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What You Didn’t Know About Applying to UAlberta Med School

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Alberta chapter.

Coming from high school to University, med school prospects usually believe that they need a pre-med degree in Biology, a 4.0 GPA, and a filled-to-the-brim schedule in order to get into medical school. While getting into Medicine is no walk in the park, the preparation for applying is a lot simpler than you would think. Although I,  myself, am still a medical school prospect trying to get through undergraduate studies, I have done a lot of research and I want to share what I’ve found with you!

For more information and for reference, please go to the website of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta.

What Degree to Take?

  • Take an undergraduate degree in something that truly interests you, and that you believe you will succeed in! Your undergraduate studies are a great time to learn about the things that you are curious about, but which you do not want a career in. DO NOT take a degree route that you think will “best prepare” you for medical school, just for the sake of “preparation.”

  • Your degree is blinded when you apply to medical school. Take ANY degree that you are interested in.

  • Take a full year (September through April) with a full course load. This is required to see if you will be able to survive the course load of medical school.

  • You must finish a full undergraduate degree before you will be accepted to Medical School.

What GPA Should I Aim For?

  • Aim for the highest GPA you can!

  • The competitive GPA range for Albertan applicants is 3.3 and up on a 4.0 point scale; for Non-Albertan applicants the competitive GPA range is 3.5 and up on a 4.0 point scale

What About The MCAT?

  • The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is important! Study until you feel prepared, take a prep course, take practice tests!

  • You can take the MCAT a maximum of 3 times per year, and a maximum of 7 times in your lifetime!

  • The MCAT costs $272-$325 based on when you register, each time you take it! It is recommended that you register for your exam session 60  days prior to the exam date (you need time to study anyways)

  • The MCAT is one of many standardized exams that you will experience in a medical career. Take it seriously to help you learn how to prepare for these exams.

  • The minimum MCAT score to be considered for Albertan applicants is 124 in all four sections.

  • The minimum MCAT score to be considered for Non-Albertan applicants is 128 in the CARS section, and 124 in the three other sections


  • October 1st – Deadline for application. Transcripts must be received by the Registrar by this date. Apply and send documentation by early September to avoid issues.

  • August -The last MCAT date that they will accept for application for the year is at the end of August. Aim for a test date before this.


Getting into Medical School is About More Than Grades

  • Personal Activities (must be concise, verifiable, and detailed):

    • Employment

    • Leadership

    • Volunteering

    • Life Experience and Achievements

    • Additional Comments – focus on your resilience and the amazing things about you as a person

  • References

    • 2 professional or supervisory references to comment on your person.

    • These cannot be friends, family, or personal physicians

  • CASPer Testing Online

  • Interview

    • Requests for interviews will be sent via ualberta email in February following applying

    • They can bring up anything from your application


  • 10 spots are reserved each year for applicants from rural communities – if this is you, take advantage and apply, including this information in your application

  • 5 spots are reserved for qualified Aboriginal Applicants- if this is you, take advantage and apply, including this information in your application

Each only 162 applicants are accepted into the MD program.

Have a back-up plan that you are comfortable with. Be comfortable with having to re-apply or retake the MCAT. You are human, and you are incredible beyond the score you achieve on a test and whether or not you get into medicine. MD prospects are all capable of changing our world in their own way – find yours!

Information was gathered from the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry website. Click this link to access the website and to find out more https://www.ualberta.ca/medicine/programs/md/applying

Robin is a senior student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. She is getting a Science Degree, with a Psychology major and a double minor in Sociology & Biology. Part-time jobs, full-time classes, various student groups and volunteering fill most of her time. Robin is the 2020/2021 President of Her Campus at UAlberta and served as the social media director for the 2018/2019 year!