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Study Medicine in Canada

May 19, 2023

Study Medicine in Canada: Fees, Top Universities, Eligibility for International Students

Explore MBBS and Medicine courses in Canada.

Study Medicine in Canada: Fees, Top Universities, Eligibility for International Students

Canada has consistently been among the top study-abroad destinations for international students. According to IRCC, Canada’s international student population has grown by 6 times in the last 2 decades. 34% of them are Indians. Independent researchers state that 39% of respondents from 55 countries choose Canada. Its excellent education standards and affordable tuition make it an attractive choice for many.

As an economically developed nation, Canada has the faculty and the infrastructure for high-quality education in medicine. Medical education in Canada is offered as an MD (Doctor of Medicine). It is a graduate-level course, which means students can apply to the program after earning a bachelor’s degree. The duration of an MD program ranges from three to four years and is usually open only to Canadian citizens. 

 However, international students can apply to a few universities that accept foreign applications. The seats are highly limited and very competitive. Thus, international students also plan to select other medical programs instead of an MD. 

To specialize in medicine after high school, students can choose degree programs in nursing, health sciences, paramedicine, and more. 

Canada is preferred by most as the cost of medical education is far less than an MBBS in the UK or the US. But It is more expensive than in other popular countries for medical education in Europe.

This article highlights the best Canadian medical universities, popular degrees in medicine, and the cost for international students.

Medicine in Canada: An overview

Program Offered MD
Program Duration 3-4 years
Average Annual Tuition Cost USD 69,800
Basic Eligibility Criteria Bachelor’s degree with at least 85%
Entrance Exams MCAT
IELTS/TOEFL Requirement 6.5 (IELTS), 86 (TOEFL), or equivalent
NEET-UG Requirement Required for Indian students
Application Deadline September/October
Application Fees USD 150

Why study Medicine in Canada?

  • Canada offers top-notch education quality at affordable tuition costs. Education in Canada is more affordable than in the US.
  • According to QS Rankings 2022, 17 of 670 medical universities are Canadian. 
  • Studying in Canada can open doors to immigration and citizenship in one of the most economically developed countries.
  • The national average salary for doctors in Canada can range between CAD 280,000 and 480,000 per annum.
  • Every year, close to 700,000 international students go to Canada for their education. The country welcomes diverse cultures, allowing students to experience new cultures.

Best universities offering Medicine programs to international students

Most Canadian universities provide limited medical course seats to international students. They can apply to the universities listed below.

University QS Ranking


Country Ranking

(US News 2023)

University of Toronto 34 1
McGill University 31 3
McMaster University 152 5
University of Calgary 242 7
Queen’s University at Kingston 246 17

Specializations in MD programs

Specialist doctors in Canada are paid more than general practitioners, with salaries in the range of CAD 360,000-480,000 per year. Some specializations can draw even higher salaries.

The most popular specializations chosen by international students in Canada are:

  • Family Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Cardiology
  • Pathology
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Ophthalmology

MD admissions in Canada

Medicine program is offered as an MD degree in Canada. The duration can range from three to four years. Candidates must have completed their bachelor’s in a science-related discipline to apply.

Admissions to the best universities are quite competitive. Most universities allow Canadian citizens to apply for MD programs. Only five universities offer limited seats to international students. Candidates willing to study at universities like McGill University, or the University of Toronto, must have an excellent academic record.

General requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree with at least 85%
  • Official academic transcripts assessed by ICES or WES
  • Subject prerequisites of English, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
  • MCAT with a score of 124 or above
  • Academic explanations essay (optional)
  • Proof of English language proficiency with IELTS score of 6.5 overall (or equivalent)
  • French language proficiency B2/C1 level (required by some universities)

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

All candidates for MD programs in Canada are required to take the MCAT. MCAT is a computer-based multiple-choice test in the areas of

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Each section can be scored between 118-132.

Although an overall score of 124 is the minimum for admission into MD programs, candidates with higher scores are selected.

Excellent: 515-528

Good: 509-514

Average: 502-508

Below average: 501 or below

Usually, MD aspirants choose bachelor’s degrees that cover the MCAT syllabus to make their test prep easier.

How to apply?

Applications can be submitted electronically through the university’s Online Application System (OAS). Applicants should keep the required documents ready to submit along with the online application. 

Alternatively, students can also apply via Gyanberry for a fast, hassle-free application process.

Cost of MD in Canada

University Duration of MD Annual Tuition Cost in CAD Annual Tuition Cost in USD*
University of Toronto 4 years  91,760 69,018
McGill University 4 years  55,505 41,748
McMaster University 3 years  96,000 72,207
University of Calgary 3 years 80,126 60,268
Queen’s University at Kingston 4 years  92,886 69,865

*Tuition fees are converted from CAD to USD at the exchange rate of 1 CAD = 0.75 USD. Exchange rates are subject to change from time to time.

Cost of living in Canada

The cost of living in Canada depends on the province/city a student is in. The cities of Vancouver and Toronto are the costliest, while Ottawa, the capital, is cheaper. 

Students, who live on campus and subscribe to university meal plans, will usually notice residence and food costs take up a significant portion of their total expenses. Off-campus residences are pricier, and public transit is more affordable than private.

According to the University of Toronto, an international student’s estimated living costs are:

Particulars Annual Expense in USD
Residence, Food, & Transport 6,200-11,600
Books and Supplies 780
Total 6,980-12,380

Cost of Medicine in Canada for Indian students

Annual tuition costs for Indian students is approximately INR 54,22,000*. The annual cost of attendance ranges between INR 59,64,200-63,83,600*.

Cost of Medicine in Canada for UAE students

Students from the UAE can expect an annual tuition cost of AED 256,380*. The annual cost of attendance is AED 282,000-301,850*.

*All costs mentioned are converted from USD at the exchange rates of 81.65 INR/USD and 3.67 AED/USD. Exchange rates are subject to change.

Other Medical programs in Canada after high school

Students must have completed their bachelor’s to apply for an MD. Most prefer doing a BSc degree to provide a good foundation for the subsequent MCAT exam.

Please note that there are no specific premedical courses in Canada. The bachelor’s degree itself is considered a form of premedical education. If students cannot secure a seat for MD, they can continue their education with a BSc.

Some popular degrees one can pursue after high school are:

  • BSc in Nursing (BSN)
  • BSc in Health Sciences
  • Bachelor of Midwifery (BMW)
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
  • BSc in Biomedical Physiology
  • BSc in Kinesiology
  • BSc in Biochemistry
  • BSc in General Science

General admission requirements

  • High school diploma
  • Must have passed Math with at least 50%
  • English proficiency with IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent

Scholarships for international students

The Government of Canada offers the following scholarship to international students:

Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship

This scholarship is for students from commonwealth countries looking to study graduate programs in Canada. Scholars are selected on academic excellence, leadership, and program appraisal criteria.

More scholarship opportunities may be available through universities. Students are encouraged to check their preferred university website for new scholarships.

Career prospects after Medicine in Canada

Canada is brimming with opportunities. In the past decade alone, Canada generated 1.6 million jobs for graduates.

  • Graduates can apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) within 180 days of graduation to work in Canada. For two years or more duration programs, the PGWP allows three years of work.
  • Graduates can also apply for Express Entry. Applicants are assigned a score based on their profile, education, and work experience. 
  • Medical graduates need to apply for licensure through the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) to practice as a doctor. License is issued only when the applicant is a graduate of a university listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools.
  • Universities often provide career support to medical students through their student or careers center. Summer programs help students receive employable skills and medical training.

Doctors are among the most well-paid professionals in Canada. The average annual salary of doctors ranges between CAD 360,000-480,000. Specialists can earn even higher depending on the province and experience.

International candidates who cannot gain entry into MD can pursue a degree in other healthcare fields. A BSc can help them begin a career in a relevant discipline.

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Indian students can expect to incur approximately INR 54,22,000 in tuition expenses. Along with the living costs, the cost of attendance can be INR 59,64,200-63,83,600.

Universities require students to achieve at least 124 to be considered for applications. However, candidates with higher scores secure admissions to the best medical universities. An overall MCAT score of 515-528 is excellent, whereas a good MCAT score is between 509 and 514.

A medical degree in Canada is known as an MD (Doctor of Medicine). An MD degree requires students to have a bachelor’s degree. The program is three to four years long.

The MCAT is a computer-based standardized examination for aspiring medical students in Canada, the United States, Australia, and the Caribbean Islands.

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