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Daria.Strel

University Of Alberta 2019 Pharmacy Applicants - Class Of 2023

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Hello! 

I saw a lot of discussions about previous years for the new applicants and couldn’t find one for the upcoming cycle so thought I would make one to try and keep updated! 

I’m a new applicant myself and have a couple questions if anyone would know any answers to I would be really greatful! 

Mostly I’m looking for recommendations on how to succeed in the application, whether that be in the interview, the letter of intent or just preparing in general! 

If anyone has any thoughts let me know! 

Otherwise goodluck to everyone who is applying :)

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Hey everyone,

I'm an IP applicant. 

Two-year cumulative GPA, if all goes well next term, will be around 3.74-3.75. 

Last year GPA: 3.94 (again, if all goes well for the Winter 2019 term). 

Prereq GPA (still need to complete three prereq courses for next term): 3.60. 

I spent a significant amount of time during this summer shadowing pharmacists and I've already gotten one to fill out the pharmacist consultation form. Have written and now polishing up my LOI. 

Does anyone know if the GPAs are rounded to the nearest decimal place (tenth)? So 3.94 may be rounded to 3.9?

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Hi everyone!

I'm a first-year pharmacy student. I've only been through one semester of pharmacy, so there are lots of things I don't know, but I can certainly answer any questions you have about the application.

@Daria.Strel For your interview, some tips would be to dress professionally (blazers work wonders), have some water to drink between questions, and pick day/time you're feeling mentally prepared and confident to do it. The oral component of my interview went somewhat poorly, so I'm not sure how helpful I can be there

For your letter of intent, demonstrating knowledge of the profession is #1. Hint: Pharmacists do a lot more than counting pills! 

I hope that helps somewhat. Good luck to all of you! You've got this :)

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I am planning on applying next year and having a pGPA of 3.4 and a cGPA of 3.50-3.55 as an in province student. 

I have work experience and volunteer experience (coaching basketball, mission trip abroad, and habitat for humanity.) I have shadowed 5 pharmacists.  

What are some extracurriculars/ hobbies for the LOI that would make myself competitive 

What are my odds and any advice to increase my chances/ what I should do next year to make myself more competitive. 

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@TiramisuGirl I'm a little confused about something. Are the interview invites based on those who present an exceptional LOI, or does everyone get an interview? It's a little weird to think how they can only base interview invites simply from just the LOI and not even look at your transcript to see if you even meet the required average. If anyone can provide more insight on how they send out the interviews, let me know! Thanks!

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On 3/20/2019 at 2:13 PM, zoonoticpathogen said:

@TiramisuGirl I'm a little confused about something. Are the interview invites based on those who present an exceptional LOI, or does everyone get an interview? It's a little weird to think how they can only base interview invites simply from just the LOI and not even look at your transcript to see if you even meet the required average. If anyone can provide more insight on how they send out the interviews, let me know! Thanks!

last year they sent interview invites to all applicants and I'm pretty sure it is the same this year. 

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@InterinPharm Not sure about average GPA, but we were told that the minimum incoming GPA was 3.3-3.4 at orientation. Not sure if this was cGPA, pGPA, or most recent 2 years. 

@zoonoticpathogen LethyPharm is right, it seems that all applicants receive an interview and pre-requisites, LOI, and GPA are checked later. I also feel that this makes it harder for applicants to know what their chances are, but it definitely makes sense from the faculty's point of view! 

 

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On 3/25/2019 at 10:13 PM, LethyPharm said:

last year they sent interview invites to all applicants and I'm pretty sure it is the same this year. 

Hello @LethyPharm, I saw on last year's thread you got waitlisted with a 2 year 3.75 GPA, but what was your last year GPA, how many credits did you take in one year, and your prereq GPA? Also, did the faculty tell you why you got waitlisted and not accepted? Also what school did you apply from?

Thanks.

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10 hours ago, Sidney.loohoo said:

@TiramisuGirl How come they would wait for after the interview to evaluate the student file? I would think it would make more sense to rank according to LOI/GPA etc, then the interview is the last piece?

I think it's hard to evaluate the student files before interview invites need to be sent out. IIRC interview invites were sent out in April. That might not give the admission committee enough to review the LOI, which was due in March (that is, if they review it before June). Transcripts for the current academic year aren't sent out until May after final marks come out, so it's nearly impossible to evaluate pGPA or most recent 2 years fairly for all applicants.

Also, since it's a short video based interview, the admission committee doesn't have much to lose by sending out invites to everyone. 

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6 hours ago, TiramisuGirl said:

I think it's hard to evaluate the student files before interview invites need to be sent out. IIRC interview invites were sent out in April. That might not give the admission committee enough to review the LOI, which was due in March (that is, if they review it before June). Transcripts for the current academic year aren't sent out until May after final marks come out, so it's nearly impossible to evaluate pGPA or most recent 2 years fairly for all applicants.

Also, since it's a short video based interview, the admission committee doesn't have much to lose by sending out invites to everyone. 

How do you do that blue highlighted "@" thing, when I type the person I want to respond to with "@" in front of their name it doesn't get highlighted to blue so they can't see that I asked them a question? 

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9 hours ago, TiramisuGirl said:

I think it's hard to evaluate the student files before interview invites need to be sent out. IIRC interview invites were sent out in April. That might not give the admission committee enough to review the LOI, which was due in March (that is, if they review it before June). Transcripts for the current academic year aren't sent out until May after final marks come out, so it's nearly impossible to evaluate pGPA or most recent 2 years fairly for all applicants.

Also, since it's a short video based interview, the admission committee doesn't have much to lose by sending out invites to everyone. 

Right! That absolutely makes sense! I'm applying after having completed a degree, so I clearly forgot the minimum requirement! Good luck to all!

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On 3/26/2019 at 10:35 PM, InterinPharm said:

Hello @LethyPharm, I saw on last year's thread you got waitlisted with a 2 year 3.75 GPA, but what was your last year GPA, how many credits did you take in one year, and your prereq GPA? Also, did the faculty tell you why you got waitlisted and not accepted? Also what school did you apply from?

Thanks.

Well they didn't tell me anything until mid august or something, so I guess I was a late rejection. When I got the rejection they told me I was on a waitlist but it didn't sound like there was much of a chance to get in and they didn't tell me which position I was in. Yeah last 2 years (when applied last year) was 3.75GPA but I think the reason I didn't get in was due to having a lower course load. They want you to have full 30 credits for at least one year. So this year I've done that with a 4.0GPA and my last 2 years should be about 3.94 so am hoping this year I can get in! And also I am an in province applicant. 

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On 3/26/2019 at 10:35 PM, InterinPharm said:

Hello @LethyPharm, I saw on last year's thread you got waitlisted with a 2 year 3.75 GPA, but what was your last year GPA, how many credits did you take in one year, and your prereq GPA? Also, did the faculty tell you why you got waitlisted and not accepted? Also what school did you apply from?

Thanks.

Also my pre-req GPA i'm not fully sure how they calculate that but mine would be a bit lower I think. my cGPA is more around 3.7. 

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13 hours ago, LethyPharm said:

Also my pre-req GPA i'm not fully sure how they calculate that but mine would be a bit lower I think. my cGPA is more around 3.7. 

Oh ok, I see why you didn't get in. Because of your prereq GPA (did you do well in biochemistry, cell biology and microbiology because these three courses they look more heavily at) and because you didn't take 30 credits in one year. I see. Thanks for replying.

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14 hours ago, InterinPharm said:

Oh ok, I see why you didn't get in. Because of your prereq GPA (did you do well in biochemistry, cell biology and microbiology because these three courses they look more heavily at) and because you didn't take 30 credits in one year. I see. Thanks for replying.

Yes, I did well in those three courses. It was just my first year that brings the cumulative down. They did make emphasis that they mainly consider last 2 years over cumulative GPA, which makes sense because they want to see if you have improved in university or not...

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On 3/28/2019 at 8:54 AM, LethyPharm said:

Well they didn't tell me anything until mid august or something, so I guess I was a late rejection. When I got the rejection they told me I was on a waitlist but it didn't sound like there was much of a chance to get in and they didn't tell me which position I was in. Yeah last 2 years (when applied last year) was 3.75GPA but I think the reason I didn't get in was due to having a lower course load. They want you to have full 30 credits for at least one year. So this year I've done that with a 4.0GPA and my last 2 years should be about 3.94 so am hoping this year I can get in! And also I am an in province applicant. 

Hey LethyPharm!

When you applied last year, what was the highest number of credits that you took? I have never done a 30 credit year (my highest is 24) but I am applying this year anyway. I heard that people without 30 credit course loads still get accepted but I am just wondering how many credits is considered too low and uncompetitive.

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16 hours ago, pharmacy2016 said:

Hey LethyPharm!

When you applied last year, what was the highest number of credits that you took? I have never done a 30 credit year (my highest is 24) but I am applying this year anyway. I heard that people without 30 credit course loads still get accepted but I am just wondering how many credits is considered too low and uncompetitive.

my highest was 27.... I found out that any class being retaken doesn't count towards their full course load rule. Apply anyway as the interview is good practice for sure! 

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32 minutes ago, LethyPharm said:

my highest was 27.... I found out that any class being retaken doesn't count towards their full course load rule. Apply anyway as the interview is good practice for sure! 

Hey!

Was wondering how you found the interview? What was the best way in preparing for it?

Thanks!

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On 3/29/2019 at 12:15 PM, LethyPharm said:

Yes, I did well in those three courses. It was just my first year that brings the cumulative down. They did make emphasis that they mainly consider last 2 years over cumulative GPA, which makes sense because they want to see if you have improved in university or not...

Well, LethyPharm, I think you're mistaken in what the "cumulative GPA" is. I specifically emailed the faculty about that and what I got back was that the cumulative GPA is only calculated over your most recent 2 years. In other words, your most recent 2 year GPA is in fact the same as your cumulative GPA, they're synonymous in this case.  

After analyzing previous years' threads, your 3.75 cumulative GPA and your 27-credit year still made you competitive...so Idk what brought you down? Your LOI or interview possibly? Because the minimum entering GPA was 3.3-3.4, and you had people getting in last year with cumulative GPAs of 3.5-3.6. Also, one person who I know that got in last year definitely did NOT take a full course load (not even close) for that individual's last year before getting accepted, so your 27-credit year wasn't the deal-breaker. 

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25 minutes ago, InterinPharm said:

Well, LethyPharm, I think you're mistaken in what the "cumulative GPA" is. I specifically emailed the faculty about that and what I got back was that the cumulative GPA is only calculated over your most recent 2 years. In other words, your most recent 2 year GPA is in fact the same as your cumulative GPA, they're synonymous in this case.  

After analyzing previous years' threads, your 3.75 cumulative GPA and your 27-credit year still made you competitive...so Idk what brought you down? Your LOI or interview possibly? Because the minimum entering GPA was 3.3-3.4, and you had people getting in last year with cumulative GPAs of 3.5-3.6. Also, one person who I know that got in last year definitely did NOT take a full course load (not even close) for that individual's last year before getting accepted, so your 27-credit year wasn't the deal-breaker. 

I meant cumulative GPA as in all of my University courses in total. I think there is an aspect that looks at pre-req GPA though and since a lot of those pre requisites are taken in the first year it is important for most applicants to look at what there overall GPA is as well. All I know is the rejection letter placed strong emphasis on the FULL course load as they likely won't accept anyone with less than 30 per year as they said they wanted to make sure the student could handle the course load of Pharmacy school. From what I've heard acceptance is heavily based on GPA, not as much on the interview as I know people who got in and said they butchered at least 1 of the interview questions. That is not to say the interview is not important to do well on, just seems like GPA is the MOST important aspect. 

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6 hours ago, Daria.Strel said:

Hey!

Was wondering how you found the interview? What was the best way in preparing for it?

Thanks!

I found the interview not too bad, its only 3 questions and pretty short. I think the best thing to do is just do the practice interview questions as much as you can.

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On 3/27/2019 at 7:15 AM, InterinPharm said:

How do you do that blue highlighted "@" thing, when I type the person I want to respond to with "@" in front of their name it doesn't get highlighted to blue so they can't see that I asked them a question? 

A little late, but a popup with the names of users who have posted on the thread should show up after you hit "@" and type a couple more letters. You'd then select the name you want. 

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I want to link a post that was made last year regarding full courseloads: http://forums.premed101.com/topic/97901-official-university-of-alberta-2018-pharmacy-applicants-class-of-2022/?page=5&tab=comments#comment-1100261 

 No guarantees, especially since admission criteria can change from year to year, but from my personal experience, the post seems very accurate. 

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