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UofT- Changes to the Admissions Process

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I think we should note that all of these changes will effectively make the process more competitive. With the lowering of the MCAT threshold, and removal of Grad CV/letter, there will definitely be a higher number of applicants this cycle. I would expect that GPA averages will also climb higher in response to the increase in applicants.

This ever-increasing average GPA that is possibly the highest matriculant GPA in all of north america seems to not matter even the slightest bit to UofT adcoms. 

I am inclined to say that UofT has made these changes with the interest of their own reviewers and supervisors rather than the applicants. The removal of the narrative letter by OMSAS was most likely a response to the "tedious" work it required from referees. The grad CV and letter follow this same logic. Even in the Facebook livestream they mentioned that this change would make things easier for the supervisors and for reviewers. 

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I'm still confused on their policy towards graduate degrees. Let's say you have two applicants with Master's degrees, both are conferred already. One is course-based and one is research-based. Would they weigh those two graduate degrees in the same way?

In the June 27 livestream, they only addressed how these two are assessed differently if you are applying before the degree is conferred (Course based master's means you're still in the undergraduate pool, basically, if you haven't completed it) 

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5 minutes ago, brady23 said:

So one question - is graduate productivity not important anymore for being assessed as a "graduate" applicant?

If you did a course-based masters, you still benefit from the graduate pool?

 

If you have a course based graduate degree conferred by your time of the application, you will be awarded some benefit I believe; as opposed to last year where you would always be considered an undergrad. I believe they also made mention of “productivity” in terms of publications not being as sooo valued anymore (don’t quote me on this).

Tbh as someone finishing up a very rigorous course based masters (did 18 courses over the course of a year), I do welcome this change; all masters are challenging and rewarding in their own ways. Just because their is no thesis component shouldn’t exclude you from getting a graduate review.

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10 minutes ago, keener12345 said:

If you have a course based graduate degree conferred by your time of the application, you will be awarded some benefit I believe; as opposed to last year where you would always be considered an undergrad. I believe they also made mention of “productivity” in terms of publications not being as sooo valued anymore (don’t quote me on this).

 Tbh as someone finishing up a very rigorous course based masters (did 18 courses over the course of a year), I do welcome this change; all masters are challenging and rewarding in their own ways. Just because their is no thesis component shouldn’t exclude you from getting a graduate review.

Definitely.

I think this change definitely benefits "Course-Based Masters" students who have completed their degree, and possibly is a disadvantage to productive thesis-based Masters as now, productivity doesn't affect your ability to be considered a "graduate"

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39 minutes ago, MrsAaronSamuels said:

I'm still confused on their policy towards graduate degrees. Let's say you have two applicants with Master's degrees, both are conferred already. One is course-based and one is research-based. Would they weigh those two graduate degrees in the same way?

In the June 27 livestream, they only addressed how these two are assessed differently if you are applying before the degree is conferred (Course based master's means you're still in the undergraduate pool, basically, if you haven't completed it) 

Based on admissions reply to a comment on facebook, they summarized the changes as "No more Graduate Supervisor letter required to outline your productivity and end date. No more academic CV. Credit for work awarded based on type of degree, and whether is is in progress or completed."

I assume now they evaluate ABS just as anyone else ( and obviously in a graduate program you will probably be more competitive here than the average application)...but depending on if you are course based/thesis or conferred/in progress or pHd/masters, you get a specific number of points added to your file review score..

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7 minutes ago, RiderSx said:

I think we should note that all of these changes will effectively make the process more competitive. With the lowering of the MCAT threshold, and removal of Grad CV/letter, there will definitely be a higher number of applicants this cycle. I would expect that GPA averages will also climb higher in response to the increase in applicants.

This ever-increasing average GPA that is possibly the highest matriculant GPA in all of north america seems to not matter even the slightest bit the UofT adcoms. 

I am inclined to say that UofT has made these changes with the interest of their own reviewers and supervisors rather than the applicants. The removal of the narrative letter by OMSAS was most likely a response to the "tedious" work it required from referees. The grad CV and letter follow this same logic. Even in the Facebook livestream they mentioned that this change would make things easier for the supervisors and for reviewers. 

Why would the average GPA rise? Do you think the fairly low level MCAT cut off was blocking that many people - I am not sure but curious what impact it had. 

Usually more applicants results in a lower average GPA I guess. More people with a high average mind you in some cases

 

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15 minutes ago, rmorelan said:

Why would the average GPA rise? Do you think the fairly low level MCAT cut off was blocking that many people - I am not sure but curious what impact it had. 

Usually more applicants results in a lower average GPA I guess. More people with a high average mind you in some cases

 

I think I came off a bit too certain with my predictions. The lower MCAT threshold must logically make more applicants eligible, but as you said it might not be a drastic difference.

 

As for a GPA rise, I was under the impression that more applicants means more competitive (as has been the trend for many years) metrics, especially at UofT because GPA and ABS/Essays are the only factors differentiating between applicants!

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4 hours ago, brady23 said:

So for a course-based masters student:

In the old system, they wouldn't be considered in the "graduate pool" because they didn't have enough research productivity?

But in the new system, they would be considered in the "graduate pool" regardless of research productivity? 

If that's the case, seems like a disadvantage to those who are really productive in their Masters, and an advantage to those who aren't because they still get streamed in the graduate pool (i.e. lower GPA requirements)

 

Agree 100%. It makes no sense overall. What's the point of a thesis based masters, which are notoriously hard especially at UofT grad departments. Smh.

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UofT: let's make the process friendly to everyone BUT the applicants

Applicants: but...

Referees: wait does this mean we have to fill out an evaluation form AND a letter???

UofT: oh... I guess we will just use 2019 as a trial year at the expense of the applicants to see if our changes are actually good!!

Applicants: ..................................

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From an outside perspective it looks like they're doing this to increase the number of applicants they get. Honestly at this point they might as well remove the MCAT requirement, most people from a science background can write the MCAT without any prior preparation and meet Toronto's cutoffs. But maybe that is the point, who knows. 

 

If they're trying to even the playing field more, I think they should head in the direction of what Western is doing with their ABS and score requirements. Western has a section on their ABS where they give some points to people with special life circumstances. Contrary to what you might expect, it's harder for someone from a low income family to have good EC's than it is to have a good GPA and MCAT (I speak from experience). 

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4 hours ago, ysera said:

If they're trying to even the playing field more, I think they should head in the direction of what Western is doing with their ABS and score requirements. Western has a section on their ABS where they give some points to people with special life circumstances. Contrary to what you might expect, it's harder for someone from a low income family to have good EC's than it is to have a good GPA and MCAT (I speak from experience). 

Not necessarily true, difficult circumstances impact people differently. My parents had 0 net or gross family income and my GPA took a hit, as I couldn't afford my health care needs/living expenses which in turn impacted my grades. On the other hand, my ECs grew as I had to work and volunteer to get further work positions.

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On 1/6/2020 at 7:55 PM, ABCD13 said:

Wish they would consider a new degree vs considering your entire academic history for GPA.

I get they most likely won't ever decrease their GPA cutoffs, but at least give those people who may have underperformed in their early years of their undergraduate degree (and are not eligible for the wGPA) to embark on a new degree and have that GPA count.

As a mature applicant, sometimes I find it so crazy how my grades from when I was 17 have such a huge impact when considering U of T

Hey! Long time lurker, first time poster. I saw your post and thought I should respond. U of T does take Second degrees into consideration vs your first degree if you use the academic explanation letter. It's on the admission blog. However, they dont disclose how that is evaluated.

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https://md.utoronto.ca/news/admissions-blog-upgrading-your-gpa

 

Reading from this, if you are a UG applicant, you can use AEE to be qualified for wGPA, if you are not qualified. Not sure how other ways they will check this. but if wGPA doesn't meet the cut off and still not competitive. Chances is slim. 

My wGPA with U of T would be 3.43... I am a grad applicant, apparently, it is considered as competitive by OMSAS

https://www.ouac.on.ca/guide/omsas-toronto/

Does that mean they would be like hmmm... ok, I might give you an interview if your ECs are above average?

Also... in my final year of study, I did 6.5 courses and the extra courses that I got above 80s in DID not count towards my transcript XD... and the courses that I took in 3rd year that are in the 70s did... I hope they can see that. 

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You will get more credit for a research based MSc and a PhD I think

This is from their website:

  • Doctoral degree conferred
  • Doctoral degree in progress
  • Research-based Master’s conferred
  • Research-based Master’s in progress
  • Course-based Master’s conferred

The higher on the list the more ‘points’ you get.

A course based Master’s would receive the least credit. 

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