There are 17 medical schools in Canada, spanning the country from Vancouver to St. John’s. Medical schools in Canada offer a wide range of excellent MD programs and receive thousands of applications every year. In this blog, you will learn how to get into medical schools in Canada, compare the latest admissions data for these schools, and find the most up-to-date Canadian medical school application information.

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Article Contents
22 min read

List of Medical Schools in Canada Admission Statistics for Medical Schools in Canada How Hard is it to Get into Medical School in Canada Medical School Applications in Canada Medical School Admission Requirements in Canada Strategies for Medical School Acceptance Application Timeline Canadian Medical Schools' Tuition Costs Conclusion FAQs

List of Medical Schools in Canada

Medical Schools in Alberta

Medical Schools in British Columbia

Medical Schools in Manitoba

Medical Schools in Newfoundland

Medical Schools in Nova Scotia

Medical Schools in Ontario

Medical Schools in Québec

Medical Schools in Saskatchewan

Admission Statistics for Medical Schools in Canada


Wondering how competitive you are? Check out our Canada Medical School Chance Predictor to see where you have the best chances of acceptance!


How Hard is it to Get Into Medical School in Canada?

Medical school acceptance rates in Canada are generally less then 20%, meaning Canadian med schools are highly selective and competitive. However, you can use the admission statistics above to carefully evaluate where you might be an ideal candidate and therefore have a greater chance of success getting into medical school.

Medical school acceptance rates in Canada

While Canadian medical schools have generally higher acceptance rates than their US counterparts, it is still difficult to get accepted. On average, Canadian medical schools have higher academic requirements and are more competitive for international or out-of-province applicants. This is because Canadian medical schools usually give preference to in-province students and not all of them accept international students, even students from the US. And while the academic requirements are tougher at Canadian schools, this does not mean that your written application components or non-academic qualifications do not matter. Even with a 4.0 GPA and perfect MCAT score, you may still be rejected by some medical schools. To get into medical schools in Canada, your application needs to be strong from a holistic standpoint, and it needs to demonstrate your alignment with the CanMEDS roles, which we will explore in the next section.

If you plan to apply to medical school in Canada, you’ll need to be selective in choosing your schools. When deciding which medical schools in Canada you’d like to apply to, consider the following criteria:

  1. Your academic performance (GPA, and MCAT score)
  2. Your non-academics (extracurriculars, volunteer and professional experience, CASPer score)
  3. Your status (whether you are a Canadian citizen, PR, international applicant or out-of-province applicant can affect your chances of acceptance)
  4. The school’s mission, values and preferences (does the school’s values align with your own? What candidate preferences does the school have?)
  5. Admission requirements (what are the admission requirements for each school? Are there any supplementary application components?)
  6. Admissions cycle timeline (where are you in the admissions cycle? Do you have enough time to complete your application and all the requirements? Do you meet the admission requirements?)

Once you’ve done your research and compiled a shortlist of potential medical schools, you’ll need to make sure you craft the strongest possible application. The key to this is knowing the medical school admission requirements for each school you plan to apply to and checking that you meet each one. Next, we’ll look at medical school admission requirements in Canada and what you need to know.

Want to get into medical school in Canada? Watch this video!

Navigating Medical School Applications in Canada

Medical schools in Canada are competitive, but all 17 institutions are looking for candidates who display the qualities and values of the ideal physician. One of the shared components medical schools in Canada use to evaluate candidates is the CanMEDS framework, a series of roles formulated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons to help clarify what qualities and abilities are to be cultivated by medical students to “effectively meet the health care needs of the people they serve.” The structure of CanMEDS depicts six distinct roles with “medical expert” as the central, uniting or integrating role. As we discuss the various components to medical school applications in Canada, we’ll note how these 7 roles fit into the selection guidelines for each criterion. 

Canadian Medical School Application System

Canadian medical schools do not utilize a standard application service like AMCAS for medical schools in the US, AACOMAS for DO school applications, or TMDSAS for medical schools in Texas. Instead, medical schools in every province, except Ontario, utilize school-specific application services, making it crucial to double- and triple-check the medical school application timelines and requirements for the schools to which you’re applying.

Medical schools in Ontario utilize the centralized Ontario Medical School Application System (OMSAS) system, which makes applying to the six medical programs in the province somewhat easier. OMSAS is the medical school-specific arm of the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC), so if you’ve already applied to undergraduate schools in Ontario prior to medical school, you’ll have some familiarity with the overall structure and interface OMSAS uses. Understandably though, OMSAS features a slew of unique application dimensions, featured in the infographic below.

Looking for more info on OMSAS? Check out our infographic below:

Medical Residency in Canada

It’s also worth noting that you’ll encounter a different application system at the end of medical school when you apply for residency in Canada. This is the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). Like its US sibling ERAS, CaRMS utilizes structures somewhat similar to those used in initial medical school applications, but will dig into your performance in medical school, including your clinical rotations and clerkships. Through CaRMS, you will create your residency application and apply for open residency positions in Canada.

CaRMS isn’t a concern for you if you’re a premed, but it’s good to have a sense of the full roadmap ahead as you begin your journey into medical education proper. Also worth noting is that only Canadian citizens and permanent residents can participate in CaRMS. International medical graduates with Canadian citizenship or valid PR status are allowed to participate, but priority is given to those who graduate from Canadian medical schools. So, if you’re a Canadian applicant who has graduated from one of the medical schools in the US or abroad, your chances of matching also decrease. You can check out the medical schools with the best match rates to determine your chances of matching, whether in the US or Canada. You’ll need to consider where you plan to study medicine and where you hope to complete your residency so you can plan the entirety of your medical training journey.

If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, unfortunately, you will not be able to match in Canada. 

Medical School Admission Requirements in Canada

1. Prerequisite Courses

Not every medical school has specific prerequisite courses, but many do. For example, the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine requires 6 units in both humanities and biology courses, as well as organic chemistry, chemistry, biochemistry and statistics. The Queen's University School of Medicine has very strict prerequisite requirements of 30 full-course credits in science and non-science courses. On the other hand, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine does not have strict requirements regarding coursework; they simply recommend an array of science and humanities courses that they feel will best prepare students for their MD program. The most commonly required prerequisites are: 

While these are the most common prerequisites, some schools will require additional courses in the following:

In addition to mandatory medical school prerequisites, some schools also list “suggested” prerequisites, but our advice is to treat these as mandatory unless you absolutely cannot take the course. Not only will this show medical schools that you’re detail-oriented and have taken the initiative to prepare yourself for the rigorous study of medicine by taking on these additional courses. Taking these courses can benefit your GPA, too, if you need to give it a boost to get into medical school with a low GPA. Canadian medical schools have high academic standards for applicants, so earning as high a GPA as possible and doing well in your courses is best.

2. GPA

As with all medical schools and graduate studies in general, Canadian medical schools pay careful attention to students’ undergraduate performance, quantified in the GPA. There’s a fairly wide range of approaches to weighing and considering the GPA from school to school, but there are some general trends. The first is that, even if a school doesn't have an explicit GPA cut-off, its admissions committees will still have some degree of GPA expectation, even if it's slightly flexible or unofficial. This means that even if you apply to schools without specific medical school GPA requirements, you should understand that there will still be some level of expected performance. In general, applicants to Canadian medical schools should have a GPA above 3.0 on the 4.0 scale.

Additionally, medical schools in Quebec utilize what's called a Cote de rendement collégial (CRC) or "R score," which is a specially calculated class-standing score based on both individual performance and performance relative to one's classmates. While more complicated than a simple GPA calculation, the CRC is ultimately still a reflection of students' academic performance in coursework. There's simply no way around needing to perform well in your undergraduate coursework.

To put this into perspective, the Max Rady College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba has a specific GPA threshold of 3.3 that an in-province student must obtain for their application to receive further consideration, while the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine lists this as a minimum percentage score of 75%, and Laval bases this decision on the CRC or R score. Applicants to Ontario medical schools all have their GPA converted to the OMSAS 4.0 GPA scale to make the selection process fair and unified.

Students with higher grades and GPAs do tend to fare better in the selection process at Canadian schools, though having a high GPA is in no way a guarantee of standing out amongst the crowd. This all ties to the “Scholar” role in the CanMEDS framework to a great extent; the aspect of physician ship that relies on a lifetime commitment to learning and contributing to medical and scientific scholarship. Standing out as a strong scholar even before you apply to medical school is a great way to ensure you’ll be viewed at least somewhat more favorably by admissions committees. 


Scores from the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) are the other central quantitative component in your medical school application and are often weighed in concert with your GPA. If your GPA is on the lower end of acceptability, your MCAT will play a larger role in admissions committees’ decisions, and vice versa. While there are indeed some medical schools that don’t require the MCAT, such as the University of Ottawa, in almost all cases you’ll need to take this extremely daunting exam before applying to an MD program in Canada. Finding the best MCAT prep course in Canada is a great start to get ready for the test if you do decide to take it.

If a school does require the MCAT, you should check to see if they weigh specific sections more heavily, such as Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster, which considers only MCAT CARS scores. Similarly, the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary has established a minimum MCAT CARS score for non-Albertan applicants of 128. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should only focus on the more heavily weighted sections, but it’s good to know ahead of time if you really need to excel in a specific part of the exam.

In the context of application timelines, it’s crucial to determine exactly when you should take the MCAT so that you can both ensure a good MCAT score and that it will be available to your desired schools on time. You’ll want to begin by checking current MCAT test dates and release dates, and then constructing your MCAT study schedule around 6 months ahead of your chosen test day. 

You should plan to take the MCAT at least the year before you plan to apply to medical school, to give yourself not only the time to study but enough of a buffer to retake the MCAT if you need to boost your score.

4. Activities and Experiences

One truly universal element in medical school applications is some version of an important activities and experiences section. For US students, this is the AMCAS Work and Activities section, and for students in Ontario it’s the OMSAS sketch, but each individual medical school in Canada will have some version of this as well. For example, the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine requires applicants to fill out a section on "Personal Activities", where they can demonstrate their non-academic achievements, while McGill medical school provides students with a CV template they have to fill out. Additionally, the Schulich School of Medicine requires the submission of an abbreviated autobiographical sketch, where you will need to provide a list of experiences that can speak to Schulich’s core values. The point with this application element is to establish how you’ve developed both academically and personally through a curated list of pivotal and formative activities, whether through extracurriculars for medical school, volunteerism or professional experience. 

Specifically, you'll be given a limited number of characters or words in which to describe what kind of volunteer and/or work experiences you've pursued since the age of 16. There will be different timeframes from school to school, but for the most part schools will want to know what you've been up to from high school onward. These experiences may include jobs, leadership roles, volunteering, and even physician shadowing. Regarding this last activity, medical schools in Canada don't require shadowing at all. In fact, Canadian laws prevent Canadian premeds to shadow doctors in Canada. However, if you are a US applicant to Canadian medical schools, you can include this experience in your application.

Along with admission essays, this is the portion of your application materials that will allow you to really dig into the CanMEDS roles and show how your work and time so far has shaped you into a fit candidate for medical education. The contents of this section should be relevant to your medical aspirations and related scientific and communicational proficiencies, and so will connect to CanMEDS roles like “communicator,” “collaborator,” and even “leader”. It’s important to not treat sections like this like a checklist, but have a firm grasp on what aptitudes and admissions committees are ultimately looking for.

Need to make your med school application stand out? Check out the video below:

4. Admission Essays 

In the US, applicants to medical schools are required to craft a medical school personal statement, which provides committees with a brief narrative that answers the question “Why do you want to be a doctor?” Canadian medical schools, in most cases, use a variety of short essay prompts for a similar purpose, although these will often be much more specific. These are much more akin to US medical school secondary essays than a full-length personal statement, and will demand you to not only be economical in your wording but address specific questions that will require some creativity on your part when it comes to addressing CanMEDS roles.

As with most other application requirements, the exact type of essay required will vary from school to school. Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine, for instance, requires both a personal statement and special essay for out-of-province students, while the University of Toronto's med school brief personal essays will require you to respond to 2 questions with 2 separate essays.

It's important here to review the instructions for each individual school, read any prompts or supplemental application questions carefully, and keep to the word count. Use these admission essays as a way to introduce new information from your application and directly tie your experiences to the CanMEDS roles, the school’s mission and values. To help you write your essays, read the school’s mission statement and core values, typically available on their website, and brainstorm experiences or stories from your life you can use in your answer. Remember that different essays may be required for out-of-province applicants, international or indigenous applicants, so check what the admission requirements are for your situation.

5. CASPer

12 of the 17 medical schools in Canada require the CASPer test. This is part of the Altus Suite and is a computerized situational judgement test that assesses students’ empathy, communication skills, motivation, and ethics. CASPer examination runs around 100-120 minutes broken into 2 sections with 2 optional breaks, and focuses on 15 situations in which students are asked to read and understand a prompt, followed by a series of questions based on this prompt. These prompts are typically scenarios followed by different question types covering topics like policy, personal, or scenario details. In the first section of the test, you will be asked to type your answers to the follow-up questions, while in the second part of the test, you will be required to video record your responses. Keep in mind that you are only given 5 minutes to respond to the 3 questions in the first section, and only 1 minute to record an answer to each of the follow up questions in the second section.

If you are required to complete the test, you should do all you can to learn how to prepare for CASPer, including working through sample CASPer questions and fine-tuning your answer strategies. While it is tricky, you can prepare for the CASPer test ahead of time by learning the different types of questions and practicing the best strategies for answering them. And although your CASPer score is not the most important part of your application, medical schools in Canada use it as a screening tool for applicants and will sometimes base interview invite decisions on your results.

Preparing for CASPer? Check out our video below:

6. Reference Letters

Medical school recommendation letters, or Letters of Reference, are an important application component that allow faculty members or other people you’ve worked or studied under to speak directly to admissions committees on your behalf. As with every other element, requirements for reference letters will vary from school to school. Some are very unique! For example, the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine contacts your references by phone and asks specific questions about your candidacy for medical school. However, most schools stick to written letters that have a general structure: a 1-2 page letter that speaks to your strengths, weaknesses, and goals as a student, as well as your character and personality. Some schools will only require reference letters following an interview, and some schools, like Memorial University Faculty of Medicine and medical schools in Ontario have very specific guidelines that require references to answer specific questions using the system itself, not through separate letters. For instance, OMSAS asks referees to answer the following questions:

  1. Would this applicant make a good physician?
  2. Rate the applicant’s communication skills, problem-solving skills, professionalism, and empathy.
  3. Identify and comment on 1 area of improvement for the applicant.
  4. Share any other information you feel may be relevant to a medical school’s admission committee.

Given the scope of these reference evaluations, it’s easy to see why selecting the best referees possible is crucial. Medical schools may have specific requirements for referees, such as requiring a letter of reference from a physician, a university faculty member or research supervisor. It’s best to start gathering potential references early on, as well as a few backups just in case. Typically, you’ll need to provide 3 letters of reference for your application, with at least one being from a physician.

7. Medical School Interviews

Last but not least comes the medical school interview, which is often the phase of selection students fear most. Whether it’s the multiple mini interview (MMI) or a traditional format, the last stage of your application process will include at least some common medical school interview questions that will test your ability to think and communicate clearly on the spot. Keep in mind that some medical schools in Canada, such as the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, have created their own interview formats, such as the MPI (modified personal interview). Check to see what type of interview format you can expect so you can properly prepare for interview day.

The interview affords the most in-depth evaluation of your aptitude in the CanMEDS roles, so expect questions to dig into your ability to communicate, navigate ethically complex situations, and display leadership qualities under pressure. Finally, most medical schools will describe their interview format on their website so, as always, consult your specific schools’ websites to determine how best to prepare. Mock medical school interviews are especially helpful in preparing you, as they are a close facsimile of the real interview. A medical school consultant in Canada can be a great resource for students who want professional help with medical school interview prep or want professional feedback on their application.

After you interview, if a month or two goes by without any updates from the school, you might want to consider writing your top-choice school a medical school letter of intent. If you are planning on sending such a letter to your program, first, make sure that your school accepts such letters. Every school is different and some might welcome any updates about your candidacy, while others will not consider any additional documents.

Preparing for an MMI? Watch this video to learn more:

Strategies for How to Get into Medical Schools in Canada

With so much information to consider, you must be wondering how to make your medical school application stand out and what you can do in your interview to leave the admissions committee with no question as to your candidacy. So here are our expert tips on how to increase your chances of acceptance to medical schools in Canada.

#1 Do not forego the academic requirements

While a high GPA and a high MCAT score do not guarantee acceptance, they are incredibly important in making sure your application is considered. This is also tied very closely to the provincial borders and residency status of applicants. Whether you want to cast a wider net by applying to multiple schools in multiple provinces or you choose to stick to your own province, you must strive to meet the GPA and MCAT thresholds set by your schools for your candidate category. This means that if you are applying to the University of British Columbia as an out-of-province applicant, you must meet the 85% grade requirement just to be considered. However, if you want to stand out, whether you are out-of-province or not, we suggest aiming for the percentile set by previous year’s matriculates or higher. But the point is, you must keep these numbers in mind when you apply.

You may be the perfect candidate for your school based on your experiences and skills, but some schools will not even continue with your application if you do not meet the minimum set GPA and MCAT requirements. For example, in order to continue in the selection process at Queen’s, you must first meet the GPA and MCAT requirement for the admissions committee to move on with your candidacy. The GPA minimum for Queen’s is set each year, so it can change unexpectedly. This means that even if you have a 528 MCAT score, if your GPA is below the established standard set for that application year, your application will not move forward.

While the numbers are not everything, you cannot ignore the GPA and MCAT requirements. Err on the side of caution and apply to schools where your GPA and MCAT meet the set standard.

Want help getting into med school in Canada? Listen to what one of our success stories has to say about us:

#2 Consider location and school preferences

There is no denying that the competition for a spot in medical schools in Canada is fierce. Medical school acceptance rates in Canada are quite intimidating. This is additionally exacerbated by the fact that most schools give preference to certain groups of people based on provincial borders, locations, residency status, language, and so on. This is why planning how to choose a medical school and where to apply is even more important for those seeking to attend a Canadian medical school. Why?

You must carefully plan where you have the most chance based not only on your academic and non-academic achievements, but also on your location, residency status, language, and so on. To stand out in your application and to have a greater chance of getting that interview invite, you must show the schools you are applying to that you are from a candidate group they prefer. For example, if you are applying to NOSM and you cannot show any connection to rural or remote areas, if you have never even visited the Canadian north, and you are not francophone, then you will have very little chance of acceptance, even if you have amazing grades and impressive experiences.

If we look at the Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine, you will see how important it is for the admissions committee to see that you have genuine commitment and connection to the Canadian Maritimes. Your application essays must demonstrate that you understand the location and the culture you will be studying and working in, so keep this in mind if you choose to apply to Dalhousie. Can you demonstrate a real connection to Nova Scotia? Or maybe another Canadian Maritime province, such as New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island? If no, you might not have the best chance of getting acceptance.

If you are applying to any of the schools in Quebec or the French language admissions stream at select medical schools in Ontario, you will need to demonstrate proficiency in the French language. As part of the admissions requirements, you may be asked to submit a French language test or proof of bilingualism.

Alternative admission streams at Canadian med schools

Indigenous applicants to Canadian medical schools have the option of applying through separate applicant pools in the Indigenous applicant admission stream. Of course, this stream has separate admission requirements including, but not limited to, submitting a medical school personal statement, letters of reference, proof of Indigenous status in Canada and more. Many medical schools reserve seats specifically for Indigenous students and other underrepresented populations, so this can significantly sway the chances of acceptance in your favor if you meet the requirements.

Black and Indigenous applicants to Canadian medical schools can also apply through special programs, such as the Queen’s Accelerated Route to Medical School (QuARMS) program. This is specifically designed to allow Black and Indigenous applicants a pathway to medical school. Other MD programs in Canada have diversity initiatives to encourage underrepresented applicants to apply. The Max Rady College of Medicine, for instance, has one of the best diversity initiatives in medical schools in Canada.

If you are a member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and are interested in becoming a military doctor, medical schools in Canada have MD programs specifically designed for military doctor education and even reserve seats for CAF members.

This is all to say that when it comes to choosing medical schools in Canada to apply to, you must be careful to research all the nuances that the provincial borders dictate. Choose schools you can demonstrate genuine connection to, whether from your personal life, work and experiences, or academic endeavors.

#3 Start your application early and research the schools

This is a commonly given advice, but it’s worth repeating. Because you need to carefully research each school and its requirements, preferences, and so on, you need to start your school list and application early. You should give yourself at least a year to research medical schools, study for and take the MCAT, start planning and completing your application, gathering your references and addressing any weaknesses in your application.

Not only that, you’ll need to carefully consider how you can use application components like OMSAS ABS, short essays, activities sections, and more, to demonstrate your suitability for your chosen schools.

For example, if you are applying to medical schools in Alberta, your application must somehow showcase skills, experiences, and knowledge they want to see in their candidates. While more than 80% of seats at the Cumming School of Medicine and the University of Alberta are reserved for Albertans, this does not mean that you are in just because you are a resident of this province. Your application must demonstrate that you have taken the right steps to be the perfect candidate for these schools.

This will take careful planning. Not only will you need to acquire strong recommendations that would highlight the right skills and experiences, but the activities you choose to include must speak to the qualities these schools look for. Research their mission statements, goals, research projects, matriculant data to see what kind of experiences you can highlight on your own and what kind of experiences and skills your reference writers can emphasize in their letters. Do not be shy to provide your writers with a list of qualities that you want highlighted based on the schools’ preferences.

Sounds like a lot of work, right? That’s why it is so important to start early. Even though Canadian medical schools do not have rolling admissions, it’s best to have all your components ready early and of the highest quality. Take your time to craft an application that will show your suitability, your flawless communication skills, and attention to detail. This will take some time to complete. 

Application Timeline for Medical Schools in Canada

While each school outside of Ontario utilizes their own unique timeline, typically the only differences are the application opening and deadline dates. We’ve included a general timeline below, but as always please check the timelines provided by the specific schools to which you’re applying. Additionally, this is a timeline for MD programs—MD-PhD programs and other dual programs will have slightly different timelines.

Canadian Medical School Tuition Costs

Medical school tuition in the US is legendary for being incredibly expensive, but fortunately medical schools in Canada are much more affordable—for Canadian residents at least. Below is a table with up-to-date tuition estimates for Canadian residents, Quebec residents, and international students.


Canada’s medical schools share many things, from utilizing the CanMEDS framework to general curriculum and application timelines. But there is, as seen throughout this article, a great deal of diversity, allowing you to seek out the type of medical education you want in a great variety of different environments. And for better or worse, most of these schools also focus on recruiting and admitting Canadian students to join their ranks, making it far easier for most Canadian students to get into even highly competitive Canadian schools than less competitive programs elsewhere. While the initial process of getting into your desired MD program in Canada may seem overwhelming, with the right information and early planning you can succeed and enter medical school with confidence and a wealth of strategies that will benefit you once residency appears on the horizon. And as always, we’ll be here to help!


1. Which Canadian medical school is the hardest to get into?

With an overall acceptance rate of only 1.8%, Queen's University is Canada’s most competitive medical school.

2. Which Canadian medical school is the easiest to get into?

The University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine leads the pack in accessibility with a warm and friendly 18.6% overall acceptance rate. Keep in mind that this acceptance rate most reflects acceptance rates for in-province and Indigenous applicants, not out-of-province candidates.

3. Do some Canadian medical programs offer a French-language track?

Yes! The University of Manitoba Max Rady College of Medicine offers a bilingual English-French track, as does McGill, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and the University of Ottawa.

4. Are there medical schools in Canada that are French-only?

Laval, Sherbrooke, and the Université de Montréal are all French-only medical schools.

5. Is there a central application service for Canadian medical school applications?

Unfortunately, no. Schools in Ontario utilize the OMSAS service, though, which does centralize application service for the province’s six medical programs. While there isn’t one universal application service for the rest, their timelines do largely align, with deadline varying by only a few weeks from school to school, in most cases.

6. Are there application materials common to each of these programs?

The application itself, transcripts, and some form of short essay are a part of nearly all medical school requirements, while the MCAT is required for only about 2/3 of these schools. 

7. I have a somewhat low GPA. Can I still get into a Canadian medical school?

McMaster and Northern Ontario each have a fairly friendly 3.0 GPA minimum, although you’ll still be competing with hundreds of other students with high GPAs, so the minimum will not be enough for an acceptance. And with the exception of McGill, medical schools in Quebec don’t post specific GPA cutoffs, instead assuring students that their selection process is holistic and won’t heavily weight any one part of their application materials. Nonetheless, having a lower GPA will certainly not help you, so if this is your case and you haven’t taken the MCAT or completed your other application materials yet, consider reaching out for expert help to make sure you maximize your exam score and qualitative application materials.

8. What Canadian medical schools accept international/foreign students?

There are 7 schools in Canada that admit international students: Memorial, Laval, Sherbrooke, Université de Montréal, McGill, University of Toronto, and McMaster.

9. Do Canadian medical schools give preference to in-province applicants?

Almost all medical schools in Canada do to some extent, though this is especially so in Quebec. The University of Saskatchewan and the University of Alberta, for instance, have higher requirements for out-of-province applicants, while Dalhousie requires higher scores and an additional essay for out-of-province applicants. Western University, on the other hand, has the same requirements for both in- and out-of-province applicants but pays attention to your background, and Queen’s University doesn’t have distinct requirements but does have a slightly lower acceptance rate for out-of-province vs in-province applicants—3.9% vs 4.4%, respectively. Lastly, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine lists one of the more unique in-/out-of-province preferences, favoring both francophone students and those who specifically aim at working in rural areas.

10. Do all Canadian medical schools require reference letters (aka letters of recommendation)?

Nearly all do except for the University of Ottawa and each school in Quebec. However, since Ottawa uses OMSAS, there will still be a requirement for verifiers of the information you provide in your autobiographical sketch.

11. Do Canadian residency programs, using CaRMS, accept international applicants?

Students graduating from specially accredited international schools are allowed to participate in the R1 or first-round match in CaRMS, but they must be Canadian citizens or hold a valid Canadian permanent resident card. The criteria for this is very specific and somewhat complex, so please consult the CaRMS eligibility criteria page for more info.

12. What is the #1 medical school in Canada?

Based on rankings, McGill University medical school and the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine are the best medical programs in Canada, with McGill ranking #1 and University of Toronto ranking #2.

13. How many years is medical school in Canada?

MD programs in Canada are typically 4 years, although there are 3-year MD programs at the Cumming School of Medicine and McMaster University medical school.

14. What GPA do you need for medical school in Canada?

In general, most Canadian medical schools require a GPA of 3.0 on the 4.0 scale, but some medical schools have higher minimum requirements. It’s best to have a GPA above 3.6 for the best chance of medical school admission in Canada.

15. How many med schools are there in Canada?

There are 17 medical schools in Canada.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting 

Disclaimer: Although we have made every effort to provide the most accurate information, admissions information changes frequently. Therefore, we encourage you to verify these details with the official university admissions office. You are responsible for your own results. BeMo does not endorse nor affiliate with any official universities, colleges, or test administrators and vice versa. If you see an error here, please notify us with the updated information, and we’ll send you a FREE copy of a BeMo ebook of your choosing! You can receive our Ultimate Guide to Med School Admissions, our Ultimate Guide to MMI Prep, our Ultimate Guide to Medical School Personal Statements & Secondary Essays or our Ultimate Guide to CASPer Prep! Please email us at [email protected] with any corrections, and we’ll arrange to send you your free ebook upon confirming the information.

Source: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

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Anything we didn't cover? Have a question? Ask below or share your comments!


Steven Hull

I sincerely enjoyed reading it. This information procured by you is very practical for proper planning.


BeMo Academic Consulting

Thank you, Steven! Glad you found this helful!


Steven Hull

Hi, I have a question - Is it possible for a engineer to get into a medical school in Canada (the person is a permanent resident)?


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Steven! Thanks for your question. Yes, it is absolutely possible, as long as they meet the requirements. Most medical schools in Canada do not have any preferences for majors. If you take the required courses, demonstrate academic prowess (GPA and MCAT), show that you were involved in relevant extracurriculars, you can definitely be a competitive applicant as an engineer. Hope this helps!



Thank you for your helpful information. I'm wondering what you fees are like for a consultation re which US med schools are Canadian friendly?


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Bliss! Thank you for your comment. To answer your question, you do not need a consultation to learn which US med schools are Canadian-friendly. We have a free blog with a complete, up-to-date list of Canadian-friendly US medical schools. You can find it here Hope this helps! If you would like any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free initial consultation!



How many seats available in each University per yaer?


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Sri! Thanks for your question. Every university is different. Some, like UBC, has multiple campuses, so their number of matriculants can be up to 300, while smaller schools, like Dalhousie, will have just over 120. Please check the admissions info for each school on our blog.


Eric Welle

Which Canadian Medical Schools are US friendly?


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Eric! Thanks for your question. There are a few schools that accept international students, including US citizens. Please see the list here:


Dina Paulo

is it possible to get to medical school in canada, if you are a registered nurse in AMerica


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hi Dina! Thanks for your question. You will be eligible to apply to Canadian medical schools that accept US students, but you must meet all the requirements, submit your application, and go through the interview process. Let us know if you have any more questions!


Mireille Harnois

I was referred to you from a teacher at Ottawa University. I am trying to help friends from Tunisia that are both doctors. Their son wants to attend Medecine University in Quebec. However he only speaks French. I will refer him this link however I was wondering if you have those video and information available in French. I will connect him to BeMo. Thanks I greatly appreciated the video and information. Best regards, Mireille


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Mireille! Thank you for your comment. We have French-speaking consultants who would be glad to hear from you and your friend. Hope to hear from you soon!



Hi! I have a Bachelor's degree in Accounting but the program didn't have any bio/chem classes. Is it possible for me to get into med school if I study for the MCAT myself and get a good result? My GPA is 4.0, but I'm worried about prerequisites. I picked a school that doesn't require any, however I'm not sure if I will be competitive. Thank you!


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Alexia! Thanks for your question. You can certainly be a competitive candidate at a school where there are no strict course requirements. If you get a high MCAT score and have a strong GPA, and the school does not have a list of prerequisites, you should have no obstacles. However, that being said, it's always good to familiarize yourself with appropriate subject matter before med school. This can happen via MCAT prep or by taking some additional summer courses. Good luck!



Hi,extremely helpful article I’m wondering if there are medical schools in Canada that accept students without citizenship but attended a Canadian high school for one year or two years and has their high school diploma.


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hi Sarah! There are some medical schools, like University of Toronto and McGill, that do accept international students, i.e., you do not have to be a Canadian citizen to get accepted.