Frequently Asked Questions

General

For more information on this topic, please see the Information Sessions page and the Statistics page.

We do not provide any one-on-one advising sessions. This includes scheduled advising appointments as well as informal drop-in advising. However, we do offer small-group information sessions. They follow a question-and-answer format and are free on a first come, first served basis.

If you have an admissions-related question that cannot be answered by reviewing our website, we recommend contacting the Admissions office by email. If you are a current applicant, please email the office through the online application system.

Please see the Information Sessions page. There is no RSVP for these sessions.

Please view our Statistics to compare your academic standing with the averages of successful applicants and also review information on Minimum Academic Standing.

UBC does not have a pre-med program. Please see our Admissions Requirements for information on all prerequisites necessary for application.

Interim statistics for the current application cycle are posted in mid- to late fall. Final statistics are posted in early fall.

For more information on this topic, please see the following pages: Welcome Message, Selection and Post-Acceptance Conditions.

The MD Undergraduate program is a four-year program. This is followed by a residency in a chosen or assigned specialization, which may take between two and seven years to complete.

Please click here for information about tuition, fees, and other expenses.

288 seats are available – 192 for the Vancouver Fraser Medical Program (UBC-Vancouver), 32 for the Island Medical Program (U of Victoria), 32 for the Northern Medical Program (UNBC), and 32 for the Southern Medical Program (UBC-Okanagan).

In partnership with UBC-Vancouver, the University of Victoria, University of Northern BC and UBC-Okanagan are a part of a provincial program to increase the number of physicians in underserved areas of the province. Please see the websites of the University of Victoria’s Island Medical Program, University of Northern BC’s Northern Medical Program, and UBC-Okanagan’s Southern Medical Program for more information on those sites.

All sites are part of the UBC MD Undergraduate Program and there is only one application for the program. During the interview stage, applicants invited to interview have the opportunity to learn about each site and are asked to indicate their preferred site(s). All first-year MD students attend the first semester of classes in Vancouver before moving to the distributed sites in January.

Up to 10% of seats (29 total) are reserved for out-of-province applicants.

For more information on this topic, please see the following pages: Who Should Apply, Graduate Students, Selection, and Post-Acceptance Conditions.

No. Only permanent residents of Canada are eligible to apply, either as Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Transfers into the UBC MD Undergraduate Program are rare. Please see Admission of Students by Transfer under Post-Acceptance Conditions for more information.

You can apply as long as you were/are enrolled in a foreign medical school and you did not withdraw from the other medical school due to academic reasons. When you apply, please write a short paragraph to explain the details of your attendance in the appropriate box on the application. Note that applying to our program means you will start over in Year 1 if accepted. If you are currently attending or withdrew from a Canadian medical school, please contact the MD Admissions office before applying, as applications from students in these circumstances are not usually considered.

There is no preference given to applicants in Honours, Graduate, or Science programs. Keep in mind graduate students must agree to these terms at the time of application.

Aboriginal applicants are encouraged to contact the Aboriginal Student Initiatives Coordinator for information about the Aboriginal admissions process and specific requirements. Please contact Mr. James Andrew at 604-875-8298 (ext 68946) or email James.Andrew@ubc.ca.

No, you do not have to disclose this information to the Admissions Office.

You do not need to disclose, but we do want to be able to make any necessary accommodations at the time of interviews. For more information please contact UBC Access and Diversity at 604-822-5844 or visit http://students.ubc.ca/about/access. If you have further questions you may also contact the Associate Dean, Equity.

If you have any questions that might affect your ability to study or practice medicine in BC, you should contact the College of Physicians & Surgeons of BC (see Educational Licensure under Post-Acceptance Conditions). Applicants should do this before undertaking the lengthy and possibly expensive application and evaluation process, especially if travel is required to attend an interview.

There are no age limitations to apply or enter the program.

Reapplicants are evaluated the same way as first-time applicants.


Documents and Deadlines

For more information on this topic, please see the Admission Requirements page.

Please send your transcripts to:

MD Undergraduate Admissions
Faculty of Medicine, Dean’s Office
University of British Columbia
317 – 2194 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3

We will accept transcripts mailed from applicants as long as the transcripts arrive in their official, original, sealed envelopes.

We will bring forward transcripts if you have not taken any further coursework at an institution since the transcripts were submitted. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that there were no courses in progress, grades awarded or changed, or other changes to the transcript since it was last submitted. If in doubt, another transcript should be submitted by the application deadline.

No, we do not return documents.

UBC and UBCO students do not need to submit AP/IB transcripts; we can access your AP/IB course record electronically. All other students must submit AP/IB transcripts. Please see the Admission Requirements page for more information on submitting AP/IB transcripts. Please note that in late summer the processing and mailing times for AP/IB transcripts can become quite long, so we recommend ordering AP/IB transcripts two months in advance of the application deadline.

For more information about this topic, please see the Application Timelines page.


Academics

For more information on this topic, please see the Admission Requirements page and the Evaluation Criteria page.

3 credits are generally given to half-year courses; 6 credits for full-year courses. "Credits with grades" means credits with percentage or letter grades (not courses that are marked as pass/fail, satisfactory, completed, etc.).

No, credits given for AP or IB courses do not count toward the 90 minimum credits.

Our Application Timeline lists all important dates in the application cycle. As noted, your 90 credits with grades must be completed by the April 30 deadline in the year of entry.

You do not need a degree to apply or enter the program. However, We require that 90 university credits with grades be completed by April 30 of the year of entry into medical school. For most people, this means you can apply in your third year of university as long as you will complete at least 90 credits with grades by the end of spring semester.

We consider a full course load to be approximately 10 courses/30 credits taken over the fall and spring semesters.

A full course load is not necessary for application to the program, and we recognize that applicants may have many reasons for taking less than a full load. However, applicants must display an ability to handle the demands of medical school and may be required to demonstrate the reason behind a part-time course load.

CEGEP courses are considered post-secondary courses and count for credit towards the minimum 90 credit requirement to the UBC MD Undergraduate Program. Generally, 6 credits at UBC are usually equivalent to 3 or 4 CEGEP courses.

Generally, diploma courses do not count toward the 90 credit requirement and grades from diploma courses are not included in GPA calculations. This includes diplomas in most trades and clinical health services. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, so if you would like confirmation on whether your particular diploma courses will be accepted, please email the Admissions Office at admissions.md@ubc.ca.

Applicants with a BSc in Nursing (conferred or in progress) will have their courses applied to their GPA and 90 credit requirement. Nursing diplomas are not considered.

Credits from non-university-transferable courses cannot be counted towards the 90 minimum credits or included in the academic evaluation. If you would like confirmation on your specific program, please contact the Admissions office.

For more information on this topic, please see the Admission Requirements page.

We require two semesters (6 credits) of English. Courses in general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry are recommended but not required. Please see the Admission Requirements page for more information.

English courses must be completed by April 30 of the year of entry into medicine.

Please see our English Courses Chart for a list of acceptable English courses. If you have a question about a course not listed on the chart, please email us.

Yes, we will accept four "603" courses (4 courses) to meet the English requirement.

If you intend to apply to UBC’s MD Undergraduate Program, you should consider that as applicants are required to demonstrate their academic ability to determine their suitability for the rigorous MD curriculum, taking the Credit/D/Fail option may not be a helpful indicator in the selection process and could potentially jeopardize your application to the program.

Yes, we will. English courses do not have an 'expiration date.'

For more information on this topic, please see the Admission Requirements page and the Evaluation Critieria page.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all MCAT results are sent to UBC and received by the Admissions Office.

UBC is not a part of the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). You must therefore specify that you want your test results sent to UBC. This can only be done through the MCAT Score Reporting System, and only after your results have been released to you. We encourage applicants to check the “Scores Sent to Institutions” screen on their AAMC accounts to confirm that results have been successfully released to UBC.

You must release all results. We will evaluate the exam with the highest score, as long as that exam 1) meets our date requirements and 2) has a score of at least 124 in each section (CARS, BBFL, CPBS and PSBB). If any of the section scores are below 124, the exam is not eligible for evaluation.

Pre-interview, as long as score and date requirements are met, the MCAT is not a factor in determining who is invited to interview. Post-interview, MCAT scores are evaluated, so higher scores are better. Further information on the role MCAT plays is confidential.

Information provided by MCAT shows that the concepts tested in the four sections: (Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems; Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems; Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behaviour; Critical Analysis and Reasoning) are taught in the courses most applicants take at post-secondary institutions. However, examinees prepare in different ways. Please refer to the AAMC website for information on the exam and suggestions on how to prepare. Admissions does not endorse and cannot provide advice on any third-party MCAT study guides or prep courses.

For more information on this topic, please see the Evaluation Criteria page.

The overall grade point average includes all completed courses taken at accredited post- secondary institutions. For applicants who meet the criteria, an adjusted academic average is also calculated, in which the academic year with the lowest academic average is removed from the overall grade point average calculation (see adjusted academic average). Fails, duplicate and repeat courses are included in both calculations.

When applicants enter their grades and credits (as used by their institution) in the on-line application system, each letter grade will convert to the same percentage grade as per the appropriate table. Grades from schools using a percentage will not be converted.

They are based on research of the schemes used by schools across Canada and the US, as well as comparison with scales used by other institutions.

Summer courses from the year of application are not included in the academic evaluation. Courses from previous summers are included in the applicable average calculations.

Graduate courses are included in the grade average calculations and are treated the same as undergraduate courses.

Generally, we do not recommend repeating courses to improve your overall GPA. Students who enroll in unclassified, non-degree programs for the sole purpose of improving their academic qualifications are advised that only a small proportion of such candidates gain admission.

All courses, including failures, are included in the overall GPA calculation.

We do note course withdrawals, but in the context of an entire application withdrawal from one course is unlikely to have a significant negative impact. Applicants who withdrew from multiple courses or who withdrew from their academic program should provide an explanation on the application.

We evaluate grades from courses taken during the current application cycle only for applicants who receive an offer to the program or who are placed on the waitlist. For applicants who receive an offer, we recalculate the overall GPA or adjusted GPA (if applicable) with the new coursework added in. If the resulting GPA has dropped 5% or more from the overall or adjusted GPA we calculated during our file evaluation in the fall, the Admissions Selection Committee reserves the right to revoke the offer of admission.


Non-Academics

For more information on this topic, please see the Evaluation Criteria page.

UBC’s MD Undergraduate Program prides itself on the diverse student body. Academic scores are critical, but we believe that a strong non-academic background is equally important to demonstrate an applicant’s suitability to be a doctor. Applicants will be assessed based on the non-academic experiences included in the application.

There is not a specific volunteer model that enhances an applicant’s profile. Successful applicants in the past have included not only medical volunteers, but athletes and artists. Generally, those who demonstrate a commitment to their community and service ethic are valued; all of this must be documented in the non-academic experiences section for evaluation.

For more information on this topic, please see the Who Should Apply page.

Students at every site will undergo some rural practice training. In addition, the Northern Medical Program and Southern Medical Program provide opportunities to complete undergraduate medical training in regional centres that serve rural, remote, and northern communities.

The Rural and Remote Suitability Score (RRSS) is calculated to determine the suitability of an applicant for the Northern Medical Program and rural positions in the Southern Medical Program. An applicant’s experiences in rural/remote/northern/Aboriginal settings, along with evidence of self-reliance, community ties and activities, factor into this assessment.

References are not required until the interview stage, and we do not accept unsolicited reference letters. All reference providers must complete a specific online form. More information about references is given to applicants who are invited to interview.

Reference criteria may change from year to year, but in past years we have required one academic reference, one community service reference, and one professional reference. Applicants invited to interview are given further information about references during the interview stage. All reference providers are required to submit a specific online form.