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Do GPA boosters, light course loads, and/or online courses hurt one's chances of getting an interview at UBC?

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In general, my application's main bottleneck will be getting an interview. My GPA is on the lower side (~3.7) and my extracurriculars are alright (a year of co-op lab/research, couple years as ER volunteer, misc. community work for years, general sports + music). I strongly believe that improving my GPA will be the most effective way in bolstering my application. I am considering taking GPA boosting courses but I was wondering whether or not these are frowned upon and to what extent. 

For example, if I were to take a blatant GPA booster that is unrelated to my major such as Education100 (guaranteed A+):

  • Would that negatively effect my chances of getting an interview? Or is the GPA number all that really matters?
  • If so, would it only hurt me during the interview stage? Or would it actually hurt my chances of even getting an interview?
  • Do online courses similarly have any negative effect on getting an interview? 

I ask this because my only concern is getting an interview. I am extremely confident in my interview abilities and have no problem with these things coming out during the interview as long as I just get the interview. I say this not to be smug or overconfident or anything but just to give context to my focuses.

Thank you for your time!

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Don't take 100-level courses, it's just... sensible. I mean you could take the chance because no one really knows for sure, but I certainly wouldn't.

I would think something that is like, intro-ish in a field you haven't done before or is related or semi-related to medicine would probably be okay as long as your schedule wasn't full of those (think MICB 202, for example, with some upper levels stuff). Or like an intro anatomy if you haven't taken it before. Those are all useful. Try to stay away from 100- or 200- level courses as much as possible though.
My 0.02...

Online courses are fine. @JohnGrisham has said so at least. Maybe they can confirm again for the sake of this post. 

These things will not be discussed in the interview. Browse some MMI threads and you'll get a better idea on what the interviews are actually like. 

 

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As far as I know, the academic score (AQ) is calculated using a formula where they simply plug in your GPA and don't consider the context of it. No one knows what they evaluate post interview but I doubt they'd go back to your transcript and asssess its progression when they have a AQ to use. Online courses are not bad since they don't look at the "quality" of your transcript, you just have to check if UBC has any limitations on how many you're allowed to take.

I would also look into improving some ECs as that is weighed as much as GPA and applicants at UBC have some of the most extensive ECs. If you're IP you might be able to have your GPA carry you if it's near perfect 

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A few gpa boosters isnt going go hurt. If youre otherwise doing well in "harder" courses too. You have a 3.7 gpa not a 3.0 so its not as if youre only able to do well in 100 level bird courses.   

Make sure you get a strong mcat and there's even less concern.

Do what is necessary to get to the interview stage.

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There was a relevant post on the admissions blog from a few years ago when they revealed they were removing science pre-requisites.

"Finally, because the science prerequisites are no longer required, the selection committee will be taking a closer look at your transcript. They will be looking at your science courses but will also notice if 50% of your coursework is comprised of [GPA boosters] (or the university-transferable equivalents thereof)." Source: http://mdprogram.med.ubc.ca/2016/01/29/prerequisite-changes-gpa-concerns/

The context and tone of the blog post indicates that this is likely a post-interview consideration. Although anecdotally, I know of multiple successful applicants who have taken multiple introductory courses (on language, education, earth science, counselling psychology, etc.) in their penultimate or ultimate year. I mean, besides that some folks just need electives to fulfill degree requirements, some courses are just so darn interesting that we don't want to pass up the opportunity to enroll in them! However as the blog post indicates, I would be wary of going overboard on it, where it may jump off the transcript that one is blatantly trying to "game the system," as they say. All in all, like others have mentioned, consider taking classes that might have benefit down the road, or that you find particularly interesting! Whether or not it is a "typical GPA booster", people generally tend to excel in courses they're engrossed with the content of! :) 

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Frankly, I think it makes absolutely no difference. I took a whole bunch of GPA boosters and weird courses that would make people scratch their heads.. At least it didn't for me. I was taking 100 level courses in my last semester.

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Don’t speculate too much. My undergrad was 180 credits over 6 years, a B.A. double major in Psychology and Visual Art. I legit took a class in just about everything and I was accepted. They weight so many factors and look at the entire picture.

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