Tips for Quebec Pre-medical & Pre-dental Students

The process of applying to French medical schools in Quebec is simple compared to other medical schools. In fact, the three French medical schools (ULaval, UdeM, Sherbrooke) do not require you to submit a personal statement, recommendation letters, or your  CV. The pre-interview screening is solely based on your grades. After the MMI, the rank list will be established from your MMI score and your cumulative R-score (50 : 50). Yes, the application process is simple, however it does not mean that French medical schools are easier to get in. There are still  thousands of applicants for a few spots in each school. This means that obtaining good grades  is crucial in the overall admission process.

Getting good grades is your priority; CV is secondary.

This statement can be applied to all medical schools, but is more significant for Quebec medical schools due to the selection process described above. I’ve always been impressed by some students who undertake multiple extracurricular activities and projects and other initiatives. While doing extracurricular activities is great for your personal experience and CV, too much time spent on ECA might affect your academic performance. For French medical schools, grades are crucial. Remember: pre-interview screening is 100% based on your grades, and post-interview rank list is 50% based on your grades as well. Having a remarkable CV and extracurricular activities might help you in some MMI stations (stations with traditional interview style). However, most of the stations are scenario-based, and you won’t have too many  opportunities to talk to your interviewers about your volunteer or leadership accomplishments. What is important is to recall what you’ve learned from those experiences, and not the number of hours spent for an activity. I’m not here to discourage you from doing extracurricular activities and volunteering for good causes, but you should re-consider if: (1) you don’t have enough time to study and sleep, or (2) you’re not enjoying or learning from your ECA.


It will be slightly different in next application cycle (2018), because all the medical schools in Quebec will introduce the CASPer test. For the CASPer, it’s important to think about all your ECAs, and ask yourself what you’ve learned from each ECA, because there will be some behavioral type of questions in the format “Describe a time when…”.


R-score (Cote R)

The grading system in Quebec is slightly different from the rest of Canada. The French universities (ULaval, UdeM, and Sherbrooke) will transform your GPA to a R-score (or CRU, Cote de Rendement Universitaire). The R-score is calculated based on your cumulative GPA, and the ISG of your program (Indicator of the Strength of the Group). This score usually varies between 20-40. Usually 33-34 is the cut-off to get an interview from the medical schools. Honestly, this system is not perfect. For example, someone who has a 4.0 GPA might get a R-score of 35 in the Université de Montréal, but only 30 in Université Laval. Different medical schools calculate the R-score differently. Therefore, I’d suggest you to apply to all the three medical schools if you want to increase your chances. You will also need to choose your undergrad program wisely, some programs have been known to be better scored compared to others (usually they are more difficult as well). There are two ways to find out:

  1. Laval University publishes their “table des étalons” annually. It roughly indicates the R-score you would get according to your undergrad program and your GPA. (
  2. Other Universities don’t release their “table des étalons”. So the only way to know which undergrad programs to choose is by reading  Premed101 and other medical forums (it might not be the most reliable information, however this is as close as we can get).