Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

University Of Calgary Neuroscience Vs U.b.c Science


Recommended Posts

Hello.

I'm planning to attend either one of the two schools starting this fall and I'm having difficulty choosing. 

I thought it'd be  helpful for me to hear the thoughts of experienced pre-meds and medical students as I don't have a clue what to expect as a high school graduate who is aiming for med school.

 

Firstly, I would like to list the positives of each program/school that I thought of to give you an idea where I am at.   

 

University of Calgary - Neuroscience program 

 

1. Small student population - 30 students are admitted to first year

 

2. Supports and encourages undergrad research - In my understanding, after reading the program's webpage is that the program really pushes undergraduate research. It's jointly-run program under the collaboration of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, the Cumming School of Medicine, the Faculty of Science, and the Faculty of Arts.

 

"A unique feature of the BSc Neuroscience program is the integration of annual summer research projects. This will familiarize them with research methods that will enhance their knowledge in undergraduate laboratory courses as well as prepare them as outstanding candidates for graduate or professional programs. The results of their summer research project will inform may ultimately be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals."

 

"All BSc Neuroscience students are encouraged to complete summer research projects and are eligible to apply for a Neuroscience Summer Research Scholarship. No previous research experience is required. Third year students are encouraged to seek research experience with the same laboratory/supervisor that they may be working with during their honours thesis (NEUR 500)." 

 

And they list all external funding sources for summer research in this link : http://www.ucalgary.ca/bscneuro/node/42/

 

3. Students in their third year of the BSc Neuroscience program are eligible to apply to the HBI-Oxford Summer Research Exchange which supports full-time lab research at the University of Oxford of up to four months in duration. "In addition to covering travel and accommodation costs, the award provides a stipend of $1,500/month through generous funding by RHISE, Oxford Neuroscience, the University of Calgary BSc Neuroscience program and external sources (e.g. AI-HS)."

http://www.ucalgary.ca/bscneuro/international/oxford

 

4. I received a $4000 scholarship for first year 

 

5. Some say 70-80% of the grads make it to medical school. Others say up to 20% or more. 

 

6. I'll be living in Calgary which grants me automatically an IP status. According to this post : ( http://forums.premed101.com/index.php?/topic/90338-premed-guide-to-canadian-med-schools/ )

 

the GPA cut off for IP (Alberta) students is 3.6 and the MCAT score I need is "moderate"

 

7. I'm going to assume it is easier to receive a decent GPA score at the U of C than UBC (But I may be wrong in the upper years b/c the neurosci kids are strong too). 

 

UBC - First year General Science

 

1. Reputation, reputation, reputation... -If things don't go well in Canada it's either go international or go for masters right? That's my understanding and according to a lot of people reputation really matters for Med schools in America and other countries outside of Canada. I also heard that it also matters when you're finding a residency position in America and some schools in Canada. 

U of C is also a good school but due to its relatively short history, its not as well known as UBC. 

 

2. World class professors. Although it's not guaranteed, I'd be thrilled to get a undergrad research position under them or merely learn under them through lectures. Enough said.

 

3. Adventurous university life - U of C is really quiet as it is a commuter school for the most part. UBC is a vibrant community and it is always bustling with action and adventure. Not sure which is better - safety or adventure for my early 20s. 

 

4. According to the thread I mentioned above, the MCAT and GPA conditions are the same as U of C. So I guess this one is equal.

 

 

Although I have fewer points for UBC listed here, in my mind, the positives for both schools on a scale is pretty level and I'm having difficulty choosing on which I should spend my next 4+ years.

 

I would greatly appreciate any feedback and thank you for reading my long post.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

What is your home province?

Would going to UBC in effect also get you IP status there, or do you already have that (i.e. from BC)?

I'm biased towards UBC, but I would agree most of your "pros" for UBC don't matter. Especially 1 and 2. #3, well UBC is also a huge commuter school, even though many also do live on campus. 

Again, where are you originally from? Would either option provide you a better support network etc?

I'd lean towards UofC, but make sure to do your research on how to obtain IP status for UofC and UofA.   Especially being in a small program. Are you also 100% sure that you would enter the 30 person program right away in first year? Or do you spend the first year in general science and have to maintain a certain average before you can get to join the neuro program in year 2? (This is how it works for the competitive majors at UBC, like pharmacology and physiology...you aren't admitted into them for year 1, you have to do well and THEN apply and be admitted for year 2.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Reputation, reputation, reputation... -If things don't go well in Canada it's either go international or go for masters right? That's my understanding and according to a lot of people reputation really matters for Med schools in America and other countries outside of Canada. I also heard that it also matters when you're finding a residency position in America and some schools in Canada. 


U of C is also a good school but due to its relatively short history, its not as well known as UBC. 


 


If you can't get into medical school in Canada, you aren't going to be going to a top medical school in the US anyways. In that case reputation wouldn't matter at all.


 


2. World class professors. Although it's not guaranteed, I'd be thrilled to get a undergrad research position under them or merely learn under them through lectures. Enough said.


 

UofC has some world class professors too, just fewer. If you want to work with someone famous you can, though it might not be the best environment. As far as teaching goes, the best researchers are not necessarily the best teachers. And often they don't teach anyways (or minimally).

 

Anyways I would recommend UofC. In-province status at 2 schools is pretty good.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your Reasons #1 and #2 for UBC don't matter.

I would choose U of C.

 

Thanks for the insight. 

 

IP at two schools in Alberta. Something to consider.

 

I guess that, and the fact that they're western schools makes it supposedly easier for IP's to get in? 

Thanks for the insight.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What is your home province?

 

Would going to UBC in effect also get you IP status there, or do you already have that (i.e. from BC)?

 

I'm biased towards UBC, but I would agree most of your "pros" for UBC don't matter. Especially 1 and 2. #3, well UBC is also a huge commuter school, even though many also do live on campus. 

 

Again, where are you originally from? Would either option provide you a better support network etc?

 

I'd lean towards UofC, but make sure to do your research on how to obtain IP status for UofC and UofA.   Especially being in a small program. Are you also 100% sure that you would enter the 30 person program right away in first year? Or do you spend the first year in general science and have to maintain a certain average before you can get to join the neuro program in year 2? (This is how it works for the competitive majors at UBC, like pharmacology and physiology...you aren't admitted into them for year 1, you have to do well and THEN apply and be admitted for year 2.)

 

I'm from Ontario but my fam's willing to move to the west which is why I was aiming for the two schools.

So in terms of networking, I'll have to start from a clean slate wherever I end up going.

 

And yes, I am 100% sure its neuroscience from the start. 

In the first two years it is basically general science because there are not many actual neurosci courses but it doesn't change the fact that I'm in neurosci.

 

Thanks for your opinion and detailed reply.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

1. Reputation, reputation, reputation... -If things don't go well in Canada it's either go international or go for masters right? That's my understanding and according to a lot of people reputation really matters for Med schools in America and other countries outside of Canada. I also heard that it also matters when you're finding a residency position in America and some schools in Canada. 

U of C is also a good school but due to its relatively short history, its not as well known as UBC. 

 

If you can't get into medical school in Canada, you aren't going to be going to a top medical school in the US anyways. In that case reputation wouldn't matter at all.

 

2. World class professors. Although it's not guaranteed, I'd be thrilled to get a undergrad research position under them or merely learn under them through lectures. Enough said.

 
UofC has some world class professors too, just fewer. If you want to work with someone famous you can, though it might not be the best environment. As far as teaching goes, the best researchers are not necessarily the best teachers. And often they don't teach anyways (or minimally).
 
Anyways I would recommend UofC. In-province status at 2 schools is pretty good.

 

 

That makes a lot of sense. Thank you for the detailed reply and insight.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, UCalgary med student here who did Neuroscience in Calgary for undergrad

 

1. Small student population - 30 students are admitted to first year

 

Yes, the small class size builds a great sense of camaraderie. This is especially helpful when you and your friends are applying to medical school together and need support through MCAT, applications and interviews. That being said, first and second year classes are mixed with other science majors and have 150+ people

 

2. Supports and encourages undergrad research - In my understanding, after reading the program's webpage is that the program really pushes undergraduate research. It's jointly-run program under the collaboration of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, the Cumming School of Medicine, the Faculty of Science, and the Faculty of Arts.

 

Super easy to get research opportunities in Neuroscience. In Calgary, most principle investigators jump on the chance to recruit an undergrad neuro student over the summer

 

3. Students in their third year of the BSc Neuroscience program are eligible to apply to the HBI-Oxford Summer Research Exchange which supports full-time lab research at the University of Oxford of up to four months in duration. "In addition to covering travel and accommodation costs, the award provides a stipend of $1,500/month through generous funding by RHISE, Oxford Neuroscience, the University of Calgary BSc Neuroscience program and external sources (e.g. AI-HS)."

http://www.ucalgary....national/oxford

 

This program is great, but you cannot apply to it if you are applying to medical school in the same year (they made it a rule last year when both RHISE students left neuroscience to go into medical school early)

 

4. I received a $4000 scholarship for first year 

 

Great job! Add it to your application

 

5. Some say 70-80% of the grads make it to medical school. Others say up to 20% or more. 

 

Depends on the class. I would say last year was 70-80% but this year is closer to 20%

 

6. I'll be living in Calgary which grants me automatically an IP status. According to this post : ( http://forums.premed...an-med-schools/ ) the GPA cut off for IP (Alberta) students is 3.6 and the MCAT score I need is "moderate"

 

Two medical schools (Calgary and Alberta) vs one medical school (UBC)... sounds pretty good to me

 

7. I'm going to assume it is easier to receive a decent GPA score at the U of C than UBC (But I may be wrong in the upper years b/c the neurosci kids are strong too). 

 

Can't comment on how the course difficulty is in UBC. I would say 50% of neuroscience students have a 3.9+ GPA

 

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions. Happy to chime in

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hi, UCalgary med student here who did Neuroscience in Calgary for undergrad

 

1. Small student population - 30 students are admitted to first year

 

Yes, the small class size builds a great sense of camaraderie. This is especially helpful when you and your friends are applying to medical school together and need support through MCAT, applications and interviews. That being said, first and second year classes are mixed with other science majors and have 150+ people

 

2. Supports and encourages undergrad research - In my understanding, after reading the program's webpage is that the program really pushes undergraduate research. It's jointly-run program under the collaboration of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, the Cumming School of Medicine, the Faculty of Science, and the Faculty of Arts.

 

Super easy to get research opportunities in Neuroscience. In Calgary, most principle investigators jump on the chance to recruit an undergrad neuro student over the summer

 

3. Students in their third year of the BSc Neuroscience program are eligible to apply to the HBI-Oxford Summer Research Exchange which supports full-time lab research at the University of Oxford of up to four months in duration. "In addition to covering travel and accommodation costs, the award provides a stipend of $1,500/month through generous funding by RHISE, Oxford Neuroscience, the University of Calgary BSc Neuroscience program and external sources (e.g. AI-HS)."

http://www.ucalgary....national/oxford

 

This program is great, but you cannot apply to it if you are applying to medical school in the same year (they made it a rule last year when both RHISE students left neuroscience to go into medical school early)

 

4. I received a $4000 scholarship for first year 

 

Great job! Add it to your application

 

5. Some say 70-80% of the grads make it to medical school. Others say up to 20% or more. 

 

Depends on the class. I would say last year was 70-80% but this year is closer to 20%

 

6. I'll be living in Calgary which grants me automatically an IP status. According to this post : ( http://forums.premed...an-med-schools/ ) the GPA cut off for IP (Alberta) students is 3.6 and the MCAT score I need is "moderate"

 

Two medical schools (Calgary and Alberta) vs one medical school (UBC)... sounds pretty good to me

 

7. I'm going to assume it is easier to receive a decent GPA score at the U of C than UBC (But I may be wrong in the upper years b/c the neurosci kids are strong too). 

 

Can't comment on how the course difficulty is in UBC. I would say 50% of neuroscience students have a 3.9+ GPA

 

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions. Happy to chime in

 

Thanks so much Modus Ponens!

That actually cleared everything up and you've finalized my decision to go to Calgary! 

 

I have a few more questions. 

 

1. Do you have any thoughts as to why the medical school acceptance rate drop from 70-80% to 20%? (It's still an amazing proportion but I'm just curious). Where are the other 80% headed off to? 

 

2. Can you still apply to the U of C med school during year 4 if you decide not to apply in 3? Maybe this is the reason why the acceptance rate dropped this year? 

 

3. Why is it that students in neuro have priority over other science students when looking for research opportunities? 

 

4. How long has it been since the program was created? 

 

Thanks again!

Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem Olle! I'm still somewhat active in the neuroscience students association, so maybe we'll bump into each other!


 


1. Do you have any thoughts as to why the medical school acceptance rate drop from 70-80% to 20%? (It's still an amazing proportion but I'm just curious). Where are the other 80% headed off to? 


 


Probably just a normal fluctuation with the strength of the class and what the class wants to do. Many people elected for a graduate degree after their BSc this year. Last year, a large proportion of students applied to med


 


2. Can you still apply to the U of C med school during year 4 if you decide not to apply in 3? Maybe this is the reason why the acceptance rate dropped this year? 


 


Definitely. This is probably the more common path. 


 


3. Why is it that students in neuro have priority over other science students when looking for research opportunities? 


 


With the high entrance average, neuro is seen as a "prestigious" or "elite" degree at the University of Calgary. Students are usually well motivated and hard working (usually haha). Professors are more sure that a neuro student can pull weight with this track record!


 


4. How long has it been since the program was created? 


 


That's a great question. I'm not quite sure. Ten years?


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks to all those who replied. 

 

Do you guys think the UCal Neuroscience program stacks up to McMaster's BHSc program in terms of how well they prepare you for medical school ADMISSIONS?

Cause by the sounds of it, the two programs seem to be preparing their pre-meds for medical school admissions in their own ways, but equally successful.

Any thoughts? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks to all those who replied. 

 

Do you guys think the UCal Neuroscience program stacks up to McMaster's BHSc program in terms of how well they prepare you for medical school ADMISSIONS?

Cause by the sounds of it, the two programs seem to be preparing their pre-meds for medical school admissions in their own ways, but equally successful.

Any thoughts? 

Just pick the program you'll be happy with if you don;t get in. Or even more radical....choose not to apply. 

 

Seriously. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

Not sure if this thread is still active, but I have a few questions about the neuroscience program if it is. What would you say is the typical admission average for the program? Considering there are only 30 people accepted I'm assuming it's quite high, but I can't find anything specific. I'm looking to apply next year, at the moment my grade 11 (top five courses) average is 94.6%, what are my chances of being accepted? Also is anyone able to compare the neuroscience program to the biomed program at UofC? Thank you!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...