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Canadian Medical Schools Prerequisites Summary

The single most effective thing you can do to improve your chances of getting into medical school is to  complete the right prerequisites. The more prerequisites you do, the more medical schools you will be eligible for and the greater your chances will be for an acceptance letter. Attached below is a table of all the Canadian schools and their prerequisites, including whether they require the MCAT and a degree. (Click on the picture to enlarge)

Click to enlarge

After looking at this table, you would see the most important courses to take would be are the following. Duration of each course may vary between schools, check the individual school websites for more complete information.

  1. Biology – 1 year
  2. General Chemistry – 1 year
  3. Organic Chemistry – 1 year
  4. Physics – 1 year
  5. Biochemistry – 0.5 year
  6. Social Sciences – 1 year

It is also in your best interest to take the MCAT as almost all schools require it. Surprisingly, only a handful of schools require you to complete a degree before starting medical school.

[Note] The courses do not have to be completed by the time you apply, they only have to be completed before you enroll into medical school. Eg. You can apply for medical school in September while taking Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry during that year.

Hopefully this will save you some time and help you plan your course selections. If you have any further questions, please leave a comment below and I will try to answer them all here.

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23 Comments

  1. Gary
    Gary February 16, 2010

    UWO almost has no course prereqs, does this mean I don’t need to take any of those at all to get in, and can get in with a degree that had no science courses in it at all?

    And what does it mean that I don’t need a degree? Do I still need to have an undergrad completed before I start attending med school?

    • medaholic
      medaholic February 17, 2010

      UWO has no prerequisite courses as can be found in their FAQ here:
      http://www.schulich.uwo.ca/education/admissions/medicine/index.php

      You just need to complete a 4 years honors or equivalent undergraduate degree. And what it means by not needing is a degree, is that there are medical schools in Canada that will accept you before you complete a degree. You do not need a completed undergrad degree before you start medical school.

  2. Holly
    Holly March 5, 2010

    Hey,

    just a slight correction – Memorial University does not require you to have a degree. You can apply during your third year of undergrad (for admittance in what would have been your fourth year). They say they only accept students like this in “exceptional circumstances” but i know many people who have applied in third year, and one person who was accepted out of these people without an undergraduate degree. She had no “exceptional circumstances” except she was exceptionally brilliant and totally an amazing applicant. So basically, you definitely have a better chance of getting in applying in 4th year but it’s still an option to apply in 3rd year.

    • medaholic
      medaholic March 6, 2010

      Thanks for the correction. I will update it accordingly.

  3. Vanessa
    Vanessa March 16, 2010

    Hi, may I ask what you majored in during college? I am currently living in Japan because my husband is stationed here, so I am limited by schools. The school I am in right now does not offer any science majors or minors, so I am trying to figure out how to get all those pre-requisites in. I am a Psychology major, I’d like to go to med school for Psychiatry. By the time I go back to the States, I will have my Bacherlor’s degree, and my children will all be school age. Its getting everything done now to be accepted into med school that is worrying me. BTW, I have read through your site and you have so much good info, Thanks!

    • medaholic
      medaholic March 21, 2010

      I majored in sciences, but for the most part, it doesn’t matter what you major in as long you fulfill your prerequisites (courses, MCAT) and get your application together and submitted on time. Best of luck with your future aspirations.

  4. Bruce
    Bruce May 19, 2010

    Hey,

    just a slight correction – Memorial University does not require you to have a degree. You can apply during your third year of undergrad (for admittance in what would have been your fourth year). They say they only accept students like this in “exceptional circumstances” but i know many people who have applied in third year, and one person who was accepted out of these people without an undergraduate degree. She had no “exceptional circumstances” except she was exceptionally brilliant and totally an amazing applicant. So basically, you definitely have a better chance of getting in applying in 4th year but it’s still an option to apply in 3rd year.

    • medaholic
      medaholic May 23, 2010

      Thanks for the information. I’ll try to update this prerequisite chart for the upcoming cycle.

  5. Phil Emond
    Phil Emond June 28, 2010

    My daughter has been accepted into Science at Queen’s University. She is interested in medicine and I am trying to help her with her first year course selections.

    Do you have any advice for us.

    • medaholic
      medaholic July 1, 2010

      Take courses she will do well in. Don’t take courses because they “sound” like they are “difficult” courses. Medical schools don’t really care whether you took an easy course or a harder course, as long as you do well in it.

      Make sure to fulfill the prerequisites. Ask upper years and other students which courses she can do well in. Choose something she’s interested in. And if possible, take a course out of your comfort zone. It may be difficult then but you’ll reap the rewards much later on and you’ll be glad you didn’t just study sciences for 4 years. I’m happy that I took some social science and arts classes, they were more memorable.

  6. Jeanu
    Jeanu January 16, 2012

    Is it necessary that u need 4years of university courses ? can’t i take 2 yrs college and 2 years university ? if i want to apply for medical school
    Thankx

    • medaholic
      medaholic January 16, 2012

      As long as you fulfill your requirements, you don’t need 4 years. Check with each school you apply to.

  7. Jake
    Jake February 13, 2012

    I think that Queen’s no longer requires biochem.

  8. Mohammed Hasanie
    Mohammed Hasanie February 18, 2012

    Do universities need you to do those prerequisites courses? I have an engineering degree, but I didn’t do Organic, Inorganic, and Biochemistry. So, should I not apply to medicine?

    • medaholic
      medaholic February 18, 2012

      I would take a look at each program’s requirements. There are many schools that don’t have mandatory requirements.

  9. Mohammed Hasanie
    Mohammed Hasanie February 18, 2012

    Thanks medaholic. I’m still debating if I should do the MCAT or not. Do you think I will be able to pass the MCAT without courses like Organic and Biochemostry?

    • medaholic
      medaholic February 20, 2012

      If you want to increase the number of schools you want to apply for, you should do the MCAT. Orgo and Biochem make up a small part of the MCAT, but you’ll still need to learn it.

  10. Sophia
    Sophia July 31, 2012

    Hello, I have recently graduated from high school and completed the CDA program. I currently have biology 12 for science courses. I realize i have a long journey ahead but am willing to tackle it to reach my goal of completing the MD program. I am looking for advice and or tips for how to tackle the rest of the science courses I require. Also I know many people who have gone to Australia and the UK to study medicine, what is the reason for this??

    • medaholic
      medaholic August 1, 2012

      Hi Sophia – a lot of people go to the UK and Australia when they can’t gain admissions into the Canadian medical school system. Unfortunately due to the limited number of spots, lots of qualified Canadians have to go abroad to receive a medical education.

  11. olumide
    olumide August 21, 2012

    I am a medical graduate from Africa.I want to know if its possible for me to get an admission into medical school and complete the clinicals.If yes,which schools accept international medical graduates?than you

  12. baska
    baska February 24, 2013

    Hi dear…. thanks for your information above. I am done with my high-school and going through the process of preparing myself to apply colleges and universities to earn my university transferable 90 credits as UBC and UNBC required. From my understanding I can have 3 year Science or Art program at any college. It has include all the prerequisites. Is that right? so I guess there is no specific program or college pointed at MD entrance completion.

  13. Anny
    Anny January 27, 2015

    Is it necessary to do an honours bach??

    • medaholic
      medaholic March 19, 2015

      No, most schools do not really distinguish between honors and bachelor degrees

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