Queen's University School of Medicine: Requirements, Statistics, and How to Get in 2020

Updated: October 7, 2020

Queen’s University medical school accepts 100 students annually. This four-year MD program looks for applicants who demonstrate strong academic record and personal characteristics that befit a future physician. In this blog, you will learn Queen’s University medical school admission requirements and statistics, available programs, selection factors, and get some tips for how to get accepted!

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

Mission Statement

Admissions Statistics and Eligibility

Available Programs

Academic Curriculum

Application Timeline

Tuition and Funding Opportunities

Selection Factors

Interview Format

Acceptance Information

Contact Information

FAQs

Mission Statement

“To advance our tradition of preparing excellent physicians and leaders in health care, we embrace a spirit of inquiry and innovation in education and research.”

Admissions Statistics and Eligibility

Acceptance rate (overall): 4.2%

Acceptance rate (in-province): 4.4.%

Acceptance rate (out-of-province): 3.9%

Average MCAT: Set each year and not announced

Average GPA: Set each year and not announced

Location: Kingston, ON

Eligibility

Every year Queen’s University medical school accepts 100 students to its MD program. These seats are reserved for Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada only. Additionally, Queen’s University medical school accepts up to five international students who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents. All international candidates must be in their final year of undergraduate study or have completed their bachelor's degree. The international degree must be an equivalent of a Canadian 4-year university undergrad degree. Just like the rest of the applicants, international students are not required to complete any specific prerequisites but must have their academic records assessed for Canadian equivalence by the World Education Services (WES).

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Available Programs

MD

Like most four-year MD programs, Queen’s divides its curriculum into pre-clerkships, clerkships, and electives. Candidates for the MD program are selected based on the GPA, MCAT scores, CASPer scores, the autobiographical sketch, reference letters, and the interview. Each criterion must be met to move on to the next stage of the application review process, e.g. you must meet the GPA threshold for your MCAT score to be reviewed, and then your MCAT score must meet the set minimum for you to move on to the review of your CASPer score. Thus, each application component has a huge effect on your chances of acceptance.

MD/Master’s

In this combined program, you must first complete the first two years of the MD program, followed by a full year in a graduate program of your choice. Before returning to the MD program, you must fulfill all the course requirements of your Master's program, conduct research, write and defend a thesis. Additionally, you are expected to be enrolled in the graduate program over the summer months of the first two medical years. This will help you complete all the required courses of your Master's program and start research for your MA thesis. Once you complete your Master's, you must enter the remaining two years of the MD program.

MD/PhD

Like many MD-PhD programs, the combined degree offered by Queen’s University medical school takes about 7 to 8 years to complete. At Queen’s, you will spend the first two years in the PhD program completing the course requirements, the comprehensive exams, and conduct research for your thesis. After two years in the PhD, you enter the first two years of the MD program while continuing your PhD research over the summers. After the pre-clerkship years of the MD program are completed, you will return to PhD for a final year to research, write, and defend your thesis. After the completion of your PhD, you can return to the study of medicine.

QuARMS

QuARMS offers 10 exceptional Black and/or Indigenous applicants graduating high school the opportunity to apply for admission to the Queen's University medical school at the end of two years of undergraduate study at Queen's. Interested applicants must apply through OUAC to QuARMS in Arts, Science, Computing, or Health Science. If you are selected, you must complete a supplementary application based on which you might be invited to an interview. If you enter this stream, you must successfully complete 2 years of undergrad and fulfill all the QuARMS requirements. You can apply directly to the MD program in your second year. If you are accepted, then you enter the first year of medical school after completing only 2 years of your undergrad. If you are not accepted to medical school, then you may remain as a student in your program of study.

Academic Curriculum

Queen’s University medical school divides its curriculum into sequential terms that allow students to evolve from basic scientific understanding to clinical foundations of the human systems, to clinical engagements during the two-year clinical rotations and electives period. Queen’s University medical school is well-known for close personal interactions between students and faculty and hands-on clinical experience in ambulatory settings. If you would like a detailed breakdown of the curriculum of each medical school year, please visit this webpage

Application Timeline

July 9: OMSAS application opens.

September 15: Deadline to create an OMSAS account. You are strongly advised to confirm your referees by this deadline.

October 1st: OMSAS application deadline. You must also submit the initial transcripts and academic documents, the three Confidential Assessment Forms (CAFs), and application fees. Please access Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) to uploaded supplementary documentation (forwarded by OMSAS upon submission of application).

November 3: you must release your MCAT scores to OMSAS.

November: Verify your application information by accessing the online verification report generated by OMSAS after they have compiled various data. Missing information will be highlighted here.

Late December/Early January: Interview invitations are sent to selected candidates.

February to April: Interviews are held.

The second week of May: First round of admissions offers are sent out. Applicants accept/reject offers via SAM.

June 30th: Deadline for OMSAS to have received final transcripts.

Tuition and Funding Opportunities

Annual tuition for Queen’s University School of Medicine is CAD$27,483 for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Please contact the admissions office for any information regarding the international student fees.

Funding Opportunities

Queen’s University medical school offers a variety of financial aid opportunities to help students cover the steep medical school tuition fees. The financial aid is typically sorted into these three categories:

Awards Requiring an Application. As you can tell from the title of this category, you must submit a specific application form to be considered for these scholarships. Before you apply, make sure to read application instructions carefully and pay close attention to the deadlines. Check out a list of these awards on this page

Automatic Consideration Awards. You do not need to submit an application to be eligible for these awards. You will be automatically considered for these funds and be notified by the Student Awards Office or your Faculty if you have been selected. Please see a list of these awards here.

Bursaries. Please visit this page to see a list of bursaries that are available for Queen’s University medical students. 

Be sure to read our “How much does medical school cost?” blog to learn how to plan your medical school budget and how to pay off your medical school debt.

Selection Factors

Let’s go over the admission requirements you must meet to be a competitive candidate for the Queen’s University medical school.

Coursework Requirements

Queen’s University medical school matriculants come from a variety of academic disciplines. You do not need to pursue a specific course of study to be an eligible candidate. The school also does not specify any medical school prerequisites that students need to fulfill, however, they do have medical school requirements with regards to course load and completion. To qualify for entry into Queen’s University medical school, you must complete a minimum of 30 half or 15 full course credits at the undergraduate university level. Courses are weighted according to their length of study as follows:

  • Full-year course weight of 1
  • Half-year course weight of 0.5
  • Semester course weight of 0.5
  • Three quarter course weight of 0.75
  • Quarter course weight of 0.25 (applies only to American Universities)
  • Science laboratory courses are graded separately and are weighted as less than a half-year/semester course weight of 0.25

This course load requirement must be fulfilled by June 30 of the year of entrance. Transfer credits appearing on your university transcript will be included in the credit requirement, i.e. International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), exchange credits. If you have studied outside of North America for two or more semesters, you must have your foreign transcripts evaluated through The World Education Services (WES).

GPA

Each year Queen’s University establishes the medical school GPA requirement that must be met by med school applicants. You must meet the GPA threshold to continue to be considered in the application process. The GPA minimums vary from year to year, sometimes significantly. This is why Queen’s does not publish the previous or current GPA of its matriculants as they do not predict what minimums will be established in future application cycles. Your cumulative GPA will be reviewed, as well as the GPA of your 2 most recent years of study. Whichever of the two is the highest will be the one associated with your application. Queen’s does not require its applicants to be involved in full-time study, however, for students who do not study full time only the cumulative GPA will be calculated. According to Queen's definition, a full-time study involves a minimum of three courses per semester that must be completed during the academic year, i.e. from September to April. Summer courses are solely evaluated towards the cumulative GPA (cGPA) and not the coursework requirement. For repeated courses, the credit is only counted once for the coursework requirement, but all grades obtained are calculated towards the GPA. The discipline you choose to do your degree in and the courses you choose to pursue do not have any influence on the GPA calculation. GPA calculation will include grades from all courses indicated on your transcript, including repeated courses. Courses with Pass/Fail grades or transfer credits, i.e. IM, AP, and CEGEP programs, are not included in the GPA calculation but are considered for the coursework requirement.

You must meet the established GPA minimum for your application to proceed to the MCAT evaluation. If your GPA is below the minimum, your application will be closed. Applicants with a graduate degree with slightly lower GPAs will be reviewed on individual bases. If their application is chosen to progress, they must meet the minimum MCAT score to be considered further.

MCAT

The review of your MCAT score is the second step of the application review process. Queen's University does not put a limit on the number of times you can take the MCAT. However, keep in mind that you will need to release all of your MCAT scores for review, so it's important to show improvement if you choose to retake the exam. The good news is that only your best test scores will be assessed during application review. The adcoms will consider your scores for each MCAT section, as well as the sum of all the sections. Your MCAT scores cannot be older than 5 years. The minimum MCAT score is set by the admissions committee each year.

If you’re looking to avoid writing the MCAT, there are a couple of medical schools in Ontario that do not require the MCAT, including the University of Ottawa medical school and Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Additionally, you can check out a complete list of medical schools that do not require the MCAT. However, if you decided to take on this challenging medical school hurdle, you must be ready for a rigorous and lengthy study. First of all, you must know when to start studying for the MCAT. The MCAT is a difficult and demanding test, so make sure to give yourself an ample amount of time to prepare. To create a thorough MCAT study schedule, you must take an MCAT diagnostic test to determine which content areas and disciplines you must review. In addition to covering different content areas, you must practice with sample MCAT biology questions, MCAT chemistry questions, MCAT physics equations, and MCAT psychology questions. Also, you have to prepare for MCAT CARS, perhaps the most challenging and unpredictable MCAT section. You must have a good MCAT CARS strategy that will help you tackle the passages. Practice with our MCAT CARS sample passages, questions, and expert answers to get ready.

CASPer

Queen’s University if one of the medical schools that require CASPer. Like with GPA and MCAT, Queen’s sets CASPer score expectations for each application cycle but does not disclose them. CASPer scores are also used to weed out applicants in the initial application review stages.

CASPer is an online situational judgment test that assesses your professional qualities, as well as your ability to stay calm and remain non-judgmental. The entire test is completed using your own computer in a location of your choice. The test presents you with 12 scenarios dealing with professional and personal dilemmas. You are asked 3 follow-up questions based on the scenario observed. Essentially, the questions will prod you to answer how you would deal with the situation you witnessed. Although notoriously difficult to study for, you must know how to prepare for CASPer to succeed on your test. You must also practice answering CASPer questions and learn how to identify each question type before you take the real test. Before you schedule your test, be sure to check out CASPer test dates to find a day that works for you.

Learn 3 types of CASPer question types you need to know:

Autobiographical Sketch (ABS)

If you meet the minimum GPA, MCAT, and CASPer thresholds, your application moves to the next stage of application review which includes the assessment of your ABS and medical school recommendation letters. According to Queen’s, only 2000 applications get to this review stage.

Your OMSAS ABS component is not unlike the AMCAS Work and Activities section of the American application system. Essentially, you will fill out a list of extracurriculars for medical school and other experiences that will demonstrate that you are a well-rounded and versatile individual. You will need to include activities and experiences you have had since the age of 16 in the following categories:

  • Employment
  • Volunteer Activities
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Awards and Accomplishments
  • Research
  • Other

Each ABS activity must also be supported with a name of a verifier and their contact information. It’s important to understand that your verifiers do not play the same role as referees. If verifiers are contacted by the school, they must simply confirm that you truly participated in the activity you listed in the ABS and how long you were involved. They do not need to outline your characteristics and suitability for medical school.

Remember that the quality of your experiences and the skills you acquired matter more than the number of activities that you list. This means that you must be selective when you choose which activities to include in your application. Each entry of your autobiographical sketch will be evaluated and weighted equally. The quality of the listed items and the characteristics they demonstrate will draw the attention of the adcoms, rather than the number of activities and experiences you list.

Reference Letters

Like with all OMSAS participating schools, you will need to choose three referees who will fill out the Confidential Assessment Forms (CAF) as part of your application. Traditional reference letters are not accepted by Queen’s University. Remember to choose recommenders who know you well and have extensive knowledge of your character, personal qualities, and academic capabilities. Each referee doesn't need to speak to all three of those areas of your background, but make sure that your three referees cover all three topics. Queen's University asks that at least one of your recommenders is a non-academic/character referee.

To help your recommenders write, we strongly encourage you to discuss the letters with them and explain what is required of them. Approach your potential writers about 2 months before the letters are due and ask if they would be comfortable writing you a very strong letter of reference for medical school. Your references may ask for more details about why you want to be a doctor. They may also ask to see your transcripts, CV, ABS, and other documents to help them write you a stellar recommendation letter.

Interview Format

Based on the GPA, MCAT, CASPer, autobiographical sketch, and reference letter scores, a rank order list is created by the program. Approximately 500 applicants are invited to the university for an interview. If an applicant declines their interview, Queen’s offers the interview spot to the next person on the rank list. Queen's University uses the MMI interview format to assess the pre-professional qualities of its applicants. Once the MMI portion of the interview is completed, each applicant will also meet with a faculty and a student for an additional brief interview. Please check the program’s website for the most up-to-date information regarding interview dates.

When you start preparing for your interview, make sure to review common medical school interview questions, such as “tell me about yourself” and “what is your greatest weakness?” How to prepare for your med school interview largely depends on the interview format your school of choice prefers. To get ready for the Queen’s University MMI interview format, review our blog about how to prepare for your MMI and go over MMI sample questions.

Getting ready for your interview is more than just a question and answer practice. You must create a good impression on the evaluators in every single MMI station that you enter. Although your appearance does not determine whether you can make a good physician, make sure you wear appropriate medical school interview attire. Never wear perfume, cologne, or any other strong smells to an in-person interview. Avoid wearing bright and flashy jewelry.

Acceptance Information

Offers of admission will be based on a ranked list, which is comprised of the applicants’ scores from the autobiographical sketch, reference letters, and interview scores. Offers are made after the first round on a rolling basis until the class has been filled. Upon acceptance of the offer, you must pay a non-refundable deposit of $1050 that will be applied to the minimum tuition payment.

Contact Information

Admissions Website 

Admissions Email: [email protected]

FAQs

1. What GPA and MCAT score should I get to be a competitive applicant for Queen’s?

The GPA and MCAT thresholds fluctuate each year depending on the overall academic record of the applicants. Therefore, Queen’s sets a new GPA and MCAT standard each application cycle.

2. Do I need to submit my CASPer score to Queen’s?

Yes, you must submit your CASPer score. Remember, the CASPer Snapshot is now also a part of the CASPer testing process. If you are applying to schools that require CASPer, they also have access to your CASPer Snapshot interview.

3. How many university courses do I have to complete to apply to Queen’s?

You must have a minimum of 15 full credits or 30 half credits before registering in the MD program. You may apply to Queen's medical school between your 2nd and 3rd undergrad years if you think you will have the required number of credits by the end of your third year.

4. What does full-time status mean?

Full-time status means that you completed at least 3 courses in each academic semester.

5. Are there any prerequisites that I need to complete to be an eligible candidate?

No, there are no specific prerequisites listed by Queen's. However, remember that you will need to take some science and social science courses to prepare for the MCAT and the study of medicine.

6. Should I pursue the study of specific disciplines in my undergrad to ensure that I get accepted?

No, there is no particular discipline that can increase your chances of getting accepted. You are encouraged to pursue disciplines that you enjoy studying and find interesting.

7. What’s more important: my academic record or my extracurricular activities and reference letters?

Remember, your application will be reviewed in sequential steps. First, your academic history will be assessed, i.e. your GPA, MCAT. Then your CASPer scores are assessed. Applicants who make the cut move on to the next non-academic stages of the review process. Therefore, each and every application component is of vital importance.

8. Are there extracurriculars that can give me a competitive edge?

No, there are no specific activities that would make you more competitive. Your extracurricular activities must demonstrate genuine interest and commitment. 

9. Who should be my referees?

It’s up to you to choose who you want to act as your med school referees. Remember, at least one of your writers must be a non-academic/character referee. Your letters must be written in English.

10. Does Queen’s medical school have any quotas?

Up to 4 seats are reserved for Indigenous applicants. There are no other quotas.

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