Statement to Prospective Applicants Regarding Covid-19

In determining our policies regarding assessment of the 2019-2020 academic year for GPA consideration, we consulted and collaborated with medical school and university colleagues across Canada, examining how undergraduate students may have been impacted by the disruption of their studies and learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We learned that some students did not have an option to receive alpha or numeric grades (i.e. received credit/no credit only), some students were not able to participate fully in online learning due to limited resources, and some students had practicum or work term requirements for their degree adversely affected, resulting in a significant impact on grade calculations for the Winter 2020 semester.  We also learned that some students did well academically with the transition and had the opportunity to receive alpha or numeric grades. 

Each medical school establishes criteria for GPA calculation differently.  Schulich Medicine uses the GPA of only the 2 best undergraduate years with full-time studies and at an appropriate course level. We do not use a cumulative or weighted GPA calculation across years for consideration. Our GPA thresholds are reset annually based on the competitiveness of the applicant pool.  

With over 70 universities in Canada alone, determining a solution for how to assess grades was not considered lightly, particularly since applicants come from a variety of institutions and countries, and the impact of COVID-19 affects applicants both within and outside of Canada.  Allowing variable academic standards suited to an individual applicant’s situation within their university and country would be difficult. Consequently, our Medicine Admissions Committee deliberated to ensure that an equitable academic standard could be set for everyone.

The Committee decided that with the variability in grade reporting, the inequities to those students who are marginalized, and the impact of COVID-19 being variable across universities and countries, in fairness to all applicants the Winter 2020 term would not be used for GPA calculation.  Instead of discounting the entire 2019-2020 academic year completely from eligibility or using varying criteria for individual applicants, the Committee decided that the most reasonable academic standard would be to allow the grades from the Fall 2019 semester to be eligible for GPA calculation.  We recognize that this decision may be disappointing to applicants who received alpha or numeric grades in Winter 2020, but we encourage applicants to consider their individual academic situation within the context of Schulich Medicine’s method of GPA calculation which is based on achieving a threshold GPA within each of your two best undergraduate years, as described in our Admissions Requirements webpage.

For detailed information about how the 2019-2020 academic year will be assessed with regards to GPA consideration, please visit the Admission Requirements webpage.


The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry offers an outstanding 4-year competency-based medical education program leading to the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program.  We are committed to nurturing and developing tomorrow’s clinical practitioners, educators, and researchers within a patient-centred, research-intensive, distributed learning environment to become socially responsible leaders in the advancement of human health locally, regionally and globally.

Schulich Medicine commits to providing a welcoming and accommodating environment for all, recognizing diversity as a source of strength which promotes a culture of excellence, innovation, flexibility and adaptability that thrives from the contributions of all our members. We accept, value, nurture and celebrate diversity.

Please view the resources listed below to learn more about the Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program.