The University of Ottawa medical school welcomes anglophone and francophone applicants from all over Canada. As one of the top medical schools in Ontario, this medical school has a highly selective admissions process and is also one of the few medical schools that do not require MCAT. 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.


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Article Contents
6 min read

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

“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”

Admissions Statistics and Eligibility

Acceptance rate (overall): 3.7%

Average MCAT: not required

Minimum GPA: 3.50/4 cumulative GPA cut-off

Median Accepted GPA: 3.93

Location: Ottawa, ON

University of Ottawa medical school overall acceptance rate:

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Wondering about your admissions chances to the University of Ottawa medical school? Check out our Ontario Medical School Chance Predictor!

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Eligibility

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.

Available Programs

Academic Curriculum

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 this page to see a list of compulsory courses in each year of your medical school education at uOttawa.

Application Timeline

Tuition and Funding Opportunities

Annual medical school tuition fees for uOttawa MD students total CAD$26,899. If you would like to learn how much medical school costs, make sure to review our blog.

Funding Opportunities

To make the lives of its applicants easier, uOttawa asks its candidates to select the option of Multiple Financial Need Bursaries – MD Program 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.

You are also encouraged to apply to a series of scholarships based on Community Involvement for Students in the MD program. For a complete list of bursaries, grants, and scholarships available at the University of Ottawa medical school, please visit this page.

Selection Factors

What factors will help you prepare a successful uOttawa application? As all Canadian medical schools, the University of Ottawa medical school expects its applicants to adhere to the CanMEDS roles. While you do not have to demonstrate these competencies yet, the admissions committee needs to see that you are taking the necessary steps on your way to becoming a physician.

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 medical school prerequisites 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

GPA

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 medical school GPA requirement for the upcoming applicant pool; check out the uOttawa website to learn how this calculation is made. 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, each with its own GPA cut-off.

CASPer

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 CASPer test dates can only be reserved after you submit your application through OMSAS and an OMSAS ID is added to your CASPer profile.

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 extracurriculars for medical school. 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 medical school personal statement, but rather a quick and thorough list of your accomplishments and experiences in the following categories:

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

You will be need to identify three activities that have best prepared you for a career in medicine in each category, resulting in a maximum of 18 activities in total. Always prioritize quality over quantity and highlight the skills you learned that prepared you for the study of medicine.

“Highlighting the parts that make you unique is key. For instance, you may have a unique experience with healthcare, a unique non-clinical experience, so on and so forth. Truth is, it does not really matter if what you did is relevant to medicine or not. Remember to highlight what makes you you and why your prior experiences will make you an exemplary doctor. For example, I had extensive experience working with mentoring refugee families as part of a non-profit organization. This taught me the ins and outs of human interaction, but also how to support individuals in their most vulnerable moments, similar to medicine.” - Dr. Neel Mistry, MD, University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine graduate.

Interview Format

Interviews are held from February to March. The University of Ottawa medical school does not disclose exact selection criteria.

According to our admissions expert, Dr. Neel Mistry, MD, his experience with the University of Ottawa included a panel interview:

“The panel consisted of a physician, a 4th year medical student, and a community member I prepared for this interview similar to how I would prepare for any job interview; knowing your application inside-out and being able to answer fundamental questions about your interest in medicine, the journey that led you there, and what sets you apart, as well as times when you demonstrated each of the CanMEDS competencies is key.” - Dr. Neel Mistry, MD, University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine graduate.

If you want to start building up your interview skills, read our blog on how to prepare for your med school interview. Additionally, you should check out our ultimate guide to video interviews, which are becoming quite popular with many medical schools in Canada.

When you start preparing for your interview, make sure to review common medical school interview questions, like “why do you want to be a doctor?” or “tell me about yourself”. Additionally, go over MMI questions and panel interview questions, as these can be incorporated into a variety of interview formats.

Acceptance Information

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.

Contact Information

Admissions Website 

Admissions Email: [email protected]

FAQs

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.

6. Should I submit my MCAT to uOttawa?

No, your MCAT score is not a requirement. 

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?

Only if they have Canadian permanent residency status. International and US students who are looking to attend medical schools in Canada should check out our list of Canadian medical schools that accept US students.

9. Do I need to submit confidential assessment forms to uOttawa?

Yes. Like with other medical schools in Ontario, 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. 


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9 Comments

Israa Abouwarda

Does UOttawa calculate the non prerequisite courses with the GPA, or just the prerequisite courses? Like, Physics.

Reply

BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Israa! Thanks for your question. Yes, your non-prerequisite courses are counted in the overall GPA. Keep in mind that you must meet the minimum grade of B in your prerequisites, as well.

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Christina

How much weight does the Casper carry at U of Ottawa med school in comparison to GPA and ABS? For the ABS, we had to select 3 best items that helps you become a better doctor in each category. For scholarships, I only chose the one where I won and competed with all of Ontario. Should I have checked the entrance scholarship to my university, and dean’s list? Thanks

Reply

BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Christina! Thank you so much for your comment. It's hard to say what's more important in the admissions process, as OttawaU does not share much information about their admissions process. However, at least meeting the expected GPA is necessary to be a competitive applicant. Secondly, you can include your entrance scholarship and dean's list in your application, but only once. If you received these honours multiple times throughout undergrad, including it only once should be enough.

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Bella

Hi there! I’m looking at pursuing UOttawa med down the road, and am confused about their requirements for course loads. It says that a year with a 4 course load will be counted as long as the courses are taken in another year to compensate. I’m taking 5 years to finish my degree, so if I take 4 courses in my third year, will my 4th and 5th year compensate that?

Reply

BeMo Academic Consulting

Hi Bella! Thanks for your question. UOttawa wants to see that you can handle full course load (5 courses). But if for some reason you have to take only 4 course per year or semester, you can make up that 1 missing course in the next year, i.e., take 6 courses. Hope this helps!

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Sydney

For the 6 units in social sciences, do psychology courses qualify?

Reply

BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Sydney! Thanks for your question. Psychology courses do count as social sciences.

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Linda

I already graduated from a university for 4 years and had BSc in Biological Science and Psychology. But I did not take some prerequisite courses in Chemistry. But I have worked in a chemistry lab for years. Do I need to go to school for another semester to finish those prerequisite courses? Are the requirements different for people who graduated for many years and people who have just graduated from universities?

Reply

BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Linda! Thanks for your question. Typically, you would need to take the prerequisites to fulfill this requirement, so you might have to enroll in some undergrad courses.

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Christina

I will be applying for a second time this year at the University of Ottawa Med School. I will be in my first year of a Masters program. Will my application not be considered because they would want me to complete the 2 year Masters program?? Should I wait to apply after the 2 years?

Reply

BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Christina! Just to clarify, you are already a Master's student and looking to reapply to medical school while you are still in the program? If so, we would suggest completing the Master's since it will not look great on your application that you have obligations somewhere else that you are dropping. Perhaps wait until your 2nd year to apply?

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Lia

Hi! I was wondering what were the classes offered by uottawa that would allow me to fulfill the prerequisite in statistics. Many thanks!

Reply

BeMo Academic Consulting

Hi Lia! Please review UOttawa courses in statistics and math to make your decision. 

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Myra

Hi, I just received an email from Ottawa MD admissions saying they look at ALL ABS activities (not just the top 3). Can you confirm this? Thanks.

Reply

BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Myra! Thank you for your question. Yes, we confirm that Ottawa U looks at the entire ABS sketch, not just the 3 top activities. As our article states: "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." So, the 3 top activities are in addition to the rest of the activities that you list. Hope fully this helps!

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Alexander

What happens if I drop a course during the school year of my first year and take it during the summer? Does that take me out of the running for UOttawa?

Reply

BeMo Academic Consulting

Hi Alexander! Thanks for your question. If you withdraw before the deadline, it will not even appear on your transcript. 

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