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corgi.lover

Good MCAT and ECs/Bad cGPA: Second Undergrad vs. Masters?

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Hi,

I'm sorry for another one of these posts, but I could really use some advice. I just finished my undergrad at Western in health sci with bio with a 3.3 cGPA (bad marks due to family circumstances/illnesses, nothing extreme, just the usual "life" experiences). I know there are some people who have gotten accepted into McMaster and U of T with low GPAs after completing graduate school, but I understand these are probably rare cases. I do have pretty good ECs and research experience (1 publication and another paper in preparation to be published). However, I'm still not sure if that, in addition to completing graduate school, would help me for the very few graduate-friendly med schools.

 

I know a second undergrad would probably be more helpful, but I'm also unsure of which undergrad at Western to pursue. I was looking into Math or Psych because my highest marks were in Math and Psych courses, and I was also looking into Engineering as well because it interests me and I guess if I never get into med, I could have more job opportunities. Does anyone have other suggestions?

Edit: I am also open to online undergrad programs like the ones at Athabasca and Queens BHSc as well. 

 

If it helps to know, I am also SWOMEN and am looking to apply to medical schools outside of Ontario as well (Maritimes, for example).

 

Thank you

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What are your weighted wGPA's ?   (Western - best 2 years,  Queens last 2 years,  U of T drop a credit per year., Ottawa weighted last 3 years).   Are any of your wGPA above 3.7 ?

Unfortunately undergrad GPA is most important.  A +2 year Research-based Masters can help you get over the edge and provide better competitiveness vs peers,  but does not overcome a 3.3 GPA.

Could you do a 5th year at Western ?  Would that give you 2 years with  >3.7 GPA to be able to apply there ?

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Meridian said:

What are your weighted wGPA's ?   (Western - best 2 years,  Queens last 2 years,  U of T drop a credit per year., Ottawa weighted last 3 years).   Are any of your wGPA above 3.7 ?

Unfortunately undergrad GPA is most important.  A +2 year Research-based Masters can help you get over the edge and provide better competitiveness vs peers,  but does not overcome a 3.3 GPA.

Could you do a 5th year at Western ?  Would that give you 2 years with  >3.7 GPA to be able to apply there ?

 

 

 

My highest GPA for a school year was 3.6, the rest were below :( So out of question for Western. For Toronto, my weighted cGPA would be around 3.5 (not even meeting undergrad wGPA cut-offs, but maybe with a Master's, it could help?). But yeah, nothing above 3.7. So I don't think a 5th year would be worth it in my case. 

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1 hour ago, corgi.lover said:

My highest GPA for a school year was 3.6, the rest were below :( So out of question for Western. For Toronto, my weighted cGPA would be around 3.5 (not even meeting undergrad wGPA cut-offs, but maybe with a Master's, it could help?). But yeah, nothing above 3.7. So I don't think a 5th year would be worth it in my case. 

Like Meridian was alluding to, a masters will not help you in any way with that GPA.  If med is not your goal it can help possibly in other ways, but it will do absolutely nothing to help your med app.  You need a 2nd undergrad.

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3 hours ago, goleafsgochris said:

Like Meridian was alluding to, a masters will not help you in any way with that GPA.  If med is not your goal it can help possibly in other ways, but it will do absolutely nothing to help your med app.  You need a 2nd undergrad.

Thank you for your response. I am looking at doing a 2nd undergrad in Psych because I already fulfilled half the requirements so I would only need (hopefully) 2 years to finish an Honors degree in it. As SWOMEN, my main goal is Schulich Med. Just to confirm, as long as those 2 years meet the 3.7 cut-offs, it should be okay?

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Read Western carefully.  If you start a 2nd undergrad,  you must wait until the final year of the 2nd undergrad to apply.  Also the 2nd undergrad still needs to be considered a 4 year degree.  It might be hard to do it in only 2 years even with your transfer credits. They do then only look at the 2nd undergrad GPA which is what you need.  You should talk straight to UWO to map out if it would work as you think.

3.7 is just the cut-off.  Your SWOMEN status will help with the MCAT thresholds , but you still need to be competitive on GPA.   You should target +3.85 so that it is not a risk.  You also want to apply to all other Ontario schools where you can meet the competitive thresholds.  Maybe Queens ?

     https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/medicine/undergraduate/future_students/faq.html

What if I already have an undergraduate degree but am working towards or have recently completed a second undergraduate degree?
Applicants who embark on a second undergraduate degree program are eligible to apply during the final year of their new program. In order to be considered for GPA purposes, the second degree must be equivalent to a four-year degree. In this situation, GPA consideration will be based only on the two best years of the second degree program. Course load and course level requirements for the second degree are analogous to the requirements of the first degree. Applicants who are given a conditional offer must complete all program requirements for the second degree by June 30th.

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18 minutes ago, Meridian said:

Read Western carefully.  If you start a 2nd undergrad,  you must wait until the final year of the 2nd undergrad to apply.  Also the 2nd undergrad still needs to be considered a 4 year degree.  It might be hard to do it in only 2 years even with your transfer credits. They do then only look at the 2nd undergrad GPA which is what you need.  You should talk straight to UWO to map out if it would work as you think.

3.7 is just the cut-off.  Your SWOMEN status will help with the MCAT thresholds , but you still need to be competitive on GPA.   You should target +3.85 so that it is not a risk.  You also want to apply to all other Ontario schools where you can meet the competitive thresholds.  Maybe Queens ?

     https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/medicine/undergraduate/future_students/faq.html

What if I already have an undergraduate degree but am working towards or have recently completed a second undergraduate degree?
Applicants who embark on a second undergraduate degree program are eligible to apply during the final year of their new program. In order to be considered for GPA purposes, the second degree must be equivalent to a four-year degree. In this situation, GPA consideration will be based only on the two best years of the second degree program. Course load and course level requirements for the second degree are analogous to the requirements of the first degree. Applicants who are given a conditional offer must complete all program requirements for the second degree by June 30th.

Thank you so much for your help. The program I am looking at is a Honors BSc in Psych. I have already completed the science requirements, which leaves me with 7.5 psych credits left to complete, which can be done over a span of 2 years, hopefully. I will definitely speak with Academic Counselling though just to confirm.

Also just to confirm, "you must wait until the final year of the 2nd undergrad to apply." So let's say, I only need 2 years to finish the second undergrad (if hopefully my GPA has improved), I would be able to apply after I complete the first year, and if I do receive admission, it would be conditional in that the 2nd year meets the GPA cut-offs? Sorry for all these questions, just trying to sleep again at night haha.

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36 minutes ago, Meridian said:

Read Western carefully.  If you start a 2nd undergrad,  you must wait until the final year of the 2nd undergrad to apply.  Also the 2nd undergrad still needs to be considered a 4 year degree.  It might be hard to do it in only 2 years even with your transfer credits. They do then only look at the 2nd undergrad GPA which is what you need.  You should talk straight to UWO to map out if it would work as you think.

3.7 is just the cut-off.  Your SWOMEN status will help with the MCAT thresholds , but you still need to be competitive on GPA.   You should target +3.85 so that it is not a risk.  You also want to apply to all other Ontario schools where you can meet the competitive thresholds.  Maybe Queens ?

     https://www.schulich.uwo.ca/medicine/undergraduate/future_students/faq.html

What if I already have an undergraduate degree but am working towards or have recently completed a second undergraduate degree?
Applicants who embark on a second undergraduate degree program are eligible to apply during the final year of their new program. In order to be considered for GPA purposes, the second degree must be equivalent to a four-year degree. In this situation, GPA consideration will be based only on the two best years of the second degree program. Course load and course level requirements for the second degree are analogous to the requirements of the first degree. Applicants who are given a conditional offer must complete all program requirements for the second degree by June 30th.

I am pretty sure 3.7 is a cut off so that having higher doesn't benefit you. It's an automatic interview once u meet the MCAT and GPA cut offs. 

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Hey!

Good for you for giving it another shot! I would suggest that you choose an undergrad program that could lead you to a decent career if med doesn't work out (or if you change your mind about it). Doing well in an undergrad program could allow you to increase your GPA, while a master's likely wouldn't. Also, you don't want to burn yourself out by doing an unnecessary master's. If you think you can do well in math or engineering, I think those would be fabulous options. Psych would be an option too, but with only a BSc, you'd be more limited in career options if med doesn't work out. It depends on what you'd prefer!

Best of luck!

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On 5/14/2018 at 11:25 AM, SandraC2017 said:

Hey!

Good for you for giving it another shot! I would suggest that you choose an undergrad program that could lead you to a decent career if med doesn't work out (or if you change your mind about it). Doing well in an undergrad program could allow you to increase your GPA, while a master's likely wouldn't. Also, you don't want to burn yourself out by doing an unnecessary master's. If you think you can do well in math or engineering, I think those would be fabulous options. Psych would be an option too, but with only a BSc, you'd be more limited in career options if med doesn't work out. It depends on what you'd prefer!

Best of luck!

Hi, 

Thanks so much for the suggestions! :) I think after some careful research, I'm going to talk with academic counselling to see if I can come back to upgrade my degree to Psych for 2 years! My plan, if I don't get into medicine after this, is to do a Masters in Neuroscience, and hopefully try for med school again. I've tried researching other careers in case it never works out for me, but I don't find myself interested in anything else :( 

Thanks so much! Hope everything is going well for you! :) 

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