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2nd Degree, 2 years - What 5 Full Year Courses in Sciences?

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Hi All,


Just wanted to ask a very simple question.

What do you recommend/advise as the 5 Full Year courses in sciences for someone who will be doing a second degree? My first degree (in HRM) I managed by with a 2.94 average C+.


My hope is to get into a medical school with the best 2 years of study. Aiming for A's only. I just want to know I am on the right path. I am at YORK U for what it's worth.


First Year: 30 Credits Total

- 1 Full Year General Bio with Lab.............................(3+3 Credit as it is split fall/winter)

- 1 Full Year General Chem with Lab.........................(3+3 Credit as it is split fall/winter)

- Humanities/Social Science....................................(6 Credit)

- Mathematics (Calculus)........................................(3+3 Credit as it is split fall/winter)

- Physics..............................................................(6 Credit)


Second Year: F + W

- Biochem (half year course) + Org.chem (half year course) (3+3 Credit as it is split fall/winter)

- Anatomy (half year course) + Physiology (half year course) (3+3 Credit as it is split fall/winter)

- Cell Biology (half year course) + Genetics (half year course) (3+3 Credit as it is split fall/winter)

- Open?

- Open?


Any suggestions?

Should I go with an upper year humanities/social science? or stay first year?

What should I include in my second year that I have not included?




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Which schools are you looking at exactly? The reason I ask is because I think Queens/dal are the only ones that have the "2-best-yr" rule, and they have other hoops to jump. Plus, they have recently changed their evaluation and although I'm not sure of the general consensus here in the forum, taking a majority of 1st yr courses may be a little suspect.


Unless you have something else to add, I actually think your plan is not very good. Add another year on, and you might be OK, but you need to flesh out the courses.


-Queens needs certain marks on certain sections of the MCAT

-Dal interviews a fair few from out-of-province (OOP), but has very few seats for those people

-UofT- I would hazard a guess that you would have great difficulty getting in there regardless

-MUN- very difficult for OOP

-NOSM- you will not satisfy their second degree criteria

-McGill- I doubt you will satisfy their second degree criteria

-UWO is revising their second degree policies but it does not look like you will satisfy their criteria

-McMaster looks at all marks ever taken

-Ottawa looks at your best 3 yrs, so if your last year of your 1st degree is OK, you may be fine

-The prairie schools will be out for you, probably (unless you are manitoba or saskatchewan resident)

-BC is always changing but I would hazard a guess that if you are not a resident it would be unlikely for you.

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I was going to edit my last post but decided to change it instead.


-Calgary is no longer a "best 2 yrs" school, and you will only have your worst year dropped.

-UWO, although they are a "best 2 yrs" school, have a rule about courses at or equal to your year of study, and your plan does not fulfill their criteria even in the most lenient case. They are also adjusting their second degree policy (or so I hear).

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Thank you for the detailed information Kylamonkey. I really appreciate that you took the time to do that for me. Means tons!!!

Yes, my options are super slim and chances are also low. But I have read the hopeful stories and am still a hopeful non-trad.


I am okay to finish a second degree if I have to... school started today and I am loving my courses thus far.


I don't even know if any of the schools will consider my first degree as anything more than crap. I never took a full course load until my last year. I don't even know what category my mess of a transcript falls under. Here have a short look: (30 credits per year without summer equals 5 full year courses, Full course =6.00, Half = 3.00, SU = Summer, FW = Fall Winter)


SU:05 - I started my first year in the summer before my actual degree start date. I did 2 full year courses, first year. B's

FW:05 - I took 1 full year course, and 6 half years. I redid 3 of these courses in in SU 07


SU:06 - I took a half year course, ended up redoing it SU 07

FW:06 - Took 6 half credit courses, ended up redoing 2, one in SU 07 and FW 07


SU:07 - Took 5 half credit coures, includes repeated ones.

FW:07 - (FINAL YEAR) took 5 Full year courses and 2 half credit, includes the repeated one. I averaged out to a B this year. Which I think is the only one they will consider a "FULL" year on my transcript. Mix of 1st and 3rd yr courses.


I come from a single parent family. It was important for me to get my degree as soon as I could so I could help out my mom. I also worked full-time during this period to pay for myself and school since OSAP hardly provided anything because I always had some sort of income. Going to professional school was out of the question for someone in my situation and status financially at the time. Growing up I always nursed my friends and family back to health and even with pets I was pretty much hands-on and problem solving, being AWESOME (lol). People always said I should be a doctor, that I am smart and capable, and I loved the whole IDEA of it (that or be a model, an actress or broadcaster lol), I just wasn't all there in high school... grade 9 I was awesome, grade 10,11 I cared more for my hair and clothes more than school, that summer I took private school to make up my grade 11 U pre-reqs I didn't end up passing. Second half of grade 12 I managed to be honours again. During univ. I also managed to run for student council, coordinate events, etc. Though my marks don't show it. I was very much active in student life and helping people do their best, I was somehow a mentor in 2 core HR classes, and also a trusted exam marker. I understood the material well, I just didn't apply it properly. I was always tired or missing class or working. I just wasn't focusing on my marks. At the time I didn't need to or want to focus at all. Again, I was an honours student in high school. Life it happens and throws us off our beat. All I can do is make up for it now... any way I can. So forgive me if I look like a real &*$% up on paper, I am actually not. I have the support of family and friends who are in the very profession I am interested in... so please know that this is important to me and that I am will to put in blood sweat and tears to do this. So is my mom emotionally and financially. And that above all means the world to me.


So back to the story of my transcript (and life) : A year and a half after I graduated and was working for a great company in a different field than my degree, I got semi-certified in Internal Auditing that year. Then, I got laid off during the recession period where all the companies panicked. I was so good at my job, I basically worked myself to be jobless. I had the opp. to switch into another department but I needed a serious change so I declined. In order to fully move forward in Accounting I needed to get my CMA, CGA or CAA. I wasn't big on repeating university for simply just that. My heart wasn't in it and I was happy with 13k in severance package they were offering me.

THEN, finally, I decided that going back to school was a good way to figure out what I wanted to do. So in FW of 2009/2011 I went back and did 4 half courses over a year in higher level courses.

FW09 AP ADMS 4515 3.00 A Internal Audit B+

FW09 AP PPAS 3000 3.00 A Politics Policy & Law of Minority Rights B

FW09 AP PPAS 3135 3.00 D Public Law I A

FW09 AP PPAS 3136 3.00 P Public Law II A


With this my major is GPA .06 points to a B. (Instead of C+ as previously mentioned, I may have done the GPA calc wrong.. so who knows).

As you can see I totally ACE'd my Law classes in public policy. I considered law but I couldn't see myself being a lawyer. I continued in Auditing because I wanted to see if I was just being "lose hearted" in my career path. I wasn't. I hated it. I thought government work was for me, but I didn't think I would be happy in another office setting either.

My mother was a small business owner for many of years and she loved what she did... being your own boss had great perks. So I decided to buy into a small fast food burger place with my mother. I took over. It did sorta well but I couldn't support it in the long hours and high overhead costs. The food business isn't as easy as it looks. In the end I sold it for basically nothing... That leads me to now. After job shadowing a dentist, I realized I liked it, but it wasn't quite IT for me. After a long hard month of researching and openly discussing my intentions of becoming a doctor, I found my calling. It was exactly what I wanted and needed to be. I have a million and one reasons I want to do this, some similar to yours, some different, some probably not even good enough. I am in now, and I don't want to go back. This was no easy decision for me .. I am 25, the thought of 8 years in school scared me to the point I had anxiety and had hesitations. I would be 32 by the time I finish. Being a woman, it is not easy at all to think about. Not being able to have children during that time? What about marriage? What about travelling? What about buying pretty shoes and clothes and dining out?! All of it, everything I was used to and wanted, I had to sacrifice. I thought I would be married with an awesome career by now. Everything in my life thus has been a learning exerience and the struggles have made me stronger. I don't know many people who have managed to experience the things I have. But I am ready for a new challenge...and I know very well I am taking a big risk! I do know this. I do in many ways. CANADA is awesome I want to stay here for sure. BUT I wont need to stay here if I am not what the schools are looking for. I can't help it but I won't give up. My family doctor was a classical studies major at Western, did the 2 years pre-reqs, went to Ireland, then Sask for res. and came back to Toronto. These stories are becoming more and more common. YA its hard. BUT there is always a way. And so far, this path I am on, new doors keep opening for me so I know it's right. With the support, faith and tenacity I have - I can and will "move mountains" (as one of the success stories said.)


So here I am doing a second degree in science and loving it. I need the math and physics for the MCAT. So those are a must. If I end up having to go abroad for school, I need the pre-reqs of first year. I will take a fourth year HUMA/SOSC to help with the upper year requirements. Hopefully schools will take that into consideration. Some Masters programs also look at the two best years. I am okay to go down that path too, while waiting for a medical school to accept me. I am okay with whatever life throws my way. Giving up because its HARD or SLIM, not for me. If I fail I'll get back up. Only time will tell. [END RANT]


AND HERE I AM. I know marks and Test score are what is most important in any professional field you want to get into. I get it, I messed up, I am making up for it more than you know and am willing to do so without complaint.


So, now... I am in need of some good advice and a little bit of of cheer :) I gotta run to class now!!! EEK this took too much time, will have to post raw.


Thanks all for taking time to read this... hopefullyin a few years I can post in the success portion of this forum! <3 All the best everyone.


Edit: Sorry for spelling/grammer erros. Not the best at writing about my whole life story.

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Hi DeeKay,


I am in a similar academic situation, as well as many on this site. I aim for,

Queen's (most recent 2 full-time years at 60% course load, no requirement of finishing second degree);

Ottawa (most recent 3 full-time years at 80%-100% course load, no MCAT required, no requirement of finishing second degree); and

Westen Ontario (best 2 full-time years at 100% course load, with restrictions on course level (be careful of transfer credits), and can only apply in final year of second degree)

Your first degree GPA will hinder your chances for med schools that consider the entire academic transcript, same as our first degrees. But will not hinder your chances for the above Ontario medical schools.

As long as the prerequisites are completed, I would choose whatever course/degree that one can earn a higher GPA in.

Bear in mind that admission policies can always change too.


Cheers and Support! as many of us need it too


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Thanks so much ETCH.


Good to hear some people are in the same boat. I had to downgrade my courses into the introductory science ones, they set me back a semester but I am okay with that. If I continued regularly, I wouldn't have gotten the Point Average I needed. OH WELLS :)


I was looking at dentistry as some of the comments on this thread were a tad negative (but realistic I suppose). I am okay with dentistry as a secondary option if by the time the cut offs change :) I like business and owning my own dental clinic and specializing in dentistry seems like an okay Plan D. (B&C is keep applying)


Thanks for the support and cheers! Here is me CHEERING BACK.

Lets work hard and achieve our dreams <3


THanks everyone.

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Hi DeeKay,


I'm considering dentistry as one of my other options too. Good news that our first degree GPA will not hinder our chances for Ontario dental schools such as UofT, as seen below.

Page 5 of, http://www.utoronto.ca/dentistry/admissions/DDSLit2012.pdf


The Faculty of Dentistry will only consider the most recent undergraduate program of study for all applicants who have completed more than one undergraduate university degree. As well, the worst academic year will be dropped from the calculation of an applicant's cumulative grade point average provided that (a) the applicant has completed four or more years of university education by May 31st of the proposed year of entry, and (B) the year with the lowest grades is not the applicant's most recently completed year of study.


I have not done my research on admission to Western Ontario's Schulich School of Dentistry yet.


Therefore, we start as a brand new applicant ;) at least for these schools that gives us second chances, as we continue the marathon.

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Will add my two cents since I am going into the second year of my second undergrad (4 years honours condensed into 2). Similarly to what others have said, schools that look at cumulative gpa like Mac you won't have a chance no matter how good your second degree is, but you do have options with the schools that look at top two years/best two years/schools that will look solely at your second undergrad.


I had a 3.2-3.3 gpa for my first undergrad in sciences (Haven't caluclated it yet exactly) but I got a 3.95 in my first year of my second undergrad (Social Science degree-health studies...not health SCIENCES lol at Mac). Even with stellar marks in these two second undergrad years my cgpa won't change much so it'll be tough...maybe with a masters mac would consider me after.


My only word of advice is to find out how this second degree of yours works? It will be for the completion of an actual degree correct? If it's 2 years sounds similar in setup to mine, where you will have mostly core classes with little room for electives with limited restrictions.


Also, biggest advice is that I am pretty sure that you need to have 6 out of 10 courses for the year at the level that you are at. So last year (My 1st year of my second undergrad but counted as going into 3rd year) I had to have 6 out of my 10 courses at 3rd year and above (I took 3 out of 5 per semester just to make sure). This is to keep you from taking introductory level first year courses to fill up your schedule during this second undergrad as med schools want them to be upper year courses (I know Western's website states this for sure and I'm assuming most would follow this policy similarly).


Anyways, just thought I'd let you know this and also words of encouragement that I am doing it and it's working out somewhat for me these days :)

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