The University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine is one of 17 medical schools in Canada. They are an excellent medical school with world-class research institutes and approximately 2,900 students dedicated to improving the lives of others.
In 2021, the UCalgary medical school acceptance rate was 7.80%. Of the 1,845 undergraduate students that applied, only 144 were admitted into the program. However, the acceptance rate for applicants who applied from outside of Alberta is smaller at 5.58%. Of the 387 out-of-province applicants, a maximum of 21 were admitted to the program.
The UCalgary medical school undergraduate requirements, including admission statistics, are categorized below in the priority of what an applicant must submit to be considered:
- Pre-requisite courses
- Minimum number of years of undergraduate study required
- Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
- CASPer Test
- Supplementary Application
- Letter of Reference
UCalgary Medical School Requirements: Prerequisite Courses
All students applying to the University of Calgary Medical School must have completed at least 3 years of full-time (24 units per year) undergraduate study by the proposed year of entry. These classes must have been completed at an MD or Ph.D. granting institution, or transferable to such an institution.
There are no specific course requirements for admission to this medical school. However, it is recommended that students take courses in biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, literature, indigenous studies, ethics, statistics, biochemistry, physiology, psychology and research methods as these courses can better prepare them for the Medical College Admission Test, which is a requirement for admission.
UCalgary Med Requirements: GPA Calculation and Requirements
The University of Calgary has a bias towards in-province (IP) applicants over out-of-province (OOP) applicants. A maximum of 15% of seats can be given to OOP applicants. This is because the university wants students who graduate from their program to serve the communities they studied in. As a result admission requirements are less competitive for IP applicants versus OOP applicants.
|Minimum GPA to Apply (IP)||Minimum GPA to Apply (OOP)||Average GPA of accepted applicants||Lowest GPA Admitted|
When calculating your GPA a simple average of all undergraduate degree courses will be taken. If the following criteria are met, there may be alternate adjustments made to GPA calculations:
- If an applicant has completed or will complete their undergraduate degree (4-years of undergraduate study) before matriculation into the program they will have their lowest GPA year removed from GPA calculations.
- If an applicant has completed or will complete a graduate degree before being admitted into the program their GPA for that graduate degree will be included in the calculation. Your graduate degree will be considered equivalent to a single full-time undergraduate year.
- If an applicant has completed a degree over 10 years before the date of application they can opt to have that academic work dropped from calculations.
Courses for which a “Pass” or “Credit” grade is assigned are counted for credit, but will not be included in the GPA calculation. A minimum of 18 units worth of courses per year must be completed with a grade assigned to it.
In addition to this, the UCalgary admissions team will take into account the types of courses taken and trends in grades over time.
UCalgary Medical School Requirements: MCAT and CASPer
MCAT and CASPer Overview:
|CASPer Required||MCAT Required||MCAT Scores Considered|
MCAT Admission Score Statistics:
|C/P Score||CARS Score||B/B Score||P/S Score|
|Minimum Score Admitted||NR||NR||NR||NR|
|Average Score Accepted||128.12||128.48||128.74||128.49|
CASPer Test: The Canadian Professional Health Sciences test is not required by this University.
Medical College Admission Test: The University of Calgary recommends that the MCAT be taken in mid-August. Only the CARS section of the MCAT will be taken into consideration by the UCalgary admissions team. It is a requirement that OOP applicants achieve a score of 128 on the CARS section of the MCAT in order to apply. For those looking for MCAT prep courses, we recommend those offered by the Princeton Review. They are a reputable long-standing company that offers a variety of different course options to meet individual needs.
University of Calgary Medical School 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. Each referee may be asked slightly different questions, so choose wisely which referee can best attest to the following qualities:
- Organizational, Management and Leadership Skills
- Commitment to Communities and Advocacy
- Interpersonal Behaviours and Collaboration
In addition to the above requirement, the University of Calgary Medical School will require a supplementary application detailing the various activities the applicant has taken part in. The purpose of these statements is to get a brief understanding of who the applicant is as a person. Applicants will be required to submit the following:
- Employment Activities: A descriptive title (e.g. Short Order Cook, Tree-Planter, Lifeguard, Farm Hand), duration, and an approximate number of hours per week. Applicants are not expected to provide a detailed job description.
- Publications: This may include any of the following. Peer-reviewed academic publications. Published abstracts resulting from oral and/or poster presentations at national or international meetings. Non-peer-reviewed academic or non-academic publication. Presentations at scientifically sanctioned regional, national or international meetings
- Awards: List any or all awards that you believe are significant.
- Top 10 Activities: Applicants are given the opportunity to list up to 10 activities or experiences (employment, volunteer, education, research, life experiences, etc) that they feel are sufficiently important to define them as individuals. They will be required to provide the title as well as a detailed statement of why they believe it is important and how it has defined them as a person. These top 10 experiences do not need to be extravagant or impressive. What makes this section impressive is being able to show self-reflection and growth.
You will be required to provide verifiers or proof for all activities and awards included in your supplemental application. They may be contacted to elaborate on or confirm that certain events you described took place.
University of Calgary Medical School Interview:
|Mandatory||By Invitation||Number of Applicants Invited||Entering Class Size|
Shortlisted candidates will be required to partake in an interview with the University of Calgary admissions team. The evaluation criteria for the interview is:
- GPA: 20%
- MCAT (CARS Section): 10%
- Academic Merit: 10% (Overall assessment of courses taken, grade trends, commitments outside of school, extenuating circumstances, and MCAT scores)
- Scholarship and Research: 10% (Overall assessment of academic achievements and research activities)
- Communication Skills: 10% (Evaluating life history, activities, and experiences taken from supplementary application and letters of reference)
- Interpersonal Skills and Collaboration: 10% (Evaluating life history, activities, and experiences taken from supplementary application and letters of reference)
- Maturity, Insight, and Resilience: 10% (Evaluating life history, activities, and experiences taken from supplementary application and letters of reference)
- Commitment to Communities and Others: 10% (Evaluating life history, activities, and experiences taken from supplementary application and letters of reference)
- Organizational, Management, and Leadership: 10% (Evaluating life history, activities, and experiences taken from supplementary application and letters of reference)
Interviews will take place as either virtual interviews, live interviews, or a combination of virtual or live. These interviews will take the form of an MMI, where applicants will travel through various stations (approximately 7 minutes in length) answering specific questions. Applicants will be notified in February regarding the format and whether or not they will be invited to attend. The interviews take place in February or March.
UCalgary Med Offers of Admission Decision:
University of Calgary Medical School’s offers for admission will be based upon a mix of academic achievement, supplemental application, and results of the interview process. UCalgary does have disclosed the exact breakdown for admission decisions, which has been provided below:
- MMI Score: 50%
- Pre-Interview Score: 50%
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:
- University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine
- University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine
- University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
- University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine
- University of Manitoba Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
- Northern Ontario School of Medicine
- Western University Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry
- McMaster University Michael G.DeGroote School of Medicine
- University of Toronto School of Medicine
- Queen’s University School of Medicine
- University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine
- Mcgill University Faculty of Medicine
- Université de Montréal Faculty of Medicine
- Université de Sherbrooke Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
- Université Laval Faculté de Médicine
- Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine
- Memorial University Faculty of Medicine