc. Don't forget to provide references and their contact info. Up to 7 entries are allowed.

Awards, Research, Achievements. Here you can add entries including, but not limited to, the following: Dean’s list, scholarships, publications, oral/poster presentations at regional, national or international events, research awards, community service recognitions, personal accomplishments, etc. Indicate when they were received, their qualification, and competition, if any involved. Don’t include your name in any entry of this section, including authorship of publications. You may simply indicate your level of authorship (author 2 or author 3) in the blank space provided. For items that may be awarded multiple times, provide a single entry, and include multiple dates, i.e., do not enter Dean’s list as multiple entries. Provide names and contact info of your references. Up to 7 entries are allowed.

Be aware, if you include 2 or fewer entries in a section, you will be prompted to explain in 250 words or less why you had limited ability or opportunities to participate in activities applicable to these categories.

As you can see, you must provide verifiers for all the sections and activities you list. Make sure you submit their most recent contact information. We also strongly recommend that you contact all your verifiers in advance and inform them about your application, so that they are adequately prepared to provide appropriate referrals. The school will contact your verifiers via email and/or phone between November and February.

Remember, if your activity does not have a verifier it is considered "unverified" and might be questioned or dismissed by the admissions committee.

Short Answer Questions

Instead of a long-form personal essay, Dalhousie medical school asks applicants to respond to 5 short answer questions. These questions are designed to evaluate a variety of non-academic qualities and attributes. All submissions will be anonymized for review, so do not include any identifiers such as your name, MCAT score, or GPA in your answers. You will have a 250-word or 1700-character limit, including spaces, for each answer, and you will not be able to submit your answer if it exceeds this limit. 

The specific questions can vary annually, but they are typically centered around themes such as why you want to become a doctor, your most important personal experiences, your strongest qualities, etc. Their most recent prompts are listed below:

  1. Describe your personal experience in community service, volunteer work or service/help to another. What did you learn from this experience?
  2. Describe your strongest quality and provide a specific example of this quality. How does this quality relate to the study and practice of medicine?
  3. The Dalhousie Medicine curriculum uses case-based small group learning. Describe one or more examples of your experiences with small group learning or teams and what you have learned from it.
  4. What does being a physician mean to you? How did you come to this understanding?
  5. Health care professionals work with people from diverse and broad populations and experiences. Cultural competence and sensitivity are important skills to develop. How would you describe your own level of cultural competence/sensitivity? What steps could you take to further build cultural competence/sensitivity?

While the Dalhousie essay requirement is different from the typical medical school personal statement, it’s still an extremely important selection factor in your application. Your answers will allow to see you as more than just a collection of scores, grades, and lists of activities. Each answer highlights a different facet of your personality and brings your application to life. Therefore, writing a stellar answer to each question is key. You need to spend sufficient time thinking about each question and providing an in-depth, logically structured answer. 

Though these are short answers of 250 words or less, you can still provide a clear structure in your answer including an introduction, body, and conclusion. The first paragraph should grip the reader’s attention and set up your main thesis, with a good transition sentence to lead into the body. 

In the main body of your answer, make sure you directly address the question being asked and support your answer with examples and personal experiences, wherever applicable. As you can see above, most of the questions ask you to support your answer with relevant experiences. You won’t have enough space to do justice to more than 1 or 2 experiences per answer, so you should carefully select the ones that are most apt for the question being asked. Go for quality over quantity. For instance, if you’re explaining why you want to be a doctor, include only the most relevant 1 or 2 experiences that demonstrate your motivation and dedication to the medical profession. Using concrete examples also helps to bolster other answers: for example, if you’re discussing your best quality, support your answer with an experience or incident where you actually demonstrated this quality, rather than simply describing it. Above all, your answers should show, not tell, and should be backed up by real-life experiences. For example, avoid writing that you want to work with children if you cannot support this with activities or extracurriculars you listed in the supplementary application form.

Conclude each answer with a crisp, concise key take-away that connects back to the thesis you set up in your introduction. Again, make sure you haven’t strayed too far from the specific question being asked and address it directly, if possible.

Additional Essay for Out-of-Province Applicants

Non-Maritime or out-of-province applicants must submit an additional short essay in response to the following prompt: “In 250 words or less, please describe your knowledge of any connections to and past experiences with the Maritime Provinces and how these have contributed to your selection of Dalhousie University as your preferred choice of medical schools.” 

This is a mandatory application component for applicants from non-maritime provinces and must be submitted as part of section 2 of your application, along with your short answers and supplemental form. Your essay should be a formal but genuine response to the prompt.

Just like all the other Canadian provinces, Nova Scotia medical schools promote the interests of its own residents and the residents of other Maritime provinces. However, if you have a genuine desire to move to the East coast from other parts of Canada, you must prove your sincere interest in this essay. The Eastern provinces are a unique microcosm within Canada with their own traditions, culture, and needs. Dalhousie University is interested in what you know about the Maritimes and what kind of exposure you have had to see how you would fit into their unique world. Ultimately, you should not simply write that you are applying to Dalhousie because you just want to get into any medical school. Show that you have prior knowledge of their life, history, culture, and even nature. Include any prior exposure you have had to Maritime provinces and their lifestyle. If you have little to no knowledge of the East coast, reflect on why it would be wonderful to live on the East coast, why Halifax is a great Canadian city, and why you would be a great fit there.

Optional Personal Context Questionnaire

In addition to the above mandatory components, you can also complete and submit an optional personal context questionnaire. You can use this component to indicate any critical information about yourself, your academic history, background, circumstances, and so on, that you haven’t got an opportunity to include elsewhere. This is your chance to provide details about any extenuating personal circumstances, medical history, or your background, that contributed to gaps in your medical school resume, a period of low GPA, etc. Information is this section is not a part of the application file score, and is simply used to further inform the admissions committee about the applicant’s personal context.

Dalhousie includes this section in their medical school application form as part of their “Widening Accessibility Stream” initiative. The goal of this initiative is to make their medical education accessible to diverse populations, and to give an equal chance to applicants who may have encountered significant barriers in the pursuit of their medical ambitions.

CASPer

The CASPer test, part of the Altus Suite, is a mandatory admissions requirement for Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine. They consider your CASPer results for interview selection purposes only. Applicants who do not complete CASPer or who do not meet the minimum CASPer score of greater than 1.5 standard deviations below the applicant category mean will not be considered. The minimum required CASPer score can change from year to year. 

Only CASPer test scores taken in the same application cycle will be considered. Visit the administrator's website to sign up and reserve a test using your Dalhousie Banner ID and Banner number and a piece of government-issued photo ID. Your Banner ID is assigned once you have completed and submitted Section 1 of the online application and you get a Banner number after completing section 2.

The CASPer test is an online situational judgment test and is meant to evaluate applicants’ non-cognitive skills. While your GPA and MCAT demonstrate your academic record and necessary knowledge, the CASPer test is meant to showcase your levels of reasoning and judgment, as well as your interpersonal skills. During CASPer, you are shown 12 scenarios dealing with real-life situations, and subsequently, you are asked 3 follow-up questions based on the scenario you observed. You are given 5 minutes to answer the three questions. You are scored on a scale of 1 to 9. The CASPer questions and scenarios are meant to assess your ability to identify pressing issues and resolve them maturely and professionally. CASPer scenarios aim to assess your ability to be objective, non-assumptive, professional, tactful, analytical, empathetic, compassionate, and most importantly, non-judgmental. You must demonstrate that you can consider a problem from multiple perspectives and come to a non-biased resolution. Ultimately, the CASPer test assesses your moral and ethical values, communication skills, and ability to stay professional under any circumstances.

It is difficult to prepare for this kind of testing, but there are things you can do to feel more ready. In answering CASPer questions, you must be prepared to identify the most pressing issue and the most vulnerable party. Think of them when you plan out your answer. Consider all possible sides of the conflict/scenario and always remain non-judgmental. To get an idea of what to expect from this test, check out our CASPer questions. If you’re still wondering how to ensure you score high in your CASPer test, contact us to get some help.

Do you want some tips on how to get into medical school in Canada? Check out our video:

How is your candidacy scored by Dalhousie medical school admissions committee?

Interview Format

All eligible Maritime applicants who have met GPA, MCAT, CASPer requirements, and submitted online application and processing fees, are invited for an interview. Out of the total 300-400 applicants invited for an interview, approximately 60-100 are eligible out-of-province applicants. Their eligibility will be determined by GPA, MCAT, CASPer, and supplemental information regarding applicant's compelling reasons for choosing Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine.

Interview invitations are distributed via email, usually in October. Invitations include instructions on how to select your preferred interview location and time. There are sufficient interview slots for each invitation distributed. Applicant interview self-scheduling is completed on a first-come, first-serve basis, so you should complete the interview self-scheduling process as early as possible to get the date you want.

Interviews take place during one weekend in November each year. Your interview will take place on either a Saturday or a Sunday on the school's campus. The scheduled interview will run for approximately two hours during the morning or the afternoon. Dalhousie uses the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format to assess its applicants. The MMI is a situational judgment test comprised of 8-12 stations including 1 or 2 rest stations. You are assessed by a single interviewer in each station. It allows different interviewers to assess your reaction to different types of questions and scenarios that reflect real-life situations. Each station takes about 8 minutes to complete in total. If you want to learn more about MMI, check out how to prepare for your MMI and practice with some MMI questions. You can also go over some common medical school interview questions, as they can be incorporated into the MMI format.

Dalhousie recommends that you practice the following types of MMI questions before your interview:

  • Placebo (ethical decision making)
  • Class Size (critical thinking)
  • Standard Interview (personal)
  • Parking Garage (communication skills)
  • Preferential Admission (knowledge of the health care system)

Acceptance and Waitlist Information

Offers of admission are distributed in March each year, via email. Applicants who are offered a place in the newly formed cohort may request deferral of admission for one year only. The Admissions Committee considers deferral requests on a case-by-case basis. Deferral requests are not routinely granted and have generally been provided only in rare and exceptional circumstances.

Dalhousie may also waitlist some students and offer them acceptances as spots become available. Waitlisted applicants will be notified via email if they are accepted.

Contact Information

Admissions website

Admissions Email: [email protected]

Check out our video for a full recap!

FAQs

1. When do I know if I’ve been accepted?

Decision letters are distributed via email usually in March each year.

2. How is my application scored?

Your supplementary application and essay, as well as your interview performance, have the strongest influence on your chances of acceptance. Here's the general breakdown of how many points each application component is worth in admissions assessment:

  • GPA: 15 points
  • MCAT: 10 points
  • Supplemental and Answers: 30 points
  • Interview: 40 points
  • Discretionary: 5 points
3. What about medical school recommendation letters? You haven’t mentioned anything?

Dalhousie Medical School does not require reference letters from its applicants. You must provide verifiers for each of the activities you put in your supplementary application form, but they will be contacted by the school directly if necessary. Make sure you ask your verifiers for permission to put their names and contact info in the application. It would also be wise to ensure that these people are willing to give you full support if contacted by the school.

4. What should I tell my verifiers to say about me if they’re contacted?

When you ask a person to be a verifier, you should tell them about your interest in and dedication to medicine. Perhaps you can provide them with a copy of your supplemental answers, a copy of your CV, and other relevant documents like transcripts, MCAT scores, etc. Make sure the person you ask knows you well and is ready to give a glowing reference if needed.

5. Are there any mandatory courses I need to complete?

Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine does not ask for any mandatory coursework or course load requirements. However, they encourage all applicants to complete a rigorous, full course load in their undergrad and maintain an excellent GPA. They are looking for evidence of the applicant's academic prowess and ability to handle the challenges of a medical school curriculum.

6. Do I need an undergraduate degree to be eligible to apply?

Yes, a four-year bachelor’s degree is required of applicants. Occasionally Dalhousie may admit students with three-year degrees, but a four-year program is preferred. The degree can be in any discipline.

7. What is the minimum GPA requirement?

Residents of the Maritime provinces must meet a minimum GPA requirement of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale to stay in the applicant pool. Residents of all other Canadian provinces and territories must meet the minimum GPA of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale. The average GPA of last year’s matriculants was 3.86.

8. What is the minimum MCAT requirement?

Dalhousie medical school determines your MCAT score cut-off in relation to your GPA. That is, if your GPA is 3.3 (the lowest possible GPA required of Maritime applicants), your total MCAT score must be no lower than 499 to be considered. For out-of-province applicants with the lowest possible GPA minimum of 3.7, the MCAT score must be no lower than 503. To learn more about this correlation, please visit the Dalhousie admissions website. Remember, the minimum MCAT category score required is 123. If you have a score less than 123 in any of the MCAT categories you will not be considered for admissions, regardless of your total MCAT score.

9. Does Dalhousie accept international students?

The MD program does not accept international and American applicants. However, there are Government Sponsored supernumerary positions that are available at Dalhousie. This means that a small number of students (no more than 7) from abroad are sponsored to attend medical school in Halifax. This program is usually arranged between the Canadian government and its diplomatic allies.

10. Do I need the CASPer test for Dalhousie medical school?

Yes, Dalhousie requires all applicants to submit their CASPer score from the current admission cycle. Applicants who do not complete CASPer or who do not meet the minimum CASPer score of greater than 1.5 standard deviations below the applicant category mean will not be considered.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

Disclaimer: BeMo does not endorse or affiliate with any universities, colleges, or official test administrators. The content has been developed based on the most recent publicly available data provided from the official university website. However, you should always check the statistics/requirements with the official school website for the most up to date information. You are responsible for your own results. 

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