Prerequisite Science Courses for MDCM Applicants

 

Please note that the Basic Science Prerequisite Policy has been updated

 

Grades from the science prerequisites will be considered in the selection process. Any of the prerequisites completed during the undergraduates studies (basis of admission degree) will contribute to the overall GPA.

As of Fall 2021, all basic science prerequisite courses must meet a minimum grade requirement; the GPA is not weighted in the selection process, and up to 3 courses can be in progress during the year prior to starting the program.

Note: For science requirements for the Medicine-Preparatory program, see:
www.mcgill.ca/medadmissions/applying/requirements-edu/med-p-requirements

The assessment of basic science performance is based on a candidate's academic results in the relevant science prerequisite courses as undertaken either in college, university, or acceptable pre-university alternatives described here.

How are prerequisite science courses taken into consideration in the MDCM selection process?

See the details of the selection process here: www.mcgill.ca/medadmissions/applying/selection-process

For all programs, completion of all prerequisites science courses is required to maintain eligibility. Any of these courses taken as part of your Basis of Admission degree will contribute to your overall GPA for the academic assessment. As of 2021, the GPA of the Basic Science courses is not re-used in the selection process.

What are the prerequisite courses?

For admissions purposes, please view the science prerequisite options to fulfill the requirements:

Basic Science Courses
Candidates are required to have completed 7 introductory basic science courses (minimum of 21 semester-hours/ credits) with labs:

  • 2 introductory Biology courses with labs (at least 6 cr.);
  • 2 introductory Chemistry courses with labs (at least 6 cr.);
  • 1 introductory Organic Chemistry course with lab (at least 3 cr.);
  • 2 introductory Physics courses with labs (at least 6 cr.).

Recommended University-level sciences
These courses are not required at admission but are recommended. They may be considered for use as substitutions for candidates whose institutions have an atypical basic science course layout. The 4 recommended courses are:

  • Mammalian physiology (3 cr.)
  • Organic chemistry (3 cr.)
  • Molecular biology (3 cr.)
  • Cell biology & metabolism (3 cr.)

Conditions for validity of prerequisite science courses


Date of completion / Number of courses
  • At least 4 of 7 science prerequisite courses, including labs, must be completed (with official grades submitted) by the Nov. 1 application deadline. If applicable, the grades for a maximum of 3 in-progress science prerequisite courses may be submitted by May 30  prior to the beginning of the program.  Make sure to identify these courses in Section 4 & 6 in the workbook.  All offers of admission are conditional upon completing any in-progress courses with the minimum required grade.
  • One course cannot fulfill more than one requirement.
  • Students missing more than three science prerequisite courses are ineligible and are invited to take those courses and apply in a future year.
Labs
  • Labs or practical work are required. Note that some universities include this within the course code and some have a separate course that must be taken.
Grading
  • With the exception of courses taken in the Winter 2020 term, Grades of "Pass/Fail" , "Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory" or similar schema are not acceptable in coursework; numerical or letter-class grades are required. Academic performance within these courses will be considered.

Minimum grades for valid science prerequisites, minimum MCAT

  • All science prerequisites must be passed, and the grade must be equal to or better than the grade accepted by McGill for the purposes of transfer credit/advanced standing/course exemptions, as follows:

  • CEGEP level. 60% or better
  • University level. Grade obtained must be equal to or better than the grade/CGPA required to graduate from that university. Generally this is equivalent to a C or better and is usually found on the transcript.
  • AP courses: 4 or better
  • IB: 5 or better
  • A-Level: C or better
  • French Bacc: Série S 10 or better (undergoing updates August 2020, see https://www.mcgill.ca/transfercredit/prospective/french)

Candidates required to submit an MCAT score: The minimum competitive score is 508 (approximately 80th percentile). View MCAT page.

Institution Type & Term
  • University-level or CEGEP/college-level courses are acceptable, as well as: Advanced Levels (UK System), IBO Courses (Higher Level), French Baccalaureate année Terminale, Série S courses, AP results (CollegeBoard, Inc.).
  • Distance or correspondence education courses will be considered by the Admissions Office, but must be equivalent to in-person courses; as well, be aware that this option may not fulfill lab requirements.
  • If you have already completed a bachelor's degree, then Summer session, evening session or other alternate sessions may be accepted if the course is university-level or CEGEP/college-level and is credited or can count toward the required semester-hours in the given subject. Summer or other interim session courses are discouraged when the purpose is to reduce the credit load in regular sessions of the basis of admission degree.

Are my science courses ok? What are the equivalent course descriptions at McGill?

The Office of Admissions is not able to assess your courses prior to your application. A determination of validity will be made only during the file review process. Please use this information as a guide, and consult your academic advisor.

Essentially, the courses of Biology, Chemistry and Physics should be introductory (freshman-level, 100-level) courses. These are typically the courses with no prerequisites; they are often the prerequisites for second year (major, 200-level) courses in their field and in related specializations. Courses in Organic Chemistry should be the first course in the world of organic chemistry. A verification with the institution's program requirements for each of the subjects is used as the best indicator to the introductory courses. This document reviews the concepts that need to be covered in your science courses: PDF icon basic_concepts_medicine.pdf

 

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS FROM MCGILL & QUEBEC CEGEP 

The most commonly recognized McGill university courses are listed here. All of these courses offered at McGill are considered equivalent to 100-level CEGEP courses also listed below:

The following Quebec CEGEP courses, or their equivalents (with labs):

  • General Biology 1 (101-NYA; OOUK)
  • General Biology 2 (101-NYB; OOXU)
  • Chemistry 1 (202-NYA; OOUL)
  • Chemistry 2 (202-NYB; OOUM)
  • Organic Chemistry 1 (OOXV)
  • Mechanics (203-NYA; OOUR)
  • Electricity and Magnetism (203-NYB; OOUS)
  • Waves and Optics and Modern Physics (203-NYC; OOUT)

The most commonly recognized courses at McGill for the recommended university-level sciences are listed here:

Information for other specific institutions

  • To view a list of courses that are commonly requested and taken at other institutions, please see: PDF icon recommended_courses_for_commonly_requested_institutions.pdf
  • Concordia University (Montreal) offers several entry-level biology courses, not all of which include laboratory work. Many successful applicants who have taken Biology at Concordia have taken the following: (1) BIOL 201, and either (2a) BIOL 225 with BIOL 227, or (2b) BIOL 226 with BIOL 227. It is recommended that you speak with your academic adviser for proper course planning. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all required course and laboratory work is/will be fulfilled.
  • The University of Toronto has a different layout for chemistry courses when it comes to students who do not major in Chemistry. We are often asked how one can properly complete the chemistry courses requirements in this context. Many successful applicants from the University of Toronto have CHM138 and 139, along with CHM 220 and another chemistry-related course —including Biochemistry— that has laboratory work (e.g. CHM 217, CHM 238, CHM 247, CHM 249, BCH 370, ...). It is recommended that you speak with your academic adviser for proper course planning. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all required course and laboratory work is/will be fulfilled.
  • If registered in the B.H.Sc.(H) program at McMaster University, the courses HTH SCI 1I06, along with 2F03 and 2FF3, are considered as fulfilling the biology requirement. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all required course and laboratory work is/will be fulfilled.

Substitution

Please send your request for a substitution by submitting all relevant forms*, transcripts and CV by email to the Office of Admissions. Requests will be reviewed in the order received.

  • In general, higher level or specialized science courses are not substituted for missing the introductory requirements. Requests for substitutions are considered in the case of programs whose introductory courses are atypical or other special cases. 
  • The Admissions Office reserves the right not to consider requests for substitution for basic sciences after September 30.

* Substitution Request Form:  PDF icon bsci_substitution-_202109.pdf

Basic Scientific Principles that All Students Should Know (including courses not required for admission)

In addition to the concepts covered in the 7 introductory sciences and the 4 recommended sciences, knowledge of physiology, statistics, and genetics is useful in the context of the MDCM curriculum, however they are not required for admission. Given the varied educational backgrounds of our admitted students, we provide below a list of scientific concepts which admitted students are expected to have been exposed to through the course of their formal studies or self-directed learning. These concepts have been identified by the MDCM curriculum leadership as foundational to the study of Medicine and Dentistry at McGill. Consult the detailed document: PDF iconBasic scientific concepts McGill Medical School

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