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Open studies or Grad school?


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Hello everyone! 

I already put this on the general premed thread, but thought it would be better to put it here to get Alberta specific responses. I live in Calgary and I just finished my fourth year in psychology and my gpa for my three top years is 3.547. I know 3.5 is well below the average gpa to be accepted to med school. I also have an offer to do a master and an offer to do a PhD. I do not know if I should spend next year to enrol into open studies and upgrade my GPA or accept one of my grad school offers. Does anyone have an experience or can give me some advice? 

 first year gpa (sep-april): 3.288 (8 courses)

Second year gpa (sep-april): 3.313 (8 courses)

Third year gpa (sep-april): 3.500 (10 courses)

fourth year gpa (sep-april): 3.83 (10 courses)

gpa for all years removing the worst 6 courses: 3.613 

I didn't take ant English courses but I took 2 organic chemistry courses. 

I have not taken MCAT yet, but I'm planning on taking it in may. 

I have done + 300 hours of volunteering at a hospital with 4 years of research and 2 second author paper. I have been working part-time since my first year. 

Thank you in advance! 

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As someone that has taken and completed grad studies, I'd recommend you do something to advance your career. If you are purely doing open studies to improve your GPA for med,  you may find it was a stagnant option. 

With grad studies, this will benefit your application in many areas. Your application will be looked upon more favourably, you will have publications, research experience, reference letters, an opportunity to improve your GPA (UC adds on your graduate GPA as an additional year which is a much easier / faster way to boost your GPA compared to open studies). However, I'd recommend you do something that you're actually passionate about, even if its not directly related to med. Get an industry job and make some money / gain experience. Many applicants that have actually worked and come back to med have been very competitive applicants, despite their lower GPAs. 

Just my two cents :) 

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You never know how med will pan out, and both grad school and open studies will not dramatically change your gpa.  Choose the one you can use in case you don't get in to med school!  If you want to go to a different professional school, then do open studies and take the pre-reqs you would need.  Or if you want to take some extra classes you never got the chance to in undergrad, then go through open studies. 

Go to grad school if like that career path!  It will give you some gpa points, and lots of CV experience in the research world.  You can also take higher level classes (open studies usually restricts you to introductory classes).

Extra circulars are always hard to judge for what "looks good," so as long as you are enjoying them and have a decent amount of time invested, don't worry too much about it.  

Also, take the MCAT soon.  If you score really well, it can help to balance out your gpa at prairie schools. 

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On 1/20/2020 at 12:38 PM, PlsLetMeIn02 said:

As someone that has taken and completed grad studies, I'd recommend you do something to advance your career. If you are purely doing open studies to improve your GPA for med,  you may find it was a stagnant option. 

With grad studies, this will benefit your application in many areas. Your application will be looked upon more favourably, you will have publications, research experience, reference letters, an opportunity to improve your GPA (UC adds on your graduate GPA as an additional year which is a much easier / faster way to boost your GPA compared to open studies). However, I'd recommend you do something that you're actually passionate about, even if its not directly related to med. Get an industry job and make some money / gain experience. Many applicants that have actually worked and come back to med have been very competitive applicants, despite their lower GPAs. 

Just my two cents :) 

Thank you so much!

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10 hours ago, chkchkchickens said:

You never know how med will pan out, and both grad school and open studies will not dramatically change your gpa.  Choose the one you can use in case you don't get in to med school!  If you want to go to a different professional school, then do open studies and take the pre-reqs you would need.  Or if you want to take some extra classes you never got the chance to in undergrad, then go through open studies. 

Go to grad school if like that career path!  It will give you some gpa points, and lots of CV experience in the research world.  You can also take higher level classes (open studies usually restricts you to introductory classes).

Extra circulars are always hard to judge for what "looks good," so as long as you are enjoying them and have a decent amount of time invested, don't worry too much about it.  

Also, take the MCAT soon.  If you score really well, it can help to balance out your gpa at prairie schools. 

Thank you very much! I am going to write MCAT asap so I can have a better idea about my position and what I need to work on. 

 

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