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Your OMSAS guide with at-a-glance info for your OMSAS Medical School Application

Are you struggling with your OMSAS 2019 application? Deadlines are fast approaching.

To help make sense of it all, here is our special OMSAS guide. Use it to clear up confusion and get on the fast-track with your OMSAS medical school application this year. 

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Every university in Ontario uses the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) for their applications. Medical schools use a specialized OUAC service called the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS).

This centralized service makes it easy for students to determine medical school requirements, eligibility, and acceptance through their OMSAS login.

OMSAS provides information for the following medical schools:

  • Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine (McMaster University)
  • Northern Ontario School of Medicine
  • University of Ottawa
  • Queen’s University
  • University of Toronto
  • Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry (Western University)

Every university has developed its own medical school admission process, but they all use OMSAS to facilitate the application process.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by OMSAS? We have put together all of the important information you need to know about OMSAS 2019.

Important OMSAS Dates for 2019

There are several dates you must familiarize yourself with if you’re interested in applying to medical school in Ontario. These dates include:

  • September 15, 2019 (4:30 pm). This is the recommended deadline for notifying references that you’re using for your OMSAS med school application. Payments being made by cheque must be sent by this date as well.
  • October 1, 2019 (4:30 pm). All transcripts, academic documents, references, and payments are due on this date.
  • November 1, 2019. This is the deadline for OMSAS to receive your MCAT scores. We recommend that you make your transfer request no later than October 29, 2019, to ensure that it arrives on time.
  • May 12, 2020. All first-round OMSAS offers of admissions are issued on this date.

June 30, 2020. Your final transcript must arrive by this date.

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How Do I Create My OMSAS Login?

You can create an OMSAS login through their official website. You will need to provide the following information:

  • Legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Username
  • Password

Each account is tied to your official application. You can view your application, view new messages, and submit documentation through your OMSAS account.

What Are My Responsibilities and Requirements With OMSAS?

Each application is expected to keep track of important dates, deadlines, and requirements. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the application process, your OMSAS login, and where to find important information.

The Document Tracking section of your online application is an important area where you can verify the documents that you receive.

What Documents Are Required for OMSAS?

Applicants are expected to provide several forms of documentation throughout the application process. These documents include:

  • Transcripts and OMSAS reference letters
  • Proof of landed immigrant status (not required for Canadian citizens)
  • Proof of Indigenous status
  • A CV is required for Toronto graduates and MD/Ph.D. applicants

You must communicate with the admission’s department at your university to ensure that they have sent all required transcripts by the deadline. Ontario students can use the online transcript request feature.

Every application will receive an OUAC/OMSAS Reference Number starting with the year of their application, followed by six numbers and a verification email from OMSAS when applications are submitted and paid for.

OMSAS will compare and verify your transcript as well. Confirmation numbers are provided whenever you make material changes to your application or accept one of OMSAS offers of admission.

What Other OMSAS Requirements Do I Need?

There are several other requirements that an application must satisfy. These include:

  • Police Record Check. Your registration will not be completed until you have obtained a Police Record Check. Applications with a criminal history may have their admission revoked. This decision is ultimately up to the medical school that accepted you.
  • CPR Basic Rescuer Course (Level C). You must have a valid CPR certificate. Students applying to McMaster, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), and Ottawa must provide a valid certificate in Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers. 

Your OMSAS application should always focus on quality over quantity. Each of your entries will be categorized in categories such as employment, education, volunteering, awards, and more. Pick entries that you feel highlight your experience, skills, and other positive qualities in these categories.

It’s important that you stay organized. We recommend that you make a list before getting started. This will help you visualize all of your accomplishments, and will help you eliminate less important ones.

How Much Are OMSAS Fees?

Your OMSAS application will not be forwarded to your chosen medical schools until you pay your OUAC fees.

The fees for 2019 include:

  • OMSAS Application Service Fee ($220)
  • McMaster ($125)
  • Northern ($100)
  • Ottawa ($125)
  • Queen’s ($125)
  • Toronto ($130)
  • Western ($125)

Additional fees may be charged to your account if you make transcript requests. Depending on your university, these fees range from $0-21 

OUAC accepts payments from VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and by cheque.

How Do GPA Calculations Work?

OMSAS uses the 4.0 scale for GPA calculations. Each score is converted using the OMSAS Undergraduate Grading System Conversion Table.

OMSAS GPA does not normally assess the following:

  • MD programs
  • JD or LLB programs
  • Undergrad courses completed in a graduate program
  • Graduate courses
  • Challenge for-credit courses
  • Continuing Education courses
  • College courses
  • Consecutive Bachelor of Education programs
  • Naturopathic and chiropractic medicine

Keep in mind that every medical school may use its own admission criteria and GPA system when assessing your application.

International transcripts are considered non-convertible. OMSAS cannot calculate a GPA for international schools.

Pass or fail courses are not included in your GPA calculation either. However, all courses and marks with an eligible grade are counted.

The GPA calculation will also include supplementary courses and extra courses that you completed for your degree.

Your final GPA uses your cumulative average. This is determined by adding your course weights, dividing them by your converted grades, and dividing total course weights into total converted grades.

How Does OMSAS Weight Courses?

  • Full-year courses are assigned a weight of 2.
  • Half-year courses are assigned a weight of 1.
  • Semester courses are assigned a weight of 1.
  • Three-quarter courses are assigned a weight of 1.5.
  • Lab courses are assigned a weight of 0.5.

What Are the MCAT Requirements for OMSAS?

You must arrange to have your Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) released to OMSAS. Each university has its own MCAT requirements.

Keep your Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) ID number on hand. You will need this number if you want to access your MCAT score and to release your MCAT scores to OMSAS.

Studying for the MCAT requires a lot of preparation if you want to achieve a high score. We recommend that students take the time to develop positive studying habits early on. One of the best things you can do early on is determine your baseline score.

A baseline score serves as a great benchmark to see how you would perform on the MCAT without studying at all. You can use this score to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, as well as determine which areas you should spend additional time studying.

Don’t try and study for entire days right away. You need to train yourself to maintain that kind of focus. Start small and continuously add time as you keep studying. Before you know it, you’ll be studying for several hours at a time.

You also need to learn how to deal with distractions. Whether it’s family members, work, or other obligations. Set time aside for studying, and make sure you stick to it regardless. Strong study habits will help you improve your MCAT score, and get into your dream medical school.

Medical School Overview for 2019 by University

McMaster University

  • Total applications: 5,228
  • Target class size for 2020: 203
  • Length: 3 years
  • Minimum academic requirements: 3 years of undergraduate in any discipline
  • MCAT: Yes
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Non-academic requirements: Confidential Assessment Forms, CASPer™, and an interview
  • Transfer: No
  • Citizenship: No restrictions
  • Interview dates: Late March and early April

Northern Ontario School of Medicine

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is affiliated with both Laurentian University (Sudbury) and Lakehead University (Thunder Bay) through a partnership. This is the newest medical school in Ontario and was founded in 2005.

  • Total applications: 2,003
  • Target class size for 2020: 64
  • Length: 4 years
  • Minimum academic requirements: 4 years of undergraduate in any discipline
  • MCAT: No
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Non-academic requirements: Confidential Assessment Forms, admission questionnaire, and an interview
  • Transfer: No
  • Citizenship: Canadian or permanent resident
  • Interview dates: March and April

University of Ottawa (English)

The University of Ottawa is located in the downtown core of the nation’s capital. This bilingual university was founded in 1848 and has over 41,000 students enrolled. It’s home to a competitive business school, faculty of law, and medical school.

  • Total applications: 3,920
  • Target class size for 2020: 120
  • Length: 4 years
  • Minimum academic requirements: 3 years of full-time undergraduate in any discipline
  • MCAT: No
  • Prerequisites: Humanities or Social Sciences, Biology or Physiology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Statistics, and Lab requirements + minimum grade of “B”
  • Non-academic requirements: Confidential Assessment Forms, interview, Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Providers, Police Record Check, detailed autobiographical submissions, CASPer™, and a Police Record Check
  • Transfer: No
  • Citizenship: Canadian or permanent resident
  • Interview dates: February to March

Queen’s University

Queen’s University is located in Kingston. This university was originally founded in 1841 through a royal charter issued by Queen Victoria herself. Queen’s is home to over 24,000 students and is known as one of the most prestigious schools in the country.

  • Total applications: 5,089
  • Target class size for 2020: 100
  • Length: 4 years
  • Minimum academic requirements: 15 full undergraduate credits in any discipline
  • MCAT: Yes
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Non-academic requirements: Confidential Assessment Forms, interview, and Autobiographical Sketch
  • Transfer: No
  • Citizenship: Canadian or permanent resident
  • Interview dates: March

University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is located in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. The school has three campuses, including St. George (Downtown Toronto), Scarborough, and Mississauga. The university was originally founded in 1827 through a royal charter and is the oldest university in the former colony of Upper Canada.

  • Total applications: 3,555
  • Target class size for 2020: 259
  • Length: 4 years
  • Minimum academic requirements: 3 full years of undergraduate studies or the equivalent of 15 full-courses at a Canadian university in any discipline. For non-Canadian schools, applicants must complete the equivalent of a 4-year bachelor’s degree
  • MCAT: Yes
  • Prerequisites: 1 full-course equivalent (FCE) in Humanities, Social Sciences, and Languages and 2 FCEs of Life Sciences
  • Non-academic requirements: References, a personal essay, Autobiographical Sketch and statements, and an interview
  • Transfer: No
  • Citizenship: No restrictions
  • Interview dates: February to April

Western University

Western University is located in London. The university was founded in 1878 and is best known as one of Canada’s top research universities. Western currently has over 28,000 students enrolled.

  • Total applications: 2,156
  • Target class size for 2020: 171
  • Length: 4 years
  • Minimum academic requirements: 4-year degree or any equivalent
  • MCAT: Yes
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Non-academic requirements: Confidential Assessment Forms, Western Abbreviated Autobiographical Sketch, an interview, CPRC-C, standard first aid, specific immunization and health requirements, a Police Record Check, and Vulnerable Sector Screening
  • Transfer: Canadian medical schools only
  • Citizenship: Canadian or permanent resident
  • Interview dates: March to April
Schulich School Of Medicine OMSAS Medical School Application

What Are The Requirements for References?

All applicants must provide three Omsas reference letters. It’s recommended that at least one of your references be tied to your academic or employment history and one from your personal life. The third reference is left up to the applicant to choose.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • References should know you on a personal level as they will need to answer the Confidential Assessment Form (CAF) questions. These completed forms are considered your OMSAS reference letters – no other letters are needed.
  • OMSAS will not help you select your references.
  • References will get asked specific questions about your character and abilities on the CAF.
  • You can track the status of your references through the “Referees” section of your application. From there, you can see whether they have opened emails, viewed forms, have started the CAF (OMSAS reference letters), and if OUAC received their completed CAF.
  • You can only change a reference if they haven’t started the CAF.

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What Should I Include In My Autobiographical Sketch?

Your Autobiographical Sketch provides a detailed glimpse of your life after the age of 16. A typical one will include your:

  • Employment history
  • Volunteer work
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Awards and accomplishments
  • Research completed
  • Other notable accolades

The goal of your Autobiographical Sketch is to demonstrate the type of person that you are. A successful application will show both structured and non-structured experiences that define their character. A non-structured experience might be a time when you helped a citizen in need, pitched in at a food bank –or responded to a medical emergency.

All information should be provided in point form, supplementary pages are not required, and all sections should be grouped according to their categories.

For specific categories, you should designate when they took place, for how long, any titles or responsibilities, and any other relevant details that showcase your skills and accomplishments.

Feeling Overwhelmed by Your OMSAS Medical School Application? We Can Help

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The OMSAS medical school application process is complicated at times. But you’re not alone out there. Sign up for MedApplications today to see why students love using our services for medical school applications, OMSAS, and more.

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