Audio

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Hey guys,

I'm new here. I was always thinking of being an MD but I have recently become very fond of optometry. I was wondering if I have a chance to be accepted at Waterloo. I have a GPA of above 3.6 (maybe around 3.65 at time of application). I have yet to take the OAT but will do so in October after I write my MCAT.

Do I have a shot at Waterloo? And not just a shot, do I have a good shot? Thanks a lot.

Also, in regards to the Prereqs... do we have to take all of them ,how strict are they. I'm doing my BSc at UT in my 3rd year now and I have never had a need to take a course in Algebra or Ethics or Microbiology (would molecular biology fulfil this requirement? )

ONce again, thanks for your helpl
 

jefguth

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Hi Audio,

Sounds like your GPA is in about the right range, however it would be easier for me to say if I knew your GPA as a precentage. I think the average of successful candiates is typically ~85% but the range is from 76, so you definately have a good chance based on GPA alone. But it never hurts to improve your GPA. I would also suggest that if you are serious about applying that you become very knowledgeable about the profession. This is a something the addissions commitee looks for. They only want applicants who know what they are getting themselves into and who are prepared and willing to complete the program. Consider reading more online about scope of practice, regulation of the profession, current issues in optometry, asking your optometrist and even shadowing one if possible. Most of all though, they look for applicants that are dedicated to optometry, if they ask you what you would do if you don't get in, don't suggest medicine(or something else) becuase that indicates a lack of commitment to the profession. Forums like this are great places to learn more even if Canadian specific issues are rarely raised.

The Prereqs are strict and you will have to take all of them, molecular unfortunately won't count towards the microbiology. It is really strange that they have so many pre-reqs, I'm sure there would be many more applicants if they dropped some more of them. How many of the prereqs do you still need to take?

I'm in third year undergrad at UW and currently an applicant, so if you have any more questions please ask!
 
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Audio

Audio

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Percentage-wise, i'm at around an 82 so I guess I have an outside chance. I wish I had known more about optometry. At UT, I've never met a single undergrad life sci student who was planning on going into optometry.

Prereqs I have to take are - microbio , english, ethics, algebra/geo ...i think that's it, but I have a lot of the recommended courses.

When is the OAT offered. I read somewhere that you can do it online? or is it in Oct. and Feb only? I plan on taking the OAT after I write the MCAT in August. Will this be good prepartion?
 

Rosanna

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Audio said:
When is the OAT offered. I read somewhere that you can do it online? or is it in Oct. and Feb only? I plan on taking the OAT after I write the MCAT in August. Will this be good prepartion?
The written OAT is offered two times a year during February and October. There is an online OAT offered also, and I believe you can take it any month but you must schedule it with the testing facilities (www.prometric.com). Studying for the MCAT is a good way to study for the OAT exam also. Many of my friends who did well on the OAT actually used MCAT study guides. After the MCAT, I would suggest that you work through some quantitative reasoning questions for the OAT.

- Rosanna
 
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Audio

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I read on the Waterloo website that 46% of applicants successfully gain admission to the program. This seems really high. I guess this is due to the fact that there are strict prereqs in place and only committed students apply. Anyone have any insight into how this is possible.
 

jefguth

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46% is high, however I think that number reflects the application cycles from a few years ago before they eliminated a number of pre-reqs. Last year was the first year for the new requirements and the number of applicants increased to over 300 (low 300's I think) for the 75 spots. The sheer number of pre-reqs really discourages alot of people from outside UW from applying, especially if they had not been planning to apply until later in their career because as I'm sure you are now aware, its a pain to get all those pre-reqs when you were never planning to do so.

In fact, I've talked to people who probably entered the program 5 years ago, when I believe they greatly increased the number of pre-req's, who did not have the really excellent grades and OAT score that wouldlikely be needed today. Mind you, they still did well and where well qualified, but one person had a OAT score that would likely be a problem at this time.

academically it looks like your doing well, 82% is definately within the safe range and its is also very good that you have many of the recommended courses too!!!
 
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Audio

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thanks for your help jefguth. Maybe I'll pick up some of those pre-reqs if I can over the summer.
 

shorty#1

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Hey Audio,

Whaddya know? I'm also in 3rd year at U of T!

I think you'd have to take Ethics AND Algebra AND microbio. I've fulfilled the first two requirements and hoping to take MGY377 for the microbio requirement next year. Needless to say, my GPA is nowhere close to being competitive at UW. So, I'm planning on applying to the States.

I would say your GPA is very competitive. I'd say you have a GREAT shot. :)
 
K

Kristene9

What’s the difference in UW and the optometry schools in the states? I think I've heard that optometrist can’t prescribe drugs in Canada, is that true?
 

jefguth

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The OD program is essentially the same, although there are some differences.

Optometrist are allowed to prescribe drugs in most provinces, but the province where UW is located (Ontario) does not yet allow this so students do an externship in fourth year to either another province, the USA, Australia or Europe where they can get practical experience with this.
 

Loncifer

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Audio said:
Hey guys,

I'm new here. I was always thinking of being an MD but I have recently become very fond of optometry. I was wondering if I have a chance to be accepted at Waterloo. I have a GPA of above 3.6 (maybe around 3.65 at time of application). I have yet to take the OAT but will do so in October after I write my MCAT.

Do I have a shot at Waterloo? And not just a shot, do I have a good shot? Thanks a lot.

Also, in regards to the Prereqs... do we have to take all of them ,how strict are they. I'm doing my BSc at UT in my 3rd year now and I have never had a need to take a course in Algebra or Ethics or Microbiology (would molecular biology fulfil this requirement? ) ONce again, thanks for your helpl

Audio,
I'm in first year at UW Optometry and as far as the pre-reqs, I believe you can take Algebra OR Trigonometry OR Geometry. I took linear algebra and now think Geo or Trig would have been much more useful. If you have any of these three I think they can be used.
 

tybuff

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Hey jefguth,

I'm applying this year to UW and I"m sorta iffy on the linear algebra. I have all the other pre reqs, but instead of taking LA I took a third-year chemistry which has applications of linear algebra (had to in order to get my major & graduate). Do you think this is of huge concern? my gpa is 'decent', and I don't have my latest OAT score, but will this make/break my app? Nobody has been able to give me a clear answer as of yet (1rst year UW student, OD who graduated back in 02 or 03 said tons of students he was with didn't have the pre reqs, so he didn't think it was a big deal, but he is older hehe)

Thnks
 

jefguth

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Hi tybuff,

The only was to know is to ask the admissions office directly. It would help if you send a course description. However, I'm sure it should be fine. LA seems soo incredibly usueless anyways, at least the couse at UW is...
 

tybuff

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jefguth said:
Hi tybuff,

The only was to know is to ask the admissions office directly. It would help if you send a course description. However, I'm sure it should be fine. LA seems soo incredibly usueless anyways, at least the couse at UW is...
It is inredibly useless, and I couldn't fit it into my degree. Now not getting in because of that course would make me extremely upset, so I may just take it in spring...
 

Fedz

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tybuff said:
It is inredibly useless, and I couldn't fit it into my degree. Now not getting in because of that course would make me extremely upset, so I may just take it in spring...
Do you mean taking it Jan-May..next year? just an FYI..Waterloo asks you to send in your final transcript in June and ALL program requirements have to be done by then.

LA also didn't fit into my degree and I had to take it the following year. I agree- its totally useless/horrible!!
 

tybuff

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Fedz said:
Do you mean taking it Jan-May..next year? just an FYI..Waterloo asks you to send in your final transcript in June and ALL program requirements have to be done by then.

LA also didn't fit into my degree and I had to take it the following year. I agree- its totally useless/horrible!!
I know, I have the app sitting in front of me, says I haev to have my trans. in by May 30th. The spring course finishes in mid june :mad: but I'm going to include a bit of an explanation as to why it didn't fit, that I am taking it in spring, and that I learned parts of linear algebra theory in other chemistry courses (which is true). We'll see how it goes I guess.
 
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Audio

Audio

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You guys/girls who are applying to UW this year. What kind of GPAs/percentages are we talking about here?
 

jefguth

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do you mean our personal averages?

I'm at a 84% (3.8ish, haven't revised it since the fall) with a 360TS, and 340AA on the OAT