OMSAS – Referees

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You are required to ask 3 different individuals to provide a reference on your behalf. Note: OMSAS cannot help you select specific referees.

Referee Selection Criteria

You should select referees who have extensive personal knowledge of you and are in a position to make statements concerning your character, personal qualities, academic capabilities and special circumstances, if applicable. Referees may not be in a position to evaluate all of the characteristics requested; however, in choosing your 3 referees, ensure that the subject areas are covered.

At least 1 referee should be a non-academic/character referee.

You may use only 3 Confidential Reference forms. If OMSAS receives more than 3 reference forms or additional letters of reference, the additional forms will not be forwarded to the medical schools.

Sending Reference Forms to OMSAS

Once you add a referee, click “Send Email” to notify them about completing their online reference in a secure environment. If you provide an email address for your referee, they are required to complete the reference online.

Ensure that your referee is prepared to use the online form before entering an email address. They must be familiar with PDF documents and/or scanners.

If the referee does not have an email address, download the form and forward it to them. They must mail it, with their accompanying letter, to OMSAS when complete.

Note: Only 1 version of the reference (online or paper) can be submitted.

You will not be able to make changes to your referees once they are emailed or the forms are downloaded.

Reference Deadline

Requests for references should be sent to your referees by September 15 to allow enough time for them to submit their reference by the deadline.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all references are received by the deadline.

Supporting documentation received after the deadline will be forwarded to the medical schools; however, OMSAS cannot guarantee that the medical schools will consider these documents.


The submission of a University Premedical Advisory Report (provided by some schools in the United States) will be accepted but will not replace the requirement for 3 OMSAS references. These reports will be sent to the medical schools as supporting documentation.

Questions or concerns about references should be sent to referee@ouac.on.ca.