Choose the Right Canadian PreMed Program

The Canadian Pre-med program you attend can make all the difference when applying to medical school. Everything you’ll learn, from skills to the practical knowledge, play an important role in preparing you for your career as a doctor. 

But which are the best pre-medical programs?  Or rather, university programs, courses and colleges that will prepare you for admission to medical school? And which one would be a good fit for your career aspirations? Choosing the right pre-med courses is hard—but your course selection —  and your pre-med college — will ultimately impact your future career in medicine.

MedApplications and our team of experienced physicians help you make sense of the many pre-med programs available to you. That way, you can make one of the most important decisions in your life with guidance from a medical professional. Contact Us Now

We make it easy for you to tackle the challenges in front of you, sift intelligently through the best pre-medical program  and help you develop the right mindset to confidently choose your path to a career in medicine.

The Basics of Admissions and Pre-Medical Programs

Pre-medical programs are typically four years in length and award students with a Bachelor’s of Science or Health Science degree upon completion. These degrees focus on giving students the knowledge or skills required to pass the MCAT… and excel in medical school.

No specific Major required

Many schools in North America have shifted away from requiring a specific degree for medical school acceptance. Most schools require either three years or a completed degree in any field. Whether it’s a Bachelor of Arts, Science, or even Music, almost anyone can apply to medical school.

No matter what degree you’re pursuing, medical schools require specific undergraduate classes as a prerequisite, regardless of your major. These classes can include English, biology, chemistry, and organic chemistry. Yes, that means that even a Bachelor’s of Arts can be sufficient for admission to a medical school.—given that the required prerequisites are completed.

Pre-Medical School GPA Requirements

Students applying to pre-med programs must have excellent grades, a strong resume of extracurricular activities, and convincing letters of reference. The exact requirements vary drastically by country, the province where high school was completed, and the university itself.

Canadian Requirements

The availability of pre-med programs at universities in Canada varies depending on the province and popularity and status of the school.

McMaster University’s Health Science Program requires an extremely high academic average, alongside a supplementary application.

Students applying from Ontario must have a high school diploma with a minimum of 90% in their six best 4U/M courses. These courses must include English, biology, advanced math, and chemistry.

Students applying to that school from another province or country would have to meet those same requirements. It’s the admission office’s job to evaluate out-of-province or foreign applicants to ensure they meet the same prerequisites as Ontario applicants.

Make sure to check the specific school’s academic requirements, grade cutoffs, and prerequisites for your province or country.

United States Requirements

Gaining acceptance at a prestigious American university is typically more challenging than getting accepted in Canada. Ivy League universities require exceptional grades and a lot more for admission.

Harvard University—which is arguably the best school in the world—only admits 5% of applicants into any undergraduate program. These applicants must have exceptional academics — even an impressive 4.0 GPA for your entire high school career may not be enough.

Students must also write the SAT, score in the top 1% percentile, and write lengthy supplementary applications. Even the most qualified students are not guaranteed a place in Harvard, and other of America’s top universities.

What Do You Learn in Pre-Medical Programs

Pre-Medical programs provide students with the skills and abilities required to succeed in medical school. These programs heavily focus on STEM subjects, as well as exposure to clinical learning environments.

Health science programs like the one at McMaster University teach courses in chemistry, physiology and anatomy, cell biology, medical literature, and other medically related fields. Students learn critical thinking, scientific knowledge, and problem-solving skills required of medical professionals.

These skills are invaluable to success in the field of medicine and help prepare students for successful medical school admission and study.

Other STEM-related majors like biology or chemistry are also suitable choices for pre-medical undergraduate study. They offer much of the core curriculum that’s expected in the MCAT while giving students the critical thinking skills required of university graduates.

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Best Pre-Medical Programs in North America

While there are no “best” pre-medical programs, there are prestigious schools which prepare you well for medical school. These schools typically have a strong track record of med school acceptance after graduating from their programs.

Most pre-med degrees offered in North America are honors degrees, making them more research intensive and seminar based as opposed to regular undergraduate degrees. This academic environment allows students to acclimate themselves with the medical school environment.

There are many fantastic schools that applicants can choose from across North America. 

Your assigned MedApplications guide can help you choose the right one based on your needs, future ambitions, and desire medical school.

Best Pre-Medical Programs in the USA

Ivy League schools have traditionally had the best pre-med programs in the United States. Schools like Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Brown, Stanford, and Dartmouth University, alongside other top schools, are typically the top choices for students. These schools often achieve the highest medical school acceptance statistics.

MedApplications collaborates with faculty and students at these schools, and we know what’s required to get accepted into their pre-medical programs.

These universities all expect high grades from high school students, research and volunteer experience, extracurricular activities, and strong letters of reference. 

Our expert team at MedApplications has in-depth knowledge of these requirements and will assist you in submitting your application to the United States’ top pre-medical programs.

Canadian Pre-Medical Programs

Canadian students have access to some of the best pre-medical programs. Regardless of whether you’re a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or international student—tuition fees in Canada are generally less expensive than the United States. 

The Canadian government heavily subsidizes post-secondary education, meaning that Canada maintains the same world-class level of education at a fraction of the cost of US schools.

Excellent Canadian pre-medical programs include:

McMaster Health Science Program (Bachelor of Health Sciences)

The McMaster Health Science Program is one of the best pre-medical programs in Canada. This Ontario pre-med program embraces problem-based, experiential learning methods that are similar to those found in medical school.

Students immerse themselves in innovative educational methods that help students develop the critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and general knowledge required for success in medical school.

The McMaster Health Science Program is a highly competitive degree that only accepts the most qualified candidates. The program has consistently shown extremely high medical school acceptance rates yearly.

University of Guelph Biomedical Science Program

The Guelph Biomedical Science program sits adjacent to the world-renowned Guelph Veterinary medicine program. Students entering have a unique opportunity to gain insight into veterinary medicine, human medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, optometry, nurse practitioner, as well as other medical fields.

The Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph provides students with access to science resources, community opportunities, and research placements. For those looking for a comprehensive education in medicine, with a focus on veterinary medicine, Guelph is the right choice.

The University of Guelph has a tremendous reputation for its rigorous curriculum, innovative specialist courses, and early exposure to courses relevant to medical school.

The Queen’s University Accelerated Route to Medical School

The QuARMS is a unique opportunity for a select few students to fast-track their medical education.

QuARMS offers students the ability to get into medical school without an application, MCAT test, or interview. After being admitted into the program, students must only complete two years of undergraduate education before transferring to medical school.

During their two years of undergraduate studies, students experience unique experiential learning modules, seminars, and courses directly administered by the Faculty of Medicine.

But this program is extremely competitive—and only ten students are admitted into the program each year. These high school students must be nominated for the Chancellor Scholarship in their graduating class, as well as fulfill the rigorous academic and extracurricular requirements.

Are you preparing to choose the best pre-medical program for your career?

We can help you choose the right one.

Best Small Schools for Pre-Med

Not interested in going to a highly prestigious and expensive pre-medical program? There are several options for students looking for smaller schools that provide a high level of education.

The University of Ottawa’s Health Science program offers students an excellent opportunity to prepare for medical school. uOttawa is located in Canada’s capital, giving students a unique opportunity to work with government institutions like Health Canada.

Hands-on clinical experience is a core part of the program as early as the second year. Students get the experience they need to thrive in medical school while studying a breadth of other subjects.

uOttawa’s unique location near Parliament Hill offers students opportunities in national and international organizations.

How to Choose a Pre-Medical Program

There are many components a student must consider when choosing a pre-medical program. The best way to inform yourself of a school is to speak to former students. You will be able to get first-hand information about the school’s culture, curriculum, and how well it prepares one for medical school.

Important factors to consider when selecting a pre-medical program include:

  • Location. Is the school in a city, rural community, or a suburb? The school’s location is a deciding element in campus culture, research and internship opportunities, and lifestyle.
  • Consider available courses and modules. If you’re considering a specific field of medicine to pursue in the future, it’s essential to find out if the school offers courses in those fields.
  • Medical placement and research opportunities. Learn more about the school’s affiliations with hospitals and research networks, and see what research opportunities are present. Extracurricular activities are an important part of a successful medical school application.
  • Success rate and graduation statistics. Knowing how many pre-med graduates successfully applied to medical school will tell you a lot about the school’s quality.
  • MCAT content covered. Make sure that the program comprehensively covers MCAT material in its core curriculum.
  • Campus and student body opportunities. Find out about extracurricular events and organizations like clubs, associations, and fundraisers. Participating in these events will enrich your student life while helping you build the portfolio you need for medical school.
  • Emphasis on local and global community initiatives. Learn about the school’s involvement with its local and global communities. Does the school offer outreach programs in rural communities? Are there opportunities for exchange programs or international internships?

MedApplications Pre-Medical Program Selection

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Pre-Medical Programs We Cover

  •  McMaster Health Sciences Program
  •  Guelph Biomedical Science Program
  •  Pre-Medical College Programs
  •  Ivey League Pre-Medical Programs
  •  Pre-Medical program Specialists

How Med Applications Can Help

MedApplications staff of trained physicians and medical experts can help you choose the best program for your pre-medical studies. Whether it’s in Canada or the United States, we have experience dealing with universities across North America.

If you’re a high school student with dreams of being a doctor, let our team help you make the right choice. Selecting the right pre-medical program is one of the most important decisions in your life, so don’t go at it alone.

MedApplications offers a comprehensive program that coaches you on choosing and getting into the pre-medical program that’s right for you.