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Second degree help please


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Hello all,

To be honest, I've creeped a bit on these forums for a while but never posted. I've been reluctant to post mostly because I have seen many members trying to "psyc out" others on the forms in the past and didn't want to have any added stress to the application process...I have applied to med school two times now without being successful and have decided to post, in hopes of finding some help...

I want to complete a second degree (did my first degree with a BSc in health sciences GPA 3.2) and hadn't done so in the past because I felt that even though my GPA was low, my application was competitive enough to maybe get in (especially since I had been wait-listed (top 60) my first year applying).

I'm hoping to complete a second degree in one year and am looking for a student friendly school where I will be able to do well. In my first degree, overall I did do well, mostly A's every year, however, in my second year, due to personal and health issues, I did terribly, bringing down my total GPA. I know that if I do a second degree I can get a better GPA, I've just been weary of going back to school (I'm from a rural area and would have to relocate).

I also read on one of the threads that Guelph does offer distance ed but I wasn't able to find anything about it ? I did a minor in psychology, so I'm looking to either do a BA and finish off my psych degree or just do a second BSc but I do know that many schools don't allow two degrees in the same program.

Thanks in advance for any input!

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So I don't know anything about second degrees but.....

 

Have you thought about grad school? You can apply pretty much anytime and there is a universe of opportunities out there! You can do something you find meaningful, you can do something course-based, you can do anything. Also, when you finish you will have got your career off to a good start. I could go on and on.

 

I didn't do so hot in undergrad but I did surprisingly well on the MCAT. I think this is because I'm not a classroom learner or an exam taker, but I really enjoyed science. Grad school is a great fit for people like me, because you get the hands on aspect, you get to pick something you find interesting and you get paid.

 

Think about where you would be in two years if you were finishing up a masters as opposed to finishing up a second bachelors... Getting into medicine is a crap-shoot and there is no way to ensure you get in, so having a back up plan is prudent.

 

Second degrees may be very helpful for meds though (I am sorry to hijack your question with this off topic response).

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There is a lot you have to think about before starting a second degree, Aronek. Make sure to consult all of the stickied threads above, they'll give you a good start.

 

I don't think doing a second degree in one year is a good idea. Many schools will not actually count this as a "full" second degree, they require a minimum number of credits in this degree. You'll want to do at least two years in a second degree, perhaps three.

 

You will also need to be very careful in your course selection to ensure that you meet criteria of all of the second degree friendly schools (such as no repeats and courseload containing over 60% upper level courses for Western).

 

The key is to do your homework. I would use what's been written on the forums as a start point, but ultimately don't listen to others - look up every school's policy individually, and chart out your next few years. THEN run your plan by people on the forums to see if we find any flaws with it.

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For distance education, some universities offer degree programs through distance education, others just offer courses.

 

Here are some distance education resources you can look at:

 

http://www.athabascau.ca/

degree programs through Athabasca: http://www2.athabascau.ca/programs/undergraduate.php

 

http://www.open.uoguelph.ca/

http://www.open.uoguelph.ca/offerings/

 

http://www.cvu-uvc.ca/english.html

degree programs: http://www.cvu-uvc.ca/cgi-bin/cvu/cvuinfo.cgi?qn=institution〈=en

 

Good luck. You are correct - some universities won't allow you to do a second degree in a subject that you previously minored in, so check the policies for the universities in which you are interested. Also, some schools won't allow you to do a BSc if you already have a BSc. Others will, but it has to be an entirely new subject (ie. not one you have majored or minored in before).

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I'm going through a similar process as you right now...I just applied to a few programs at UWO for September. Simpy and MarathonRunner were both great at helping me figure out what programs I should look into to give myself the best shot at as many medical schools as possible. I'm not nearly as knowledgeable on the subject as they are, as I'm just starting to go through the med application process myself, but I can tell you that Guelph will NOT allow you to do a second BSc if it has more than 25% overlap from your first BSc degree. I tried that route, and ended up wasting $60 in application fees because in all of my dealings with them, they neglected to inform me of that one critical detail. Only after I applied via OUAC did I get an email from them telling me I'm ineligible for a second BSc. Definitely look around at other schools, though. UWO will let you do a second degree, and I'm pretty sure Queens will too. Hope this helps!

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Mike raises a good point: be sure to check with each university to find out what their policies are regarding second degrees.

 

Some universities won't allow you to do a second BSc if you already have a BSc (but will allow you to do a BA, a BASc, a BEng, etc.) Other schools will let you do a second BSc, but it has to be in a subject that you didn't previously major or minor in. Other schools just say that the two degrees can't have required courses that overlap by a certain amount (25%, 50%, etc.) Some have a combination of these policies. So be sure to investigate each school's policies - generally you can find them in the online calendar.

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I don't think doing a second degree in one year is a good idea. Many schools will not actually count this as a "full" second degree, they require a minimum number of credits in this degree. You'll want to do at least two years in a second degree, perhaps three.

 

This is an excellent point. Most universities won't allow you to transfer more than two years' worth of previous credits to the second degree, thus requiring at least two years to complete a second degree. (4 years for a typical degree minus 2 years' worth of transfer credits = 2 years to complete a second degree). If you don't have some of the pre-requisites for upper-year courses in the second degree, that two years could easily become 3.

 

As simpy said, many medical schools won't consider a second degree program if it is only one year in duration. For example, the BEd post-degree programs in Ontario that are only one year in duration won't be considered by medical schools. Yet provinces with two year BEd post-degree programs will count those courses/grades, as the programs are two years in duration.

 

So, as I said in my previous post, be sure to check out the policies of the schools that interest you.

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Thanks everyone for all of the input, I really appreciate the help!

I had thought about a masters and had started doing some research towards a Master's degree last summer, I had to end up returning home to help my family and decided not to do it.

I came to the decision to do a second undergrad after talking to an admission's officer at NOSM (which is where I'm hoping to get in due to my northern/rural background) who had suggested that a second undergrad was my best bet...the trouble I am having now is finding a university and a program. I will definitely read some of the other threads and re-post once I have a better idea.

Thanks again!

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Hi simpy and Marathon,

 

I graduated with a BA from Ottawa U. Am planning to go back and do nursing and get BsCN. I plan to do the full 4 yrs and complete the program then apply for med school at the end of the 4 yrs so that hopefully I will have good grades and if I dont get in, I will at least be able to work as nurse until i can re-apply again the following year.

 

Question, will this work for Ottawa U or U of T or Queens university med school?

 

If I do get into nursing, what subjects would you recommend I take as electives to help better my chances to get into med schools at the end of the 4 yrs. Also what GPA should I strive to attain?

 

thanls for your answers

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another important consideration when attempting to do a second degree in 1 year (if its even possible) is that it will disqualify you from certain schools.

 

UWO in particular will only look at your second degree and thus you will only have 1 year to work with (not enough). Most other schools don't even look at your current year, so it will actually become at least a two year process.

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Mars_Bound, you should be fine at any school as long as you do very well in your 4 years and have good MCAT and ECs. There may be more efficient ways for you to get in though... It may be advantageous to take the MCAT and see how well you can do. If you can rock the MCAT and thus can qualify for schools that only require a 2 year GPA, you can align your plans accordingly.

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Hi simpy and Marathon,

 

I graduated with a BA from Ottawa U. Am planning to go back and do nursing and get BsCN. I plan to do the full 4 yrs and complete the program then apply for med school at the end of the 4 yrs so that hopefully I will have good grades and if I dont get in, I will at least be able to work as nurse until i can re-apply again the following year.

 

Question, will this work for Ottawa U or U of T or Queens university med school?

 

If I do get into nursing, what subjects would you recommend I take as electives to help better my chances to get into med schools at the end of the 4 yrs. Also what GPA should I strive to attain?

 

thanls for your answers

 

Very cool, Mars Bound! I think that's a great idea. Make sure to work hard, but either way you are going to be in a career you'll enjoy!

 

I also believe EBDOC is correct about your nursing degree being valid everywhere (there are some issues with accelerated nursing I think, but shouldn't be any with a 4-year one). Best of luck!

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a second degree, 3 or 4 years is a good idea. i have a BSN from UVIC but med school will only count my last year of course work because they are official university courses, all the previous years were college courses (rural centre), transfered to Uni...in my case i maintained an A average in the first years which were based in human sciences, nursing skills, and pharmo. the majority of which was evaluated by objective exam. the last year was essay after essay about 'self and others', and 'community development', all marked subjectively. my average went down to between B and B+..stupid me, i thought all my grades would be taken into consideration! anyhoo, i am hoping i can talk about how well i have done in medical sciences and that my life experiences can strengthen my app. i hope there is a chance for me to explain marked switch in the content of my program. if i lived in a city i would have done all courses at a university.

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hi there,

 

i have done my degree and am working F/T as an RN. i was able to use 4 credits from my first Uni degree, for the electives for my second. everything i did at college level for 2nd degree was accepted by UVIC, but only that last year counts for cGPA. for NOSM, where I will apply, they will take the best degree's GPA, which is my 2nd, but only the last year of it! but of course, i still have a 4 year degree.

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