Canadian & U.S. Undergrad Reputation

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ljube_02, Sep 19, 2002.

  1. ljube_02

    ljube_02 Senior Member
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    What is the reputation of the following undergrad schools if you want to go to med school such as Columbia:
    Mcgill
    U Toronto
    Alberta
    UBC
    NYU
    UCLA

    How do they stack up against each other, when having equal gpa (3.8) and where is it harder to get a high gpa in physics major in reality?

    Also, someone please tell me about the cities of alberta and bc? Are they expensive? Is it possible to rent a bungalow near campus? So far i've found both toronto and monreal to be much better cities to live in than nyc.
    thanks:)
     
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  3. ljube_02

    ljube_02 Senior Member
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    BUMP.
    And please disregard my latter questions, im only interested in reputation.

    I.E. Mcgill-NYU-Alberta?
     
  4. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    McGill has the best reputation among your list of schools, if that's the only thing you are interested in. UCLA should have pretty good rep too.

    Ultimately, it depends on how high your GPA and MCAT are. I am from BC and I know undergrads from UBC who have gotten into med schools @ Yale, Wash U, Penn, Vanderbilt, etc.

    Alberta and BC are provinces, not cities. Edmonton (where U of A is @) is the smallest city among the school locations you listed. It is still a metropolitan though. UBC is in Vancouver, which is the most gorgeous cities in the WORLD (many compare it to Sidney), although Vancouver gets rainy in winter (just like seattle, but I personally feel that it is not as bad as Britain though). Vancouver is also very very warm by Canada's standard (I mean, it is the pacific northwest after all; it is warmer than all the cities in the Northeast of US). Montreal and Toronto on the other hand are much colder. I personally like Montreal the best; the city is simply filled with energy and culture that no other N. American cities have. Living in Montreal is also cheaper (no kidding) when compared to LA, Toronto, NYC and possibly Vancouver too (Edmonton should be the cheapest though).

    You gotta ask exactly what you are looking for in these colleges, because they are really different!!
     
  5. ljube_02

    ljube_02 Senior Member
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    Hi, thanks for the response!

    I was kidding about the cities of alberta and bc, though i dont know much about them.
    My #1 choice is definitely Mcgill.

    It's cheaper than NYU; Montreal has pubs and ski resorts, they have a nice "outdoors club"; the reputation of course; and the french.

    But in case I dont get accepted there (there are now more applicants to canada...), I will have to choose between Alberta and NYU.

    I dont think it's any easier to get into U T or UBC (then mcgill), and i've also heard rumours that they're much too overcrowded, and the students are much too competitive. I think the weather in Vancouver is not for me. There are the mountains and the pubs, but i dont want to come home late and then the next day feel not well, because it's also raining all day. Edmonton seems like a nice small city in the north, so it is fine (when its cold and crispy, you sober up quickly).

    I noticed that most Canadian schools offer biophysics majors and/or offer research in medical physics, that's nice. But i've also read in another thread that, though Mcgill is well known in USA, other canadian schools are not.

    So in case i dont get into Mcgill, how will americans look at Ualberta degree? Will it be considered on par with NYU, or more like a small unknown state college?

    And is there anything I should know about Alberta physics dept? Is it as hard to get high gpa there as it is in NYU or Mcgill?
     
  6. ljube_02

    ljube_02 Senior Member
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    BUMP

    hey someone told me that if i go to Ualberta, i'll need a 3.9+ gpa to get into a usa med school, that it cant even be compared to NYU:confused: is that true?

    And how hard is it really to get a high gpa in Mcgill, Ualberta? I'd prefer if there were more grade inflation in canada than in usa...
     
  7. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    You are asking some questions that NO ONE in the world can answer until those things happen. Many, tons, infinite number of highschoolers have the SAME questions in mind but will never find out the answers until the future comes.

    I know many friends who go to UBC and Queen's. Many excel. Honestly, I personally know 5 people who graduated with GPA in the range of 3.95-4.0 (90%+ average) and many more with 3.7+ GPA. And the ones with near 4.0 GPA have gotten into Univ. of Pennsylvania, Yale, Vanderbilt, Wash U, etc. for med schools. But many other kids go to UBC also flunk out (a good proportion after that infamous first year.) but many of these kids probably went to highschools that had very easy grading (there is no SAT in Canada to standard and compare the performance of highschool graduates).

    Similarly, 90% of the kids go to Ivy league schools are ranked in the top 10% of their highschools. They don't initially go to Columbia, Yale or Princeton (or substitute NYU or UCLA here) for their undergrad and shell out $30k a year to "end up in" state med schools later; they damn want harvard, hopkins, stanford med (well, I exaggerate their mentality a bit to make my point clear)! In the end, however, only a few make it. These people just CREAM their competition @ their highly touted Ivy league schools and graduate with 3.9 + summa or magna cum laude and go on to top 10 med schools. Many more kids graduate with decent GPA's and, by now with more realistic view of things, happily go to their state or other less-reputable private med schools that also provide first-rate medical education (all US med schools are excellent!). However, a few falter and have a GPA of <3.2 and have to fight just to have a med school to go to.

    So where do you fall in terms of the above scenarios. NOBODY knows. NOBODY has the vision to see the future for you or anybody else. Just like many of your past, present and future highschool graduates (me included when I graduated from highschool in the mid-1990), you just HAVE TO GO WITH YOUR GUTS. This isn't and cannot be rocket-science. You choose a school that you are comfortable with based on: happiness, money (Canadian schools win out on this), location and reputation (notice I put reputation last). And when you are there, MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR EXPERIENCE THERE. You already know what your ultimate goal is (i.e. med school) so you SHOULD be willing to work hard for it. High GPA will not be handed to you. If you don't get a good start in college (have a GPA of <3.5), then you just have to work harder. By then, it would have been useless to second guess whether you should have gone to U of Alberta instead of NYU (or vise versa!).

    So say, you go to U of Alberta and god-forbid, you suck over there. Your GPA plummets to 3.1 and your med school dream is going down the toilet. Does it necessarily mean that if you had gone to NYU, you could have gotten higher GPA? No. If you are semi-intelligent and are willing to study hard, you will probably do well no matter where you go.

    The truth about college is that it is a TOTALLY different ball game from highschool. Some people don't do well in highschool but when they get to college, they hit all cylinders and excel, leaving others behind. On the other hand, some people do very well in highschool but falter in college (case in point, somebody @ the Ivy have to get <3.0 GPA even though everybody there was top in his or her respective highschool). Unfortunately, no one can tell you how you will do beforehand. Definitely, some intelligence would make your college career a lot easier than other people have. But who is to judge how intelligent you really are? Even SAT scores don't correlate perfectly with how well you perform in college. And who can tell how hard you are willing to study in college???

    okay, enough on this topic :cool:
     
  8. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    Like I said before, go with your guts. If it is McGill, then yes McGill it is! :)

    I dont think it's any easier to get into U T or UBC (then mcgill), and i've also heard rumours that they're much too overcrowded, and the students are much too competitive.

    Overcrowded-ness is a problem across most Canadian universities, McGill included (so as UBC, U of T.... I am not sure about U of Alberta.)

    Queen's is a very popular choice among Canadian highschoolers because its reputation is right up there with U of T, UBC, etc. but has fewer students and hence more college feel to it.

    UWO and MacMaster are also excellent schools if you want.

    So in case i dont get into Mcgill, how will americans look at Ualberta degree? Will it be considered on par with NYU, or more like a small unknown state college?

    Nobody knows the answer. My biased opinion is that McGill has the best rep in the US and internationally BY FAR, end of discussion. But how can you put a number or =,<,> beside a school's reputation? I doubt people in the know would place U of Alberta as a small unknown state college.

    And is there anything I should know about Alberta physics dept? Is it as hard to get high gpa there as it is in NYU or Mcgill?

    don't know the answer. nobody will know the true answer. You just have to choose a school and try to excel there. There is no way around it..... Or you can also call 1-900-psychic! just kidding :D

    hey someone told me that if i go to Ualberta, i'll need a 3.9+ gpa to get into a usa med school, that it cant even be compared to NYU is that true?

    My friends from UBC with 3.9+ GPA are getting into top 10 or at least top 25 med schools in the US. If you just want ANY US med school, I doubt you HAVE TO HAVE 3.9+ from U of Alberta. They gotta be sh*tting you.

    And how hard is it really to get a high gpa in Mcgill, Ualberta? I'd prefer if there were more grade inflation in canada than in usa...

    Again, nobody knows. I seem to be saying that a lot lately :)
    And maybe that's why no othe person has replied your posts.

    Good luck with everything. If you have more specific questions (or 1900-psychic don't work and you need some psychological boost instead), feel free to PM me. It is nice to see Americans who know something about Canada.

    Honestly, you do have some very good questions. Everyone coming out of highschools (including me and thousands of other people) is a little insecure and wants some definite answers to the questions you have raised. But there are no sure things in this world. You will just have to leave the comfort of your home and make the best experience of whichever college you go to.
     

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