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University of Waterloo Graduates PLEASE!!!

Guest aditiarora

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Guest aditiarora

I'm looking to hear from anyone out there and as many people as possible who are IN medical school (ANY medical school) in Canada, who came from the University of Waterloo!

I'm headed there in September, in the Honours Science degree program.

Any tips, recommendations, courses to take (mark-boosters!!), courses to stay away from, profs to try and get, profs to avoid, traps to avoid falling in... I'm looking for THE WORKS here! :) Also, did you find that you were at a disadvantage being from Waterloo because there is no med school that considers you in their geographical "area"??

Anything and everything you could offer would be much appreciated!! thanks! :0)

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Guest babytiger

hellllo aditiarora,


i "think"-not sure.. i still have couple more days think. lol- i'm gogin to waterloo this september too!!

i will be in pre-optometry/pre-health.


i've seen three other people who are in med from waterloo from this forum i think.

waterloo not having its own med school was my biggest concern too..


however, people DO get into medicine from waterloo. and i also heard that there are many research oppourtinities on campus :) well nice meetin you. hopefully i'll see you sept!




OH. i could use some tips on courses and other stuff too :)

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Guest ninjapunk

"Also, did you find that you were at a disadvantage being from Waterloo because there is no med school that considers you in their geographical "area"??"


I'm only applying fom Waterloo this year, but I can tell you that Western considers all 519 areas codes (Waterloo) in its geographical area.

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Guest macMDstudent

I went to Waterloo and graduated more than 10 years ago and was accepted to Mac this past year. I don't know if I can answer your specific questions about profs/courses etc. since that is so long ago, but everything I did qualified me at Mac. I took kinesiology and took all my biology, physics and chemistry with the science students (life science stream). There is also a UW engineer in my class as well as some people from Waterloo in the classes ahead of me.


McMaster used to consider geographical status if you were in the "Hamilton Health Region," which included K-W by the way since all the hospitals in Kitchener have Mac as their tertiary care centre. But I seem to recall that McMaster considered all of Ontario equally last year, with no preference from a certain geographical area.


Good luck and work hard. I don't know if Chem 124 (Intro to organic chemistry which we called Killer Chem) is still offered but if it is, just remember it is very manageable as long as you stay on top of it. Don't let people freak you out and scare you how hard things are. They're not, if you stay focused. That is really true for all courses, though, isn't it?

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Guest Nightrider

Well, I'm not in med school yet, but I am waitlisted (is that close enough? :P ). I've just finished my third year of the Honours Pre-Op/Pre-Health program, but I am changing my major to honours Science (or just General Science if I get into med school). So, I will try to think back all the way to first year...if you can, try to get Dr. John Smith for first year physics (He's a great teacher, and he's the cutest old British man you could imagine), and try to get Dr. Bissonnette for first year chem (he's a great teacher...STAY AWAY from Dr. Chieh if you can - he's not so good). Dr. Bols teaches first year cell bio (BIOL 130), and he's fantastic. I did a research term with him last summer. I stuck pretty much with the recommended electives in first year (PSYCH 101, calculus) and I've found that having those has been a real benefit (e.g. PSYCH 101 is a prereq for a lot of upper year courses). Have some fun too, and take what interests you...I've taken music, french and history, purely out of interest. While they haven't been my highest marks, they haven't killed my average either. In short, take what you love. In my years at Waterloo I have had very few BAD profs, and a lot of profs that range from mediocre to very good. You have a great 3 or 4 years ahead of you. Good luck!


Just let me know if you want any more information



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Guest everyoneloveschem

Okay, so I must agree ABSOLUTELY, do not take anything taught by Chieh!!! The guy has tenure, so they cannot get rid of him, instead they make him teach chemistry to people they are not trying to keep in chemistry: engineers and everyone else in science. He is brutal. Try getting into the chem for honours chem first year course taught by Bissonette, he is great. Dr. Power, my honours project prof is also great. My one recommendation is pick fun electives. My mom told me how much fun she had had in her undergrad doing a programming course, so I stupidly signed up for one, which was hell. Choose electives that interest you, languages, classics, music, etc. It'll keep you going.

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Guest steak

Well, I've just finished my first year of my 3rd degree (2nd at UW) and all of my courses this past year were 1st/2nd year sciences. First and foremost, I have to agree with the last two comments about Chieh. Was enrolled in one of his courses and dropped it (thankfully).


Wasn't quite so fond of Bissonnette as the previous two posters. He wasn't bad - just found the final exam was a bit of an ambush/massacre.


Chem 124 is still offered in the winter term, and despite all the horrible warnings I had about it before taking it, I found it both very enjoyable (much moreso than chem 120/123) and very manageable - I got an 85 and certainly didn't neglect my other courses to get it. You may want to consider taking this one by DE since it's nice to be able to review prof. notes and lectures as many times as you need to (DE taught by Graham Woolford)..


Good luck in the fall!

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Guest Head Dawg



Just finished 3 yrs of honours science and I'm starting med in the fall (Mac). It is possible! I know of at least a half dozen of my classmates also heading for med this year, to Toronto, Western, Ottawa, Mac and McGill.

From what I or anyone else have seen, there is NO disadvantage being from this area and applying to out of town schools. Ottawa requires a higher G.P.A. if you're from outside their region, but the cut-off is manageable (I got an interview there too)

As for 1st year profs, here are a quick few suggestions,

physics = anderson and smith are great.

biology = bols is super, charles can be tough

chem = cheih is BAD (see above!) bissonnette and nazar were good to me


I took electives in math(standard) and lots of economics(many good profs in the faculty)


Good luck in the fall.

H2O LO2 Science Rocks and Waterloo!!!!!

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Guest babytiger

THANKYOU ninjapunk, macMDstudent, nightrider, everyoneloveschem, steak, and head hawg for great awesome information!!! :D


didn't realize that there were this many med/premeds from waterloo before. this is great.

i think i will go to waterloo this fall. i feel very relieved now. phew.


choosing a undergrad seemed so easy, but as i kept getting acceptances i got confused and eventually.. lost.


when i told people that i might go to waterloo.. people looked at me like i'm crazy.. and asked "why would you go there? it doesnt' have med school" also i got many "oh waterloo's so dead. dont' do there"


blah. it may not have med school.. but i think it has intersting programs.. (pre-health/pre-opt and other coop) and the classes are small (unlike UT and Mcgill) and overall it is a nice, small, quiet environment. (some may call this dead.. but since i'm from TO. i think i could use soem quietness for couple years.


i have to send my response in couple days.. when i have to choose my courses, i will post more questions!!! (my endless questions...) mwahah


well thanks everyone for great great input.

i really appreciate it. annnnddd i love this forum.. what would i do without it??? haha. i'm learning so much and at the same time.. it helps me stay focused. its so great.. BIG thanks to IAN too.


i'm out now. byebye.

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Guest aneliz

As a member of the UWO admissions committee I can GUARANTEE you that UWO DOES NOT consider Waterloo to be in its 'region'...


Preference is given to students that are legit residents of SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO (Windsor, Chatham, Sarnia, London, Tillsonburg, Ingersoll, Tavistock, Kincardine, Wingham, St Mary's, Stratford, etc) Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph, even though they have 519 phone numbers, are NOT considered southwest, and students from these communities DO NOT receive any preference from UWO...the preference is not determined by phone number anyway...but that is beside the point.


Another point to consider: any preferences at any schools will be based on your PERMANENT address...not your undergraduate school...so, someone from BC that does their undergrad at UWO, would still be a BC resident for med school purposes unless they had PERMANENTLY moved to Ontario when they started undergrad and not returned to BC every summer...

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Guest ninjapunk

Yikes! My second post on this forum and I'm already spreading misinformation. Apologies all. I got that information from the association of Canadian Medical Colleges ( www.acmc.ca/AdmissionBook/UWOweb.html ) If you're on the admissions comittee you may want to ask them to correct it.


Thanks for setting me straight, though having lived in KW all my life I am a little dissapointed :-(



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Guest TimmyMax

Hey all,


Unfortunately, it is not the role of the individual schools to ensure the accuracy of the information presented by outside sources, rather it is the other way around. I found that out the hard way with an outdated set of admissions criteria sent to me by the Oxford Review people back in 1999. It discouraged me from applying to UWO and Queen's my first time around (despite having the stats to make the cutoffs- I could have been a 2005 as well!) and ironically, those were the two schools I eventually was accepted into. :)

Anyway, it's good to see K-W represented in this thread, but you all need to go to a real school like Laurier instead of fooling around with this UW stuff. And play field lacrosse.

Seriously- two former members of the WLU varsity field lacrosse team are here at UWO- one in 2005 and one in 2006 (me). So yes, play lacrosse- the quickest route into UWO Meds! ;) (Not a guarantee)


Best of luck!


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Guest aneliz

Hey Ninjapunk,


Sorry my post was a little harsh...the 'bonus points' issue has been a source of tension around here in the past and I just wanted to clarify things before more ugly rumours got started.


I know exactly what that site says..and while it is interesting reading, the "519 advantage" is not the only inaccuracy about UWO that is there.


I suggest that you treat anything that does not come directly from the school itself with a bit of skepticism...


Good luck!

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Guest ec416

It's great to hear that there's an UW engineer at Mac. I've been trying to find out how many beer-demolishing iron ringers are in med schools. :)


I graduated from Waterloo engineering in 2001. After working for a full year, I quit my job and started taking pre-req courses at U of T. I applied to Mac for this year and didn't get an interview. It was a bit frustrating (though understandably, considering the number of applicants) not able to obtain any feedback. My plan is to write the MCAT in August and apply to a bunch of schools for 2004.


Any advice for people like me?



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If you want to go to med, i wouldn't touch biochem. It's hard both co-op and non-co-op. Best program would be Biomedical Sciences. It gives you plenty of electives to take bird courses.

some of which include rec 280,rec 380, theres some good psych as well (psych 211, 212). I think the key is to have as many courses as possible that don't have final exams. (the courses mentioned above just have 4 midterms..)


It's a pretty decent school and if you are willing to put the effort into it, its a nice place to do pre-med.


I finished my 3rd year in april and am starting medschool at mac this fall

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Even easier than biomed is honours science at waterloo.


there are a lot of bull**** labs that you have to take in biomed like biol140L and chem 237L that are really tough but not prereqs. i don't even think you have to take phys111L and 112L, which are also very very tough.


waterloo is a fine school for premed imo. their honours thesis program is pretty good too. if you do your research (ask around) you can find profs that don't expect too much from you and give you an 85 in the end.


there are also plennnnty of bird courses at waterloo.

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hah here goes.


arts 301 LOL best "course" ever.

rec 280

biol 499 (it can be under the right prof. mine was!)

engl 109A

biol 250 not completely bird but 90 attainable relatively easy

stats 202 same as above if you're math inclined

engl140R (make sure it's with... that guy... i forget his name but do not pick Jewinski)

psych 253 DE (i forget which section)

hist 200 (i was told)

I heard that upper-year microbiol courses were pretty good, but you have to take biol 240, which is _tough_ but very cool imo.


I caution against:


phys 111L

phys 112L

biol 140L

chem 237L (notice a pattern?)

biol 265 (it's useless and stupid)

biol 359 (not that hard to get 80+ but tough to break 90 because the prof uses a lot of chicanery and shenanigans in her exams to bring marks down because materials is pretty simple. plus the prof is sometimes *****y & moody in person imo even though she appears nice most of the time)

biol 366 (same as above)

human nutrition, a 'health' course. I think it was hlth 3something It's deceptively tough but super interesting.


that's all from the top of my head. there were courses that I didn't include in the caution list because you have to take them for med school apps. ie biol 140 or orgo

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Hmmm...if not mistaken this is the FIRST thread I saw when I started browsing the premed101 forum a few years ago, before it was migrated onto this new platform. So I guess this is my home thread.


I went the other route in Waterloo. I graduated from software engineering.


In my opinion, software engineering is pretty good since you get to take the EASIEST courses out of softeng, computer engineering, and computer science. So you can pick and match courses that plays into your forte to get high GPA.


But if computer is not your thing you shouldn't try this.

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My birds:


there is no course easier than arts 301 with prof malone.


rec 280 and rec 380 with stephen smith are a easy 95+ as well with no final exam.


psych 212(educational psych) and psych 211(developmental psych) are an easy 85%+ with 4 non-cumulative midterms which require 1 day of studying. no final exam


I would also recommend english with prof fogel. he's pretty jokes. eng 344, 347, 251B. all no final exam


socwk(social work) 120R, 354R, 355R all distance ed with dale payne are very easy too and final exam questions are given in to you when the term starts. very easy.

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Its definitely possible to go to Waterloo and get into medical school. I and 5 of my classmates are going to Ottawa, I know 2 people going to Queens, 1 to western, and 1 to Toronto from this year and another 6 that went to medical schools in the past few years just off the top of my head. I was in AHS and I really liked HLTH 101 as a good course and HLTH 245, maybe not that easy but really helpful for the interview process. Forsey is the prof you want for Organic Chem (CHEM 266/267), I can't really think of anything else. Good luck!

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