Admissions Blog

Offers Sent

By Admissions on May 11, 2018

Offer notifications were sent today and regardless of the decision on your file, the Admissions Office would like to thank you for your willingness to participate in our long and often challenging application process. We are proud to have such outstanding applicants – if only there were room for more of you in the program! For those of you planning to apply next cycle, the 2018/2019 application will open in mid-June.

Permalink | No Comments

Waitlist Questions 2018

By Admissions on

Many applicants have questions about the waitlist and how it works. UBC’s waitlist is a bit complicated, so we hope these FAQs will help. These questions are mostly reprinted from an earlier post – there have not been any changes to how we handle the waitlist this year.

Waitlist questions: applicants who have an application status of Waitlisted

  1. Can you tell me where I am on the waitlist? How long is the waitlist?

We can’t tell you, sorry. Our waitlist is more complicated than most due to the four sites, and we do not reveal where applicants are on the waitlist, how long it is, how quickly it’s moving, etc.

  1. When will you send the next round of offers?

It will be after the deadline for this round (Friday, May 25). We will try to send them on Monday the 28th or Tuesday the 29th and will update the blog when the next round has gone out.

  1. I am on the waitlist but received an offer from another Canadian medical school. Can I accept the offer at the other institution but still remain on the waitlist for UBC?

Yes, that’s fine. If you get an offer from UBC and want to accept it, you will need to withdraw your acceptance from the other school.

  1. How long will I be on the waitlist?

That really depends on how many people decline their offers. We do not give estimates or chances to applicants because we have no way of knowing how many people will ultimately decline. We usually try to shorten the waitlist at some point during the summer, but unfortunately it is possible to stay on the waitlist until late August.

Waitlist questions: applicants who have received an offer

  1. I received an offer, but it wasn’t to my first choice site. What are my options?

a. You can accept the offer and most likely stay on the waitlist for your first choice site (and second choice and third choice sites, if applicable). There are a couple of rare exceptions, which is why we say you will “most likely” stay on the waitlist – applicants who selected the NMP but did not complete the Rural Training section of the application will not be waitlisted for the NMP, for example. However, the majority of applicants will be on the waitlist for their preferred site(s). This happens automatically so you do not need to contact us about it. Please note that if you accept the offer, you are agreeing to go to the site listed on your Response to Offer form. You will not be able to change sites unless you get another offer.

b. You can decline the offer to that site and most likely stay on the waitlist for your more preferred site(s). Same as above – the vast majority of applicants will be waitlisted for their preferred site(s), and this will happen automatically. The difference is that you are declining the offer and the site. This is taking a risk since you may not get an offer to a more preferred site, but sometimes you know a particular site won’t work for you, and in this case it’s better to free up the spot for someone else. Please note that accepting or declining the offer will not make a difference in terms of your position on the waitlist for your preferred site(s) – your waitlist position will be the same either way.

c. You could decline UBC completely. This would remove you from the waitlist and you would not get any further offers from us.

d. You could not submit the Response to Offer form at all (although we would prefer you did!). Not submitting the form removes you from the waitlist for your preferred site(s) and prevents you from receiving any other offers from UBC.

  1. Is my position on the waitlist of my preferred site(s) affected by accepting or declining an offer to a less-preferred site?

No, your position is the same whether you accept or decline the offer.

  1. What if I have accepted an offer to my second (or third or fourth) choice and have decided I want to stay there? Do I have to accept an offer to my first choice site if I receive one?

You can stay at a less-preferred site if you would like to. We will take you off the waitlist for your preferred site(s). Please message us to let us know, and be aware that this decision is final. You will not be put back on the waitlist for your first (or second, etc) choice site.

  1. What if I have received an offer to my first choice site but I want to go to my second (or third or fourth) choice? 

If you receive an offer to your first choice site you must remain at that site. You will not be given any other offers. This assumes you have not already accepted an offer to your second (or third or fourth) choice site – if you have, please see #3 above.

Permalink | No Comments

2018 Premedical Diversity Symposium

By Admissions on February 14, 2018

The following is a message from the organizers of the 2018 Premedical Diversity Symposium:

We invite you to join us at the 2018 UBC Premedical Diversity Symposium! 

Please RSVP by February 27 through the Google form below to reserve your spot:

What is this event?

Are you interested in a career in medicine, but don’t fit the traditional premed mold? Are you curious or confused about the road to applying to medical school? Do you want to hear from medical students who also come from diverse backgrounds?

Then this symposium is for you!

The UBC Faculty of Medicine invites people of all walks of life to apply to medical school. The Premedical Diversity Symposium is designed to support applicants who identify as “non-traditional” for reasons such as a difficult financial or family background, a non-science degree, Indigenous ancestry, rural origin, parenthood, or applying later in life.

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018. 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Registration opens at 9:30 am

Symposium programming from 10 am – 3:30 pm

This full day event will feature sessions on:
– The importance of diversity in medicine (Talks from Dr. Shahin Shirzad, Assistant Dean, Admissions, UBC medical school and Dr. Tammy Wojcik, Family Physician)
– Student stories from current non-traditional medical students
– Q&A breakout sessions in small groups with a medical student
– A brief overview of the UBC medical school admissions process
– How to finance your way through medical school

Lunch will be provided!
Where does this event take place?

Medical Student Alumni Centre (MSAC)
2750 Heather St, Vancouver, BC

TO BE ANNOUNCED, Reichwald Health Sciences Centre
1088 Discovery Ave, Kelowna, BC

TO BE ANNOUNCED, Royal Jubilee Hospital Coronation Annex
2221-2357 Richmond Rd, Victoria, BC

Prince George:
TO BE ANNOUNCED, Dr. Donald Rix Northern Health Sciences Centre
3333 University Way, Prince George, BC

Not in town but still interested?

No worries – you can still join us! We will provide VC link for you to dial in! Only a limited spots are available, so make sure you sign up early!!!


Contact us at

Facebook page:

Thank you and we hope to see you there!

Permalink | No Comments

MD Admissions is moving!

By Admissions on December 5, 2017

MD Admissions will be moving offices from December 15 – 18. We may be out of phone and email contact on Friday, December 15 and/or Monday, December 18, but hope that everything is up and running again by Tuesday, December 19. Feel free to keep emailing and/or messaging us through the application system during this time – we will write back as soon as we can.

Due to the move, we will have a new phone number starting Monday, December 18: 604-822-9911. Our mailing address will stay the same. We will have a new location for our info sessions starting in January; please check the Information Sessions page for updates.

Permalink | No Comments

Pre-Interview Scoring and FAQs 2017/2018

By Admissions on December 4, 2017

We are always impressed with applicants’ academic and non-academic achievements, and regret that we cannot invite more of you to interview. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual feedback on your application, but we hope this explanation of scores can help to answer some of your questions. There are some FAQs below as well.

OGPA = Overall GPA in UBC percentage

AGPA = Adjusted GPA in UBC percentage

AQ Score = OGPA (if not eligible for AGPA) or AGPA, converted to a number out of 50 (50 is the maximum score). The AQ score is just your OGPA or AGPA, automatically converted to a number out of 50 by our application system. The exact conversion mechanism is confidential. It is important to emphasize that the calculation is automatically determined. This means if your OGPA/AGPA is correct, your AQ score is also correct. If you are a reapplicant and your AQ score is different from last year, that’s ok; the scores are standardized against the current applicant pool, which changes from year to year. This means your AQ score can change even if your OGPA/AGPA stays the same.

NAQ Score = The score given for the non-academic portions of the application, converted to a number out of 50. In order to make sure applicants receive a fair score for this section, all file reviewers are carefully trained, there are various checks throughout the process to ensure consistency in marking, and the NAQ score is standardized to make up for any scoring variations between reviewers. Due to these safeguards we do not accept requests for re-evaluation of the non-academic section.

Please note that while we look for the same aptitudes and qualities each year, we periodically revise how we evaluate and score these qualities. Additionally, every year there are changes in the applicant pool which affect the scoring of the non-academic section. These include the competiveness of the pool, the addition or deletion of activities from an individual’s application, and adjustments made to the average candidate profile that reviewers use to help evaluate the non-academic sections. Therefore, NAQ scores may fluctuate from year to year.

TFR Score = AQ Score + NAQ Score. Your TFR score might be really close to the cutoff. We have double-checked these files for accuracy, so unfortunately, you might just be one of the unlucky ones whose score is really close but not quite high enough to get an interview this year.




I was not invited for an interview; can I talk/meet with someone to discuss my application? I would like some more feedback.
Due to limited resources, we regret that we are not able to offer any feedback advising to applicants who were not granted an interview, nor can we provide any further information about the evaluation of your file. More information about scoring can be found on our Evaluation Criteria page. Reviewing the Interim Statistics on our Statistics page may also help you to identify some potential areas of improvement in your application.

I can tell why I didn’t get an interview, but how can I improve my scores?
Unfortunately, we cannot give you individual feedback about improving your scores – each person’s situation and application is unique and we do not have the resources to offer this type of advising to applicants.

In general terms, improving one’s AQ score seems fairly straightforward, in that the only way to improve a GPA is by taking more classes and achieving higher grades in those classes. It’s the related if/how/when/why/is it worth it type of questions that are much more complicated. You know your situation, capacities, future plans, and personal resources the best, and you are the best person to make this kind of decision. We cannot tell you what impact improving your GPA would have on your ultimate chances of acceptance.

For NAQ, we look for several things when we evaluate the non-academic portions of the application: longstanding, meaningful commitments; leadership; service ethic and altruism; ability to work with others, especially people outside of your peer group; and diverse interests and experiences. We also recognize exceptional achievements in some areas. With NAQ it is important to remember that the applicant pool isn’t made up of the same people you might normally compare yourself against, like your classmates or coworkers – it is made up of highly accomplished individuals just like you. Unfortunately we cannot offer specific ways to improve your NAQ score.


My AQ score seems too low for my GPA.
The AQ score can look really low sometimes. This is a result of the conversion mechanism we use (which is confidential). The AQ score is a number that is meant to be compared to other AQ scores only; it doesn’t have much meaning on its own. Sometimes applicants will see an AQ score of 10 or something similar and will think we are giving them a 10% (an F). We’re not! Please try to use your AQ score for comparative purposes only. The GPAs published on the interim stats may be a useful comparison tool as well. Finally, as a reminder, as long as your OGPA or AGPA (if applicable) is correct, your AQ score is correct.

I think that there has been a mistake in the academic evaluation of my file.
The academic evaluation was based on the credits and grades entered by applicants. If you believe that there has been a specific error, please send an email via the application system detailing what you believe the mistake to be. Please note that some applicants entered wrong information – eg. did not include all courses, excluded failed courses or used letter grades instead of percentages. In these instances the Admissions Office had to correct these mistakes by verifying courses and grades on official transcripts. Therefore, there may be a discrepancy between averages calculated by an applicant and the grades as they appear on the Application Status page of his/her application.

The calculation of the AQ Score is automatically performed by the application system, so as long as your OGPA or AGPA (if applicable) is correct, your AQ Score is also correct.

I am a re-applicant. I have not taken any further coursework so my OGPA/AGPA is the same (or I have taken further coursework and my OGPA/AGPA is higher than last year), but my scores have gone down. Why?
For the academic section of the application the actual evaluation criteria remained the same and there were no changes to the grade conversion tables used. However, academic scores, like non-academic scores, are standardized against the current applicant pool. You can check your AQ score by looking at your OGPA or AGPA (if applicable): if your OGPA/AGPA is correct, your AQ score is also correct. 

I thought I should have been eligible for the AGPA to determine my academic score, but it does not seem to have been used.
The AGPA was calculated based on the courses and grades entered by applicants. The application system automatically determined (a) the lowest academic year which could be eliminated and (b) if this year could be dropped (i.e. if there were still 90 remaining credits with grades at the time of application, excluding summer 2017 courses, as outlined on the Evaluation Criteria page). The Admissions Office verified that grades had been entered accurately by comparison with the official transcripts. 

My overall GPA (or adjusted GPA if applicable) is slightly below the 75%/85% cut-off but I still feel my non-academic experiences are very strong and should have been reviewed.
Although we look for excellent non-academic qualities, these must also be accompanied by very good academic qualities to demonstrate an applicant’s ability to successfully handle the rigorous MD Undergraduate curriculum. It was determined that a lower AQ score (below 75% for BC and below 85% for OOP) cannot be offset by a strong NAQ score; hence these files were not reviewed.

I attended a university that did not use percentages for its grading scheme. How did UBC calculate averages from universities with different grading schemes?
Information on grade conversions, including our grade conversion tables, can be found on the Evaluation Criteria page of our website.


I am not happy with the non-academic score I received. Can I request another review?  
We understand that you may be dissatisfied with the scoring of the non-academic portion of your file, but would like to assure you that the non-academic portion of your application was reviewed and evaluated fairly and consistently. We will not re-evaluate the non-academic section of your file. At the beginning of each cycle, with guidelines provided by the Admissions Policy Committee, we establish a profile of an average applicant as a benchmark and points are allotted accordingly. Reviewers are trained and files are cross-checked. Although there cannot help but be a degree of subjectivity involved, we feel the standardized process keeps this to a minimum. 

I am a re-applicant. I feel I have more activities, volunteer, and employment experiences than last year, but my NAQ score has not increasedWhy?
Each year, the applicant pool is different, as is the average applicant profile used by non-academic evaluators. In addition, while we look for the same aptitudes and qualities each year, we periodically revise how we evaluate and score these qualities. All of these may contribute to a lower-than-expected NAQ score. 


I was not invited for an interview and would like to appeal the decision.
We realize the importance of your application and appreciate that the results may be disappointing. Please be aware that we do our best to ensure that our evaluation practices are fair and consistent. Files are often double and sometimes triple checked to ensure accuracy. While we are unable to discuss your application over the phone, you may message Admissions through the application system if you have any specific concerns regarding your file evaluation. Please note that we will not re-evaluate the non-academic section of your file. We will not make appointments with the Dean, Associate Dean, or Admissions staff to discuss your application.

I’m not sure if I am seeing the right thing under the scores line on my Application Status page.
This is what you should see, depending on your application status:

Ineligible: no scores
Regrets, Partial File Review: OGPA, AGPA (if applicable)
Regrets, No Interview: OGPA, AGPA (if applicable), AQ, NAQ and TFR
Invited to Interview: no scores

Permalink | No Comments