MCAT Scores for Top Medical Schools & Universities in Canada

February 20, 2024

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Wondering how to get MCAT scores for your dream Canadian med schools? Whether you're just starting or have practice scores in hand, we're here to guide you. Skip the confusion – contact us directly to discuss your goals. Your target scores are within reach, and we're here to help you get there!

Aside from the US, Canada is also one of the countries that recognize the MCAT. If you are a local or international student aiming to attend a medical school in Canada, you must take the MCAT. Thus, you need to know the MCAT scores applicants should get to be admitted. 

If you want to know the MCAT scores for top medical schools and universities in Canada, you can find all the information you might need on this page. Keep reading.

Canadian Medical School and Residency Admission Rates 

Your interest in Canadian medical schools may be sparked by their affordable tuition (compared to that of the US), its stunning natural surroundings, and delicious poutine, and you want to make it your home. 

Whatever your motivations, you should know that medical school admissions in Canada differ somewhat from those in other countries.

How Difficult Is It to Get Admitted into Canadian Medical Schools?

There is a misconception that due to the nation's physician deficit, Canadian medical schools have lower admissions standards than other schools. In actuality, Canada's medical school acceptance rates are extremely low when compared to those in the US — averaging around 7.5% nationally vs. 36%.

Because class sizes are still small, the actual doctor scarcity is not translating into a major rise in admittance rates.

Simply put, there are not enough medical schools, hospitals, or staff members to meet an increase in the number of students and interns.

Because of this, Canadian medical schools give strong preference to applicants from the same provinces. They have more confidence that those pupils will continue to practice in the area.

Do Canadian Medical Schools Accept International Students?

International applicants are subject to a range of policies at Canadian medical schools. Some universities accept applications from international students; others only accept applications from nations (mainly in the Persian Gulf) with which they have agreements, and some universities do not accept any applications from international students. 

Nevertheless, take note that even if these schools could let international applicants into their programs, there is no assurance that they will accept any, and when they do, it is frequently a very small number.

In the 2018–2019 academic year, only 16 non–contract international students began their first year of medical school in Canadian universities.

Furthermore, French education is provided solely at three of these institutions: the University of Sherbrooke, Laval University, and the University of Montréal, all of which are found in Quebec.

Do Medical Residency Programs in Canada Favor Applicants with a Canadian Medical Degree?

Your chances of obtaining a medical residency in Canada will be significantly higher as a non-Canadian citizen if you obtain a Canadian medical degree in Canada. 

Compared to the 58.8% of US medical school graduates and the 30.2 percent of IMGs who submitted applications to medical residency programs in Canada, 95.9% of Canadian medical school graduates (CMGs) in 2021 successfully matched into a medical residency in Canada.

Naturally, having a Canadian medical degree does not ensure that you will be accepted into a Canadian residency program. You need to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to be eligible for a medical residency program there. 

International students may apply to become permanent residents after completing two years of study at an accredited Canadian post-secondary institution.

What are Canadian Medical Schools Looking For?

Canada has 17 medical schools.

These schools award the MD degree and serve as your starting point on the path to becoming a doctor

As you prepare to apply to one (or more) of these medical schools, you need to know what Canadian medical schools are looking for.

Application System

The standard application service AMCAS is not used by medical schools in Canada. As a result, it is critical to double, and triple, check the application deadlines and requirements for the schools to which you are applying. Schools use school-specific application services in all provinces except for Ontario.

The OMSAS (Ontario Medical School Application System) is used by the medical schools in the province, making it a little bit simpler to apply to the six medical programs there. 

Suppose you have previously applied to undergraduate programs in Ontario before attending medical school. In that case, you will be somewhat familiar with the general layout and user experience of OMSAS because it is the medical school-specific division of the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC)

Prerequisite Courses

There are particular required courses for many medical schools, though not all. For instance, the Queen's University School of Medicine and the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine have extremely stringent preparatory requirements. 

However, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine just suggests a variety of science and humanities courses that they believe will best prepare students for their MD program. They do not have any rigid prerequisites for study. 

Prerequisites that are most frequently needed include:

GPA

Canadian medical schools pay close attention to students' undergraduate performance, which is measured in their GPA, as do all medical schools and graduate studies in general. 

There are some broad trends among the various schools' methods for calculating and taking the GPA into account. 

Admissions committees will still have some level of GPA expectation, even if it is slightly flexible or unofficial, even if a school does not have an explicit GPA cutoff. This implies that there will still be some level of expected performance even if you apply to schools without explicit GPA criteria for medical schools.

MCAT

The other major quantitative factor in your medical school application is your MCAT score, which is frequently taken into consideration along with your GPA. The admissions committee will place more weight on your MCAT score if your GPA is on the lower end of acceptable, and vice versa. 

Although certain medical schools do not require the MCAT, you nearly always need to pass this incredibly difficult test before applying to an MD program. 

None of the medical schools in Quebec, University of Ottawa Medical School, or Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Canada require the MCAT. If med schools do not require the MCAT, you should find out if they give particular parts greater weight than others.

Activities and Experience 

This is the AMCAS Work and Activities part for students in the US and the OMSAS sketch for students in Ontario. Still, each medical school in Canada will have its variation of this. 

For instance, the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine requests that applicants complete a section under "Personal Activities" in which they can include their extracurricular accomplishments. In contrast, the McGill Medical School gives students a CV template to complete. 

For the Schulich School of Medicine, you must submit a condensed version of your autobiography with a list of experiences that relate to Schulich's fundamental values.

This component aims to demonstrate how you have grown academically and personally through a well-chosen list of significant and formative events, whether extracurricular or academic.

Short Essays

Instead of a lengthy personal statement, these are much more analogous to secondary essays from US medical schools. They will require you to use concise language and respond to specific questions that will test your inventiveness in answering CanMEDS tasks

The specific kind of essay needed will differ from school to school, as it does with most other application criteria. You must write four distinct essays to address each of the four questions in the University of Toronto's short personal essays for medical school

Each essay requires some combination of reflection on prior experience and/or developing a response to a hypothetical event. Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine, for example, requires both a personal statement and a special essay for out-of-province students.

CASPer

The CASPer test is required by 12 of Canada's 17 medical schools. This computerized situational judgment test is part of the Altus Suite and evaluates students' empathy, communication abilities, motivation, and ethics. 

The CASPer test has 15 situations in which students must read and comprehend a prompt before responding to a set of questions based on it. It lasts between 100 and 120 minutes and is divided into two portions with two optional breaks. 

You must type your answers to the follow-up questions in the first phase of the test, while you will be required to record a video of your responses in the second segment.

Reference Letters

Each school will have different requirements for reference letters, just like they do for every other component. Some are highly distinctive. 

For instance, when calling your references to discuss your application to medical school, the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine will ask specific questions regarding your qualifications. 

However, most colleges continue to require written letters with a standard format: a 1-2 page letter that discusses your character and personality and your academic skills, flaws, and objectives. 

Some schools only ask for reference letters after an interview. 


In contrast, others, like the Memorial University Faculty of Medicine in Newfoundland and those medical schools in Ontario that use the OMSAS, have rigorous requirements that referees respond to specific questions within the system rather than in separate letters.

Interviews

The last part of your application process will involve at least a few typical interview questions (relating to medical school) that will assess your ability to think and speak well on the spot. 

Remember that certain Canadian medical schools, like the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, have developed their own interview forms, like the MPI (modified personal interview).

The interview provides the most thorough assessment of your suitability for the CanMEDS posts. Be prepared for interview questions that probe into your capacity for ethically navigating challenging situations and demonstrating leadership abilities under pressure, among other things. 

Fortunately, most medical schools will include information about their interview format on their websites. As usual, check with your particular schools' websites to learn how to best prepare.

How to Get Into Top Canadian Medical School

Getting into one of the 17 medical schools in Canada is not easy. You are competing with thousands of students. 

So how do you ensure the admissions committee will notice you and eventually give you a slot? Here’s how:

Verify the Application Deadlines for Canadian Medical Schools.

Universities and geographical areas have very different deadlines.

The Ontario Medical School Application Service handles all applications for the six Ontario medical schools (OMSAS). Typically, their timeline looks like this:

July

Applications open

October

Due date for application, transcript, autobiography, reference, and other requirements

November

MCAT score due date

January

Interview offers

Late January – Late March

Interviews

May  

First-round admission offers

Be Familiar with the GPA Calculation Used by Schools.

Each Canadian medical school has its own method of determining GPA because university grading systems tend to differ. 

The lowest grades of students who have continuously completed a "full course load," which in Canada usually entails five classes, are dropped by several schools, including the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia, to name two.

If you come from a system where students take fewer than five classes every semester, you might be concerned about this, but do not be. 

The admissions committee will not penalize applicants for enrolling in fewer than the required number of credits because they are aware of other universities' grading practices.

Write Your OMSAS Autobiographical Sketch and Activity Lists.

Your extracurricular activities with brief explanations, comparable to the AMCAS Work and Activities section, are the only type of written statement that most Canadian medical schools allow.

However, as opposed to AMCAS, most Canadian colleges require you to submit these lists using their own online application platform (except the Ontario schools, which all use OMSAS). Along with the length of the description, the number of activities you are permitted to describe differs per school. Make sure you do your research regarding this.

Write Your Personal Statement. 

You may be required to write a longer personal statement on a specific topic, AMCAS-style, by several Canadian medical schools. But remember that Canadian medical schools are seeking applicants who exhibit the CanMEDS roles.

For instance, the University of Toronto requests that you write four 250-word responses to four questions concerning your life, current events, or medical profession to determine whether you exhibit the CanMEDS traits. 

If you keep your CanMEDS prewrites close at hand, you will be ready for situations like this.

Be Familiar with CASPer. 

CASper is an online test that asks candidates to describe their decision-making in various fictitious situations. These hypothetical situations do not evaluate medical expertise or look for "correct" or "incorrect" responses. 

Instead, they grade applicants according to how closely their justifications adhere to the morals and sensibilities of the ideal doctor. Currently, ten medical schools in Canada use Casper.

Get Ready for Interviews. 

The MMIs (Multiple Mini Interviews) used in Canada and the United States are not identical. Canada frequently features more scenarios that address regional issues. 

Although the format has become widely used, it was first created at McMaster University to ensure that medical schools were selecting future physicians who could meet the nation's needs.

So, in addition to doctors and students, Canadian MMI committees will consist of elders from Aboriginal communities, speakers of French, and persons from other communities. 

They do not follow that every scenario will be uniquely Canadian, but some will, so having familiarity with the nation's current politics could be extremely helpful.

MCAT Scores for Top Medical Schools and Universities in Canada

During the first decades of the twenty-first century, there were significant changes in the viewpoints and practices of medical education in Canada. 

While there are Canadian medical schools that do not require the MCAT and are lenient in GPA, it is also worth noting what these medical schools require of their students, based on statistics. 

The table below shows the top medical schools in Canada, the average MCAT and GPA of their matriculants, and the acceptance rates. 

What Other Academic Requirements are Needed in Top Medical Schools and Universities in Canada?

You cannot enroll in a program straight out of high school to study medicine at the University of Toronto or in Canada in general; you must have some prior college experience. You can apply as early as the first semester of your third undergraduate year.

The table below shows the requirements that you have to submit to Canadian medical schools with regard to your academic status: 

  • undergraduate applicants
  • graduate applicants
  • international applicants


Undergraduate

Graduate

International

Degree

Completion of 15 full course equivalents over the course of at least three years of undergraduate study leading to a bachelor's degree from a Canadian university

Completion of Master's or PhD

Completion of a non-medical bachelor's degree with WES transcript evaluation, which is comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree in Canada

Pre-requisite Courses

One full-course equivalent (FCE) in social science, humanities, or language, and two full-course equivalents (FCEs) in the life sciences

Two FCEs in life sciences and one each in the humanities, social sciences, and language

Two FCEs in life sciences and one each in the humanities, social sciences, and language

Minimum Undergraduate OMSAS GPA Requirement

3.6

3.3

3.3

MCAT Score

Each section’s cutoff score is 125, with one section receiving a 124 as an allowance

Academic Explanations Essay

Optional

Canadian MCAT Calendar, Scheduling Deadlines, and Score Release Dates

Just like in the US, the MCAT in Canada is also administered from January to September of every year. There are three scheduling deadlines and to ensure you get the best options, you have to register early

 MCAT Test Dates

60-day Registration Deadline

30-day Registration Deadline

10-day Registration Deadline

MCAT Score Release Date

January 14

November 15, 2021

December 15, 2021

January 4

February 15

January 20

November 21, 2021

December 21, 2021

January 10

February 22

March 12

January 11

February 10

March 2

April 12

April 8

February 7

March 9

March 29

May 10

April 29

February 28

March 30

April 19

May 31

May 13

March 14

April 13

May 3

June 14

May 19

March 20

April 19

May 9

June 21

June 4

April 5

May 5

May 25

July 6

June 17

April 1

May 18

June 7

July 19

June 18

April 19

May 19 

June 8

July 19

June 24

April 25

May 25

June 14 

July 26

June 25

April 26

May 26

June 15

July 26

June 30

May 1

May 31

June 20

August 1

July 16

May 17

June 16

July 6

August 16

July 29

May 30

June 29

July 19

August 30

July 30

May 31

June 30

July 20

August 30

August 4

June 5

July 5

July 25

September 7

August 5

June 6

July 6

July 26

September 7

August 6

June 6

July 6

July 27

September 7

August 12

June 13

July 13

August 2

September 13

August 13

June 14

July 14

August 3

September 13

August 20

June 21

July 21

August 15

September 27

August 25

June 26

July 26

August 10

September 20

August 26*

June 27

July 27

August 16

September 27

August 27

June 28

July 28

August 17

September 27

September 1

July 3

August 2

August 22

October 4

September 2*

July 4

August 3

August 23

October 4

September 3

July 5

August 4

August 24

October 4

September 9*

July 11

August 10

August 30

October 11

September 10

July 12

August 11

August 31

October 11

* On these dates, there will be two exam sessions: one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

**The Canadian government will start collecting the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on July 1, 2021, including the MCAT registration fees that are provided to Canadian consumers by non-resident enterprises.

Additional FAQs – MCAT Scores for Top Medical Schools and Universities in Canada

What Med School in Canada Is Easiest to Get Into?

The University of Manitoba Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine are two of the easiest medical schools in Canada to get into, having acceptance rates of 12.5 and 13.8, respectively.

What GPA Do You Need to Get into Med School in Canada?

The GPA required for the different medical schools in Canada varies from one school to another. 

The key is to research and inquire from the medical school directly and ask them what GPA they need for admission. 

Also, remember that sometimes, their GPA (and MCAT score) minimum requirement is not the same for in-province and out-of-province applicants. Clarify this with them.

Is 511 A Good MCAT Score in Canada?

A 511 MCAT score may already be suitable for some medical schools in Canada. For some, however, it may not be enough. It depends on the medical school you are applying to. 

Remember, aside from your MCAT score, the admissions committee also considers your GPA, extracurricular activities, personal statement, and other requirements. 

Even if your MCAT score may not be that great, you can still make it to that medical school if your other credentials make up for it.

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