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Best universities for medicine degrees in Canada 2024

Find the best universities for medical degrees in Canada with Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2024 data

  • Best universities in
November 28 2023


Top 5 universities for medicine in Canada 2024

Scroll down for the full list of best universities for medicine in the Canada

Canada medicine rank 2024  Medicine rank 2024  University City
1  9  University of Toronto Toronto
2  26  McGill University Montreal
3  34  University of British Columbia Vancouver
4  36  McMaster University Hamilton
5  73  University of Alberta Edmonton

When it comes to studying medicine in Canada, most students begin their studies after completing a bachelor’s degree in another field, often one of the biological sciences. Most degrees are four years, but a couple of accelerated options are available for those who want to start working sooner. 

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The master in medicine (MD), which is offered at most Canadian universities, combines classroom teaching with clinical placements. 

Some medical courses are taught in both English and French and many require an English language test as part of their application process.  

Here are the best universities for medicine in Canada, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024.

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5. University of Alberta 

Established in 1913, the faculty of medicine and dentistry at the University of Alberta it is one of the oldest medical schools in Western Canada.

It has 20 departments, two faculty divisions, eight research groups and 15 centres and institutes.

There are a range of accredited medical programmes on offer at the faculty, including undergraduate degrees in medicine, radiology and dentistry, and graduate courses with potential research topics spanning the biomedical field, including biomedical engineering, medical microbiology, oncology, psychiatry, medical genetics and many more. 

Notable alumni include Patrick Doyle, who performed the first cochlear implant surgery in Canada in 1982 and Julia Sawatzky, who was recently admitted to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for her contributions to the development of the Oxford Covid-19 Government Response Tracker. 

4. McMaster University

The school of medicine at McMaster University was established in 1966 and today offers a variety of programmes in medical education.

The undergraduate medical programme for the MD degree remains competitive and admits just 203 students every year.

The programme is shorter than many other medical degrees at just three years. Students study for 11 months each year, compressing more learning into the timeframe. It’s just one of two medical programmes in Canada – the other is at the University of Calgary – that operate an accelerated programme.

The idea behind the innovative approach is that medical students should learn medicine the way that physicians practice medicine. 

The university also doesn’t have any course admissions prerequisites, meaning students from all manner of academic and personal backgrounds study the course. It focuses on small-group learning, and core knowledge is gained via patient presentations rather than lectures about diseases. Throughout their studies, students are encouraged to work with patients, to ensure they graduate with a strong sense of patient orientation.

3. University of British Columbia

The seven-year MD/PhD programme at the University of British Columbia covers research areas including public health, biochemistry, medical genetics and oncology.

Students are expected to have obtained a BSc and have taken the Medical College Admission Test before applying. 

They also need an English-language certification if they completed their degree at a university where English is not the primary language. 

The programme, which is not open to international students, focuses on innovation, technology, research and patient-centred care, which allows students to pursue a career as a research scientist or a clinician. 

School leavers have the option of the four-year MD undergraduate programme, which integrates experiential learning programmes such as the Summer Student Research Programme, the Integrated Community Clerkship and the Healthcare Travelling Roadshow. 

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2. McGill University

One of the core faculties at McGill University, the faculty of medicine and health sciences was established in 1829 and was the first medical faculty to be established in Canada.

McGill's faculty of medicine has produced three Nobel Prize laureates: Andrew Schally, David H. Hubel and Jack W. Szostak. 

Today, the foundational undergraduate medical programme is the four-year MD, which requires applicants to have a bachelor's degree. The programme follows a similar structure to other medical programmes in that the first two years focus on clinical skills, then the third and fourth years focus on clinical placements across areas including surgery, psychiatry, paediatrics and emergency medicine. 

The faculty awarded the university’s first degree, and the country’s first medical degree, to William Leslie Logie in 1833. Students can find his dissertation, “Medical inaugural dissertation on Cynanche trachealis”, in the McGill Library institutional repository.

1. University of Toronto

One of Canada’s oldest schools of medical studies, the University of Toronto’s faculty of medicine, was founded in 1843.

It’s best known for the unearthing of insulin and stem cells, and it was also the site of the world’s first successful lung transplant. 

The four-year MD (doctor of medicine) is one of the largest undergraduate medical education programmes in Canada. The first two years develop the student’s knowledge in a diverse range of environments, from classrooms and labs to clinical placements. Clinical skills are refined in the last two years of the programme, which are known as a clerkship. 

The university has an alumni network of more than 61,000 healthcare leaders. Its MD programme is partnered with over 30 affiliated clinical teaching sites, which encompasses nine fully affiliated hospitals.

Together with the faculty of medicine, these hospitals and research institutes make up the Toronto Academic Health Science Network, one of the biggest biomedical research, education and clinical care networks in North America.

Top universities in Canada for medical degrees 2024

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2024 results. 

Canada medicine rank 2024  Medicine rank 2024  University City
1  9  University of Toronto Toronto
2  26  McGill University Montreal
3  34  University of British Columbia Vancouver
4  36  McMaster University Hamilton
5  73  University of Alberta Edmonton
6  90  Université de Montréal Montreal
7  =100  University of Ottawa Ottawa
8  101–125  University of Calgary Calgary
=9  126–150  Queen’s University Kingston
=9  126–150  Western University London
11  151–175  Université Laval Quebec City
=12  201–250  Dalhousie University Halifax
=12  201–250  University of Manitoba Winnipeg
=12  201–250  University of Waterloo Waterloo
15  251–300  York University Toronto
16  301–400  University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon
=17  401–500  Université du Québec Quebec City
=17  401–500  University of Victoria Victoria
=19  501–600  Memorial University of Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador
=19  501–600  University of Regina Regina
=19  501–600  Toronto Metropolitan University Toronto
=22  601–800  Lakehead University Thunder Bay
=22  601–800  University of Lethbridge Lethbridge
=24  801–1000  University of New Brunswick UNB Fredricton
=24  801–1000  Ontario Tech University Oshawa

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