OMSAS – Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine (McMaster University)

Last updated: July 13, 2017

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The following requirements are for fall 2018 admission. The admission policy is reviewed annually and the requirements from previous years may not apply. The university reserves the right to review and change the admission requirements at any time without notice.

Because of the nature of selection procedures, deadlines are strictly enforced. All relevant documentation must be provided by the specified deadlines. You must follow the instructions precisely.

Failure to comply with the instructions or meet the deadlines will result in your application being disqualified.

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False Admission Information

  • If any application information is found to be false or misleading, concealed or withheld, the application will be deemed invalid and immediately rejected.
  • If you are already admitted and registered, you may be required to withdraw from the university.

The MD Admissions Committee will usually not allow you to re‑apply to the MD program for 7 years.

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International Applicant Pool

Interested international applicants may apply through the regular process. International (Visa) students should be aware that admission to the Undergraduate MD Program does not confer eligibility to apply subsequently through the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS) for a residency training position in Canada.

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MD/PhD Program

McMaster offers an integrated MD/PhD program for up to 3 students each year, who demonstrate academic excellence and a strong motivation to pursue research as a major component of their future medical career.

Students will be admitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences MD/PhD program with PhD studies in 1 of 5 graduate programs affiliated with the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.

These include the following:

  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Research Methodology
  • Medical Sciences
  • Neurosciences

To apply to this program, you must submit a separate application in addition to the OMSAS application. To gain admission, you must be accepted to both the MD program at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and 1 of the 5 listed PhD programs offered through the School of Graduate Studies.

For additional information and how to apply to the Integrated MD/PhD program contact:

Office of Graduate Studies (Health Sciences)
McMaster University
Faculty of Health Sciences, MDCL 2235
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton ON  L8S 4K1

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Admission Policy and Procedures

Selection Procedure

The following requirements are for admission in the last week of August 2018.

Our intention is to prepare you to become a physician with the capacity and flexibility to select any area in the broad field of medicine. You are selected with this goal in mind. Faculty members, medical students and members of the community are usually involved with assessing applications.

Admission and Registration

Applying to the medical program implies that you accept the admissions policies and procedures and the methods by which you are chosen for the program.

To be considered for an interview, you must meet all requirements described in this policy statement under the following sections:

  • Academic Eligibility
  • Application Procedures
  • Transcript Requirements
  • Computer‑Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPer)

Several hundred applicants are invited for an interview in Hamilton in March or April 2018. Invitations for interviews are determined by your academic performance, assessment of your preparedness for a career in medicine, suitability for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University, and geographical status.

From this group, a class of 203 will be selected.

For the incoming class in August 2017, 28 of the 203 positions are designated for the Waterloo Regional Campus and 28 for the Niagara Regional Campus.

If you are invited to the McMaster Multiple Mini‑Interview (MMI), you must rank your campus choice (Hamilton Campus, Waterloo Regional Campus or Niagara Regional Campus) as number 1, 2, 3, or no preference.

Offers of admission to the medical school will be made from this master rank list, regardless of campus preference. After the 203 positions are filled, registrants to the class will be offered a position based on their preference and geographical background.

The offer of admission will be binding to a specific campus.

Application Procedures

Completed online OMSAS applications are due by 4:30 pm (ET) on October 2, 2017.

Fees paid by credit card are also due at this time.

OMSAS must receive transcripts from all postsecondary institutions you attended, by October 2, 2017. See Transcript/Registrar Statements Requirements.

OMSAS expects to receive your 3 Confidential Assessment forms and reference letters by October 2, 2017. However, McMaster will accept Confidential Assessment forms and reference letters until December 1, 2017, at which time incomplete applications will be cancelled.

It is your responsibility to request your forms and letters within sufficient time to meet these deadlines.

You must complete the CASPer™ test. CASPer™, the Computer-based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics, is a web-based assessment of interpersonal skills and decision-making to be completed at a computer. Successful completion of CASPer™ is required to maintain applicant eligibility.

CASPer™ will be offered on a limited number of days in fall 2017. Review available dates and sign up for CASPer™. There will be a fee charged by Altus Assessments, the company who administers the CASPer™ test.  This fee is paid directly to Altus Assessments and is not included in the OMSAS/McMaster application fee.

Find more information about CASPer™.

Any additional information (that you provide or a third party provides on your behalf) that is not required as outlined above will not be incorporated into your file and will not be used by assessors for selection purposes.

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Academic Eligibility

On the Academic Record, you must record all grades received in all credit courses from your undergraduate degree. Failure to report courses, programs or grades on the Academic Record will result in your application being disqualified.

You must fulfill the following requirements:

    1. By May 2018, you must complete a minimum of 15 full courses, or 30 half courses (or a combination) of undergraduate university work. There is no requirement to carry a full course load. To satisfy this requirement:
      • Your Canadian university academic credentials must be from an institution with academic standards and performance that is consistent with the member institutions of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).
      • You must be able to consistently demonstrate a high level of academic achievement throughout your undergraduate career.
      • If you completed a diploma at a CEGEP, you must complete at least 2 additional years (10 full courses or 20 half courses) of degree credit work at an accredited university by May 2018.
      • If you have satisfactorily completed the requirements for a baccalaureate degree undertaken at a university in less than 3 years by the time you apply on October 2, 2017, you are also eligible.
      • You must meet the overall GPA requirement of 3.0 on the OMSAS 4.0 scale.


    1. You must achieve an overall simple average of at least 3.0 on the OMSAS 4.0 scale in your undergraduate university work to date, by October 2, 2017. While this meets the minimum criterion for admission consideration, be aware that, given the rising level of competition for a limited number of positions, a significantly higher GPA would provide you with a more reasonable chance of admission. Marks for supplementary and summer courses will be included in the GPA calculation. Courses for which a “pass” grade is assigned are counted for credit but are not included in the GPA calculation.If you are attending a program where “pass” or “credit” is given in some courses in lieu of a letter or numerical grade, independent grades from a minimum of 5 half‑year or 5 full‑year courses are required or your application will not be considered. An overall simple average will consist of all undergraduate university degree credit courses taken, except those taken on foreign exchange, in which the work of different years will be treated equally. You calculate this average in the Academic Record section, then verify it on the OMSAS Verification Report. We may also review this average.Your graduate experience will be considered in the admissions process if it is complete and the degree has been conferred by the October 2, 2017, application deadline. Individual grades received for course work taken as part of a graduate degree will not be included in the GPA calculation.

      Applicants with a completed and conferred graduate degree at the time of application will receive additional consideration, to be included in the formula that determines the likelihood of an invitation to interview (master’s degree holder +0.01; PhD degree holder +0.04), providing a significant, albeit not decisive, advantage for graduate degree holders.

      If you are enrolled in a graduate program at the time you apply, you must arrange for your supervisor, a member of your supervisory committee or the Chair of the department to provide a letter indicating that they are aware you intend to apply to medical school. OMSAS should receive this letter by October 2, 2017. If your graduate supervisor, member of your supervisory committee or Chair of the department is 1 of your referees, a second letter is not required.


    1. You must write the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) prior to the October 2, 2017 deadline. The score from the Verbal Reasoning section of the MCAT will be used for those who wrote the MCAT before April 2015. If you write the new MCAT 2015, the Critical Analysis and Reasoning score will be used in both formulae (offer of interview and advancement to collation [full file review]). A minimum score of 6 on the Verbal Reasoning component or 123 on the Critical Analysis and Reasoning component is required. The scores on the other sections of the MCAT are not considered in the selection process. MCAT test results are accepted provided the test was written no more than 5 years prior to the application deadline. The most recent test result will be used if you attempt the MCAT more than once.


  1. You must complete CASPer™ in fall 2017. CASPer™ is a web-based assessment of interpersonal skills and decision-making to be completed at a computer. CASPer™ assesses the non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program, and complements our other applicant screening tools. Successful completion of CASPer™ is required to maintain applicant eligibility. CASPer™ will be offered on a limited number of days in fall 2017.There will be a fee charged by Altus Assessments, the company who administers the CASPer™ test. This fee is paid directly to Altus Assessments and is not included in the OMSAS/McMaster application fee.View the CASPer™ test structure and schedule.

Indigenous Applicants

If you wish to be considered as an Indigenous applicant (First Nations, Inuit or Métis), you must provide the following when you apply:

  1. A letter that declares Indigenous ancestry and provides specific information about First Nations, treaty, community, or organizational affiliation. The letter should request consideration under the alternative process, expand on your academic and personal background, and describe your reasons and motivation for wishing to become a physician.
  2. A letter of recommendation from your First Nations, Band Council, Tribal Council, Treaty, community or organizational affiliation.
  3. Proof of Indigenous ancestry. Acceptable proofs of ancestry include the following:
    • Status or Treaty card;
    • Métis Membership card;
    • Nunavut Trust Service card; or
    • Inuit Roll Number.

McMaster University will only recognize Métis Membership cards from the provincial counterparts of the Métis National Council. McMaster University reserves the right to contact the card issuer to verify its authenticity. Find more information about proof of Indigenous ancestry.

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 the following:

  • at least 3 years of undergraduate university education by May 2018 (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 October 2, 2017;
  • 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™.

Geographical Consideration

The geographical status is determined from the Sketch. You may be asked to provide evidence of geographical status.

In selecting applicants for an interview, the bona fide place of residence will be used in the following order of priority:

  1. Province of Ontario
  2. Outside Ontario

90% of interview positions will be given to those whose place of residence is in the province of Ontario, and 10% will be given to those whose place of residence is outside of Ontario.

To qualify for residency in the province of Ontario, you must meet these requirements:

  1. be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident by October 2, 2017; and
  2. have resided in Ontario for at least 3 years, since the age of 14, by the date of possible entry to the program.

Any other applicant qualifies for residency outside of Ontario.

Transcript/Registrar Statements Requirements

Transcripts from Ontario universities ordered through OMSAS via the Transcript Request Form (TRF) will be accepted if OMSAS receives the TRF by October 2, 2017.

  • If you attend/attended an Ontario university, you must use the TRF.
  • If you attend/attended an Ontario college, you may use the TRF.

All other required transcripts and registrar statements must be submitted directly to OMSAS by the postsecondary institutions attended.

If you do not use the TRF, transcripts should be ordered before September 15, 2017, to allow adequate processing time and for OMSAS to receive them by the deadline. Be prepared to send OMSAS a copy of all dated postage receipts and correspondence related to your transcript requests by the application deadline, if required.

In the event of a missing or late transcript, you will be required to provide evidence to McMaster University that you requested transcripts in a timely fashion.

Foreign Transcripts/Registrar Statements

You must have your transcript sent to World Education Services (WES):

  • if you have foreign transcripts  from outside Canada or the United States; and
  • if you require your foreign grades to be included because you have not met the minimum course number criteria utilizing your Canadian or US data.

Your WES report and a copy of your verified transcript must be sent directly from WES to OMSAS by October 2, 2017.

Note: It is not possible for OMSAS to notify you of any outstanding transcripts before October 2, 2017. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that OMSAS receives all transcripts and registrar statements by October 2, 2017. Your application will be disqualified if you fail to meet this requirement.

Other Transcript Requirements to Avoid Disqualification

  1. McMaster requires that you provide transcripts for all postsecondary courses/programs attended. This includes community colleges, CEGEPs, junior colleges, pre‑university programs, etc.
  2. OMSAS must receive transcripts and grade(s) for courses taken on a “Letter of Permission” at another institution, or for which transfer credit/advanced standing was granted, by October 2, 2017. This applies to courses and terms/semesters of study taken abroad as part of a regular program.
  3. Evaluations of work terms done as part of a co‑operative program are not required.
  4. Only transcripts sent directly to OMSAS by the postsecondary institution(s) will be accepted. Transcripts sent by you will not be accepted.

Note: OMSAS will provide you with a Verification Report that includes information about receiving transcripts.

Your application will be disqualified if you fail to meet all transcript requirements and deadlines.

Credentialing Foreign Grades

Credentialing assessment means converting foreign academic credentials into their Canadian educational equivalents.
Whether you are a Canadian or non‑Canadian applicant, you must have your foreign transcript assessed by WES:

  • if you do not meet minimum course number criteria by utilizing your Canadian or US data; and
  • if you require your international education data to be included.

If you have a foreign university education and meet the minimum course number requirement with Canadian or US undergraduate university degree‑level work, the foreign grades will not be used in calculating the GPA.

In this case, a WES assessment is not required; however, the transcript must be sent directly from the foreign university to OMSAS by the deadline.

English-Language Proficiency

To be granted admission, you must be proficient in spoken and written English.

You are expected to write clearly and correctly in English. All application materials must be submitted in English, otherwise the application will not proceed further in the admissions process.

If English is not your first language, you must satisfy at least 1 of the following conditions by October 2, 2017:

  1. provide evidence that you achieved a score of at least 86 on the internet‑based TOEFL (iBT) with a minimum score of 20 in each of the 4 components, or the equivalent on other recognized tests (McMaster University’s TOEFL code is #0936); or
  2. have attended an educational institution for at least 3 years, where instruction was in English; or
  3. have resided in an English‑speaking country for at least 4 years.


Several hundred applicants will be invited to Hamilton for an interview.

Because the interviews involve many other people, you must attend on the date and time specified. You are responsible for your travel expenses. You will receive a description, in advance, of how the interviews are conducted.


The information from the process described above and the confidential assessments from referees is reviewed and used in the final selection process.

Applicants are selected for admission based on a composite score that includes, but is not necessarily limited to, GPA, MCAT Verbal Reasoning, the score from CASPer™, and the score on the interview. Successful applicants will be notified by email on the second Tuesday in May.


A registration package will accompany the letter of offer on the second Tuesday in May.

Police Information Check

Throughout your medical school program, you will serve vulnerable populations. In an effort to protect these vulnerable people against potential risk of harm, the Ontario Faculties of Medicine and many clinical agencies require that you provide confirmation of the absence of a criminal conviction or outstanding criminal charges.

The police information check, including a Vulnerable Sector Screening, is required by July 31, 2018, and by July 31 in each subsequent year you are registered in the MD Program.

Offer of admission is contingent upon provision of these checks, at your expense. The Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine will review any files presented with a “Not Clear” check to determine what action, if any, will be taken.

For more information about obtaining a police information check with Vulnerable Sector Screening, please contact your local police agency.

If you receive an offer of admission to the MD program, you must provide your police check by July 31, 2018.


You will receive details about health regulations when you are offered admission to the program.

Advanced Standing/Transfer

You are required to begin with Medical Foundation 1. Therefore, there is no provision for advanced standing or transfer into the program.

Basic Life Support Training for Health Care Providers

If you are offered admission, you must provide evidence of a current Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Providers (HCP). Courses are readily available in most communities, from both the Red Cross and the St. John’s Ambulance associations.

You will be sent specific information before registration.

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Contact Information

MD Admissions
Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine
McMaster University, MDCL 3104
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton ON  L8S 4K1
Telephone: 905‑525‑9140, ext. 22235

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