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Gap year Diverse ABS or Masters Research focus ABS?

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Hey,

contemplating whether or not to do a gap year or apply for a masters. I guess I'm looking for advice which of the two would be more time worthy?

For me the only turn off about going the masters route is that I lose a year/chance in applying :/

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Depending on the Masters program you lose more than one year, most schools that consider graduate degrees do not include them unless they are officially complete by late July/early August of the year you get accepted. Only 1 year Masters make you lose only a single application cycle, something to keep in mind!

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19 hours ago, Chels1267 said:

Depending on the Masters program you lose more than one year, most schools that consider graduate degrees do not include them unless they are officially complete by late July/early August of the year you get accepted. Only 1 year Masters make you lose only a single application cycle, something to keep in mind!

@Chels1267I'll keep that in mind, usually I heard that people are able to finish their thesis defense by June 30th of their 2nd year.

5 hours ago, OldManLogan said:

I agree with @Chels1267 . If you do decide to do a masters, make sure that it will be completed before the deadline. I decided to take a gap year rather than do a masters because of this reason.

Question: @OldManLoganwhat did you ultimately decided to do during your gap year?

1 hour ago, MarsRover said:

Depends what your plans are for the gap year. Could you elaborate a bit? @UWUW

@MarsRover, for sure. Ultimately during the gap year, I plan to make a little bit of income (hopefully as a research/clinical assistant), maybe go traveling to Asia or Europe since I haven't had an academic term off yet (been taking full course loads for the whole academic year (Sept-Aug) since first year). Ideally, I guess I would like to build up a little bit of fun after all those school terms + some money so I can at least try to pay those medical school application fees (which cost quite a bit)...

But, with a masters I could further develop my knowledge in my current research interest, build my ABS and make a bit of money through TAship and (hopefully) scholarship. However, the only problem I have is the timeline commitment.

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Finishing in June really depends on your supervisor. If you look at my post history I posted a question 1 month ago regarding M. Sc finishing times and some people say that it's very do-able and others say that it is often not possible to finish an M. Sc early. I then emailed my supervisor explaining to her my situation and she assured me that we can finish in June no problem. I didn't even have to do any extra readings this summer, she just told me to enjoy the summer! So it varies. My M. Sc is in Developmental Biology at Queen's U. 

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17 hours ago, UWUW said:

@Chels1267I'll keep that in mind, usually I heard that people are able to finish their thesis defense by June 30th of their 2nd year.

Question: @OldManLoganwhat did you ultimately decided to do during your gap year?

@MarsRover, for sure. Ultimately during the gap year, I plan to make a little bit of income (hopefully as a research/clinical assistant), maybe go traveling to Asia or Europe since I haven't had an academic term off yet (been taking full course loads for the whole academic year (Sept-Aug) since first year). Ideally, I guess I would like to build up a little bit of fun after all those school terms + some money so I can at least try to pay those medical school application fees (which cost quite a bit)...

But, with a masters I could further develop my knowledge in my current research interest, build my ABS and make a bit of money through TAship and (hopefully) scholarship. However, the only problem I have is the timeline commitment.

 

 To me personally that Gap year sounds awesome. Getting to work in a lab which is fun, and getting paid. Not having to worry about the annoyance of class and thesis writing of a masters. Its like all the best parts of a masters, and maybe if you have a good relationship with the lab you'd still get your name on publishings. Then add in some abroad travel and you time, A+. Probably more able to volunteer (if you want) without stress. If your grades are good now I don't think a masters adds that much (other than as a backup for other career options, but in the end whats one year). All I know is that if you even feel like you'd like some you time do it. Once you get in and have 4 hard years of school and residency, you may regret doing hard schooling in between and not focusing on some other aspects of your life and aspirations you have had. It may even help you focus and perform better in medical school. Just my thoughts take them with a grain of salt, or a pound if you want :)

 

9 hours ago, cw2lu4 said:

Finishing in June really depends on your supervisor. If you look at my post history I posted a question 1 month ago regarding M. Sc finishing times and some people say that it's very do-able and others say that it is often not possible to finish an M. Sc early. I then emailed my supervisor explaining to her my situation and she assured me that we can finish in June no problem. I didn't even have to do any extra readings this summer, she just told me to enjoy the summer! So it varies. My M. Sc is in Developmental Biology at Queen's U. 

I would say it at least in part also depends on your supervisory committee. Maybe it is just at my old school, but sometimes they would be hard to get along with or into meetings. This would push back expected deadlines and finishing dates just over menial BS. I almost considered doing a masters because I had done enough research during undergrad and in summers that I had enough for a masters (said my supervisors not me). Just needed the courses and write thesis. They advised me though that they couldn't guarantee it would get done in a year because they couldn't control other professors on the supervisory committee. 

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On 6/20/2017 at 3:13 PM, UWUW said:

@Chels1267I'll keep that in mind, usually I heard that people are able to finish their thesis defense by June 30th of their 2nd year.

Question: @OldManLoganwhat did you ultimately decided to do during your gap year?

@MarsRover, for sure. Ultimately during the gap year, I plan to make a little bit of income (hopefully as a research/clinical assistant), maybe go traveling to Asia or Europe since I haven't had an academic term off yet (been taking full course loads for the whole academic year (Sept-Aug) since first year). Ideally, I guess I would like to build up a little bit of fun after all those school terms + some money so I can at least try to pay those medical school application fees (which cost quite a bit)...

But, with a masters I could further develop my knowledge in my current research interest, build my ABS and make a bit of money through TAship and (hopefully) scholarship. However, the only problem I have is the timeline commitment.

During my gap year, I worked on strengthening my extra curriculars because I was happy with my GPA and MCAT. So I worked in research, teaching and other fields to diversify my application. 

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OP, I hate to be that guy but your decision primarily depends on your undergrad GPA. It's probably the most decisive factor for med school admissions.

If your undergrad GPA is very competitive (>3.9 imho), AND you are probably sure that you will not build on your work as a Master's student (whether it's course or thesis-based), then doing a Master's adds very little value to your overall application (unless you think your productivity as a Master's student will be really good, and even that's an uncertainty for anyone in your situation). You're better off diversifying in other areas, like the ones mentioned above, without investing $$$ in the degree.

If your undergrad GPA is lower than that, then  the Master's degree will add value to your application. But choose carefully between a course and a thesis-based Master's. It depends on which areas of your application you want to improve. If research is your calling, then go for the thesis-based ones. However, if you're interested in temporarily working in industry, etc... (e.g. The M.Biotech program at UTM gives you an 8-12 month internship in a pharma/biotech company), then choose a course-based Master's.

Good luck with whatever you choose!

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