Applying to Medical School in Ontario

Hello, my lovely premeds!

I am back with another informative post, but this time, it is all about applying to medical schools in Ontario, Canada. The summer is a busy time for many premed students, as it is when the new cycle opens for medical school applications. OMSAS is the application portal used by students looking to apply to Ontario medical schools. Here, students will upload their transcripts, MCAT scores, autobiographical sketch, essays, references letters, and any other information needed by the medical schools. At times, it can feel a bit overwhelming thinking about the application process, and everything it entails. To ease some of that anxiousness, I have gathered all of the important information from both the OMSAS and medical schools’ websites, in order for students to see what requirements are needed to apply.

The Sketch

Each of the Ontario medical schools require the autobiographical sketch to also be completed in the application portal, OMSAS. This sketch asks applicants to list up to 32 things they have been involved with since the age of 16. These “things” include education, employment, involvement, volunteer activities, research, and other. Each activity must be validated by a “verifier” as well.

McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Medicine

Academic Requirements: 3 years undergraduate; any discipline

Applicants must achieve an average GPA of at least 3.0 on the OMSAS 4.0 scale in your undergraduate university work to date, by October 1.  Marks for supplementary and summer courses will be included in the GPA calculation. There is no requirement to carry a full course load.

NoteAlthough a 3.0 on the OMSAS 4.0 scale is needed, many applicants have much higher GPA achievements. Therefore, a high GPA is much more competitive than the cut off of 3.0.

MCAT: CARS Section of the MCAT

A minimum score of 123 on the Critical Analysis and Reasoning (CARS) section is required. The scores on the other sections of the MCAT are not looked at in the selection process. The MCAT test results will be accepted as long as the test was taken no more than 5 years prior to the application deadline. The most recent test result will be used if there are multiple test attempts.

Prerequisites: None

Non-academic Requirements: CASPer

Applicants must complete CASPer™, in the fall of the application cycle, which is a web-based assessment of interpersonal skills and decision-making. It assesses the non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that are important for successful students and graduates of the program. Successful completion of CASPer™ is required to maintain applicant eligibility.

Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Minimum Academic Requirements: 4-year undergraduate degree; any discipline

Applicants must achieve an average GPA of at least 3.0 on the OMSAS 4.0 scale in your undergraduate university work to date.  Marks for supplementary and spring/summer courses will be included in the GPA calculation. There is no requirement to carry a full course load. If you repeated a course and both courses are on your transcript, both will be used in GPA calculation. If you have more than one undergraduate degree, each GPA will be calculated and the higher of them will be used.

NoteAlthough a 3.0 on the OMSAS 4.0 scale is needed, many applicants have much higher GPA achievements. Therefore, a high GPA is much more competitive than the cut off of 3.0.

MCAT: No

Prerequisites: None

Non-academic Requirements: Confidential Assessment forms; admissions questionnaire

NOSM requires its applicants to fill out a supplementary questionnaire in order to ensure that the applicants have genuine interest in their values. These questionnaires seek to ensure applicants have interest in living in Northern Ontario, working with underprivileged populations, and multicultural experiences.

The University of Ottawa

Minimum Academic Requirements: 3 full years’ undergraduate university bachelor’s degree studies; any discipline

Applicants must achieve an average WGPA of at least 3.5 on the OMSAS 4.0 scale in your undergraduate university work to date. Marks obtained on supplementary courses taken outside the usual academic session or during a summer session will not be included in the WGPA calculation. Only full-time studies leading to a bachelor’s degree in a recognized university will qualify you for admission.

MCAT: Recommended

Prerequisites: Biology (with lab); Humanities/Social Sciences; the equivalent of any 2 of Biochemistry/Chemistry (with lab)/Organic Chemistry (with lab)

Applicants can fulfil the chemistry/biochemistry prerequisites by completing 1 of the following combinations of courses:

  • 1 full‑year course in general chemistry with lab, plus 1 full‑year course in organic chemistry with lab
  • 1 full-year course in general chemistry with lab, plus 1 full-year course in biochemistry without lab
  • 1 full‑year course in organic chemistry with lab, plus 1 full‑year course in biochemistry without lab
  • 1 full‑year course in general chemistry with lab, plus 1 semester course in organic chemistry with lab, plus 1 semester course in biochemistry without lab
  • 1 full‑year course in organic chemistry with lab, plus 1 semester course in general chemistry with lab, plus 1 semester course in biochemistry without lab

Non-academic Requirements:  CASPer

Applicants must complete CASPer™, in the fall of the application cycle, which is a web-based assessment of interpersonal skills and decision-making. It assesses the non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that are important for successful students and graduates of the program. Successful completion of CASPer™ is required to maintain applicant eligibility.

Queen’s

Minimum Academic Requirements: 15 full undergraduate credits; any discipline

MCAT: Yes

Applicants must write the MCAT, and only those scores from tests written in the 5 years prior to the application deadline will be used in the evaluation.

Prerequisites (1 full credit required for each): None

Non-academic Requirements: No

University of Toronto

Minimum Academic Requirements: 3 full years undergraduate; 15 full course credits; any discipline

Applicants must achieve an average GPA of at least 3.6 on the OMSAS 4.0 scale in your undergraduate university work to date.

MCAT: Yes

Applicants must write the MCAT and achieve a score of 125 in each of the four sections. Only the scores from your most recent MCAT attempt will be considered. The MCAT must be written before the application deadline and within the past five years.

Prerequisites: 1 full-course-equivalent (FCE) of Humanities, Social Sciences, and/or Languages; 2 FCE of Life Sciences

  • Life Sciences: Anatomy, Biochemistry, Biology, Botany, Clinical Biochemistry, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular Genetics & Molecular Biology, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Physiology, Zoology
    Note: Chemistry and Physics are not Life Sciences. If you are listing Chemistry courses to meet requirements for other medical schools, you must also list two FCEs in Life Sciences.
  • Social Sciences: Economics, Political Science, Sociology, Criminology.
  • Languages: Courses in a language other than your native language.
  • Humanities: Classics, English, History, Religious Studies, Cultural Studies.

Non-academic Requirements: Brief personal essays

You are required to submit four original brief personal essays, with each essay answering a specific question related to the Faculty’s mission and values as stated in the previous section. The mission statement of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto embodies social responsibility, and the Faculty values are reflective of this responsibility. Each brief personal essay must be 250 words or less.

The Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry (Western)

Minimum Academic Requirements: 4-year degree or equivalent

The GPA minimums change each year, but this minimum must be exceeded or met in each of the best 2 undergraduate years of full‑time study. Full‑time study is defined as 5 full or equivalent courses with 30 or more credit hours, taken between September and April.

Last year’s cut off for GPA was 3.7 out of 4.0

MCAT: Yes

MCAT minimums are reset each year. You must meet or exceed these thresholds in your most recent MCAT writing.

Last year’s MCAT cut off was 128 (BBFLS), 126 (CPFBS), and 129 (CARS)

Prerequisites: No

Non-academic Requirements: No

Want More Information?

For more information look at the following links:

OMSAS: https://www.ouac.on.ca/omsas/

McMaster: http://mdprogram.mcmaster.ca/

NOSM: http://www.nosm.ca/education/ume/general.aspx?id=390

Ottawa: https://med.uottawa.ca/undergraduate/admissions

Queen’s: https://meds.queensu.ca/education/undergraduate/prospective_students

Toronto: http://md.utoronto.ca/admissions

Western: https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/medicine/undergraduate/future_students/admission/requirements.html

I hope you guys found this post helpful! If you have any more questions or are seeking more guidance throughout your premed/med application journey, check out the mentoring services offered or send me an email!

XOXO,

The Girly MD (to be)

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