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I need serious advices here. especially canadians!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by rosepurple123, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. rosepurple123


    Jun 12, 2008
    Hello everyone :) I'm new to this place :) I'm currently a 2nd year student at University of Toronto studying life science. I'd like apply pharmacy in 2 years. My gpa from the past two years is horrible (2.**)
    Right now I'm having several ideas on mind

    1. transfer to other schools for getting better grade or staying at U of T and change to an easier program.

    2. from now on, i plan to spend two years on improving gpa and preparing for pharmacy. i don't know if it's worth it to spend two years on it. because if i stay at U of T, i'll graduate with a bachelor in science degree two years after. however, if i transfer to another school, and concentrate on taking higher courses that have pre-pharmacy courses as pre-requisites and other easier courses in order to maintain 5 courses full time load, i won't graduate and have a bachelor degree. Personally, i don't really care if i graduate with a bachelor degree or not two years after as long as I get into pharmacy. But my concern is that because pharmacy is getting more and more competitive, nobodies know what's going to happen after two years. If I don't get in pharmacy school two years after, I have to find another career path such as physical therapy which i'm interested in too. in canada, physical therapy is a master degree and pharmacy is a bachelor.
    do you guys if it worth to spend two years on getting ready for pharmacy schools? or should I stay at U of T, work hard and get 4.0 in the next two years(by taking easier courses), then go to physical therapy?
    Pharmacy is my top career choice, physical therapy is the second, nurse is the third.

    seriously, i have no clue what i should do now.
    I want to earase my current university transcript but it seems a dream that will never ever going to happen.
    btw, I'm going to stay in Canada since it's too expensive in US. University of Alberta is the one that I have the highest chance of getting in, because they only look at your last two year full time study gpas. I'm not sure about UBC and Waterloo.

    I'd like honest advice. thank you sooo much!!
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
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  3. UBCmicrobi

    UBCmicrobi 5+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Finish your degree @ U of T. If your plans don't work out or change, at least you'll have something to show for it at the end of 2 years. Try and improve your grades and (written) English if you hope to get into a pharmacy program.

    Good luck
  4. hmmmmm

    hmmmmm 7+ Year Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    i can tell you that u of a is one of the hardest pharm school in canada to get into.

    they only look at your gpa, no interviews, and the MINIMUM of accepted is 3.7. furthermore, because its so easy to apply to u of a, and the fact that they don't favor in province students means lots of people apply there.

    there are tons of 3.6 who get rejected.

    also, if you have 2.XX gpa, forget ubc.

    ubc only looks at the pre-reqs, the majority of which is 1st year and 2nd year stuff.

    source: i'm from ubc, and my bro goes to u of a
  5. Onetreehill

    Onetreehill 2+ Year Member

    Apr 14, 2008
    As long as you have a minimum avg of 75%, you have a shot for University of Waterloo. They really don't care much about pre-reqs (you gotta have most of of them but they give you couple months after you get admitted to complete them all). UW cares a ton of about extra-curriculars too though so make sure you got that. Good luck!
  6. zohaibab

    zohaibab Senior member 7+ Year Member

    Nov 9, 2005
    U of A does not look at your last two years. Their primary concern is your GPA as far as pre-requisites go. After that comes the cumulative GPA over the total number of years you have completed, followed by your personal statement/work experience, etc. And as someone else has mentioned above, gaining admission is quite competitive as the average GPA of people gaining admission is usually around 3.5 to 3.7. In fact, I would say that you have a better chance at U of T (Nail the PCAT and get your GPA up in the 3.0's). Best of luck for the upcoming years.
  7. shunsistoesis

    shunsistoesis 5+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2008

    OneTreeHill is right. waterloo doesn't seem to care too much about pre-reqs and just try to aim for 75 or above. If i were you i would stay at U of T.. i'm not sure if pharm schools look down on applicants switching from one uni to another without a fully legit reason .. (i.e. if you tell them it's cuz you want to go to an easier uni to get higher grades for pre-reqs they obviously won't like that too much). Try to enroll in subject POSts that overlap with each other extensively for example a major in Human Biology and a major in Physiology. The course requirements for both are very similar so this combo gives you flexibility in enrolling pre-requisite courses, easier electives, and graduate in 2 years, all at the same time.

    Since pharm school is your top choice, don't consider other options now because you want to concentrate on getting admitted to just that and only that. hope my advice helps!
  8. CD5

    CD5 2+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    If you're only applying to Pharmacy schools in Canada your options are extremely limited. I just finished 3rd year at UofT and I know exactly the situation you're in because I was somewhat in the situation.

    If you're only applying to Canadian Schools then you definitely should go somewhere where you'll get the highest grades. Courses don't get much easier in 3rd and 4th year; you'll get one A if the professor made a mistake in the exam content. Its important to note that a few bad grades will keep your GPA down regardless of the number of A's you get. If you can find a GPA calculator you can figure out how hard it is to raise your GPA up drastically even if you score A's across the boards for 2 years.

    You'll have to retake the (Canadian school pre-reqs) grades that you did poorly in regardless of your overall GPA. I've been told by people in the program (UofT's) that there is heavy weighting on organic chemistry~CHM138H1.

    If you're applying to USA schools then I wouldn't worry too much about not having amazingly high marks (as its not as competitive to get in there; they have 25x the schools we have). Just do well on the PCATs. You can always take pre-reqs at colleges (GBC, Seneca, etc) so keep that in mind.

    Just so you don't screw yourself on possible graduation (in the event you don't get into a state or canadian school for 2 years), enroll in a major in human bio and a minor in physio and regular biology. Pharmacy pre-reqs generally can cover those POSTS.
  9. fungikid

    fungikid 5+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    Just to add to all of the good advice given here. I'm in U of T pharmacy right now and did two years also at the St. George campus so maybe I can of some help.

    Switching universities, surprisingly, MAY be a good option. I know of one person in my class who switched from U of T St. George to York after a not-so-great first year. She got into pharmacy after the year at York. I think her grades improved considerably so be aware that switching universities will not magically guarantee admission. You will have to work hard and it may not pay off. You need to consider the risks before making this move.

    The average admission average is 78-80% at our faculty, with really rare exceptions of around 70% (which translates to a GPA of around 2.7). So you may want to take the PCAT (and do well) then try anyway. Who knows what will happen? A professor told me around 40% of the pharmacy students hold a degree (mostly Bachelors with some Masters) prior to entering the program. I don't know if this statistic helps you, but do know lots of people graduate before entering the program so you won't be alone in taking that route.

    As Onetreehill said, University of Waterloo is not overly concerned with the completion of prerequisites as the program is still quite new. It might be a good idea to try there.

    Just know that you are not alone. Try your best and believe in yourself; doors of opportunity will open up when you least expect it! :)
  10. shunsistoesis

    shunsistoesis 5+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2008
    wow..i know a friend of mine in exactly that same scenario - went to york in her 2nd year and came back for pharm at u of t..i'm wondering if we know the same person =P
  11. randomname

    randomname 2+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    The problem is that in canada, each province has it's own licensing board. That means that you would have to take the toronto licensing after your waterloo education in order to practice in toronto.

    Although it's not that bad, as (I think) you can take the toronto licensing exam before taking the ontario licensing exam. The only downside is that you would have to pay more for dorm housing and travel expenses and getting homesick.
  12. CanPharm

    CanPharm 5+ Year Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    I was just curious. What does a 78 - 80% average equate to in terms of GPA? We always get marks based on a 4 point scale.
  13. CanPharm

    CanPharm 5+ Year Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    I would also have to agree. I wouldn't consider UofA as a safe alternative. From what I know, they do also look at your pre-req grades, not just your last 2 years of university. You might need to take higher levels of the courses that you didn't too great on inorder to boost your grade. If not, it is really hard to pull up from 2.xx by just taking other courses. Well, I thats what we used to do.
  14. Onetreehill

    Onetreehill 2+ Year Member

    Apr 14, 2008
    Ummm, I've never heard of a toronto license, just an ontario one. Since waterloo and toronto are both in ontario, don't students from both pharmacy schools write the same licensing exam?
  15. se20001984

    se20001984 5+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2008
    You may also want to look into Aust pharm schools,

    I have had several of my friends go there (2)...and others to aust medschools...
    there is 1 school in particular that doesnt really care about pre-req or much on marks (they got in with below 2.5's), no pcat, no ref letters, just an online application...

    I think comming back is fairly simple...2 part test...1 oral and 1 written..

    ohh and they got in after 2nd year transition...

    ...maybe even consider a masters than apply??
  16. randomname

    randomname 2+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    My bad, I didn't know the university of waterloo is in the same province as U of T

    Yes, you are right.
  17. cherryumbrella


    Jun 26, 2007
    I'm not sure if this is correct, but I was under the impression Waterloo calculates your marks/places emphasis on only the prerequisite courses...[id check with admissions counsellor or something if i were you] ... if this is true then u mighttt be better off at a "easier' university where it might be easier to complete the Waterloo prereqs with a decent mark.

    For UT, the UTPAT is getting replaced by the PCAT, which I see as more of an "academic" versus "personality based" test. For some reason, this makes me think that UT will place heavier emphasis on GPA in the future, so that's another reason I would consider switchign to an "easier" university and starting over.

    A competitive GPA for physiotherapy is 3.7 I think, so even if you put in all 4.0s from now on it might be difficult, thus maybe starting over is a good idea. Also, UBCmicrobi is right, brushing up on written english wouldn't help - the WAterloo application is a huge mass of written responses lol.

    Finally....if you're going to write the PCAT anyway, I would strongly suggest applying to the states. I know you said it's expensive, but lots of people take out loans to go into med/dents, so in the end it really depends what you want to do with your life. If it's your dream, I think you should do it despite the loans! That's what I was going to do if I didn't get in this year. And plus, pharmacists earn pretty decnet incomes as a whole so it's not like you'll never pay off your loans! gd luck
  18. randomname

    randomname 2+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    I took the PCAT (94 percentile) and I found that transferring from a canadian school to a US school is quite hard. It's (to me) very difficult to find the equivalent courses that can be transfered. I tried emailing the individual schools, but they just send these stock messages back.

    For example, one question I had is that schools in canada usually do not allow repeats if you get a passing grade, so you have to take the next course up (u of a) or take courses that will add to your pre-req (UBC and I think UT).

    This raises a major issue with US schools as they do allow repeats.

    Anyways, good luck, I would recommend staying in canada simply because of cost and the immense trouble of finding equivalent courses, and getting visas and such.

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