Top 10 Medical Scholarships in Canada for International Students

Embarking on the journey to become a medical professional in Canada is a noble pursuit that comes with its unique challenges, particularly in terms of financial investment. However, aspiring medical students need not be deterred, as Canada offers a plethora of scholarships designed to support their educational journey. In this blog post, we unveil the top 10 scholarships for medical students in Canada, providing a roadmap for those with a passion for healing and a commitment to excellence.

Top 10 Medical Scholarships in Canada for International Students

  1. Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Awards:The CMA Awards are prestigious scholarships offered by the Canadian Medical Association. These awards recognize medical students who demonstrate exceptional leadership, academic excellence, and a commitment to community service. Recipients not only receive financial support but also gain access to a network of influential professionals in the medical field.
  2. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Scholarships:CIHR provides various scholarship opportunities for medical students engaged in health research. These scholarships support students pursuing research projects that contribute to advancements in healthcare and medical science, fostering innovation and excellence in the medical community.
  3. Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) Awards:The CMHF Awards celebrate outstanding medical students who have demonstrated leadership, academic achievement, and a commitment to improving healthcare. Recipients receive financial support and, more importantly, join a distinguished network of healthcare leaders associated with the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
  4. Dr. William and May Reddick Bursary:Established by the Canadian Medical Foundation, the Dr. William and May Reddick Bursary provides financial assistance to medical students with demonstrated financial need. This bursary aims to alleviate the financial burdens associated with medical education, ensuring that deserving students can focus on their studies.
  5. Schulich Leader Scholarships:The Schulich Leader Scholarships are prestigious awards that support undergraduate students pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines, including medicine. Recipients of these scholarships exhibit not only academic excellence but also leadership qualities and a commitment to making a positive impact in their communities.
  6. Joubin/Selig Scholarship Fund:This scholarship fund is dedicated to supporting medical students who have demonstrated a commitment to serving the Iranian community in Canada. The Joubin/Selig Scholarship Fund seeks to empower future healthcare professionals with a passion for cultural and community engagement.
  7. Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Medicine:The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) is a merit-based scholarship that supports graduate students in various fields, including medicine. Administered by the provincial government, OGS provides financial assistance to students pursuing research-based master’s or doctoral programs.
  8. Dr. Albert Rose Bursary:The Dr. Albert Rose Bursary is offered by the Canadian Medical Foundation and provides financial support to medical students who have faced challenges related to health, disability, or adversity. This bursary aims to empower resilient individuals on their journey to becoming medical professionals.
  9. Jean H. Drysdale Student Assistance Fund:Administered by the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS), the Jean H. Drysdale Student Assistance Fund provides financial assistance to medical students facing unforeseen financial challenges or emergencies. The fund aims to ensure that students can overcome financial obstacles and continue their medical education.
  10. Rotary Club Scholarships for Medical Students:Various Rotary Clubs across Canada offer scholarships to medical students who embody the Rotary principles of service and community engagement. These scholarships recognize individuals who demonstrate a commitment to making a positive impact in their local and global communities.

Can I get a full scholarship to study medicine in Canada?

Securing a full scholarship to study medicine in Canada is highly competitive, but there are possibilities. Here’s an overview of your options:

Full Scholarships:

  • Government and International Scholarships:
    • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships: Open to international students pursuing doctoral studies (including medical PhDs), offering CAD $50,000 per year for three years. (<invalid URL removed>: <invalid URL removed>)
    • Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships: Supports exceptional international researchers conducting postdoctoral research in Canada, including potential medical research fellowships. (<invalid URL removed>: <invalid URL removed>)
    • Provincial Government Scholarships: Some provinces offer scholarships specifically for medical students, but eligibility and focus areas can vary. Research individual provincial scholarship programs for details.
  • University Scholarships:
    • Entrance Scholarships: A few universities offer limited full scholarships to exceptional incoming medical students based on academic merit and potential. Research individual university websites for specific offerings and deadlines.
    • Research-Based Scholarships: Universities might offer full scholarships to students involved in specific research projects aligned with their medical programs. Explore research opportunities within your chosen university.

Partial Scholarships and Bursaries:

  • University Scholarships: Many universities offer merit-based and need-based scholarships that cover a portion of tuition fees, ranging from 10% to 50%. Explore individual university scholarship listings.
  • External Scholarships and Awards: Numerous organizations offer scholarships and awards specifically for medical students. Research scholarships from medical associations, foundations, and other relevant organizations.

Additional Tips:

  • Start early: Research scholarship opportunities well in advance, as deadlines can be several months before medical school start dates.
  • Strong academic record: Excellent grades, relevant achievements, and standardized test scores (MCAT) are crucial for competitive scholarship applications.
  • Demonstrated commitment: Showcase your passion for medicine through extracurricular activities, volunteering, or research experience.
  • Tailored applications: Adapt your application materials to each scholarship’s specific requirements and highlight how your goals align with its objectives.
  • Consider alternative funding options: Explore tuition fee loans, part-time work (with visa limitations), and financial aid programs to bridge any funding gaps.

Remember, securing a full scholarship requires dedication, strategic planning, and a competitive application. Research thoroughly, start early, and explore various funding options to maximize your chances of success.

How can I study medicine for free in Canada?

While studying medicine completely for free in Canada is highly unlikely, there are strategies you can employ to significantly reduce the financial burden associated with your medical education. Here’s a breakdown of your options:

Full Scholarships:

  • Extremely limited: Securing a full scholarship to cover the entirety of medical school in Canada is incredibly competitive, with only a handful of opportunities available each year. These are typically awarded to students with exceptional academic records, extensive research experience, and a demonstrated commitment to healthcare in underserved communities.

Partial Scholarships and Bursaries:

  • More attainable: Exploring various scholarship and bursary options can significantly reduce your financial burden. Several universities offer merit-based and need-based scholarships that cover a portion of tuition fees, ranging from 10% to 50%. Additionally, external organizations like medical associations, foundations, and government agencies offer scholarships specifically for medical students.

Government Support:

  • Provincial Loan Programs: Most Canadian provinces offer loan programs with favorable interest rates and repayment options specifically for medical students. These loans help cover tuition fees and living expenses.

Financial Aid:

  • University-based Assistance: Many universities offer financial aid programs that consider your financial need and provide various forms of support, including grants, work-study opportunities, and emergency funding.

Strategic Cost Management:

  • Choose a Public University: Tuition fees are generally lower at public universities compared to private institutions.
  • Consider Scholarships Outside Canada: Explore scholarship opportunities in your home country or from international organizations that support medical education abroad.
  • Live Frugally: Adopt a budget-conscious lifestyle during your studies to minimize living expenses.

Alternative Funding Options:

  • Research Assistantships: Participating in research projects alongside your studies can provide financial compensation and valuable research experience.
  • Part-time Work: While visa limitations might restrict work hours, exploring part-time work opportunities that fit your schedule can contribute to your finances.


  • Start early: Research scholarship and funding opportunities well in advance, as deadlines can be several months before medical school application deadlines.
  • Showcase your strengths: Build a strong academic record, gain relevant experience, and demonstrate your passion for medicine to improve your scholarship competitiveness.
  • Explore all avenues: Combine various funding options like scholarships, bursaries, loans, and financial aid to create a comprehensive financial support plan.
  • Be realistic: While minimizing costs is crucial, prioritize your education and well-being throughout the demanding medical school journey.

By strategically planning your finances, exploring diverse funding options, and being resourceful, you can significantly reduce the financial burden of studying medicine in Canada. Remember, dedication, effort, and a commitment to your goals are key to navigating this journey successfully.

Which is the cheapest medical school in Canada?

While there’s no single “cheapest” medical school in Canada due to varying tuition fees and cost of living factors, here are some schools generally considered more affordable, along with some insights to help you make an informed decision:

Universities with Lower Tuition Fees:

  • University of Manitoba (College of Medicine): Offers some of the lowest tuition fees among Canadian medical schools. Located in Winnipeg, it boasts a strong research focus and diverse clinical placements.
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland (Faculty of Medicine): Situated in St. John’s, this school offers competitive tuition fees and a unique focus on the healthcare needs of Atlantic Canada.
  • University of Calgary (Cumming School of Medicine): While tuition fees are slightly higher than the previous options, Calgary offers a lower cost of living compared to major cities like Toronto or Vancouver.

Additional Factors to Consider:

  • Cost of Living: Tuition fees are only one part of the equation. Consider the cost of living in the surrounding area, including housing, food, transportation, and other expenses. Research and compare living costs in different cities where medical schools are located.
  • Scholarships and Financial Aid: Explore scholarship and financial aid opportunities offered by individual universities and external organizations. These can significantly reduce your overall costs.
  • Programs and Specializations: Choose a school offering programs aligned with your specific interests and career goals. Consider the availability of specializations you might be interested in.
  • Research Opportunities: If research is important to you, explore the research strengths and opportunities available at each school.
  • Personal Preferences: Consider factors like the school’s location, learning environment, and overall culture to ensure it aligns with your personal preferences.


  • Cost shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor: Choose a school that offers a strong academic program, aligns with your goals, and provides a supportive learning environment, even if it has slightly higher fees.
  • Research thoroughly: Compare tuition fees, living costs, scholarship opportunities, program offerings, and other relevant factors across different schools to make an informed decision.
  • Seek guidance: Talk to advisors, current students, and alumni to gain insights and perspectives on different medical schools in Canada.

By carefully considering all these factors, you can choose the medical school that best fits your financial needs, academic aspirations, and overall preferences, setting you on the path to a successful medical career in Canada.


For aspiring medical students in Canada, these top 10 scholarships represent not only financial support but also recognition of dedication, leadership, and a commitment to advancing healthcare. Navigating the landscape of medical education becomes more accessible with these scholarships, providing a springboard for future medical professionals to excel in their studies and contribute meaningfully to the healthcare landscape in Canada and beyond.

Leave a Comment