Can International Students Study Medicine In Canada?

Universities in Canada provide an extraordinary education system and it is quite affordable for international students. In addition to that, the cost of living in Canada unlike some other countries is quite minimal.

Not to mention the many job opportunities available to students from anywhere in the world. It is not surprising that students aspiring to enroll in the medical field of study from all over the world would wish to be accepted into a Canadian university.

For many international students studying in Canada is a dream come true, and for would-be medical international students, it would be a massive boost to their careers. However, there is a lot of research and questions to be asked before making a decision.

This post covers all you need to know about studying medicine in Canada as an international student. So stick around.

study in canada

Can International Students Apply For Medicine In Canada?

Key Requirements;

  1. High school Certificate that contains at least 2 science subjects and English ( chemistry is very necessary)
  2. Excellent IELTS and TOEFL test score
  3. Voluntary work experience
  4. An honors degree of 2.1 and above in Science
  5. Transcript of academic records.
  6. Results of specified medical exams in your country
  7. GPA of 3.0 and above.

There is no straight answer to this query, if you have a bachelor’s degree in science-related studies you are allowed to apply. But international students with a 12th-grade certificate in most cases will not be enrolled. However, on certain rare occasions, very few international students are accepted directly to study medicine in medical schools in Canada.

This is due to the contract or arrangements that exist between some medical faculties and some foreign governments or institutions to accept some of their best students for supernumerary positions.

Usually, the GPA required for these international students ranges from 3.5 – 4.4. In Canada, there are 17 faculties of medicine but only 7 out of these faculties accept international students most of which must have met the key requirements mentioned above.

In most cases, it is almost impossible and rare for non-Canadian citizens or those who are not permanent residents to apply for Doctor of Medicine programs in Canada. However, there are exceptions to this rule, most universities in Canada will only accept international students who have a BSc in Biology or in Sciences.

There is a reason why students with study permits are not allowed to apply for medicine in Canada. And this is because most faculties of medicine in Canada are slightly funded by taxpayers’ money. So rather than considering international students, they’d accept citizens and permanent residents.

It may be relatively difficult and very competitive to get enrolled in medical schools but there is a wide range of medical-related studies with fewer requirements and less competition. Below are courses you can apply for;

  1. Nursing
  2. Public Health
  3. Nutrition
  4. Genetics
  5. Biological science
  6. Diagnostic Imaging
  7. Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  8. Medical Radiologic Technology
  9. Medical Research
  10. Biomedical engineering
  11. Medicinal chemistry
  12. Physical therapy
  13. Organic chemistry
  14. Molecular biology
  15. Optical Sciences.
study in canada

Can International Students Study Nursing In Canada?

Studying nursing in Canada is possible for international students. The educational system in Canada is really advantageous for international nursing students as well as the fact that it is pretty affordable to study nursing in Canada than in other countries.

Generally, Canada is a very safe environment to study in, and the fact that there is a fast-rising demand for nurses in the Canadian health system makes it worth it to study nursing in Canada.

To study nursing in Canada, you must meet all these key requirements;

  1. High school certificate ( must include good grades in English, maths, chemistry, biology)
  2. A letter of intent
  3. Letter of recommendation from the previous school
  4. Writing samples
  5. Reference letters (two)
  6. Compulsory good results in TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson
  7. Scanned passport.


Applying for medicine in Canadian universities can be very tough and competitive. Most top universities require that international students should have completed an undergraduate program before applying. However, some international students are enrolled directly without this requirement based on the agreement between their government and the medical faculty in the state.

On that note, as an aspiring medical student in Canada, there is a long list of medical-related courses that can be considered. Nursing for instance is an excellent medical field that is in very high demand in Canada.


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