Non-Academic Requirements

Non-academic criteria are also considered as part of the selection process.

Personal Activities Section

The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta values diversity in our entering medical class. To this end, please take this opportunity to highlight your life experiences that will enhance your application. The personal activities section is completed in the Secondary Medicine Application.

Applicants must provide at least one entry and can provide a maximum of four entries for each type of personal activity. When applicants are filling out this section they should be selective and concise in their responses, and should provide sufficient information including time commitment of an activity for an evaluator. Each activity will require a contact who can verify the information.

  1. Employment Record: Include a brief description of the nature of the work, your responsibilities, and the total number of hours worked in each position.
  2. Awards: List and describe any awards you have received recognizing your achievements in academic and non-academic domains. Please list the monetary value of the award if applicable.
  3. Leadership Roles: List and briefly describe areas where you have provided a major leadership role. This applies to scholastic, sports, volunteerism, arts and community activities. Include in your description the time commitment of each activity.
  4. Volunteer Work: Include total number of hours worked in each activity and a brief description of your responsibilities.
  5. Diversity of Experience: Diversity of experience encompasses many domains including, but not limited to, achievements and experiences in: arts and music, sports and athletics, science and research, languages and communication, cultural and ethnic experiences, and travel. Include in your description the significance and time commitment of each activity.
  6. Is there anything else relevant to your application that you feel the committee should take into consideration? This question is not scored; however, additional information will be taken into consideration with your application.


Reference Letters

The University of Alberta requires two (2) letters of reference.

When you complete the Secondary Medicine Application you will provide the name, address, phone number and email address of your two referees. The referees will be contacted by email and will submit a letter of reference electronically as per the instructions they receive.

We suggest that you select individuals who presently know you well enough to answer questions stated below in an honest and thoughtful manner. Some suggestions for referees to consider are (in alphabetical order): Coaches, co-workers, employers, leaders of volunteer organizations or clubs, professors, supervisors, research supervisors and teachers.  Applicants who self-declare Aboriginal must have one referee that can attest to their connection to or involvement in Indigenous communities or organizations.


Your referee will be addressing the following points:

  • Do you feel this applicant should be admitted into the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry? Please explain why or why not.
  • Would you recommend a person who needed to see a doctor to this applicant if the latter was a trained physician? Please explain why or why not in your letter.
  • Please address the moral and ethical characteristics of the applicant.
  • Please comment on any/all outstanding characteristics (the strengths and weaknesses) of the applicant.

Please ensure that your referees have submitted your letter of reference by accessing your Secondary Medicine Application and checking the status of your reference letters.

The electronic references are due on October 1st of the current year of application.



Applicants selected for an interview will be notified by mid of February through University of Alberta email accounts only. If you do not frequently check your U of A email account, please have your U of A account forwarded to your personal email account.

The interview format is the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI). In this format, the interviewed candidate will be exposed without interruption to a series of stations each of which will take 10 minutes to complete. At each station, the candidate will be provided with a question and allocated two minutes to read the question and formulate a response. After these two minutes, the candidate will provide their response to an interviewer for the remaining eight minutes before moving quickly to the next station.

The questions are designed to evaluate the candidate's abilities in critical thinking, ethical decision making, communication skills, cultural awareness, professionalism and general knowledge of the healthcare system. On the day of the interview, there will be an opportunity to ask questions about the medical school and its program as well as to meet with medical students.

More interview information

Note to Applicants Regarding Non-Academic Criteria:

Applicants should be aware that care should be taken in choosing referees, in writing the Personal Activities section and in preparing for the interview. Any one of these portions of the record, for which a negative assessment is obtained or where information cannot be accurately verified, could jeopardize acceptance into the medical program.