The University of Saskatchewan medical school is one of the 17 medical schools in Canada and the only one in the province of Saskatchewan. This MD program gives preference to in-province and Indigenous applicants, while typically admitting only 5% of applicants from the out-of-province pool. In this blog, you will learn about their admissions statistics, eligibility, admissions requirements, application procedures, tuition costs, and how to get accepted.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
"Our mission is to conduct and stimulate research, education, and health promotion programs aimed at enhancing the health and well-being of agricultural, rural and remote populations."
Overall Admissions Rate: 17.7%
Out-of-province students make up 8% of last year's matriculants.
Average MCAT percentile: 73 (score between 507-508)
Average GPA: 88.27%
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
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You must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada to be eligible to apply. Just like the rest of Canadian medical schools, the University of Saskatchewan gives preference to in-province applicants. To be considered a Saskatchewan resident you must have resided in the province for three years immediately preceding August 1st of the year in which you’re seeking admission. Another way to qualify is to have previously lived in Saskatchewan for an accumulated period of 15 years. If you have lived in Saskatchewan for 15 years, but not in the three years preceding your application, you will receive a credit of one year toward the three-year requirement for every five years of residency in the province, i.e. if you have lived in Saskatchewan for a year before application, and 10 to 14 years before that, that fulfills the three-year residency requirement. To prove your status, you must provide all the following documents:
1. A valid Saskatchewan Government Health Card
2. An official letter from Saskatchewan Health Services showing the years of coverage
3. Proof of employment in the province
You can also qualify as an in-province applicant if you have served in the Armed Forces of Canada or the RCMP, if your spouse, parent, or guardian is a member of these institutions, or if you have moved to Saskatchewan due to being reassigned. If any of these apply to you, you must have physically resided in Saskatchewan for at least 12 months consecutively preceding October 1st of the year of application. If you’re a resident of Yukon, Northwest Territories, or Nunavut, you can apply as a Saskatchewan resident. Proper documentation must be presented to prove your residency.
The Indigenous Admissions Program (IAP) at The University of Saskatchewan medical school reserves 10 of the first-year seats for persons of Canadian Indigenous descent. Applicants from Indigenous ancestry, including from outside of Saskatchewan, are first considered through the regular Saskatchewan resident admission rank number (ARN), and if unsuccessful in getting a regular offered seat, they will be considered through IAP. If you're an Indigenous applicant, you must identify yourself in the application for admissions and submit proof of Indigenous ancestry. The following documents are accepted as proof:
a) Status or Treaty cards
b) Métis Membership card
c) Nunavut Trust Service Card
d) Inuit roll number.
The University of Saskatchewan also implemented the Diversity and Social Accountability Admissions Program (DSAAP) for Saskatchewan Residents. It provides 6 seats to students from lower-income families. To qualify, you will need to document that your five-year average gross family income was below the threshold of $80,000. You must fill out a questionnaire and be required to provide names and contact information of two references.
Five seats are available for out-of-province applicants. You must be a Canadian citizen or hold a Canadian Permanent Residency status for a minimum of three years. To learn more about eligibility requirements for these programs, visit the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine website.
This four-year undergraduate MD program is not easily accessible for out-of-province students. The adcoms have set a cut-off MCAT score of 97% and above, as well as CARS score of 95% for an interview invitation. If you get accepted, you will be exposed to more than 40 training sites across Saskatchewan. Although Saskatoon campus is considered the home of the University of Saskatchewan medical school, you will also have the chance to work at the Regina campus, Prince Albert Instructional Site, and Saskatchewan Longitudal Integrated Clerkship (SLIC) that are available at sites in Estevan and Meadow Lake.
Not unlike other MD-PhD programs, USask MD-PhD program has high standards for its applicants. You must have a 4-year BSc (bachelor of science) degree or equivalent completed at the point of starting medical school. To be eligible for admission, you must have a GPA of more than 80% in all four years of your undergraduate degree. Applicants to the combined program must meet the same MCAT thresholds as their MD counterparts. You must have had some discussion with potential supervisors regarding a proposed project. As a part of your MD-PhD application, you must provide a draft of the letter detailing your interest in becoming an MD-PhD student and outlining your career goals as a clinical scientist. If you would like to read some MD PhD essay examples, make sure to read our blog.
Do you need help deciding whether the MD-PhD or MD is right for you? Check out our video:
The Edwards School of Business and the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan have implemented this five-year program of study. If you are accepted into Medicine, you can also undertake a one-year MBA program. Two students a year who are accepted to do both degrees will be allowed a year deferral to Medicine to complete the coursework for the MBA.
The total tuition for in-province and out-of-province students is around $18,945 per year. Your annual budget will differ based on your medical school year. While pre-clerkship years (1 and 2) are less expensive, the last two years of the program will require licensing exam fees, residency preparation expenses, as well as costs associated with electives and rotations outside of Saskatoon. Travel expenses will certainly vary and will depend on the clinical experiences chosen, student interest group involvement, conference attendance, and personal travel. Your housing and living expenses should also be considered in your budget. The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Saskatoon per month is around CAD$1000 including utilities.
To be considered for the College of Medicine Fall Awards Application, you need to complete and submit the application form through PAWS (personalized access webservice at the University of Saskatchewan). The deadline is August 31 in the year of application. To access the application form, you must log into the Scholarships and Bursaries channel in PAWS, choose “Apply for awards”, and select the Fall Awards Application for your application cycle from the Current Students drop-down menu.
Scholarships and Bursaries
To access the College of Medicine Bursaries, you must log into the Scholarships and Bursaries channel in PAWS, click on “Apply for awards”, and select College of Medicine Bursaries for your application cycle from the Current Students drop-down menu. The deadline for application is November 1 in the year of application.
To be considered for the competitive College of Medicine Grad Awards, you must complete the appropriate application form found in Scholarships and Bursaries channel in PAWS. You must submit it through PAWS no later than April 16 of the year of graduation. To access the application, log into the Scholarships and Bursaries channel in PAWS, click on the "Apply for awards" button, select the College of Medicine Grad Awards Application from the Current Students drop-down menu.
Your application form must be submitted online. It is usually made available to students in early August. Once you have submitted your application, it is not possible to login to update information or check the status of your application. Updates to the information in the application, if they are of critical importance to the application, must be emailed to the Admissions Office. There is a non-refundable application fee of CAD$150.00. It must be paid by credit card or by sending a cheque. If you’re invited to the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI), there is an additional non-refundable fee of $150.00 which must be paid at the time of accepting the MMI invitation. The deadline to submit both the application and the initial application fee is October 1 of the year of application at 4:00 PM (Saskatchewan time). Late submission of either the application or the fee, for any reason, will result in your application not being accepted. Deadlines may vary every year, so make sure you check for the exact submission date on the program’s website the year you’re applying. Transcripts and any other documents required for application (e.g., proof of residency) must be submitted by mid-October. Your MCAT scores must be submitted to the program during a specific time, usually between mid-October and late October of the year of application. Only scores released during the stated time period will be considered. During the application cycle, missing a deadline or responding to an incorrect email address in the submission of required admission-related materials or responses may result in your application being coded inactive. Remember, deadlines change every year, so make sure you visit the program’s website to check the dates.
Admissions requirements for Saskatchewan resident applicants (in-province or IP), including Indigenous Admissions Program (IAP) and Diversity and Social Accountability Admissions Program (DSAAP):
- 4-year baccalaureate degree must be completed before entering Medicine
- 75% minimum University Academic Average (UAA)
- The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is required of all applicants. Only the most recent MCAT is considered. In-province applicants must score above the 24th percentile (score above 492) to be invited to interviews.
Admissions requirements for Out-of-Province resident applicants (OP):
- 4-year baccalaureate degree must be completed before entering Medicine
- 85% minimum University Academic Average (UAA)
- Only the most recent MCAT scores are considered. To apply, you must score in the 80th percentile percentile for the test sum score and each of the four section scores. You must score in the 97th percentile with a minimum CARS score at the 95th percentile (519 and above) to be invited to an interview.
Transcripts and Course Prerequisites
You must graduate from a Bachelor’s degree or expect to graduate in the summer before you enter the MD program. Your degree does not have to be in science and there are no strict medical school prerequisites. However, the program strongly suggests that its applicants should pursue undergraduate level courses in Biology, Biochemistry, Physics, English, Psychology, and Statistics.
You must submit official transcripts from all universities and post-secondary institutions you have ever attended, including exchange and study abroad programs. Official transcripts in sealed and stamped envelopes must be sent by your home institutions to the University of Saskatchewan. The interim transcripts must be received by October of the year of application, while the final official transcripts must be received by June of the year of entrance. You do not need to send in official hard copies of your transcripts if you are currently attending or have ever attended the University of Saskatchewan or the University of Regina. In the case of the former, the program will access your transcripts electronically; in the case of the latter, you will provide your University of Regina student number to allow the program to access your transcripts.
University Academic Average (UAA)
The University of Saskatchewan does not have a unique grade point average calculation system; your percentage grades will be used to calculate your average. In-province students must have at least a 75% average, while out-of-province students must have at least an 85% average. Your average will be calculated based on grades reported on the official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you attended, including exchange programs. If you repeat a class, both grades will both be counted if they fall within the courses used to calculate your average. USask will provide you with a grade conversion chart to convert your letter grades into percentages. The University of Saskatchewan uses a variety of classes to calculate your UAA, including pass/fail courses, distance education (online courses), advanced placement (AP), and international baccalaureate (IB) courses, and even graduate courses. While the University of Saskatchewan does not date undergraduate courses of in-province applicants, out-of-province applicants' four-year degree must be completed by the end of April before entry to the MD and within five years after starting university.
Last year's matriculants to this MD program had an average of over 88%. If you do not meet these expectations, you will need to work to improve your grades to have a chance of acceptance. Remember, your grades are the most important indicator of your academic abilities and your transcripts are the most important record of your academic success. The University of Saskatchewan medical school notes that grade consistency will be taken into consideration by the admissions committee. Make sure that your transcripts do not demonstrate a discrepancy in grades or irregular academic records, i.e. grades declining over time or grades fluctuating over a wide range. Academic inconsistency does not make a good impression. If you need to improve your grades, work hard to achieve high scores in classes. You might need to get extra help with courses you find particularly challenging. Scheduling study sessions with a partner may give you the motivation to complete your assignments and go over challenging concepts together. You can also ask for help from your instructors and teaching assistants. Make sure to visit their office hours and ask if you can do anything for extra credit. You will boost your UAA if you take courses in disciplines you like and excel in. And be sure to create a study schedule and stick to it - good study habits go a long way. If you're still not sure about your chances of acceptance, check out our blog on how to get into medical school with a low GPA.
The University of Saskatchewan medical school does not accept MCAT scores older than 3 years before the date of application. The most recent scores will be used for consideration by the admissions committee. You must request from AAMC that your MCAT scores are released to the University of Saskatchewan specifically. There is a discrepancy between the MCAT scores required from in-province and out-of-province applicants. While non-Saskatchewan residents must score in the 80th percentile (over 509 or above) to stay in the competition, in-province applicants must score above the 24th percentile (score above 492). Each year the MD program also sets the minimum section percentile score cut-off for both in-province and out-of-province students. The competition for interviews is especially fierce for out-of-province applicants: to be invited to an interview, you must score in the 97th percentile with a minimum CARS score at the 95th percentile (519 and above).
Now, these are attainable scores if you study hard and prepare for the MCAT ahead of time. Most importantly, you need to know what is a good MCAT score, take a look at the best MCAT study schedule, and know when to start studying for the MCAT. You will need to know everything there is to know about this exam: its components, study strategies, what to expect on the test day, and so on. If you have already taken the MCAT but you are unsatisfied with your score, you should consider retaking the test to improve your result. Before taking the test again, study and prepare rigorously. Take several practice tests to make sure you consistently score well (at least 90%). There is no point in sitting the test again if you see no improvement when you take the MCAT diagnostic test. Give yourself ample time to prepare for the test and use MCAT CARS practice passages and other practice materials to get ready. Remember, the University of Saskatchewan will only use your latest score in your application, so make sure you feel ready when you take or re-sit the exam. If you’re still wondering “When should I take the MCAT?”, take a look at our blog to get some answers. If you want to avoid taking the MCAT altogether, look at a list of medical schools that don’t require MCAT.
The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) weekend is held at the university in March each year. This interview format helps the admissions committee to assess candidates’ personal qualities and attributes. You must present yourself as a mature and unbiased professional. MMI questions are meant to assess your ability to be objective, analytical, and non-judgmental. To get ready for your interview, learn about 7 different types of MMI questions and start practicing by going through MMI questions. You can also check out some common medical school interview questions to get you ready.
Your MMI performance will have a great effect on your chances of getting an offer. For residents of Saskatchewan and Indigenous applicants, the MMI makes up 50% of their total ranking, while the MCAT score makes up 20% and the calculated UAA makes up 30%. Out-of-province applicant’s chances of admission rely solely on their MMI performance. Their ranking will be based 100% on their interview performance.
The University of Saskatchewan medical school does not accept traditional medical school recommendation letters. All references are contacted by phone and asked specific questions about your candidacy for medical school. In your application, you must provide the names of three referees who can speak to your personal attributes and suitability to study and practice medicine. Your recommenders should be professionals with whom you worked and who know you well. Specifically, if you have participated in or have completed an undergraduate or graduate research course or project, your immediate supervisor must be used as a reference. If you are using employers or volunteer supervisors as references, they should be from the most recent positions you held. Be sure to notify your references well in advance that you would like to put down their names and contact information in your application. Ask them if they agree to be your recommenders and ensure that they would show you strong support. Once they agree, make sure you have their most up-to-date, correct information to put in your application. Your referees must be willing to accept a 10-to 15-minute phone call from the program during April and early May.
In your application you must provide the following information about each of your referees:
1. First and last name
3. Full details of how each reference has supervised you, i.e. their role in relation to you in an employment, research, or volunteer setting
4. Length of time known
6. Daytime telephone
You can update your references’ contact information, but you cannot change a reference after October 1st of the year of application.
If you are offered admission, you must pay a non-refundable deposit of $1,800.00 (part of your tuition) by the deadline date of the acceptance of the offer. That is, candidates who withdraw their admission acceptance after paying the fee will forfeit this deposit.
If you are rejected, you will have a chance to appeal the adcoms’ decision. You will have 5 business days from the date a negative application decision is emailed to launch an appeal of that decision. If you appeal, your appeal must include the Appeal Form. The Appeal Form and any attachments must be submitted by email at med.[email protected] The appeal form and supporting documentation must be received on or before the deadline. Appeals are to be addressed to the Chair of the Admissions Appeals Committee, c/o Admissions Office.
Admissions email: [email protected]
1. When can I apply for the MD program?
The application typically opens in early August. Your online application and fee must be submitted by October 1st of the year of application.
2. How many seats are available per year?
Typically, 100 students are admitted each year.
3. Once I submit my online application, can I go back and make changes?
No, once you have submitted the application you cannot log back in. If you have any important changes to make, email the Admissions Office directly. You will also be unable to track your application status through the application process. You will be notified of all news and changes to your status via email.
4. Should I submit a record of my non-academic activities and employment to improve my chances of acceptance?
No, the University of Saskatchewan does not consider your extracurriculars for medical school in the admissions process. However, you can choose recommenders from your extracurricular activities who can speak to your qualities and achievements in that experience.
5. Where can I submit my reference letters?
The University of Saskatchewan does not accept traditional recommendation letters. You will provide names and contact information of your recommenders in your application form. They will be contacted via phone in April and early May.
6. Do I need to submit transcripts again if I am re-applying?
You do not need to order new transcripts. However, you must submit a request to the Admissions Office to have your transcripts pulled forward.
7. Can my online courses be counted in my UAA?
Yes, up to 24 credit units of distance education are allowed.
8. I have taken extra classes to increase my GPA after I graduated. Will they be counted in my UAA?
No, courses taken after you graduate from your undergraduate degree will not count towards your average unless they result in another degree that will be completed before entry to Medicine.
9. Should I help my referees get ready for the call from the admissions office?
Since there’s no letter, when you ask someone to be your reference, you should be prepared to answer some questions from the referee about your interest in medicine. Ensure that your referee has a copy of your CV and other relevant documents, i.e. transcript, MCAT scores, and anything else you’d like to provide.
10. Do I count as in-province applicant if I attended the University of Saskatchewan?
To be considered a Saskatchewan resident you must have resided in the province for three years immediately preceding August 1st of the year in which you’re seeking admission. This means that if you attended UofS, but then moved somewhere else after graduating and are now looking to attend med school, you will not be considered a resident. For more information on residency, please reach out to the admissions office.
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