Selection of a Program of Pre-Medical Studies
Students planning to apply for admission to the MD Undergraduate Program should select courses that conform to the requirements of a bachelor's degree of their choice. No particular degree program is considered ideal as preparation for the study and practice of medicine. A variety of pre-medical academic backgrounds are considered desirable.
Students who have completed programs and who then enrol in unclassified non-degree programs for the sole purpose of improving their academic qualifications for admission are advised that only a small proportion of such candidates ultimately gain admission.
Prerequisites Requirements and Recommended Courses
Candidates for admission must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents. Persons with refugee status in Canada can also apply, however admission will be contingent on attaining permanent residency in Canada and providing proof of this status two weeks prior to the start of classes. Further information can be found at MD Undergraduate Admissions.
Candidates must have completed a minimum of 90 graded credits of university-level study (e.g., excluding pass/fail credits). These, including the required university-level prerequisite coursework (or their equivalents) must be completed by April 30 of the year for which admission is sought. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Term 2 of the 2019-2020 academic year (or equivalent term) credits will count towards minimum credit requirement in the 2020-2021, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023 application cycles even if assigned pass/fail grades (provided the courses are passed). Grades from Term 2 of the 2019-2020 academic year (or equivalent term) will not be included in the calculation of GPA.
A full year of English (minimum of 6 credits) is the only prerequisite coursework required for entry into the Doctor of Medicine program. However, courses in biology, general/inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry are strongly recommended. Further information on recommended courses can be found at M.D. Undergraduate Admissions.
Medical College Admission Test
All applicants must take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and request that their results be released to UBC. Information and online registration are available on the MCAT website.
Please note: UBC is not a part of the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). You must therefore specify that you would like your test results released to UBC. This can only be done after your results have been sent to you. Please use the MCAT Score Reporting System to send your scores to UBC; refer to the Help Questions within the Score Reporting System for specific instructions. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the “Scores Sent to Institutions” option to confirm that results have been successfully released to UBC. This is not done automatically.
Applicants are required to meet a minimum score in each component of the test. These scores will be determined each year by Admissions Committees. Applicants should check MD Undergraduate Admissions for the current minimum requirements, dates of valid MCAT sittings, and deadline for receipt of test scores.
If you have written the MCAT more than once, the best overall score will be used as long as that exam meets the current MCAT requirements provided on the MD Admissions website. For further information, applicants should review the Admissions Requirements and Evaluation Criteria sections of the Admissions website. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all results are released to the UBC Faculty of Medicine and received by the MD Admissions Office.
Required Academic Standards
Applications for admission will be considered from candidates who are Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents, or who have Canadian refugee status, and who will have completed all prerequisite courses prior to April 30 of the year for which admission is sought, have achieved the minimum required MCAT scores in one of the acceptable exams as listed on the MD Admissions website, and who have attained a minimum overall academic average of 70% based on all university-level courses attempted, excluding grades from Term 2 of the 2019-2020 academic year (or equivalent term), which will not be included in the calculation of GPA due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is an overall academic threshold below which full file review will not be performed.
All supporting documentation (including transcripts, AP/IB transcripts, foreign transcripts, exchange program or study abroad transcripts, etc.) that arrive in the Admissions Office after the deadlines posted on the MD Admissions website will not be accepted and will result in the application being rendered ineligible.
Persons who have been required to withdraw from another medical school for academic reasons are not eligible to apply.
The annual enrolment and class size are limited, with the current entering class size as indicated on the official UBC Faculty of Medicine MD Admissions website. The number of qualified applicants significantly exceeds the number of available positions. Therefore, not every qualified applicant will be offered admission. Admission is based on a selection process which strives to enrol the most highly qualified applicants who will be evaluated on the following criteria:
- An academic evaluations is calculated:
- Overall academic average based on all university-level courses with grades attempted (including summer courses taken prior to the year of application and graduate courses with grades, but excluding Term 2 of the 2019-2020 academic year (or equivalent term) courses and courses taken in the summer of the year of application). The adjusted academic average is calculated by dropping the academic year (September-August). At most 30 credits with the lowest grades will be dropped. If more than 30 credits are presented in the worst academic year, the 30 credits with the lowest grades will be removed, provided 90 graded credits remain. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Term 2 of the 2019-2020 academic year (or equivalent term) courses do not count toward the adjusted grade point average or the calculation of 90 graded credits, nor do courses taken in the summer of the year of application.
- MCAT scores.
- The evaluation of non-academic criteria based on the following:
- A list of extracurricular activities prepared by the applicant.
- A report of non-academic experiences and a rural interest statement.
- Interview, if granted.
- Three references, when requested.
- Northern/rural suitability (if applicable).
- Essay by Canadian Indigenous (Status Indians, Non-Status Indians, Métis, or Inuit) candidates who are applying to the Indigenous Pathway; or essay by candidates self-identifying as Black who are applying to the Black Student MD Admissions Pathway.
Please refer to MD Undergraduate Admissions Evaluation Criteria for additional information.
The interview is a critical component of the admission process. The interview process follows the Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) model. Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted by the admissions office and will also be asked to submit their reference letters. The interview dates are usually scheduled in February.
The selection of candidates for admission to the distributed MD undergraduate program is governed by guidelines established by the MD Admissions Subcommittee and approved by the Senate of UBC. The selection process reflects the values of the UBC Faculty of Medicine and all university partners in the UBC distributed M.D. undergraduate program. The process is designed to choose well-rounded students from a variety of backgrounds who meet the goals of the expanded, distributed program; who can be expected to perform well in the rigorous curriculum and small group learning format; and who can balance and enrich their academic experience with strong non-academic skills and interests.
The UBC Faculty of Medicine's Vice-Dean, Education oversees the selection process to ensure that all applicants are given careful consideration without regard to age, ancestry, colour, family status, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, place of origin, political belief, race, religious belief, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, marital status, economic status, or unrelated criminal convictions. The MD Admissions Subcommittee reviews and discusses all interviewed applicants. At present, application is limited to Canadian citizens, Canadian permanent residents, and persons with refugee status in Canada. Preference is given to residents of British Columbia. Information on residency criteria can be found at BC Residency Requirements. A maximum of 10% of the total seats may be made available to out-of-province applicants in the medical program each year.
The applicant will have the opportunity to indicate their regional medical program site preferences (Northern, Southern, Island, or Vancouver Fraser) after receiving an interview offer. Members of the MD Admissions Subcommittee are not aware of an applicant's medical program site preference during the selection discussions. Following an admissions decision, successful applicants are allocated to sites based on their preferences. The first site choice is given priority, unless the available positions at that site have been filled, in which case he/she would be wait-listed for their preferred site if applicable.
UBC Faculty of Medicine Undergraduate Distributed Program
The UBC Faculty of Medicine offers a distributed program offered at geographically separated campuses. These include the Northern Medical Program located at the University of Northern British Columbia, the Island Medical Program located at the University of Victoria, the Southern Medical Program at UBC Okanagan, and the Vancouver Fraser Medical Program located at UBC Vancouver.
Vancouver Fraser Medical Program students accepted into the VFMP-Fraser Medical Cohort Year 3 Clinical Clerkship Program will have the opportunity to conduct their clinical training in year 3 in the Fraser Health Region. The remaining Vancouver Fraser Medical students may also have the opportunity to spend some weeks of their clinical training in the Fraser Health Region, but not the entire year. Applicants will be able to indicate their interest in committing to the Fraser Cohort at the same time they list their site preferences. Offers of admission will be both site specific and year 3 training location specific for Vancouver Fraser Medical students.
Applicants are required to apply using the Faculty of Medicine's Online Application System (OAS). Applications will be available from early June until the application deadline. Information can be found at M.D. Undergraduate Admissions. All inquiries should be addressed to M.D. Undergraduate Admissions, Faculty of Medicine, Dean's Office. Supporting documentation must be received by the MD Admissions office by the deadlines posted on the MD Admissions Website. Final post-secondary transcripts for students currently enrolled in a program of study must be received by June 30 of the year for which admission is sought.
All applicants are required to pay an application fee. An additional evaluation fee is required if transcripts are from an institution outside of BC. Applications with incomplete documentation or without the correct fee will not be eligible. Fees are non-refundable and are not applicable to tuition. All application fees are under review.
The Faculty of Medicine will interview a sub-set of applicants, based on results of file reviews of academic and non-academic evaluations. On receipt of an invitation, the applicant will be requested to provide their referees with reference forms, which will be available electronically. The completed reference letters must be received by the Admissions office by the date posted on the website. Each qualified applicant will participate in one MMI interview which is typically scheduled in February each year. The interview process follows the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) model. The interviewers consist of a combination of academic, clinical, community representatives and UBC's third- or fourth- year medical students, representing diverse geographic areas of BC. Please refer to MD Undergraduate Admissions for more information.
Notification will be issued to all applicants starting in mid-May. Successful applicants are offered a position at a specific regional medical program site in the Faculty of Medicine. An offer is binding to a specific area, as outlined in the offer letter.
Indigenous Pathway Applicants
The Faculty of Medicine welcomes applications from qualified Indigenous Canadian applicants (Status Indian, Non-Status Indian, Métis, and Inuit). The Indigenous admission process of the Faculty has a target of 5% of the annual complement of seats in the first year MD Undergraduate Program. Indigenous applicants can apply either to the general admission pathway or to the Indigenous admission pathway. Applicants who self-identify as Indigenous will be considered under the Indigenous admission process as well as under the general admission process.
If you wish to apply as an Indigenous applicant, you will be required to submit proof of ancestry and write an essay which will be reviewed by the Indigenous Admissions Subcommittee. Based on your completed application, you may be offered an interview with the Indigenous Interviewing Panel. Please contact the Indigenous Student Initiatives Manager in the Faculty of Medicine at email for further information.
Black Student MD Admissions Pathway
The Faculty of Medicine welcomes applications from qualified applicants who self-identify as Black. Black applicants can apply either to the general admission pathway or through the Black Student MD Admissions Pathway. Applicants who self-identify as Black will be considered under the Black student admission process as well as under the general admission process.
If you wish to apply to the Black Student MD Admissions Pathway, you will be required to self-identify as Black and write an essay which will be reviewed by the Black Student MD Admissions Subcommittee. Applicants supported through this pathway will have Black evaluators participate in the assessment of their application. Please email the MD Admissions Office for further information.
Upon receipt of an official letter of offer, each successful applicant must provide a deposit payable to the University of British Columbia by the date, and in the amount, specified in the letter. The deposit is non-refundable but will be applied to tuition fees if the student attends the Doctor of Medicine program in the academic session specified. Please see the Offers section of the Post-Acceptance Conditions for more information.
Upon acceptance, each applicant must submit evidence of immunizations (Tetanus/Diphtheria-Toxoid, Polio, MMR) and a negative TB skin test (if the skin test is positive, a chest x-ray is required) to the Student Health Service.
Undergraduate medical students without immunity to Hepatitis B are at risk for infection. Students who are Hepatitis B antigen positive may pose a risk of passing infection to others. All students are registrants of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia and must abide by the Professional Standards and Guidelines for Blood-borne Pathogens in Registrants. Applicants are strongly encouraged to know their serological status for Hepatitis B prior to applying to the undergraduate program of the Faculty of Medicine. Students are advised that undergraduate medical students who have tested positive for Hepatitis B antigen will be monitored by the College, may face certain restrictions in the course of their medical training and may be constrained in their ability to practice.
All undergraduate medical students admitted to the Faculty of Medicine at UBC will have their vaccination records reviewed to determine their risk for communicable diseases. Students are required to follow the screening expectations and recommended immunizations of Health Care Organization workers as set out in Health Care Organization policy, including complying with all applicable Provincial Health Orders pertaining to mandatory vaccines. In compliance with College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia Professional Standard, students must be tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV upon entry into medical school and every three years during medical school. They must report these findings, if positive, to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia for licensure. Undergraduate medical students who have not been vaccinated against Hepatitis B will be required to complete a vaccination series, unless they are able to demonstrate their Hepatitis B status. Sero-conversion will be tested in all medical students, either upon entry if they have received prior vaccination, or upon completion of a vaccination series.
The Student Health Service will test undergraduate medical students who continue to fail to sero-convert for the presence of Hepatitis B antigen. Students who demonstrate Hepatitis B infectivity or are positive for Hepatitis C or HIV will be monitored by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia and may be required to complete a modified course of training and may pursue their studies only as long as their continued involvement does not pose a health or safety hazard to themselves or others and as long as they are able to meet the core requirements for a medical degree at UBC.
The Faculty of Medicine will make every reasonable effort to ensure that a modified course of training will meet professional licensing requirements. Licensing requirements and decisions are within the sole jurisdiction of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. The Faculty of Medicine cannot guarantee that a modified course of training which will lead to the granting of an M.D. degree will be accepted or recognized by this or any other licensing body. All applicants who accept an offer are required to consent to a Criminal Record Check.
Counselling resources are available to any undergraduate medical student identified as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV positive.
Applicants with Disabilities
Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply if they have the skills and abilities to successfully meet the core requirements of a medical degree. Applicants to the Faculty with disabilities will be considered in accordance with UBC's policy on Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities. This policy does not eliminate the need for evaluation or the need to meet essential learning outcomes.
Applicants with disabilities may seek special consideration in the MD Admissions process. In exceptional circumstances, applicants with disabilities may be eligible for special consideration in the calculation of their grades. However, even in these circumstances applicants must meet the competitive average. To request accommodation, applicants with disabilities must submit the following documents to the Centre for Accessibility by the date listed on the MD Admissions website:
- Request for MD Admissions: Special Consideration Form
- Documentation of disability (guidelines on the Centre for Accessibility website)
- A letter outlining the rationale for requesting special consideration.
Applicants who receive an interview and seek accommodation during the interview process must submit their request to the Centre for Accessibility by the date listed on the MD Admissions website.
Please note that academic or interview accommodations are specific to individuals and the amount of information required may vary. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide the Centre for Accessibility with the necessary documentation. Applicants must also specify what accommodation they are seeking. The Centre for Accessibility will adjudicate requests and provide recommendations to the MD Admissions Office.
Admitted Students seeking academic accommodation due to disability must:
- Provide the necessary documentation to the Centre for Accessibility (the University does not provide or assume the cost of diagnostic services), and
- Bring the request for academic accommodation or for changes in accommodation needs to the attention of the Centre for Accessibility and the Office of Student Affairs by July 1, of the year of entry in order to allow for arrangement of accommodations.
Students with disabilities are encouraged to pursue their studies as long as their continued involvement does not pose a health or safety hazard to themselves or others, and as long as they are able to meet the core requirements for a medical degree. The Faculty of Medicine will make every reasonable effort to ensure that any modified course of training will meet professional licensing requirements. However, licensing requirements and decisions are within the sole jurisdiction of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia. Similarly, access to the full-range of post-graduate training may be limited for students with certain disabilities.
For more information please contact Centre for Accessibility, 604.822.5844.
Unsuccessful applicants may reapply in subsequent years without prejudice, although candidates who are repeatedly unsuccessful are encouraged to explore other career options.
Admission of Students by Transfer
Transfer students may be accepted to the third year of the MD Undergraduate Program only if vacancies exist in that class. Transfers are generally not possible in any other year.
In order to be eligible, students requesting transfer must be in good standing in a Canadian or US medical school accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools and/or the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.
Students who meet the above criteria and wish to be considered for transfer should contact the Assistant Dean, Admissions.
The application deadline for transfer students is January 31. Applicants must submit an outline of their University curriculum, application fees (see above), a letter indicating their reasons for wishing to transfer, and a letter from the dean (or designate) of the medical school which they currently attend. Interviews may be required.
Requests for partial year transfers will not be considered.
Applications from Current Graduate Students
Admission of graduate students into the Faculty of Medicine will be made through the existing selection procedures as outlined above. Such students must complete all portions of the program in which they are registered, including the successful defense and submission of an approved thesis in final form to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and provide official proof of completion by July 30 prior to admission to the Faculty of Medicine. Graduate students in non-thesis based programs must complete all required courses, projects, exams, practica, etc., and have all grades submitted by this deadline.
Deferrals will NOT be granted to allow an applicant to complete their graduate program.
Graduate students who are invited for an interview will be required to submit an electronic report confirming that the applicant is on track to complete the above requirements by the July 30 deadline. If the applicant is unable to confirm that these requirements will be met or if a response is not received by the stated deadline the interview offer will be rescinded.
For further information on the admission of graduate students, please visit MD Undergraduate Admissions.
Requests for deferred entry will be considered only from students who have completed a first degree, and then only in exceptional circumstances.
Note: Deferral requests must be made only after an offer of admission has been made.
Students in each year of the medical program will be notified of registration procedures.
No student will be allowed to register after the first day of Year 1 instruction in the year of enrolment, nor will they be admitted to any class after its first session, except by permission of the Dean.