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Hello, 

I know everyone must be tired of seeing these types of "what are my chances" posts but I could really use some advice. I am currently in my last year of my undergrad at UofC and eligible to graduate this spring. Unfortunately, med school has only become a dream of mine in the last year or so and my first two years GPA does not reflect this desire at all. Here is a breakdown:

I have taken 5 courses each semester for my entire degree. 

GPA: 

1st year: 2.73

2nd year: 3.02

3rd year: 3.61

4th year: 4.00

EC's

Do pracitucms count for this? If so, I done extensive work in my community with local organizations working with individuals with disabilities. I have spent time at The Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured and done an internship at Emily follensbee (a school for children with multiple and complex learning needs). I have spent the last year working with the Government of Alberta creating and delivering a prevention presentation on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder that I have delivered to grade 8 and 11 classrooms as well as university classrooms. 

I have been lucky enough to have done a lot of traveling over the course of my degree (20 countries in three years), and I am in the process of planning a trip to Peru with a previous professor of mine to assist her with research as well as doing some volunteering. 

I have also been doing volunteering within the university and external organizations on my own time. 

I have been working one job for the past 4 years (just serving at a restaurant, so not very relevant). 

I do not have any publications at this point. 

My understanding is that UofC will use your three best years to count your GPA but even with dropping my first year that would leave me with a 3.54 which is not competitive. Any advice going forward? As I see it I have three options:

1. take a 5th or 6th year of my current degree

2. take a second undergrad 

3. apply for grad school (although I feel like this would be the least useful)

Any recommendations going forward would be very much appreciated!!!

Thank you! 

 

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6 hours ago, Leslie said:

 

My understanding is that UofC will use your three best years to count your GPA


The U of C will drop your worst year (only one). So if you do decide to complete more full time years your 2.73 will be dropped but the 3.02 year is going to hang around. If you have IP status (sounds like you would based on the work you describe) then you already have a GPA that meets minimum criteria. If you are OOP it will be substantially more difficult to reach the minimum GPA cutoff (though at some point the 10 year exclusion might help you outl). It is more difficult, but not impossible, to get in with a lower GPA. GPA only counts for 20% of your application score and if you look at the interview invite threads and acceptance threads from years past there are always a number of people invited with GPAs in the 3.5-3.7 range. If you look at the stats published by the U of C you can see where your GPA lies in relation to interviewed and admitted applicants. 

If you are able to maintain a high GPA for additional full time years then that certainly won't hurt you, but in the mean time there is no reason (other than the cost of applying**) not to put in an application and see how things go (provided you have written the MCAT). Best case scenario you get an interview and admission offer. Worst case scenario you get your pre-interview file score so you can see where your application is weaker and focus your efforts more efficiently. All other scenarios lie somewhere in between those two outcomes.

You can put anything you want in your Top 10 so if your practicum experiences were important to you there's no reason you can't talk about it. 

**Unfortunately the application fee is $150 and the MCAT is expensive, so there is a potential financial barrier there... but there is a new Canadian MCAT fee relief program starting this year (or next year?) and hopefully that reduces the barriers for applicants who have typically been excluded because of cost. 

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I got in with a 3.54, go for it. It’s hard, but apply, meanwhile, you can always do a year or more of extra material, and graduate with a double major. So why not take a year of courses that you think will make you a better more well rounded individual while you wait to see if you get in, and then if you dont you can re-apply with a better average. 

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37 minutes ago, MountainAmoeba said:

I got in with a 3.54, go for it. It’s hard, but apply, meanwhile, you can always do a year or more of extra material, and graduate with a double major. So why not take a year of courses that you think will make you a better more well rounded individual while you wait to see if you get in, and then if you dont you can re-apply with a better average. 

 

You can definitely get in with a low GPA, but it is extremely difficult because you will be depending mainly on the subjective competent of your application.  In addition, individuals who get in with these stats, have years of experience and more mature compared to the average applicant. I don't want to dissuade you or anything, I believe it is doable but extremely difficult.

The best way to move forward is to to another year or two and try to get a 4.0, and you also have to do extremely well in CARS.. Make sure you do all that while having outstanding ECs that demonstrate what you stand for.

I genuinely wish you best of luck!! It's a difficult journey, but you have all it takes to make it :)

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Don't restrict your thinking to Alberta as well. Another 4.0 year and your weighted GPA can be OK for Queens, Western, & Ottawa. Toronto maybe as well depending on your grade distribution in years 1,2,3.  Ontario schools (other than MAC) do not have OOP quotas.   Grad school will not help very much in Ontario.  You do need to write and nail the MCAT as well.  Plan that now into this summer.

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I can't say I'm an expert on the topic by any means, but I have a wGPA of 3.51 and was invited for an interview with UofC this year, so it's definitely possible. It's worth mentioning is that 20% of the decision to get an interview is your objective GPA, while another 10% is for their subjective assessment of your academic abilities. The fact that you have a general upward trend in your GPA will work in your favour. If you have an explanation as to why your GPA is lower than other applicants, you can write about it in your Top 10, or they also have an academic explanation section at the end.

With all of that said, of course, the higher your GPA the better your chances are of getting in. Your EC's sound quite good, so you have to decide for yourself whether it's worth all of the time/money/effort to continue your studies.

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  • 1 month later...

While your GPA is on the low end (3.54), it's still not that bad. Remember that GPA is worth 20%, CARS is worth 10% and overall academic score is worth 10%. I see a clear upward trend in your grades, and a diverse set of experiences that would make you competitive for the application process. In fact, if you had great references, a CARS score of 129+, and carefully wrote out your top 10s, I'd say you would have a pretty decent shot at getting in (completely speculative btw, because I do not know the extent of your EC involvement and the IMPACT it had on you). So really, the only part of your application PRE-interview that is disadvantaged is only worth 20%. If you get an interview, it's only worth 10%.

You need to consider the fact that the other 80% of your application has to be well above average to meet cut-offs for interviews, but it certainly isn't impossible. If I could suggest anything, I would consider doing the masters route. Remember, it's always about the journey, not the destination. Good luck!

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...
On 1/30/2018 at 1:57 AM, Leslie said:

Hello, 

I know everyone must be tired of seeing these types of "what are my chances" posts but I could really use some advice. I am currently in my last year of my undergrad at UofC and eligible to graduate this spring. Unfortunately, med school has only become a dream of mine in the last year or so and my first two years GPA does not reflect this desire at all. Here is a breakdown:

I have taken 5 courses each semester for my entire degree. 

GPA: 

1st year: 2.73

2nd year: 3.02

3rd year: 3.61

4th year: 4.00

EC's

Do pracitucms count for this? If so, I done extensive work in my community with local organizations working with individuals with disabilities. I have spent time at The Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured and done an internship at Emily follensbee (a school for children with multiple and complex learning needs). I have spent the last year working with the Government of Alberta creating and delivering a prevention presentation on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder that I have delivered to grade 8 and 11 classrooms as well as university classrooms. 

I have been lucky enough to have done a lot of traveling over the course of my degree (20 countries in three years), and I am in the process of planning a trip to Peru with a previous professor of mine to assist her with research as well as doing some volunteering. 

I have also been doing volunteering within the university and external organizations on my own time. 

I have been working one job for the past 4 years (just serving at a restaurant, so not very relevant). 

I do not have any publications at this point. 

My understanding is that UofC will use your three best years to count your GPA but even with dropping my first year that would leave me with a 3.54 which is not competitive. Any advice going forward? As I see it I have three options:

1. take a 5th or 6th year of my current degree

2. take a second undergrad 

3. apply for grad school (although I feel like this would be the least useful)

Any recommendations going forward would be very much appreciated!!!

Thank you! 

 

 

U of C will only drop one year. If you have 4 years, they will use 3. If you have 5 years, they will use 4.  I thinking taking a 5th or 6th year is the best option out of the all presented options.

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  • 1 year later...
On 1/30/2018 at 12:59 PM, Meridian said:

Don't restrict your thinking to Alberta as well. Another 4.0 year and your weighted GPA can be OK for Queens, Western, & Ottawa. Toronto maybe as well depending on your grade distribution in years 1,2,3.  Ontario schools (other than MAC) do not have OOP quotas.   Grad school will not help very much in Ontario.  You do need to write and nail the MCAT as well.  Plan that now into this summer.

what is the weighted GPA requirements for the English stream for Ottawa? I heard it was very competitive

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9 hours ago, marriat said:

what is the weighted GPA requirements for the English stream for Ottawa? I heard it was very competitive

I think you already know this from your previous posts.

Below link is how weighting is done. They weigh more heavily the later years.  For English stream the cut off hovers around 3.85 - 3.87.

         https://med.uottawa.ca/undergraduate/admissions/application-process/excellence-marks
 

 

 

 

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