Best Medical Universities in Canada for International Students 2023

Are you considering a medical career? Medicine is the top profession. Healthcare jobs are plentiful, especially post-pandemic, and one of the highest-paying. So why study in Canada when there are many good medical schools elsewhere? Canada is the third-best destination to study medicine. Its postgraduate programs and visa alternatives allow international students to stay and work as healthcare professionals, ensuring a better future for themselves and their families. You'll join one of these prestigious medical universities' alums when you earn a top-tier medical degree.

Best Medical Universities in Canada for International Students 2023

Universities in Canada ranked in the top 20 medical schools in the world by Times Higher Education and QS World University Ranking for Medicine provide one of the best medical educations in the world. Despite this, Canada has a shortage of medical doctors due to its small number of medical schools and limited student enrollment.

Although no international scholarships are available, Canadians pay only $13,000 in tuition, and international students pay $25,000, which is less expensive than US and UK medical schools. Therefore, it is unsurprising that many medical students want to pursue their studies in Canada, given its low tuition and top-notch medical education system. However, a caution: the chances of admission to Canadian medical school are limited, and they are highly competitive. In this article, we will be listing the best medical universities to study at in Canada.

Medical Education in Canada 

In Canada, medical school admissions are fiercely competitive and highly sought after domestically and abroad. Because of its excellent medical education, Canada has one of the most admired healthcare systems in the entire world.

The best theoretical and practical instruction is provided to medical students thanks to the connection between the medical education system in tertiary education and Canada's top hospitals. Additionally, it ensures that a steady stream of medical students is directed to Canada's leading hospitals, where they have access to the best medical technology.

The first Ebola vaccine, ground-breaking transplants, life-saving diabetic treatments, the first pacemaker, and the use of stem cells to stop the spread of cancer are just a few examples of the renowned discoveries Canada has made in the field of medicine.

How is a Canadian medical degree different?

An MD is what Canadians refer to as what we typically refer to as MBBS. I think it's essential to make this point. In Canada, obtaining an MD is the first need to becoming a doctor. Next comes any specialization or super-specialization.

The second significant difference is the inability to apply for this course immediately after high school. Before you may apply for an MD program, medical schools in Canada require that you obtain a bachelor's degree in a related discipline, usually in the sciences, biology, biochemistry, psychology, or health. This is referred to as pre-med informally.

Why Study at a Medical University in Canada as an International Student?

Due to its affordable education system, relatively lax immigration laws, and overall accepting attitude toward immigrants, Canada is a preferred study destination for international students to pursue any degree. Students could choose Canada over locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, or Australia based only on these features. Having stated that, why should a prospective medical student choose Canada? Let's take a look.


Affordable tuition fees

For many international students, affordability plays a significant role in selecting a study location. Fortunately, when you study in Canada, you won't have to choose between quality and cost. Canada provides many study programs with affordable tuition, compared to other well-known study-abroad locations like the USA and Australia. The average price of an undergraduate program ranges from CAD 13,000 to $20,000. The typical cost of a master's degree is between CAD 17,000 and $25,000.

Get a part-time job

While most of your costs when studying abroad are tuition fees, there are additional expenses like housing and living costs. The good news is that when you choose to study in Canada, you don't have to rely only on your funds. International students can work 20 hours per week during academic sessions, and during breaks, they can work full-time. So you can find fantastic part-time work to pay for some (but not all) of your expenditures. Or work for pocket money to buy concert tickets and friend camping excursions.

Extensive research and training

Depending on your specialty, the MD course can take 3 to 5 years, followed by a 2 to 5-year residency. These courses strongly emphasize research and development to elevate Canadian medicine to a top position globally, in addition to health and treatment. To give you a few examples, you may thank Canadian medical schools for developing the cardiac pacemaker, the discovery of insulin, and the development of telemedicine to reach isolated populations.

Equal opportunities

Canada is the first country to make diversity a part of its official policies. Compared to other countries, this one does not see as much discrimination based on race, color, gender, or sexual orientation. You have the same opportunities as a citizen or lawful permanent resident as an international student.

Higher standards

As a medical professional, you will directly impact other people's health and well-being. Canadian medical universities take this obligation very seriously. From your pre-medical scores to your MCAT and the ultimate qualifying exam given by the MCC, you are held to incredibly high standards (Medical Council of Canada). This applies to academics, patient sensitivity, and handling of persons from various backgrounds.

Job satisfaction

Canadian Medicare is a decentralized, publically funded, and universal healthcare system. The provinces are responsible for supporting and managing it. It is a system created with the welfare of its citizens in mind. As a result, Canada has excellent job satisfaction levels for those wishing to pursue this as a career.

Apply for a Post-Graduate Permit

You have the fantastic chance to stay and launch your career after you graduate with a medical degree in Canada, so you don't have to return home. International students can work anywhere in Canada for up to three years with a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). Canada is highly demanding for healthcare professionals, notably registered nurses, doctors, and occupational therapists. As a result, you can get extensive job experience and high compensation by working in Canada's healthcare sector. In addition, it creates a simple path to permanent residency.

Best Medical Universities in Canada

Canada's MBBS colleges are highly competitive due to their global recognition and solid international standards. Only five of the 17 medical universities—of which ten are listed here—can even be considered medical schools in Canada for international students. The remaining ones only admit citizens, those with green cards, and refugees. There aren't many spaces reserved for overseas students, even at institutions that accept them.

Why do they do this if there is a shortage of doctors?

The answer is simple. Quality and demand. Universities do not merely seek to increase admissions at the expense of educational quality. Additionally, most of these programs are funded by the corresponding provincial governments. They, therefore, give domestic students a lower priority than foreign ones.

International students can only enroll at Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) if they want to study in Canada. The good news is that every one of Canada's best universities listed below is a DLI that gladly accepts international students to learn, develop, and succeed in their jobs.

McGill University

  • Location: Montreal, Quebec
  • Times Higher Education World University Ranking: 46th
  • Number of International Students: 12, 000+

Quebec, Canada, is a desirable location for McGill University. The university has two campuses: the Macdonald campus in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and the downtown campus in Montreal. The largest and primarily French-speaking province in Canada is called Quebec. Nonetheless, English is used as the primary medium of instruction at McGill. The university's medical school is the oldest in Canada and is associated with numerous teaching hospitals. One of the research accomplishments connected to the university is the development of the first artificial blood cell.


Toronto University

  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Times Higher Education World University Ranking: 18th
  • Number of International Students: 27,130

International students who study in Canada frequently choose the University of Toronto because it is arguably the most well-known university in the country. The city and the classrooms will surround you with a sizable multicultural atmosphere. The busy St. George neighborhood of Toronto, watched over by the renowned CN Tower, is home to the medical science campus.

The university is recognized as the fourth finest in the world for clinical medicine. Insulin, discovered by researchers at the University of Toronto in the early 1920s, is one significant advancement. One benefit of attending a designated university in Ontario is the ability to apply for permanent residency through the International Student Stream after graduating as a medical professional with prearranged employment.

University of British Columbia

  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Times Higher Education World University Ranking: 40th
  • Number of International Students: 20,326

The Vancouver campus and the Okanagan campus, which is near Kelowna, are the two main campuses of UBC. The Pit Bar, Stanley Park, and Wreck Beach are among the favorite hangouts of UBC students. They are traveling to Whistler over the break for action-packed snow sports like skiing and snowboarding. Justin Trudeau, the current Canadian prime minister, is one of UBC's notable alumni. In addition, the Vantage One program, which attempts to assist students in improving their English by, among other things, extending their first year of study from eight to eleven months, is an option for first-year overseas students.

McMaster University

  • Location: Hamilton, Ontario
  • Times Higher Education World University Ranking: 80th
  • Number of International Students: 6,427.64

If you're feeling adventurous, McMaster University is positioned close to the US border and the coast of Lake Ontario, making it easy to make a fast trip to New York City. More than 75 nations are represented among the university's international students, while more than 55 are represented among its full-time teachers. In addition, the institution offers themed housing options such as an all-female community for healthy, active living and a community for global viewpoints. Also, if neuroscience is your area of interest, you can study the late great Albert Einstein's brain, which is kept in a jar in one of the school labs at McMaster.

Queen’s University

  • Location: Kingston, Ontario
  • Times Higher Education World University Ranking: 251st - 300th
  • Number of International Students: 4, 060

In Kingston, Queen's University is conveniently located. It takes 10 minutes to walk to the market square and downtown. For its outstanding student experience, the university is consistently regarded as one of the top medical universities in Canada. In addition, it boasts more than 220 international exchange programs and the most clubs of any university in Canada. Not to mention a reading room for Harry Potter.

According to the Dean of the Medical Faculty, the four-year Undergraduate Medical Program at Queen's is created to offer various cutting-edge learning opportunities that will prepare international students to become highly sought-after postgraduate trainees and exceptional practicing physicians.

How to Apply to Medical Universities in Canada with no Stress?

As you can see, getting into Canada's top medical schools is difficult. So the most straightforward strategy to reduce stress as you prepare for your move is to sign up with a study abroad consultant to help you with your application by connecting you with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC), who can help you with every step of the process, from organizing your acceptance into a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) to acquiring your student and immigration permission.

RCICs assist you in choosing the best pathway to Canada according to your financial situation, needs, and objectives. Also, they take care of all the necessary paperwork to ensure your application is flawless and successful.

Documents required

Letter of admission

After making your decision, you must enroll in a study program at the Canadian medical university that resonates with you the most. You will receive a letter of acceptance if you are admitted to the program, which you will need when you apply for your study permit.

Student Permit and Visa

To qualify for a Canadian study permit, you need to:

  • Be enrolled at a designated learning institution
  • Show proof of funds to cover your tuition fees, living costs, return travel
  • Have no criminal record
  • Be in good health (you might need to complete a medical exam)

You must get a $150 student permit to study in Canada (CAD). In addition, there is an extra fee of $85 if providing biometrics is necessary. Your visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA), which enables you to enter Canada and depart for vacations, is included in the cost of your permit.

Student Direct Stream

You can obtain your study visa through the Student Direct Stream in less than 20 calendar days if you reside in China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal, or Vietnam. In addition, several nations and Canada have a deal providing quicker visa processing times.


Furthermore, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the best medical universities in Canada.

Which Canadian medical university is the best?

The top medical school in Canada is Mcgill University. One of the most reputable magazines for university rankings, Times Higher Education, has continuously placed it as Canada's top medical university.

What Medical facility is the best in Canada?

Toronto General Hospital is typically regarded as the top hospital in Canada. It has continually shown itself to be one of Canada's most efficient and cutting-edge hospitals despite being one of the biggest and busiest hospitals in the country.

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