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Admission Requirements

Academic Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements to apply for admission:

  • A 4-year undergraduate degree*, or equivalent, from a recognized institution in any discipline. Preference is not given to any particular discipline over another.
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident (landed immigrant) status
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on the 4.0 scale
    *Mature applicants (25 years of age or older by application deadline) may apply with a 3-year degree.

If your 4-year degree is completed through a transfer of credits from a college, you must have completed a minimum of 10 full course credits, 20 half course credits, or a combination of at the university degree level at the time you apply.

Mature Applicants

If you are 25 years or older by the application deadline, you are eligible for admission consideration based on complete a 3-year undergraduate university degree in any discipline.

Mature applicants whose 3- or 4-year degree is completed through a transfer of credits from a college, must have completed a minimum of 10 full course credits, 20 half course credits, or a combination of at the university degree level at the time you apply.

Prerequisite Requirements

NOSM does not require the completion of specific preparatory course work. While there are no course prerequisites, NOSM values applicants who present evidence of a broad undergraduate education.

It is expected that applicants with majors in science complete at least 2 full course equivalents in arts, social sciences and/or humanities, and that applicants pursuing majors in arts, social sciences and/or humanities complete at least 2 full course equivalents in science.

Designation of a course as “Arts, Social Science, Humanities, or Science” is determined by the institution you are attending or attended. If you are unsure as to a course designation, please check with the Registrar’s office of that institution where the course is/was offered.

Applying During Final Year of Studies

You may apply in the final year of your 4-year degree program (3-year degree for mature applicants); however, you are required to complete the program and provide proof of receiving your degree by June 30 of the potential enrolment year.

Full-Time/Part-Time Studies

NOSM accepts applications from students who have pursued their undergraduate studies on a full-time basis, part-time basis, or with a combination of full-time and part-time studies.

GPA Calculation

The minimum required GPA is 3.0 on the 4.0 scale. Grades will be converted to a 4.0 scale according to the OMSAS Undergraduate Grading System Conversion Table. The GPA is calculated on all converted undergraduate course grades completed at a recognized institution as of the application deadline.

For those applicants whose 4 year degree is completed through a transfer of credits from a college, they are required to have completed a minimum of ten full course credits, twenty half course credits or, a combination of at the university degree level at the time you apply.

Grades for supplementary, spring, summer, and part‑time study and distance education courses will be included in the GPA calculation.

Courses reflected on the transcript as “Pass”, with no grade indicated, will not be considered in the GPA calculation.

If you repeated a course and both course grades appear on your transcript, both the past grade and the repeated grade will be included in the GPA calculation.

Applicants with a Graduate Degree

If you have a graduate degree (Masters/PhD), you will not be considered for admission as part of a separate applicant pool.

Applicants who possess a graduate degree (Masters/PhD) will receive an additional 0.2 if you meet the minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale after the initial GPA calculation.

Your graduate degree must be conferred and NOSM must receive your final transcript indicating graduation by January 4 of the potential enrolment year to be considered for the 0.2 addition.

You will not receive the additional 0.2 for more than one graduate degree.

Special Circumstances

No allowances are made for how many years ago the work was done or circumstances that may have caused you to have lower marks. If you feel that a mark on your transcript is low because of circumstances beyond your control, you must address this with the Registrar of the university you attended. If the mark is removed from your transcript, we will not use it. Our academic assessment is based upon the information on your transcript.


Official transcripts are required for each college, CEGEP, university, junior college or graduate school you attended. All post-secondary school transcripts are required. All transcripts must be sent directly to OMSAS electronically, using the electronic Transcript Request Form, or by mail. Failure to report all courses, programs or grades on the Academic Record will result in the application being disqualified.

Note: Transcripts do not always report the in progress or Winter courses you are registered in. In this situation, you must arrange for the Registrar of the institution you attend to send a statement of registration and a list of courses to OMSAS by the application deadline.

If your graduate degree is in progress at the time you apply, you must submit transcripts, indicating proof that your graduate degree has been granted, directly to OMSAS by January 4 of the potential enrolment year to be awarded the 0.2 addition to your GPA.

For courses taken on a “Letter of Permission” at another institution, or for which transfer credit/advanced standing was granted, you must ensure that OMSAS receives a transcript from the original institution with the courses taken and the actual grade(s) achieved by the application deadline.

Credentialing of Non-Canadian Transcripts

Applicants with foreign (non-Canadian and non-US) transcripts including graduate work must go through World Education Services (WES) for a credentialing assessment. Credentialing assessment means converting foreign academic credentials into their Ontario educational equivalents. Foreign transcripts must have a Canadian WES evaluation; the evaluation must include a program equivalency conversion, an overall grade point average conversion for each year of study, as well as a course-by-course conversion.

If your World Education Services (WES) assessment includes a copy of your official transcript, you are not required to request a transcript from your registrar.

This requirement will be waived for those applicants completing foreign coursework of two semesters or less. Grades obtained during the two semesters or less will not be included in the GPA calculation.

WES evaluations must be sent directly to OMSAS by WES, and must be received by the application deadline.

Further information regarding WES and the credentialing process can be obtained by visiting the WES website at

Non-Academic Considerations

Competitive applicants will demonstrate a high level of self-motivation, be self-directed and thrive in a small group, case-based, distributed learning environment.

We seek applicants who have a genuine interest in helping to fulfill the mandate and uphold NOSM’s values. Criteria that will be examined include, but are not limited to the following:

  • lived in a city or town in Northern Ontario and/or rural/remote areas in the rest of Canada;
  • demonstrated interest in living and working in Northern Ontario and/or rural/remote areas in the rest of Canada
  • demonstrated interest in working with under serviced populations (no matter where they are);
  • ability to identify community needs and willingness to play a part in fulfilling these needs;
  • demonstrated interest in cross-cultural experiences; and
  • employment, volunteer, and extracurricular experiences

Autobiographical Sketch

The Autobiographical Sketch is a detailed and comprehensive list of your activities since age 16, within any of the following categories:

  • E: Employment
  • V: Volunteer Activities
  • X: Extracurricular Activities
  • A: Awards and Accomplishments
  • R: Research
  • O: Other

List all activities that will give the admissions committee insight into who you are. Include structured and non-structured experiences that demonstrate an ability to determine needs in your community and a willingness to play a part in filling those needs.

For instance, volunteer work is often perceived as only those activities that are coordinated by an organization. However, there are many forms of volunteer work. For example, if you were raised in a farming community and helped to run a a neighbour’s farm, (e.g., when the neighbour was sick), this would be considered volunteer activity. Ensure you have a contact for each of the activities listed.

You will need to provide specific details for the Employment, Volunteer Activities, Extracurricular Activities, Awards and Accomplishments, and Research categories.

Applicants must decide for themselves which information to include in the autobiographical sketch, the individual school submissions, and the verifiers list.

Considering NOSM’s missions and values and the self-directed, small group, distributed learning environment, select THREE (3) of the entries you listed in your autobiographical sketch and explain how they have specifically prepared you for being a medical student at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

Supplementary Questions

You are required to answer four (4) questions.

You must answer the following four (4) questions for the 2019-2020 application cycle:

  1. Please describe how you have developed resilience and coping mechanisms. How will you utilize these skills to support yourself during your medical training in making informed and rational decisions when faced with difficult circumstances?
  2. Please describe an experience you have had interacting with individuals from backgrounds different from yours. How would this experience translate to working within a health care environment and/or with patients?
  3. What types of feedback do you prefer to enhance your learning in and outside of academic environments? Why?
  4. NOSM’s Social Accountability mandate is to improve the health of the people and the communities of Northern Ontario. Describe how you plan to embody this mandate as a medical student and future physician, and how this has factored into your decision to apply to NOSM.

Verifiers/Contacts for Activities in Autobiographical Sketch/Supplementary Questions

For each activity mentioned in the Autobiographical Sketch, provide the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of contacts who can verify your involvement in that activity (i.e., verifiers).  Activities that do not have a verifier are not included in scoring the Autobiographical Sketch and school submission questions.

NOSM reserves the right to confirm the information provided in these sections by consulting the individuals you listed as verifiers. NOTE: Please ensure that the verifier phone number you provide is current and accurate.

Context Scores

NOSM’s aim is to admit a class whose profile reflects the demographics of the population of Northern Ontario, which includes the commitment to recruiting Indigenous/Francophone and Franco-Ontarian students. One of the ways NOSM achieves this is by assigning a context score to each applicant.

Context is a score based on each of the following geographic or cultural criteria:

  1. Rural background based on years lived in a rural community anywhere in Canada that is defined using the Statistics Canada classification of communities.
  2. Northern background based on years lived in Northern Ontario or another Canadian northern region.
  3. Self-identified Francophone applicants or Indigenous applications who apply through the NOSM Indigenous application stream.

NOSM does not have any residency requirements for applicants; we have an algorithm that we employ to calculate context scores but we do not make this algorithm public.


You are required to ask three (3) different individuals to provide a reference on your behalf. 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 three (3) referees, ensure that all the subject areas are covered.

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

It is recommended that one (1) of the reference forms comes from a member of the community or from a community organization, and at least one (1) academic reference. References written in French will be accepted.

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 OMSAS receives the three (3) required confidential assessment forms of reference your referees submit by December 1, 2019.

For more information on the new Confidential Assessment Forms required for your references please access the following short video produced by the University of Toronto:

2019/2020 Admissions Process Updates: OMSAS References

Proficiency in English

NOSM students must be proficient in written and spoken English. Application materials must be submitted in English with the exception of Reference Letters, which may be submitted by referees in French.

Self-identified Francophone applicants must submit their responses to the questions related to their self-identification written in French.

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant whose facility in written and spoken English is judged to be inadequate.

Applicants are not required to take the TOEFL testing.

Indigenous Admissions Stream

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine designates four (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 whom the School will admit.

Persons of Indigenous ancestry, First Nations, Inuit or Métis may voluntarily identify themselves as such. All self-identified Indigenous applicants are considered under the General Admissions Stream, unless they choose the Indigenous Admissions Stream.

Applicants who wish to be considered in the Indigenous Admission Stream are required to:

1. Write a letter that declares your Indigenous ancestry and give specific information about your First Nation, Treaty community or organizational affiliation.  The letter should include:

  • why you would like to be considered as a candidate in the Indigenous Admissions Stream
  • details about your cultural and personal background
  • examples of how you are culturally connected to your (a) Indigenous community or (b) community

2. Provide a letter of recommendation from your First Nations, Band Council, Tribal Council, and Treaty, community or organizational affiliation. Choose someone who knows you well and can comment on your character and your suitability for medicine.

3. Provide proof of Indigenous ancestry.

This documentation must be submitted to OMSAS by the application deadline.

Information regarding supports and resources available to Indigenous students at NOSM can be found by visiting the Indigenous Engagement webpage.

Francophone Applicants

Although English is the language used for communication, instruction, and assessment at NOSM, numerous opportunities are provided to enhance the experience of Francophone students, including educational resources, self-directed study groups, interest groups, and elective opportunities. In addition, NOSM offers clinical placements within Francophone communities and/or with Francophone preceptors, which provide an excellent opportunity to learn and deliver care in French.

Criteria for Francophone designation in the application process are:

  1. Speak French fluently
  2. Meet at least one (1) of the following criterion, you:
    1. Have a Francophone parent and minimum of eight (8) years of French-language school attendance (French immersion is not applicable), or
    2. Graduated from a French-language high school (French immersion is not applicable), or
    3. Are able to demonstrate the use of French in daily activities and a connection to the Francophone community. Being able to speak French is not sufficient to fulfill this criteria

If you only meet criteria “iii”, you will be required to:

  1. Provide a recommendation letter. The letter of recommendation must be written in French and attest to your connection to the Francophone community. The author of this letter should not be a family member and should possess knowledge of your connection and/or contribution to the Francophone community. The author of the letter must include their professional or personal letterhead information (full name, title, address, telephone number, and email address) and must answer the following:
    • 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 Francophone community. Please include details such as the nature of the activity, the frequency (daily, weekly, etc.) as well as the duration of said activity/activities.
  2. Answer an additional question in the application about your connection to, and involvement in, the Francophone community.

This documentation must be sent directly to OMSAS by the application deadline.

If you choose the “Francophone” designation in the NOSM application and you are invited for an interview, you will be required to demonstrate your proficiency in spoken French at the time of the interview.

By identifying as a Francophone applicant, should you be successful in the admissions process you will be identified as a Francophone student. Therefore, you will be required to include NOSM’s Francophone communities in the lottery ranking for their Comprehensive Community Clerkship (CCC) site selection process.

Information regarding supports and resources available to Francophone students at NOSM can be found by visiting the Francophone Engagement webpage.