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geneva911

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hi,

does anyone know how tough it is to get into mcmaster's med school? i am finishing up a master's degree, but i think i need to raise my GPA. i am considering doing a BA (it will also be an opportunity to get in some more sciences).

thanks,
geneva911
 

LP1CW

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I think it depends on if your from Canada or outside of Canada. They have opened up seats to international students, American students. I think they offer like ten seats for students outside of Canada. I like the program. It's all problem based and it's three years, no breaks, if I remember correctly. I didn't apply. I think the cost was like 400 US dollars to apply, correct me if I'm wrong.

Also, I don't think you need to have completed all the typical prerequisite. I don't even think the MCAT is used. Nevertheless, competing for ten seats and paying that much for one school made it a no go for me. Find out how many applicants they get for those ten seats. If they get 30 or 50, then it's probably a good deal. If they get a 1000, at 400 bucks, I'd pass. Actually, on the grounds of charging that much, I'd pass.
 

MeowMix

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I think it's very, very difficult to get an interview at Mac, let alone get in.

I applied this year as a Canadian citizen, in-province, with a 3.5 GPA undergrad and 3.97 for my PhD, 39 on the MCAT (which they don't look at), clinical experience, research experience, tons of volunteer experience, etc..

I got interviews at 12 out of 14 U.S. schools, including some "top-ranked" (if you care about those things), with a bunch of acceptances. Didn't even get an interview at Mac.

My opinion is that the Canadian pre-med pool is really well qualified, and it takes a lot to compete as an out-of-province applicant. Save your C$280 unless you have already cured cancer and saved a nation from the plague.
 
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geneva911

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MeowMix said:
I think it's very, very difficult to get an interview at Mac, let alone get in.

I applied this year as a Canadian citizen, in-province, with a 3.5 GPA undergrad and 3.97 for my PhD, 39 on the MCAT (which they don't look at), clinical experience, research experience, tons of volunteer experience, etc..

I got interviews at 12 out of 14 U.S. schools, including some "top-ranked" (if you care about those things), with a bunch of acceptances. Didn't even get an interview at Mac.

My opinion is that the Canadian pre-med pool is really well qualified, and it takes a lot to compete as an out-of-province applicant. Save your C$280 unless you have already cured cancer and saved a nation from the plague.
thank you for your response. was your schooling done in ontario? for the record, i am actually a resident and student of ontario.

thanks,
geneva911
 

Lorae

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If you're a resident in Ontario your chances increase greatly!! Also, having finished a masters should help since McMaster is known to like applicants with life experience. If you think your GPA needs improving then I would suggest working on it... but make sure you still apply to medicine while you're working on things. I doubt your GPA is so low that you need to do another undergraduate degree - rack up the extra-curriculars and research if you can...

good luck!!
 

canada

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mcmaster is really weird, their process is really random in my opinion. of all the schools that i interviewed at, when the interviewees were talking about where else they were interviewing, they all mentioned that they didn't get a mc interview.

i have no idea what they're thinking.

the reason for their "whack" system is to be different. they do things just for the sake of being different, not to be better or improve.
 

geneva911

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thank you for taking the time to respond. i vacillate between hope ("i can do it!"), and despair ("i'll never do what i really want to.").
 

Lorae

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Have you checked out the canadian premed forum??

here is a link to one specific thread that shows perserverence!!:

http://b19.ezboard.com/fpremed101frm34.showMessage?topicID=801.topic


Don't despair!! You will be able to do medicine if that is what you really want!! I don't know your background, but with persistence and determination you will eventually achieve your dream. Canadian schools are notoriously hard to get into, and it may require a lot of work - but you can do it.
 

flighterdoc

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LP1CW said:
I think it depends on if your from Canada or outside of Canada. They have opened up seats to international students, American students. I think they offer like ten seats for students outside of Canada. I like the program. It's all problem based and it's three years, no breaks, if I remember correctly. I didn't apply. I think the cost was like 400 US dollars to apply, correct me if I'm wrong.

Also, I don't think you need to have completed all the typical prerequisite. I don't even think the MCAT is used. Nevertheless, competing for ten seats and paying that much for one school made it a no go for me. Find out how many applicants they get for those ten seats. If they get 30 or 50, then it's probably a good deal. If they get a 1000, at 400 bucks, I'd pass. Actually, on the grounds of charging that much, I'd pass.
$400 to apply, and they don't fill all 10 seats every year. They tend to pick British Commonwealth types over US Citizens. So, the $400 seems to be a donation to the college. I applied in Sept, they got my package (fedex receipt confirmation) and haven't replied at all. When I call, the person I need to speak to is on break, out sick, whatever, and they won't call out of the local area code on their own.

Call me bitter. A flat out NO would be better. Plus, I imposed on people to write LOR's and send them off FEDEX since it was short-term.
 

winstonm

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Damn near impossible!

They had over 4500 applicants this year and interviewed 400. With the double-cohort of high school grads able to apply in 2 years, they are expecting over 5000 applicants. They switched interview formats this year, so they may be able to interview more people in the future.

That whole life-experience thing doesn't really apply anymore. Their average GPA went from 3.4 to 3.76 in one year (will almost definately be higher this year) because they are weighting academics much more stongly in their decisions now. I think only 8 people out of 130+ matriculants had a GPA <3.50.

Oh yeah, I assume you know they got a $100 million donation this year so it's now the DeGroote School of Medicine.

The application fees are crazy. Mac doesn't even look at the autobiographical sketch before interviews, so you pay them that much cash to read your answers to 5 questions of 700 characters each and look at your GPA. A lot of people think their unrealistically low cut-offs are a way of getting $$ since Mac gets 2000 more applications than any other Canadian med school.

Mac has no prereqs, so if you do more undergrad, do whatever you'll get the highest marks in. Also, look at Toronto and Ottawa, as they have separate admissions processes for graduate applicants.

My friend told me one of his buddies got into Duke, Toronto, McGill (as an OOP Canadian) and didn't get an interview at Mac. You figure it out.
 

flighterdoc

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winstonm said:
Damn near impossible!

They had over 4500 applicants this year and interviewed 400. With the double-cohort of high school grads able to apply in 2 years, they are expecting over 5000 applicants. They switched interview formats this year, so they may be able to interview more people in the future.

That whole life-experience thing doesn't really apply anymore. Their average GPA went from 3.4 to 3.76 in one year (will almost definately be higher this year) because they are weighting academics much more stongly in their decisions now. I think only 8 people out of 130+ matriculants had a GPA <3.50.

Oh yeah, I assume you know they got a $100 million donation this year so it's now the DeGroote School of Medicine.

The application fees are crazy. Mac doesn't even look at the autobiographical sketch before interviews, so you pay them that much cash to read your answers to 5 questions of 700 characters each and look at your GPA. A lot of people think their unrealistically low cut-offs are a way of getting $$ since Mac gets 2000 more applications than any other Canadian med school.

Mac has no prereqs, so if you do more undergrad, do whatever you'll get the highest marks in. Also, look at Toronto and Ottawa, as they have separate admissions processes for graduate applicants.

My friend told me one of his buddies got into Duke, Toronto, McGill (as an OOP Canadian) and didn't get an interview at Mac. You figure it out.
The international application had 5 questions, but the answers had to be "typed" (it took me a week to find a working typewriter), in the boxes on the form (heavy cream paper, boxes about 3x7"), with 12 pt or larger type, double spaced. No way you could get 700 characters in that, much less three coherent sentences. After typing that I began wondering about the level of technology at the college.

If Degroote gave them $100-mil, you'd think they'd send me my money back. I feel like I got taken by something like a Liberian internet scam.
 

ify

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I interviewed at MAc a few weeks ago. I also think the process is kind of random -- I mean, I have life experiences, but I don't think they are that special to warrant the "glorious MAC interview". I'm in 3rd year, and have pretty strong GPA, so I tend to think that they are weighting GPA higher than life experiences (at least this year).
 

ify

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O yea, and Canadian schools tend to be kind of rude. They don't call back, they don't want you calling, they have this attitude that you should be thankful you got an interview.
I'll be going to an American school next year because I like it better there. At least they make an effort to accomodate you, and also I like the wooing. :)
ok, that's obviously not the only reason.
 

Lorae

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There certainly are some *major* differences between the Canadian and American application systems!! I think I would like the rolling admissions system... the massive amounts of waiting in Canada have given me an ulcer. I can't imagine how wonderful it must be to know you're accepted somewhere - before christmas! I won't be hearing any news (good or bad) until June (and my applications have been complete since September). And we don't get any financial aid information until after we've given our firm acceptance.

Our requirements are sooo much higher though. At many schools you need a 3.7, 30-32Q just to get an *interview*! :eek: Mind you, I think this fact is unfortunate as I believe that many very well qualified people can't get in just because of a numbers game. Unfortunately we do not have anywhere near the same population base as the US (hence we have a much smaller number of spots for incoming students).

The things that are unheard of (here in Canada) are the whole "thank-you letter", "letter of intent", and the "should I call the Dean of Admissions to help me get off the wait list" issues (there's nothing you can do to get yourself off the waitlist - they either get to your name or they don't).

Very different from the US. Good or bad differences?? Who knows....

Don't mean to hijack the post though :oops: I was one of the "chosen ones" for an interview at McMaster. My GPA is ok, but I feel like my life experience got me there (5 years critical care nursing). There seemed to be a lot of nurses there for interviews that day. It's definitely a mystery as to what they are looking for!! (especially with the "interview" questions we were posed in the MMI format).

Who knows... :confused:
 

winstonm

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Ify,

You are right about what I call the "tone" of some Canadian schools. The rejection letters aren't as nicely written as the US ones :) and Mac basically implied that you wouldn't get in anywhere else and cautioned against attempting to turn in the exact same app in the next cycle.

As for the standards being higher here, I think most US schools get a bad rap with respect to that up here. Remember, most Canadian schools have weighted GPAs, not cumulative, so if applicant's poorer marks were included, the averages would be lower. I have never seen a US school with any type of weighting. Mac doesn't either, which is why I think Mac will have the highest "real" average GPA in Canada this year. We just have less choice, especially Ontario residents since UofT doesn't have geographical considerations and Ottawa's standards are absurd if you're not French or from Ottawa.

Plus, our top schools like UofT, UBC and McGill don't require anywhere near the MCAT scores that comparable US ones do. Even middle-of-the-pack US schools have averages of 30+. Hell, Mac doesn't require it at all which is why they get so many applicants. I like the focus on the MCAT is the States because I don't care what OMSAS says, an A at one school isn't the same as an A at the other. It's almost like the application system here is geared to people who get low 80s in high school, go to less competitive universities and get great marks there. If two schools are curved around a C+, it's a hell of a lot easier to get an A if everyone in your class had an 82% HS avg than if they had a 90% HS avg.

With the quality of education you'd get at any Canadian med school for the price, it's difficult to justify going to a US school unless it's a really, really good one. Or you're rich.

Congrats on the interview! I know only 2 people who got one there this year. If you get in, remember you get on with your life 1 year sooner and pay 1 year less tuition. ;)
 

merino_one

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winstonm said:
Ify,

You are right about what I call the "tone" of some Canadian schools. The rejection letters aren't as nicely written as the US ones :) and Mac basically implied that you wouldn't get in anywhere else and cautioned against attempting to turn in the exact same app in the next cycle.
...
I definitely know what you mean about Mac ... I believe they used the line "We can not provide advice on how to improve your application, but here are your percentile rankings, which may help you make decisions regarding your future

Burn!!
 
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