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Medapps

MSc Degree and med school applications

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Hey does anyone know if getting a Masters in engineering vs in science makes your residency application look more competitive? Trying to decide which project I should take for the upcoming winter term, I got 2 project offers but in different programs. I am more interested in the master's of science project and I think my marks would be higher in science courses vs engineering courses since my undergrad was in science. Higher marks would help med schools that take a look at graduate program marks too.   

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@freewheeler @Bambi

Okay makes sense, I am taking a gap year and I was thinking of applying for the next cycle so I could write the MCAT again. 

If I apply next year after rewriting the MCAT, that cycle would be for med school starting in 2020, and in total I would be taking 2 gap years. I was thinking of doing a masters starting this winter term and after talking with my supervisors they said I could finish the project in less than 2 years and be eligible to apply next year. That is why I was thinking of doing a masters, is there something I am missing or does it work out? 

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53 minutes ago, Medapps said:

@freewheeler @Bambi

Okay makes sense, I am taking a gap year and I was thinking of applying for the next cycle so I could write the MCAT again. 

If I apply next year after rewriting the MCAT, that cycle would be for med school starting in 2020, and in total I would be taking 2 gap years. I was thinking of doing a masters starting this winter term and after talking with my supervisors they said I could finish the project in less than 2 years and be eligible to apply next year. That is why I was thinking of doing a masters, is there something I am missing or does it work out? 

Is it a thesis master’s or course-based (with just a small project?). If it’s a thesis, find out if that’s a realistic timeline - you can talk to other students in your planned lab and find out how long people tend to take. A thesis master’s in a lot of places will generally be 20 - 24 months. But the vast majority of people I knew in grad school took at least a semester longer than they had planned when they started (so closer to 24 months), and many even 2-3 semesters longer (so closer to 3 years). 

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9 minutes ago, frenchpress said:

Is it a thesis master’s or course-based (with just a small project?). If it’s a thesis, find out if that’s a realistic timeline - you can talk to other students in your planned lab and find out how long people tend to take. A thesis master’s in a lot of places will generally be 20 - 24 months. But the vast majority of people I knew in grad school took at least a semester longer than they had planned when they started (so closer to 24 months), and many even 2-3 semesters longer (so closer to 3 years). 

It  is a thesis based masters. I only talked to the professors and they said they can work something out where I can finish before the 2 year mark since I am starting one semester late. For one of the projects the professor said I would only be completing one section of it and another masters student would likely take the project on after me. 

Yes I think it would be a good idea to talk to masters students. 

I am not sure if medical schools want the degree before June. Would the supervisor would have to write a letter stating that i am expecting my Masters by then?

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1 minute ago, Medapps said:

It  is a thesis based masters. I only talked to the professors and they said they can work something out where I can finish before the 2 year mark since I am starting one semester late. For one of the projects the professor said I would only be completing one section of it and another masters student would likely take the project on after me. 

Yes I think it would be a good idea to talk to masters students. 

I am not sure if medical schools want the degree before June. Would the supervisor would have to write a letter stating that i am expecting my Masters by then?

I think most schools require the degree complete generally a month or two before the semester starts. At UBC it’s July 30, and you need either a conferred degree on your transcripts or a letter from the graduate office of your school confirming you were totally done (letters from supervisors weren’t sufficient), but the exact timing and requirements will vary school to school. You’ll need to look up the specific requirements for each place you want to apply - part of the joy of med school applications is that there is rarely one answer for how or when you’re supposed to do things :p

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4 hours ago, frenchpress said:

I think most schools require the degree complete generally a month or two before the semester starts. At UBC it’s July 30, and you need either a conferred degree on your transcripts or a letter from the graduate office of your school confirming you were totally done (letters from supervisors weren’t sufficient), but the exact timing and requirements will vary school to school. You’ll need to look up the specific requirements for each place you want to apply - part of the joy of med school applications is that there is rarely one answer for how or when you’re supposed to do things :p

Do you know of masters students that have written their MCAT and completed their med school applications while working on graduate courses and their research project? 

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29 minutes ago, Medapps said:

Do you know of masters students that have written their MCAT and completed their med school applications while working on graduate courses and their research project? 

I have known a few people who did all the things mentioned together. By all means, it is not an easy thing to do, extremely precise time management and personal sacrifice ( some weekends) were required to really hammer through everything for them. 

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21 minutes ago, CardiacArrhythmia said:

I have known a few people who did all the things mentioned together. By all means, it is not an easy thing to do, extremely precise time management and personal sacrifice ( some weekends) were required to really hammer through everything for them. 

Agreed. I do also know a couple of people who did it. It’s a lot of work and very mentally draining. I did some of my prerequisite courses part-time while completing my masters, and it was really challenging to balance studying for that with staying on top of research and grad courses, especially during semesters where I was also working as a TA. I ended up working full time for awhile after my degree, which is when I prepped for my MCAT and did my application — I found that more manageable. 

So I’d say it’s definitely doable. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll personally find it worth it. Having a life and hobbies and keeping your stress manageable can also be beneficial to a med school application. It might not be a bad thing to think about taking an extra year and spreading things out more either. 

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