6 Top Requirements to Study Medicine in Canada For International Students

On requirements to study medicine in Canada for international students, we will cover the following:

A medicine degree is one of the most popular but also challenging degrees in the world. There are a lot of academic courses to take as well as residency programs to take which you have to go through to become successful.

However, Canada is known for its quality education. This quality education is most evident in the medical educational domain. Canada is also known for attracting a large number of international students.

Every section of this article is very important, so take your time to know the difference between MBBS and MD in Canada. Before we move on to the requirements to study medicine in Canada for international students, here are some medical degrees in Canada to consider.

Some medical degrees in Canada

Medical degrees prepare individuals to be able to prevent, treat, diagnose as wells as tend to human and animal patients.

Medical degrees offered by international medical schools and universities cover relevant courses in core subjects such as Biomedicine, Health Management, Nursing, Nutrition, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine etc.

What is the difference between MBBS and MD?

MBBS as we all know stands for Bachelor of Medicine-Bachelor of Surgery, while MD stands for Doctor of Medicine.

MBBS is the first professional undergraduate degree in Medicine. MBBS are specifically designed to train students in all fields of medicine.

In some countries, the student is required to complete an internship before they can be awarded the degree in order to demonstrate sufficient exposure; this is to give students enough practical exposure. Some of the MBBS courses include:

  • Human Anatomy

  • Human Psychology

  • Physiology

  • Applied Medical Biochemistry

  • Applied Pharmacology

  • Human Pathology

  • Human Microbiology

  • Otolaryngology

  • Dermatology

  • Pediatrics

  • General Surgery

While MD is a Masters or Postgraduate degree. You are only eligible if you have obtained training on the specialization of your choice. That is after the successful completion of your MBBS.

MD degrees are considered by the USA and the Philippines as a professional doctorate for surgeons and physicians. while others consider it as a research degree that is equal in value to the PhD.

Some MD specializations include paediatrics, gynaecology, obstetrics, ophthalmology, dentistry etc.

MD degrees are typically completed in just 2 years.

What is MBBS called in Canada?

Medical schools in Canada do not offer the MBBS, an undergraduate degree in medicine.

They offer the MD (Doctor of Medicine) instead.

Applicants for the MD program are expected to have completed a Bachelor’s degree before applying for the MD program.

They are also required to have completed certain academic requirements in sciences.

requirements to study medicine in Canada for international students

  1. A level high school certificate with at least two science subjects: Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Maths, etc. Most of the time Chemistry is a must.

2) If you already graduated with a Bachelors – an honours degree in science at 2:1 or above, or equivalent can be a good advantage. It is a must in some universities, that you must have obtained a Bachelor’s degree – an honours degree in science at 2:1 or above

3) Good level of English, usually an IELTS 6.5 – 7.0, or equivalent TOEFL or C1 Advanced language certificates.

4) GPA of 3.0 or higher, or equivalent.

5) Evidence of sustained academic achievement – you’ll need a transcript of academic records for that.

6) Depending on the country, you might also need a locally recognized specialized medical exam. For instance, the UCAT or BMAT in the UK and Its equivalent MCAT exam for the U.S.

7) Voluntary work experience in Health Care is also a plus.

Sometimes you might need to take a Foundation programme to validate or meet the MBBS programme requirements. Ensure you contact the University to be sure what their requirements are.

The university is also interested to know if you have the transferable skills needed to be a future doctor


What is Canada Foundation Programme?

The Canada Foundation Programme is a very challenging, however inspiring programme that is designed to equip students with the relevant skills and knowledge required to succeed in most Canadian institutions.

It is a one-year academic intensive program that is taught over a period of two semesters. Students who are successful progress into the second year of partnering universities such as British Columbia, Canada. Other partnering universities will however require you to start from the first year. It therefore can be considered as one of the requirements to study medicine in Canada for international students.

The foundation program has the following pathways:

  • Arts & Design
  • Engineering
  • Pharmacy
  • Business
  • Medicine
  • Law
  • Media
  • Agriculture
  • Computing
  • Life Sciences
  • Architecture & Built Environment

What is MCAT?

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is an entrance test for admissions into medical schools in the United States, Canada, Australia and the Caribbean Islands. It is therefore one of the requirements to study medicine in Canada for international students.

It is an examination designed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and administered by Pearson VUE.

MCAT is conducted as much as 25 times a year in 21 countries.
requirements to study medicine in Canada for international students: MCAT

What is UCAT and BMAT

The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is an admissions test used by a consortium of UK Universities for their medical and dental degree programmes.

UCAT helps universities select applicants with the most appropriate mental abilities to successfully do well in the field.

The BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is a 2-hour medical admissions assessment used by certain universities.

It’s designed to test your thinking skills, your ability to apply scientific knowledge and your communication skills, and to know your general mental abilities.
requirements to study medicine in Canada for international students: UCAT and BMAT

The Indian students need to clear the NEET exam to pursue medical courses or  MD in Canada.

Apart from this, some universities may demand applicants to pass the basic entry requirement test.

What is the duration of studying MD in Canada?

Depending on the program and university, expect about 4 years.

Here are some top medical colleges are the number of years it takes.

University of Sherbrooke-4 years

Queen’s University—4 years

McGill University—4 years

McMaster University–3 years

University of Toronto—4 years

Memorial University of Newfoundland–4 years

What are the top medical colleges in Canada?

Here are the top colleges and the courses they offer to study medicine:

University of ManitobaBSc Medicine
University of Western OntarioBachelor of Medical Science (BMSc)
Queen’s UniversityUndergraduate Medical Education (UME)
University of Waterloo
Undergraduate Course in Biomedical Science
Trinity Western UniversityPre Professional Courses (Pre-Med, Pre-Vet, Pre-Dentistry, etc)
Canadian Mennonite UniversityDoctore of Medicine
University of VictoriaMD Undergraduate Program
University of AlbertaMD in Surgery, Medicine, Biochemistry
University of CalgaryMaster of Community and Disability Studies (MCDS), MSc, PhD
University of the Fraser ValleyBachelor of Kinesiology
requirements to study medicine in Canada for international students: top medical colleges in Canada

what is the MD Canada fees?

The fees are likely to differ from college to college. You have to consider if such a student is on scholarships or financial grants.

However, the total fees of MD in Canada range from 1,20,000 CAD to 3,67,000 CAD.

What jobs are you likely to get after your MD in Canada?

There are so many job options to choose from upon graduation. You are likely to be making around  120,000 CAD to 2,40,000 CAD on average. Here are some major jobs you can pursue:

  • Physician
  • Obstetrician
  • Specialists
  • Cardiologist
  • General Practitioner
  • Emergency Department Physician

Can I work while I study MD in Canada?

Though is very much possible to work while you study, you are advised not to because of the intense curriculum of the course.

However, if you have your study permit which states whether you are eligible to work while you study, then you are good to go.

As a study permit holder which is one of the requirements to study medicine in Canada for international students, you can work on or off-campus and you can work as a co-op student or as an intern.

finally, you can work even after you graduate-but then you have to apply for your post-graduation permit.

What are the top scholarships in Canada for MD?

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

Dr John E Bradley Scholarship

Ontario Graduate Scholarship

University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowships

Queena Esdale Memorial Scholarship (only for females)

Canadian Rhodes Scholars Foundation Scholarship

What universities in Canada can I study without MCAT?

MCAT being one of the requirements to study medicine in Canada for international students, there are just a few universities where you can study without MCAT.

However, you might be required to have a bachelor’s degree beforehand or some other foundational program. They are called allopathic medical schools in Canada. Here is the list:

Université Laval

  • McGill University

  • University of Ottawa

  • Université de Montréal

  • Université de Sherbrooke

  • Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Why should I get a medical degree?

Here are some reasons you should get a medical degree:

  • You will never stop learning

  • Endless medical specializations to choose from

  • Opportunity to be a scientists

  • Perfect job security

In conclusion

Canada provides internationally recognized degrees, a comfortable environment, and favourable work opportunities. Consider these requirements to study medicine in Canada for international students and make sure you meet the standards before applying. Best regards!!

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