10 Best Medical Colleges in Canada for International Students in 2023



According to a report published by the Royal Bank of Canada, Canada will be short of about 44,000 physicians by 2028, with the primary area of the deficit being that of family doctors. Keeping in mind the increase in population, burnout in the medical field and retirement age, medical colleges in Canada need to train another 30,000 physicians to maintain the average number of doctors per population.

This turns the spotlight and the responsibility onto the medical colleges in Canada for bridging this gap. Does it make Canada more welcoming of international students wanting to pursue medicine? Yes! Does it make the course any less competitive and watered down? Not a chance.



Why choose Canadian medical universities as an international student?



For an international student, Canada is a preferred study destination to study any degree because of its affordable education system, relatively easier immigration policies and the general welcoming nature of the country towards immigrants. These features alone are sufficient for students to choose Canada over places in the U.S.A, U.K., or Australia. That said, why should you choose Canada as a prospective medical student? Let’s take a look.

How is a Canadian medical degree different?

What we commonly refer to as MBBS is called an MD in Canada. This is a distinction that you have to be clear with. An MD in Canada is the first step towards being a doctor. Any specialization or super-specialization comes after.

The second biggest difference is that you cannot apply for this course right after high school. Medical schools in Canada expect you to have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, typically in the sciences, biology, biochemistry, psychology or health before you can apply for an MD program. This is what is colloquially referred to as pre-med.

Extensive research and training:

The MD course in itself can last anywhere between 3-5 years, followed by a residency of 2-5 years, depending on your specialization. The emphasis of these courses are not only on health and treatment but also on research and development to put medicine in Canada in one of the top spots in the world. To give you some examples, the discovery of Insulin, the invention of the cardiac pacemaker and the introduction of telemedicine to reach remote communities can all be traced back to medicine schools in Canada.

Equal Opportunities:

Canada is the first country to adopt multiculturalism as one of its official policies. Discrimination based on race, colour, gender or sexuality is not as common an occurrence here, as in other countries. As an international student, you get the same opportunities as a citizen or a permanent resident.

Higher standards:

As a medical professional, you will be quite directly responsible for the health and well-being of other human beings. This is a responsibility that Canadian medical universities take extremely seriously. You are held to extremely high standards, from your pre-med scores, your MCAT, all the way till the final qualifying exam administered by the MCC (Medical Council of Canada). This is not only true in the case of academics but also in terms of patient sensitivity and the treatment of people from different walks of life.

Job Satisfaction:

Canada has a decentralized, universal, publicly funded health system called Canadian Medicare. It is funded and administered by the provinces. It is a system designed for the welfare of its people. For those of you looking to enter this field as a vocation, Canada offers high rates of job satisfaction.


What are the best medical universities in Canada for international students?


With its international standards and global recognition, Canada MBBS colleges are highly competitive. Out of the 17 medical universities (10 of which are listed here), only 5 of them can even be categorized as medical schools in Canada for international students. The rest of them restrict their admissions to citizens, permanent residents and refugees. Even those who admit international students have very few seats allocated to them.

Why do they do this, if there is a shortage of doctors?

The answer is simple. Demand and quality. The universities do not want to water down the quality of education by simply expanding admissions. Besides, almost all of these courses are supported by the respective provincial governments. Hence they prioritize their citizens and PRs over international students. That said, let’s take a look.

S.NO UNIVERSITY GLOBAL RANK DURATION OF MD FEES
1 University of Toronto 10 4 years CA $94,451
2 McGill University 22 4 years CA $59,046
3 McMaster University 37 3 years CA $96,000
4 Queen’s University 151-200 4 years CA $92,886
5 University of Sherbrooke 401-450 4 years CA $14,000 – CA $18,000
6 University of British Columbia 27 4 years CA $19,601
7 University of Calgary* 83 3 years CA $80,125
8 University of Alberta 90 4 years CA $14,754
9 University of Ottawa 111 4 years About CA $9,000
10 Memorial University of Newfoundland 501-550 4 years CA $30,000

Note: Universities 6-10 do not allow MD applications for international students. Only citizens or PRs are allowed to apply.

1. University of Toronto


Source: UoT

Did you know that Sir Frederick G Banting, Charles H Best and JJR Macleod discovered insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921? Or that the cardiac pacemaker was invented in the “Banting Institute” of the UoT three decades later? That is the kind of reputation this university holds.

Why is it good to study here?

Ranked 10 in the world by QS Rankings in the field of medicine, the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto is at the center of North America’s largest biomedical research and education networks. This medical school prides itself on an evidence-based learning approach and exposure to all major areas of medicine. Located in Toronto’s historic St. George campus and the more modern Mississauga campus, this school works in tandem with world renowned hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area.

Fees and Scholarship Options

The total fee for the first year comes up to CA $94,451 in the St George campus. However, the Temerty Faculty of Medicine does offer merit-based scholarships meant exclusively for MD students. They usually do not need a separate application. Some of these are offered in the pre-admission stage while some are given during the course of the program. Read more about these scholarships here.

Eligibility and Duration

  • Completion of a non-medical bachelor’s degree equivalent to a four-year bachelor’s degree in Canada with WES transcript assessment (This should include two full course equivalents in life sciences and one in a social science, humanities or language)
  • Minimum GPA of 3.6
  • MCAT: Threshold score of 125 in each section, with an allowance of 124 in one section.
  • Minimum IELTS score of 7 or TOEFL iBT score of 100.

The duration of the MD program is 4 years.

Courses Offered and Admission Process

The courses offered by the faculty of medicine are

  • MD
  • MD/PhD
  • Postgraduate Medical Education (specialized training in any of the fields)
  • Medical Radiation Sciences
  • Physician Assistant Degree Program
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Sciences and Occupational Therapy
  • Speech-Language Pathology
  • Rehabilitation Sciences Institute

How to apply?

  • Review the requirements
  • Apply online through the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS). The deadline is typically in the first week of October.
  • Read the OMSAS verification report to ensure that your application is complete.

2. McGill University


Source: McGill University

Canada’s oldest medical school, McGill University is located in Montreal. With a student population of 39,267, it is one of the most reputed universities in Canada, which hosts 31.8% of international students from over 150 countries.

Why is it good to study here?

Ranked 22 in the world by QS Rankings for medicine, the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is world-renowned for its biomedical research. Its location in Montreal also guarantees maximum networking opportunities on an international scale. McGill’s affiliated teaching hospitals allow students to work within four hospitals, including the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), one of the most comprehensive university health centers in North America.

Fees and Scholarship Options

The first-year fee comes up to CA $59,046. It is almost CA $10,000 less for the subsequent three years.

McGill offers both entrance scholarships and in-course scholarships for its full-time students.

Eligibility and Duration

  • 120 credit/ 4-year bachelor’s degree
  • MCAT Score (international applicants who completed a bachelor’s degree in Canada are not required to submit an MCAT score)
  • CASPer test score (Casper is an individual online test that assesses for non-academic competencies such as professionalism, communication, collaboration, ethics and empathy)
  • TOEFL(100 or higher) / IELTS (6.5 or higher) / PTE (65 or higher) / Cambridge English scores (C2 – grade C or better).

The MDCM (MBBS equivalent) is a 4-year program.

Courses Offered and Admission Process

Under the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, there is the School of Medicine, the Ingram School of Nursing, the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and the School of Biomedical Sciences which offer hundreds of courses. You can access the entire list here.

The application deadline is typically on the 1st of November and the interviews, if shortlisted, are scheduled by the end of February.

3. McMaster University


Source: Britannica

The School of Medicine, established in 1965 and renamed the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine in 2004, offers major programs in undergraduate, postgraduate, and graduate medical education.

Why is it good to study here?

Ranked 37th in the world by QS rankings for medical studies, McMaster University is one of the top medical colleges in Canada located in Hamilton Ontario. This Canadian medical school enjoys a 100% employment rate within 12 months of graduation. They have a COMPASS curriculum which is built around a tutorial system like those of Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Located in Hamilton, Ontario, the university is also connected to all the major health centers in the Hamilton area.

Fees and Scholarship Options

The first-year fee is CA $96,000. The university also has a host of scholarships for international students. They are awarded based on need and merit. You can access the entire list here.

Eligibility and Duration

  • 4-year undergraduate degree
  • GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 OMSAS scale
  • MCAT with a minimum score of 123 on the Critical Analysis and Reasoning component is required.
  • Casper test
  • A minimum score of 6.5 on IELTS or 86 on TOEFL or 70 on CAEL.

The duration of the undergraduate medical education program is 3 years.

Courses Offered and Admission Process

Besides MD, the university offers 9 different bachelors programs and numerous graduate and doctoral programs.
Once your application is shortlisted, you will be invited for multiple rounds of interviews to determine your admission status.

4. Queen’s University at Kingston


Source: Queen’s University
Located in Kingston, Ontario, the School of Medicine at Queen’s University was set up about 150 years ago.

Why is it good to study here?

Queen’s University provides opportunities for close interactions between students and faculty and extensive hands-on training under close supervision. The university is ranked within the 151-200 range worldwide by QS rankings for medicine. The curriculum is particularly known for its integration of clinical and basic sciences that will help you in your path toward practice or research.

Fees and Scholarship Options

The annual tuition fee for an international student is CA $92,886. However, the School of Medicine has a separate set of scholarships, besides the ones given by the university as a whole. You can access the entire list of scholarships here

Eligibility and Duration

  • strong academic record (3.0 GPA on a 4.0 OMSAS scale)
  • MCAT
  • Casper
  • Components of the application such as Autobiographical Sketch and Confidential Assessment Forms
  • Assessment of personal characteristics considered to be the most appropriate for studying medicine at Queen’s University and the subsequent practice of medicine.
  • Minimum TOEFL iBT score of 100

The MD program is 4-years long.

Courses Offered and Admission Process

  • MD Program
  • Postgraduate Medical Education
  • Biomedical & Molecular Sciences – M.Sc., PhD
  • Combined MD/Ph.D. and MD/Master’s Programs
  • Public Health Sciences
  • Graduate Diploma and Professional Master in Medical Sciences
  • Neuroscience – M.Sc., PhD
  • Pathology & Molecular Medicine – M.Sc., PhD
  • All applications are made through Ontario Medical Schools’ Application  Service (OMSAS).

5. University of Sherbrooke


Source: UdeS

Located in the Quebec Province, the University of Sherbrooke was founded in 1954. The UdeS Medical School was set up in 1966. It is a French-speaking institution that is recognized worldwide.

Why is it good to study here?

Ranked in the 401-450 range by QS Global rankings for Medicine, the university is known for its cutting-edge technology and hardcore approach to research. Every year, about 1,600 international students join the campus. You must note that the Faculty of Medicine teaches in French which means you should already have a working knowledge of French to even consider applying. But,  it also means that it opens up numerous opportunities, especially if you are a service-minded vocation such as Doctors without Borders.

Fees

The average tuition fee is between CA $14,000 and CA $18,000. The university does not provide scholarships, but you can apply for those awarded by the government of Quebec or even your home country.

Eligibility and Duration

  • Equivalent to a three-year CEGEP degree offered by the Quebec Ministry of Education or completing 2 years of a four-year’s bachelor’s degree in relevant subjects such as life sciences.
  • Proof of French Language proficiency
  • CASPer exam in French

It is a four-year MD program.

Courses Offered and Admission Process

The university offers both undergraduate and postgraduate medical programs. The deadline for the MD program is November 1st.


6. University of British Columbia



Source: UBC

Located in Vancouver, the University of British Columbia or UBC for short has a stellar reputation and one of the most gorgeous campuses in the country.

Why is it good to study here?

The MD program at UBC is a well-balanced, structured course, divided proportionally to teach innovation, technology, and patient-centered care. It has a distributed medical program: the Island Medical Program (IMP), Northern Medical Program (NMP), Vancouver Fraser Medical Program (VFMP), and Southern Medical Program (SMP). It allows the students to gain more individualized attention from the faculty.

Fees and Scholarship Options

The first-year tuition fee is CA $19,601. However, only citizens or PRs can apply. You can check the scholarship opportunities here.

Eligibility and Duration

  • Must have completed a minimum of 90 university-transferable credits as part of a bachelor’s degree.
  • MCAT with a minimum score of 124 in each section.
  • Must be a citizen or a permanent resident of British Columbia

The MD program is 4-years long.

Courses Offered and Admission Process

The university offers both an MD and an integrated MD/Ph.D. The MD application deadline is typically in the first week of October.


7. University of Calgary


Source: UCalgary
Located in the town of Calgary in Alberta province, UCalgary is one the top universities in Canada for multiple disciplines. It is also one of the more affordable institutions for international students in Canada.

Why is it good to study here?

Ranked 83rd globally by QS Rankings for Medicine, The Cumming School of Medicine at UCalgary takes on a practical approach to medicine from day one. As an MD student, you will be given the opportunity to interact with patients within the first few weeks of joining the program. It is also a three-year intensive program which means you jump into the field or chart out your higher education path sooner. The medical school acceptance rate is around 7.8% which is extremely competitive, but much higher than the other schools.

Fees and Scholarship Options

The tuition fee is CA $80,125 per year. Besides the international entrance scholarships, the Cumming School of Medicine offers CSM scholarships and “Pathways to Medicine” scholarships for international students.

Eligibility and Duration

  • Seats for international students are currently limited to students from institutions or countries that have formal, contractual agreements with the Cumming School of Medicine. You are eligible for application if you are a permanent resident in the province of Alberta.
  • A minimum of two full-time years of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.8
  • MCAT with a minimum of 127 on the CARS section for out-of-province applicants

The MD program duration is three years.

Courses Offered and Admission Process

Besides the MD program, the Cumming School of Medicine also offers a Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation, Bachelor of Health Sciences, Graduate Science Education, and Postgraduate medical education.

Applications for the MD program are done online at ucan.ucalgary.ca. The deadline for receipt by the Office of MD Admissions of the online application, all official transcripts, official MCAT scores, three letters of reference, and the application fee of CA $150 is October 1.


8. University of Alberta


Source: Wikipedia
Did you know that the world’s first antiviral for hepatitis B was discovered here?
Located in Edmonton, Alberta, the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry was set up in 1913. It is one of the oldest medical schools in Western Canada.

Why is it good to study here?

Ranked 90 globally for medicine, the MD program at UAlberta is designed in an efficient combination of theory and practice. Problem-based learning and small group-based case studies are efficient pedagogical tools utilized here to make medical learning more accessible. As part of the largest teaching hospital in Western Canada, it offers more than 50 residency programs, including Family Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Neurology, and Cardiology.

Fees and Scholarship Options

The annual tuition fee for the MD program is CA $14,754. However, you must be a citizen or a permanent resident to apply.

Eligibility and Duration

  • Must be a Canadian citizen or a PR.
  • Minimum 2 years of transferable undergraduate coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.5
  • MCAT with a minimum score of 124 in all categories is required for Alberta residents; for Non-Alberta residents applicants must have a 128 in CARS and 124 in CPBS, BBFL, and PSBB.

It is a four-year program.

Courses Offered and Admission Process

  • MD Programs
  • Dentistry
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • BSc Radiation Therapy
  • Graduate Studies
  • Postgraduate Medical Education
  • Programs for International Trainees
  • Arts & Humanities in Health & Medicine

9. University of Ottawa


Source: UOttawa
Located in the capital city of Canada, the University of Ottawa is one of the top faculties in the world for research impact in biomedical and health sciences.

Why is it good to study here?

One of the top ten medical schools in Canada, UOttawa offers undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and specialized undergraduate degree in translational and molecular medicine. It is the first and the largest bilingual medical faculty in Canada. The school of medicine generates about $130-140 million per year in research funding. It is also a part of a vast network of health practitioners, policymakers and leaders with national and international influence, including national agencies such as Health Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Research Council.

Fees and Scholarship Options

The average tuition fee comes up to CA $4,500 per term. Since it is funded by the state and is extremely affordable, applications are open only to citizens or permanent residents.

Eligibility and Duration

Candidates are expected to have completed at least two years of study or equivalent in a B. Sc in a relevant discipline such as biochemistry, biomedical sciences, chemistry, biopharmaceutical sciences, or biology with a minimum CGPA of 7.7 out of 10.

The undergraduate medical education degree lasts 4 calendar years.

Courses Offered and Admission Process

  • Undergraduate Medical Education
  • Postgraduate Medical Education
  • Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • MD/Ph.D. Program
  • Translational and Molecular Medicine
  • PharmD

Besides maintaining the academic requirement, a student applying for MD must also undertake the Casper test.

10. Memorial University of Newfoundland


Source: MUN

Memorial University of Newfoundland or MUN was founded in 1925 as a living memorial to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who died in the First World War. The Faculty of Medicine was set up in 1967.

Why is it good to study here?

Ranked in the 501-550 range by QS World rankings for medicine, this medical college in Canada is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The school provides a personalized learning environment with only about 600 students in the Faculty of Medicine.

Fees and Scholarship Options

The annual tuition fee is CA $30,000.
The following are some of the scholarship options available. You can access the entire list here.

  • Dr. Brian Gerard Adams Memorial Bursary Fund
  • Dr. Lynette Adams Memorial Bursary
  • Alcohol and Drug Dependency Commission Commemorative Awards
  • Dr. David Almond and Dr. Dennis Morgan (Class of 1980) Memorial Bursary
  • Award in Psychiatry
  • Dr. Andrew Bagby and Son Zachary Andrew Memorial Bursary
  • Bartellas Family Award for Innovation in Medicine
  • Erika Bartlett Memorial Bursary

Eligibility and Duration

  • A bachelor’s degree in any discipline from an accredited post-secondary institution,
  • successful completion of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT),
  • and the Casper exam
  • All applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents

The MD program is 4 years long.

Courses Offered and Admission Process

Besides MD, the university offers 19 different postgraduate training programs that you can apply to after completion of the MD.

Note: The Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, Canada has an international pathway program that offers three seats to international students. Read more about it here.

How to apply to Medical Universities in Canada with no Stress?


As you can see, the competition is quite tough to get into the best medical colleges in Canada. As you are preparing for the move, The easiest way to reduce your stress is to sign up with TC Global.

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Date added
09.01.2023

Filed under:

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