Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
Sign in to follow this  
helicase

Applying To Med & Grad School In The Same Year?

Recommended Posts

So my undergrad GPA has not been the best and to top that off I am from a school where most people do not take 5 courses/semester so recently realizing that this is the norm across Canada has been unfortunate. I applied to Queens (high wGPA&MCAT) and UBC (IP) this year but for UBC my GPA is on the lower end of the bell curve. 

 

Anyway, I am wanting to apply to grad school to start Fall 2017 in case I get rejected at both schools. I am very interested in research (have a good amount of research experience) and would want to use this to increase my GPA. As well as the trend it seems (at least for UBC given the new stats) and quite obviously at Queens is an increase of applicants with at least a Master's getting accepted.  

 

Does anyone have experience with this (applying to med & grad school in the same year)? I know grad school applications are due ~January. Will there be a conflict with dates in case I do interview?

 

Thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I understand it, it is your GPA from undergrad that matters, which will not be helped with a Masters.

 

Yes but for schools like Queens for example, you see grad students with lower GPAs getting in. Even if it doesn't help it allows for a more holistic file review in most cases? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm personally biased when it comes to "safety-netting" with grad school, but here are my reasons why I'm against it.

Assuming you're going to be applying to a thesis-based program, you're asking someone (ie your prospective supervisor) to choose you over another student and commit to giving you a research project, possible funding and other resources.  They're in 100%, you're in it as a back up.  If after all of that you turn around and tell them you're going to med school instead, you've basically left this supervisor with a vacancy he/she won't be able to fill until the next cycle of graduate applications (med school decisions come out around the same time as grad school application deadlines for Fall entry).  This in turn may affect their productivity and success in that year's grant competition.  Unless you are forthcoming from the outset and tell them that you're concurrently applying to medical school, I personally see this as very unprofessional.

Secondly, a master's degree is typically two years (some do it in a year, some in three).  Assuming you are aiming to get your degree in two years, are you prepared to forego applying to medical school in that first year of your graduate program?  Or would you continue to apply and leave your masters halfway through if successful?  Again, it all comes back to professionalism.  There are a few nuances with this point.  Some schools have transition programs where you simply become enrolled as a joint degree student (ex. if you're doing a masters in Calgary and then get into med school there, you would be part of their MD/MSc program where your MD seat is "reserved" while you finish your MSc).  

Finally, a graduate program should be viewed as an opportunity to further your professional development, not as a stepping stone to increase your chances for getting into medical school.  The reason why you're seeing more accepted students with masters degrees is that it is simply becoming harder to get in to medicine after 4 years of undergrad.  For many, staying in school is the next logical step (5th year of undergrad or grad school).   As far as I know, there are very few schools in Canada that give significant bonus points for having a masters degree and if they do, they're usually quite minimal.  The vast majority of schools also don't count graduate school GPA as part of the overall GPA calculation.  As such, many argue that doing a 5th year of undergrad or even a second undergrad degree will make you more competitive than simply doing an MSc. 

Those are a few things to think about.  If you truly have a genuine interest in research, I would contact potential supervisors and be transparent about your goals.  Tell them outright that you are applying to medicine and if unsuccessful, you would be looking to do an MSc with them.  Some will be supportive (typically clinician-scientists) but my guess is that many will not. 

Hopefully this helps inform your decision - good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes but for schools like Queens for example, you see grad students with lower GPAs getting in. Even if it doesn't help it allows for a more holistic file review in most cases? 

Potentially, but I suspect emphasis will be placed on graduate school accomplishments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm personally biased when it comes to "safety-netting" with grad school, but here are my reasons why I'm against it.

 

Assuming you're going to be applying to a thesis-based program, you're asking someone (ie your prospective supervisor) to choose you over another student and commit to giving you a research project, possible funding and other resources.  They're in 100%, you're in it as a back up.  If after all of that you turn around and tell them you're going to med school instead, you've basically left this supervisor with a vacancy he/she won't be able to fill until the next cycle of graduate applications (med school decisions come out around the same time as grad school application deadlines for Fall entry).  This in turn may affect their productivity and success in that year's grant competition.  Unless you are forthcoming from the outset and tell them that you're concurrently applying to medical school, I personally see this as very unprofessional.

 

Secondly, a master's degree is typically two years (some do it in a year, some in three).  Assuming you are aiming to get your degree in two years, are you prepared to forego applying to medical school in that first year of your graduate program?  Or would you continue to apply and leave your masters halfway through if successful?  Again, it all comes back to professionalism.  There are a few nuances with this point.  Some schools have transition programs where you simply become enrolled as a joint degree student (ex. if you're doing a masters in Calgary and then get into med school there, you would be part of their MD/MSc program where your MD seat is "reserved" while you finish your MSc).  

 

Finally, a graduate program should be viewed as an opportunity to further your professional development, not as a stepping stone to increase your chances for getting into medical school.  The reason why you're seeing more accepted students with masters degrees is that it is simply becoming harder to get in to medicine after 4 years of undergrad.  For many, staying in school is the next logical step (5th year of undergrad or grad school).   As far as I know, there are very few schools in Canada that give significant bonus points for having a masters degree and if they do, they're usually quite minimal.  The vast majority of schools also don't count graduate school GPA as part of the overall GPA calculation.  As such, many argue that doing a 5th year of undergrad or even a second undergrad degree will make you more competitive than simply doing an MSc. 

 

Those are a few things to think about.  If you truly have a genuine interest in research, I would contact potential supervisors and be transparent about your goals.  Tell them outright that you are applying to medicine and if unsuccessful, you would be looking to do an MSc with them.  Some will be supportive (typically clinician-scientists) but my guess is that many will not. 

 

Hopefully this helps inform your decision - good luck!

 

Exactly this....... if you're going to grad school intend on finishing it... not making it sloppy seconds and leaving a bitter taste in your PIs mouth. 

 

- G

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm personally biased when it comes to "safety-netting" with grad school, but here are my reasons why I'm against it.

 

Assuming you're going to be applying to a thesis-based program, you're asking someone (ie your prospective supervisor) to choose you over another student and commit to giving you a research project, possible funding and other resources.  They're in 100%, you're in it as a back up.  If after all of that you turn around and tell them you're going to med school instead, you've basically left this supervisor with a vacancy he/she won't be able to fill until the next cycle of graduate applications (med school decisions come out around the same time as grad school application deadlines for Fall entry).  This in turn may affect their productivity and success in that year's grant competition.  Unless you are forthcoming from the outset and tell them that you're concurrently applying to medical school, I personally see this as very unprofessional.

 

Secondly, a master's degree is typically two years (some do it in a year, some in three).  Assuming you are aiming to get your degree in two years, are you prepared to forego applying to medical school in that first year of your graduate program?  Or would you continue to apply and leave your masters halfway through if successful?  Again, it all comes back to professionalism.  There are a few nuances with this point.  Some schools have transition programs where you simply become enrolled as a joint degree student (ex. if you're doing a masters in Calgary and then get into med school there, you would be part of their MD/MSc program where your MD seat is "reserved" while you finish your MSc).  

 

Finally, a graduate program should be viewed as an opportunity to further your professional development, not as a stepping stone to increase your chances for getting into medical school.  The reason why you're seeing more accepted students with masters degrees is that it is simply becoming harder to get in to medicine after 4 years of undergrad.  For many, staying in school is the next logical step (5th year of undergrad or grad school).   As far as I know, there are very few schools in Canada that give significant bonus points for having a masters degree and if they do, they're usually quite minimal.  The vast majority of schools also don't count graduate school GPA as part of the overall GPA calculation.  As such, many argue that doing a 5th year of undergrad or even a second undergrad degree will make you more competitive than simply doing an MSc. 

 

Those are a few things to think about.  If you truly have a genuine interest in research, I would contact potential supervisors and be transparent about your goals.  Tell them outright that you are applying to medicine and if unsuccessful, you would be looking to do an MSc with them.  Some will be supportive (typically clinician-scientists) but my guess is that many will not. 

 

Hopefully this helps inform your decision - good luck!

 

Thanks for your detailed response!

 

I understand that completely. I would definitely not stop a Master's halfway through (and I'm pretty sure that's not even allowed for most schools?). I feel that I am genuinely interested in research- specifically clinical research as that is where my experience is in. 

 

Schools do have January start dates for graduate programs correct?

 

I could potentially wait then so I don't have to deal with conflicting deadlines right now and what you said about unprofessionalism re supervisors. I mean I feel like graduate school could only strengthen my application. My overall GPA is  with my last 2 years being. I feel like a graduate degree with a high GPA could only help along with the collateral benefits of research experience etc. But you're right and I think I'm going to wait to hear back this cycle before contacting supervisors. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...