McMaster Health Sciences: Introduction

Fast Facts:

– 3,500+ students apply for 160 spots every year
– 50% of the 2011 BHSc class went to med school

With over 3,500 application every year for 160 spots, the Bachelor of McMaster Health Sciences Program (BHSc) is probably the most competitive undergraduate program in Canada. An undergraduate program focused on the topics of health, illness and wellness, it is unique in providing an education with a focus on self-directed, team-based and problem-based learning. This contrasts with the typical health or life science programs at most universities where the education comes primarily from didactic lectures. For more information about McMaster’s BHsc program, including the structure of the program, courses, etc. please check out the official website.

Why is it so competitive?

For one, its exclusivity for an undergraduate health science program (with 160 spots) by definition makes it competitive. With 3,500 applicants and only 160 spots, you need to be in the top 5% of applicants to get in. That’s tough. Secondly, among high school students, it is widely viewed as the premier undergraduate program for students interested in getting into medical school. For the 2010/2011 graduating BHSc class, almost 50% ended up in medical school (click here for more statistics). However, whether or not the McMaster BHSc program indeed provides an advantages for applying to medical school is a debate for another article.

The bottom line is that getting in is hard.

We have medical school classmates who previously applied to this program and did not get in. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t either. However, this means that you need to put your absolute best foot forward if this is the program you want.

Read the rest of the McMaster Health Sciences series: