The University of Ottawa medical school welcomes anglophone and francophone applicants from all over Canada. While the school has a highly selective admissions process, it is also one of the few . In this blog, you will learn uOttawa’s admissions statistics and requirements, selection factors, interview format, and tips for how to get into this prestigious medical school.
“Our Mission is to select a culturally and socioeconomically diverse group of medical students who are ready to pursue academic and personal excellence and who possess multifaceted interests and personal qualities. These students will be able to, in an ethical and professional manner, contribute and be responsive to, the changing needs of society by:
- Providing exemplary and compassionate patient care
- Advancing the public’s health
- Conducting ethical medical research and
- Maintaining their personal wellness”
Acceptance rate (overall): 3.9%
70% of matriculants are Anglophone and 30% are Francophone
Average MCAT: not required
Average GPA: 3.50/4 cut-off
Location: Ottawa, ON
University of Ottawa medical school overall acceptance rate:
Only Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada are eligible to apply. University of Ottawa medical school also specifically states that they do not accept students who have been previously registered in a medical program leading to an MD degree and withdrew or were excluded from the program unless there were exceptional or medical circumstances.
As I mentioned previously, the MD curriculum is offered in English and French. The first part of the curriculum, pre-clerkship, is dedicated to learning biomedical sciences. Additionally, during this phase of medical training, you will be assessed based on your intelligence, integrity, as well as personal and emotional characteristics that are necessary for anyone looking to become a physician. You must demonstrate your knowledge, maturity, and awareness of professional ethics.
The second phase, clerkships, are dedicated to clinical work. There will be approximately 72 weeks of rotations scheduled over four calendar years. Please visit to see a list of compulsory courses in each year of your medical school education at uOttawa.
To make the lives of its applicants easier, uOttawa asks its candidates to select the option of when applying for financial aid. This procedure ensures that when you apply for scholarships and bursaries based on financial need, your application is eligible for all available funding opportunities at the University of Ottawa medical school. This approach makes the application and the review process much faster and easier for both the students and the admissions committee. Remember, you must still meet all the eligibility criteria of the different bursaries to have a chance of getting them, but at least you do not need to apply for each opportunity separately.
Let’s go over selection factors that will help you prepare a stellar uOttawa application.
Coursework and Prerequisites
To be considered for admission, you must complete three years of full-time study in any undergraduate program leading to a bachelor's degree. You must also complete the with a minimum grade of B (CÉGEP equivalent 70%). You must complete them before the beginning of June of the year of entrance. uOttawa course prerequisites include:
6 units in Humanities /Social Sciences (second language courses are not recognized toward the Humanities / Social Sciences prerequisites)
6 units in Biology (Anatomy and Physiology courses also accepted)
3 units in Organic Chemistry
3 units in Chemistry
3 units in Biochemistry
3 units in Statistics
Note: 3 units (credits) are equivalent to a one-semester course, and six units (credits) are equivalent to either one full-year course or two semester-long courses. If you are missing any of these prerequisites, you can complete missing courses during the academic year preceding admission but not during the summer before your registration in the MD program. There are also lab requirements that can be met by either having 6-units-worth of courses that include a laboratory component and/or by having completed the additional course(s) up to 6 units that are exclusively laboratory-based.
You should be aware that uOttawa will consider the level of difficulty of successfully completed courses and their relevance to future medical studies at the University of Ottawa. For example, full-time studies completed by distance education will not be recognized.
The Excellence of Marks is the number one requirement that you must meet to be an eligible candidate for the MD program. Each year, the University of Ottawa medical school sets a cumulative for the upcoming applicant pool; check out the uOttawa website to learn how this calculation is made. You must meet the required minimum average to have your application advance in the selection process. If your GPA does not meet the required minimum, you are cut out of the applicant pool. There are several student categories within the applicant pool, i.e. anglophone, francophone, indigenous, etc. Each category of students has its own GPA cut-off – if you would like to learn the GPA cut-off for your category, you need to contact the admissions office at .
The University of Ottawa will calculate your cumulative GPA (cGPA) using the most recent three years of full-time (5-courses per year) undergraduate studies completed towards a bachelor’s degree in any recognized university. The cGPA will include all full-time courses taken during the regular academic year (Fall and Winter semesters) and individual courses taken during the summer semester during that period. Your grades from the exchange or abroad programs will not be included in the cGPA calculation. Any year with less than four courses per semester will not count as a full-time year of study. A full-time summer semester does not replace a semester of studies within an academic year (except for co-op programs). AP, IB, and transfer units are not recognized as fulfillment of the full-time study requirement.
You can have only one pass/fail graded course per semester if you want the year to count as a full-time year of study. Therefore, an academic year in which more than one pass/fail graded course was taken in one semester is not considered in the cGPA calculation. Online courses taken within the most recent three years of full-time study will be included in the calculation. Any online courses taken outside the most recent three years of full-time requirement will not be included in the cGPA. Prerequisite courses with the minimum grade of B (equivalent to 70% at CÉGEP) completed outside of the most recent three years will count towards fulfilling the prerequisite credits, however, the grades will not count towards the cGPA.
Your CASPer test must be completed in the language of instruction selected when submitting your application to the University of Ottawa medical school. You will have to take the CASPer test in the fall of the application year. Your uOttawa can only be reserved after you submit your application through OMSAS and an OMSAS ID is added to your CASPer profile.
As you probably already know, the CASPer test is an online situational judgment test that assesses your professional qualities and competencies. It is composed of 12 scenarios dealing with real-life situations. 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. You are given 5 minutes to type your answers for the three questions you’re presented with. Your answers will be scored on a scale between 1 (lowest) and 9 (highest). Tip: to ace your CASPer test, learn how to identify the pressing issue of a scenario. This means that you must be quick to realize the vulnerable party in the situation. As a future physician, you must always prioritize the well-being of those under your care, so make sure you identify those who are most affected in the scenario at hand. But don’t forget to consider all the parties involved. Remember to always remain non-judgmental to everyone in the scenario and take care of those who are most affected by the situation first. To test your CASPer taking skills, make sure to use our . Learn before you take the test.
Learn what to avoid in your CASPer test in our video:
Autobiographical Sketch (ABS)
You will need to provide a detailed autobiographical sketch in your OMSAS application that outlines your . This section of the application is meant to provide a more personal and detailed description of your life and experiences in your journey to medical school. As you fill out your ABS, you will be promoted to provide brief details of each activity, as well as names and contacts of your verifiers who can confirm your participation in the activities you listed. It might be wise to use point-form notes to describe your experiences, as such answers are more easily accessible. Remember, this is not a , but rather a quick and thorough list of your accomplishments and experiences in the following categories:
- Volunteer Activities
- Extracurricular Activities
- Awards and Accomplishments
In addition to the general list of activities outlining your preparedness for the study of medicine, you will be prompted to identify the top three activities in each category, resulting in a maximum of 18 activities in total. This ABS gives you more opportunity to emphasize particularly important achievements or experiences. Remember, you must be selective and pick top experiences that defined your journey to medical school. Always prioritize quality over quantity and highlight the skills you learned that prepared you for the study of medicine. Before you submit your application, make sure to review your responses and activity inclusions carefully. Makes sure there are no grammatical mistakes and no typos in the names and contact information of your verifiers.
Interviews are held from February to March. You will be invited based on the minimum cGPA set for that application cycle for the particular student category to which you belong. Non-academic assessment will be taken into consideration in interview selections, but the University of Ottawa medical school does not disclose exact selection criteria. uOttawa does not provide any details about the interview format on their website. Applicants who are invited to interview will receive details about the interview location, time, and format in the invitation. If you want to start building up your interview skills, read our blog on . Additionally, you should check out our ultimate guide to , which are becoming quite popular with many . When you start preparing for your interview, make sure to review common , like “” or “”. Additionally, go over and , as these can be incorporated into a variety of interview formats.
Following the interview, a rank order lists are made based on a combined score using cGPA and the interview performance. In the event of ties in the final scores, candidates with the highest cGPA will be ranked higher. The University of Ottawa medical school may consider other factors when ranking each candidate in the order list, but the details are not disclosed.
After you receive your offer of admission, you must satisfy the necessary conditions, including submitting a final transcript by the end of June of the year of entry, providing a copy of your residency status, completing all the admissions requirements, and so on. Please visit the school’s website for more information.
1. How many students are admitted into the MD program each year?
uOttawa admits 166 students annually.
2. Do I need to complete my medical school prerequisites with a certain grade to be an eligible candidate?
Yes, you need to have at least a B in all of your prerequisites courses (CÉGEP equivalent of 70%).
3. Can I qualify for the MD program if I studied part-time?
No, only full-time studies leading to a bachelor’s degree will qualify for admission.
4. Will uOttawa consider repeated courses when calculating my cGPA?
For cGPA calculation, the University of Ottawa medical school will consider all courses that appear on your transcript in the most three recent years of full-time undergraduate studies.
5. Should I complete my undergraduate education before I apply?
No, you do not have to wait to complete your undergrad. You would normally apply after the second year of studies. Only the grades received in 1st and 2nd years of your undergrad will be used in the calculation of your GPA.
7. Are there any provincial quotas?
No, the University of Ottawa medical school does not admit students based on region or province. The program is divided into two streams: anglophone and francophone. There is no weight or preference given to any particular province.
8. Can international and US students apply for admission?
9. Do I need to submit confidential assessment forms to uOttawa?
Yes. Like with other , you will need to submit three CAFs through the OMSAS application system. They will be considered in the selection process, but the school does not specify any particular criteria or weight assigned to them.
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.