Reference Letters

The types of allowable references can be found in Reference CriteriaReferences submitted on behalf of an applicant that fall outside of the allowable guidelines will not be accepted and the application will be closed. Applicants are strongly advised to read the Application Handbook for more specific details on permissible references and contact the Admissions Office for guidance if any questions remain. 

Applicants must provide two references; one academic reference is required.  References provide valuable information to the Committee about an applicant’s abilities, accomplishments, and/or academic performance record. The Online Application System will only accept letters of reference from those referees designated by the applicant; references from referees not named in the application are not accepted. As applicants are only permitted two references, it is important to seek referees who are able to write valuable, insightful, and relevant comments as part of a professional relationship.

Referees can complete the reference within the OAS and upload their own letter of reference directly into the system. When a referee submits an letter of reference to the OAS the applicant receives an email notification of confirmation, which should be retained by the applicant. Applicants should monitor their accounts to confirm references have been received; they will appear within 48 hours after submission by the referee. References are time-stamped; if submitted before the application deadline, they will be accepted, regardless of processing time. Referees must include their contact info, including phone numbers and email, should the Admission Office need to contact them at any time. Requests for references will be sent separately via email to each named referee designated by the applicant. 

If a referee is not responding to your reference request and the deadline is approaching, you should seek a new referee. In such cases, you should advise the Admissions Office at of your challenges and seek advice on going forward with your application. 

Mature Applicants

A mature applicant for whom it is not practical to submit an academic reference that would add value to their application, can request an academic exemption for the academic reference requirement. Applicants seeking this exemption must obtain permission from the Admissions Office to do so.  Such an applicant must satisfy both of the criteria below:

  1. They have graduated from an accredited university five years ago or longer and have completed no courses at any university since the graduation date and the date of application to medical school.
  2. They are a working professional for at least two years in a profession directly related to your post-secondary studies.

Exemptions will not be given to applicants who do not clearly satisfy both of the criteria above. 

Non-academic references submitted on behalf of applicants who have not been approved for academic exemptions by the Admissions Office will not be accepted and the application will be closed. 

If an academic exemption is approved, the submitted reference must be from a current or former (within the last 24 months) long-term employer/supervisor/manager, of at least 1 year or longer, who continuously supervises or manages the applicant as part of their employment role. 

Any applicant that satisfies the criteria above and wishes to request an academic exemption must formally do so in writing, including a detailed explanation for the request, to at least 3 weeks prior to the application deadline. 

For all other questions regarding references please consult the Application Guide (available in early June 2024) prior to contacting our office.