OMSAS – Admission Information for Indigenous Applicants
Last updated: July 9, 2020
Note: This application guide contains information for fall 2021 admission.
The medical schools of Ontario recognize their shared responsibility to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and around the world. The Medical Admission Committee of the Council of the Ontario Faculties of Medicine (MAC:COFM) is committed to responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action.
- Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine (McMaster University)
- Northern Ontario School of Medicine
- University of Ottawa
- Queen’s University
- University of Toronto
- Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (Western University)
Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine (McMaster University)
Facilitated Indigenous Admissions Program (FIAP)
With an understanding that Indigenous learners can face specific barriers or challenges when pursuing higher education, schools and programs within our Faculty of Health Sciences have facilitated admission streams for applicants with Indigenous North American (First Nation, Inuit or Métis) ancestry. This process is intended to provide equitable access to Indigenous applicants and aligns with the intent of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action.
If you wish to apply through the FIAP, you must complete the supplementary self-identification application in addition to McMaster University and program-specific application processes. Submit the FIAP self-identification application to our Indigenous Health Task Force through the Indigenous Students Health Sciences Office.
You are required to complete the OMSAS application and must meet the same minimum academic criteria for admission as set out for general applicants, including:
- At least 3 years of undergraduate university education by May of the year of entry (15 full courses/30 half courses or a combination),
- an overall GPA of at least 3.0, as calculated on the OMSAS 4.0 scale by the application deadline,
- a score of 6 or higher on the MCAT Verbal Reasoning section or 123 or higher on the MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning section and
- completion of CASPer®.
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Indigenous Voluntary Identification and Indigenous Admissions Stream
At the earliest stages of development, we engaged the Indigenous communities of Northern Ontario as part of our mandate to be accountable to the cultural diversity of Northern Ontario.
Our Indigenous Affairs Unit encourages and nurtures Indigenous students in and throughout medical school.
We designate 4 seats in each year for Indigenous students as an indication of our commitment to recruiting Indigenous students; however, this is a minimum, not the total number of Indigenous students that we will admit.
Persons of Indigenous ancestry (First Nations, Inuit or Métis) may:
- voluntarily identify themselves and not apply to the Indigenous Admissions stream or
- voluntarily identify themselves and apply to the Indigenous Admissions stream.
We consider all Indigenous applicants under the General Admissions Stream, unless they chose to apply to the Indigenous Admissions Stream.
If you have applied to the Indigenous Admissions Stream, you must:
- Write a letter that declares your Indigenous ancestry and gives specific information about your First Nations, Treaty, community or organizational affiliation. You should include the following information in your letter:
- why you would like to be considered as a candidate in the Indigenous Admissions Stream,
- details about your cultural and personal background and
- examples of how you are culturally connected to your Indigenous community.
- Provide a letter of recommendation from your First Nations, Band Council, Tribal Council, or Treaty, community or organizational affiliation. Choose someone who knows you well and can comment on your character and your suitability for medicine.
- Provide proof of Indigenous ancestry.
You must submit the documentation directly to OMSAS by October 1, 2020.
University of Ottawa
First Nations, Inuit or Métis Candidates
We have established a dedicated selection process for candidates of Indigenous ancestry as part of our mission to improve access to better health care for First Nations, Inuit or Métis peoples and to better serve society’s needs.
First Nations, Inuit or Métis candidates who meet the stipulated admission eligibility requirements will compete for a designated number of admission positions. Currently, we reserve up to 7 seats through this admission process and students will compete for a position within this cohort only.
Admission bursaries and other financial assistance may be available for successful applicants, pending needs. We invite you to self‑identify on your admission application if you are First Nations, Inuit or Métis.
If you self-identify as First Nations, Inuit or Métis on your application, you must provide:
- Proof of Indigenous ancestry. Acceptable proofs of ancestry include (but are not limited to):
- Status or Treaty card
- Membership card in a Métis registry, recognized by the Métis National Council (the Métis Nation of Ontario, Manitoba Métis Federation, Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Alberta and Métis Nation British Columbia)
- Nunavut Trust Service card
- Inuit Roll Number
- A letter that declares Indigenous ancestry and provides specific information about First Nations, Treaty, community or organizational affiliation. In your letter, you should request consideration under the alternative process and expand on your academic and personal background, and reasons and motivation for wishing to become a physician.
- A letter of recommendation from the First Nations, Band Council, Tribal Council, Treaty, community or organizational affiliation.
Admission Process for Indigenous Candidates
The Admissions Committee recognizes the critical shortage of Indigenous physicians in Canada and the need to educate more Indigenous physicians to serve as role models and to address the health care needs of Canada’s Indigenous people.
The Committee has developed an alternative process for assessing Indigenous candidates. We may admit 4 qualified Indigenous students per year to the MD program by the alternative process. Applicants may also choose to apply through the regular admission process.
If an applicant wishes to be considered by the alternative process, submit the following documentation through OMSAS by October 1, 2020:
- A separate letter to the Director of the Admissions Committee, in which the applicant declares their your Indigenous ancestry and give specific information about First Nations, Treaty, community or organizational affiliation. In your letter, you should request consideration by this alternative process and expand on your academic and personal background, and reasons and motivation for wishing to become a physician.
- A letter of support from an individual representing the First Nations, community or organization you belong to.
- Proof of Indigenous ancestry.
Once an applicant is identified by the screening panel, they will be invited for an interview at the same time as the general applicants. If selected, the applicant will complete the MMI and a standard panel interview with a team of representatives from the Indigenous community.
University of Toronto
Additional Admission Requirements: Indigenous Student Application Program (ISAP)
Recognizing the commitment to social responsibility in the Faculty’s mission, the MD Program implemented ISAP to increase the number of Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) medical students at the University of Toronto. Members of the Indigenous community take part in admission file review and interview processes, including: Faculty, physicians, residents, medical students and members of the public.
This program reflects the Faculty of Medicine’s strong commitment to diversity as demonstrated in its Diversity Statement [PDF].
To apply to this program, you must meet the same minimum requirements for MCAT, GPA and course prerequisites as all other applicants. The program does not have a designated quota for admission. You must submit admission materials as per the core MD admission process and the following additional materials by the stated deadlines:
- Self‑declared Indigenous status via the OMSAS application.
- You must provide 1 of the following as proof of Indigenous ancestry to apply to the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine through the ISAP:
OMSAS must receive proof of Indigenous ancestry documentation via Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) in the OMSAS application. The deadline for receiving your document(s) is October 6, 2020.
- A copy of a Status or Treaty card
- A copy of a Nunavut Trust Certificate card, roll number or any other proof accepted by Inuit communities
- A copy of a membership card in a Métis registry recognized by the Métis National Council (the Métis Nation of Ontario, Manitoba Métis Federation, Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Alberta and Métis Nation British Columbia)
- Proof that an ancestor’s name has been entered in the Indian Register according to the Indian Act, on the band list of an individual band or the Inuit roll
- Written confirmation of Indigenous ancestry from the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
- Written confirmation of membership in a band council that has its own membership code
- Other acceptable documentation
- The ISAP Personal Essay explaining your community connectedness or intended future community involvement. This essay must be 250 words or less. Submit the essay with the OMSAS application.
If you have questions or would like further information about ISAP, email our Office of Indigenous Medical Education.
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (Western University)
Health Care Improvement in Southwestern Ontario and Indigenous Communities
As a component of our mandate, we will give you special consideration if you indicated on your OMSAS application that you completed all 4 years of high school and graduated within the designated counties in Southwestern Ontario (Grey, Bruce, Huron, Perth, Oxford, Middlesex, Lambton, Chatham-Kent, Elgin, Essex) and/or are from the Indigenous communities.
Southwestern Ontario Applicants
We grant applicants from Southwestern Ontario some flexibility with minimum scores for the individual sections of the MCAT. If you are a Southwestern Ontario applicant, you must still meet the same GPA, course load and course level requirements, total MCAT score and non-academic admission requirements, as general applicants. We reset MCAT minimums each year based on the competitiveness of the applicant pool.
If you are invited for an interview, you must submit an original high school transcript when registering for an interview. There are no fixed seats or quotas. Applying as a Southwestern Ontario applicant does not guarantee admission.
We are committed to increasing the number of Indigenous (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) physicians. We have designated 5 seats in each entering class for Indigenous students. If you self‑identify as an Indigenous person and wish to be considered for 1 of the designated seats, you must upload the following additional documents to OMSAS through Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) by the application deadline of October 1, 2020:
- Official confirmation of status or proof of ancestral origin
- A personal statement describing why you applied through the Indigenous stream, including your experiences within Indigenous communities and the impact of these experiences
- Additional letters of support from Indigenous communities or organizations (in addition to 3 general reference letters)
You will be assessed on a balanced portfolio that includes academic and non-academic achievements, as well as the letters of support and personal statement as described in this section.
Only in exceptional circumstances will we consider an applicant with a GPA of less than 3.30 or MCAT sectional scores below the 50th percentile for the designated seats.
If you are invited to an interview, you will be welcomed by traditional Elders to provide cultural and social support, and to share a meal. An Indigenous medical student will be available to provide mentorship and you will have opportunity to meet with Indigenous faculty and staff. The interview panel will consist of an Indigenous physician, Indigenous community member and senior medical student.