yconic - McMaster Health Science FIRST YEAR (AMA)!!! Premed, applying, scholarships...
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McMaster Health Science FIRST YEAR (AMA)!!! Premed, applying, scholarships...

I'm a first year in BHSc at McMaster. Yconic was my life last year in grade 12 and I found all the forums really helpful so I thought I'd make my own. Feel free to ask me anything about the application process, what the program is actually like, or my extracurriculars and stuff. If you're feeling super stressed about anything and need to vent...I get it. I was in your shoes. 

I applied also to:
Western Med Sci
Queen's Science and QUARMS
UBC Science
McGill Science

My average was 98%
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124 replies
 
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What would you say to someone considering nursing and health sci (at McMaster and other unis)?
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I personally can't really give you advice when it comes to nursing. Health sci at McMaster, however, is a unique course when compared to the general science courses. It usually gets compared to Western Med Sci. However, in Western's program, you don't specialize until the third year whereas in health sci you can specialize the second year and even if you don't you have a lot of options for electives. If you want more information about premed program and what you should look for in picking a school, please let me know!
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Is it easy to make friends? What are your courses/is your program like?
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I live off campus so making friends is significantly more difficult than those who live on rez. However, since health sci is so small you make friends quickly in classes. I also joined a lot of clubs so I know people that way. It just takes putting yourself out there, to be honest. 
So courses my mandatory courses are Inquiry, cell and molecular bio, psychobio and chem. My electives are immuno, calc for sci and med term. let me know if you want more info about the courses and what they're like 

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Did you get into all of the programs you applied to?
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I got into all the programs I applied to except QuARMS....didn't even make top 40 :(
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What made you choose McMaster health sci over the rest? What is your average now and what courses have u taken so far?
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I chose McMaster because of the stats about med school...It's technically not a pre-med program but it could definitely be a pre-med program if you want it to. My goal is med school so I thought this program would be the best to give me the best chances. Also, our schedule isn't insane so we have time to do extracurriculars. 
We haven't had enough tests for me to tell you my average. My courses this semester are Inquiry, cell bio, chem and calc. 
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1. I've heard that Mac Health Sci really emphasizes collaborative work. What are some of the group projects/collaborative learning experiences you've had?
2. Are there any research opportunities for BHSc students?
3. What do you plan on doing after completing your BHSc degree?
4. Do you enjoy living in Hamilton?
Thanks for making this thread! :)
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1. YES! That was one of my fears too because I was more of a "do all the work because everyone else is incompetent" type of person. However, since everyone in health sci is so smart, it's really not an issue. We do group work in all the health sci classes like psychobio, cell bio and inquiry. It's fun and honestly most of my friends are from these group projects. 
2. It honestly depends on the person. There are not specific opportunities but if you search you will definitely find research positions.
3. I want to go to med school and become a surgeon!
4. HAHAHA, Hamilton is...not exactly the prettiest city but the campus is gorgeous. We have acres of forested land and there are hikes and waterfalls. The bus system is good so that's a bonus. It's also very humid here which was shocking to me since I come from a very dry part of BC. 
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Do you have any tips for doing well on the supplementary application?
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Just be honest and explain your thoughts concisely...
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What scholarships did you apply to?
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I applied to a lot sadly, didn't get in...Honestly, you have to be absolutely extraordinary with national and international awards...especially for the Loran or Schulich award
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Do you know anyone who got into mac health Sci using a service or somone else who did their supp application for them?
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If McMaster catches you whether it is in first year or fourth year, they won't give you the degree.
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^

I never used an editing service, nor did a lot of my friends in my professional school class. 
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No, I don't know anyone who used a service....and honestly, don't try to cheat your way into the program.
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Is it true that most people with mcmaster health sci degree get into med school? what makes it so different from programs at other schools?
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The strong grade inflation
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I think the statistic is 80% go to Med School or something like that...I'm pretty sure it sends the most students to Med School out of all Canadian universities. 
Yes, we have a grade inflation which gives our GPA a competitive edge but we only have 17.5 hours of school whereas other programs have 20+ hours so we have more time to study and do extracurriculars. Along with that, the Health Sci courses don't have exams and they focus on collaborative learning and application of knowledge. 
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By your estimations, what percentage of students there chose Health Science solely/primarily because of the med school admissions stats?
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I definitely chose it based on it being called a "premed" program. Some do, others still don't know what they want to do...Others only came because it's such a prestigious program they didn't want to turn it down. It's really a mix.
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Is it possible to take chemistry and math courses "on the side" in the health sciences program, since I know they aren't really the focus of the program? Also, what would you say is the biggest difference between the Life Sciences and Health Sciences programs? Lastly, is the course load for a life sciences student much greater than for a health sciences today? Thank you:)
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Chem is required for first year in Health Sci. I took Calc as an elective. You get three electives for first year. So it's definitely possible to take them "on the side.
Life Sciences is basically the general science stream. It's definitely a heavier course load. They have to take physics, bio, chem, psych, calc and english. Biggest difference, is health sci is lighter courseload but we do a lot of group projects. We focus on application of knowledge and it's a smaller program. 
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Hey Katie,  
For the supp application what did you talk about and what did you think you got in for. Did you talk about many perspectives or did you mention your own traits while answering the questions 
Thanks for the help,
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I was pretty personal with mine. Honestly, the best advice I can give you is: write about what is true for you and be concise in your explanations of it. I was really stressed about my supp too and I wanted to see examples but really the best you can do is just think about the questions and write a well-constructed answer.
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I'm currently in Grade 12 and have lots of volunteer hours (350+) and my average last year was 95.4%. Do you think if I maintained my average throughout grade 12, would I get into the BHSc program at Mac? It is my number one choice and my mom went there as well! I am also interested in pursuing med school afterward, for oncology. Any further advice for the application process? Also, do you have to have some type of athletics to even get looked at, as well?
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Maintain the average of course! The main factor that determines you getting in is the supp application...If you reach the mark cut off for application, then it's down to your supp. Also, with the supp, if you can mention any extracurriculars but don't force it.
I'm in the boat as you with wanting to be in Med School...first year is hard (especially general courses)
If you want to do athletics do it, you don't have to though. Only do things you love, don't do them just for your resume.
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What courses did you take in grade 12 and what were your marks?
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AP Eng-94
PreCalc-98
AB Calc-98
Physic 12-98
Bio 12-98
Chem 12-98
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Are there any other good premed programs besides mac health sci? I was thinking about westerns medsci but not sure if its good or not. Thanks.
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Premed? You do know that people with arts degrees get in, right?
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I think they mean "good premed" as in massive grade inflation
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"Premed" is a pretty loose term. You want to choose a program that you'll enjoy for four years and that you think you'll get a high GPA in. Also, it's useful if your program has the prerequisites for med school (But those vary by school). 
Med Sci is another "Premed" program, I have a friend who's in it and I think she's enjoying it so far. From what I read though, it's mostly a general sci course until year three until you get to specialize.
Any life science programs are also considered "premed". There's life sci at mac, toronto, queens... etc
https://www.tutorhero.me/zone/post/58/Canadian-Undergraduate-Pre-Med-Program-Ranking
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Western came to our school and casually mentioned that Music majors got in the easiest to the Med School... study what you want
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Hello! What are some study tips (bio, chem, etc)/application tips you would give to a grade 12 student who will soon be applying to universities. It would be of huge help and well appreciated!
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For actually studying: 

Do your HW in time
I usually would do a practice test, some question to target areas of weakness and then another practice test for most subjects
Others I'd make powerpoints to summarize information
Try different techniques so you know what works! I'm a visual person so I started making mind maps and connecting ideas together. I use that in university too now. 

For Applications
Be honest
Be humble
Have 3+ people proofread it (yourself, a friend and a teacher) 
Also be very concise in what you are saying, so there's no room for misinterpretation 

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Thank you for the tips!
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From what you know or have learned so far, do health sci or life sci students typically have higher gpas?
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I think health sci has a grade inflation but we have less classes than life sci so we'd most likely have a higher gpa. It depends on the person though!


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I’m a grade 12 student at an Ontario high school and I’m planning on applying to health sciences and ibiomed at McMaster, and med school after undergrad. I had a 98% average in grade 11 and my ECs are decent (student council, tennis team, school band). What kinds of grades or extra-curriculars have people who got into the those programs had? I’ve also considered iSci, and life science 1 as a backup since I’m pretty sure I could get into it, but I can only apply to three programs at Mac so I have to choose three of the four.
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Be really careful about what you pick as your third choice because health sci and ibiomed have such low acceptance rates so even with good grades there is no guarantee you'll get in. Lots of people with good grade 11 marks and a few EC's don't get in so make sure your supp apps are great
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What annoymous said below is correct. All those programs are really competitive also it's more important to focus on grade 12 marks and the supp application.
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When writing your supp application how did you structure it; did you do a full essay format (intro, body, conclusion) or did you answer each question in a paragraph or two?? Thanks
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There was a word limit. I'm not sure if it's changed or not. I just organized it so that it made sense with the context. I think it was about a paragraph or two. You don't need a full conclusion and intro a few sentences will do to wrap it up.
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did you use Microsoft word to organize, then copy and paste. Or did you write directly into the space they give you?
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Hi, do you know anyone going through the iBioMed/HS program? I'm more interested in the engineering path, but was wondering about the application process (interview) and competitiveness.
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Sorry! I don't know much about it! 

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I have few question Kite 
1) why did you go to Mcgill? 
2)What my grade 12 average is around 94% should I consider applying to Mcmaster Health science or it is just wasting of money? 
3) Do you think I can get to Mcgill with 93-94% average cause I am originally from Montreal and I really wanna go back there?
4) sec semester I have, calculus, business management, English and bio grade 12s? do you think I can hold all this in one sem and get a high average at the same time. (PS: I did Ad.functiona and I got 98% and my average in Chem is around 95% now) 
5) can you please name few universities you think are the best to get BSc as I want to get to med school, I mean I  case I don't get to Mcgill. 
6) any other advice you can give to me as I am ESL student and new to the system here?
Thanks very much for answering 
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1) I'm at McMaster not McGill. I chose McMaster because of Health Sci and its reputation as the best "premed" program. 
2) 94% is worth applying because once you meet the threshold marks don't matter. It's just your supp. 
3) Depends on the program, just check the website. McGill is very competitive though.
4) You can do anything as long as you work hard. 
5) UBC, Western, MCMASTER HEALTH SCIENCES, UofA
6)If you have any specific questions don't hesitate to ask! 
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Hi Katie, I have a few questions.
1) What's the vibe like at McMaster? I've heard amazing things about the program and saw the campus today and thought it was nice, but I didn't really get a feel for like the spirit and type of people that are there.
2) Do you think I could get into HealthSci with a lower 90s average? In grades 9-11 my average has always been mid 90s (94-96) but this year I've been struggling a bit more and my average is at about a 91 right now (although I am working hard to get it up).
3) Have you heard anything from friends/etc about Queen's sciences? McMaster and Queen's are my 2 top choices at the moment and I want to know if Queen's program compares to McMasters.
4) Do you think that HealthSci is a better option than LifeSci if my plan is to go to med school? I've heard good things about both, but I think my odds of getting accepted to LifeSci are much better.
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1) McMaster is a great community. Health sciences specifically almost everyone is super nice. In the first month of school, we always had events on the field. It's not an intense school pride sort of school but it feels very welcoming.
2) I'm pretty sure people have gotten in which a lower than 90s average. Supp application will always be the most important factor.
3) Queen's is general sci so I'm assuming it's very different from McMaster Health sciences. Health sciences is pretty specialized first year. I don't know specifically though. 
4) Life sciences is usually the backup choice of Health sci applicants. Health sci is technology known to send more to med school but it always depends on the person. Health sci we have a less busy schedule so we have time for extracurriculars which definitely is a great benefit. 

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Hello! 
I'm in a bit of an interesting situation here, where I am taking 6 grade 12 courses this semester, so I can work second semester. Technically, I will be done with all my high school credits by February. It anyone is curious, I did some courses in private school to accelerate.  My average right now is at a 91 (it is mostly grade 12 prereqs). Do you know if they look at grade 11 marks if I have my prereqs completed for early admissions? I did quite badly in grade 11 due to family circumstances, but cleaned up my grade 12 marks the past summer. Do I even have a chance at McMaster HealthSci? Thanks!
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I'm pretty sure McMaster only looks at your grade 12 courses:
Biology (SBI4U) 
Chemistry (SCH4U)
 English (ENG4U) 
One of: Advanced Functions (MHF4U), Calculus & Vectors (MCV4U) or Mathematics of Data Management (MDM4U) One non-math, non-science, non-technology 4U/M 
One additional U or M credit to total six In terms of grades,
 applicants must have a Grade 12 course average of 90% or higher. 
https://mdconsultants.ca/bhsc-application-tips/
As I've said before, supp application is everything! 

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Thank you for your response! In light of my acceleration with grade 12 courses, I am taking a few of them outside of school privately. Would that affect my chances in getting into the program? By private schooling, it is not for easy grades as I go to a well-known one, but it's just so I can get all my prereqs in as final grades due to my less than stellar grade 11 marks.
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