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QuARMS Activities

Queen's University School of Medicine Building in Kingston, Ontario

The foundation of the QuARMS pathway is based on four pillars:

  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Scientific foundation
  • Role of a physician

These four guiding pillars will help QuARMS students apply to medical school as thoughtful, well-rounded, caring, and well-prepared individuals and can be best illustrated by separating the activities into three sections. Academics, Mentorship, and Community Service.

  • Students must meet the requirements of the first 2 years of an Honours degree in the Faculty of Arts and Science, along with core science and arts courses. Course details are below.
  • QuARMS students are given opportunities to experience interdisciplinary academic concepts, creating a well-rounded educational experience.

Course Requirements:

  • Students must complete 30 units/year over the fall and winter terms (equivalent to 5 courses per term) in each of years one and two.
  • Students must take, as core requirements: 


Arts & Science BHSc
Year 1 Year 1
BIOL 102/103 PHGY 170
CHEM 112 (equivalent of required Year 2 course, below)
MATH 121 or year 2 stats HSCI 190
ENGL 100 ENGL 100
Year 2 Year 2
  BCHM 270
STAT 263 or BIOL 243 HSCI 270
PHGY 215/216 PHGY 215/216
  • These courses are chosen to provide all students with a fundamental knowledge of biological processes, quantitative reasoning skills, and communication skills.
  • Students who receive IB or AP transfer credits for any of these courses may count up to 12.0 units without repeating the course(s).
  • The Faculty of Arts and Science and the Faculty of Health Sciences encourages first-year QuARMS students to take part in the classroom experience to help with the transition from high school. First year CORE courses MUST be taken In-Class. It is VERY STRONGLY suggested that ALL courses during the two-year undergrad period be taken in class and not online if possible.
  • At the end of year one, students participate in the plan selection process and choose an honours plan for which they have the required pre-requisites.
  • Students will be required to take all 2nd year core requirements in the degree plan of their choice in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

    [1] STAT 263 or BIOL 243 - should be taken in year two
    [2] PHGY 215 - Should be taken in year two (BIOL 102/103 is a pre-requisite)

Additional QuARMS academic activities:

  • In the fall and winter terms of year 1 and 2 in the Faculty of Arts and Science, each student will complete a series of mandatory, seminar-based enrichment modules. These modules will require 3 hours/week in-class and 1-3 hours/week outside of class for assignments. They cannot be used for credit towards the degree in the Faculty of Arts and Science.
  • Each student will also complete a compulsory, experiential learning module that will be offered in the summer term in year 1 and 2. These modules cannot be used for credit towards the degree in the Faculty of Arts and Science.
  • The primary goals of these modules are:
    • To acquire the skills that are relevant to the practice of Medicine.
    • To extend and apply these competencies through experiential learning and electives.

Upon admission, each student will be assigned to a mentor group, consisting of a faculty member (or members) and medical students in various stages of their education in the Queen's School of Medicine. Students will also have direct access to working physicians and experts at Queen’s through monthly fireside chats, exclusively for QuARMS students.

Community service, or service learning, is a vital component of the QuARMS pathway. Students will work with organizations in the Kingston community that have a demonstrated need for assistance. Volunteering with community groups will enable the students to further develop the skills or “core competencies” that a physician requires.

The QuARMS curriculum consists of two components that run in parallel; one is devoted to meeting the requirements of the first 2 years of an Honours degree in the one of four programs (Bachelor of Arts, Science, Computer Science, Life Sciences, or Health Sciences); the other is a unique and integrated set of enrichment/experiential learning modules and electives that are developed and delivered by members of the School of Medicine (SoM) to prepare students to apply for admission to the School of Medicine at the end of year 2 of their undergraduate Bachelor program.

Important Academic Notes Regarding the QuARMS pathway:

  • Students may voluntarily withdraw from QuARMS and continue their studies in their chosen degree program with no academic penalty. Similarly, students who complete the QuARMS pathway but then choose not to apply to the MD Program, or who apply but are not admitted to the MD Program, may continue their studies in their chosen degree program with no academic penalty.
  • Unless and until students are admitted to the School of Medicine, students will be bound by regulations stipulated by the Faculty of Arts and Science.
  • Policies governing the evaluation of seminar-based enrichment modules offered by the School of Medicine will be based on regulations stipulated by the School of Medicine.