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Non-Academic Considerations

Non-Academic considerations include Context Scores, the Autobiographical Sketch (ABS), and Confidential Assessment Forms (CAF).

Context Score

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 and Francophone students as well as those with a strong desire to live and work in Northern Ontario, or in rural and remote areas in the rest of Canada. 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. Northern background based on years lived in Northern Ontario or another Canadian northern region.
2. Rural background based on years lived in a rural community anywhere in Canada, which is defined using the Statistics Canada classification of communities.
3. Indigenous applicants who apply through the Indigenous Admissions Application Stream
4. Francophone applicants who apply through the Francophone Admissions Application Stream
5. Employment experience serving the populations of Northern Ontario and/or rural and remote communities of Canada.

Employment Experience for Context Score Consideration

Applicants who do not have significant living experience in Northern Ontario, and/or in rural and remote areas in the rest of Canada but have previous or current employment experience serving northern, rural, and/or remote communities can demonstrate their commitment to NOSM University’s mandate by submitting a Letter of Employment and the Employment Verification Form.

NOTE: If the employment took place in a community where the applicant has lived for one (1) year or more, a Letter of Employment and an Employment Verification Form are not required. Applicants will report this community in the Context Score – Demographics section of the application. The Letter of Employment and Employment Verification Form only applies to those applicants who do not have living experience in Northern Ontario and/or in rural and remote areas in the rest of Canada but who have previously or are currently serving northern, rural and/or remote communities.

For employment experience to be considered towards the context score, applicants must submit:

1. A letter of employment.

The letter of employment must:

  • be on company letterhead
  • be from the applicant’s current/previous supervisor, manager, and/or employer
  • confirm the applicant’s current and/or previous position(s)
  • confirm the length of time of the employment
  • confirm the duties undertaken during the employment
  • be submitted in PDF format


2. Employment Verification Form

The Employment Verification Form must be completed by the applicant’s current/previous supervisor, manager, and/or employer.

Applicants are required to submit a separate Letter of Employment and Employment Verification Form for each employer to have multiple employment experiences considered towards their context score.

Letter(s) of employment experience along with the Employment Verification Form(s) must submitted to OMSAS via Secure Applicant Messaging (SAM) as one (1) PDF file by the application deadline.

NOTE: Applicants who are submitting their employment experience to be considered for Context Score must also complete the demographic section of the application.

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.

NOSM University does not have any “out of province” spots or quotas.

Autobiographical Sketch (ABS)

IMPORTANT NOTE:  The UME Program application process for the application cycle of 2024 (entry in September 2025) has changed; we will no longer be requiring supplementary questions for the ABS portion of our application. Visit the Selection Process webpage for updated information on the scoring of applications.

The Autobiographical Sketch (ABS) is a detailed and comprehensive list of an applicant’s 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 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 neighbour’s farm, (e.g., when the neighbour was sick), this would be considered volunteer activity. Applicants must ensure they have a contact for each of the activities listed.

Applicants 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.


The Office of Admissions may wish to verify additional information about activities that are described in your ABS.

Applicants must provide the name, address, phone number, and email for each verifier.

Applicants must let their verifiers know that they may be contacted by the Office of Admissions.

Activities that do not have a verifier are not considered.

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)

Applicants are required to ask three (3) different individuals to provide a reference on their behalf by completing a Confidential Assessment Form (CAF). Applicants should select referees who have extensive personal knowledge of them and are in a position to make statements concerning their:

  • 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 the application deadline. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that OMSAS receives their CAFs by the application deadline, so we advise applicants to confirm submission with all of their referees prior to the deadline. If OMSAS does not receive all three (3) of an applicant’s CAFs by the application deadline, their application will not be considered.