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foasenf

Spring Semester Intake Question

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Hi everyone,

My undergrad program starts in the spring semester and carries through the summer semester each year. My actual semester off is during the fall, which is when I'll be taking my "summer" courses. Do med schools care that my program falls outside of the normal fall-spring timeframe? I am taking a full-time course load during my actual program, and a part-time course load during the fall to take care of chemistry, physics, biology, etc, for the MCAT. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

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21 minutes ago, foasenf said:

Hi everyone,

My undergrad program starts in the spring semester and carries through the summer semester each year. My actual semester off is during the fall, which is when I'll be taking my "summer" courses. Do med schools care that my program falls outside of the normal fall-spring timeframe? I am taking a full-time course load during my actual program, and a part-time course load during the fall to take care of chemistry, physics, biology, etc, for the MCAT. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

They do - but often there are ways around it if your program by standard has unusual course placements - similar to coop actually where the courses are at odd times relatively speaking. 

Very good idea to reach out to the schools right now and make them aware of your plans and get their feedback. You want that in hand as it were. 

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30 minutes ago, rmorelan said:

there are ways around it if your program by standard has unusual course placements - similar to coop actually where the courses are at odd times relatively speaking.

What do you mean by this?

My school has two intakes for my program (fall and spring), however I qualified for the spring intake instead. This particular intake of my program is formally structured to be delivered during the spring and summer semesters full-time.

Apologies if this is redundant.

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10 minutes ago, foasenf said:

What do you mean by this?

My school has two intakes for my program (fall and spring), however I qualified for the spring intake instead. This particular intake of my program is formally structured to be delivered during the spring and summer semesters full-time.

Apologies if this is redundant.

Med schools  are very dependent on the standard Sept-Apr cycle for GPA calculations which is critical part of the med application process. Many on paper won't consider you as a candidate unless you are full time between those months and you won't be. 

That inflexibility is an issue - it was worse in the past but over time schools are realizing for many reasons not in their control students don't go full time over the standard period. Coop students with one semester of school followed by one of work repeatedly are a classic example. They never do 8 mos of school between Sept to Apr so there was a point no one doing typical coop programs could go to medical school. That has changed. 

Similarly if you can prove to the schools you are doing this program mandated over this unusual schedule they probably will consider you as well. However I would 100% be in contact with them prior to starting or as soon as possible to explain the situation - that way you know their thoughts on the matter and know where you stand. 

 

 

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Hey, I’m in a similar but a bit different situation so I’ll tell you what I know from speaking to a few schools.

Do you have the winter semester (Jan-April) off?

I’m in an accelerated nursing program with a January start so I won’t have 2 full semesters of September to April when I’m done (I took 15 credits between May-August for 2 summers). I was concerned with the more 2nd degree friendly schools so only spoke to those.

Queens told me they will ONLY look at Sept-April for their 2 year gpa but will consider any courses taken outside that time in their cumulative gpa.

UWO said they look at non-traditional start dates on a “case by case” basis. I took that as it was and didn’t push for further details. 

Dal also said they look at non-traditional program formats case by case however you need a letter from your program explaining the format and that you completed the program in the normal amount of time/are able to work at the capacity of a full course load.

University of Calgary also says something in their application instructions about how they will consider programs with non traditional formats outside their normal requirements.

So yes as rmorelan said it definitely impacts your application but schools will still consider it.

If I were you I would consider taking a full course load in the fall semester as you might be able to convince some schools to look at the 8 months between May-Dec the same as Sept-April. That’s pure speculation on my part although I feel like when UWO says “case by case” they are probably looking for something like that.

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12 hours ago, Rahvin13 said:

Do you have the winter semester (Jan-April) off?

I do not. My school calls the winter semester spring, sorry for any confusion. I have the fall semester off each year. My program is full-time from January-August.

UBC and UofT both told me they do not have an issue with my program's scheduling, but that I should include an explanation that my program was structured this way by the university.

I emailed several other schools, and they all said something similar, or that I simply wouldn't qualify for certain weighted GPA calculations. The only thing that could possibly harm me is if I had a sub-par GPA. Yes it does mean I have to be more careful grade-wise, but yet again, I'm IP for BC so my chances here are better than anywhere else in Canada. I'm lucky that UBC is so holistic and understanding.

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