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medkfb

Non-Trad Applicant Looking For Advice

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Hey all, new to these forums and looking forward to some advice. I’ve got a lot of questions!

I’ve recently begun thinking about med school, and would like to have some advice for a plan of attack.

I am a BC resident, just graduated from UBC with a BA (Honours) in Philosophy. I’m thinking of eventually applying to UBC MED, but I’m curious what my chances are in other schools as well, so I’m open to advice in that area as well.

Before I give GPA stats, I have a few clarifying questions:

Does UBC use the grade conversion table found HERE (http://mdprogram.med.ubc.ca/files/2012/08/ADM_grade_conversion_tables.pdf) to convert its own grades as well as grades from other institutions?

Also, it looks like they use percentage and not the 4.0 GPA system for their applications, right?

If so, here’s my GPA stats in percentage, according to the UBC conversion table:

Year 1 (30 Credits): 83.8

Year 2 (30 Credits): 70.6

Year 3 (30 Credits): 85.4

Year 4 (27 Credits): 84.1

Year 5 (15 Credits): 85

Overall (top 102 credits, excluding year 2): 84.53

 

Here they are according to OMSAS GPA Calculation.. Is this standard in other med schools? Or is there another method I’m missing?

Year 1 (30 Credits): 3.7

Year 2 (30 Credits): 2.96

Year 3 (30 Credits): 3.74

Year 4 (27 Credits): 3.75

Year 5 (15 Credits): 3.86

Therefore, I think my overall (calculated from averaging the scores of each course, excluding the second year) is: 3.75

 

Now, obviously I would like to get Year 2 dropped, if possible. Otherwise my overall GPA/Percentage would drop significantly. UBC says on their website that the worst academic year can be dropped, “if you meet the criteria”. Does anyone know what those criteria are? I’ve searched, but can’t seem to find anything.

Another question: I’ve noticed that some schools, such as Dal and MUN, require that your degree was entirely full-time, especially in the last 2 years of study. Looking at my stats, although most of my degree was full-time study, that’s obviously not the case for the last year, as I was just mopping up various required courses for my degree. Does UBC require this as well? Am I eligible for consideration? What about other schools? Similarly, is there a problem with the fact that I took a one-year gap between years 2 and 3?

My next questions have to do with getting the science pre-reqs. I don’t have any science background at the university level, and so would need to snap up those prereqs. I’m hoping to do them at TRU online. From what I’ve read, at UBC these would just get calculated into my overall GPA, even if I took them as non-degree courses. Is this right? What about other schools? Is it a problem if I do them part-time while I work (this is related to my concern above, about full-time study being required for eligibility)? There doesn’t seem to be any need to do any entire second degree, right? Just the prereqs. Would there be an advantage to a second degree?

Finally, two more questions. I have pretty good ECs (I think). 2 major volunteer commitments, for 6 years and 2 years respectively, for about 8-10 hrs and 3 hrs weekly each (obviously more by the time of application). 3 languages spoken, lots of travel (some volunteering on that travel), some public speaking, 2 internships at a church (3 years and 1 year respectively). Most of my ECs are related to church activities - will this be looked on negatively? Finally, assuming  I do well in the prereq courses, my GPA stays the same (or raises!), and I do well on the MCAT, what are my chances at UBC? What about other schools?

 

Thanks so much in advance for your help.

 

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Hey medkfb! I'd consider myself a non-trad as well, although I don't know if older non-trads would agree.  :P

 

Have you seen this page on the UBC Med website?

 

One of the criteria is that you have 90 credits remaining after having your worst year dropped... I think. There are a bunch of examples on the linked page above:

 

Adjusted Academic Average Examples

If the academic year with the lowest GPA has less than 30 credits, we will subtract the number of credits in that year from your GPA credit total. If the resulting answer is 90 or more we will remove the entire worst year.

GPA credit total = 120
Worst year credit total = 28
120 – 28 = 92, so we will remove the entire worst year

GPA credit total = 90
Worst year credit total = 28
90 – 28 = 62, so we will not remove the worst year

If the academic year with the lowest GPA has 30 credits or more, we will subtract 30 from your GPA credit total. If the resulting answer is 90 or more we will remove the courses with the lowest grades from the worst year, up to 30 credits.

GPA credit total = 120
Worst year credit total = 33

120 – 30 = 90, so we will remove up to 30 credits of the worst year
GPA credit total = 120
Worst year credit total = 30
120 – 30 = 90, so we will remove up to 30 credits of the worst year (in this case, the entire worst year)

GPA credit total = 118
Worst year credit total = 33
118 – 30 = 88, so we will not remove the worst year

I think with your credits you would have your worst year removed, because:

GPA credit total (for you) = 30 + 30 + 30 + 27 + 15 = 132

Worst year credit total = 30

132 - 30 = 102, so they will remove 30 credits of the worst year (i.e., the entire worst year).

 

Indeed, these are the grade conversion tables they use.  :)  At least, according to their website! However you did your degree at UBC, so:

 

 

Grades from schools using a percentage system will not be converted.

They will use the percentages from your transcript at UBC. It will be different at other schools, as you mentioned (about the OMSAS).

 

Also:

 

 

Does UBC require this [continuous full-time study] as well? Am I eligible for consideration? What about other schools? Similarly, is there a problem with the fact that I took a one-year gap between years 2 and 3?

You're still eligible at UBC, but they do require you to write about why you took a gap year and/or why your studies have not been continually full-time. I'm not so sure about other schools, but I know I had to write something on the OMSAS also about why I had one year of part-time studies, and I'm pretty sure U of C and U of A also require something similar (if not the same thing).

 

 

Is this right? What about other schools? Is it a problem if I do them part-time while I work (this is related to my concern above, about full-time study being required for eligibility)? There doesn’t seem to be any need to do any entire second degree, right? Just the prereqs. Would there be an advantage to a second degree?

I know someone more experienced will pop by to offer insight, but as for the second degree part: from what I have seen on these forums, we shouldn't do second degrees unless our first GPA isn't anywhere near competitive. Personally I like the idea of a second degree, but I've incorporated the prereqs into my current degree so there's no advantage for me to do it, really. I would think there would be more advantage to doing it for people who haven't done any of the prereqs, though I'm not sure...

 

I can't comment on your last questions! I don't even know competitive I am, with all my business-related ECs.  -_-  Best of luck with whatever you decide!

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I won't comment on all of your questions, but just thought I'd throw in that I had no sciences in my undergrad degree so I did all of my pre-reqs through TRU (while working) and was considered eligible enough to spend the whole summer wait-listed... so yes, even if you don't take a full course load while completing pre-reqs you may still be considered eligible.

 

And by the way, if you DO decide to do TRU courses and want text books, let me know.

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-To get worst year dropped, really the only requirement is that you still have 90 credits left. Basically that means that this rule (the adjusted academic average) can only be used if you are done 4 years. You are, so you're good to go.

 

-The full-time study thing and UBC. They don't seem to care that much. There are a number of us in the class who are non-traditional in this way. They give you space to explain it, but just be concise. It does not seem to come into play pre-interview, and it really doesn't seem to matter as much as it does at other schools. Some schools will ONLY count full-time years towards your GPA< and UBC does not, everything counts with them.

 

-Doing your prereq courses part-time is no problem. There is no need to do a second degree for UBC, however some schools will not look at those courses as part of your GPA unless they are part of a degree. I think NOSM may really be the only school  that does that. I elected to take a bunch of courses and signed up for a third (!) degree to boost my GPA, but the only reason for me to actually sign up for that third degree was to keep NOSM open.

 

For the purposes of calculating GPA, UBC does not care how your courses were done- part-time, full-time, as part of a degree or not, online, or sitting in a cabin in the woods and mailing assignments in. They will all be just factored in to your GPA, unless part of a year that gets dropped.

 

With respect to church pre-reqs it is illegal to discriminate based on religion, and from what I see it would not impact you negatively.

 

I"m not sure about other schools, I don't think your GPA is quite high enough for schools you are OOP for. Now just to throw somethign else out there, you might be eligible if you did another full time year and got straight A+. But for other schools, you would have to make sure it's a full-time year and make sure you get stright A+ marks.

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