Canadian Medical School student

Applying to Canadian Medical Schools

Canada has merely 17 medical schools, three of which offer their curriculum only in French, making it increasingly difficult to gain entry. 

Nearly every school within the country has their own admissions criteria with some overlap between them. Some medical schools have made slight changes to their admissions requirements due to the pandemic. 

Below is a list of Canadian medical schools, including each respective GPA minimum, GPA calculation, and MCAT minimum. It also includes whether or not they are accepting the grades from the winter 2020 term in the calculation of applicants’ GPA (a “Y” indicates that schools are including the semester and an “N” indicates that they are excluding it). Any item with an asterisk (*) will have an accompanying note at the end of the list.  

Quebec schools that offer their program in French are not included in the list as their entry requirements can vary drastically from the English programs. 

Ontario Schools

School GPA minimum GPA calculation Winter 2020 (Y/N) MCAT minimum
McMaster University 3.0 All courses taken Y 123 on CARS
Northern Ontario School of Medicine 3.0 All courses taken Y N/A
University of Ottawa 3.50 3 most recent full-time years Y N.A
Queen’s University N/A Average of all years OR average of most recent 2 years N N/A
University of Toronto 3.60 *All courses taken during full-time basis  N 125 in each section with allowance of 123 in one section
Western University 3.70 in each of the two best years Two best undergrad years *N 125 in BBFLS, CPBS, and CARS
School GPA minimum GPA calculation Winter 2020 (Y/N) MCAT minimum
University of Alberta Albertans: 3.30Non-Albertans: 3.50 *All courses taken during full-time semesters N Albertans: 124 in all sectionsNon-Albertans: 128 in CARS, 124 in each other section
University of British Columbia BC applicants: 3.0Non-BC: 3.40 *All courses taken N 124 in each section
University of Calgary Albertans: 3.20Non-Albertans: 3.80 *All courses taken during full-time academic years Students have the option of including it or not 128 on CARS (no minimum for Albertans)
Dalhousie University Maritime applicants: 3.30Non-Maritime: 3.70 60 most recent credits Y *123 in each section
University of Manitoba *Adjusted GPA of 3.30/4.50 All courses taken Y N/A
McGill University 3.50 All courses taken N 508 total (optional MCAT for students with a Canadian degree)
University of Saskatchewan 3.40 All courses taken Two calculations performed (one includes 2020) and best is chosen 519 total

*Alberta: full-time (FT) = at least 18 credits during academic year (6.0 full course equivalents (FCEs)) or 12 credits during spring/summer (4.0 FCEs)

*British Columbia: If more than 90 credits are completed when applying, GPA will be adjusted to exclude up to 30 credits of the worst year 

*Calgary: considers a FT year to be 24+ credits; GPA calculation excludes part time and summer semesters 

*Dalhousie: minimum MCAT depends on GPA (i.e. higher GPA = lower MCAT cut-off) 

*Manitoba: credits of lowest grades are dropped (max 30 credits) in proportion to number of credits completed 

*Toronto: full time = 3.0 or more FCEs during the fall/winter and 1.5 or more FCEs during the summer terms

*Western: winter 2020 term not considered in the GPA calculation, but that year can still be used as one of the best two undergraduate years as long as the fall 2020 semester meets the GPA minimum 

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This list is not intended to replace the admissions page of every medical school. Instead, it’s intended to provide students with a starting point and a basic comparison between schools. And while we will be regularly updating this list to reflect the latest available information, keep in mind that entry requirements frequently change from one application cycle to the next. 

Also, while some med schools don’t require the MCAT, they may still have recommendations that students should follow to increase their odds of acceptance. 

As you likely have noticed, entry requirements for Canadian medical schools can be very technical and specific. To ensure that you are properly calculating your GPA, it’s important to first understand the credit system of each school and what they consider as full-time studies, if full-time studies is something they require. 

At the same time, keep in mind that the minimum GPA cut off does not guarantee acceptance. In fact, it doesn’t even guarantee an interview. Most schools have their admissions statistics displayed on their website. This information acts as a great reference tool and is an accurate predictor of acceptance, though there are always exceptions. If you are an international student or a mature applicant, there may also be exceptions that are not listed here. For instance, some schools offer mature applicants the opportunity to apply with a three-year (or 90 credit) degree or the option to remove grades from their first degree in the calculation of their GPA. 

When in doubt, it’s important that you contact the admissions department directly and immediately. Getting answers to your questions can take up to several days, especially since the start of the pandemic, so it’s important not to leave it to the last minute.  

If you have any questions regarding your application or you need help narrowing down your school list, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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