Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to be eligible to apply for admission:
You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident (landed immigrant) of Canada prior to the application deadline to apply.
The minimum admission requirement is a 4-year undergraduate university degree, or equivalent, from a recognized institution in any discipline. We do not give preference to any one (1) particular discipline over another.
You may apply in the final year of your 4-year degree program; however, you are required to complete the program and provide proof of receiving your degree by June 30 of the potential enrolment year.
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.
If you are 25 years or older by the application deadline, you are eligible for admission consideration based on completing a 3-year undergraduate university degree in any discipline.
If you are a mature applicant and have completed your 3- or 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.
Applicants from Quebec
You are eligible to apply if you have completed the DEC (diplome d’etudes collegiales) from Quebec (CEGEP) and a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university in Quebec (3 years of university after the DEC). Completion of the DEC and the three years leading to a bachelor’s degree from a Quebec university are considered the equivalent of a four year degree for the purposes of applying to NOSM.
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.
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.
Overall Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculation
The minimum required overall 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.
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 higher GPA would provide you with a more reasonable chance of admission.
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.
For applicants 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 ten (10) full-course, twenty (20) half-course credits, or a combination of course credits are required.
Applicants are required to verify their average in the “Document Tracking” section of the OMSAS application. We may also review this average.
We will not include individual grades received for course work taken as part of a graduate degree in the GPA calculation.
If you repeat 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.
If you have foreign transcripts (from outside of Canada or the United States of America), including graduate work, refer to the International Transcripts – Credentialing International Grades section below.
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. You will be assessed based on the minimum requirement of a 4-year recognized undergraduate university degree (3-year degree for mature applicants), with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on the 4.0 scale.
To ensure compliance with the 3.0 cut-off, it is only after the initial GPA calculation that an additional 0.2 will be added to the undergraduate GPA.
To be eligible for the addition of 0.2 to your GPA, you must meet one (1) of the two (2) requirements by January 4 of the potential enrolment year:
- Your graduate degree is conferred, and your final official transcript has been received by OMSAS.
- NOSM receives an official letter from your Registrar’s office stating that you have met all the requirements of your graduate degree and are eligible to graduate in the spring of the potential enrolment year. NOSM must receive the official letter by January 4 via:(a) The Office of the Registrar emails, directly from the registrar’s official email to firstname.lastname@example.org, an official PDF letter stating that you have met all the requirements of your graduate degree and are eligible to graduate in the spring of the potential enrolment year. This is NOSM’s preferred method of receipt to avoid mailing delays.(b) The Office of the Registrar mails an official letter stating that you have met all the requirements of your graduate degree and are eligible to graduate in the spring of the potential enrolment year directly to NOSM at:
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Office of Admissions and Learner Recruitment
955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1
You will not receive the additional 0.2 for more than one (1) graduate degree.
Additional Admission requirements and information on required application documents:
If you attend/attended an Ontario university or college, you must use the OMSAS online transcript request.
NOSM will accept transcripts from Ontario universities and colleges ordered through OMSAS via an online transcript request if OMSAS receives the request by the application deadline.
The post-secondary institutions you attended outside of Ontario must submit all of the required transcripts and registrar statements directly to OMSAS using the electronic Transcript Request Form, or by mail.
If you do not use an online transcript request, you should order transcripts before September 15 of the application year to allow adequate processing time, and for OMSAS to receive them by the deadline. Be prepared to send OMSAS a copy of all dated, posted receipts and correspondence related to your transcript request by the application deadline if required.
In the event of a missing or late transcript, you will be required to provide evidence to NOSM that you requested your transcripts in a timely fashion.
We require that you provide official transcripts for all post-secondary courses/programs attended, including graduate degree work. This includes community colleges, CEGEPs, junior colleges and pre-university programs, etc. or graduate school you attended.
OMSAS must receive transcripts and grades for courses taken on a “Letter of Permission” at another institution, or that transfer credit/advanced standing was granted for, by the application deadline. This applies to courses and terms/semesters of study taken abroad as a part of a regular program.
We do not require evaluations of work terms done as a part of a co-operative program.
We will accept only transcripts sent directly to OMSAS by the post-secondary institution(s). We will not accept transcripts sent by the applicant.
If you fail to report any courses, programs, or grades on your academic record, your application will be disqualified.
Note: OMSAS will ask you to verify your application data in the “Document Tracking” section of the OMSAS application.
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.
International Transcripts – Credentialing International Grades
Applicants with international (non-Canadian and non-US) transcripts, including graduate work, must have their credentials assessed for Canadian equivalency by World Education Services (WES).
For applicants who are completing/have completed foreign coursework of two (2) semesters or less, a WES evaluation is not required. We will not include grades that you obtained during the two (2) semesters or less in the GPA calculation. In this case, however, the international university must send the transcript directly to OMSAS by the deadline.
Credentialing assessment means converting international academic credentials into their Canadian educational equivalents. International 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 you have an international university education, and meet the minimum academic degree requirement, and course number requirement, with Canadian or US undergraduate/graduate university degree level work, we will not use your international grades in calculating the GPA. You are still required to have your credentials assessed for Canadian equivalency by WES.
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.
WES must send your WES report and a copy of your verified transcript directly to OMSAS by the application deadline.
Further information regarding WES and the credentialing process can be obtained by visiting the WES website.
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 two (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 two (2) full course equivalents* in science.
*Two(2) full course equivalents refers to two (2) full year course credits, four (4) semester courses, or a combination of one (1) full course credit and two (2) semester courses.
Designation of a course as “Arts, Social Sciences, 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.
Non-Academic considerations include Context Scores, the Autobiographical Sketch (ABS), Supplementary Questions, and Confidential Assessment Forms (CAF)/References.
When reviewing the ABS, Supplementary Questions, and CAFs, we assess attributes, activities, and achievements in relation to NOSM’s mandate and values and the MD Program competencies.
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:
- Rural background based on years lived in a rural community anywhere in Canada that is defined using the Statistics Canada classification of communities.
- Northern background based on years lived in Northern Ontario or another Canadian northern region.
- Self-identified Francophone applicants
- Indigenous applicants 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. We do not make this algorithm public.
Autobiographical Sketch (ABS)
The Autobiographical Sketch (ABS) 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.
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:
- 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);
- 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;
- demonstrated interest in cross-cultural experiences; and
- employment, volunteer, and extracurricular experiences (these are all equally valued)
Applicants must provide a verifier for each of the activities listed.
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.
In addition to the ABS, you will be required to answer the following four (4) supplementary questions:
- 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?
- 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?
- What types of feedback do you prefer to enhance your learning in and outside of academic environments? Why?
- 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.
The Office of Admissions may wish to verify additional information about activities that are described in your ABS or Supplementary Questions.
Applicants must provide the names, address, phone number, and email for each verifier.
Let your verifiers know that they may be contacted by the Office of Admissions.
Activities that do not have a verifier are not included in scoring the ABS.
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 information (i.e. phone number and email) you provide is current and accurate.
Confidential Assessment Forms (CAF)/References
You are required to ask three (3) different individuals to provide a reference on your behalf by completing a Confidential Assessment Form (CAF). 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) CAF comes from a member of the community or from a community organization, and that at least one (1) be an academic reference.
We will accept CAFs written in French.
Requests for references should be sent to your referees by September 15 of the application year to allow enough time for them to submit their CAF by the application deadline. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that OMSAS receives the three (3) required confidential assessment forms from your referees by December 1 of the application year. If your CAFs are not received by this deadline, your application will be disqualified.
Persons of Indigenous ancestry, First Nations, Inuit or Métis may voluntarily self-identify in the OMSAS application. All self-identified Indigenous applicants are considered under the general Admissions Stream, unless they choose to apply to the Indigenous Admissions Stream.
Francophone individuals may voluntarily self-identify in the OMSAS application. All self-identified Francophone applicants are considered under the general Admissions Stream, unless they choose to apply to the Francophone Admissions Stream.
NOTE: Only applicants who apply through the Indigenous or Francophone Admissions Stream and provide the required documentation may receive a slightly higher context score.
English Language Proficiency
NOSM students must be proficient in written and spoken English. Application materials must be submitted in English with the exception of Confidential Assessment Forms (CAF), which may be submitted by referees in French.
NOTE: Applicants to the Francophone Admissions Stream must submit their response to the question 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.
You may be considered if you have been adversely impacted by exceptional circumstances that created a disadvantage. These circumstances may be socio-cultural, medical, and/or financial.
The documentation you may submit in support of your request includes:
- a written statement (no longer than 500 words) requesting consideration for exceptional circumstances. Please include how you have adapted to and/or overcome these circumstances and your potential for success in medical school.
- previous academic or medical accommodations you have received, when they were instituted, and the impact they had.
- if no previous accommodations, medical documentation supporting the need for accommodation.
If you choose to submit documentation supporting your exceptional circumstances, the consideration of these requests will be guided by the following factors:
- the credibility of the circumstances, including supporting official or objective documentation provided
- the time frame of the circumstances (defined start and end dates)
- the connection between the described circumstances and your academic performance (specific courses which were affected)
Whether and to what extent adjustments will be made is at the discretion of the Office of Admissions. All decisions are final.
To have your exceptional circumstances request considered, you must upload the supporting documentation for your request to OMSAS via Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) by the application deadline.
In order for exceptional circumstances to be considered, an applicant must meet the minimum academic eligibility requirement of a 4-year undergraduate university degree, or equivalent, from a recognized institution in any discipline. If you are 25 years or older by the application deadline, you are eligible for admission consideration based on completing a 3-year undergraduate university degree in any discipline. If an application does not meet this minimum requirement the application will not be assessed. There is no flexibility in regard to this requirement.
NOSM Admissions Streams
NOSM’s aim is to have class profiles that reflect the demographics of the population of Northern Ontario. It is NOSM’s intention to maximize the recruitment of students who have lived in Northern Ontario and/or students who have a strong interest in and aptitude for practising medicine in northern urban, rural and remote communities. We are also committed to recruiting Indigenous, Francophone and Franco-Ontarian students.
Canadian Armed Forces – Military Medical Training Program (MMTP) Stream
The Northern Ontario School of Medicine’s MD Program participates in an agreement with the Department of National Defence (DND) in creating four (4) additional training positions for Regular Force Members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), subsidized under the Military Medical Training Program (MMTP). Canadian Forces Staff, who are supported and funded by the DND would be eligible to apply for these positions and offers of admission will be made to those that qualify.
If you are a currently serving Canadian Armed Forces Regular Force Member and are interested in the MMTP, you can obtain more information by consulting the Officer Specialist Training on the Director Military Careers Policy and Grievances’ intranet website.
If you apply through the MMTP stream, your application score will be based on NOSM’s application eligibility requirements (GPA, Autobiographical Sketch and Supplemental Questions). Context score will not be taken into consideration for MMTP Stream applicants. You must complete the OMSAS application; indicate in the OMSAS application that you are applying as a member of the CAF, 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, please contact your local Personnel Selection Office.
For additional information regarding Medical Officer recruitment, roles, responsibilities, and perspective military service in Health Services, we strongly encourage you to also contact:
Staff Officer, Attraction and Retention, Canadian Forces Health Services Group Headquarters
Visit the MMTP/MOTP Testimonials page to read about how being a medical student at NOSM prepares you for your future role in the CAF.
Indigenous Admissions Stream
Applicants who apply through the Indigenous Admission Stream and provide the required documentation may receive a slightly higher context score. We designate four (4) seats in each year for Indigenous students who have significant living experience in Northern Ontario. This is 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:
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 an applicant in the Indigenous Admissions Stream
- details about your cultural and personal background
- examples of how you are culturally connected to your Indigenous 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.
Applicants must submit this documentation to OMSAS via Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) by the application deadline.
Information regarding supports and resources available to Indigenous students at NOSM can be found by visiting the Indigenous Medical Education webpage.
Francophone Admissions Stream
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.
A Francophone Admission Stream applicant is a person who:
- has a close connection to the Francophone community,
- has a desire to serve the French-speaking population in their mother-tongue and
- who has either graduated from a French-language High School/French-language post-secondary program or who uses French in their daily activities.
Applicants who apply through the Francophone Admission Stream and provide the required documentation may receive a slightly higher context score. All applicants who apply to the Francophone Admission Stream must:
1. Submit an essay in French (maximum 500 words) addressing the following question:
Via its social accountability mandate, NOSM is committed to training competent physicians able to meet the needs of the diverse populations of northern Ontario including Francophones. Your application as a Francophone student at NOSM is a declaration of your commitment to serve the French-speaking populations.
Please explain what it would mean to you to practice as a French-speaking physician. Additionally, outline how you are currently demonstrating your commitment to the francophone community and how you foresee meeting NOSM’s mandate once you are a physician.
2. 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.
Applicants must submit both the Francophone Admission Stream Essay and the recommendation letter to OMSAS via Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) by the application deadline.
If you are invited for an interview at NOSM, you will be required to demonstrate your proficiency in spoken French at the time of the interview by participating in a ten (10) minute interview in French.
If you are offered admission, you will be required to include NOSM’s Francophone communities in the lottery ranking for the Comprehensive Community Clerkship (CCC) site selection process that takes place in Year 3 of the NOSM undergraduate medical education program.
Information regarding supports and resources available to Francophone students at NOSM can be found by visiting the Francophone Engagement webpage.
Rural Generalist Stream (RGS)
Applicants with a strong desire to pursue a career as a rural generalist family physician may apply through the Rural Generalist Stream (RGS).
Students admitted to the RGS will learn all the required curriculum elements as other students at NOSM and write and pass all the same exams. In addition, there will be enriched experiences with a focus on rural generalism through:
- structured mentorship with experienced rural generalist health care providers;
- clinical placement priority in rural communities for early clinical experiences and longitudinal clerkship;
- increased emphasis on patient and community advocacy to identify and address unique health challenges in rural contexts;
- focused development of leadership skills necessary to understand and impact evolving rural health systems;
- enhanced opportunities for immersive interprofessional, multicultural and Indigenous/Francophone learning experiences that are embedded in rural and remote generalist settings.
At the end of the RGS undergraduate experience, RGS students will graduate with the same medical degree as other NOSM graduates. In addition, they will receive recognition for completing the RGS to present to postgraduate training programs.
RGS graduates will see themselves and be perceived by others, such as residency training program faculty, as being committed, emerging rural generalist family doctors through their guided and supported undergraduate immersion in the realities of rural generalist practice.
As they apply for the postgraduate phase of training, RGS graduates will be well positioned to compete for and participate in rural family medicine residency training positions.
Up to five (5) seats are designated for the RGS.
Those who wish to be considered for the RGS are required to submit an essay (maximum 300 words) addressing the following question:
- Can you describe what it is about you that will make you a competent and capable rural generalist, and what motivates you to pursue this path?
Applicants must submit the Rural Generalist Admission Stream Essay to OMSAS via Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) by the application deadline.
RGS candidates who are eligible for admission to NOSM but who do not obtain an RGS seat will receive an offer of admission through the general Admissions stream.
For more information regarding the Rural Generalist Pathway at NOSM please visit the Rural Generalist Pathway webpage.