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OT/PT accepted/waitlist/decline forum 2019

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Hello everyone! I recently got an acceptance from McGill and confirmed it this morning. 

If you are going to McGill for OT this year please message me, let's get to know each other! 

 I have two years experience at a family physicians office a year experience with an OT who graduated from McGill too. I've worked at a senior home for a few months. I had taken 4/5 background courses McGill wanted to see and had a strong CASPER. This was my second time applying but first time applying to McGill (first time CASPER too). I've seen people here get in with lower GPAs and some be rejected for very high ones. GPA does matter, but it's not everything.

keep trying everyone, you'll get in! And congrats to everyone that did get in. 

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Applied: OT at UBC, UofA, UofT, Ottawa
Accepted: Ottawa 
Waitlisted: UofA, UofT
Rejected: UBC
GPA:  sGPA 3.68

I am accepting my offer to Ottawa, though I was hoping for Alberta or Toronto. I am very excited to get in though!!!!!! French is my second language and it shows in conversation so I am quite nervous since Ottawa's program is in french. Does anyone have any advice for this or are in the same boat? Also does anyone know if there's a facebook group for the incoming class?

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Hi guys,

Planning to apply next cycle for Fall 2020 and I’m just finishing up my degree right now. I do have some concerns regarding admission though. To anyone and everyone who are on a waitlist or have been accepted - do you guys have a history of withdrawals? I’m contemplating my 7th W for my degree lol (this will be the first one within the last 20 courses of my degree where most schools calculate GPA. The last 6 were taken between 1st and 2nd years because of personal reasons). I’d rather take a W over an F because it would tank my GPA but I’m wondering if a W would make a significant impact on my application? 

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For future applicants:

Applied: All PT - UBC, UofT, McMaster, Queens, Western, Dal; [UK: Oxford Brookes, Queen Margaret, Manchester Met, Brunel, Brighton, Essex]
Accepted: [UK: Oxford Brookes, Manchester Met, Brunel]
Waitlisted: Dal; [UK: Essex]
Rejected: UBC, UofT, McMaster, Queens, Western
cGPA: 3.64/4.33
sGPA: 3.61/4 ORPAS; 3.75/4.3 Dal; 82.1% UBC
Perceived strength of essays/interviews/references: Essays - I didn't write them at the last minute. I had some physio students, friends, and physios review them. Unfortunately, my sGPA was below the cut-off for Queens (3.73) which means that my personal statement probably didn't get looked at. I presume this was the case for other Canadian schools, except Dal, perhaps. Interviews - I had an interview at McMaster, Dalhousie and four UK schools. For these, my friends and I asked each other questions and criticized each other's answer in preparation. References - I have good and professional relationships with each of my references (two professors and one volunteer-supervisor). I didn't wait until the last minute to ask them to write me a letter. Extra-curricular - 100 hours as an assistant athletic trainer for a Sr. A Lacrosse team; 100 hours as a physiotherapy volunteer in a neuro setting; 34 hours as a practicum student in a cardio-respiratory setting (practicum hours may not have counted but I could still talk about this experience in my personal statement); 2 hours in a pediatric setting; 4 hours in an orthopedic setting. I was an executive member of a club at our university. I also participated in several community volunteering activities over the past few years.

For applicants considering applying to the UK, apply early. Apply to as many reputable schools as possible. There are no application fees. I submitted my UK applications in Oct '18 for programs starting Sept '19. I received my first offer of admission in Nov '18. None of my UK offers of admission have expired yet. 

I chose not to apply to Australia because of the discouraging tuition rates.

Congratulations to those who received an offer of admission this year. To those who didn't, you're not alone; persevere.
I'm open to answering questions via direct message.

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I just declined my offer from western for OT as I’m deciding between Mac and UofT but now my ORPAS says it’s going to take 1-3 business days before I can log back in!? Has anyone else experienced this!?

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4 hours ago, OTplz2020 said:

Hi guys,

Planning to apply next cycle for Fall 2020 and I’m just finishing up my degree right now. I do have some concerns regarding admission though. To anyone and everyone who are on a waitlist or have been accepted - do you guys have a history of withdrawals? I’m contemplating my 7th W for my degree lol (this will be the first one within the last 20 courses of my degree where most schools calculate GPA. The last 6 were taken between 1st and 2nd years because of personal reasons). I’d rather take a W over an F because it would tank my GPA but I’m wondering if a W would make a significant impact on my application? 

Hey 20210Ten, I had 1 W on my transcript, a course I took during the summer before my 4th year, and I received an offer from Queen's. i recall asking UofT and Queen's a few years ago as I was concerned as well and they did not seem concerned about a W. I think you should be fine! 

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Hi there, 

It is my first year applying right out of my 4th year of undergrad. I was rejected from Queen's PT - my dream school. 

Just looking for some advice on how to prepare for next years application on my year off (academic reference requests if not returning to school, volunteer, upgrades, etc.?) Should I take more courses to improve my Sub GPA, since I am more familiar with how it is calculated, etc.? I didn't do any interviews/CASPER this year - should I research this a bit more? 

I can't really picture myself doing anything else as a career and I feel like the recruitment process and standards required to study Physiotherapy in Ontario is very stressful. Congratulations to everyone who has received an acceptance!! I don't want to give up because I want that feeling as well!! 

Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you so much for your time :) 

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On 5/17/2019 at 3:09 AM, OT1996 said:

For those that were accepted to U of T for OT did you take full course loads (i.e. 5 classes per sem) throughout undergrad? I have a sub-gpa of 3.93 and cumulative of 3.92 as well as various volunteer/research experiences including two years in an OT clinic and I was rejected from U of T, not even wait listed :(. I am assuming it may be due to my reduced course loads (3-4 classes per sem) that may have made my application look weak, or maybe I didn't have as extensive volunteer experience as some others. But I thought U of T placed heavy emphasis on GPA... can anyone advise.

 I took a full course load last year and had an sGPA of 3.88, and still got rejected from U of T (I felt the rest of my application was really strong). I don't think it should make a difference what your course load was, I also thought UofT put a heavy weight on GPA, but i guess not ? I'm also very confused and unsure what the issue was. I hope you have some other school acceptances so you can continue your studies!! 

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1 minute ago, OT-w said:

 I took a full course load last year and had an sGPA of 3.88, and still got rejected from U of T (I felt the rest of my application was really strong). I don't think it should make a difference what your course load was, I also thought UofT put a heavy weight on GPA, but i guess not ? I'm also very confused and unsure what the issue was. I hope you have some other school acceptances so you can continue your studies!! 

I remember calling them last year to inquire if course loads we're an issue and the person on the phone did say that they won't discriminate you based on course load but it is kind of a "red flag" and you need to show that you can keep up. Found this in their FAQ:

No you do not need a full-time course load from your undergraduate studies to be considered for this program. We understand applicants take diverse pathways to graduation during their undergraduate degree program. This often includes co-op work terms, research courses, volunteer activities and elective courses during summer. It is not our intention to limit the educational and professional opportunities you are offered while completing your bachelor’s degree.

However, the MScOT program is offered on a full-time in-class basis only. The program is intensive. Your application should show your ability to keep up with a full-time workload, either academic or professionally (or a combination thereof).

Also about the emphasis on GPA: 

Admission to the program is determined through an evaluation of academic and non-academic materials (e.g. personal statement submission, resume, referee assessments on the Confidential Assessment Forms) with the academic requirements (e.g. transcripts) being weighted more heavily

 

Unfortunately they don't give feedback on the applications so we won't know. But I think it's a bit unfair if course loads are a factor. I had reasons for taking longer to complete my undergrad and there wasn't a place I could explain this on my application. Besides the personal essay but there isn't a lot of room to go into detail on those essays, I tried my best to show I was involved professionally. In addition, I didn't even know course loads could be an issue until fourth year...

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3 hours ago, PapaTango said:

Hi there, 

It is my first year applying right out of my 4th year of undergrad. I was rejected from Queen's PT - my dream school. 

Just looking for some advice on how to prepare for next years application on my year off (academic reference requests if not returning to school, volunteer, upgrades, etc.?) Should I take more courses to improve my Sub GPA, since I am more familiar with how it is calculated, etc.? I didn't do any interviews/CASPER this year - should I research this a bit more? 

I can't really picture myself doing anything else as a career and I feel like the recruitment process and standards required to study Physiotherapy in Ontario is very stressful. Congratulations to everyone who has received an acceptance!! I don't want to give up because I want that feeling as well!! 

Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you so much for your time :) 

  •  

If Queen's is your dream school, you can certainly cater your next year to make your application strong, specifically to Queen's. It would appear the subGPA cut-off this year was a 3.73, last year it was a 3.70, the year before a 3.68 I believe. With this in mind, you may want to ensure you have a subGPA of at least 3.75 or .76 to be safe for next year. As long as you make the cut-off, however, Queen's definitely weighs your essays higher than your GPA (I was accepted to Queen's PT this year with a 3.73 subGPA). I made sure I had a variety of experience working in PT (MSK, neuro, long-term care), some research experience, as well as some non-PT experience (recreation dept in LTC, coaching a sports team, and volunteering to play golf with a blind man). They want to see that you're passionate and knowledgable about the profession, as well as have a variety of interests and experiences! Queen's doesn't interview or require a CASPer, but if you're open to other schools, I was accepted to both Western and McGill for OT and PT with a low-ish GPA, so I think my CASPer went well - it's manageable if you prepare well for it! Feel free to PM me if you have anymore questions :)

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Applied (All PT): UBC, Queens, Western, U of T and McMasters
Accepted: UBC, Queens, U of T and McMaster
Waitlisted: Western (upper)
Rejected: 
GPA: s-gpa :3.93
Perceived strength of essays/interviews/references: I volunteered over 100 hours with the Children's Treatment Center along side Physiotherapists at the hospital in my home town :)!! Amazing experience that strengthened my passion to want to pursue Physiotherapy. The more experience you can gain in the field the better. I also worked in two physiotherapy private clinics as admin and learned a lot about the background work necessary to run a private clinic. 

Also regarding interviews I always reviewed my written answers for my application and borrowed a book from my friend for MMI's called Doing Right (looks at case studies and ethical questions)

Pertaining to the masters program Ill be attending,  I am really struggling to make a choice between U of T and UBC ! If anyone happens to know any pros/cons related to any of these two Physiotherapy programs, it would really help to hear your input  ! (However I am aware that they are both excellent schools!)

Congrats to all who've been accepted into Physio this year :)!

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Applied + (PT or OT?): PT at UBC, U of T, Queens, Western, McMaster
Accepted: UBC, U of T, Queens, Western, McMaster
Waitlisted:
Rejected:
sGPA: 93% (UBC), 3.87 (everywhere else)
Perceived strength of essays/interviews/references: I was a physical therapy volunteer at a long-term care facility for seniors for 4 years and accumulated 150+ hours. I was also a research assistant for 3 years (~1000+ hours). I've been working as a physio assistant for about a year at a private clinic. For my personal statements for Queens and Western, I really highlighted how each of their programs were different from others, what I wanted to get out of it, and why I would be a good fit.

For the UBC interview, I prepped by practicing sample MMI questions with friends (worked on just verbalizing my thoughts in a coherent manner and get a feel for the timing).
For the McMaster interview, I did this one a few days after the UBC one so all my prep work was still fresh, but worked on the timing a bit. I honestly thought my interview went horribly and felt the questions were just so random!
For the CAP interview, I reviewed everything I did before (including my prep for CASPER). I also spent some time reflecting on my past experiences and times where I demonstrated certain qualities/characteristics in order to make my responses more personal.

My lab director/professor was my academic reference. The volunteer coordinator at the long-term care facility was my professional reference.

I hope what I have written above will help out those who are thinking of applying or re-applying. If anyone has any questions, feel free to slide into my DM's ;) (I honestly don't know if that's a thing, but just message me).

Congrats on those who received an offer! I am currently torn between UBC and U of T, so if anybody can shed some light on both programs then that'd be great too :)

 

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Applied + (PT or OT?): UBC (OT), U of A (OT), U of T (OT)
Accepted: UBC, U of T (St.George campus)
Waitlisted: U of A 
Rejected:
GPA:c-gpa and s-gpa UBC: 89% (last 45 credits), 76% (overall); ORPAS 3.64 (s-gpa) 3.07 (overall)
Perceived strength of essays/interviews/references: I felt that my essays were decent. Interview at UBC went pretty well, but I didn't think it was outstanding.

I had one VERY strong reference from a professor who I've researched with for 4.5 years, and a professional reference from a current employer (working with youth with disabilities/at-risk) that I believe was also quite strong. My second academic reference for UBC was probably decent, but was from a prof I only had for one semester.

I think what was most beneficial is that I have had extensive experience working with children and young adults with disabilities. Over the last 4 years I have had 4 different jobs in this field, most with very high-needs clients. Two positions were >1000 hours (at least) , and the other two were also >1.5 years. I also have been working in neuroscience research for 4.5 years, and have a few conference presentations and awards. I have volunteer experience with older adults, and as a medical first responder. 

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8 hours ago, OT1996 said:

I remember calling them last year to inquire if course loads we're an issue and the person on the phone did say that they won't discriminate you based on course load but it is kind of a "red flag" and you need to show that you can keep up. Found this in their FAQ:

No you do not need a full-time course load from your undergraduate studies to be considered for this program. We understand applicants take diverse pathways to graduation during their undergraduate degree program. This often includes co-op work terms, research courses, volunteer activities and elective courses during summer. It is not our intention to limit the educational and professional opportunities you are offered while completing your bachelor’s degree.

However, the MScOT program is offered on a full-time in-class basis only. The program is intensive. Your application should show your ability to keep up with a full-time workload, either academic or professionally (or a combination thereof).

Also about the emphasis on GPA: 

Admission to the program is determined through an evaluation of academic and non-academic materials (e.g. personal statement submission, resume, referee assessments on the Confidential Assessment Forms) with the academic requirements (e.g. transcripts) being weighted more heavily

 

Unfortunately they don't give feedback on the applications so we won't know. But I think it's a bit unfair if course loads are a factor. I had reasons for taking longer to complete my undergrad and there wasn't a place I could explain this on my application. Besides the personal essay but there isn't a lot of room to go into detail on those essays, I tried my best to show I was involved professionally. In addition, I didn't even know course loads could be an issue until fourth year...

I was accepted to U of T OT with a c-gpa of 3.07 and s-gpa of 3.64, and reduced course load for most of my degree. I honestly wasn't expecting to get in, but apparently there isn't such a huge emphasis on GPA? I think that the other parts of my application were quite strong.

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Hi everyone. 

Thank you for this forum! It really helped me with my nerves when applying this year. The community is so supportive and it makes me happy to know such caring people are looking to go into healthcare!

Applied (OT): Western, Queen's, Mac
Accepted: Queen's
Waitlisted: Mac
Rejected: Western
GPA:c-gpa and s-gpa; cGPA 3.43, sGPA 3.93
 

Perceived strength of essays/interviews/references: 

- References were strong for both work (as a behaviour interventionist) and academics

- Paid work experience: behaviour intervention (2 years), occupational therapist assistant working in community mental health (1 year), rehabilitation assistant working as a casual in acute, high intensity rehab, and residential for both PT and OT (1 year student; 6 months employee)

- Volunteer experience: pet therapy at the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addictions (2 years), distress call volunteer at the Vancouver Crisis Centre (1 1/2 years)

- Essays: I spent a lot of time on my essays and got two trusted friends to proof read them for me. I talked with several OTs about relevant issues, and spoke about my experience working first hand with entrenched youth and the opioid crisis. 

- CASPER: I studied for the CASPER but I think it went badly because I can only type like 45wpm :S

- Interview: I prepared extensively for the interview because I know from past experience that my nerves get so intense it makes it hard to think. I came out feeling like I did the best I could do, but there was definitely room for improvement (as there always is!) 

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Applied: UBC, UofA, UofT, Western, Queens, Mac

Accepted: Western, Queens

Waitlisted: n/a

Rejected: UBC, UofA, UofT, Mac

cgpa: 3.42 sgpa: 3.60 lol

I think the rest of my application is what helped my get in. I had two years/~900 hrs of work experience as a kinesiologist directly working with occupational therapists, and currently work (1 year)  for Amazon as a injury prevention specialist. My volunteer work consisted of 200 hours in cardiac rehab in a hospital and a mentor for my University's Kinesiology program. I also had great references, one from a coworker who was an OT who I worked directly with, and a prof/research advisor. I also studied a lot (mostly practicing my typing skills) for the Casper test because I didn’t know what to expect - I thought it went ok but if I was rejected from 2/3 schools who took the Casper test who knows lol

 

Honestly I was incredibly surprised to get in. This was my second time applying to OT but I had been improving my application since 2016, so this was going to be the last shot before I gave up my dream. Pleasantly surprised with the outcome :). I am a BC resident who did their undergrad at UBC so I know little of Queens/Western and am torn between which one to choose. Guess I’ll have to figure it out soon!

Best of luck to everyone!

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For the ones who got rejected or got on waitlist, how do you deal with huge amount of disappointment and despair, knowing that you’ve done everything in your power to achieve this goal and yet you haven’t? 

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1 hour ago, PT.2019 said:

For the ones who got rejected or got on waitlist, how do you deal with huge amount of disappointment and despair, knowing that you’ve done everything in your power to achieve this goal and yet you haven’t? 

For me just letting time pass always helps. It can feel slow but as my memories become more distant so do my feelings associated with them. Failure is a part of life and everyone goes through it so you are not alone. No matter what, you will find your place, and develop meaning for yourself regardless of what you do specifically. When I was not offered a spot last year I decided what to do to keep moving towards my goals. I prioritized my professional, academic, and personal development in spaces that WERE made available to me. I didn't focus on what was NOT available to me. You will always have opportunities if you look for them and act on them. You can always keep developing. I have learned to enjoy the journey, and do my best to take care of myself while still aiming for ambitious goals. You should always be proud of the hard work you've done to  get where you are. Be confident that your drive will take you somewhere meaningful. Let yourself be sad for now, it is healthy and normal to let yourself feel. But also realize you have that sadness because you know what happiness feels like and you will feel happiness again too. 

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Applied: McGill, Queens, Western, University of Toronto 

Accepted: Queens, UofT 

Waitlisted: Western McGill

Rejected:

cgpa: 3.97 sgpa: 4.0

 

Given my gpa I would assume McGill and Western place a greater emphasis on the CASPER. Other than my Casper grade I would say I was a pretty well rounded applicant. I've volunteered in 2 mentorship programs, shadowed an OT and worked at a crisis help line.

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Applied + (PT or OT?): PT (UofT, Western, Mac, Queens) OT (Western)
Accepted: PT (UofT, Western, Mac, Queens) OT (Western)
Waitlisted: none
Rejected: none
GPA: s-gpa: 3.82

I just firmly accepted UofT PT on ORPAS, best of luck to all applicants!

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4 hours ago, PT/OT2019 said:

For me just letting time pass always helps. It can feel slow but as my memories become more distant so do my feelings associated with them. Failure is a part of life and everyone goes through it so you are not alone. No matter what, you will find your place, and develop meaning for yourself regardless of what you do specifically. When I was not offered a spot last year I decided what to do to keep moving towards my goals. I prioritized my professional, academic, and personal development in spaces that WERE made available to me. I didn't focus on what was NOT available to me. You will always have opportunities if you look for them and act on them. You can always keep developing. I have learned to enjoy the journey, and do my best to take care of myself while still aiming for ambitious goals. You should always be proud of the hard work you've done to  get where you are. Be confident that your drive will take you somewhere meaningful. Let yourself be sad for now, it is healthy and normal to let yourself feel. But also realize you have that sadness because you know what happiness feels like and you will feel happiness again too. 

Thank you for your kind and encouraging words! 

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Applied + (PT or OT?): All PT - Western, Queens, U of T, Mac
Accepted: Mac
Waitlisted: Western, Queens 
Rejected: I declined U of T CAP (Out of country)
GPA:c-gpa - 3.52 and s-gpa: 3.9 
Perceived strength of essays/interviews/references: I think my essays were pretty run of the mill, great references from MSc supervisor and other supervisors during undergrad. I have quite a bit of volunteering but not much PT specific (maybe ~60 hrs at a PT unit in Uni hospital). Working currently as a researcher in SCI, have a MSc in neuro and diverse research experience throughout undergrad.

I sincerely hope that all those who received bad news can find the strength to continue. 

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