Applications will be accepted from students in good standing who will have successfully completed, prior to the beginning of June preceding registration, in a recognized university, three years of full-time studies (five full-year course/year) in any undergraduate program leading to a bachelor’s degree, including specific prerequisite courses:
One full year course (or two semester courses) in General Biology including laboratory session;
One full year course (or two semester courses) in Humanities / Social Sciences;
The equivalent of two full-year courses (or four semester courses) of the following Chemistry courses: i) General Biochemistry with or without laboratory session; ii) General Chemistry with laboratory session; iii) Organic Chemistry with laboratory session.
A full-time academic year where the equivalent of four (4) full-year courses is taken is accepted and counted in the WGPA calculation only if the missing course/credit is completed either as an additional course within another academic year or as a summer course. Individual courses taken during a summer session are accepted for the credit value in this instance however the mark obtained is not counted in the calculation of the WGPA. Any year with less than four full-year courses will not count as a full-time year of study. A full-time summer semester does not replace a semester of studies within an academic year. AP, IB and transfer credits are not recognized as fulfilment of full time studies requirement.
Candidates are allowed to complete missing prerequisite courses during the academic year preceding admission but, as with all courses, not during the summer before their registration in the MD program of studies.
The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ottawa determines equivalences.
Language courses are not recognized towards the Humanities / Social Sciences prerequisites.
N.B. Meeting the above requirements does not guarantee admission.
Furthermore, in selecting students, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to assess, in the applicant's program, the level of difficulty of completed courses and their relevance to future medical studies at the University of Ottawa; the Committee also considers the candidate’s results in these courses. Please note that studies completed towards a professional degree will not be recognized as equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. Full-time studies completed by distance education will not be recognized since the spirit of the full-time studies requirements is to be able to assess and compare how candidates succeed in a full-time course load and to predict how the candidates will perform and cope with the rigorous demand of the medical program.
Description of Prerequisite Science Courses
Offered at the University of Ottawa.
Full Year Course(s)
Humanities / Social Science
Biology or Zoology
*Cannot be all same subject
Biology (with laboratory sessions)
The equivalent of one full year course
BIO 1140. INTRODUCTION TO CELL BIOLOGY (3,0, 2b) 3 cr.
Origin of life. Structure and varieties of cells. The cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix. Movements within and by cells including muscles. The cell cycle and reproduction. The fundamentals of molecular biology including replication, transcription and translation. Membrane transport. Previously: BIO 1110 Prerequisite: 4U Biology, BIO 1109
BIO 1130. INTRODUCTION TO ORGANISMAL BIOLOGY (3,0, 2b) 3 cr.
Survey of the evidence for, and the fundamentals underlying the evolution of biological diversity. Topics: natural selection, speciation, the history of life, extinction, hominid evolution; adaptation and the geographical distribution of organisms; the effect of human population growth on the structure and function of ecological systems, and the implications of these effects to future human welfare. Previously: BIO 1120 Prerequisite or corequisite: 4U Biology or BIO 1109
The equivalent of two full year courses in any of the following chemistry courses
GENERAL CHEMISTRY (with laboratory sessions).
CHM 1311. PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY (3,0, 3b) 3 cr.
Chemical bonding, molecular geometry, chemical equations and quantitative elations, gas, liquids and solids, solutions, redox reactions, electrochemistry, kinetics and equilibrium, ionic equilibria, acids and bases in solution, pH. Previously: CHM 1310 Prerequisite: Grade 4U chemistry or OAC Chemistry or equivalent.
CHM 2353. DESCRIPTIVE INORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3,0, 3) 3 cr.
A review of simple concepts in bonding and acid-base theory. Electrochemistry. A survey of the chemistry of the elements, trends and their relation to the periodic system. Previously: CHM 2352and CHM 2116 Prerequisite: CHM 1311 or CHM 1321, CHM 1301
Organic Chemistry (with laboratory sessions)
CHM 1321. ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I (3,0, 3b) 3 cr.
Classification, identification and structural characterization of organic compounds. Properties preparation, and commercial significance of hydrocarbons, halogen derivatives, alcohols, ethers and selected polymers. Mechanisms of organic reactions, and basic principles of organic stereochemistry. Previously: CHM 1320 Prerequisite: CHM 1301 or CHM 1311 or Grade 4U Chemistry or OAC Chemistry or equivalent.
CHM 2120. ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II (3,0, 0) 3 cr.
Synthesis and reactivity of carbonyl compounds, organic acids and their derivatives, nitrogen-containing compounds, sulfur derivatives, simple aromatic compounds. Survey of the chemistry of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and peptides, and selected heterocycles. Prerequisite: CHM 1321.
CHM 2123. LABORATORY OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II (0,0, 3) 3 cr
Laboratory work associated with CHM 2120. Previously: CHM 2126 Co requisite: CHM 2120.
* Note: the organic chemistry II (CHM 2120) course will not be accepted without the laboratory component CHM 2123. These two courses combined will be equivalent to one semester of chemistry within our prerequisites.
Biochemistry (with or without laboratory sessions)
BCH 2333. INTRODUCTION TO BIOCHEMISTRY (3,0, 3) 3 cr.
The chemistry and biological properties of amino acids, proteins, nucleic acids, lipids carbohydrates, and vitamins. The course includes laboratory and tutorial sessions. Priority given to students for whom this course is mandatory. Previously: BCH 2140 + BCH 2336 Prerequisite: CHM 2120.
BCH 3120. GENERAL INTERMEDIARY METABOLISM (3,0, 0) 3 cr.
The properties of enzymes, bioenergetics, the metabolic and nutritional role of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids. Prerequisite: BCH 2333.
A candidate can fulfill the chemistry/biochemistry prerequisites by completing one of the following combinations of courses:
One full-year course in general chemistry with lab, plus one full-year course in organic chemistry with lab.
One full-year course in organic chemistry with lab, plus one full-year course in biochemistry with or without lab.
One full-year course in general chemistry with lab, plus one semester course in organic chemistry with lab, plus one semester course in biochemistry with or without lab.
One full-year course in organic chemistry with lab, plus one semester course in general chemistry with lab, plus one semester course in biochemistry with or without lab.
The Faculty of Medicine may, at its discretion, refuse to accept future applications to the MD program from a candidate who has submitted a false, misleading or fraudulent application in the past.
The OMSAS instruction booklet makes reference to the importance of the application materials and required documentation being received at OMSAS by the published deadlines. Applicants must ensure that OMSAS receives their transcripts by the stated deadline, so that the file can be reviewed and a verification report can be sent to the applicant in sufficient time to allow any errors or omissions to be addressed. If an applicant's transcript issues are not resolved before our selection process begins, it will not be possible to insert the file into our process, and a disqualification status could be assigned to the application.
The CASPer™ Test - Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics
All applicants to the MD Program, at the University of Ottawa are required to complete an online assessment (CASPer™), to assist with our selection process. Successful completion of CASPer™ is mandatory in order to maintain admission eligibility.
CASPer™ assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program, and will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing CASPer™, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process.
In order to take CASPer™, you will be responsible for securing access to a computer with audio capabilities, equipped with a webcam and a reliable internet connection on your selected test date. CASPer™ can be taken practically anywhere that you can satisfy the aforementioned requirements. No exceptions will be provided for applicants unable to take CASPer™ online due to being located at sites where internet is not dependable due to technical or political factors.
The CASPer™ test is comprised of 10-12 sections of video and written scenarios. Following each scenario, you will be required to answer a set of probing questions under a time contract. Each response is graded by a different rater, giving a very robust and reliable view of personal and professional characteristics important to our program. No studying is required for CASPer™, although you may want to familiarize yourself with the test structure, and ensure you have a quiet environment to take the test.
The CASPer™ test must be completed in the language of instruction selected when submitting your application to the MD Program, University of Ottawa. Applications to the MD Program will not be considered if the online CASPerTM test is not completed.
Applicants are required to take the CASPerTM test in the fall of the application year. CASPerTM registration is now open, however the October test dates can only be reserved after an application has been submitted through OMSAS and an OMSAS ID is added to the CASPerTM profile.
Applications will not be accepted from applicants who are not Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents (proof of permanent resident status must accompany the application at the time it is submitted). However, there is one exception to the rule: eligible children of alumni of the University of Ottawa who have completed studies at the Faculty of Medicine.
Credentialing of Non-Canadian Grades
Candidates with a permanent residence in Canada who do not meet our eligibility requirements relative to completion of Canadian studies and require inclusion of their international studies must have their foreign transcript assessed by World Education Services (WES). Consideration of the application is greatly facilitated by the WES assessment.
However, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to apply its own conversion. This evaluation must include a program equivalency conversion, an overall grade point average conversion, as well as a course by course grade conversion. To obtain this assessment and grade conversion, please consult the World Education Website or call the World Education Services at the following numbers: (416) 972-0070 or 1-866-343-0070. To submit this evaluation with your application, you are required to follow the instructions provided within the Web site of the OMSAS on-line application.
Undergraduate Degree or Certificate of One-Year Duration
Since we require at least three years of undergraduate full-time studies in any program leading to the obtention of a bachelor degree in a recognized university within our eligibility requirements, we will only convert the most recent three years of studies pertinent to the bachelor program of studies of the candidates and not convert any undergraduate degree and/or certificate of one-year duration. The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa also does not convert studies leading to a Diploma, Certificate or Professional Degrees.
Co-operative Education Programs (Co-op)
Students enrolled in a (Co-op) cooperative education program are eligible to apply for admission, provided they have completed the prerequisite courses as well as the full-time studies as indicated in the eligibility requirements. For a year to be recognized as equivalent to full-time study and count towards the weighted grade point average (WGPA), it must contain two academic terms within each trimester year (fall, winter, summer). An academic year where the student has completed two work terms will not count as part of the three prerequisite years of full-time studies and therefore, the grades obtained for one semester of academic work completed within this year will not be used in calculating the WGPA.
Year of study
Summer / Spring term
Candidates who are completing the above co-op sequence can be eligible to apply to our MD program after their fourth academic year while they are registered in their fifth year, provided that the final grades for the summer study term in fourth year will be available on the transcript submitted before the application deadline.
Cegep Studies (Quebec)/Recognized Community College Studies
Students from a CEGEP of the province of Quebec are not eligible to submit an application to the first medical year of the University of Ottawa. An applicant who has obtained the “Diplôme d’études collégiales” from Quebec (CEGEP) must complete in addition two years of full-time studies (minimum of five full year courses each year) in an undergraduate program leading to a bachelor’s degree in a recognized university, including the necessary prerequisite courses.
The same policy applies to applicants who have completed studies (and obtained a diploma) at a community college. The College (or CEGEP) studies will be recognized as being equivalent to one year of postsecondary university studies, provided that the candidate has obtained his/her diploma.
University of Ottawa
General Biology I
BIO 1140 3cr
General Biology II
BIO 1130 3cr
General Chemistry+Chemistry of solutions
CHM 1311 3cr
Organic Chemistry I
CHM 1321 3cr
Only the above science courses completed at the Cegep/College level of study will be recognized towards our prerequisites.
Students who have completed these science courses at the Cegep/College level must also take, at any recognized University, an additional one full year course (or two semester long courses) in the chemistry/biochemistry fields: (equivalent to University of Ottawa’s General Chemistry II (CHM 2353), Organic Chemistry II (CHM 2120, CHM 2123), Introduction to biochemistry (BCH 2333), General Intermediary Metabolism (BCH 3120).
Ontario Secondary Schools
Students from Ontario secondary schools who intend to pursue medical studies must ensure they have completed the advanced math and science courses that qualify them for the university science courses required.
Non Eligible Candidates
An applicant will not be eligible if he/she was previously registered in a medical program leading to an MD degree and withdrew. Exceptions may be considered for exceptional or medical circumstances.
The selection criteria is based on eligibility requirements, all of the academic parameters as well as performance on CASPerTM, review of theautobiographical sketch, and finally by the results of the interview performance combined with the academic performance.
As long as the prerequisites for eligibility are met, no preference is given to the discipline of the academic program taken at a recognized university.
Age, gender, race, religion and socio-economic status play no part in the selection process.
Any candidate who submits a fraudulent application for admission is subject to prosecution.
All things being equal, preference will be given to those who have proficiency in both official languages at the University.
Given the extremely competitive nature of the admission process, and out of respect for applicants who have adhered to our policies, we will not consider letters sent to us detailing special or unusual circumstances. We are unable to make any exceptions to our stated policies.
Policy on Interference
Individual applicants, or their family members, delegates, and friends, are not to contact the Dean, Faculty of Medicine or Vice-Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education, directly or indirectly via telephone, letter, e-mail, any other electronic social medium or in person, regarding the application process or her/his application. To do so will be considered a breach of professionalism and any such contact or overtures will be noted and may jeopardize the individual's application.
"The MD Program of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa is fully accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) - the bodies that accredit MD programs in Canada and the United States. As such, the Admissions Office adheres strictly with the following CACMS standard:
10.2 The final responsibility for accepting students to a medical school rests with a formally constituted admission committee. The authority and composition of the committee and the rules for its operation, including voting privileges and the definition of a quorum, are specified in bylaws or other medical school policies. Faculty members constitute the majority of voting members at all meetings. The selection of individual students must not be influenced by any political or financial factors."
Note The Admissions Office will not make any exceptions to declared policies.
Special Students / Mature Applicants
Admission for special students or mature applicants, as described in the University of Ottawa “General Admission Requirements,” does not apply to the Faculty of Medicine.
Applications from Graduate Students (Masters and PhD)
Graduate candidates who are registered in (or have recently completed) a master’s or doctoral degree are allowed to apply to the MD program provided they meet the eligibility requirements, including the successful completion of the necessary prerequisites (sciences/humanities). These applications will be assessed like all other applications based on the candidate’s academic work during the undergraduate studies, CASPerTM, autobiographical sketch and interview performance.