How to Go from High School to Medical or Dental School

24 May 2024

Can you go straight from high school into medical school or dental school?

Thousands of Canadians apply to study in Australia every year, and among them are recent high school graduates looking to pursue a professional degree.

Unlike many countries, Australia offers direct entry into undergraduate medicine or dentistry programs. This means you can apply to medical or dental school straight from high school, without having to do a bachelor’s degree first.

To help give you a bit more info about what you can study and what to expect, we recently held our Study in Australia: Undergraduate Medicine & Dentistry webinar, which featured 1 student and 2 alumni, Nadia, Rahat, and Nick. All three were eager to help future students by sharing their stories and answering questions.

Would you like to watch the full webinar recording? Just reach out to or and we’ll set you up!

Nadia – Griffith University Bachelor of Medical Science, Doctor of Medicine

Nadia is a Griffith University Bachelor of Medical Science, Doctor of Medicine graduate

Nadia’s journey from Vancouver to Australia started 7 years ago when she applied to Griffith University’s accelerated undergraduate medicine program, the Bachelor of Medical Science, Doctor of Medicine.

After 6 years of study, she graduated from her Doctor of Medicine program in December 2023 and has begun working as an intern doctor at Gold Coast University Hospital. Nadia completed her rotation in cardiology and is now working in the emergency department at GCUH, which is actually known to be the busiest ED in all of Australia! We interviewed Nadia a few years ago… read her story here!

Program: Bachelor of Medical Science, Doctor of Medicine
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Duration: 2 + 4 years
Semester intake: February

Admissions requirements

The Bachelor of Medical Science, Doctor of Medicine program at Griffith University is only available to

  • current Grade 12 students; or
  • applicants who have completed Grade 12 (or equivalent) no more than 3 years previously and have not since undertaken any post-secondary studies.

You must have a completed high school diploma with a minimum average of 88% (up to 3 years before applying and have not attempted any university or college studies). Required: English. Assumed knowledge: Maths B plus one of biology, chemistry, or physics.

Progression to MD
You must have achieved a 5.5+ GPA in the Bachelor of Medical Science (calculated according to Graduate Medical Admissions Centre procedures) and a minimum grade of Pass in the designated course Human Skills for Medicine.


Nick – University of Queensland Bachelor of Dental Science (Honours)

uq dentistry student headshot
Nick, a UQ Bachelor of Dental Science Honours graduate

Originally from Cobourg, Ontario, Nick was one of a few from his high school to venture to Australia directly after completing Grade 12.

At the University of Queensland, he studied the Bachelor of Dental Science (Honours). Nick quickly found his second home making lifelong friends both at his college residence and faculty.

During his 5-year dentistry program, Nick sought out to immerse himself in Australian culture and community. After graduating in 2022, Nick is now licensed to practiced dentistry in both Australia and Canada. To keep future options open, he is currently applying for permanent residency in Australia while working full time in a private dentistry practice in North Brisbane.

Program: Bachelor of Dental Science (Honours)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Duration: 5 years
Semester intake: February

Admissions requirements

From high school

Applicants must have a high school diploma with completed prerequisite subjects: Grade 12 English and chemistry (biology is also recommended) and have attained an average of 90%.

AB – UQ will assess Alberta students based on their top 5 Grade 12 subjects.
BC – UQ will assess BC students on their Language Arts 12 provincially examined subject plus best 3 Grade 12 subjects with 4 credit points.
ON – UQ will assess Ontario students based on their top 6 Grade 12 subjects.

Completion of UCAT ANZ required.

From university

Applicants with university studies must have completed at least one year of full-time studies toward an undergraduate degree; completed prerequisite subjects including Grade 12 English and chemistry, or an equivalent or higher-level course at a university level; and have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.7/4.0 in university studies.

Completion of UCAT ANZ required.

Rahat – James Cook University Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery

jcu medical school student headshot
Rahat, a current JCU MBBS student

Rahat is originally from Toronto, and prior to studying medicine in Australia, he completed 2 years of study at the University of Ottawa in the Honours BSc Human Kinetics program. His journey to Australia started 4 years ago when he applied to James Cook University’s undergraduate MBBS program. He’s now in his third year of medical school.

Over the last 3 years, he’s been able to rotate across various specialties including orthopedic surgery, general surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, and sports medicine. He’s also been able to participate in rural outreach with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Wondering what you need to know when you’re getting ready to leave for Australia? Check Rahat’s article: Your Predeparture Checklist: What to expect.

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Intake: February
Duration: 6 years

Admissions requirements

If applying directly from high school, you need a minimum GPA of 86% from your top 6 courses in Grade 12 (including prerequisite subjects). Prerequisite subjects include

  • English
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics studied as part of a secondary qualification deemed comparable to the Australian Senior Secondary qualification covering any of calculus, statistics, algebra, trigonometry, vectors, or geometry. (Calculus should include differentiation and/or integration).

If applying after having partially or fully completed post-secondary studies, you need a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3/4.0 to be considered.


Think you might be interested in your professional degree options straight from high school?

OzTREKK can help you apply to professional degrees like medicine and dentistry—straight from high school—for free. Do you have questions about how to get started? Reach out to our Student Success Team at or We’re here to help!

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