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Blog / Jack Westins Guide To Canadian Medical School Admissions

Jack Westin’s Guide to Canadian Medical School Admissions

Written by Seza on Sep 25, 2023

Jack Westin’s Guide to Canadian Medical School Admissions


Embarking on the journey towards a medical career in Canada is a path of dedication, commitment, and aspiration. For aspiring medical students, the Canadian medical school admissions process represents a pivotal step on this challenging yet rewarding road. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricate landscape of Canadian medical school admissions, aiming to provide clarity and understanding to those who dream of donning the white coat. From admission requirements and criteria to the nuances of each province’s selection process, this guide is designed to be your trusted companion as you navigate the intricate maze of medical school admissions in the Great White North. So, let’s embark on this enlightening journey together and equip you with the knowledge you need to pursue your medical aspirations with confidence and determination.

What Are the Admission Requirements of  Canadian Medical Schools?

What Are the Admission Requirements of  Canadian Medical Schools?


Admission requirements for Canadian medical schools can vary slightly from one institution to another, but there are common elements that most schools consider when evaluating applicants. Here are the typical admission requirements for Canadian medical schools:

  • Prerequisite Courses: 

Applicants are usually required to have completed specific prerequisite courses, which typically include:

  • Biology (often two semesters)
  • Chemistry (often two semesters, including organic chemistry)
  • Physics (often two semesters)
  • English (often two semesters)


  • Bachelor’s Degree: 

Most medical schools require applicants to have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Some schools may have specific GPA requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

  • Minimum GPA: 

There is usually a minimum GPA requirement for both the overall GPA and the GPA for prerequisite courses. These minimum GPAs can vary between schools and from year to year, so it’s essential to check the specific requirements of the schools you’re interested in.

  • MCAT: 

The MCAT as a standardized test that assesses problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social science concepts and principles is a part of the requirements for Canadian medical schools. Most Canadian medical schools require MCAT scores, and the minimum score requirements can vary.

  • Letters of Recommendation: 

Applicants typically need to provide letters of recommendation, which may include academic references, professional references, and references from healthcare professionals.

  • Extracurricular Activities: 

Medical schools value applicants who have a well-rounded background, including involvement in extracurricular activities such as research, volunteering, leadership, and community service.

  • Interview: 

Many medical schools in Canada require applicants to undergo an interview process. The format of these interviews can vary, but they are designed to assess interpersonal skills, ethics, and problem-solving abilities.

  • CASPer Test: 

Some medical schools use the CASPer (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) test, which assesses personal and professional characteristics like ethics, communication, and empathy.

  • Language Proficiency: 

For applicants whose first language is not English or French, proof of language proficiency through tests like the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) may be required.

  • Essays and Personal Statements: 

Applicants often need to submit essays or personal statements that demonstrate their motivation for pursuing a medical career and their understanding of the profession.

  • Residency Requirements: 

Some provinces in Canada give preference to residents of that province when considering applicants. It’s essential to check if you meet residency requirements.

It’s important to note that medical school admission is highly competitive in Canada, and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Each school may have its own selection criteria and may place different levels of importance on various aspects of the application.

Prospective applicants should carefully review the admission requirements and selection criteria of the specific medical schools they plan to apply to, as well as any updates or changes to these requirements for the current admissions cycle. Additionally, consider seeking guidance from pre-medical advisors or mentors to enhance your application.


What  Are the Additional Admission Requirements of Canadian Medical Schools for International Students?


International students who wish to apply to Canadian medical schools often face additional admission requirements and challenges compared to domestic applicants. While the specific requirements can vary between institutions, here are some common additional admission requirements for international students:

  • Visa and Study Permit: 

International students must secure the necessary visas and study permits to study in Canada. Ensure that you have the appropriate immigration documents in place before applying.

  • Language Proficiency: 

If your first language is not English or French, you will likely need to demonstrate proficiency in one of these languages by taking language tests such as the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Each medical school may have its language proficiency requirements.

  • Educational Credentials: 

International students must provide transcripts and documentation from their previous educational institutions. You may need to have your transcripts evaluated by a recognized credential evaluation service to determine equivalency to Canadian educational standards.

  • MCAT: 

Many Canadian medical schools require international applicants to submit MCAT scores. Ensure that you meet the MCAT requirements of the schools you’re interested in.

  • Visa Status: 

Some provinces in Canada have specific requirements regarding visa status for international applicants. For example, some provinces may require you to have Canadian citizenship or permanent residency to be eligible for admission.

  • International Tuition: 

Be aware that international students typically pay higher tuition fees than domestic students. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of the cost of tuition and associated expenses.

  • Health Insurance: 

International students may be required to have adequate health insurance coverage while studying in Canada. Some provinces offer provincial health insurance plans, while others require students to have private health insurance.

  • English/French Language Proficiency: 

Depending on the language of instruction at the medical school, you may need to meet specific language proficiency requirements in either English or French. Ensure you meet these requirements and have the necessary language test scores.

  • Transcripts and Credential Evaluation: 

Submitting official transcripts from your previous educational institutions is a common requirement. Some schools may also request a credential evaluation to determine the equivalence of your foreign credentials to Canadian standards.

  • Permanent Residency: 

Some medical schools may give preference to applicants with Canadian permanent residency status or citizenship. It’s important to check the specific admissions policies of each school.

  • Financial Documentation: 

Some schools may require proof of financial support to cover tuition fees and living expenses during your studies in Canada.

  • Visa Interview: 

Depending on your country of origin, you may need to attend a visa interview at the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country.

It’s crucial to research the admission requirements of each Canadian medical school you intend to apply to thoroughly. Additionally, consider reaching out to the admissions offices of these institutions for guidance specific to international applicants. The admission process for international students can be complex, so advance planning and careful attention to requirements are essential to ensure a smooth application process.


How Should International Students Decide Which Canadian Medical Schools Are the Best Fit for Them?

Choosing the right Canadian medical school as an international student is a crucial decision. Here are steps to help you decide which schools are the best fit for you:

Understand Your Eligibility: 

Review the admission requirements for each Canadian medical school. Ensure that you meet the academic, language proficiency, and other eligibility criteria.

Consider Your Location Preferences: 

Canada is a vast country with medical schools in different provinces. Consider whether you prefer urban or rural settings, as well as the climate, lifestyle, and cultural aspects of each location.

Tuition and Costs: 

Determine your budget for tuition and living expenses. International students often pay higher tuition fees. Research the cost of living in the cities where the schools are located.

Language of Instruction: 

Determine whether you are comfortable studying in English or French, as Canada has medical schools in both languages. Choose schools where the language of instruction aligns with your proficiency.

Residency and Citizenship Requirements: 

Some provinces may have residency or citizenship requirements for medical school applicants. Ensure that you meet these requirements if applicable.

Research the Curriculum: 

Review the curriculum and teaching methods of each medical school. Consider your preferred learning style and the school’s approach to medical education.

Admission Statistics: 

Look at the acceptance rates and admission statistics of each school. Some schools may be more competitive than others, and it’s essential to be realistic about your chances.

Specialization Opportunities: 

If you have a specific medical specialization or career path in mind, research whether the schools you’re interested in offer programs or resources in that area.

Student Support Services: 

Investigate the support services available to international students, including academic support, career guidance, and cultural integration programs.

Residency Matching Rates: 

Research the residency matching rates of graduates from each medical school. A high matching rate indicates the school’s effectiveness in preparing students for postgraduate training.

Consider Scholarships and Financial Aid: 

Explore whether the schools offer scholarships, grants, or financial aid for international students. These can significantly reduce the financial burden of medical education.

Visit Campuses (if possible): 

If feasible, visit the campuses of the schools you’re interested in to get a feel for the environment and meet with faculty and students.

Talk to Current Students and Alumni: 

Connect with current international students and alumni from the schools you’re considering. They can provide valuable insights into their experiences and the school’s strengths and weaknesses.

Seek Guidance: 

Consult with pre-medical advisors, mentors, and educational consultants who specialize in international student admissions to Canadian medical schools. They can provide personalized advice.

You can always contact Jack Westin’s team of professional advisors for more tailor-made advice on your medical school admission process.

Consider Your Long-Term Goals: 

Think about your long-term career goals and whether the school’s reputation and opportunities align with your aspirations.

Application Strategy: 

Create a strategic application plan by applying to a mix of reach, match, and safety schools to maximize your chances of acceptance.

Remember that choosing the right medical school is a highly individualized process. What’s most important is finding a school that aligns with your goals, values, and circumstances. Take the time to research, evaluate your options, and make an informed decision based on your unique needs and aspirations


List of Medical School in Canada with the Highest Acceptance Rate


School Average GPA Average MCAT Acceptance Rate Accepts Internationa Students
Dalhousie University  3.8 507 9.08% Yes
McGill University

Faculty of Medicine

3.89 Not Required (513 Median MCAT) 5.8% Yes
McMaster University (Michael DeGroote School of Medicine) 3.88 129 (Only CARS is considered) 3.49% Yes
Memorial University of Newfoundland 3.85 505 10% Yes
University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine 3.95 125 minimum each section (124 allowed in one section) 6% Yes
Université Laval Faculté de médecine Uses CRC Not Required 1.4% (international students) Yes
Université de Montréal Faculté de médecine  Uses CRC Not Required 5.3% international students) Yes
Université de Sherbrooke

Faculté de médecine

Uses CRC Not Required 7.7% Yes
Northern Ontario School of Medicine  3.86 Not Required 3.5% No
Queen’s University School of Medicine 3.81 511 1.9% No
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry 3.85 129 per section 8% No
University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine 88.14 (overall) 514 10% No
University of Calgary School of Medicine 3.85 128 per section 7.8% No
University of Manitoba Max Rady College of Medicine 3.3 518 12.8% No
University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine 70% minimum Not Required 3.44% No
University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine 75%(in-province)

85% (out-of province)

125 minimum each section (124 allowed in one section) 13.8% No
Western University Schulich School of Medicine and Denistry 3.7 127 mean CARS score 7% No



In summary, this guide has shed light on the intricacies of gaining admission to Canadian medical schools, providing aspiring students with a clear path to follow. While the road ahead is challenging, it offers immense rewards, as each step brings you closer to a future where you can make a significant difference in people’s lives through healthcare. Pursuing a career in medicine isn’t just a job; it’s a calling. Stay committed, keep learning, and appreciate the opportunity to serve your community in the field of healthcare. With dedication, determination, and the guidance provided here, you’re well-prepared to navigate the Canadian medical school admissions process and embark on a fulfilling journey towards becoming a healthcare professional in Canada.

You can always contact Jack Westin’s team of academic consultants for more tailor-made advice during your MCAT prep journey. Make sure to check out our website for affordable MCAT online courses, tutoring options, free weekly sessions, practice questions, and more!

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