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Hey there! I've been an avid lurker here lately but decided to seek opinions on my situation. I've wanted to go to med school since I was a wee little thing, wimped out due to lack of confidence in my capabilities with Uni sciences (before even taking the courses sigh... -.-), and have recently decided that since it is what I am really passionate about, that it is worth the work and time commitment to get there. However, my undergrad experience is slightly different:

 

Major: Double Major in Psych. and English Lit. (Arts) at UBC (BC resident)

Cumulative GPA (of my first 3 years - going into 4th and planning a 5th to take pre-req's): 3.3 on 4.0 scale

GPA by year (1, 2, 3): 3.8, 3.3, 3.3

 

I hit some personal problems in my second year (mental health problems which I have managed to persevere and overcome, thankfully) leaving me with a very subpar GPA. I won't be done pre-req courses until I complete a 5th year and I refuse to take the MCAT before then. I've read too many horror stories of people thinking they'll be the ones to get a bomb looking score just by reviewing test prep - yeah, no thanks... saving myself the tears  ^_^

 

I'm hoping to bump my GPA up to a 3.7 minimum and am hoping that the double major, as well as the breadth of my studies, has an impact in terms of admissions. I have well rounded EC's (volunteering at an AIDS/HIV clinic in downtown Vancouver, teaching elementary school groups over reading break etc.) and am planning on doing some psych. research at UBC these next two years. 

 

I should also mention, I have always been a fulltime student, but took 3 + then 4 courses in each 1st year terms, 4 + 4 in my second and third years, and plan to take 5 each term in my last two years to have a full courseload. Will not having taken a full courseload each year negatively impact my application? Or will either the double major, having to work full time for financial reasons, or having my final two years as 30 credit sessions offset that?

 

Any opinions on what my chances are? I'm wanting to stay in Canada, but will consider US schools. No overseas for me. Nope-ity nope. 

 

 

 

(Planning to apply in fall of 2018 for 2019 entry since I won't be taking the MCAT until mid 2018.)

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4th and 5th year for 2YGPA.. 6th for Ottawa? Or perhaps a second undergrad? though I am not sure how this would carry with it your current undergrad marks. Also investigate how your IP status helps you, and what GPA you will need to become competitive. (Sorry I'm only well acquainted with Ontario schools) - Also with a solid 2+ years of 3.9+ you'd likely be in good shape in the US as well because of the increasing trend in grades.

 

Also keep in mind full course load and course level requirements at 2YGPA schools.

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4th and 5th year for 2YGPA.. 6th for Ottawa? Or perhaps a second undergrad? though I am not sure how this would carry with it your current undergrad marks. Also investigate how your IP status helps you, and what GPA you will need to become competitive. (Sorry I'm only well acquainted with Ontario schools) - Also with a solid 2+ years of 3.9+ you'd likely be in good shape in the US as well because of the increasing trend in grades.

 

Also keep in mind full course load and course level requirements at 2YGPA schools.

I want to avoid doing a second undergrad if possible. If worst comes to worst and I find that I still need to make improvements after the 2018 application year, I would more so look into a master's. UBC has a pretty low IP minimum of ~75% I believe, but that is a minimum. Doesn't guarantee competitive grades. Thanks for your help though! Would have thought I'd be SOL for US but I'll have a look.

 

Ace 4th and 5th year, and then focus MCAT. Make non academics strong too, as they carry a lot of weight at UBC

Thanks! Really gonna work on boosting my EC's and creating an upward trend these two years.

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Focus on your GPA, and taking a full (5) courseload for the next couple years. 

 

The one thing I wish to point out is that you've mentioned a few times if your major/coursework will 'help'. The answer, regardless of program, is always a solid no to that question. 

 

My advice for your situation right now is to be very selective about the courses you are taking. Thinking that having harder/varied courses will excuse a lower GPA is dangerous because they won't ever get to talk to you, to learn about those interests, if you don't meet the cutoffs to get an interview. That's not saying you should just pick 'bird' courses you don't like, but do keep in mind you need to maximize your GPA, so look carefully at what courses you have done consistently well in, and take more like that. 

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