US Citizen, Canadian Undergrad Degree, Issues with med school admission?


2+ Year Member
Sep 28, 2017
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)

I am a US citizen who studies at the University of Toronto in Canada. My primary application has been processed and verified by AMCAS.

I got a secondary application email from SUNY Downstate saying that "Applicants who are using course work completed outside of the United Stats (including Canada) to fulfil our admissions requirements, or who completed a bachelor's degree outside of the USA, must submit a course-by-course evaluation from World Education Services to [email protected] in order to complete their application."

This got me concerned as I always thought Canadian undergrad degree is treated the same as US undergrad degree. I emailed them and they said that they do require my course works to be verified by WES in order to proceed with my application. I am not sure what the rationale is but it is what it is.

I double checked with other institutions. I called Ohio State University med admission office and the gentleman on the phone stated that I would be in a disadvantage since OSU will not use my GPA on AMCAS and will instead look into other metrics such as MCAT, ECs etc. He said that AMCAS does not verify my transcript which I found contradicting, as I thought AMCAS does line by line verification and has a scale conversion for Canadian undergrad grades, as well as checking the transcript to see if mine was a true, sealed copy from my school. Am I missing something here?

I also called U Miami admission office and they told me they do not accept bachelor from non-US school. I clarified my Canadian degree but they said no. I checked their website regarding MD 2017-2018 Prerequisite Course and it states that "All coursework must be taken in a college or university located in North America or Puerto Rico and approved by a national accrediting agency and listed in the current Education Directory of the US Office of Education." Now I went to US Education Department and it says that it only lists the institutions based in the United States. So does that mean in the eyes of U Miami, North America only pertains to United States for med school admission purpose?

Same with Seton Hall. They asked for WES. For NOVA Southeastern, they said they do not take non-US undergrad.

I am hoping to get some clarifications in terms of how exactly are Canadian undergrad degrees evaluated by US medical school admission team.
Sorry to pull you guys in here but I would like to get some insights into this. Thanks for your help in advance.


the evil queen of numbers
15+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
Status (Visible)
  1. Academic Administration
I've not heard of this before and I have seen successful applications from McGill and McMasters. The WES is no big deal. Send WES your transcript, get the evaluation, and send it to the schools that want it. It should not be a big deal.


2+ Year Member
Sep 28, 2017
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
@Goro @LizzyM
Thanks for the response! I actually just called AMCAS, OSU, Miami, and NOVA again to triple check.

This lady on OSU said as long as GPAs are listed on AMCAS I should be fine. We suspected that there might have been a misalignment from the previous conversation and the definition of foreign grades with respect to admission process was not clear. I explained to her that AMCAS had a GPA scale for Canadian degree and verified the legitimacy of my transcript along with a line by line check. She said as long as they see the verified grades on the primary application they are ok.

I asked the lady from U Miami to forward my inquiry email to the dean and they will get back pending the dean's clarification.

I called NOVA again and asked the lady to kindly ask the dean. The dean's response was that as long as the primary app was pushed through by AMCAS (I assumed he meant it was successfully verified) and the grades are there, they shouldn't have any problems.

The take away was perhaps I wasn't too clear or detailed in my explanations resulting in some misalignment. I will clarify with more schools on my list and hopefully they do accept my situation.

I have initiated the WES process. Thanks!
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