OMSAS – Indigenous Applicants

Last updated: July 5, 2021

Note: This application guide contains information for fall 2022 admission.

The medical schools of Ontario 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.

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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. Submit the FIAP self-identification application to our Indigenous Health Task Force through the Indigenous Students Health Sciences Office.

Learn more about the FIAP requirements and submit your application.

You must 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®.

The MCAT

To reduce barriers for Indigenous applicants, the provision of MCAT scores may be deferred beyond the application deadline. Indigenous applicants wishing 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.

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Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Indigenous Admission Stream

Applicants who apply through the Indigenous Admission Stream and provide the required documentation will receive a slightly higher context score. 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) who apply to the Indigenous Admission Stream 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 Admission 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 to OMSAS via Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) by October 1, 2021.

Read more about the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

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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, 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 Nations, 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].
  • 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.

Note: Some applications for proof of Indigenous ancestry may take 6 to 12 months or more to process.

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

Read more about the University of Ottawa.

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Queen’s University

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, 2021:

  • A letter of intent to the Director of the Admissions Committee that declares 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 (maximum 1 page in length).
  • A letter of support from an individual representing the First Nations, community or organization you belong to.
  • Proof of Indigenous ancestry. Indigenous applicants must submit 1 of the following documents:
    • Indian status cards from First Nations who are federally recognized and those listed on the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada website.
    • For Non-Status First Nations, 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 Non-Status First Nations who is currently in a court case (example: Algonquins of Ontario).
    • Métis citizenship from organizations that are members of the Métis National Council.
    • Nunavut Trust Certificate card or Inuit roll number

Selected applicants will be invited to complete an MMI and/or panel interview with members/representatives from the Indigenous community.

Read more about Queen’s University.

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University of Toronto

Additional Admission Requirements: Indigenous Student Application Program (ISAP)

Recognizing the commitment to social responsibility in the Temerty 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 Temerty 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:

  1. Self‑declared Indigenous status via the OMSAS application.
  2. You must provide 1 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 Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) in the OMSAS application. The deadline for receiving your document(s) is October 6, 2021.
  3. The ISAP Personal Essay: This essay is an opportunity for you to explain your connection to your Indigenous community. We recommend that this essay be 250-500 words. 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.

Read more about the University of Toronto.

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Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (Western University)

Health Care Improvement in Southwestern Ontario and Indigenous Communities

Southwestern Ontario Applicants

As a component of our mandate, we will give you special consideration if you indicate on your OMSAS application that you completed all 4 years of high school and graduated within the designated counties that correspond to the Schulich Medicine Distributed Education community partner locations (Grey, Bruce, Huron, Perth, Oxford, Middlesex, Lambton, Chatham-Kent, Elgin, Essex).

If you meet our Southwestern Ontario designation, as described above, you will be granted some flexibility with minimum scores for the MCAT. You must meet the 50th percentile in the total MCAT score and the 50th percentile in each of the individual component scores of the MCAT, as part of the School’s mandate for social accountability and responsibility.

You must still meet the same GPA, course load, course level 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.

Indigenous Applicants

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 students who self-identify as Indigenous. 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, 2021:

  • 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 Confidential Assessment Forms)

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.

Read more about the required documentation at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

Read more about the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

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