Admissions

www.medicine.dal.ca/admissions

Admission to First Year

Application and Selection

Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Medicine is responsible to society to provide a program of undergraduate medical study such that graduates have the knowledge, skills, professional behaviours and attitudes necessary to enter the supervised practice of medicine in Canada. Graduates must be able to diagnose and manage health problems and provide comprehensive, compassionate care to their patients. For this reason, students in the MD program must possess essential abilities and skills for the study and practice of medicine. Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine’s Technical Standards document outlines and describes these essential abilities and skills and can be found at https://medicine.dal.ca/departments/core-units/admissions/about.html

Prospective applicants and students are expected to review this document to assess their ability to meet these standards. Students who require disability-related accommodation are responsible for notifying the medical school so that reasonable and appropriate accommodation can be provided. 

Successful candidates are selected by the Admissions Committee of the Faculty of Medicine, whose decision is final.

To advance education equity and to ensure that the medical student body is representative of the communities we serve, the Faculty of Medicine recognizes the importance of increasing the admission of and number of graduates from historically underrepresented groups, specifically Aboriginal persons of the Maritime Region and persons of African descent of the Maritime region (of which the largest population is recognized to be African Nova Scotians) through Affirmative Action.

Applicants must self-identify in part 4 of section 1 of the online application form to be considered for admission under the Affirmative Action Statement [http://medicine.dal.ca/departments/core-units/admissions/about/affirmative-action-policy.html]. All applicants must satisfy/meet admission requirements. However, applicants who apply under the Affirmative Action Statement are considered on the basis of their qualifications for the study of medicine rather than in relation to other candidates.

The application for admission is to be made only on the regular online application form for the Faculty of Medicine, which may be obtained from the website admissions.medicine.dal.ca after June 15th . Section one of the application must be submitted online to the Registrar’s Office, Dalhousie University, no later than published deadlines which are available on the Medicine Admissions website (admissions.medicine.dal.ca) in order to be considered for entry to the course beginning in August of the following year. Applications not submitted as complete by 3:59pm ADT on the set application deadlines will be cancelled. All applications must be accompanied by a $70 processing fee, which is not refundable and is not applicable to tuition fees. Failure to submit payment by the set payment deadline will result in cancellation of application.

A completed application includes each of the following:

1. Completion of Section 1 due on or before 11:59pm AST, July 31st : The Online Application, available beginning June 15th each year at https://dalonline.dal.ca/PROD/bwskalog.P_DispLoginNon, includes general demographic information, contact information and education history. This section is due on or before 3:59pm AST on July 31st each year. Section 1 must be completed and "SUBMITTED" before you can proceed to Section 2. 

TIP: Completing and submitting Section 1 as early as possible enables the applicant a longer duration of time to thoughtfully complete Section 2 which contains the majority of information review in depth by the Admissions Committee.

2. Payment of non-refundable Application Processing Fee due on or before 3:59pm AST September 1st.

TIP:  Online payment for the application processing fee is available ONLY with submission of Section 1. If you do not choose online payment by July 31, alternative payment options by phone or in person are available during regular office hours at the Registrar's Office until September 1 at 3:59pm AST

Within 5-7 business days of completing and submitting Section 1, you will receive an automated email with sign in credentials and a link to direct you to a log in page to access Section 2. Applicants are responsible for providing a reliable email address for all correspondence related to their application to Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine. 

3. Submission of Official University transcripts: To be received by the Medicine Admissions office no later than July 31st 

4. Completion of Section 2 due on or before 3:59om, September 1:  Completion of the 1,500 word Personal Statement and Supplemental information form.

5. Release of MCAT results: Please see admissions.medicine.dal.ca for final MCAT test dates accepted for your application cycle. 

6. Release of CASPer results: NOTE: Completion of CASPer is new requirement for the 2017-2018 application cycle. Please see admissions.medicine.dal.ca for more details regarding CASPer and CASPer test dates accepted for your application cycle. 

Place of Residency/Applicant Categories

Entrance to the MD program within the Faculty of Medicine will be limited to 108 students annually. There are four applicant categories: one for each Maritime Province (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) and a fourth for those with non-Maritime place of residence status. Supernumerary (additional and restricted seats) may be added by the Faculty of Medicine.

All applicants are expected to claim the same place of residency on all applications to the Canadian medical schools. Failure to do so may lead to rejection of the application. Place of residence for each applicant, for the purpose of application to Dalhousie Medicine, is determined by the Faculty of Medicine Admissions “Place of Residence” definition. The decision of Faculty of Medicine Admissions regarding the place of residence status of each applicant will be final and is not subject to appeal. For more details regarding residency, see ‘Place of Residence’ on the admissions.medicine.dal.ca website.

Dalhousie’s distributed education program offers the MD program at two sites: Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick. Thirty New Brunswick students will be admitted to the Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick (DMNB) campus each year and in their first two years, students will attend classes at the Saint John campus. For their final two years, students are placed throughout New Brunswick to complete their clerkships in Moncton, Woodstock, Fredericton, Miramichi and Saint John. Students at the Halifax site will be placed throughout the Maritime provinces for their final two years to complete their clinical clerkships.  

Selection Objectives

The Faculty is seeking applicants who have a good record of achievement in both academic and non-academic activities. Applicants with a broad academic background have an enhanced chance of admission as humanities and social sciences cultivate desirable personal qualities for students and physicians. This also includes sound basic training in the sciences so that they can understand the complexities of modern scientific medicine. The greatest possible proficiency in communication and self-expression, both orally and written, is a necessity to the future medical practitioner. In addition, in order to have acquired the required degree of intellectual maturity, the prospective medical student should have more than basic training in at least one field of learning, whether it be in the humanities, social sciences, life sciences or physical sciences

Selection Factors

Sources of information and factors considered by the Admissions Committee include (a) academic accomplishments including full course load, Grade Point Average and Medical College Admissions Test score (b) non-academic attributes assessed by CASPer score (c) non-academic attributes assessed by information provided by the applicant in response to questions on the application form, (d) multiple mini- interviews, (e) place of residence and (f) confidential assessment by referees or others named as contacts by the applicant in their supplemental information form.

Academic Requirements

The Admissions Committee recognizes that appropriate preparation for the study of medicine can be acquired through many varied educational backgrounds. The major objective is that premedical education encompass broad study in the physical, life and social sciences and the humanities. A completed baccalaureate degree from an accredited University at the time of the start of the academic program is a requirement for admission.

GPA calculation consists of the two most senior consecutive years (equivalent to 60 credit hours) of the baccalaureate degree being submitted. A full course load of five full courses (30 credit hours per year) and minimum GPA in each year is a requirement. If the degree program has been completed at the time of application, the best three years out of four years of full time study could also be considered for GPA calculation. Courses in the social sciences and humanities will be helpful in understanding human behavior in health and illness. Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, is essential. The committee believes that attracting students with a rich variety of educational backgrounds is in the interest of all students. Such preparation supports the training of outstanding physicians. Details for GPA calculation, including for advanced degree applicants (Masters, PhD), can be found under “GPA Requirement” at admissions.medicine.dal.ca

All applicants must meet the following minimum academic requirements:

Maritime applicants: A minimum GPA of 3.3 (on a 4.0 scale) based on a full course load of five full courses in each year of the two most senior years of study (equivalent to 60 credit hours) in the baccalaureate degree being used when submitting an application. An applicant’s best three years out of four years of full time study could also be considered, if the degree program has been completed at the time of application. The MCAT is also required with a minimum total score of 503 and allowance for one category score of 124.  CASPer is a new mandatory requirement for the 2017-2018 application cycle. A minimum CASPer score is a requirement. Applicants with a CASPer score less than 1.5 standard deviations below the applicant pool mean will not be considered.

Non Maritime Applicants: A minimum GPA of 3.7 (on a 4.0 scale) based on a full course load of five full courses in each year of the two most recent years of study (equivalent to 60 credit hours) prior to submitting an application. An applicant’s best three years out of four year of full time study could also be considered, if the degree program has been completed at the time of application. The MCAT is also required with a minimum total score of 506 and allowance for one category score of 125.

CASPer is a new mandatory requirement for the 2017-2018 application cycle. A minimum CASPer score is a requirement. Applicants with a CASPer score less than 1.5 standard deviations below the applicant pool mean will not be considered. 

Academic Ability

Although there are no absolute prerequisite courses, candidates are encouraged to have taken two or three science courses at a challenging level. This will not only prepare the applicant to successfully write the Medical College Admission Test, but will provide a good foundation for studies in the medical program. Accordingly, a demonstrated capacity to carry a full program of demanding advanced level courses is a necessary asset for a medical student. The ability to obtain consistently better than average grades in such a program is the best indication of that capacity. An academic record which shows failed or repeated courses, courses passed with low grades or supplementary examinations, particularly in the two years prior to anticipated entry into medical school, makes the prospect of admission unlikely. 

While it is ordinarily expected for applicants to have two consecutive years in which five full courses were carried while achieving a minimum GPA for their respective category (Maritime, non-Maritime), the Admissions Committee may consider application from candidates who have demonstrated compelling reasons for not having met these stated course work requirements and how their experiences, in the absence of a full course load, effectively demonstrate the capacity to meet the rigorous demands of the Undergraduate Medical Education Curriculum.  This information is submitted and reviewed as part of the application.  Decisions are made at the discretion of the Admissions Committee on a case-by-case basis. Exception to the course load requirement are not routinely granted. 

Medical College Admission Test

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a requirement for admission to the Faculty of Medicine. Applications from candidates who have not met the minimum requirements are not considered. It is the responsibility of the applicant to arrange to write the Test prior to the deadline date for submission of application. This test cannot be any more than five years old.

From Jul 2016 onward, we will ONLY accept MCAT scores written from the new testing format, introduced in 2015. MCAT scores prior to 2015 are no longer accepted.

Students should note that the scientific information to answer questions on the MCAT should be obtainable in first or second year undergraduate courses. Performance in the critical analysis and reasoning test will be enhanced by a broad undergraduate education including the humanities.

Further information about the MCAT, including applying to write the exam online, can be obtained by visiting their website www.aamc.org/mcat

Non-Academic Factors

Any outstanding achievement or breadth in terms of life experience is given consideration. Such achievement would be drawn to the attention of the Committee by the applicant’s personal statement and in the Supplementary Information Form. Information provided in these areas play a very important part in the evaluations of the Admissions Committee. The attributes of emotional intelligence, critical thinking, personal maturity, problem solving, resilience and adaptability, reliability and dependability, empathy, leadership, altruism/advocacy, initiative, strong communication skills, teamwork, cultural competence and ethical responsibility to self and others, are considered for each candidate.

New for the 2017-2018 application cycle, all applicants to Dalhousie ‘s Undergraduate Medical Education program are required to complete a mandatory online 90-minute computer-based test (CASPer™), to assist with our selection process. Successful completion of CASPer is mandatory in order to maintain admission eligibility. CASPer assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program and will complement our other applicant screening tools. In implementing CASPer, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process. To see examples of the test structure, schedule your test and/or take CASPer on your chosen test date, please visit takeCASPer.com.

Interviews

All Maritime applicants who meet the minimum academic requirements and a minimum CASPer score are invited for an interview. Non Maritime applicants will be ranked using academics, CASPer score and supporting supplemental documents and the top applicants are invited for an interview. A processing fee of $75 will be charged to all applicants receiving an interview. The interview weekend dates are posted on the Admissions main web page in the fall of each year. Due to the nature and logistics of the MMI, the Admissions office is unable to re-schedule interview dates and time. Individuals who require disability-related accommodation are responsible for notifying the Admissions office so that reasonable accommodation can be provided for the interview process.

Immunization Requirements

Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine has mandatory immunization requirements for all medical students. Health Care Professionals have an obligation to protect patients and themselves from infections that can be transmitted within health care practice settings. Immunization is an important tool in preventing the transmission of infections and assists in safeguarding the health of the student during their education and beyond. Students accepted to the program will be sent complete documentation regarding health status policies and immunization requirements where applicable. Documentation of immunization and tuberculin status will be required.

Criminal Record Check

All applicants offered admission will be required to submit a criminal record check, including vulnerable sector screening to the Faculty of Medicine by August 31 of the year of entry, as well as in subsequent years of study. Unclear results will be shared, including sharing a copy of the documentation, with (i) the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and (ii) other medical and/or education institutions as required.

Such facilities may refuse to accept students on the basis of information contained in the record check or other screening procedures. If the student is unable to complete a requirement due to failure to meet the record check or screening requirements of the facility, or if the student is refused access to the facility on the basis of the information provided, such student may fail the course, and as a result, in some instances, may not be eligible for progression or graduation.

Notification

Candidates will be informed of the status of their application (e.g. accept, reject or wait list) by mid March via Dal Medix. An email notification will be sent with a link to log in to a secure server to access the decision letter.  Those candidates who are wait-listed may be notified anytime between the first of April to registration day in late August.

Deferrals

Applicants who are offered a place in the incoming course may request deferral of admission for one year only. The Admissions Committee considers deferral requests on a case-by-case basis. Deferral requests are not routinely granted and have generally been provided only in rare and exceptional circumstances. 

Students who are enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate studies program will be required to successfully complete the program before entering medicine. It is expected that such students will apply during their last year of study since deferrals are rarely granted. 

Acceptance Fee

On notice of acceptance into the Faculty of Medicine, applicants must be prepared to sign a formal agreement of acceptance and to deposit with the Student Accounts Office the sum of $500 before a specified date. This sum is credited toward tuition fees if the student registers but is not refunded if the student withdraws, or declines an offer of admission.