Higher studies in Canada for
MBBS students

This document is originally written by Dr. Md. Saiful Alam, MBBS, MPH (Univeristy of British Columbia).

©PBSCU Any unauthorized use of these articles, including copying or editing is prohibited. If you want to use the article, you need to take permission from us: pbscuadm@gmail.com or from the author and you must mention the author's name and the group's name in all cases.

Here I have discussed about various options that students with an MBBS can choose to study in Canada. Particularly, I have discussed about basic subjects/MPH/health research options.

Q: What to choose?

We always struggle with that question. Most of the time, we don't have any specific goals; instead, our primary motivation is like I want to go abroad for higher studies. That's a huge mistake. Be very precise from the beginning and have to set your goal because admission criteria are not the same for all subjects.

Q. Who should choose which stream? 

Other Language Proficiency Tests:

It's a sample English language requirement from the University of Alberta MSc. Epidemiology course. Either one is ok. English language requirements vary from department to department and University to University. Some universities may even waive it.

So always check beforehand.

You can also read more from here about English Language Tests:

(a) http://www.pbscu.ca/ieltsgre.html

(b) https://www.facebook.com/notes/prospective-bangladeshi-students-in-canadian-universities/dream-via-dalal-vs-reality/2025899817695261

(c) www.pbscu.ca/faq.html 

Now you get a very generalized/broad idea about choosing the intended program. Let's dig more:

Q: What are the difference between those MPH and research-based programs regarding admission criteria? This for an example: 

I used those Universities just to give you an idea. So the significant difference in admission requirements are –

Some General Guidelines:

FAQs about the Admission/Visa Process:

Q. Which Universities should I search for MPH or MSc courses?

My suggestion is don't be bothered with the rank that much. You can start by searching for any of those u15 universities. The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities is a collective of some of Canada’s most research-intensive universities. Although each institution advances its own research and education mandate, The U15 Directorate works for the collective interest of all our members. We foster the development and delivery of long-term, sustainable higher education and research policy in Canada and around the world. Remember, it's not a ranking or not based on good or bad. This website is very interactive with the active link provided with every University.

Search Here: http://u15.ca/our-members

Q. I heard that Canadian Universities have less funding on health research master’s programs? Can you tell me about some Universities I should search for?

You heard it wrong. Funding entirely depends on your profile. If your profile matched, they will provide funding surely. Now I will not direct towards which Universities will provide more funding; rather, you should explore all universities for opportunities. The more you will explore, there will be more chances to manage full funding.

Q. List of documents should I prepare for admission?

The list of documents for university admission and VISA application is entirely different. For admission procedure, you need to prepare,

Q. I have a dual post-secondary degree. One of them does not meet the admission eligibility criteria. What should I do now?

If an applicant has two Degrees (at any level), and only one degree meets the minimum academic requirement set out by Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the applicant is eligible for admission. However, it varies from University to University.  

Q. I am concerned about the high application fee. Is there any I can apply for Canadian Universities without application fees.

Yes, you can apply the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta without any processing/application fee.



Q. MBBS doesn't have a CGPA system and its mark based. How can I convert this to CGPA?

From the example mentioned above, now probably you are thinking we don't have a 4.0 scale CGPA system and ways of converting your mark to CGPA. Well, I tried and did not find any solution for this. Fortunately, most of the universities have their grading conversion scale. You can even apply for those programs; also, you have first division/60% mark in the MBBS course. However, a 60% mark will not ensure your admission, though.





Check those links for minimum mark requirements of Bangladeshi students to qualify for admission.

Q. Prospective job opportunities:


And so many more. Please explore by yourself


Same as above plus research-based jobs in academia and health organizations.

Check this link, and you will be amazed about wonderful areas you can explore as a researcher:


Q. Do I need WES conversion?

For most of the University – NO. However, you want to get admission from Simon Fraser University than WES/ICES conversion must (https://www.sfu.ca/fhs/graduate/prospective/admissions.html)

Q. I don't want to go for GRE. Is there any other way?

If you have undergrad statistical course covered following topics such as

Then you don't require GRE. Remember, there are some short courses offered by Dhaka University and ICDDRB on biostatistics. Those will not count as a credit course. You at least need a three-credit course. However, if you are planning for McGill University, then GRE is mandatory no matter how many statistical courses you have.

Q. MBBS degree does not cover any statistics course, plus I don’t want to go for GRE. What can I do now?

The only solution will be pursuing a master’s degree from Bangladesh, which provides a biostatistics course. You can search for courses such as MPH, MS in Biostatistics, MS in Health informatics, and MS in applied laboratory science in Bangladesh. These master’s degree will also be helpful because you will learn public health-related topics to a large extent; additionally, your result will be in CGPA. The marking system in MBBS is horrible; we all know that. This will be an additional opportunity to get a degree with a high CGPA.


Q. Is there any funding opportunity? Do I have to manage my supervisor? How can I manage my supervisor?

There are thousands of funding opportunities in Canadian universities if you are eligible. Apart from central funding, you can also apply for department-specific funding. Most of the time, your supervisor will manage financing as a form of RA and TA.

But there are lots of MSc health research programs where admission procedure is central, and no supervisor required. In that case, your best friend will be the grad coordinator. This person is sitting there just to help you. Ask for funding options, and they will send you a bunch of links for fundings. Sometimes we are too shy or lazy to apply to those central funding pools or conscious about our qualifications. But it's just one click away. It's not only your CGPA; there are numerous other factors they will consider to fund you.

Prospective Bangladeshi Students in Canadian Universities– this group every single document prepared for us regarding everything:



Q. I want to pursue MSc programs in Canada but don't want to manage my supervisor. Is there any option for me?

For most of the MPH programs, you don't need to manage the supervisor, while most of the MSc program demands academic supervisor. However, some universities are relaxed regarding this matter, and you have the option to choose a supervisor later.

Some options where you don't need to manage supervisor before apply:

McGill University (MSc epidemiology, biostatistics): https://www.mcgill.ca/epi-biostat-occh/academic-programs/grad/epidemiology/requirements

University of Saskatchewan (Community health And Epidemiology): https://grad.usask.ca/programs/community-population-health-sciences.php#Tuitionandfunding

University of British Columbia (MSc Health Science): https://www.spph.ubc.ca/programs/mhsc/

Also, search Queens University, University of Ottawa, and Western University.

Q. What sort of reference letter we need?

This is another most important thing you should consider before applying. Academic references are a must. Sometimes they ask for three references, also such as UBC. Now, remember that your referee must have academic email ids. Universities don't accept Gmail, Hotmail, yahoo, such as email providers. Email id must be institutional.

Q. I completed my study 5 years back? Is it ok if I provide a reference from my job?

In special cases, Universities might consider reference letters from the non-academic sector also. Best way to confirm it is by talking with the Graduate coordinator.

Q. I don't have any job, and my referee doesn't have any institutional email ID. What can I do now?

In that case, you can take a reference in an academic pad with a sealed institutional envelope and sent it to the University provided address.

Please go through this link (Reference section) for more clarifications:


Q. I heard that for applying to Canadian Universities, I need a specialized CV. Is it true?

Not true at all. However, you need a well-organized and well-formatted CV. Best way to go to the University website and use there template for CV.

I am giving some template you can use:




Also, I provided some pdf documents. Prepare a fantastic CV.

Q. How to write SOP/LOI?

SOP must be very specific related to your intended program. There are some sample templates provided in this group. Take some ideas from here and write your own.


Q: Should I go for a diploma or master's in terms of job prospects? What is the easiest way to get PR? (not for all)

There is very few health-related diplomas offered and the job prospects are not good at all.

1. Master’s degree :

You can consider master’s in public health, health administration, health management, health science, medical anthropology, health, disability management, nutrition, medical sociology, health promotion.

Job prospects are numerous. You can work in health administration, health region, ministry, education sector, University, different Government and Non-profit organizations. Now getting permanent residency will be varied across provinces, and criteria are different. However, approximately within 2-5 years, you will probably get it.

2. M.Sc. and Ph.D.:

Including most of the subject mentioned above plus health research, community health, population health, epidemiology, clinical psychology, immunology, biomedical science, kinesiology, rehabilitation science, global health, genetics, nutrition science, cardiovascular and respiratory science, medical biophysics, cellular and molecular medicine, applied health science, and lots of other subjects.

Future prospect is outstanding. However, you have to devote your life to research and need lots of patience. Also, you can work outside academia if you want. Various research organizations, national or international NGOs, pharmaceutical companies also Government projects could be good work options. The settlement criteria are the same, as I mentioned above.

3. Basic/para-clinical:

Includes the area I already mentioned in the MSc segment. Despite those, you can try anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry, clinical pharmacology, cancer biology, biochemistry, neuroscience etc. Prospects are similar.

4. Licensing Exam:

I never tried for this, so I cannot tell in detail. You must take the certification exams in the Province where you wish to practice, through the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. You have to do exams (2 of them) to be eligible to write licensing exams and two licensing exams that all Canadians take. Then you have to apply for a residency. It is not easy for international medical doctors to get residencies in Canada.I will suggest you go through below-mentioned web pages:

Assessment routes for international medical graduates

Link: www.royalcollege.ca/rcsite/credentials-exams/assessment-international-medical-graduates-e

Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination


Regarding Canadian Resident Matching Service


Credentials and Exams - eligibility



If your only desire is to get PR in Canada, then I will suggest you work as a clinic or NGO manager in Bangladesh and then apply for immigration. Canadian Government only considers "skilled" jobs those with NOC Skill Type 0, A or B.

Link: www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/eligibility/find-national-occupation-code.html

Q. I already got admission how can I apply?

Awesome people of PBSCU group already answered this.

Everything is in the website and its FREE!



This is a broad but informative guideline. There is no easy way or shortcuts for higher studies; at least I do not know. Key criteria for studying abroad is to do extensive research on higher studies and develop yourself accordingly. First, make your mind in which way you want to go because Masters, M.Sc. leading to Ph.D. or licensing exam is a way different track, and you have to prepare yourself accordingly. Some option leads you towards working in health administrative sector, while others point to academia or even patient practice. Please go through all the links provided in this document, also offered by other group members. There might be lots of questions that will arise while you go through these documents. Don't hesitate to ask on this thread. You are not the first person facing this problem. So. Someone already has an answer.

Please NOTE some information on this document may vary as I previously mentioned criteria are different for different Universities, and some are from my PERSONAL observation. A humble request, if you have any questions, ask in the group. I will try my best to help. However, I will not answer any concerns/issues in my inbox; I hope you will understand.