The Best Medical Schools in Canada – 2023

May 31, 2023

If you’re thinking about applying to medical school, you don’t have to limit your choices to just schools in the U.S. Many medical schools in Canada accept international applicants, even if you aren’t a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. They also have similar application requirements, including the MCAT, personal statements, and letters of recommendation, though their application timelines may differ. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of all Canadian medical schools to help you navigate your research process.

The Best Medical Schools in Canada

*Note: the numerical designations are not indicative of quality ranking–the purpose of this list is to give readers an overview of all 17 medical schools in Canada.

1) University of British Columbia

Located on the west coast of Canada close to the U.S. border, the University of British Columbia offers a diverse array of clinical, population, and discovery-based MD program at its four distinct medical campuses. With an annual class of 288, this “distributed” medical program enables students to complete their training in rural and underserved communities, with a greater goal of providing more opportunities for rural and Indigenous students.

  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Acceptance Rate: 10%
  • Average GPA: 88.45/100
  • MCAT: Minimum of 124 in each section required.

2) University of Ottawa

On average, 166 students at the University of Ottawa have the unique opportunity to study medicine in either English or French in a bilingual learning environment. The school offers a dynamic program through regular clinical rotations in every major medical department, in addition to immersive experiences in hospital, community, rural, and international settings. Students can also take advantage of the dual seven-year MD/PhD program through a single, integrated curriculum.

  • Location: Ottawa, Ontario
  • Acceptance Rate: 3.5%
  • Average GPA: 3.85/4.00
  • MCAT: N/A

 3) University of Alberta

Consistently ranked high among Canadian medical schools, the University of Alberta aims to “serve the public with social accountability” through its plethora of well-resourced and innovative medical programs and research labs. Its yearly class holds 162 spots, with 85% of them being for Albertan residents. Additionally, the school offers three joint MD programs – MD/MBA, MD/PhD, and MD with special training in research.

  • Location: Edmonton, Alberta
  • Acceptance Rate: 12.4%
  • Average GPA: 3.85/4.00
  • MCAT: Minimum of 124 in each section; out-of-province applicants must score 128+ in Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section.

4) University of Calgary

Another medical institution located in the Alberta province, the University of Calgary offers a three-year post-graduate medical education program for students who completed the undergraduate medical program. The school also provides the Leaders in Medicine program, during which students can earn a master’s, PhD or MBA while pursuing their medical degree. What’s more, Calgary has 65 residency training programs that take place in clinical and academic environments throughout the province.

  • Location: Calgary, Alberta
  • Acceptance Rate: 15%
  • Average GPA: 3.87/4.00
  • MCAT: Minimum of 128 in Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills sections for applicants not from Alberta.

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 5) Western University

With 171 admitted students in the Class of 2026, Western University’s medical program boasts a four-year innovative curriculum and multiple learning environments. The school is committed to patient-centered care, community engagement, and research opportunities. Students pursuing the MD+ track can take one of four experimental learning options: thesis-based, course-based, concurrent, or international.

  • Location: London, Ontario
  • Acceptance Rate: 10.5%
  • Average GPA: 3.93/4.0
  • MCAT Score: N/A

6) Dalhousie University

Situated in the Maritimes of Eastern Canada, Dalhousie University has been training medical professionals since 1868. Their four-year MD program takes a holistic approach to learning, with an overarching curriculum covering topics from medical humanities to health law. Moreover, students can participate in the Health Mentors Program, which allows volunteers with health challenges to share their experiences with the healthcare system

  • Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Acceptance Rate: 11.1%
  • Average GPA: 3.86/4.00
  • MCAT: Minimum of 123 in all sections, but minimum total score depends on GPA.

7) University of Manitoba

As Western Canada’s first medical school, the University of Manitoba has an annual class size of just 110. The four-year MD program is split into Pre-Clerkship and Clerkship, where students will spend their first two years taking a diverse courseload. Furthermore, students can choose unique subspecialty courses like topics like Indigenous health or international travel electives at affiliated clinics in countries like Kenya, Haiti and Japan.

  • Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Acceptance Rate: 16.1%
  • Average GPA:
  • MCAT Score: Students with scores lower than 515 are discouraged from applying.

 8) Memorial University of Newfoundland

Memorial University of Newfoundland is a smaller medical school with an annual class of 80 students, the majority of seats reserved for province residents. The integrative curriculum specifically emphasizes community and rural medicine learning environments through patient-student relationship building. Unfortunately, it should be noted that international applicants are no longer accepted. Students must be Canadian citizens due to the regulations of the Canadian Resident Matching Service.

  • Location: St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Acceptance Rate: 14.9%
  • Average GPA: 3.85/4.00
  • MCAT Score: Section scores average 125-127 with an overall average of 85% or higher.

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9) University of Saskatchewan

The University of Saskatchewan is the province’s only medical school, so it aims predominantly to serve and support local residents. Students can earn a certificate in global health that combines academic courses with intense urban-based service experiences in underserved community clinics, in addition to rural, remote, and Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan. This school also only accepts applications from Canadian citizens or permanent residents, who have lived in Canada for at least three years prior to applying.

  • Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Acceptance Rate: 23.6%
  • Average GPA: 0.88/1.00
  • MCAT Score: Minimum score of 492 for in-province applicants (122-123 section score minimums) or 510 for out-of-province applicants (127 section score minimums)

 10) Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Becoming Canada’s first independent medical university in 2022, Northern Ontario School of Medicine uses a distributed, community-engaged learning model for its small yearly class of 64 students divided between two campuses in Sudbury and Thunder Bay. The program enables students to gain valuable experience working in both Indigenous and francophone communities in Northern Ontario through a patient-centered medical curriculum.

  • Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • Acceptance Rate: 3.7%
  • Average GPA: 3.8/4.0
  • MCAT Score: N/A

 11) University of Sherbrooke

Unlike some other Canadian medical schools that offer curricula in English and French, the University of Sherbrooke requires admitted students to speak French. With classes taught in small groups, the curriculum is collaborative and focused on primary care, as many students choose this specialty. In fact, all students must complete a seven-week rotation in family medicine in addition to hands-on learning in other community-based settings.

  • Location: Sherbrooke, Quebec
  • Acceptance Rate: 7.1%
  • Average GPA: N/A
  • MCAT Score: N/A

12) Queen’s University

Queen’s University is one of the most selective medical schools in Canada. Each year, 100 students are admitted to the first-year medical school class, with five spots specifically designated for international students. This program is particularly well-known for the close relationships that students develop with faculty through collaborative classes and hands-on clinical experiences.

  • Location: Kingston, Ontario
  • Acceptance Rate: 1.89%
  • Average GPA: Range of 3.0-4.0/4.00
  • MCAT Score: MCAT cut-offs vary year-to-year based upon the current applicant pool data.

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13) Laval University

Founded in 1848, Laval University is one of Canada’s oldest medical schools. The majority of 223 students admitted every year are Quebec residents, with the rest being from other Canadian provinces and countries. Like the University of Sherbrooke, this medical institution also conducts the curriculum in French. Students have the opportunity to use their language skills in an interdisciplinary learning environment.

  • Location: Quebec City, Quebec
  • Acceptance Rate: 9%
  • Average GPA: N/A
  • MCAT Score: N/A

 14) University of Montreal

As one of the four medical schools in Quebec, the University of Montreal offers its curriculum primarily in French. With almost 300 students admitted annually, most are Quebec residents as this medical school places great emphasis on active learning and student engagement in its Francophone community. It also boasts the largest health network in Quebec, which allows students to pursue incredibly diverse clinical opportunities.

  • Location: Montreal, Quebec
  • Acceptance Rate: 16.6%
  • Average GPA: N/A
  • MCAT Score: N/A

 15) McGill University

Ranked as the number one medical school in Canada, McGill University was also the first medical school to be established. It has two distinct campuses – Montreal and Campus Outaouais – where instruction is conducted in English and French, respectively. Notably, the Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning provides realistic training for students to best prepare them to interact with patients in clinical and research settings.

  • Location: Montreal, Quebec
  • Acceptance Rate: 7.5%
  • Average GPA: 3.89/4.00
  • MCAT Score: If undergraduate studies done outside Canada, a minimum score of 508 is required.

 16) McMaster University

Only three years long, the medical program at McMaster University admits 203 students annually. In addition to a typical medical degree, the school offers a joint MD/PhD. For example, students can study medical sciences, biochemistry and biomedical sciences, health research methodology, neurosciences, biomedical engineering, chemical biology, and health policy. These programs can be pursued at one of three different campuses.

  • Location: Hamilton, Ontario
  • Acceptance Rate: 6.7%
  • Average GPA: 3.88/4.00
  • MCAT Score: A minimum score of 123 is required. The scores on the other sections of the MCAT will not be considered in the selection process.

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17) University of Toronto

The internationally recognized medical school at the University of Toronto follow a student-centered curriculum through four smaller learning “academies.” Each academy is comprised of clusters of the school’s affiliated hospitals and healthcare sites. In addition, students can choose a collaborative degree program, such as the Comprehensive Research Experience for Medical Students, which focuses on gaining real-world research skills.

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Acceptance Rate: 6%
  • Average GPA: 3.94/4.00
  • MCAT Score: Minimum score of 125 in each section.

Should I Choose an American or Canadian Medical School?

It’s all about where you hope to pursue a career and what kind of medical education you want. Each school is unique in how it accepts international students as well if you don’t have Canadian citizenship or permanent residency. Beyond the brief summaries of the schools, we recommend taking a closer look at the websites of schools that pique your interest. Check out their admission statistics, class demographics, curriculum breakdowns, and application requirements. Those types of information should provide you with the insight you need to understand whether you want to apply.