Northern Ontario School of Medicine Requirements and Acceptance Rate

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) is one of 17 medical schools in Canada. It is also the only standalone medical school in Canada.

In 2021, the NOSM acceptance rate was 3.49%. Of the 1,975 undergraduate students that applied, 69 were admitted into the program.

The Nother Ontario School of Medicine admission requirements, including applicant statistics, are categorized below in the priority of what an applicant must submit to be considered:


  1. Pre-requisite courses
  2. Minimum number of years of undergraduate study required
  3. GPA


  1. Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  2. CASPer Test
  3. Context Scores
  4. Autobiographical Sketch
  5. Supplementary Appication
  6. Letters of Reference
  7. Interview

NOSM Requirements: Prerequisite Courses

All students applying to the Northern Ontario School of Medicine must have completed at least 4 years of full-time undergraduate study leading to a bachelor’s degree. 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.

NOSM does not have any mandatory prerequisite courses for applicants. However, they recommend that science majors take 12 units of social sciences, arts, or humanities and arts, social sciences, or humanities majors take 12 units equivalents of science.

Northern Ontario School of Medicine Requirements: GPA Calculation and Requirements

Minimum GPA to ApplyAverage GPA of accepted applicantsLowest GPA Admitted
3.03.82Not Released

When calculating your GPA a simple average of all courses will be taken into consideration. This includes all spring/summer, part-time, online, and distance education courses.

Courses with a “Pass” or “Credit” grade may be completed. However, independent grades from a minimum of ten full-course or twenty half-course credits must have been completed.

NOSM Requirements: MCAT and CASPer 

MCAT and CASPer Overview:

CASPer RequiredMCAT RequiredMCAT Scores Considered

MCAT Admission Score Statistics:

C/P ScoreCARS ScoreB/B Score P/S Score
Minimum Score AdmittedNANANANA
Average Score AcceptedNANANANA

CASPer Test: The CASPer is not required by this University and will not be used by the admissions committee when deciding offers of admission.

Medical College Admission Test: The MCAT is not required by this University and will not be used by the admissions committee when deciding offers of admission.

NOSM Context Scores:

The Nothern Ontario School of Medicine is highly biased towards choosing applicants that are likely to service the communities of Northern Ontario. Applicants will receive a context score based on meeting the following criteria for geographical or cultural background:

  1. Years living in a rural community
  2. Years living in Northern Ontario
  3. Francophone status
  4. Indigenous status

It is highly unlikely for applicants to be admitted to NOSM if they do not meet one or more of the above criteria. In 2021, 84% of accepted students were from Northern Ontario while only 16% were from the rest of Canada, with a majority of them living in rural and remote areas.

NOSM Autobiographical Sketch and Personal Statements:

NOSM will take into account an applicant’s OMSAS autobiographical sketches (ABS). The purpose of the ABS is to get a brief understanding of who the applicant is as a person and what they have learned from their experiences that would make them a better physician. NOSM will take into account all activities, completed since the age of 16, in the following categories:

  • Employment
  • Volunteering
  • Extracuricular Activites
  • Awards/Accomplishments
  • Research
  • Other

You will be required to provide verifiers for all activities. They may be contacted to elaborate on or confirm that certain events you described took place.

NOSM Supplementary Application:

In addition to the ABS the Northern Ontario School of Medicine will require applicants to answer the following supplementary application questions:

  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.

Nothern Ontario School of Medicine Reference Letters:

Three letters of recommendation are required by applicants. Applicants are not allowed to use family members, friends/colleagues of family members, neighbours, or someone who may be perceived as your peer as a referee. Additionally, the references must meet the following criteria:

  • One academic/employment related reference
  • One non-academic reference
  • One reference of your choosing

Your references will be asked the following questions:

  1. Would this applicant make a good physician?
  2. Rate the applicant on their communication skills
  3. Rate the applicant on their problem-solving skills
  4. Rate the applicant on their professionalism (e.g., commitment to ethical practice, standards of behaviour and accountability to others)
  5. Rate the applicant on their empathy (e.g., demonstrating consideration of others’ perspectives)
  6. Identify and comment on 1 area of improvement for the applicant
  7. Share any other information you feel may be relevant to a medical school’s admissions committee.

Nothern Ontario School of Medicine Interview:

MandatoryBy InvitationNumber of Applicants InvitedEntering Class Size

Shortlisted candidates will be required to partake in an interview with the NOSM admissions team. No candidate will be admitted without an interview. If you are looking for interview practice check out our posts on both MMI Practice Questions and Standard Interview Practice Questions.

NOSM Offers of Admission Decision:

NOSM offers for admission will be based upon a mix of academic achievement, supplemental application, and results of the interview process. The Northern Ontario School of Medicine does not disclose any information about how each of the admission requirements is combined in the decision-making process.

Requirements for other Medical Schools in Canada:

If you would like an in-depth analysis of the medical school requirements for other universities in Canada click here. Or if you want information on a specific university click on any of the following links:

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