View Full Version : What are my chances? MSc grad, good EC's, 3.3, 29Q
07-08-2006, 01:51 PM
I have a masters in biochem., with publications, good ec's. But, my Cum GPA from undergrad. is 3.3 and my mcat is VR-11,BS-10, PS-8 and WS-Q (29Q). Which is not the greatest. I was thinking about retaking in august? What should I do? Do I have a chance at all? I was going to apply every where in canada and ireland and maybe USA (but i'm not sure what schools i should apply to)?
07-08-2006, 05:00 PM
Is your master's GPA high?
I'd rewrite the MCAT if you think you still have enough time to improve your PS score...Otherwise, your MCAT may prevent you from being considered at schools with cut-offs, such as Queens or UWO.
07-08-2006, 09:15 PM
Apply to everything you qualify for!!
I know someone with a 27Q who got into U of A but they had like a 3.7-3.9 GPA so i dunno...depends on what school you apply to
07-08-2006, 11:01 PM
It also depends on what province you reside in. If you live in Ontario (more specifically Toronto), your chances are quite slim since most Ontario schools don't give preference to Ontarians. The reason I mentioned Toronto is because many Ontario schools have regional preferences (NOSM: Northern Ontario, Ottawa: Ottawa region, Western: SWOMEN). Medical schools in every other province reserve 85-90% of their spots for in-province students, leaving very few for out of province students. Thus, your chances as an OOP (if you indeed are one) are quite slim once again.
Take a look at all the schools' requirements. Determine which schools expectations match up with your own strengths, and focus on those schools.
07-12-2006, 12:45 AM
Ok, thanks for you help everyone!
07-13-2006, 11:28 AM
MSc. grad, great ECs (spent 1yr volunteering abroad), 3.7 gpa, 29R (took it 4 times).
Applied 5 times to all ontario universities and alberta, no interview invites, except ottawa (but got rejected).
I feel I've tried everything and have no idea what to do now. ANY advice would help.
07-16-2006, 03:35 PM
Hey Iguazu03, Your stats are respectable (GPA esp.) and, as you say, your ECs are great. However, gaining admission to an Ontario school is a challenge. Your GPA will get no love from Queen's, Ottawa U or UWO. NOSM is extremely region-selective when granting admission and not knowing where you live i can't really comment (mind you if you have access to internet you're probably not what they're looking for - joking). That leaves McMaster, and with 4600 applicants last year, your chances are definetely not betting odds.
Your stats are "too good" for you to have to resort to FMG status. If you are not scared of debt I would definetely consider applying to US schools. Note, however, that the MCAT is god in the US (and they might average scores) so you may be at a disadvantage there.
07-17-2006, 03:31 PM
I have to say that I am getting a bit discouraged from some of these posts. My GPA is most troubling, and it is more frustrating since I took engineering in undergrad where the curve tends to be around 65. However, I know I'm not the only one in that boat and I'm sure that topic has be discussed to death already. Bottom line is
cGPA (OMSAS) 3.4 - Undergrad
MSc - good GPA
MCAT: VR 11, PHY 11, BIO 10 WS O
Lots of Research (2 first authors, 2 seconds, 1 multiple + abstracts)
Good ECs, hosptial volunteering
I guess I feel like nothing can overcome my low undergrad GPA. With UWO calculation it is like 3.65, and I am SWOMEN but I feel like I might be wasting all my application money on a low GPA, especially after hearing stories like Iguazu's. Is there genuine hope or just a punchers chance?
for those of you who are finding the competition too stiff in Ontario due to double cohort and no preference for being a resident why not move to another province. In Alberta for example, most of the seats are reserved for residents and the population is not as big as Ontario. Also, try American schools. If you go to the Princeton Review website they have this thing in the med school section that allows you to put in your stats and it'll show you the schools that you're above average at, competitive at, or non competetive at. Try it and see if there are school in the US where you're stats are above average and then call the school and see if they accept Canadians.
07-17-2006, 09:51 PM
maybe i can offer some hope...
i got into medicine as an MSc grad, after having a decent, but not stellar undergrad experience. my cumulative undergrad gpa was 3.51. because this was due mostly to one year -- my third year -- in which i had a 2.80, when my grades were weighted according to the various Ontario med school schemes (not familiar with other provinces' methods of gpa calculations, so i can only comment for Ontario), things looked much better (but still not even near 4.0 territory!): Queen's=3.76, UT=3.77, and Western was 3.8. MCAT was VR 11, BS 12, PS 13, WS P. My graduate gpa was 3.7, and i had no publications, though quite a lot of research experience in both basic & clinical sciences. i'd say my extracurriculars were average & i worked part time throughout almost all of university.
i applied to Toronto, McMaster, Queen's & Western. didn't make the WS cutoff at Western (by one letter), so no interview there. no interview from either McMaster or Toronto, though i figure if i had had more "graduate productivity" (i.e. publications!), i may have had had more luck with U of T. made the cutoffs at Queen's & therefore was interviewed, and luckily it must have gone pretty well, because i was accepted...
i guess my advice would be to check out the different gpa weighting schemes at each school & see if that helps your gpa any. then, take a look at your mcat score. if you make the cutoffs at schools that use them (Queen's, Western), then the stats don't matter anymore and it's all about the interview (and, in Queen's case, the short-answer questions)...
07-18-2006, 09:16 AM
I guess this thread is dedicated to those of us that have always been driven to study medicine, but were not mature enough in our undergrad careers to realize the significance of having a high GPA. I would like to share with you my personal experience in hopes of demonstrating to those that have low undergrad GPAs that there is hope to get into medicine afterall!
My undergrad GPA was only 3.3. I cannot blame my low score on anything becasue my undergrad programme wasn't particularly hard (biochem at MacMaster). I can only blame myself because I wasn't willing to work hard. Needless to say, when I applied to medicine after undergrad, no school wanted me.
Therefore, I decided to do my PhD in Immunology. A fresh start, with tons of motivations because by this time, I realized I was fighting an uphill battle and I had to do everything I can to prove to people that I'm a driven individual capable of a career in medicine.
Five years later, here I am, with 7 pubs (2 first authors, few second authors and some other co-authorships) and tons of ECs (dragon boating, grappling, kicboxing, etc), I have a CV that reflects me as a well-rounded individual that is ready for medicine. <~~ I say this in the most sincere and none-self-flattering way possible!
I am accepted to U of T medicine for 2006, but got a deferral so I'll start in September of 07. (Applied to Mac and U of T. Got NO love from Mac) My MCAT was VR:8 (again, not meeting the cutoff is not the end of the world), PS: 11 BS: 13
In my opinion, applicants with lower GPA have to demonstrate to the admission committee in a round-about way that we are just as capable and motivated as those applicants with steller GPAs. So, find something you love and do the best job you can. All the hard work will pay off eventually.
Best of luck to the underdogs!
07-18-2006, 12:58 PM
Having also seen your post in the U of T forum, I just wanted to congratulate you on your acceptance, and the perserverance that it took to earn it. It'll be a pleasure to have you as a colleague.
Best wishes with the completion of your thesis.
07-18-2006, 01:33 PM
I think the big problem with schools in the U.S is the huge debt that i'll get Canadians into. My cousin went to the states to study med and he ended up with over 250 grands of debt (you have to consider the living cost for 4 years without pay). You mentionned Ireland, but I've also heard of schools in England (with much less debt) who take a ceratin number of canadians, so maybe its worth checking out. The thing is that in Europe much like here, school is not as expensive as in the states.
07-18-2006, 02:25 PM
Thank you very much, Scrubbed!
It did indeed take me a while to grow up, but I have learned so much over the past five years in grad school that I do not regret my initial decision one bit.
Scrubbed, I apologized that I do not know much about you, especially only recently contributing to this forum. However, from what I have read in the threads thus far, I can tell that you're truly lending a helping hand to us newbies, often going out of your way to look up information. Thank you very much!
Hopefully we really will bump into each other one day!
07-19-2006, 09:25 AM
Thanks for all of the stories of hope, it is definately helpful. The thing that I find the most frustrating is that there is no real way of improving your undergrad GPA. It seems like you have to carry those four years around with you like an anchor. I understand doing graduate work prior to applying can help you overcome those marks, and I am completing my masters now, but I don't want to do a PhD just for the sake of doing one to get into Med school. I applaud those who can undertake such a commitment, but I don't think it is for me. Is there anyway way of actually overcoming my low GPA (3.4 cum.)? I have done some back of the envelope calculations and with the various weighting schemes I can hope for 3.6 (maybe 3.7 @ UWO), and I'm afraid I won't get any interviews with that.
I'm sure others have been frustrated with the weight of GPA in calculations, as some have already pointed out in this thread, is there any way of raising my actual GPA?
07-19-2006, 10:08 AM
I was reading another thread recently (will look for it when I have a few minutes to go searching around) where people were discussing this...
I think the only way you can improve your undergrad gpa is by going back to do more undergraduate courses, i.e. a year as a special student, or an entire second undergraduate degree. Simply taking a few courses part time probably won't cut it, because (as far as i know) most schools require you to be studying fulltime (min. 4 courses per semester) in order to count those courses toward your gpa.
ok...this was talked about in detail in that other thread. going to go look for it now and will post a link...
ok, i found a couple of somewhat related threads, but not the one i was thinking of...
so, just one point to add: i seem to remember someone mentioning that some med schools won't count courses taken during a year of "non-degree" studies toward your undergrad gpa. i.e. they'll only count courses if they were taken as part of a degree program. i think other med schools will accept this though, so you'd want to look into it...
hope that helps...
07-19-2006, 11:08 AM
there always ythe states and the carribean wher they will be more than willing to take you am sure. in the end there all docs.i totally feel your pain i am currently in the preocess of improving my undergrad GPa which was no too good the fitrst two years.
07-19-2006, 03:52 PM
Does anyone know how Queens Engineering was able to get its own conversion table on OMSAS? It has 75% = 3.7. I took Engineering at Mac and this conversion chart would totally revamp my GPA, as most of my mark are around 75% which is I think 3.2 for the Mac chart. I don't expect any changes in the near future, just curious as to when and why this was implemented for Queens.
07-21-2006, 01:51 PM
Hey Adampg, Holy! We are like two peas in the same pod, everything you've said is almost exactly what i've done!! :> i also dont' want to do a phD just for the sake of getting into med school. My undergrad gpa really gets me down sometimes (I wish my first year (2.8) would just go away!)
Anyway, i'm from ontario (i went to western) and my boyfriend just moved out to edmonton, so i'm now living there and i'm going to apply as an alberta resident, so i hope this helps me out.
07-21-2006, 03:28 PM
Unfortunately, I am not aware of any way to improve our low undergrad GPA short of doing another degree or an exra year. As what we have read from this thread, some schools don't even consider marks obtained during the extra year.
Speaking from my personal experience, I did my PhD as an alternative to medicine (gotta have a job sometime). Since my undergad GPA was low (3.3) and I didn't get into medicine after undergrad, I decided to apply for a PhD programm becasue I still loved scinece and want to stay in it.
For the past five years, my motivation to do well in the lab is not to get into medicine; instead, it was me wanting to make a dent in my field of research and have something to show my potential post-doc supervisors that I am able to think on my own. Had my motivation been solely derived from getting into meds, I would have been miserable. Therefore, you guys are correct, don't do a PhD for the sake of getting into medical school.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that having a low undergrad GPA is not a death sentence. We just have to find things we love and work hard at it, be it law, engineer, MBA, or in my case, a PhD.
Again, I apologize that I don't personally know how to improve our undergrad GPA. But whatever you do, you have to love it. Just don't loose hope.
07-21-2006, 10:11 PM
Omg that sentence just destroyed my hopes! Could someone please state what Canadian schools don't consider a fifth year? Specifically does anyone know about the fifth year policy for the following: Queen's, Dalhouse, Ottawa, or Saskatchewan? I know they look at your last two/best two years, but I was hoping one year could be a fifth year. If it's true, my only chance would be Western:(
"As what we have read from this thread, some schools don't even consider marks obtained during the extra year."
07-21-2006, 11:05 PM
I obtained this information from a quick glance at the schools' websites, so it is by no means comprehensive. You should Email or, ideally, call the schools to see where you stand. People who attend these schools or people that have done a fifth year may be able to comment specifically.
If you are still doing your degree, one way around this would be to defer graduation and take additional courses that would lead to a minor or double major.
For Queen's (http://meds.queensu.ca/undergrad/admissions/factors_not_considered_in_selection)
Factors Not Considered in Selection
We do not consider your:
* Program of Studies
The Admissions Committee does not give preference to applicants who have studied in a particular university program. Applicants are encouraged to consider all of the undergraduate programs available to them and to embark on the course of studies in which they have the greatest interest and that would prepare them for an alternate career should they not gain a place in medicine.
* Level of Training
No preference is shown to applicants at any particular level of training.
* Geographic location/residence
Place of residence and location of the university where studies have been undertaken are not criteria in selection.
Age, sex, race, religion, and sexual orientation are not factors considered in the selection process.
For Ottawa (http://www.medicine.uottawa.ca/pdf/Policies_ENG.pdf), a year 5 is used in their undergraduate GPA calculaton scheme, which would be silly, if they didn't consider a fifth year.
A candidate who has completed more than the three required years, only the three most recent
years of undergraduate studies will be used to determine the WGPA.
yr 1 3.85
yr 2 3.82
yr 3 3.90 x 1 = 3.90
yr 4 3.85 x 2 = 7.70
yr 5 3.89 x 3 = 11.67
Total 23.27 ÷ 6 = 3.88 (WGPA)
For Dalhousie (http://admissions.medicine.dal.ca/faqs.htm), they prefer students with a four your degree. No mention is made one way or another about an additional year.
18. What are the degree requirements in order to apply to Medicine?
We do require a degree, preferably a 4 year degree in order to apply. We do not require the degree to be in a specific discipline and will consider all university degrees.
For Saskatchewan (http://www.medicine.usask.ca/admissions/admissions-information/copy_of_academic-requirements/),
Students may improve their average for admission by taking (an) additional full year(s) of university study. However, all programs must lead to a degree or, where students already have (an) undergraduate degree(s), to a certificate* or to a degree in another discipline. It is not acceptable for students who have spent several years at university to take largely 100 level courses to improve their average, nor is it acceptable for students to repeat a course they have already taken and use the new grade for competitive purposes. If in doubt, students are advised to consult the Admissions Office.
Perhaps, here, you could ask if taking senior level courses would be acceptable.
Best of luck!
07-22-2006, 04:48 PM
Thanks for your advice/information. At least I can apply to Western, Ottawa, and NOMS. I really like your idea of deferring graduation, and am considering that. If I get any more information regarding the fifth year for these schools, I'll post it.
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