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Dilemma. Opinions Needed, Please!

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I know this isn't necessarily the place to do it, but I know you lot might be willing to help. 

TL;DR: I want to get into med school. I'm 29; I have a BA in English. I need another degree to make myself competitive. What are my chances of getting into U of T's Masters of Public Health? (Read attached CV. Yeah, I know this is for medical schools specifically, but you lot are responsive more so than on Grad Cafe's forums. I need to know because I am being offered a funded opportunity to get another bachelor's degree from Ryerson, but have to decide TOMORROW. Do I hold out and hope I get into MPH, or do I take the offer for another bachelors? My preference would be MPH > Bachelors since I've been told many times over it makes me more competitive for med school admission. 

For those willing to read: I have a bit of a dilemma, and could use some opinions.

I applied for U of T's MPH program of Behavioral Science. My end goal is to get into medical school, but my undergraduate GPA in the USA was a 3.45, and it's humanities-based. I know the MPH is a great opportunity to bridge my social background into health care, and make me a strong competitor for med school in a few years. 

However, I am being offered/awarded an RA summer position with a professor at Ryerson to continue to do my research on aerogel; the catch is that I have to go back to school as an undergraduate for 2-years and earn another bachelors. (A BSc in Chemstiry or Biomedical Science.)

My professor with the RA position wants me decide TOMORROW if I'm going to become a full time undergraduate student in the fall, take on this funding, and likely go on to get an NSERC Grant in the fall and spring. 

U of T, as I understand it, won't be sending out acceptance/rejection letters for at least three weeks. 

My question to you: do I even stand a chance at getting into U of T's MPH Behavioral Science? (I know this isn't a thread for MPHs, but I'd still like your opinions.)

I'm torn between accepting the offer to take this RA grant for the summer and enroll as a chem student for another bachelors, and holding out and PRAYING that I get into this MPH at U of T.

Can you chance me? HONESTLY? I've attached my CV. Not included is my new position as an Associate Student Researcher, where I'll be the Student Lead on a 50k grant from Tellus, nor my volunteer work at UHN. 


PS--If letter of intent makes a difference in swaying a decision, happy to provide it. 

17 - Edit.pdf

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You need to re-do your undergrad in order to have a realistic chance. With a 3.45 undergrad GPA your only shot is at McMaster and it is a longshot as you would still have to write the MCAT and CASPer and do very well on both to have a chance.


MPH won't do much for you at this point.

Really? See, all the Doctors I work with at UHN say the MPH is far better than another undergrad. 


Anyone else? Undergrad or MPH?

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I would also say undergrad. Doing another few years of undergrad has the opportunity to significantly boost your GPA. Now I don't know for U of T specifically, but at McMaster at least, a Masters only gives you a 1% boost, whereas undergrad GPA is worth 30% of your preinterview score. 

Really? So it's not separate at all? Yowza.


I was under the impression a masters was it's own weight. That's a huge factor.



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If med school is the ultimate goal, I would do the undergrad and increase GPA. Sure the MPH sounds good, but it doesn't make up GPA deficit. ALL schools need a good GPA but only SOME schools give preference to graduate students (Toronto grad stream, 1% for Mac, etc).Unfortunately, undergraduate GPA is king!


By doing 2 more years (and doing well on both grades and MCAT) Queen's and Western are solid possibilities! Additionally, other schools based on grade calculations.


Again lots of unknowns here but over all just my 2 cents

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From my perspective, a master's degree is only helpful if your undergrad GPA is already decently competitive.

At this point, another 2 years of undergrad has far more potential to help you raise your GPA if you want to even have a shot at getting an interview, and it sounds like you have good EC opportunities that will also help you overcome the low GPA. 


I would do another undergrad and put in a lot of effort on volunteering/leadership/research during those two years to produce an overall competitive application. 

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If I may ask... Have you thought about what you may want to do once you're in medical school?

If a family physician/hospitalist is what you want to become, you may be able to make a compromise.

Your 3.45 GPA is pretty competitive for a 2-year accelerated nursing program. You can then work for 2 years full-time (1900 hrs) and take a 2 year master's to become a NP. That's 6 years in total, compared to 8-11 years from the bachelors degree (3/4 years) + medical school (3/4 years) + residency (2/3 FM/IM years). You'll be earning a great income during those 2 years as well...

Not saying you shouldn't do medicine, because if you are gung ho about it, you really should! But what I am saying is that the years are long and the road is bumpy and it may not allow you to develop other parts of your life. If there is another road to still do what you ultimately want to do, I think it's worth considering.

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The Masters of Public Health looks interesting in its own right and might fit nice with what you are involved in today (I love the Aerogel initiative !).  I do not know how hard it is to get into, but admissions page says it is very competitive.  It does look like a 2-year non-thesis-based program .  You may be able to get publication(s) out of it.


Unfortunately, as others have already indicated, it may not do enough to help you overcome a 3.45 undergrad GPA for medical school applications. Most Med schools do look at MS/PhD and non-traditional applicants in seperate pools,  but they still use your undergrad GPA as starting point.   You will find very few premed101 acceptances with a 3.45 GPA.   


IMHO - if Med school is your absolute focus,  you likely need to do the second undergrad approach.

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