Let’s talk about Queen’s Health Sciences

Why does a 3-year-old program have a 4% acceptance rate?

What makes it unique?

Flipped Classroom Model

This may be the most unique asi program, the flipped or blended classroom model. Many of the people I interviewed compared it to McMaster’s HS program. As shown in the graphic below, students would begin by going through online modules provided to them for each course and then study the material in preparation for their assessments (more on assessment below).

Adapted from source.


No matter how much you enjoy a course, you inevitably have to worry about assessments. Or do you?

Learning Tracks

You may also think of these as specializations or even mini “minors”. This isn’t necessarily unique to this program but it is an interesting point worth mentioning! There are 6 different tracks that you can (optionally) enrol in…

  • Anatomical and Physiological Basis of Health and Disease
  • Global and Population Health
  • Applied Research Methods in Health Sciences
  • Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation
  • Molecular Basis of Biology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics

Option and Elective Courses

If you’re in high school, you’ve likely only heard of electives — those are classes you choose on your own that aren’t required. But in this program, there are two of those types of courses.


Queen’s is known for having a great number of extracurriculars, and coming to this program gives you access to them. Everything from Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) to Canadian Improv Games to the Canadian Association for Research in Regenerative Medicine, you can find at Queen’s! You can actually view this club directory for every single club available at the university.

Students at the Tricolour Open House in 2016. Source.

Online Degree

Another interesting and unique facet of this program? The option to get a degree fully online. According to their website, this is “Canada’s first fully online health sciences degree offered by a top-tier university.”

Small Class Size

Comparing McMaster’s HS program to Queen’s, the class size in this program is twice as small (McMaster: 240 students, Queen’s: 170 students at the Kingston Campus). Pardon my constant comparison, but it’s one that many are bound to make when choosing between health science programs!

Studying in England

The program also offers a study-abroad experience for the first year, partnering with the Bader International Study Centre in England. The blended style of learning is also kept in England but the class size is even smaller at only 35 students.

What’s not to like?

A few things, apparently. Everyone I talked to was very happy with their experience but shared a few things they thought the program could have.

No Chance to Minor

As mentioned on their FAQs page, students are not able to minor in any subject area, and that can be a negative point for those wanting to expand their skills or simply pursue their passions. One of the students I talked to directly mentioned this as a drawback but they also mentioned that there are a wide array of electives offered which means students can still explore their passions, in a slightly more limited capacity.

Very Young Program

This seems to be both a blessing and a curse. There are two sides to this: the students mentioned that they have a very active role in shaping the program which means you’re contributing to future students’ lives and even bettering the program for your future self. But on the flip side, there are fewer mentors to help you since the oldest cohort is just going into their third year. The program may be seen as less established than others but that seems to be changing quickly as Queen’s Health Sciences is making a name for itself.

How to apply

Now that you know a fair bit about the program, it’s time to dive into how you can apply!

General Requirements

The general requirements for the program are as follows…

  • You must have completed, or be in the process of completing, a secondary school diploma
  • You must have or complete a ENG4U (or French) course with a minimum 80% average
  • You must have completed or complete 4U biology, 4U chemistry, and any 4U math (that means MDM4U, MHF4U, or MCV4U)
  • You must have completed or or complete an additional two university or university/college mixed (U or M) courses
  • You must have a minimum cumulative average of 75%
  • You cannot be enrolled in another post-secondary program

Supplementary Essay

Before this upcoming application cycle (for the class of 2026), a PSE or Personal Statement of Experience could be submitted alongside your grades. However, it wasn’t mandatory and one of the students I talked to simply submitted their grades and with those being high enough, they were accepted and are currently enrolled.

  • Create a story with your essay
  • Show that you’re invested in an issue in healthcare or just in science!
  • Be sure to take not just an academic but personal approach too. Keep in mind that before this year, this used to be called a personal statement
  • When it relates to the question, describe moments in your life where you found your passions and how they tie together into STEM/healthcare
  • For instance, someone wrote about a tutoring program they ran and how that made them realize their love for teaching
  • Prior to writing the application, jot down experience in your life that are relevant (but these don’t have to be healthcare-based!)
  • Give yourself at least 2–3 weeks to get your answers down
  • Get feedback from others! This will give your fresh perspectives on how to improve
  • OUAC opens in November for the essay and can be submitted up until mid February so no need to rush

Let’s get down to business

I’m talking about the cost of the program and possible post-graduate pathways. It’s all about the future.

Future Pathways

The websites mention some future pathways as veterinary medicine, dentistry, graduate research, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, and medicine.

Some possible career paths after Queen’s HS. From left to right: source, source, source.


When thinking about the cost of your undergraduate program, you want to consider everything: transportation, food, textbooks, living accommodations, tuition, and everything in between.

Resources for You!

Yes, you! These are resources I came across and found super helpful for any students considering this program:

  • QUEENS OF BHSC: This is an awesome YouTube channel created by some Queen’s HS students with videos about all aspects of life as a student in the program. Definitely worth checking out!
  • Virtual Open Houses: These are recordings of previous virtual open houses from throughout 2021. Watch them on-demand and get your questions answered!
  • Program Research and Decision Matrix Worksheet: This worksheet comes from the Queen’s Career Services office and I’ve simply put in Google Docs format for your ease of use! It’s a great resource for your to objectively decide what program is best for you.


  • Queen’s Health Sciences is a quickly growing program offering unique experience such as a flipped classroom model, option and elective courses, online degrees, and very small class sizes
  • The program is nevertheless young which can be both a benefit and a positive
  • In order to apply, you need to complete the now mandatory supplementary essay, obtain or be obtaining a secondary school diploma, not be enrolled in a post-secondary institution, have a minimum cumulative average of 75%, and have the following credits: ENG4U/French equivalent (with a minimum 80%), 4U biology, 4U chemistry, any 4U math (that means MDM4U, MHF4U, or MCV4U), two additional U or M courses
  • Future pathways for those graduating from this program include veterinary medicine, dentistry, and graduate research, though most students intend to pursue medicine
  • The cost of the program is comparable to others similar to it

About the author

Parmin Sedigh is a 15-year-old stem cell and science communications enthusiast as well as a student researcher, based in Kingston, ON. She’s also the Director of Writing at Superposition and is working with the University of Guelph on a research project. You can usually find her on her computer following her curiosity. Connect with her on LinkedIn or email her at parminsedigh@gmail.com.



Ontario Youth Medical Society is a student-led, non-profit organization focused on educating youth and making a difference in medicine.

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Ontario Youth Medical Society

Ontario Youth Medical Society is a student-led, non-profit organization focused on educating youth and making a difference in medicine.