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lefty07

Advantage of US undergrad??

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Hey everyone!

 

I'm a grade 12 student from Canada & I'm considering applying to some US schools but have a few questions. I would really appreciate it if you could please help answer some of my questions -- thanks in advance!

 

I want to study biochemistry & then medicine. Would I have any advantage if I attended a US school for undergrad, in terms of admissions to medical school/better preparation? I've heard that schools in Canada like McGill & University of Toronto are basically at the same level as the really good schools in USA in terms of caliber, rigour, etc. If I attend one of these Canadian schools for undergrad & apply for med school in the US, will I be at a disadvantage being an international student? It's harder to get admissions in Canadian med schools because there are far less seats and lots of international students who apply, but I figured since there are more schools in the US I'll have more chances to get in so I should apply there for med school as well. Also, I was thinking of not applying to US for undergrad because it's a LOT more expensive and I don't think it's worth it. Basically, what I want to know is: will I be at a disadvantage applying to US med schools coming from a Canadian undergrad?

 

Also, is there any advantage of attending an Ivy League school for undergrad if you want to get into med school in the US (not necessarily an Ivy med, just any good school)? I've heard that it matters if you want to go to law school, but I'm not sure if that's true at all, for law OR medicine. I am thinking of applying for this reason (not sure if I would get in, though) but again, it's VERY expensive.

 

My plan right now is to study undergrad biochem in Canada, then apply for med school in both Canada & the US. The chances of getting into a Canadian med school are much lower, and the reason why I don't want to go straight to the US is because lots of Canadian schools give preference to those who studied in Canada so it would be even harder to get in. Do you guys think this is a good idea, or is there a better approach to my situation? I would really appreciate any information or input you could give me. Thanks very much for your time!

 

EDIT: I really want to stress this question -- is there ANY benefit at all for me to study undergrad in the US over Canada if I want to go into medicine? I know it's a big deal to get into any med school in either country, so I'm not concerned with Ivy League or anything.

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Hey everyone!

 

I'm a grade 12 student from Canada & I'm considering applying to some US schools but have a few questions. I would really appreciate it if you could please help answer some of my questions -- thanks in advance!

 

I want to study biochemistry & then medicine. Would I have any advantage if I attended a US school for undergrad, in terms of admissions to medical school/better preparation? I've heard that schools in Canada like McGill & University of Toronto are basically at the same level as the really good schools in USA in terms of caliber, rigour, etc. If I attend one of these Canadian schools for undergrad & apply for med school in the US, will I be at a disadvantage being an international student? It's harder to get admissions in Canadian med schools because there are far less seats and lots of international students who apply, but I figured since there are more schools in the US I'll have more chances to get in so I should apply there for med school as well. Also, I was thinking of not applying to US for undergrad because it's a LOT more expensive and I don't think it's worth it. Basically, what I want to know is: will I be at a disadvantage applying to US med schools coming from a Canadian undergrad?

 

Also, is there any advantage of attending an Ivy League school for undergrad if you want to get into med school in the US (not necessarily an Ivy med, just any good school)? I've heard that it matters if you want to go to law school, but I'm not sure if that's true at all, for law OR medicine. I am thinking of applying for this reason (not sure if I would get in, though) but again, it's VERY expensive.

 

My plan right now is to study undergrad biochem in Canada, then apply for med school in both Canada & the US. The chances of getting into a Canadian med school are much lower, and the reason why I don't want to go straight to the US is because lots of Canadian schools give preference to those who studied in Canada so it would be even harder to get in. Do you guys think this is a good idea, or is there a better approach to my situation? I would really appreciate any information or input you could give me. Thanks very much for your time!

 

EDIT: I really want to stress this question -- is there ANY benefit at all for me to study undergrad in the US over Canada if I want to go into medicine? I know it's a big deal to get into any med school in either country, so I'm not concerned with Ivy League or anything.

 

1. Even if you attend university in US and apply to US med schools, you'll still be considered an international student.

 

2. You don't have to worry about international students who apply in Canada- the competition is negligible (most schools have citizen/PR requirements, and very limited seats for internationals).

 

3. School/program choice is also negligible, both in Canada and US (only matters slightly more in US, concerning prestige & difficulty of program- some leniency for GPA-killing majors).

 

4. The only disadcantage you have applying to US schools from a Canadian undergrad is the same disadvantage we all have- international status. There are a limited # of US med schools that are Canadian-friendly.

 

5. The only advantage you'll have of doing an undergrad in US is that you will be eligible for the very few schools that are both a) Accept Canadian/internationals, B) Require some coursework (1 year) in US.

 

Conclusion: very little benefit of doing undergrad in US for US med schools.

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I am currently attending a US undergraduate program but I am planning on/hoping to return to Canada for medical school. There are both disadvantages and advantages that one should probably consider.

 

Disadvantages

- Cost (This could either be mitigated by scholarships, financial aid, or significant parental wealth)

- UofT Weighting formula will not apply to students from US Undergrads (I emailed UofT admissions and found this out)

- GPA conversion could be messy (This may or may not be an issue, I don't think it will be an issue where I'm going but it could be at other schools)

- Feeling of Otherness, although Canada and the US are very similar, there have been times when I have been the butt of jokes for being Candian

 

(Possible) Advantages

- After speaking to some US admissions officers for MD programs, the prestige of your school can play a larger role in the US than it does in Canada. Therefore if you get into an Ivy League school, it may play to your advantage

- Research possibilities, this once again may or may not play a role as I don't know how hard it is to get research in Canada. Because of the US undergrad I chose I was able to begin research in Biochemistry immediately after first year and will be able to continue it.

- GPA silliness. Some US schools have much higher average GPAs which can be very beneficial. Should you choose to get into a top tier school that does this, you may benefit significantly. (Sadly my school is not one that does this)

 

In conclusion there are pros and cons to choosing to go to the US. It can be a great experience but there have been times I wished I stayed in Canada.

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K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid

 

Stay in Canada for undergrad as you will just make your applications to med school here more messy in my opinion. And if you apply to McGill, MCAT won't be necessary if you do undergrad in Canada. Why complicate matters for yourself. Also, you don't need a prestigious university for undergrad to be competitive for med, any no name university will do so long as you have a competitive GPA in any field of endeavour. Only study a program that interests and motivates you. I did this and was a straight A student. Most importantly, be prepared for self-discipline where academics are your priority and a strong work ethic is required no matter how smart you believe you are.

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It is indeed very, very expensive to go to school in the U.S. There is no concrete benefit, you will be largely in the same position when applying to U.S medical schools regardless of your choice.

 

The only benefit in my opinion is if you get into a truly excellent U.S undergrad program. If you, for example, get into Harvard which has an average GPA of around 3.48 then you would have a choice to make.

 

EDIT, by including the point about the average GPA at Harvard, I merely wished to show that at some US schools it is considerably easier to attain a high GPA (if 3.48 is average, even just .4 points above average is moderately competitive in Canada.

 

If the choice is between a great school like McMaster or UofT vs. a less known American school than Canada is the place to go.

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And with a GPA of 3.48 from Harvard, in Canada, you are not competitive.

 

This was not an attempt to say that a 3.48 is competitive. My comment was that the average at Harvard is a 3.48 vs averages at many Canadian schools being lower.

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The only point I was trying to make was that going to Harvard may prove to be an obstacle to getting into med school and for sure, the undergraduate university chosen carries no weight whatsoever in the Canadian selection process.

 

I think the OP is dreaming in colour by believing he will be enhancing his chances by going the US route for undergrad.

 

I have no idea what the average undergrad GPA is in Canada, but know, as do we all, GPA is king in the application process, although other factors are very important too.

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As a person who did undergrad in the US and came back to Canadian medical school, I would advise you not to go to US undergrad.

 

The GPA conversion is really bad when you are coming from US, and as few people mentioned above, you gotta have high GPA for Canadian med school. I can tell you that it's harder to come to Canadian medical school by doing undergrad in US (no matter how prestigious) vs doing undergrad in Canada.

 

And if you go to undergrad in Canada, you may be eligible for in-province status in the province you studied.

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I don't regret going to US school because I have experienced a lot of things that I was not able to experience in Canada, like new culture, more research opportunities, shadowing opportunities, and academic opportunities. It's just US schools are smaller and endowments are larger, so you are exposed to more things. But if you are set on going to med school and not really interested in living in a different environment and experiencing new things, I would recommend you just go to Canadian school.

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As a person who did undergrad in the US and came back to Canadian medical school, I would advise you not to go to US undergrad.

 

The GPA conversion is really bad when you are coming from US, and as few people mentioned above, you gotta have high GPA for Canadian med school. I can tell you that it's harder to come to Canadian medical school by doing undergrad in US (no matter how prestigious) vs doing undergrad in Canada.

 

And if you go to undergrad in Canada, you may be eligible for in-province status in the province you studied.

 

Golden advice!

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Hi,

 

I am a Canadian student who is a freshman currently attending University of Pittsburgh. I decided to choose to attend a US university for the research opportunities and smaller class sizes of US universities. However, I am still unsure if this choice will lower my opportunities of getting into a Canadian med school. My first choice would be coming back to Canada for med school. Would a Canadian student who completes their undergrad in a US university have a lower chance of entering back into a CAN med school?

 

Take it a look at the first page of this thread. Some disadvantages with regards to applying to Canadian med schools are also mentioned.

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Hi,

 

I am a Canadian student who is a freshman currently attending University of Pittsburgh. I decided to choose to attend a US university for the research opportunities and smaller class sizes of US universities. However, I am still unsure if this choice will lower my opportunities of getting into a Canadian med school. My first choice would be coming back to Canada for med school. Would a Canadian student who completes their undergrad in a US university have a lower chance of entering back into a CAN med school?

 

Not to be unduly snarky, but there are many, many Canadian schools with reasonable class sizes. My biggest class had maybe about 100 students (first-year physics) and thereafter never had one bigger than 50-60 and usually much smaller. Acadia, Mount Allison, and St Francis Xavier are all mostly undergraduate schools and it's pretty easy to do summer research and an honours thesis project.

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Return to Canada to complete your undergrad at a small university. It is all about GPA, plus ECs, MCAT.

 

This seems a bit harsh/close-minded. I would say wait until the end of your first year and then make the decision. I considered transferring from my U.S undergrad last year but decided to stick it through till the end of the year. I love the school I go to and while it's possible I would be just as successful at a Canadian school, there's no guarantee.

 

GPA 3.96/4.00

Deans List

Significant Research Experience

TA in Second Year

Senator in Student Gov

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