Last Updated on December 22, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi
McGill Medical School is one of the most prestigious and competitive medical schools in Canada. Additionally, it is the only medical school in Quebec with instructions in both English and French. The school now has two campuses: courses in English are offered at the Montreal campus, while courses in French are offered at the Outaouais Campus in Gatineau, Quebec. In this blog, you will learn McGill’s admission statistics, requirements, available programs, application deadlines, and tips for how to get in!
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“To educate future and current health care professionals and scientists based on our commitment to excellence, social accountability and lifelong learning, together with the pursuit of novel research and clinical innovation, to improve the health of individuals and populations worldwide.”
Entry to McGill Medical School is highly competitive. The most recent data shows the following:
Total Applications: 3,054
Number of Med-P Pathway applicants: 870
Number of General MDCM applicants: 2,184
Overall Success Rate: 6.6%
Minimum MCAT score required (if applicable): 508-509
Average GPA: 3.8
McGill’s overall acceptance rate:
There are four main categories of eligibility: Quebec residents, Canadian citizens and permanent residents (outside of Quebec), International applicants, and Indigenous applicants. Qualified indigenous applicants have a special application and evaluation process that is detailed here.
It is important to note that approximately 95% of spots in the program are reserved for residents of Quebec.
Number of available spots: 119
Average number of applications: 1,035
Average number of interviewed candidates: 263
Average GPA of interviewed candidates: 3.89
Quebec Applicant Success Rate: 11.5%
Note that all applicants should be functionally bilingual in both French and English, as med students will be expected to have at least mid-intermediate skills in both languages in order to treat patients in the community. Students with weak language abilities in either French or English will be expected to improve their level through further study.
This is the main, four-year medical school program at McGill. Students who complete this curriculum will earn the degree “Doctor of Medicine and Master of Surgery”. The program is based around three main curricular themes: Social Accountability, Population Health, and Health Advocacy; Professional Identity and Practice (Physicianship); and Basic Science, Critical Thinking and Knowledge Translation.
In the following sections, we will be focusing on the MDCM and MDCM & PhD program.
The MDCM program is followed by both MDCM and MDCM & PhD students. It features a mix of both classroom learning and clinical practice, with students gaining clinical exposure from the very first year of study.
Program Components (MDCM)
There are four components of the MDCM curriculum:
- 1PHYSICIANSHIP (ALL 4 YEARS)The Physicianship component of the curriculum focuses on the dual roles of professional and healer. In Year 1, you will take courses in Clinical Method. In Year 2, you will take courses in Mindful Medical Practice, and Medical Ethics & Health Law. In Year 3, you will take a course in the Formation of the Professional and Healer. There is also a “Physician Apprenticeship” component that lasts all four years. For the apprenticeship, you will be placed in a group of 5-6, which will be guided by an Osler Fellow.
- 2FUNDAMENTALS OF MEDICINE AND DENTISTRY (YEAR 1, AND 1ST HALF OF YEAR 2)You will cover topics such as normal function, disease, and therapeutics. There is a mixture of lectures, labs, small groups/seminars, assignments, and independent study in this component. You will also gain clinical exposure in a family medicine setting through the Longitudinal Family Medicine Experience (LFME).
- 3TRANSITION TO CLINICAL PRACTICE (2ND HALF OF YEAR 2)The Transition to Clinical Practice (TCP) component helps you shift from a primarily class-based medical education to learning in a clinical setting. You will participate in clinical apprentice sessions and tutorials, as well as the usual lectures and assignment components. This will enable you to develop skills in history-taking, clinical reasoning skills, physical examination, and approaches to common clinical problems.
- 4CLERKSHIP (YEAR 3 AND YEAR 4)You will become actively engaged in patient care and learn to work as part of a healthcare team. During your clerkship, you will take courses in areas such as Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, and more. You will also have opportunities to pursue clinical and research electives that reflect your own professional interests.
Program Core Themes
The MDCM curriculum is built upon three core themes:
- 1SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY, POPULATION HEALTH, AND HEALTH ADVOCACYConcepts and skills related to the needs of both individuals and communities. A focus on factors such as public health, indigenous health, equity and diversity, and advocacy.
- 2PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY AND PRACTICE (PHYSICIANSHIP)Emphasis on the role of the physician as healer. Development of skills such as the clinical method (e.g. communication, physical examination), medical ethics and health law, leadership, and palliative care.
- 3BASIC SCIENCE, CRITICAL THINKING AND KNOWLEDGE TRANSLATIONA focus on social studies of medicine, research fundamentals, evidence-based medicine (EBM), and critical appraisal.
Program Components/Timeline for MDCM & PhD Students
All students who wish to complete the dual MDCM & PhD program must meet all of the admission requirements for the MDCM program at the time they apply. Students who take the MDCM & PhD dual program will follow a 7-year program based on the following structure:
- 1SEPTEMBER OF YEAR 1 – DECEMBER OF YEAR 2Completion of basic and clinical sciences portion of the program, i.e. you will be working to complete the classroom portion of your MDCM curriculum.
- 2AFTER DECEMBER OF YEAR 2.Full-time graduate study begins, and lasts 3-4 years. Coursework, research requirements, and a doctoral thesis are all a part of the PhD part of the program. You will submit your thesis by your 4th year at the latest, with your Defense scheduled for a later date.
- 3JANUARY OF YEAR 5 – MAY OF YEAR 7You will complete the rest of the MDCM program requirements. i.e. the clerkships.
Throughout the program, students meet every 2 weeks from September to April for research seminars.
Standard tuition fees vary depending on whether you are a Quebec resident, a Canadian citizen/permanent resident from outside of Quebec, or an international student.For Quebec residentsFor Canadian citizens/Permanent residents (Outside of Quebec)For International students
Year 1: $5,508.09 ($8,036.70 total including other student fees)
Year 2: $4,415.22 ($6,851.45 total including other student fees)
Year 3: $4,458.93 ($6,895.66 total including other student fees)
Year 4: $3,103.77 ($5,200.56 total including other student fees)
Different types of internal funding are available for medical students at McGill. Internal funding sources include entrance scholarships, research awards and bursaries, travel grants, and needs-based scholarships, bursaries, and loans. There are also various prizes and medals awarded to high-achieving students throughout their studies. External awards are also available. You can learn more about funding opportunities here.
MDCM & PhD Students: For students studying in the dual program, a $25,000/year stipend is offered to fund their studies. Summer bursaries, travel grants, and external funding are also available.
For costs not covered by scholarships or other funding, students can consider taking on a loan. Learn more about how to pay for medical school.
Before you begin, make sure you know which application category you belong to. Remember that Quebec residents will have to prove their residency in the province in order to be placed in the resident application pool.
Applicants for both the MDCM and MDCM & PhD programs apply through McGill’s own web-based application system. You will be able to track your application status afterwards through Minerva, McGill’s system for students and applicants. Whether you apply to the MDCM or MDCM & PhD, only one application is required. For both programs, the following documentation is required for your application:
- Your CV & VERL (“List of Verifiers”). McGill has a template for applicants to use for both
- Your academic transcripts
- Online CASPer assessment
- Your “academic workbook” (which converts your grades into McGill-compatible points)
- MCAT score: required only for applicants with a non-Canadian university degree (i.e. international students or Canadians who have graduated abroad). If you have an undergraduate degree from a Canadian university, submitting your MCAT score is optional, and will only be used if it makes your application more competitive overall.
The following additional documentation is required for MDCM & PhD program applicants only:
- Two letters of reference
- A research appendix of your publications and scholarly activities
- A one-page narrative describing your research experience, career goals, and your research subject/area of interest
The application process at McGill consists of 3 steps:Step 1Step 2: InterviewsStep 3: Offers
The preliminary assessment. Your application will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- 70% academic context (criteria within category: 90% GPA; 10% context)
- 20% CASPer
- 10% CV
For both MDCM and MDCM & PhD applicants, the application timeline is as follows:
- 1SEPTEMBER 1STApplication System opens
- 2NOVEMBER 1STApplications are due
- 3JANUARY 22NDTarget date for preliminary selections. Interview invitations are issued
- 4MID-FEBRUARY (16TH-19TH)Interviews are conducted
- 5MARCH 25THTarget date for offers of admission
Compare admission stats of medical schools in Quebec:
McGill strongly encourages its applicants to keep in mind the CanMEDS Roles Framework when preparing their application.
McGill also recommends that all potential applicants first ask themselves the following three questions to determine suitability:
- “Can I handle the rigorous and intense academic program that is required in order to become a physician?”
- “Do I have a passion for the profession of medicine, and am I ready and willing to dedicate and commit myself to be of service to others?”
- “Do my work and life experiences demonstrate that I have prepared myself in the best ways available to me for a career in medicine?”
Coursework and prerequisites
These are the mandatory medical school prerequisites for the MDCM program:
- 2 introductory Biology, with labs
- 2 introductory Chemistry, with labs
- 1 introductory Organic Chemistry, with labs
- 2 Introductory Physics, with labs
You should have no grade lower than “C” in all of your science prerequisites. Note that a lab component for each of the above courses is mandatory. At least 4 of the above 7 prerequisites must be officially completed by the November 1st application deadline. All science prerequisites must be passed, and one course cannot fulfill more than one requirement.
The following courses are recommended for applicants:
- Mammalian Physiology
- Organic Chemistry
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology & Metabolism
Your academic performance is worth 70% of your evaluation as an applicant. McGill will evaluate your academic performance using several factors. Your cumulative GPA counts for 90% of your academic evaluation, with the remaining 10% dedicated to context. Context includes the progressive difficulty of your coursework, any post-bachelor’s academics, and any professional degree programs.
Limited Spots Available
Your academic performance is worth 70% of your evaluation as an applicant:
Prerequisites can be taken through university, college, or via a pre-university alternative accepted by McGill. This usually means achieving one of the following minimums for each option:
- University level: Grade of C or higher
- AP courses: 4 or better
- IB: 5 or better
- A-Level: C or better
- French Bacc: Serie S 10 or better
You should have already completed a minimum of 60 graded credits at the time of your application; any worsening of academic performance in your subsequent credits could lead to losing your offer of admission.
McGill recommends that you have a GPA of 3.8 or above to be a competitive applicant. Consider the recent stats of the average applicant GPAs: 3.89 (Quebec residents), 3.95 (non-Quebec Canadian citizens/residents), and 3.90 (international applicants). CEGEP applicants need an R score of above 34 to be competitive; R scores below 32 are rarely accepted.
CV & VERL
Not unlike the AMCAS Work and Activities, your CV will follow the template provided by the McGill application, and will cover your Education, Work Experience, Community Service, Research Publications, Extracurriculars, Awards & Distinctions, and Skills & Hobbies. Your VERL (“List of Verifiers”) is a list of the names and contact info for the people who can verify each entry on your CV.
Note that your VERL submission is not the same as medical school recommendation letters. Your verifiers simply have to confirm that you were indeed involved in the activities you list on your application CV. They do not need to give an assessment of your character. However, it is a good idea to notify your verifiers that they might be contacted by the school. Let them know in person or via email that you are applying to medical school and that you are planning to include their contact info on the form.
The MCAT is NOT required for applicants who have completed their Bachelor’s at a Canadian university. For such applicants, submitting an MCAT score is optional, and will only be used in the application review if it makes the application more competitive overall. If you are interested in submitting an MCAT score, check out our suggestions for making a good MCAT study schedule. MCAT scores must be submitted by Canadian and international applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree from a Canadian university. If required, the MCAT must be taken before the application deadline, with a minimum MCAT score of 508-509 achieved. The highest overall score will be considered, not individual subset scores.
Applicants must register on CASPer, verify their identity, and reserve a test time that matches dates specified by McGill’s program/application cycle. Remember, your CASPer score is only eligible if taken during the most recent test cycle, prior to the application deadline. You will only take the standard CASPer test – you can learn more about how to prepare for CASPer. You will NOT take the CASPer Snapshot. You may take the test in either English or French. McGill will receive your scores approximately three weeks after you take the test.
Research Experience (MDCM & PhD)
While your MDCM application will benefit from prior research experience, a strong research background is mandatory for MDCM & PhD dual program applicants. As part of your application, you must submit a research appendix outlining your publications and scholarly activities to date. You must also submit a one-page paper, not unlike the MD-PhD essay, discussing your research experience, career goals, and research interests. You will also be required to submit two letters of reference from research mentors/supervisors.
Check out some stellar samples of MD-PhD essays in our video:https://youtube.com/embed/YkHo-KzRWKs
Letters of Reference (MDCM & PhD)
Two recommendation letters are required for MDCM & PhD dual program applicants only. Both of your writers should be research mentors or supervisors you have worked with closely. These reference letters should speak to the following factors: your research ability and potential, your motivation, your self-reliance and independence, your ability to work as part of a team, your ability to plan and conduct research, and your originality and creativity.
All letters must use official letterhead and be submitted in a sealed envelope to the Medicine Admissions office. They should also contain your full name and McGill identification number to clearly link the letters to your application. Electronically, your referees may submit letters as a PDF/A-compliant file via email using their institutional email address, or via Interfolio.
MDCM and MDCM & PhD students are not required to submit proof of French/English bilingualism when they apply. However, your language proficiency may be assessed before you begin your program to determine whether you require extra language study. Students should achieve at least a mid-intermediate level in both French and English to effectively treat patients. The French Language Centre offers classes to all McGill students, and there are also French for Medical Purposes workshops offered during both the Fall and Winter terms. For students wishing to improve their English skills, a summer English course is offered through the McGill Writing Centre.
Interviews take place on-site at the Faculty of Medicine during February. McGill uses the Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) format to assess your suitability for the program. Learn how to prepare for your MMI and practice with MMI questions to get ready. You should also familiarize yourself with some of the most common medical school interview questions as part of your preparation. The MMI is designed to evaluate you based on the Physicianship curriculum component at McGill and the CanMEDS roles. Candidates are permitted to choose either French or English as the language of their interviews.
The interviews last for half a day, and there are other activities and presentations offered throughout the day as well. You must attend your interview as originally scheduled; rescheduling and/or accommodations will not be granted. You should remember that your MMI performance counts for 100% of your chances of acceptance, and prioritize it accordingly.
Your MMI performance counts for 100% of your acceptance chances:
You will be asked to indicate your preference of campus after your interview: the Montreal campus, or the Outaouais campus in Gatineau (only 24 spots available). Offers for each campus will be made according to the availability of seats.
The target date for sending out offers is March 25th. All applicants who were interviewed are ranked and placed on a final list. A select number of applicants from each category will then be offered positions on a waitlist.
If you receive an offer, you must accept or decline within two weeks. If you accept, you must make a deposit of $500 CDN, which will be deducted from your total tuition fees. The deposit is refundable until May 15th if you are an international student, or until June 15th if you are a Quebec resident or Canadian citizen/permanent resident.
If you are on the waitlist, you will be notified of your status through Minerva, McGill’s online student and applicant system. You must confirm your waitlist offer to retain your position on the list. Places are offered to those on the waitlist as they become available, and the waitlist is kept active until classes begin. Learn more about how to get off a medical school waitlist.
Candidates on the waitlist must complete both all of the mandatory immunizations and Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) in preparation for a potential offer.