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UTSC vs Queens Health sciences


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hello,

trying to decide between these two programs.

Clearly Queens Health sciences are difficult to get

 UTSC ( uoft Scarborough campus)  seems to have more flexibility in case another carrier path is an option?

Also it is not the UofT Toronto competitive /life science program/ or campus - the most competitive one....

Any thoughts?

Thank you!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd recommend Queen's but I am biased as I went there :) I can only speak from my experience but I had a great experience, it was easy to get a high GPA, and I believe we have the most clubs of any university. Everyone I know who went to u of T said it was very hard to get a high GPA and it was more of a competitive and less collegial atmosphere, but of course I can't speak from experience on this one

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I also do not have personal experience. I have heard that U of T kills your GPA but everyone is different, some people do well in a competitive environment like u of t and others don't. Either way do not choose based on which program is more competitive to get into, the prestige of the program/school or anything like that, Med schools do not care about any of that. Choose based on which program you think you would enjoy more (look at the course sequences), opportunities for research and jobs and volunteering, location, where you can see yourself, and where you think you can get a high GPA. 

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On 4/27/2021 at 12:15 PM, Psych said:

I'd recommend Queen's but I am biased as I went there :) I can only speak from my experience but I had a great experience, it was easy to get a high GPA, and I believe we have the most clubs of any university. Everyone I know who went to u of T said it was very hard to get a high GPA and it was more of a competitive and less collegial atmosphere, but of course I can't speak from experience on this one

I'm curious, what program did you do at Queen's? I heard Queen's Life sci was also hard to get a high GPA in, do you think that's true?

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Hi, thank you for all your replies guys.

I love Queens. No doubt, it is a beautiful place and health sciences is a nice new program.

The thing that attracted me about UTSC is that it is definitely not so competitive as the downtown location.

I am wondering if you may have information about how easy (or not) is to connect with professors and to seek research at Queens, especially for the undergrads   first year?

Scarborough offered right away to declare the research area I am interested in? How is Queens working with this?

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19 hours ago, TimTamTom said:

I'm curious, what program did you do at Queen's? I heard Queen's Life sci was also hard to get a high GPA in, do you think that's true?

I did life sci! I found it relatively easy to do well, but I will say I think it does depend if you specialize or major. Queen's allows you to "specialize" in life sci where you take about 90-100/120 credits in life sci, whereas a normal "major" is 72/120 credits in life sci. Most other universities don't know the difference between the two so there's no real benefit to specializing in that sense, the only difference is that in fourth year specialization you can do a year long thesis/research project that majors don't do, BUT you can still do a thesis as a major student under a different course code so there's really not that big a difference. You also can't do a minor if you specialize, and I wanted to do one so that's what really pushed me to choose to major instead of specialize

As a major student, you also have a ton more flexibility in choosing courses- for example in third year we just had to take 15 life sci credits from a list but the list was super long and included bio courses, psyc courses, math courses, etc. so I could basically take whatever I wanted. In contrast, the specialization students had to take biochem, pharm, and a few other required courses that I've heard are quite difficult.

Personally, I would highly recommend doing the major route- I did not find it that hard to do well and I had a lot of flexibility in choosing courses that I was interested in/were known to be easier to do well in. Specialization would likely be harder, although still doable I'm sure!

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19 hours ago, sdel65 said:

Hi, thank you for all your replies guys.

I love Queens. No doubt, it is a beautiful place and health sciences is a nice new program.

The thing that attracted me about UTSC is that it is definitely not so competitive as the downtown location.

I am wondering if you may have information about how easy (or not) is to connect with professors and to seek research at Queens, especially for the undergrads   first year?

Scarborough offered right away to declare the research area I am interested in? How is Queens working with this?

In my experience I found it quite easy to do research at Queen's! Queen's is medium size university, so getting to know professors is definitely doable. If you just email professors, most are happy to take you on for research or chat during office hours. Personally I was able to get two research positions during the school year just by reaching out. Queen's also has lots of NSERC positions available in the summer, and they also have a summer work program called "SWEP" that has a ton of research positions available (I did one of these in the summer after third year and it was great). As well, the vast majority of science programs allow you to do a thesis in fourth year.

If you have any other questions I'm happy to answer them!

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19 hours ago, Psych said:

I did life sci! I found it relatively easy to do well...

Thank you for your response! Does Queen's life sci allows enough time in first and second year to get involved in EC's and research? Or is it as academically-rigorous as uft life sci for example?

Also I heard that most classes in first year are very large (1000-2000 students) so it's hard getting to know your profs well - is that true?

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On 4/30/2021 at 11:10 AM, TimTamTom said:

Thank you for your response! Does Queen's life sci allows enough time in first and second year to get involved in EC's and research? Or is it as academically-rigorous as uft life sci for example?

Also I heard that most classes in first year are very large (1000-2000 students) so it's hard getting to know your profs well - is that true?

There is absolutely enough time to be involved in ECs- I did lots and still had plenty of time to hang out with friends and do things for myself while doing well academically. I'm sure this depends somewhat on you as an individual and what your study habits are like, but I didn't find the workload too bad. It's definitely not as difficult as u of t life sci from what I've heard anecdotally.

At Queen's we do a general science first year, so all science students take the same classes, and this year is pretty light and a lot of high school review depending on where you did high school and what classes you took (basically it's to get everyone on the same page). Classes can be large in this year, but I never had a class with more than 600 students because they're split up into 2-3 "sections", which sometimes had the same prof but often had different profs. I was also in the largest section- most sections were more in the 300-400 student range which is quite small for a first year class. All classes had small-group tutorials or labs as well where you get to know your TA quite well. As well, you have room for electives and there are many smaller classes you can take for that.

Personally, my opinion is that getting to know profs is as hard or as easy as you make it. No matter how large the class, you have the ability to seek out the prof and go to office hours if you want to. Pretty much all profs say that their office hours are usually empty, so there is no reason why you can't get to know your profs if you want to and put in the effort. Our first-year profs also always allowed students to come up directly after class to ask questions, so that's another easy way to get to know them. Second year is the toughest, but honestly it was easier than I was expecting. Classes also get smaller this year since you're in life sci specifically and no longer in general science.

Hope this helps!

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