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Requirements for Admission to Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Requirements for Admission to Northern Ontario School of Medicine


Application to the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) is through the Ontario Medical School Application Service ( The official admissions policy for the Undergraduate Medical Program is published in the Ontario Medical School Application and Instruction Booklet available on the OMSAS website.

All deadlines relevant to the application process are published in the OMSAS Instruction booklet. These deadlines are strictly observed. This includes not only the application itself but the receipt of all relevant documentation. Applicants are advised to follow the application instructions precisely. Failure to meet the deadlines or to follow the application instructions will result in disqualification.

Important Dates

The following is a list of general dates. For more detailed information contact

  • Mid July: COMPASS.OMSAS on-line application available.
  • Mid-September: Deadline to create an account for the on-line application. Applicants who miss the mid-September deadline and who obtain a COMPASS.OMSAS account originally created by a third party will not be considered.
  • Beginning of October: Last day for submitting applications.
  • Beginning of October: All transcripts and academic documents must be received by this date


The minimum requirement is a 4 year undergraduate university degree or equivalent in any discipline from a recognized Canadian university or equivalent. No preference is given to a particular discipline over another.

Applicants who are 25 years of age or older by the application deadline in the year in which they apply will be considered a Mature Applicant. The minimum requirement for Mature Applicants will be a 3 year university degree in any discipline.

A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 is required. Only grades from undergraduate university programs will be used in the calculation of the GPA. The GPA calculation is a cumulative of all undergraduate university degree level study completed at the time of application.  Applicants whose 4 year degree is completed through a transfer of credits from a college are required to have completed a minimum of ten full course credits, twenty half course credits, or a combination thereof at the university degree level.

While there are no specific course requirements, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine is looking for students with a broad undergraduate education. For example, those students with majors in science are expected to include some arts, social sciences and/or humanities courses in their degree programs while those students with majors in arts, social sciences and/or humanities are expected to include some science courses in their degree programs.

Students may apply in the final year of their 4 year degree program. However, proof of completion of the 4 year degree is required by June 30th of the year of enrolment. The following are accepted as equivalent to a 4 year undergraduate university degree:

  • A Diplome d'├ętudes coll├ęgiales (DEC) from the Province of Quebec plus an undergraduate degree from a Quebec university.
  • A prescribed Qualifying Year after a 3 year degree (leading to eligibility for graduate studies) which is identified as such on the transcript, or in a letter from the Registrar.
  • A 4th year diploma after a 3 year degree for Laurentian graduates.
  • Formal conversion of a 3 year degree to a 4 year degree (and identified as such on the transcript).

 Applicants who have completed Graduate Degrees by the application deadline are required to have met the GPA cutoff with their undergraduate grades but for the purposes of further screening will have 0.2 added to the weighted GPA determined from their undergraduate grades. There will be no additional score added to the GPA or other credit given for applicants who have not completed a Graduate degree.

 An applicant must be either a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada by the application deadline for the year in which they apply.

Transcript Requirements

Applicants are required to report and supply transcripts for all degree credit courses in which they have been registered including grades that they have received for these courses. All transcripts must go directly to OMSAS either electronically via the Electronic Request Form or by mail. Failure to report all courses, programs or grades on the Academic Record will result in disqualification of the application.  

 Applicants who are submitting transcripts for postsecondary education completed at universities outside of Canada or the United States will be required to have their foreign documents assessed by the World Education Service (WES).  This requirement applies to coursework that may have been completed as part of an exchange program, as a visiting student, etc.  The evaluation must include a program equivalency conversion, an overall grade point average conversion for each year of study, as well as a course-by course conversion.    

This requirement will be waived for those applicants completing foreign coursework of two semesters or less. 


Students in medicine must be able to communicate with patients and colleagues, make observations about patients, gather information and analyze data in order to arrive at medical judgments. Applicants who may need accommodation to undertake the Medical Program at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine are advised to review the Skills and Abilities policy on the OMSAS or NOSM website and to contact the Learning Assistance Office at Lakehead University or the Special Needs Office at Laurentian University for more information.

English Language Proficiency

Students at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine must be proficient in written and spoken English. All application material must be submitted in English. The School reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant whose ability in written and spoken English is judged to be inadequate.

The Aboriginal Admissions Stream

Aboriginal applicants may choose either the general admissions stream or the Aboriginal Admissions Stream.

Aboriginal applicants choosing either stream will be required to fill in the on-line application form through OMSAS.

Those who wish to be considered for the Aboriginal Admissions Stream will also be required to submit:

  • A letter declaring Aboriginal ancestry and giving specific information about First Nation, Treaty, community or organizational affiliation. The letter should request consideration under the alternate process and should expand on the applicant's academic and personal background, as well as reasons and motivation for wishing to become a physician. 
  • A letter of recommendation from the First Nation, Band Council, Tribal Council, Treaty, community or organizational affiliation
  • Proof of Aboriginal ancestry. 

This documentation must be submitted to OMSAS by the application deadline for the year in which they apply.

Applicants considering the Aboriginal Admissions Stream are strongly urged to contact the Office of Admissions for further information.    

The Admissions Process

The final selection for Admission is based on the GPA, the score of the admissions questionnaire, the score from the interview and reference letters. The admissions policies and procedures will give an advantage to applicants from the following groups:

  • Rural, remote and northern urban origin applicants from Northern Ontario

  • Aboriginal applicants
  • Franco-Ontarian applicants
  • Rural applicants from elsewhere in Ontario
  • Rural, remote and northern urban applicants from elsewhere in Canada
  • Selection procedures for the Northern Ontario School of Medicine include:

Stage 1:

  • Application is examined to ensure that it is complete and that minimum requirements are met. 

Stage 2:

  • Admissions questionnaire is scored and GPA is confirmed. 

Stage 3:

  • Invitation to interview (approximately 300). 

Stage 4:

  • Final score for all applications of interview candidates completed and ranking determined. 

Stage 5:

  • Offers of admission sent to top 64 candidates. Waiting list developed.

Additional Admissions Requirements

Successful applicants are required to provide proof of up-to-date immunization status. Information on specific requirements is included with the offer of admission. Also, a current Basic Cardiac Life Support Certificate and a current Criminal Records Check is required. Failure to comply with any of these requirements may result in students being denied access to clinical settings. Proof must be provided by 30 September of the year of admission.

Unsuccessful Applicants

Applicants who are not invited for an interview will receive a letter in late January or early February of the year following application indicating that they have been unsuccessful at that stage in the admissions process. Those applicants who are interviewed will be sent notification the second week of May as to their status: accepted, on the waiting list or unsuccessful.

Applications are not held over from one year to the next. Unsuccessful applicants will be required to reapply through OMSAS with a new application for the following admissions cycle.


Due to the integrated nature of the curriculum, NOSM cannot accept transfer students.