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Fifth year or masters?

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My wgpa for each school: 

U of t: 3.90 (gonna drop if they don't count the winter term)

Western: 3.80

Queen's: 3.84 (if not counting winter term then 3.80)

McMaster: 3.68


So I don't know if I should take a fifth year (as a continuing student) or take a break to bring up my EC's or do course-based master's. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you. 

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In my opinion, your GPA is kind of on low side, a master's might be hard esp if you're only looking to compensate for GPA and who knows if your GPA will drop then. I would do a fifth year and also focus on ECs during that time, so your GPA comes up and you have some more diverse experiences. (Mac also depends largely on CARS score)

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Your GPA is indeed on the lower side, but not as much as you think.
Queen's only treats GPA as a cut-off, not competitively so as long as the other parts of your application are good, you're on equal footing with others.
I'd argue that it's the same with Western but they're vague about that - but you can compensate with the abbreviated ABS and MCAT; they also don't count Master's grades at all so doing it won't help here.
I'm not sure how UofT might treat course-based Master's but preferably a 3.90+ will help you immensely in either pool. But if you do end up in the graduate pool, you'll be competing against people with PhDs and research Masters with publication record. With that said, you can always write an AEE and hope they take your winter grades into consideration (they can be really accommodating given the situation).
McMaster is the toughest to improve on because they only use cGPA and a 3.80+ will be preferable for an in-province application, so unless you have a 130+ CARS and really good CASPer, it'll be very hard to get an interview. Doing a Master's will help you here (but only very marginally, like 1% bonus in pre-interview ranking).

In short, doing a fifth year will probably help with McMaster and UofT, but your competitiveness at Western and Queen's won't change too much regardless of what you choose. A Master's might help pave an alternative career backup though that you prefer to have a plan B.

As for EC's, I never know how to advise people on that because it's so arbitrary and subjective, but I'm not sure if an extra year of ECs is going to boost your competitiveness as much as a fifth year or a grad degree would (provided that your EC is ok to start with).

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