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Admission Requirements

NOSM University reserves the right to review and change the admission requirements at any time without notice.

All application deadlines are strictly observed. This applies to receiving the application and all relevant documentation. Applicants are advised to follow the application instructions precisely.

If you fail to meet the deadlines or to follow the application instructions, your application will be disqualified.

NOSM University does not hold applications from one year to the next. Unsuccessful applicants will be required to re-apply through OMSAS with a new application for the following admission cycle.


Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to be eligible to apply for admission:

Citizenship

You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident (landed immigrant) of Canada prior to the application deadline to apply.

Proof of citizenship will be required as a condition of offer of admission.

Academic Eligibility

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.


Mature Applicants

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 University.


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 University 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.


Advanced Standing or Transfer

Due to the integrated nature of the curriculum, we cannot accept transfer students.

If you are accepted to NOSM University, you must complete the full four (4) years of the medical program.

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.

The following are included in the GPA calculation:

  • Grades for supplementary, spring, summer, and part-time study and distance education courses
  • 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

We will not consider the following in the GPA calculation:

  • Courses reflected on the transcript as “Pass” with no grade indicated
    • 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.
  • Individual grades received for course work taken as part of a graduate degree

Applicants are required to verify their average in the “Document Tracking” section of the OMSAS application. We may also review this average.

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 following two (2) requirements:

1. Your graduate degree is conferred and OMSAS has received your final transcript by December 1 of the application year.

2. Your Registrar’s office sends an official letter to OMSAS by December 1 of the application year 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.

You will not receive the additional 0.2 for more than one (1) graduate degree.

 

Additional Admission requirements and information on required application documents:

Transcripts

If you attend/attended an Ontario university or college, you must use the OMSAS online transcript request.

NOSM University 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 University that you requested your transcripts in a timely fashion.

Transcript Requirements:

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
  • Pre-university programs, etc.
  • Graduate school

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 December 1 of the application 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 application 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, however, 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 evaluation requests must be made before September 15 of the application year to allow adequate processing time and for OMSAS to receive them by the application deadline.

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.

Course Prerequisites

NOSM University does not require the completion of specific preparatory course work. While there are no course prerequisites, NOSM University 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

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 University’s mission and values and the MD Program competencies.


Context Scores

NOSM University’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 we achieve 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. Francophone applicants who apply through the NOSM University Francophone Admission Stream
  4. Indigenous applicants who apply through the NOSM University Indigenous Admission Stream

NOSM University 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.

Note: We do not have any “out of province” spots or quotas. We consider all applicants by the same criteria: 1) the GPA, 2) the application questionnaire & autobiographical sketch and 3) context.


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 University’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.

ABS Questions

Using your autobiographical sketch please answer the following questions:

1. Considering NOSM University’s self-directed, small group, distributed learning environment, select ONE (1) entry from your autobiographical sketch and describe how it has specifically prepared you for being a medical student at NOSM University.

2. Select ONE (1) entry from your autobiographical sketch that has had a significant impact on your personal growth and describe how this experience has influenced your development and prepared you to be a medical student at NOSM University.

3. Considering NOSM University’s social accountability mandate, select ONE (1) entry from your autobiographical sketch and describe how this experience has prepared you to learn and work in Northern Ontario and/or rural/remote settings.


Supplementary Questions

In addition to the ABS, you will be required to answer the following four (4) supplementary questions:

1. 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. 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. Provide a specific example of when your work or performance was criticized. Explain how your responded to the criticism and how this experience contributed to your personal development/growth.

4. NOSM University’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 University.


Verifiers

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 name, 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 University reserves the right to confirm the information provided in these sections by consulting the individuals you list 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.

OMSAS must receive all three (3) CAFs by December 1 of the application year. If OMSAS does not receive all three (3) of your CAFs by this date, your application will not be considered. It is your responsibility to ensure that OMSAS receives your CAFs by the deadline, so we advise you to confirm submission with all of your referees prior to the deadline.

Voluntary Self-Identification

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 Admission 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 Admission Stream.

NOTE: Only applicants who apply through the Indigenous or Francophone Admission Streams and provide the required documentation may receive a slightly higher context score.

English Language Proficiency

NOSM University UME students must be proficient in written and spoken English. All application materials must be submitted in English except for the following:

  • Confidential Assessment Forms (CAFs), which may be submitted by referees in French;
  • Essay and letter of recommendation for the Francophone Admission Stream, which must be submitted in French.

NOSM University 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.

Disability-based Consideration Requests

Eligibility

If you have an unaccommodated disability, you may request additional consideration in the Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) Program admission process if you:

  • were not aware that you had a disability or
  • were not appropriately accommodated for a documented disability during your undergraduate and/or graduate studies

This request applies only to the initial assessment of your OMSAS application.

If you are invited to interview at NOSM University and require accommodation for the interview you must request this directly with the Office of Admissions & Learner Recruitment at the time of the invitation to interview.


Supporting Documentation

You must submit the following supporting documentation to OMSAS via Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) by the application deadline:

  • Documentation from the accessibility services office at your university (or other educational institution): either a report about the accommodation you were given, or documentation stating you were not provided accommodation
  • Letter from a regulated health practitioner who is licensed to diagnose
  • Personal Statement

NOTE: NOSM University’s Office of Admissions may request additional information or documentation upon review of your request.


Documentation From the Accessibility Services Office

You must submit a report from the accessibility office at your university (or other educational institution) that:

  • confirms your registration for academic accommodations
  • supports the need for accommodation and
  • lists the accommodation given and its duration.

No diagnosis is needed.

If you were not registered with the accessibility services office, you must provide documentation from that office stating you were not provided accommodation.


Letter From a Regulated Health Practitioner

You must submit a letter from a regulated health practitioner who is licensed to diagnose. The letter must be dated and:

  • include the health practitioner’s professional credentials (must be clearly stated),
  • support the need to accommodation,
  • specify the accommodation required,
  • provide the date of diagnosis and
  • outline the underlying functional impairment and restrictions.

The following types of regulated health practitioners may provide a letter to support your request:

  • Physician (Family physician or specialist)
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Psychologist
  • Dentist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Speech and language pathologist
  • Audiologist
  • Optometrist
  • Social worker
  • Other regulated health practitioner who is licensed to diagnose

Personal Statement

You must submit a Personal Statement (two (2) pages maximum) that includes:

  • the considerations you are requesting,
  • your reason(s) for applying for disability-based consideration in the admission process, including the impact your disability had on your learning,
  • how you have adapted to and/or overcome your challenges and
  • your plan to ensure success in the study and practice of medicine.

If your disability was recognized:

  • If claiming inadequate accommodation was given, you must explain what accommodation was in place and why it is deemed inadequate.
  • If claiming no accommodation was given, you must explain why no accommodation was in place.

If your disability was not recognized, you must explain why.

Regardless of whether your disability was recognized, you must support your claim with the appropriate documentation from your accessibility services office.

Exceptional Circumstances

NOSM University recognizes that some applicants may have faced barriers along their path to applying to medicine. As part of our commitment to equity and inclusion, we wish to mitigate barriers where possible while ensuring fairness for all applicants.

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.

If you have already applied for disability-based consideration, you do not need to re-apply for exceptional circumstances consideration.

If you are applying with an exceptional circumstance, you must submit a written statement (no longer than 500 words) that outlines:

  • The exceptional circumstances that has created the disadvantage.
  • How you have adapted to and/or overcome these circumstances and your potential for success in medical school.
  • Any previous academic accommodations you have received.
  • The time frame of the circumstances (defined start and end dates)
  • The connection between the described circumstances and your academic performance (specific courses that were affected).

The consideration of these requests will be guided by the following factors:

  • Supporting official or objective documentation to support the credibility of the circumstances provided.
  • Previous academic accommodations you have received, when they were instituted and the impact they had.
  • Documents supporting the need for accommodation.
  • Any supporting documentation such as medical notes, accident reports, etc. to support your case.

The entire submission (written statement and supporting documents) should be submitted a one (1) PDF file and uploaded to OMSAS via Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) by the application deadline.

Where an applicant’s circumstances are determined to be credible, circumscribed in time and having had an impact on academic performance, the Office of Admissions will determine what, if any, adjustments can be made to the overall academic evaluation in the consideration of the circumstances.

Whether and to what extent adjustments will be made is at the discretion of the Office of Admissions. All decisions are final.

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 University Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) Program Admission Streams

NOSM University’s aim is to have class profiles that reflect the demographics of the population of Northern Ontario. It is our 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.

Select the appropriate button(s) below to read the requirements for applying to NOSM University’s Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) Program Admission Streams.

Canadian Armed Forces – Military Medical Training Program (MMTP) Stream

Indigenous Admission Stream

Francophone Admission Stream