So you are thinking of applying to the Queen’s health sciences program! This direct-entry program is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of around 4%, so let’s make sure you have all the information and tools you need to do well.
Let’s walk through all the requirements, tips, and tricks for a successful Queen’s Health Science application including our tips on creating a great supplementary application.
What are Queen’s University Health Sciences Requirements?
To be a qualified applicant for the Queen’s Health Sciences program you must meet all of the following three requirements:
These are the only three requirements that applicants must meet to be considered for acceptance to the program and yet every year there are hundreds of applicants whose applications are rejected without consideration because not all three prerequisites are met, so make sure you are clear about what is needed.
What are the Queen’s Health Sciences prerequisite courses?
To be a qualified applicant you must have all of the following six grade 12 courses completed by the end of grade 12:
- English (ENG 4U_) or a French equivalent
- Biology (SBI 4U_)
- Chemistry (SCH 4U_)
- One of the grade 12 math courses:
- Advanced Functions (MHF 4U_)
- Calculus & Vectors (MCV 4U_)
- Mathematics of Data Management (MDM 4U_)
- Any two additional U/M grade 12 courses of your choice
What grade do I need to Apply to Health Sciences at Queens?
The minimum requirement to apply to the health sciences program is at least 75% in grade 12 English, Biology, Chemistry, and Math as well as a cumulative minimum average of 80% in all six courses mentioned previously.
However, acceptance into the Health Science program is highly competitive and applicants should aim to have an average of around 95% to be a competitive applicant. That being said, there have been acceptances given to students who have a cumulative grade 12 average in the high 80s to low 90s and an outstanding supplementary application (more on that later).
Unliked the Health Science Program at McMaster, Queen’s Univesity has stated that your average is more heavily weighted in acceptance decisions than your supplementary application. The Queen’s University Health Science average acceptance grade is around 95% so do not discount that extra percent in your grade 12 marks when applying to the program. If you’re looking for tips to improve your high school grades check out our post on the top study habits to get maximum grades in minimum time.
It is important to note that Queen’s may only use your first-semester final grades when making acceptance decisions if you are a qualified applicant. This is due to the rolling acceptance rates that Queen’s University makes throughout the year. Approximately one round of acceptances will be sent out each month up until May 21st. At most, final decisions will be made based on the mid-year marks of your second semester of grade 12. This means your first semester marks are much more important than your second semester marks.
What is the Queens Health Sciences Supplementary Application?
In addition to meeting all grade and course requirements, all Health Science applicants are required to complete a supplementary essay when applying.
The Queen’s health science supplementary application is designed to determine if you would make a good fit for the BHSc program. The questions can vary each application cycle but are mostly designed to determine who you are as a person.
The format of the supplementary application is given in the form of 3 prompting questions that must be completed in 2000 characters (~350-400 words) with spaces. Each applicant must choose only 2 of the 3 prompts to answer. These prompts will refresh every month, so those who complete their prompts in December will have been given a different set of prompts compared to those who completed them in November. Some examples of previous prompting questions include:
- Tell us something about you (background, an interest, a talent, etc.) that is an integral part of your identity, and why.
- Describe a problem you’ve solved or one you’d like to solve. Why did or do you feel it is important and what steps did or would you take to solve it?
- Think about a time where you questioned something you once thought to be true. Why did your beliefs come into question and what was the result of this reflection?
- Describe a transformative experience that led to a better understanding of yourself or others.
- What is important to you? Why is it important?
As you can see the admissions team is really looking to understand who you are as a person!
Each candidate who meets the minimum grade requirement to have their Supplementary Essay reviewed will have their Essays read by at least two members of the individual Program Admission Committee. The exact grade cutoff to have your supplementary essay reviewed is unknown.
TOP 7 TIPS for a Successful Queen’s Health Science Supplementary Application
There is no recipe for writing a successful supplementary application. If there was then everyone would follow it and no one would be unique.
That being said, we have collaborated with health science students to help even out the playing field for those that may not have access to “insider’s knowledge” like some of the applicants. Here is our collaborative effort of the best tips and tricks to help you do well on your supplementary application:
- Research the Health Science Program: The first thing we recommend doing is taking a look at the Queen’s website and understand what their program is looking for. The Queen’s BHSc application is designed to help determine who you are as a person and if you would make a great fit for the program. In particular, they want open-minded individuals who can think critically. Understand what type of student they are looking for so that you can show the evaluator that you are the perfect fit for their program.
- Use Your Time Wisely: The supplementary application changes from month to month and usually covers similar topics each time. On top of this grade, 12 students will find that other activities will start piling up quickly as the school year progresses. Organize your time wisely and pick the month that works best for you to write your supplementary essay. We recommend you write as early as possible when you have the least school work, but choose what works best for you.
- Be Creative and Unique: Every year the health science program receives around 5000 applications. Although the actual number of applications assessed may be less, each evaluator reads many applications and it’s important that you stand out amongst all the other applicants. Think of answers and experiences that are unique and creative, that think outside the box and provide insight into who you are and how you think.
- Use Real Life Experiences: When answering the questions back your thoughts and ideas with evidence. Highlight your life experiences, extracurriculars, and hobbies and show off your critical thinking and problem-solving skills with unique and thought-provoking answers. This helps show your learning process and gives a greater insight into who you are. There is no other place to talk about your extracurriculars so if you think there is something evaluators should know about you don’t be afraid to say it. However, do not stuff your supplementary essay with extracurricular activities just for the sake of doing so, only mention it if it is relevant.
- No Experience Should be Discounted: When talking about yourself remember that your experiences don’t have to be in healthcare, research, or something big. All the things that you do make who you are as a person and that is all that the evaluators are trying to figure out. There is no such thing as an insignificant experience!
- Be Genuine and Talk About Who You Are: When you write your application be genuine about portraying who you are. Do not pretend to be someone who you are not, they can tell if you aren’t passionate about what you are writing about. Once again the application is designed to see if you are a fit for the program. So be truthful about who you are and trust the acceptance process.
- Constantly Review Your Work: Your supplemental application is extremely short so quality is more important than quantity. Constantly revise your answers to make sure you get to your best answer.
Queen’s Health Science Additional Admission Considerations
The Queen’s Health Science Program also offers additional admission considerations depending on your circumstance. Currently, there are two additional/alternative pathways for Health Science Applicants:
Indigenous applicants must self-identify as having Indigenous ancestry (First NMation, Metis, or Inuit) through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC). This information will later be verified with Queen’s Indigenous Community Liason. Students who meet this requirement will still be required to complete prerequisites and supplementary essays. However, they will be offered an alternative admission pathway in which the number of students admitted each year will be determined in an annual enrolment plan upon consultation with the faculties and schools.
Students may also be eligible for an alternative application pathway if they are a first-generation student; a student who is within the fist-generation of their family to pursue post-secondary education in Canada. This includes students who are:
- Their parents did not pursue a post-secondary education
- Their parents pursued a post-secondary education outside of Canada
- They have a sibling that has attended a post-secondary institution and their parents have either not pursued a post-secondary education or have done so outside of Canada
- Students who meet requirements such as those listed here
For more information on how to apply through this pathway follow this link.