Course Load Requirements

The undergraduate medical education curriculum is a full time, rigorous program of advanced study.  A demonstrated capacity to carry a full program of demanding higher level courses is a necessary asset for an incoming medical student. The ability to obtain consistently better than average grades in such a program is the best indication of that capacity.

To be eligible to apply to Dalhousie Medical School, a full course load of five full classes (30 credit hours) in each of the two most senior years of the baccalaureate degree submitted for assessment is generally required. 

Only fall and winter terms are used for assessment. Summer courses do not generally count towards GPA or course load requirements.  

No specific courses are required, but students are encouraged to pursue challenging and diverse topics, and to have a natural progression in their course selection of the degree being completed.

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 successful completion of a full 60 credit hour course load in the 2 most senior years of a baccalaureate degree program is generally expected and preferred, the Admissions Committee may consider individuals who submit applications which effectively demonstrate exceptional circumstances and are able to provide sufficient evidence for sustained academic ability despite an incomplete course load. Requests for exemption from the full courseload requirement must be submitted as part of the individuals online application.  The Admissions Committee reviews such applications on a case-by-case basis at the time of application.  Additional information may be requested by the Admissions Committee in such cases.

The Admissions Committee also recognizes the variability in curriculum design of baccalaureate programs across accredited institutions, some of which may include practicums and/or work terms.  In such cases, the applicant is required to request an exemption to courseload requirement based on curriculum design on their online application.  In such cases, additional information, such as a reference letter from the program director, may be required to describe the full time nature of the baccalaureate degree and the academic capacity of the applicant.

Changes to admission requirements

Admissions requirements are reviewed annually and the admissions requirements from previous years may not apply. Please monitor our website for up-to-date information.