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Assistance Calculating GPA

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I am a student from the maritimes and am having difficulty calculating my GPA for admission to Dalhousie.


I have two degrees and my university years look like this;



First Degree

Year 1 - full time (10 courses)

Year 2 - ""

Year 3 - ""

Year 4 - ""


Courses Taken Out of Interest (aka did not know what to do with my life)

Year 5 - 7 courses (four first semester, three second semester).


Second Degree

Year 6 - full time (10 courses)

Year 7 - Five courses first semester

Year 8 - Five courses second semester


Due to the fact I fulfilled all of my electives for my second degree from my first degree, I only had to attend a single semester for each of my last two years (year 7 and 8).


It is a pain because the GPA for my second degree is 3.9 while my first is 3.0.


So for Dalhousie what years would I take into consideration? Would I need to consider three years? And would year five be considered full-time.


I emailed Dal Medicine Admissions about this a little over a month ago but have yet to hear back.


I was hoping someone here may be able to give me a bit of guidance.

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There are 2 ways Dal calculates GPA for undergraduate work:


1. Most recent 2 consecutive years of full-time study; for you, since your only full-time year during your second degree is separated from your first degree by non-full-time coursework (10 courses/year), it won't be able to used in this type of calculation. They would have to use the last 2 years of your first degree, which might not make the GPA cut-off. Though it is likely they won't use a 2-year calculation at all since your most recent 2 years of study aren't 10courses/year. Furthermore, each of these 2 years would have to have a GPA of 3.3/4


2. Best 3 years for people who have graduated. This is the category under which you would likely fall. They would use your most recent year of 10 courses/year from your second degree (year 6) and the two best years from your first degree because they will only use 10 course years. All 3 of these years have to have a GPA of 3.3 or better.


If you don't have 3 years of 10courses/year with each having a GPA of 3.3, you might not be eligible this year. You would have to do an additional year. The good news is that if you rock another year, your GPA would be solely made up of year 6 and your next year. From the sounds of things, you might be able to pull off a 3.9 GPA by doing another year. So don't be discouraged! Hope this helps.

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Thank you very much for the assistance college dude.


What I am curious about is this part under section II.5 of the Faculty of Medicine calendar. http://dlm.cal.dal.ca/_MEDI.htm#3


While we would ordinarily expect a candidate to have 2 consecutive years in which 5 full classes were carried while achieving a minimum GPA of 3.3, the Admissions Committee would accept application from candidates who have demonstrated compelling reasons for not having met these stated course work requirements or who have unusual qualifications.


My second degree was an applied science in radiography and during my semesters off I trained with the military.


I am not sure if that is compelling enough reasons as to why I dont have 2 consecutive years of full time study or if that statement is for students who may have been ill during school.


I plan to write the MCAT in Jan 2013. No writing sample section that year but I imagine it will still be extremely challenging.

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This comes directly from the admissions website:



Normally, only courses taken in the academic year (September to April) will be included in the calculation of your GPA.

Individual courses taken during a summer session are not counted in the calculation of the GPA.

Full-time years must be consecutive.

A full-time summer semester does not replace a semester of studies within an academic year.

Playing a varsity sport as a general rule does not exempt an applicant from carrying a full course load.

We do not attempt to adjust the GPA for degree of difficulty of any particular program. We use the marking scheme published by OMSAS.

Students who are registered in a co-operative education program (co-op) will be assessed using the four most recent academic semesters.

Transfer credits from another institution do not constitute sufficient reason for a reduced course load prior to applying. Instead, applicants are encouraged to explore a broader range of course work in areas their degree program may not have enabled.



There are rare exceptions to an applicant being permitted to apply without meeting the full course load requirement. Extenuating circumstances that may be considered (with supporting documentation) may include, but are not limited to:


Working Full time ie 30+ hours per week

Illness – personal or family that would require some adjustment in your academic schedule.


I'd recommend that you keep trying to get in touch with the admissions office; however, I wouldn't count on having them grant an exception out of fairness to other applicants. That said, you have a lengthy academic history that shows an upward trend so it's always worth trying!

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Thanks again collegedude. I really appreciate your help man.


I think the writing is on the wall. I guess the only way to roll with this is to head back to school for another eight months.


But if I rock this year maybe it would make me a bit more competitive.


I guess sacrifices must be made in order to pursue dreams. Too bad I didn't know what I wanted to do when I was 18.

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I know you said you've tried to contact the admissions office and are still waiting to hear back but I really think that is the best thing to do. This is an odd situation because you did a "full course" load during each semester that you were in school which is really what they are looking for in terms of being able to manage your time in school.


It is quite possible that they may even take year 6 as one year and combine year 7 and 8 to be another year and therefore give you the 2 years as required. Only the admissions office can actually answer though. Before you go back and try to figure out whether or not you are eligible and whether or not you need to do more school if not you really do need to speak with the admissions office.



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