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University of Calgary Calendar 2010-2011 Faculty of Medicine 5. Doctor of Medicine 5.3 Requirements
5.3 Requirements

Applicants to the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine should ensure that they have also read the Office of Admissions' Applicant Manual. For current information, please visit the website at www.medicine.ucalgary.ca/mdprogram.

Eligibility for Admission

The number of positions for students at the University of Calgary medical school is currently limited to 180 Canadian students. This number may increase or decrease slightly over the next several years due to physical capacity and funding availability. As a provincial university, the University of Calgary has a primary obligation to Canadian citizens residing in Alberta. Although priority will be given to Alberta residents, the faculty also invites applications from residents of other provinces.

The Faculty of Medicine has a policy on the admission of candidates who are neither Canadian citizens nor landed immigrants. The faculty does not accept applications from individual international students. Seats for international students are currently limited to students from institutions or countries that have formal, contractual agreements with the Faculty of Medicine.

In selecting medical students, no consideration is given to the gender, race, religion, or socio-economic status of the applicant. Nor is the vocation of his or her parent, guardian, or spouse a consideration in the selection process.

Physical disabilities must not prevent the student, upon graduation, from communicating with patients, making observations, gathering and analyzing data necessary to arrive at medical judgments, and from performing the therapeutic interventions expected of a physician who has completed the educational program leading to an MD degree.

The Faculty of Medicine will not normally accept applications from students who have withdrawn, who have been required to withdraw, or who have been expelled from any school or college of medicine.

Educational Background

Students must have completed a minimum of two full years of university-level courses at the time of admission. Most students will have completed a baccalaureate degree before admission to the Faculty of Medicine. Exceptional and academically well-qualified students who wish to be considered for acceptance with only two years of university education may apply between their first and second years of university.

Note: The Faculty of Medicine's definition of a full year is described in the Office of Admissions' Applicant Manual. Refer to the manual for the most accurate information on requirements. The Applicant Manual is available on the University of Calgary webpage.

The Faculty of Medicine does not require that students undertake a formal premedical program. Rather, it recommends the following courses, which should provide students with the necessary background for medical studies. As completion of these courses does not guarantee admission, students should ensure that the courses they choose satisfy the degree requirements of the undergraduate faculty in which they are registered.

Recommended Courses

Applicants should satisfy the Admissions Committee that they are well prepared academically for entry into the Faculty of Medicine. Such preparation will ordinarily include a full university course in each of the following:

  • General chemistry
  • Organic chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • English
  • General biology
  • Mammalian physiology or comparative physiology
  • Physics

Applicants should also have a university half-course equivalent in each of the following:

  • Psychology or Sociology or Anthropology
  • Calculus or Statistics

University of Calgary students should consider the following courses:

The Admissions Committee will consider applications from students who have completed other educational or training programs, for example, honours in physical science, engineering, or in the humanities.

Admission/Registration Refusal

The University of Calgary reserves the right, the published regulations notwithstanding, to reject applicants for admission or registration in courses on the basis of their overall academic records (even if they technically meet the entrance requirements), and on medical and other grounds.

Admissions Committee

The Admissions Committee of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Calgary consists of representatives of the medical faculty, student physicians, the medical community, other disciplines, and the community at large. The committee is charged with the selection of medical students on the basis of academic and non-academic qualifications. Approximately 450 Alberta applicants are invited for the final stage of the process - the on-site essays and the interviews. The committee chooses these applicants on the basis of the following four criteria: post-secondary transcripts, Medical College Admission Test scores, extracurricular, volunteer and employment activities, and three letters of reference. Applications submitted by non-Albertans will be rank-ordered on the basis of an algorithm regression formula described on the website; the top ranked will be considered for interview on the basis of the criteria listed above.

Medical College Admission Test

All applicants must write the Medical College Admission Test at least one year before the year for which they are applying. MCAT scores will then be available to the Admissions Committee when considering applications. Applicants should contact the MCAT Program Office (www.aamc.org/mcat) for details about the test and they must instruct the organization to forward their MCAT results to the Faculty of Medicine Admissions Committee.

Applicants to the Faculty of Medicine should also be aware that the MCAT was revised in 1991. The results of previous examinations will not be considered.


Applications for the MD program are available on the website. Applicants may obtain an application by visiting www.medicine.ucalgary.ca/mdprogram. All applications must be submitted online. The deadline for receipt by the Office of Admissions of the on-line application, all official transcripts, official MCAT scores, three letters of reference, and the application fee of $150.00 is October 15.

Applicants should note that the Office of Admissions will not accept facsimile transmission copies of transcripts. The work of the committee is greatly facilitated when candidates submit their applications early in the process, preferably well before the deadlines. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete and that all necessary forms and the application fee are received by the Office of Admissions by the deadline. Completed applications include the following information: a list of courses taken and grades obtained; MCAT scores and the date of writing (if available); a brief description of extracurricular, volunteer and employment activities and three letters of reference

Note: A complete application contains all the information described in the Office of Admissions' Application Manual.

Applicants will be notified in February regarding whether or not they will be invited to attend a series of short interviews. The interviews take place at the University of Calgary in February or March.

Applicants must attend the interviews at their own expense. On the day of the interviews, candidates are required to write two on-site essays on topics assigned by the Admissions Committee. Applicants must take part in a series of short, back-to-back interviews, which the committee will use to assess the candidates' non-cognitive qualifications.

Applicants will be notified of the Admissions Committee's decision on May 15. All applicants accepted into the Faculty of Medicine will be required to forward a deposit within the time specified in your acceptance letter. Failure to do so may result in the position being assigned to an applicant on the waiting list. The deposit is applied to first year fees. An applicant who accepts a position and later withdraws his or her acceptance will forfeit the deposit.

All medical students must commence a program of immunization before registration day. The Faculty of Medicine reserves the right to refuse admission to any candidate whose condition of health indicates that medical studies could be prejudicial to his or her well-being.

Admission of Students by Transfer

Because the three-year MD program at the University of Calgary is regarded as a continuum, transfers cannot be considered. For the final clerkship year, students from other LCME Accredited Medical Schools may apply for visiting student status.

Leaders in Medicine Combined MD/PhD or MD/MSc Program

The Faculty of Medicine offers a combined degree program with the Faculty of Graduate Studies leading to an MD/MSc or MD/PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences, Community Health Sciences, Gastrointestinal Sciences, Medical Science, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, or Neuroscience. Information may be obtained under the Leaders in Medicine heading in the Faculty of Graduate Studies section of this calendar, and in the sections describing the individual graduate programs. Supplementary application forms may be obtained from the Associate Dean (Graduate Sciences Education) in the Faculty of Medicine.