Prospective Students

We recommend all potential and prospective students to become familiar with the Faculty of Medicine's Undergraduate Medical Education website.For FAQ about the MD program, please consult

Please note that you must select the "MD/PhD Program" while completing your application on the OMSAS website. Changes cannot be made to your OMSAS application once it has been submitted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the MD/PhD program

What is the deadline for applications to the MD/PhD program?
The application deadlines are published at the Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS) website under the COMPASS.OMSAS application. The deadline for fall 2013 entry was October 1st, 2012.

Will I be automatically considered for the MD/PhD program when I apply to the MD program?
No. On the MD application, applicants will have to register their interest in the MD/PhD Program; this will prompt the initiation of the review process by the MD/PhD Application Committee.

I am an international student interest in this program; am I eligible to apply?
All applicants to the combined MD/PhD program must meet the eligibility requirements of both programs. As the MD program only accepts applicants who are Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents, international students are not eligible to apply for the combined program. Please refer to the MD Admission Eligibility Requirements website for more details.

Is there a deadline for the submission of supporting documentation?
All supporting documentation (two letters of reference, a CV, a letter of intent) must be received by the MD/PhD Office by no later than December 1st preceding the year of requested admission.

Where can I send other documentation for my MD/PhD application?
Please send supporting documentation to:

MD/PhD Program
University of Ottawa
Faculty of Medicine
RGN 2135 – 451 Smyth Road
Ottawa, ON K1H 8M5

Can I ask my referees to send the same reference letter used in the MD application?
The two letters of recommendation for the MD/PhD program may be from the same referees, however copies must be sent separately to the above address. The letters must be from previous science teachers or supervisors and it is recommended they discuss the applicant’s research abilities and/or lab experiences.

Is there a specific form or format for the letter of intent for the graduate studies portion of the program?
There is no form or format to follow for letters of intent (LOI). In the LOI, we recommend you indicate the graduate program(s) and research topic(s) you are interested in as well as any previous research projects or laboratory experience.

Will I be assessed by the MD program before reviewed for the MD/PhD program?
Yes, students applying to the MD/PhD need to first meet the MD Program's requirements to be considered for the MD/PhD Program. Please consult our website for a summary of the assessment process.

Do I need to have a M.Sc. degree to be eligible for the MD/PhD program?
No, you do not need a M.Sc. to start the MD/PhD program. Eligible applicants must have a minimum of a B.Sc. Honours (or equivalent) to be admissible to the MD/PhD Program. If selected and invited for an interview by the MD Program Admission’s Committee, applicants to the MD/PhD Program will then have their educational background assessed by the MD/PhD Program Committee for admissibility per the specific requirements of the PhD Program selected.

I have a M.Sc. from an accredited university; will this advance my application to the MD/PhD program?
Applicants with a M.Sc. will be assessed like all other applications to the MD program, evaluated on the basis of the grades obtained during the candidate’s undergraduate studies. For the MD/PhD Program, the qualifications of the students admitted to the program will fall into the following three categories:

  1. Students with a B.Sc. Honours
  2. Students with a partially completed M.Sc. and
  3. Students with a completed M.Sc. degree.

How long is the MD/PhD Program?
The entire program consists of 7 years (2 pre-clerkship years at the MD level, 3 years at the PhD level and the final 2 clerkship years at the MD level). Please consult the summary graphic for more details about the program length.

When did the MD/PhD Program start at the University of Ottawa?
The first cohort of students was enrolled in the fall of 2010.

Once in the program, what is required of MD/PhD students?
Please consult the following website for a list of academic requirements for MD / PhD Students.

What graduate programs are available for the PhD portion of the program?
The MD/PhD Program combines the existing MD undergraduate curriculum with one of the following graduate programs; Biochemistry (with or without specialization in Human and Molecular Genetics), Cellular and Molecular Medicine (with or without specialization in Human and Molecular Genetics), Microbiology and Immunology, Neuroscience (with or without specialization in Human and Molecular Genetics), and in Biology from the Faculty of Science.

I heard the Epidemiology department has a PhD Program, is this program eligible as part of the MD/PhD?
The Epidemiology program is not currently participating in the MD/PhD program, but efforts to integrate it are underway.

How many students are admitted into the MD/PhD Program each year?
The Faculty of Medicine will enroll a maximum of four MD/PhD students per incoming MD class during the initial phase of our program. This represents approximately 2.5 percent of the total enrollments in the Faculty of Medicine.

I have been admitted to the MD program this year; can I apply for admission in the MD/PhD Program in my second year?
Unfortunately not; as we will be enrolling four students per year, we do not allow MD students to transfer into the MD/PhD in their second year.

Will I need to take PhD courses concurrently with the MD Program?
Yes, successful applicants to MD/PhD program need to take 1-2 graduate courses during their first two years of the MD Program.

When will successful applicants need to decide on a PhD program?
A PhD Program and a PhD research supervisor will need to be determined during the first year of the MD Program.

If I am not selected for the PhD portion of the MD/PhD Program, will I automatically be disqualified from the MD program as well?
No. If you are not selected for the PhD portion of the MD/PhD Program, you will still be considered for the MD Program. Therefore, it is possible to apply to the MD/PhD Program, not be selected for the PhD portion, but still be considered for the MD Program.

Who can help me if I have further questions?
Please contact the Faculty of Medicine Graduate Studies Office at or by telephone at 613-562-5800 extension 8344.

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Last updated: 2016.04.12