scrubedin

10+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2008
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This may be in the wrong place but...

3.85cGPA when averaging 2 best years. 34 MCAT. Tons of quality ECs. Study Abroad. Excellent LORs. Plus, I play hockey :). I'm a canadian citizen but a nonresident. Chances at:

1. Calgary
2. Dalhousie
3. UBC
4. Toronto
5. McGill
6. Any others?
 

obi

Jul 17, 2010
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I'm pretty sure you get to apply as a CDN citizen and that your current residency won't count against you. I would email the schools to confirm this.

As for your GPA its a bit under the median for the topper schools (UoT, UBC) but if your EC's and LOR's are as you say and you interview like a champ I see no problem in being a competitive applicant. Most CDN schools use the mcat as a flag and don't factor it into the overall admissions process from what i've found out in my applying.

Good luck!

PS. this is mostly a US oriented forum, if you want some feedback from guys who really know the canadian system in and out head over to premed101
 
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scrubedin

10+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2008
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Thanks alot for the reply and the site recommendation. my real concern is that my 3 year average is 3.6 but my best years average to a 3.85. I don't know how that will be interpreted.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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Sep 4, 2006
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Mithril, your post is beautiful to behold and just exactly what was needed. Thanks. Our past Canadian experts don't come around much anymore. I hope you return to WAMC often and share your expertise.
 
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scrubedin

10+ Year Member
Feb 28, 2008
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Mithril,

That was amazing. Thanks so much. One last question. Different schools count credits different ways. Does 30 credits per year at U of T just mean full time? (at my school full time would be 24 credits per year)
 

Lunasly

5+ Year Member
May 17, 2010
798
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Mithril,

That was amazing. Thanks so much. One last question. Different schools count credits different ways. Does 30 credits per year at U of T just mean full time? (at my school full time would be 24 credits per year)
That's a good question. Because 18 credits at my school each year is considered full time.
 

Lunasly

5+ Year Member
May 17, 2010
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It does not matter what your school regards as full-time. "Full-time" is not necessarily the same as "full course load" either. A full course load is defined differently by different med schools. For a school like U of C or U of Ottawa, full course load is 24 credit-hours per academic year excluding the summer. For a school like McGill or U of T, full course load is defined as 30 credit-hours per academic year excluding the summer. If you don't take a full course load for the schools that you are applying to, you are shooting yourself in the foot by either showing the adcom that you can't handle a rigorous curriculum or by not having a weighted GPA formula calculation (if one exists for the school) being used on your academic record.

It is in your best interest to take a full course load or close to it in all of your years in undergrad. Anyone can get a 4.0 if they take 6 years to graduate or if they take two or three courses in the winter session and two or three courses in the summer session. That's not what med schools are looking for (at least in Canada).
So all in all, students are at a disadvantage if they do not take 30 credits a year if they plan to apply to U of T or McGill. What if they take 24 credit hours, is that still worth it?

Also you say that 24 - 30 credits are ideal, but for example at my university, Cell Biology and Organic Chemistry are each 4 credits and labs included with them are 0 credits. So to keep up with the 24 credits, I could take Organic, Cell Bio, and another 4 credit course equalling 12 credits (3 classes) for one semester because as long as I take another 3 classes equalling 12 credits the next semester (i.e Organic II, Cell Bio II, and another 4 credit course), at the end of the year I'd have 24 credits. However, at another school, organic, cell bio or any class for that matter might be a different amount of credits. So when you say 24 credits, do you mean that we should take 12 credits a semester according to what McGill or U of T considers 12 credits?

I hope that made sense. :p
 

Lunasly

5+ Year Member
May 17, 2010
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I don't know if it's still worth it. It depends on the pool of applicants. Neither absolutely requires that you take a full course load but you're competing against some of the best and brightest in the country that may have a better academic record and rigour than you do. Realistically speaking, there are more qualified applicants than there are seats. If you attempt to take the "easier" road, adcoms won't find it hard to overlook you and move on to the next best applicant.

McGill and U of T look at credits rather than the number of courses. Schools like U of Ottawa and U of C look at number of courses according to their FAQ, but you're best off contacting the schools you plan on applying to to see whether they base full course load status based on the number of courses or the number of credit-hours, but most often it's the latter.

Your questions are what I researched months ago after speaking with previous applicants, matriculants, and adcom members.
So would you say that I am taking the easy way out if I take only 3 courses equalling 12 credits for a semester?
 

Lunasly

5+ Year Member
May 17, 2010
798
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For Canadian schools, yes.
But I'll have 24 credits by the end of the year. So they say they reccomend 24 credits, but they'd rather see more?

Sorry I am just getting a little confused. Maybe I am just overthinking the situation.
 

bannie22

Hero
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2009
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Great read Mithril!

Definitely did alota research! good luck on your cycle.
 

Long Way to Go

7+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2011
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Medical Student
1. For OOP applicants to U of C, they base your chances of interview on a formula (62.517 (GPA) + 12.122 (MCAT,VR) + 6.757(MCAT,BS)). The cut-off for GPA is 3.6/4.0. They count your best two years with at least 24 credits and put the top 200 through a full file review. Then they check your entire post-secondary transcript and see if you're worthy for an interview. Post-interview score is determined 60% interview and 40% pre-interview score.
Just curious, but where are you getting these numbers?