OMSAS – University of Ottawa
Note: This application guide contains information for fall 2022 admission.
University program information changes regularly. View the application for the most up-to-date details.
- Black Student Application Program (BSAP)
- Non-academic Requirement: Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPer)
- Social Accountability Initiative
- First Nations, Inuit or Métis Candidates
- Francophone Candidates From Provinces Other Than Ontario and Quebec – The Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS)
- Canadian Armed Forces Candidates
- Combined Program for Degrees in Medicine and Philosophy (MD/PhD)
- Transfers Within Faculty of Medicine Programs: MD Program, MD/PhD Program
- Admission Policies
- Language of Instruction
- Selection Process
- Offers of Admission
- Contact Information
Note: The University of Ottawa reviews the information in this document annually and reserves the right to change these requirements from time to time, without notice, when circumstances dictate.
For updated information, consult the Faculty of Medicine website.
Black Student Application Program (BSAP)
The BSAP is an optional application stream for Black applicants who self-identify as Black African, Black Caribbean or Black North American, and multi-racial students who have and identify with their Black ancestry.
This application program aims to increase and support Black medical student representation at the University of Ottawa. Members of the Black community, including Faculty, physicians, community members and medical students, take part in admission file review and interview processes.
This program reflects the Faculty of Medicine’s strong commitment to diversity.
To apply to this program, you must meet the same minimum academic (GPA, prerequisites) and non-academic (CASPer®, Confidential Assessment Form [CAFs], Autobiographical Sketch [ABS]) requirements as all other applicants. The BSAP 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 October 1, 2021, application deadline:
- Self-identification via the OMSAS application: Black African, Black Caribbean, Black North American or multi-racial students who have and identify with their Black ancestry.
- The BSAP Letter of Intent highlighting why you have chosen to apply through this application stream. This letter must be 250 words or less and must be submitted via the OMSAS application.
Non-academic Requirement: Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPer)
If you are applying to the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, you are required to complete an online assessment (CASPer). You will be required to take CASPer in the fall of the application year.
Your application will not be considered if CASPer is not completed.
For more details, read the CASPer requirement under “Selection Process”.
Social Accountability Initiative
In the spirit of social accountability and responsibility, and to devise appropriate strategic objectives and commit the necessary resources to address the current socioeconomic disparity in medical school admission, we have created 2 low socioeconomic status (LSES) reserved seats. This initiative is a first step in an attempt to decrease barriers, offer fairness and provide all candidates with equal access opportunity.
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.
Francophone Candidates From Provinces Other Than Ontario and Quebec – The Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS)
Through the mandate of the Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS), Francophone minority students in Canada who originate from provinces other than Ontario and Quebec have access to postsecondary studies leading to practice in the health care field. We admit these students over and above the quota of the Ministry set by the Government of Ontario for our faculty.
Admission to the medical program of studies is possible if you meet all the eligibility criteria.
If you apply through the CNFS program, you will be subject to the same application process, application and institutional fees, methods of payment and selection procedures as other applicants.
Canadian Armed Forces Candidates
If you are a currently serving Canadian Armed Forces Regular Force member and interested in the Military Medical Training Program (MMTP), you can obtain more information by consulting the Officer Specialist Training page on the Director Military Careers Policy and Grievances’ intranet website.
If you apply through the MMTP, you should meet all application eligibility requirements, including the completion of the necessary prerequisite courses. The admissions committee may grant flexibility for prerequisites when a combination of training and occupational experience warrants it. You must complete the OMSAS application and follow the same application procedures as all other applicants. The application fees and institutional levy will apply and you must follow the same method of payment as all other applicants.
For additional information regarding the MMTP application process, contact your local Personnel Selection Office.
For additional information regarding Medical Officer recruitment, roles, responsibilities and prospective military service in Health Services, it is strongly encouraged that you also contact:
Name: Ms. Tina Lipcsey
Title: Attraction and Retention Coordinator, Canadian Forces Health Services Group Headquarters
Name: Captain Didier Edoukoi
Title: Attraction Officer, Canadian Forces Health Services Group Headquarters
Combined Program for Degrees in Medicine and Philosophy (MD/PhD)
If you apply for consideration to the MD/PhD Program, you are required to submit the following supplemental documents:
- Letter of interest that focuses on the reasons for pursuing the combined MD/PhD Program and that states the research area of interest.
- 2 letters of reference that attest to graduate research potential (additional to the 3 CAFs requested by the MD Program).
- Curriculum Vitae (CV).
You must use 1 of the following 2 options to submit your additional documents:
- Upload them using Secure Application Messaging (SAM).
- Send them by email to the Admissions Office.
Note: The letter of interest and the CV can be sent using 1 of these 2 options; however, the 2 letters of reference can only be sent by the referee via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transfers Within Faculty of Medicine Programs: MD Program, MD/PhD Program
Once you accept an offer of admission to either of these programs, a transfer to the other program will not be permitted.
The Faculty of Medicine’s Admissions Committee has the following responsibilities:
- examining and evaluating the applications and
- selecting, on a competitive basis, the eligible candidates who are best suited for training in medicine in accordance with the criteria approved by Faculty Council. It is highly desirable that the candidate who has had a broad exposure to the biological and physical sciences also has a broad exposure to the arts, humanities and social sciences.
The selection criteria are based on:
- eligibility requirements,
- all of the academic parameters,
- CASPer performance,
- ABS review and
- the interview.
These criteria are further defined in the Selection Process.
As long as the conditions for eligibility are met, we do not give preference 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, unless it is specified in the criteria for designated seats.
Applicants who submit fraudulent applications will be disqualified and may be subject to prosecution.
Other factors being equal, we will give preference to candidates who have an active knowledge of both official languages (English and French) of the University of Ottawa.
The OMSAS instructions refer to the importance of OMSAS receiving the application materials and required documentation by the published deadlines.
You must ensure that OMSAS receives your transcripts by the stated deadline so that the file can be reviewed in sufficient time to allow any errors or omissions to be addressed.
If your transcript issues are not resolved before our selection process begins, it will not be possible to insert the file into our process and we may assign a disqualification status to your application.
We may, at our 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 to any medical school.
Language of Instruction
We offer the medical program in both official languages in the Faculty of Medicine, where both the Francophone and Anglophone teaching activities correlate. These teaching activities enhance the development of linguistic skills in both French and English.
In view of the increasing use of information technology in our instructional program, you are expected to be computer literate and are required to use a laptop in class from day 1. You are required to purchase your own laptop and ensure that it meets the requirements mandated by our medical eCurriculum.
We will provide further information in the offer of admission package.
Choice of Language of Instruction
To apply for admission to the MD Program of study, you may submit your application to the English or French stream regardless of your mother tongue or first language learned. You must indicate your choice of language stream in the application.
We conduct interviews in the language of instruction you chose in your application. We will scrutinize the proficiency skills in your chosen language of instruction, as the spirit of this policy is to allow you to complete your medical studies in the language of your choice.
The Admissions Committee reserves the right to assess your written language proficiency skills, if required.
French stream applicants, refer to the language requirements in the French version of the application guide.
A bilingual applicant is one who speaks both of Canada’s official languages: English and French.
French stream applicants, refer to the bilingualism requirements in the French version of the application guide.
We accept applications from students in good standing who will have successfully completed at least 3 years of full‑time studies (5 courses per semester each year) in any undergraduate program leading to a bachelor’s degree, at a recognized university, including specific prerequisite courses, completed with a minimum grade of “B”.
- 6 units in Humanities/Social Sciences (see examples)
- 6 units in Biology (we also accept Anatomy and Physiology courses)
- 3 units in Organic Chemistry
- 3 units in Chemistry
- 3 units in Biochemistry
- 3 units in Statistics
Humanities/Social Sciences Examples: You may fulfill the Humanities/Social Sciences requirements with any courses that are not science based. These include, but are not limited to: Sociology, Psychology, Math, Religion, Administration, English Literature, English Writing, etc.
- You must demonstrate an exposure to laboratory work. You must have a laboratory component in 2 of the science courses from the categories listed or have completed an exclusive lab course that is the equivalent of 6 units (credits).
Any academic year comprised of 4 courses per semester will be recognized as full-time and counted in the cumulative grade point average (cGPA) calculation provided that the missing courses (credits) to fulfill the full-time (5 courses per semester) requirements are completed within another academic year or as summer course(s).
Individual courses taken during a summer session are accepted and the marks obtained are counted in the calculation of the cGPA, if completed during the last 3 years of full-time undergraduate studies leading to a bachelor’s degree. Any year with less than 4 courses per semester 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 (except for co-op programs).
Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and transfer units are not recognized as fulfillment of full-time studies requirement.
You may complete missing prerequisite courses during the academic year preceding admission to the medical program. However, you must complete all courses by the end of the winter term (January-April) before entering medical school.
Furthermore, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to assess, in your program, the level of difficulty of the courses, the pertinence of the courses for future medical studies at the University of Ottawa and the performance you achieve in these courses.
We generally consider professional degrees earned at Canadian institutions as undergraduate degrees. We will assess applications individually during the evaluation process once you submit your application to OMSAS. We will not recognize full‑time studies completed by distance education, since the spirit of the full‑time studies requirement is to be able to assess and compare how you succeed in a full‑time course load and to predict how you will perform and cope with the rigorous demands of the medical program.
If you are a student from a Quebec CEGEP, you are not eligible to apply to the first medical year of the University of Ottawa. If you have obtained the diplôme d’études collégiales from Quebec (CEGEP), you must have also completed 2 years of full‑time studies (minimum of 5 courses per semester each year) in an undergraduate program leading to a bachelor’s degree at a recognized university, including the necessary prerequisite courses, completed with a minimum grade of “B”.
The same policy applies if you completed studies at a community college. We will recognize college (or CEGEP) studies as equivalent to 1 year of postsecondary university studies, provided that you obtained your diploma.
For more information, see College Studies – Community College/CEGEP.
If you are registered in a co‑operative education program (co‑op), you are eligible to apply if you meet the prerequisites. To satisfy the 3 years of full‑time studies requirement, you are also required to complete 2 academic terms within each trimester year (fall, winter and summer).
Any academic year where you completed 2 work terms will not count as part of the 3 prerequisite years of full‑time studies and, therefore, the grades obtained for the 1 semester of academic work completed within this year will not be used in the cGPA calculation.
For more information, see Co-operative Education Programs.
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
The MCAT is not an admission requirement for the medical program of the University of Ottawa.
We will not accept applications from applicants who are not Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents (landed immigrants), except for eligible children of University of Ottawa alumni who have completed studies at the Faculty of Medicine.
You must forward proof of permanent resident (landed immigrant) status to OMSAS at the time you submit your application.
Credentialing of Foreign Grades
You must have your foreign transcript assessed by World Education Services (WES) if:
- you have a permanent residence in Canada and
- you do not meet our eligibility requirements relative to completing Canadian or US studies.
The WES evaluation greatly facilitates the consideration of your application; however, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to apply its own conversion.
The evaluation must include a program equivalency conversion, an overall grade point average conversion and a course‑by‑course conversion. The application will be considered only if the WES evaluation is provided.
Undergraduate Degree or Certificate of 1‑Year Duration
Since we require at least 3 years of undergraduate full‑time studies in any program leading to a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university within our eligibility requirements, we will convert only the most recent 3 years of studies pertinent to your bachelor program of studies and not convert any undergraduate degree and/or certificate of 1‑year duration.
We also do not convert studies leading to a diploma, certificate or to MD degrees.
You will not be eligible if you previously registered in, and withdrew or were excluded from, a medical program leading to an MD degree. Exceptions may be considered for exceptional or medical circumstances.
Excellence of Marks
Each year, a minimum cumulative grade point average (cGPA) is set for the current application pool. The required minimum cGPA is 3.50/4.00 and upwards and may vary depending on the stream in which candidates apply to. It may also be influenced by the quality and quantity of applicants for that current year.
Based on recent admission statistics and the high volume of applications in the English stream, a cGPA of 3.85 or higher is considered competitive for admission.
Admission to the MD program is competitive; possessing the minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance.
When calculating the school GPA to assess excellence in marks for admission to the MD program, we will use the cGPA based on the applicant’s most recent 3 years of full-time (5 courses per semester per year) undergraduate studies completed toward a bachelor’s degree in any recognized university. The cGPA will include all full-time courses taken during the regular academic year (fall and winter semesters) and individual courses taken during the summer semester during that period. Marks obtained in an academic year where a candidate has completed a semester (or full year) abroad as part of an exchange program will not be included in the cGPA calculation.
Any additional university courses or studies outside that period will be considered during the final comprehensive file review, despite not being included in the cGPA calculation, to ensure academic excellence is maintained.
For the academic year to count towards the cGPA calculation, a maximum of 1 pass/fail graded course per semester may have been completed in accordance with the 5 courses per semester each year requirement. Therefore, an academic year in which more than 1 pass/fail graded course was taken in 1 semester is not considered in the cGPA calculation.
Online courses taken within the most recent 3 years of full-time study, which are used to calculate the cGPA, will be included in the assessment. Any online courses taken outside the most recent 3 years of full-time requirement will not be included in the cGPA.
Prerequisite courses with the minimum grade of “B” completed outside of the most recent 3 years will count toward fulfilling the prerequisite credits; however, the grades will not count toward the cGPA.
You are required to complete an online assessment (CASPer) to assist with our selection process. You must successfully complete CASPer to maintain admission eligibility.
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. By implementing CASPer, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process.
To take CASPer, you must have 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 anywhere that you can satisfy these requirements. We will not make exceptions if you are unable to take CASPer online due to an unreliable internet connection occurring as a result of technical or political factors.
CASPer is composed of 10 to 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. A different rater grades each response, which offers a robust and reliable view of the personal and professional characteristics that are important to our program.
You do not need to study for CASPer, although you may want to familiarize yourself with the test structure and ensure you have a quiet environment to take the test.
Within the application, you must complete the online detailed ABS, which provides information that allows an assessor to judge the scope of your activities. It is in your interest to be complete, yet brief and to the point, and be specific in the time of completion (academic or non-academic) and number of hours. Answers in point form are easier to peruse. You are not writing a personal letter. We want to know what you have done in your life so far, why you did it and what you have gained from it as a person and as a future physician.
You must provide a verifier for each activity listed on your detailed ABS. The verifier cannot be a friend or family member.
You must comply with the instructions provided or your application will be disqualified.
You will not be admitted without an interview. We usually hold interviews from February to March. We base invitations for interviews on the file assessment process of academic and non-academic criteria.
Offers of Admission
Following the interview, we prepare preliminary rank order lists based on the academic and non-academic assessment (a poor interview may not be ranked). In the event of ties in the final scores, we will give priority to the candidates with the highest cGPA.
The Admissions Committee may take other factors into consideration when ranking each candidate on the excellence list for the offers.
All offers of admission are conditional and are subject to the following conditions:
- You must provide an official final transcript from the registrar of your university by the end of June 2022.
- You must successfully complete your current academic year (this applies to all level of study, undergraduate, graduate or professional degrees, whether it is full-time or part-time). The cGPA will be recalculated for candidates who were completing undergraduate studies during the application year to ensure their cGPA does not fall below the minimum cut-off established. Although the cGPA only includes grades from the undergraduate level of study, upper-level grades will be considered to ensure academic excellence is maintained.
- You must provide the completed immunization form, the Police Record Check form and the Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Provider certification proof by August 2, 2022.
- You must complete all admission requirements by June 2022 (this includes all course work at the graduate or doctoral level of study).
- You must provide proof of citizenship (copy only).
- You must demonstrate the ability to meet the standards for entry into the medical degree program, as stated in the Essential Skills and Abilities Required for Entry to a Medical Degree Program.
Because of the important weight attached to the interview performance within our selection process, we will not consider further applications to the MD Program from candidates in previous years who have had 3 interviews. This policy applies to all applications regardless of the category applied for.
The institutional fee for the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine is $125 and is deductible from tuition fees when you are admitted.
A deposit fee of $1,000 must accompany an offer of admission acceptance. The deposit is deducted from your tuition fees when you are admitted.
Once admitted in the first year, you may submit a request for deferred registration. We may grant this deferral under limited and special circumstances. The Admissions Office, in consultation with the Vice-Dean, may grant or refuse the request for deferral. If you wish to submit a request for deferral, a detailed letter must be sent to us no later than June 30, 2022.
If another medical school admits you and allows you to defer your registration, you will not be considered for admission to the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ottawa, as long as you maintain your deferred registration.
Clinical Placement Requirements
Graduate Applicants (Master and PhD)
If you are a graduate candidate who is registered in (or has recently completed) a master’s or doctoral degree, you are allowed to apply to the MD Program, provided you meet the eligibility criteria, including the necessary prerequisites (sciences/humanities), completed with a minimum grade of “B”.
We will assess these applications like all other applications, based on the cGPA, CASPer, CAFs, ABS and interview performance. Although the cGPA is calculated based on the last 3 years of full-time undergraduate studies, ongoing studies (in a professional or graduate program) will be considered as part of the final comprehensive file review to ensure academic excellence is maintained.
Faculty of Medicine
University of Ottawa
451 Smyth Road, Room 2044
Ottawa ON K1H 8M5