MD Program

About the MD Program


With an innovative curriculum and a focus on social accountability, the MD program at the University of Alberta prepares today’s health science students to become the leaders of tomorrow.


The program balances traditional teaching with opportunities for students to be active learners. 


Teaching methods include:


  • Lectures and laboratory instruction
  • Small-group case studies and problem-based learning
  • Internet-based tutorials
  • Preceptor-guided clinical skill sessions

Years 1 and 2 are divided into organ-system blocks which present the material in a progression from basic science to clinical application. 


  • Introductory Block
  • Infection, Immunity and Inflammation
  • Endocrine System
  • Cardiovascular, Pulmonary and Renal Systems
  • Gastroenterology and Nutrition
  • Reproductive Medicine and Urology
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Neurosciences
  • Oncology

Years 3 and 4 consist of clinical training:


  Third year - Students are placed in the standard six main rotations as well as elective experiences.  Alternatively, students can take part in the Integrated Community Clerkship program

  Fourth year - Students take part in rotations that provide opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of several subspecialties, as well as Emergency Medicine and Geriatrics.


During their undergraduate degree, students interested in research have the opportunity to put in more time in the lab and acquire a special designation that formally recognized their additional research training.


Fast facts

  • The MD program has 660 undergraduate medical students―a diverse community of exceptional learners.

  • The University of Alberta Hospital is Western Canada’s largest teaching hospital.

  • The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry’s clinical activities are an integral part of Alberta Health Services (AHS), with research focused on how to deliver high-quality, data-driven and cost-effective health care with in-depth health outcomes analysis.

  • Our Faculty is comprised of more than 700 full-time faculty and 2,200 community clinical faculty.  

  • The Faculty has award-winning professors including six 3M National Teaching Fellows.

  • There are currently 2,586 active research projects led by our Faculty members.

  • With more than 15,000 alumni worldwide, 28 per cent of the physicians in Alberta are alumni of the U of A’s MD program.  

Climbing the ranks

The University of Alberta is ranked fourth in Canada and 90th in the world, according to the 2018 QS World University Rankings. With approximately 26,000 universities globally, this places the U of A in the top one per cent of universities in the world.

The U of A’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry is ranked among the top 100 medical schools in the world and top six in Canada (World University Rankings, The Times Education Rankings, QS World University Rankings).

The rankings are based on data about international staff, students and publication co-authors, as well as the school’s international reputation.