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The UBC Selection Committee and 'bird' courses

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This was posted in the premed general forum:


Although the degree may not matter as much as some people think, the courses an applicant takes sure will make a difference. A professor who has friends in the Adcom once said they DO look at the number of "bird" courses an applicant takes. It may be okay if an applicant occasionally takes one or two of those well-known "bird" courses to balance his/her work load. When this kind of "balancing" happens too often, it will negatively affect the applicant's chance of getting in.


Sorry if I cannot be more specific. The professor was actually warning his students in his science class not to over do the bird courses. He actually named out several course codes and said how his ad com friends discussed and frowned upon them. Hey, no hard feelings if you have your doubt. Just want to warn others ahead of time.... Sure, it's not possible for ad com of any med school to know what are bird courses of all other universities. They do know within their own school.


I called the admissions office. Their number is 604-875-8298, office hours are 1pm to 4pm PST.


To clarify, the bird courses CarolynH was talking about are just 1st and 2nd year courses taken during upper years. Your AQ and NAQ scores are calculated without knowledge of each other. However, applications are looked at holistically by the selection committee after interview scores are tallied. They see if there are too many 1st or 2nd year courses in your 3rd and 4th years. You have nothing to worry about if you took courses appropriate for your respective years.


If they see too many low level courses in your upper years, it raises a red flag. Whether they've denied applicants admission with that being the sole reason.. no idea.


The selection committee does not discriminate against courses that were rumored to be easy, as long as the course level was appropriate for your level of education.


Does anyone have anything to add?

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Does anybody know if the inverse situation is true? For instance, if you're a 1st year student and you're taking 300 and 400 level courses, do they consider that if your marks aren't as high as a 3rd year taking a senior level course? (e.g. as a 1st year pharmacy student you're required to take 300 level physiology and anatomy)

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I know people who have taken years of GPA boosters from 100 to 400 level. Pretty sure they just toss your average into a formula...


Why do you think so many people are now in "easier" programs? If you can game the system, why not?


Exactly. If adcom is so keen on preventing people from gaming the system, they should be alot more holistic in the initial screening for interview invites, like the US.

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