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Hey everyone

 

After a talk with a faculty of science advisor at the University of Alberta I realized that they have this new(?) policy/rule of forcing people who are trying to do a 5th year to only take the classes that they need to graduate especially after they've gone over the 120 credits needed for graduation. How do I get around this? Has anyone experienced or is experiencing the same thing? I asked them if they would actually force me to drop my winter classes and he nodded and said that yes that is likely what would happen. If I explained the situation to them do you think they would let me extend my time and balance out my classes over the course of a year? Has anyone had any experience with this? He said for every class I take after 120 credits I have to get written permission for each and every class... I would really appreciate any advice/help. Has anyone whose done a 5th year or beyond had this experience? 

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That doesn't make sense and seems like a lie. I can see it from the perspective of crowding classes or not enough seats, but that is something the school planning administrators would buffer around.

 

If it is true, fight it and go to the ombudsperson. Policy change while you're planning your academic career is unfair.

 

Additionally, it could be that the FoS advisor was wrong, as many tend to be at big unis. Take it up the food chain.

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McGill has a comparable policy. If you're in your 5th year and are already over 120 credits, only courses that you require for your program will count for credit and affect your GPA. Therefore, you can sign up for additional course and delay graduation if you wish, but those extra courses can't be used to boost your overall GPA. I imagine they're trying to avoid people tacking on an extra year of purely easy electives just to boost GPA.

 

I should mention that a close friend of mine tried her utmost to circumvent this policy, using a lot of the methods Gohan mentioned, but was ultimately stonewalled. 

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McGill has a comparable policy. If you're in your 5th year and are already over 120 credits, only courses that you require for your program will count for credit and affect your GPA. Therefore, you can sign up for additional course and delay graduation if you wish, but those extra courses can't be used to boost your overall GPA. I imagine they're trying to avoid people tacking on an extra year of purely easy electives just to boost GPA.

 

I should mention that a close friend of mine tried her utmost to circumvent this policy, using a lot of the methods Gohan mentioned, but was ultimately stonewalled. 

One thing i would say is, for the OP to check what "not count for credit and affect your GPA" means specifically.

 

In my program, courses I took outside of it for med/gpa boosting, did not "count as credit and affect my GPA" in that, it was not used in my gpa calculations to determine honours, or count as credit TOWARDS MY DEGREE.

 

However, when it came time to apply to medical schools, ALL of those classes showed up on my transcripts and with credit weightings and grades - and were absolutely used in my GPA calculations for medical schools.

 

Ensure its not a program specific/school specific GPA calculation thing, which would be IRRELEVANT for your medical school applications. As long as the classes show up on your transcript, and with credit weightings and grades, then it is absolutely fine. The fact that your school wont use it in its INTERNAL GPA calculations, or count those classes towards your degree requirements its a moot point if you are already complete your degree requirements, and simply taking extra classes to boost med school prospects.

 

I may be a bit unclear in my wording, but read it a few times and it should make sense - and then go ask the registrar directly. Bypass the FoS advising office all together - they do NOT control what is on your official university transcript. 

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Hey everyone

 

After a talk with a faculty of science advisor at the University of Alberta I realized that they have this new(?) policy/rule of forcing people who are trying to do a 5th year to only take the classes that they need to graduate especially after they've gone over the 120 credits needed for graduation. I only need 3 more biology courses for my major and there saying I can only do those 3 in fall and then there requesting that I drop my winter classes. How do I get around this? Has anyone experienced or is experiencing the same thing? I asked them if they would actually force me to drop my winter classes and he nodded and said that yes that is likely what would happen. If I explained the situation to them do you think they would let me extend my time and balance out my classes over the course of a year? Has anyone had any experience with this? He said for every class I take after 120 credits I have to get written permission for each and every class... Should I just switch my major and minor to something different in order to sneak in more time? I would really appreciate any advice/help. Has anyone whose done a 5th year or beyond had this experience? 

 

As a fellow UofAer, I can confirm that this is absolutely true! I know many people who tried to take an extra year to fix their GPAs for med or other programs, but they weren't allowed to. I know it seems stupid from our perspective, but for the university, they have to spend more money subsidizing students who don't even need to be there. Why would they want to spend that much for someone who just wants to improve GPA or leisure through more years or take more breaks? One friend had to go for a 2-year after-degree just to focus on marks because they couldn't extend their first B.Sc. I just didn't know they could cut it off right away in one semester, I thought they'd have to stay the whole year. 

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One thing i would say is, for the OP to check what "not count for credit and affect your GPA" means specifically.

 

In my program, courses I took outside of it for med/gpa boosting, did not "count as credit and affect my GPA" in that, it was not used in my gpa calculations to determine honours, or count as credit TOWARDS MY DEGREE.

 

However, when it came time to apply to medical schools, ALL of those classes showed up on my transcripts and with credit weightings and grades - and were absolutely used in my GPA calculations for medical schools.

 

Ensure its not a program specific/school specific GPA calculation thing, which would be IRRELEVANT for your medical school applications. As long as the classes show up on your transcript, and with credit weightings and grades, then it is absolutely fine. The fact that your school wont use it in its INTERNAL GPA calculations, or count those classes towards your degree requirements its a moot point if you are already complete your degree requirements, and simply taking extra classes to boost med school prospects.

 

I may be a bit unclear in my wording, but read it a few times and it should make sense - and then go ask the registrar directly. Bypass the FoS advising office all together - they do NOT control what is on your official university transcript. 

 

Be careful about making general sweeping statements about med school because not all of them count courses that the home institution does not accept for credit/GPA earned.  McGill does not count for credit or GPA means exactly what it sounds like, for both med school and undergrad.  

 

I registered, paid and attended classes for 135 credits at McGill in UG, but according to McGill student records, I only earned 125 credits. The school gave me no credit in the courses considered electives, even though I got graded in those electives with some of them being As and they appear on my transcript with my grade.  There is a remark beside those courses that makes it not counted in credits earned or included in cGPA calculation.  Those courses were also not included in my GPA calculation, so my GPA only contained course that were part of that 125 credits earned.  

 

When it came to med school application, the courses that McGill didn't count for credit and didn't count for cGPA for my degree were also not included my GPA calculation for med school.  Adcom told me those courses were assigned "NO GRADE", the same category of courses I withdrew from or took pass/fail, in my applications even though I took them as a graded courses.  

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Be careful about making general sweeping statements about med school because not all of them count courses that the home institution does not accept for credit/GPA earned. McGill does not count for credit or GPA means exactly what it sounds like, for both med school and undergrad.

 

I registered, paid and attended classes for 135 credits at McGill in UG, but according to McGill student records, I only earned 125 credits. The school gave me no credit in the courses considered electives, even though I got graded in those electives with some of them being As and they appear on my transcript with my grade. There is a remark beside those courses that makes it not counted in credits earned or included in cGPA calculation. Those courses were also not included in my GPA calculation, so my GPA only contained course that were part of that 125 credits earned.

 

When it came to med school application, the courses that McGill didn't count for credit and didn't count for cGPA for my degree were also not included my GPA calculation for med school. Adcom told me those courses were assigned "NO GRADE", the same category of courses I withdrew from or took pass/fail, in my applications even though I took them as a graded courses.

YMMV. That is super weird though. As always it is school specific.

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U of A is incredibly rigid when it comes to these things. What do you mean by having them not count? Even if it doesn't count for credits at the U of A, med schools will still use it. As long as there's a grade available.

Apparently, some school as mentioned above will not even put a grade on the transcript - which seems very weird. I think this is the minority situation though.... 

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