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GritGoals Education
Quebec Medical School Guide 101
*2022-2023 application cycle*

 

To some, getting into medical school is an absolute dream and with good reason. Besides being a fulfilling, well-respected and lucrative field, the amount of hard work, persistence & dedication it takes to become a physician is not to be taken lightly. Unfortunately, the journey leading up to a medical school acceptance is just as, if not harder than medical school itself. With applicant pools becoming increasingly competitive, medical school requirements constantly evolving, it now takes stronger grades, more meaningful & pertinent research experiences as well as unique & distinct extracurriculars to stand out. In addition, application procedures significantly differ between schools and provinces, leaving students feeling confused, overwhelmed, and guessing what medical schools actually look for.

This guide will provide you with a detailed plan on how to begin prepping for your medical school application. Whether you are a high school, CEGEP, university student or anything in between, having access to information early on in your medical application journey will significantly help you approach and tackle the various application components the right way. It is important to keep in mind that this guide focuses on Quebec medical schools the Canadian medical application system. However, some of the information can be applied to American & Caribbean medical schools.

 

Paths to medical school in Quebec

There exists two paths to medical schools in Quebec; one from CEGEP and the other from University.

 

Path 1: from CEGEP 

Students applying to medical school from CEGEP, after having obtained their DEC (Diplôme d’Étude Collegiale), apply to a program called “pre-med.” Pre-med is a one-year program designed exclusively for CEGEP students wishing to prepare and train for their school of choice’s rigorous four-year medical education program. Pre-med students are exposed to challenging courses such as molecular biology, physiology, and cell biology. These courses ensure students are well-prepared for the medical school curriculum. Depending on the school, pre-med students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or greater and must score higher than a “B” grade in all compulsory classes to be eligible for the medical program. Only four medical schools in Quebec offer a pre-med program; McGill University, University of Sherbrooke, Laval University & University of Montréal. There are several factors to keep in mind when considering whether to apply to pre-med:

 

(1) Some medical schools tend to admit a greater number of CEGEP students than university students. For example, 2020 admissions statistics reveal that 80% and 70% of newly admitted medical students at University of Sherbrooke and Laval respectively were CEGEP-level students.

 

(2) Despite schools admitting a greater number of CEGEP students, among the several applicant categories, the CEGEP cohort tends to be the smallest. A smaller applicant pool makes it easier for applicants to stand out amongst their peers. For example, McGill’s 2021 applicant statistics reveal they received 1283 university applications vs. 1039 CEGEP applications.

 

(3) Medical school websites state that to be considered, CEGEP students must have an R-score above 34. However, most recent 2021 statistics report that applicants invited for interviews had R-scores of at least 36.8. An R-score of that calibre means students must score above 90% in every class. This is no easy task considering CEGEP students are fresh out of high school.

 

(4) Lastly, certain medical schools such as University of Montreal and McGill University will frown upon applicants taking longer than two years to obtain their DEC. Meaning that CEGEP students only have two years to enrich their application profile. They have two years to excel academically, acquire meaningful volunteer experiences, and develop a unique “hook”.

 

Path 2: from University

The second path to medical school is from university. Students who don’t apply to pre-med apply to medical school after having obtained a university degree. Students tend to think if they don’t get into medical school right after CEGEP they will never be a doctor. That is absolutely not the case. Getting a medical school acceptance from CEGEP is becoming increasingly challenging leaving students no other option but to apply from university. Whether students apply to medical school after an undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate degree, having that added university experience can only work in their favour. Below are some important factors to consider when applying from university:

 

(1) Students accepted to pre-med report that having been thrown into the rigorous medical school curriculum at the age of 18 left them feeling anxious and overwhelmed. The CEGEP vs. pre-med workload is entirely different and students might not feel adequately prepared for the sudden change. Having a university degree where you’ve had a minimum of three years to develop and master a strong and successful work ethic is a serious advantage. In addition, applying to medical school from university allows students to have a degree to fall back on. Application cycles are once a year so students who are rejected must wait a full year before reapplying. Having an undergraduate degree in any science related field allows students to apply for research positions and work in either research or clinical settings until their next application cycle.

 

(2) Having research experience in addition to multiple publications provides students with a serious advantage over others, and since research labs are more likely to take on undergraduate or graduate student as they believe CEGEP students to be too young and not experienced enough, an undergraduate or graduate student is more likely to land relevant and pertinent research opportunities.

 

(3) Lastly, depending on the school, medical schools will add a certain number of points to students possessing higher education degrees. For example, University of Sherbrooke will add 0.5 points to undergraduate applicants, 1.0 points to graduate applicants and 2.0 to PhD applicants. This point system allows applicants who pursue higher education degrees to stand out.

 

Students applying from university after obtaining an undergraduate degree can apply to significantly more schools that CEGEP students. Below is a list of all Canadian medical schools students with an undergraduate degree can apply to: McGill University, University of Montreal, University of Sherbrooke, Laval University, Ottawa University, McMaster University, Northern Ontario University, Queen’s University, University of Toronto, Western University, Dalhousie University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of Manitoba & University of Saskatchewan.

 

Medical School Requirements

Quebec, Canadian, American & International medical schools vary on their application requirements & supporting documents. Below you will find a comprehensive list of all academic and non-academic requirements for medical schools in Quebec as well as their admission criteria:

 

 

McGill University

 

(1) Degree Requirements

University applicants:

90-120-credit undergraduate degree from a recognized institution

cGPA > 3.5 considered competitive

 

CEGEP applicants:

diplôme d’étude collegial (DEC) in Science, Arts & Science, Combined science program or

Science + International Baccalaureate

R score > 34 considered competitive

 

Applicants may also be considered on the basis of a second undergraduate degree (minimum 60 credits at the time of application)

 

(2) Science Prerequisites

Undergraduate applicants:

2 introductory Biology courses (labs included)

2 introductory Chemistry courses (labs included)

1 introductory Organic Chemistry course (lab included)

2 introductory Physics courses (labs included)

 

Pre-Med applicants:

Biology NYA & General Biology ll

Chemistry NYA, NYB & Organic Chemistry l

Mathematics NYA & NYB

Physics NYA, NYB & NYC

 

(3) MCAT

Only mandatory for applicants whose degree for the basis of admission is from a non-Canadian university

To be considered competitive, successful applicants taking the 2015 version of the exam need a total score of 508-509+ or a total score in the 80 %-ile (or greater) 

MCAT Not required for: applicants whose degree for the basis of admission is from a Canadian university and for students applying to pre-med

 

(4) Proof of citizenship or residency status: a valid passport or birth certificate

 

(5) Language Proficiency: all applicants to McGill's medical program must meet specific French-language requirements. Details on the specific tests that need to be passed & exemptions can be found here

(6) Unofficial transcripts: accessible through your school’s online platform

 

(7) Academic Workbook (not required for Pre-Med students)

Academic workbook downloaded on McGill’s medicine application page requiring applicants to enter information about their undergraduate courses

(8) Resume & Verifier list: applicants required to submit a curriculum vitae along with a list of verifiers who can attest to the entries included in the resume

 

(9) CASPer Test: all applicants are required to complete the CASPer test prior to application deadline.

NEW casper test format! make sure to check out the Altus website to find out everything you need to know

(10) NEW REQUIREMENT- French Language Proficiency: french language proficiency test mandatory for applicants who don't qualify for an exemption. Find out more here

 

(11) Admission Criteria

Pre-Interview (MMI)

70% GPA > 3.9/4.0

20% CASPer test performance

10% Resume

Post- Interview (MMI)

100% Interview (MMI) performance

University of Laval

(1) Degree Requirements

University applicants:

90- 120-credit undergraduate degree from a recognized institution or

Having done 12-consecutive years of schooling where the 13th year is done in a university setting

 

CEGEP applicants:

Diplôme d’étude collegial (DEC) in Science, Arts & Science, Combined science program or Science + International Baccalaureate

 

(2) Science Prerequisites

Biology NYA (or 301) & General Biology ll (or 401)

Chemistry NYA (or 101), NYB (or 201) & Organic Chemistry l (or 202)

Mathematics NYA (or 103 or 103-RE) & NYB (or 203 or 203-RE)

Physics NYA (or 101) NYB (or 201) & NYC (or 301)

(3) CASPer Test: all applicants are required to complete the CASPer test in French prior to application deadline

 

(4) French Language Requirements (only required for students having attended an anglophone high school)

Must score higher than >600/699 on the Test de Connaissance de Français Tout Public (TCF-TP)

Must score higher than >14/20 on the Test de Connaissance de Français- Tout Public Écrit (TCF-TP/ÉE)

Click here to find out more about the different tests acceptable & exemption conditions

 

(5) Proof of citizenship or residency status: valid passport or birth certificate

(6) Admission Criteria

1st selection: CASPer performance & CRU Strength (Côte de Rendement Universitaire)

2nd selection: MEM (MMI) performance

 

University of Sherbrooke

(1) Degree Requirements

University applicants: 90-120-credit Bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution

 

CEGEP applicants: diplôme d’étude collegial (DEC) in Science, Arts & Science, Combined science program or Science + International Baccalaureate

 

(2) Science Prerequisites

Biology NYA (or OOUK) & General Biology ll (or OOXU)

Chemistry NYA (or OOUL), NYB (or OOUM) & Organic Chemistry l (or OOXV)

Physics NYA (or OOUR) NYB (or OOUS) & NYC (or OOUT)

 

(3) CASPer Test: all applicants are required to complete the CASPer test in French prior to application deadline

 

(4) French Requirements (only required for students having attended an anglophone high school)

Must pass Test de Français Écrit (TFE) or

Must pass L’Épreuve uniforme de français, langue d’enseignement et littérature (EULL) or

Must score >860/990 on the Test de Français International (TFI) or

Must score C2 on the DALF, TEF, or TCF test

Must have attended secondary 4 & 5 at a Francophone high school/in French stream of an anglophone high school

Click here to find out more about each test & exemption conditions

 

(5) Proof of citizenship or residency status: valid passport or birth certificate

 

(6) Admission Criteria

1st selection: 100% CASPer test performance

2nd selection: CAG Strength (Côte Académique Globale) based on academic performance

                         *added points to CAG for university students only. Click here to find out more

3rd selection: 70% CAG & 30% CASPer test performance

4th selection (if invited for interview): 40% CAG & 60% MEM performance

 

University of Montréal

(1) Degree Requirements

University applicants:

90- 120-credit undergraduate degree from a recognized institution or

CEGEP applicants:

Diplôme d’étude collegial (DEC) in Science, Arts & Science, Combined science program or Science + International Baccalaureate

(2) Science Prerequisites

Biology NYA (or 301) & General Biology ll (or 401)

Chemistry NYA (or 101), NYB (or 201) & Organic Chemistry l (or 202)

Mathematics NYA (or 103) & NYB (or 203)

Physics NYA (or 101) NYB (or 201) & NYC (or 301)

 

(3) CASPer Test: applicants are required to complete the CASPer test in English or French prior to deadline

 

(4) French Requirements (only required for students having attended an anglophone high school)

Must pass Test de Français Écrit (TFE) or

Must pass L’Épreuve uniforme de français, langue d’enseignement et littérature (EULL) or

Must score >850/990 on the Test de Français International (TFI) or

Must score C2 on the DALF, TEF, or TCF test

Must have attended secondary 4 & 5 at a Francophone high school/in French stream of an anglophone high school

Click here to find out more about each test & exemption conditions

 

(5) Proof of citizenship or residency status: valid passport or birth certificate

 

(6) Admission Criteria

1st selection: 100% CRA(Côte Rendement Académique)

2nd selection: 60% CRA & 40% CASPer test performance

3rd selection: 100 % MEM interview performance

 

Next steps…

We know how overwhelming this information can be but just like anything in life, knowledge is power. By being aware of these facts ahead of time, you can make wiser decisions when it comes to which schools to apply to and how to best position yourself to increase your chances of submitting a successful application. Good luck!

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