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Course load

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by jade88, Jul 26, 2006.

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  1. jade88

    jade88 New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    On the University of Waterloo School of Optometry website,

    http://www.optometry.uwaterloo.ca/prospective/od/academicrequirments.htm

    it's stated that

    "Due to the rigorous nature of the full course load of the Optometry program, the Optometry Admissions Committee also prefers applicants to be taking a full course load (five courses per term) during their BSc studies."

    My question is, how important is this criteria for applicants? If you were accepted into Waterloo, did you meet this criteria?

    If I take 4 courses per term in the fall and winter sessions, then take a couple courses in the summer session, would this make a difference?

    Does this same course load criteria apply to schools in the USA?

    Thanks for your responses!
  2. pre_opt_sku

    pre_opt_sku 2010 O.D.

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    As for Waterloo, I think it probably does matter that you take 5 classes/semester. I was accepted and just had one year of part time studies (I did my B. Sc. in 4 yrs with 5 classes/semester and then had a year kind of "off" as I worked part time and took a couple classes). I'm not sure how important it is to them that you are a full time student, but I would be doing EVERYTHING they say when you're trying to get in there.... Focus mostly on getting that high GPA.... to Waterloo, that is pretty much all that matters. Good luck.
  3. jefguth

    jefguth Senior Member

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    Having a full course load is VERY important at Waterloo. When I was a first year undegrad there the Director of Admissions gave a presentation, he talked at lenght about how important it is for applicants to demonstrate not only that they are capable of getting good grades, but also making the grade while carrying a heavy load. Their concern is not only just that their accepted students can handle the work, but also that not many (hopefully none) will fail the program and leave a big funding hole in their budget! :D

    Do you best to take five courses each term, but as the above poster said, it would be ok if you took a few courses here and there after your BSc. No problem with that.

    That being said, UW doesn't seem to discriminate much between applicants that can handle a full course load + all necessary labs and those that refuse to enrol in lab courses and take the ones they really need during the summer term... :rolleyes:

    As for the US schools, they all say it's important, but I would think as long as you have a above average GPA then four course terms aren't going to do much harm to your chances there. However, its nice to start optometry school with a good idea of how to manage your time effectively when free time is at a minimum.

    Good Luck
  4. prettygreeneyes

    prettygreeneyes Moderator Emeritus

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    Can I just say, with regards to the difficulty and total insanity at UW, that I'm really glad I'm not Canadian. My heart goes out to you guys... what a meanie school! :mad: :scared: :smuggrin:
  5. Chuffsla

    Chuffsla Member

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    I might as well weigh in on this, as this was a big concern for me.

    I started out in the math program here at UW and took five courses per term for two years (four terms), then switched over into science. My first few terms in science I only took four courses per term and was pretty much taking it easy, but getting really good marks. Then I found out that Optometry admissions wants students to take full course loads, so I started doing that, all the while still attaining high marks (in the area of very high 80s). So what I had was several terms of five course per, and several of four courses per. Also, and this is important, I basically took a term "off" for personal reasons, although I did take one course that term. There was also a summer in which I took two courses.

    So...what happened? I was not only admitted, but was offered early admission. I don't even have any extracurriculars. So I think the original poster is okay, as long as you can show you can handle at least a couple of five term courses. What UW really seems to look at are the marks and the OAT score.

    Why do you say that?
  6. prettygreeneyes

    prettygreeneyes Moderator Emeritus

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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    That's why I say that. There are so many qualified and talented people the UW sounds as though they won't even look at. It is my understanding that UW is way cheaper for a Canadian student than an American school. So, people are missing their chance to go to their "in-state" school and get cheaper tuition because UW won't give them the time of day due to less than perfect numbers.

    There was no Canadian bashing...sorry if it came across wrong!

  7. Chuffsla

    Chuffsla Member

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    It didn't come across as bashing. I was just wondering, because I've heard several times on these boards how it's supposedly so hard/impossible to get into optometry at UW, but I don't see how. In terms of the percentage of applicants that get accepted, UW compares very favourably to a lot of american schools.
  8. prettygreeneyes

    prettygreeneyes Moderator Emeritus

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    Do you think less people apply overall because they know the numbers requirements are so tough... and they don't even bother? Also, do more people apply to "insert name of optometry school that French is spoken at"?
  9. ttran01

    ttran01 Member

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    hey, when you say full course load, how many units in general are you talking about? if you take 5 courses which are all sciences, thats well over 20 units depending on what science it is and where its taken at.
  10. Chuffsla

    Chuffsla Member

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    The opt school in Montreal doesn't take a whole lot of people. I think about 40 a year, maybe. I really don't know what the admissions are like there.

    The system at my school's a little different. A full course, like say a course in evolution where there's no lab, is 0.5 credits. So if you take a full course load of five courses and they're all like that, you're looking at 2.5 credits. Lab courses typically count for half of a normal course, so they're 0.25 credits. In some of my terms I took five courses, maybe three of which were sciences and two of those having lab components, so I was taking 3.00 credits in that term. Again, I don't think I would worry too much about how your particular school "scores" this stuff, like credits or units or whatever...just take five courses per term (or at least four) and try to get good marks.

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