A decision to enter medical school should not be taken lightly. Besides being very hard to get into – and on top of all the complex subject matter medical students are required to learn – Canadian medical schools can also be very expensive to attend. 

While medical school tuition is not as expensive as it is in the United States, any Canadian medical school you choose to attend (assuming you are able to get in) still does charge a hefty price. That said, the cost is often well worth it, as the compensation received by those that study medicine and health sciences is quite ample once they enter the workforce.

Below is information on how much it costs to attend medical school across Canada, segmented by the price paid by both Canadian and international students. 

So how much does medical school cost, and is a medical education worth it? Let’s find out!

Canadian Medical Schools: Price Comparisons

First thing’s first, before we break down the cost of each school of medicine (there are 17 accredited medical schools in Canada), it’s important to note that the tuition paid to receive a medical degree will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The medical school degree or program you choose (MD, MD/PhD, etc)
  • Where you live
  • Your citizenship (international medical students usually pay more)

According to Canadian medical education statistics, the average tuition fee for Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents is approximately $17,000 per year. The cost in Ontario is the highest, with their provincial average coming in at just over $27,000 per year. 

According to the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), when taking into account all of the costs associated with attending a Canadian medical program, Canadian students will likely spend over $100,000 to obtain their degree. 

Because the total cost includes both medical school tuition fees, application fees, and related expenses, most graduates report medical school debt of around $160,000, especially when taking into account medical school expenses and any debt indirectly related to their med school education (books, housing, etc).

Medical School Cost Breakdown 

Medical SchoolCost Per Year
University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine$28,500
Queen’s University School of Medicine$27,473
Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University$26,126
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University$25,456
University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine$24,835
Northern Ontario School of Medicine$24,173
Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine$23,000
University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine$21,006
University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine$18,945
Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary$16,063
Memorial University Faculty of Medicine$13,260
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry$12,887
University of Manitoba Max Rady College of Medicine$10,000
McGill University Faculty of Medicine$8,036 / $19,720*
University of Sherbrooke Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences$4,767 / $12,285*
Faculty of Medicine, University de Laval$4,070 / $12,550*
University of Montreal Faculty of Medicine$3,601 / $11,193

* cost for out-of-province students (those from outside Quebec)

What is immediately clear is that some of the cheapest medical schools are located in the province of Quebec, but also that if you don’t actually live there, the prices rise considerably. 

What is also clear is that no matter what, whether you’re interested in Ontario medical schools, those in Quebec, or anywhere else in Canada, the prices are an absolute bargain when compared to American medical schools. The most expensive medical school in Canada pales in comparison to even the most mid-range U.S. school’s yearly tuition. 

According to data provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the average costs per year in the U.S. (including tuition, fees, and health insurance) are between $40,000 and $60,000 per year (paid in U.S. dollars), and the cost of attending Ivy League schools is usually between $60,000 – $70,000 per year.

What If I Don’t Get Into Medical School?

Female student sitting in front of a laptop with her head in her hands

Canadian medical schools, along with their American counterparts south of the border, are notoriously hard to get into. In fact, the competition is so fierce that almost 90% of applicants are rejected due to a lack of space. 

It is quite common for prospective med school students to wonder privately to themselves “What if I don’t get into medical school?” Luckily, even if their worst nightmare comes true and they are rejected across the board, there are plenty of other options. 

For example, students from all over the world have discovered the value of attending a Caribbean medical school. Schools like the American University of Antigua, for example, have proven to be excellent places to pursue a medical education abroad. Best of all, Caribbean medical schools also have much higher acceptance rates than Canadian or American institutions, while still offering an excellent level of education.

The AUA College of Medicine does accept international students, and offers every international student the chance at a high-quality medical education, one that is both accessible and affordable. 

Those that graduate from can be accredited to work in either Canada or the United States, which allows graduates the opportunity to bypass the problems associated with studying in Canada or the U.S., but still allows them to apply for residency in the communities of their choice once they graduate or apply to medical residency programs. 

Want to learn more? Simply click the links below for more information on the important steps to take on your journey to medical school and beyond!

What is pre med?

Medical school requirements in Canada

Caribbean medical school requirements for Canadian students

How to get into Caribbean medical schools