OMSAS – Indigenous Applicants

Last updated: July 4, 2022

University program information changes regularly. Refer to the application and the university’s website for the most up-to-date details.

Ontario medical schools recognize their shared responsibility to Indigenous peoples. 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.

Quick Links


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.

Self-identification Requirements

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.

This application is due on October 3, 2022.

Submit the FIAP self-identification application to our Indigenous Health Task Force through the Indigenous Health Learning Lodge.

Learn more about the FIAP requirements and submit your application.

You must also complete the OMSAS application and 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 123 or higher on the MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning section and
  • completion of Casper.

MCAT Scores

To reduce barriers for Indigenous applicants, the provision of MCAT scores may be deferred beyond the application deadline for applicants who have been approved through the FIAP process. Indigenous applicants who are approved through the FIAP process and wish to delay taking the MCAT until after invitations to interview are sent out in early February may do so, but they must forward a minimum MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning score of 123 to the Admissions Office before the offer of admission date to maintain eligibility.

Indigenous applicants taking advantage of this opportunity should book their MCAT in the fall to secure a test date with a score release date that is early enough to meet the deadline.

Note: The MCAT may charge a fee for cancellations.

Read more about the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

Top of Page


NOSM University

Indigenous Admission Stream

If you apply through the Indigenous Admission Stream and provide the required documentation, you may receive a slightly higher context score. As a key to increasing the Indigenous physician workforce, NOSM University designates a minimum of 4 seats each year to Indigenous students who have significant living experience and/or a cultural connection to Northern Ontario.

Guidelines for Indigenous Admission Stream Applicants

Personal Letter

Write a personal letter that tells the Indigenous Admissions Subcommittee about your background, your involvement with and contribution to your Indigenous community. The letter should include:

  • Why you would like to be considered as an applicant in the Indigenous Admission Stream.
  • Details about your cultural and personal background.
    • Provide specific information about your background and how you are involved with your Indigenous community. Indigenous communities could be First Nation, Treaty community or organizational affiliation, such as a Student Centre, Friendship Centre or a Volunteer Organization that supports Indigenous people and communities.
  • Examples of how you are culturally connected to your Indigenous community (activities, ceremonies, celebrations, traditions, language etc.).

The letter must not be longer than 1,000 words.

Recommendation Letter

Provide a recommendation letter that attests to your connection to the Indigenous community. This letter can be provided by a diverse Indigenous community/organization. For instance, the letter could come from a First Nation Band Council, recognized Indigenous leader, community Elder, Indigenous academic scholar, school counsellor or Indigenous organization.

The author of this letter should possess knowledge of your connection and/or contribution to the Indigenous community. Choose someone who knows you well and can speak to your community connection. If the Band leadership does not know you well, a Spiritual Leader/Elder might be more appropriate. The letter should not be from a family member.

The author of the letter must include their:

  • full name,
  • title,
  • address,
  • telephone number and
  • email address.

In their letter, they must answer the following questions:

  • What is your relationship to the applicant?
  • In what capacity do you know the applicant?
  • How many years have you known the applicant?
  • Describe the activity or activities that support the applicant’s connection and involvement with the Indigenous community. The following details would support your letter: Nature of the activity, the frequency or the duration of said activity/activities.

We will accept only 1 letter of recommendation. All subsequent letters will not be taken into consideration.

Declaration of Ancestry Documentation

Provide documentation regarding First Nation (status and non-status), Inuit, Métis, Band Council, Tribal Council, Treaty, community, nation or organizational affiliation. Photocopies should be clear, showing all information, and include front and back of documents.

Acceptable documentation may include:

  • 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

All documents submitted for the Indigenous Admission Stream will be reviewed by NOSM University’s Indigenous Admissions Subcommittee.

An applicant who does not meet the requirements to be considered through the Indigenous Admission Stream will be considered for admission through the General Stream.

An applicant who does not submit all 3 required documents to support their application to the Indigenous Admission Stream will not be presented to the Indigenous Admissions Subcommittee and will only be considered for admission through the General Stream.

Applicants who want to self-identify but do not apply to the Indigenous Admission Stream are not required to submit any documentation and will not be considered for admission through the Indigenous Admission Stream.

Cass Family Indigenous Scholarship

The Scholarship will be awarded to the 2 highest ranked self-identified Indigenous applicant(s) who apply through the Indigenous Admission Stream. Ranking is determined by the NOSM Admissions Committee and recommended by the Indigenous Admissions Subcommittee for those candidates seen as having a strong cultural connection.

Applicants must submit this documentation to OMSAS via Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) by the application deadline.

Read more about NOSM University.

Top of Page


University of Ottawa

First Nations, Inuit and 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 and Métis peoples and to better serve society’s needs.

First Nations, Inuit or Métis candidates who meet the stipulated admission eligibility criteria 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, depending on the availability of funding. We invite you to self‑identify on your admission application if you are First Nations, Inuit or Métis.

If you self-identify as First Nation, Inuit or Métis on your application, you must provide:

  • Proof of Indigenous ancestry, as per the University of Ottawa’s policy on Eligibility for Focused Admissions, Scholarships and Bursaries for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people [PDF].
    • Note: Some applications for proof of Indigenous ancestry may take 6 to 12 months or more to process.
  • A letter that declares Indigenous ancestry and provides specific information about First Nation, 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 Nation, Band Council, Tribal Council, Treaty, community or organizational affiliation.

To learn more about our additional supports for Indigenous applicants, email the Indigenous Program Coordinator.

Government of Nunavut Admissions Stream

The Government of Nunavut Admissions Stream was created to respond specifically to the underrepresentation of Inuit and Nunavummiut physicians in the Nunavut health care workforce. As part of this stream, the Government of Nunavut will fully fund a minimum of 1 position for a Nunavummiut student. This stream does not have a designated quota for admission.

Application Process

If interested, you may apply for admission to the Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) program through OMSAS.

If applying to this stream, you must do the following by October 3, 2022:

All eligible applicants to this stream are entitled to apply for support from the Government of Nunavut to assist with travel and application costs. Email Dr. Francois de Wet for more information.

Government of Nunavut Admissions Stream Pathways

The Government of Nunavut Admissions Stream has 2 pathways for admission:

  1. Nunavut Inuit Applicants
  2. Nunavummiut (Non-Inuit) Applicants
Nunavut Inuit Applicants

You must submit the following additional documents with your OMSAS application:

  • A letter of intent (250 words or less) highlighting why you have chosen to apply through this stream. Specifically, this letter should include:
    • a request for consideration under the alternative admission process,
    • a description of your connection to the community,
    • details on your academic and personal background and
    • an explanation of your reasons and motivation for wishing to become a physician.
  • A letter of recommendation from a community organization, educational institution, Inuit organization or hamlet that affirms your connection to the community.
  • Proof of enrollment as an Inuk under the Nunavut Agreement, as per the University of Ottawa’s policy on Eligibility for Focused Admissions, Scholarships and Bursaries for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people [PDF].

Nunavut Inuit applicants are eligible for enhanced application support and, if admitted, for additional ongoing educational support through Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and Makigiaqta Inuit Training Corporation. Email the Makigiaqta Inuit Training Corporation for more information.

Nunavummiut (Non-Inuit) Applicants

You must submit the following additional documents with your OMSAS application:

  • A letter of intent (250 words or less) highlighting why you have chosen to apply through this stream. Specifically, this letter should include:
    • a request for consideration under the alternative admission process,
    • a description of your connection to the Nunavut community, as well as your status as a resident of the Territory,
    • details on your academic and personal background and
    • an explanation of your reasons and motivation for wishing to become a physician, including how you intend to give back to the Nunavut community.

Successful Nunavummiut students may be eligible for financial support for educational needs through the Government of Nunavut.

Read more about the University of Ottawa.

Top of Page


Queen’s University

Indigenous Applicants

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 Indigenous people of Canada.

The Committee has developed an alternative process for assessing Indigenous candidates. We may admit 4 qualified Indigenous applicants per year to the MD program by this alternate process.

You must apply through OMSAS and indicate that you are applying as an Indigenous applicant.

If you wish to be considered through the Indigenous application category, you must submit the following documentation through OMSAS by the application deadline:

  • A separate letter to the Chair, Admissions Committee, in which you declare your Indigenous ancestry and give specific information about First Nation, Treaty, community or organizational affiliation.
    • Your letter should request consideration by this alternate process and expand on your academic and personal background, how you are culturally connected to your Indigenous community, and your reasons and motivation for wishing to become a physician.
    • Maximum 1 page.
  • A letter of support from a representative of your First Nation, Band Council, Tribal Council, and/or Treaty, community or organizational affiliation.
    • This individual should be able to speak to your Indigenous community involvement and personal character traits that would qualify you as a promising candidate to pursue a future in medicine.
    • Maximum 1 page.
  • Proof of Indigenous ancestry. You must submit one of the following documents:
    • Indian status cards from First Nations that are federally recognized and those listed on the Indigenous & Northern Affairs Canada website.
    • For Non-Status First Nations persons, your parents’ and/or grandparents’ Indian status card and your long form birth certificate or baptismal certificate.
    • A membership card indicating that you are a member of a Non-Status First Nation that is currently in a court case (e.g., the Algonquin land claim).
    • Métis citizenship from organizations that are members of the Métis National Council.
    • Nunavut Trust Certificate card or Inuit roll number.

A panel consisting of representatives from the Admissions Committee and the Indigenous community will review the files of all candidates who wish to be considered by this alternative process and select candidates for interview.

Read more about Queen’s University.

Top of Page


University of Toronto

Indigenous Student Application Program (ISAP)

Recognizing the commitment to social responsibility in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine’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, including faculty, physicians, residents, medical students and members of the public, take part in admission file review and interview processes.

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:

  1. Self‑declared Indigenous status via the OMSAS application.
  2. One of the following as proof of Indigenous ancestry to apply to the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine through the ISAP:
    • 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
    OMSAS must receive proof of Indigenous ancestry documentation via SAM in the OMSAS application. The deadline for receiving your document(s) is October 7, 2022.
  3. The ISAP Personal Statement is an opportunity for you to tell us about your personal connection to your Indigenous community, perhaps in the way you would share with an Elder or Wisdom/Knowledge Keeper. The statement will be read by members of the Indigenous Student Application Program (ISAP) Advisory Circle, which includes an Elder, Indigenous faculty members and Indigenous medical learners. We recommend that this statement be 250-500 words. Ensure you submit your statement with the OMSAS application. If you are unsure about how to proceed, we invite you to liaise with the Office of Indigenous Health for support: indigenoushealth.support@utoronto.ca.

If you have questions or would like further information about ISAP, email our Office of Indigenous Medical Education.

Read more about the University of Toronto.

Top of Page


Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (Western University)

Indigenous Pathway

We are committed to increasing the number of Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) physicians in Southwestern Ontario and Canada. We have designated 5 seats in each entering class for students who self-identify as Indigenous.

If you self-identify as Indigenous and wish to be considered for one of the designated seats, you must upload the following additional documents to OMSAS through Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) by the application deadline of October 3, 2022:

  • 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
  • Letters of support from Indigenous communities or organizations (in addition to 3 Confidential Assessment Forms)

You will be assessed by our Indigenous Applicant Subcommittee 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 Elders from local Indigenous Nations 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 the opportunity to meet with Indigenous faculty and staff. The interview panel will consist of an Indigenous physician, Indigenous community member and senior medical student.

Read more about the required documentation.

Read more about the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

Top of Page