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McMaster Heath Sciences Hopeful Future Student

A photo of McMasterHopeful McMasterHopeful
How do i make sure i can get into Mcmaster health Sciences with a 91% average? What is mcmaster looking for in their supplementary application? I have numerous extra curriculars, do they take that into account?
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
Write a good (read: honest, original) response that's reflective of you for the supp app.

They don't take into account ECs (the supp app only consists of your personal info - name, address, DOB etc, the 2 questions, and the contact info of your reference person).
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A photo of McMasterHopeful McMasterHopeful
So even though i have a low 90% average do i still have an equal chance of receiving an offer of admission as someone with a 95+ average? Will they compare all our supplementary applications to see who receives an offer of admission? Are you a first year student in health sciences?
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
I graduated from health sciences this year.

Yes you have an equal chance, they screen all applicants to make sure they hit the 90% cutoff and after that 3 people (2 4th year students and 1 faculty member) will rank each supp app from 1-7 (7 being the best score). The scores are averaged and the people with an average score of 7 (aka got 7s across the board) are offered admission first. And they keep going down the list until they've offered acceptances to ~160 students. If there's a tie they will look at the average as a tiebreaker.
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A photo of McMasterHopeful McMasterHopeful
Wow that's amazing! SO did u enjoy the program? Is it really hard in first year? Is the material you learn similar to grade 12 material? Are the classes all in the same area? Did you live on residence and on average how much is the cost of first year? What exactly is inquiry and how does it work? what about the collaboration and peer tutoring? Are first years paired up with one senior student for the whole year? Is it very hard to maintain high marks?
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
- I loved health sci (for the most part)
- 1st year is a total breeze, the easiest by far
- 1st year chem was pretty much a repeat of IB chem HL (so probably pretty similar to grade 12 chem too), the rest was mostly new stuff
- The location of the classes differ from year to year depending on where the registrar assigns the class..in general the classes are all in the same area though
- I lived on res (in Keyes), it's the most expensive one so it was about $14k for my 1st year (res + meal plan = $8500, tuition = ~$5500). If you live off campus or in any of the other buildings, it will be cheaper.
- Inquiry is a group project oriented class and one of those "you'll understand it when you get there" things. Can't really explain it haha. But it involves lots of class discussions and group projects, with interviews as your "midterm/exam" rather than actual tests.
- Collaboration = group work. Peer tutoring is a 4th year course where 4th years essentially act as TAs for inquiry classes.
- 1st years aren't automatically paired up with an upper year unless you request a buddy.
- Not difficult to maintain high marks imo. In general, you're taking courses that you're interested in for the most part so it's easy to do well in those subjects. There are some dreary mandatory subjects that you're forced to take (epidemiology, stats, health policy etc) but luckily there's only 1 of those per semester and you have tons of elective space to pursue bird courses (if that's what you want), a minor, or other subjects you find interesting.
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A photo of McMasterHopeful McMasterHopeful
Wow that's incredible, thats the exact same residence i want to live on! Do u like the living style is it nice, and do you get to be with all your friends? Which type of meal plan did you get? is the food good? if i have a car when i move to hamilton should i bring it with me? where would i keep it? Are the lab areas and lectures halls huge? How many people are usually in classes? it sounds like an amazing program, ever since i found out about universities i wanted to go to mcmaster, it's my dream school and health sciences is my dream program. Do u have any advice for the supp app? Like if i should use MLA format or just a series of paragraphs that follow essay formatting?
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
I loved Keyes, you get both privacy (your own bedroom) but to live with other people, only have to share the bathroom with 1 other person, there's a kitchen so you can cook/bring your own food from home and there's a ton of space. I didn't know anyone coming to Mac so I got placed with 3 randoms but we became best friends and moved off campus into a house together in 2nd year and lived together for the rest of undergrad.

I got the lightest meal plan possible (think it was ~$1800), the reduced light one for people who live in Keyes/Bates and I STILL had money left over at the end of the year and had to buy a bunch of snacks and stuff to use it up. The food at Mac is pretty decent, Bridges is the best on-campus restaurant I've ever experienced out of all the universities I've been to and eaten at (Mac, Waterloo, UTSG, Guelph, Queen's).

I wouldn't bring a car in 1st year if you're living on rez because on campus parking passes are ridiculously expensive. Bring it when you move off campus if you like because then you can park at your house.

Some lecture halls are big (I think the biggest has a 600 ish capacity), some are small. In health sci you will have all your inquiry classes/tutorials in groups of ~15-20, health sci classes will be 160 (except anat&phys which is ~600 because nursing, midwifery and biomed eng students also take the same course), and non-health sci classes (eg. gen chem) will be ~300-600.

My only advice for the supp app is to answer it truthfully and not try to just say what you think BHSc wants to see. They're not actual essay questions, more like short answer. You get max 1500 CHARACTERS (including spaces, punctuation etc) so you won't be able to write more than a paragraph. Just make sure it follows a logical flow and it doesn't just jump around randomly from idea to idea.



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@McMasterHopeful wrote
Wow that's incredible, thats the exact same residence i want to live on! Do u like the living style is it nice, and do you get to be with all your friends? Which type of meal plan did you get? is the food good? if i have a car when i move to hamilton should i bring it with me? where would i keep it? Are the lab areas and lectures halls huge? How many people are usually in classes? it sounds like an amazing program, ever since i found out about universities i wanted to go to mcmaster, it's my dream school and health sciences is my dream program. Do u have any advice for the supp app? Like if i should use MLA format or just a series of paragraphs that follow essay formatting?



I am currently living in Les Prince double and I'm enjoying it! I also got the lowest meal plan and I seem to be using it at a moderate pace. I probably would have around $0 left at the end. I really don't think you have to use a car because all the residences are close enough that you really wouldn't have to use a car to get to other places, and the buses are free for you to use as well. Some of my friends brought a bike to get to class though.

Your cell bio and psychobio classes will only include people in your program, so it depends on the size of your class. Generally it's around 160-200, while for the electives, it would generally be a lot of students in one classroom.

For your supp app, you can do anything you want, but I wouldn't adhere strictly to MLA format or whatever.

Good luck!
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A photo of McMasterHopeful McMasterHopeful
Wow that's fantastic, lol u guys r just making me want to go so much more. Do the assignments and tests and homework take up all your time or do you still have time for friends and family and clubs, and extracirriculars? and how exactly do the meal plans work? What was your average when you applied because i have a 91% and i heard they reject the people with low 90's? how does the hamilton campus look like, is it really nice? Are book expensive?
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A photo of McMasterHopeful McMasterHopeful
About the supplementary application if i have a 90% on the dot and lets say i get a 7 on the supp application, am i guaranteed a spot? or will the take someone with a 6 who has a higher average?
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking

@McMasterHopeful wrote
Wow that's fantastic, lol u guys r just making me want to go so much more. Do the assignments and tests and homework take up all your time or do you still have time for friends and family and clubs, and extracirriculars? and how exactly do the meal plans work? What was your average when you applied because i have a 91% and i heard they reject the people with low 90's? how does the hamilton campus look like, is it really nice? Are book expensive?



Yes I had plenty of time for friends/fam, ECs, and a social life (except in 2nd year).

The $$ is loaded onto your student card and you just give the cashier your student card, they swipe it, and the amount of the meal gets subtracted from your balance.

I don't remember exactly but I think my average was mid-90s when I applied. They don't reject people with low 90s just because of that. I had a friend applying from UTS the same year as me and he didn't get in with a 98 average.

I like the Mac campus, it's not amazing but not terrible either. Good size, takes about 15-20 mins to walk from end to end.

Textbooks are expensive and a ripoff, so I didn't buy textbooks for most of my courses. Only time I bought them was when the prof had mandatory textbook readings that they would pull test questions from. I also found the ebook version of some textbooks and downloaded them instead. But I'm not a textbook learner at all though, so textbooks are totally unnecessary for me (I learn from lecture notes, and the internet if that fails).

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A photo of andrewk512 andrewk512
A few additional comments:

1) Keyes now costs ~$7000, not including meal plan. The lightest one is now 2100, so you're looking at 9k+. Keyes is easily the best res by far, but if you're not going to cook, save the money and go for a single. I have the lightest meal plan and with cooking a lot I'm just on track for spending it all by the end of the year.

2) Res food sucks. Okay, it's not bad, but I'm pretty critical. You do get sick and tired of junk-y foods after like the first month. And every single health sci event that has pizza/hotdogs/corn gets old too. Bridges isn't bad except they stick that really bland salad onto every dish.

3) All first years get a buddy now. They're really friendly and eager to help/advise you, but besides the one buddy night, most people haven't retained contact with theirs.

4) Car is a waste of money. Bus can get you just about anywhere easily. Use google maps, because the HSR site is really confusing. GPS/data plan on a smartphone is very handy if you're like me and don't follow directions and get lost everywhere.

5) I'm actually pretty busy. Most people come in here with some sort of advanced courses so they have learned the material previously, but I haven't. Add onto that the fact that I'm from BC and we didn't learn a lot of the chem stuff they taught in high school here. But I'm also taking math 1a, which is one of the harder first year electives. There's definitely extra time, you just have to manage it well to get the most of it.

6) I love the campus. It looks so pretty on weekends when it's basically empty, and the fall days when the leaves are everywhere.

7) I use the textbook for math a lot. You could probably get by without a chem textbook (I mainly use it for the practice problems), and don't bother with a psychobio textbook. Make sure you have a laptop or else you'll be basically printing your own cell bio textbook.

8) There aren't any classes that try and screw you over for marks, except psych. They're all pretty fair.
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@andrewk512 wrote
A few additional comments:

1) Keyes now costs ~$7000, not including meal plan. The lightest one is now 2100, so you're looking at 9k+. Keyes is easily the best res by far, but if you're not going to cook, save the money and go for a single. I have the lightest meal plan and with cooking a lot I'm just on track for spending it all by the end of the year.

2) Res food sucks. Okay, it's not bad, but I'm pretty critical. You do get sick and tired of junk-y foods after like the first month. And every single health sci event that has pizza/hotdogs/corn gets old too. Bridges isn't bad except they stick that really bland salad onto every dish.

3) All first years get a buddy now. They're really friendly and eager to help/advise you, but besides the one buddy night, most people haven't retained contact with theirs.

4) Car is a waste of money. Bus can get you just about anywhere easily. Use google maps, because the HSR site is really confusing. GPS/data plan on a smartphone is very handy if you're like me and don't follow directions and get lost everywhere.

5) I'm actually pretty busy. Most people come in here with some sort of advanced courses so they have learned the material previously, but I haven't. Add onto that the fact that I'm from BC and we didn't learn a lot of the chem stuff they taught in high school here. But I'm also taking math 1a, which is one of the harder first year electives. There's definitely extra time, you just have to manage it well to get the most of it.

6) I love the campus. It looks so pretty on weekends when it's basically empty, and the fall days when the leaves are everywhere.

7) I use the textbook for math a lot. You could probably get by without a chem textbook (I mainly use it for the practice problems), and don't bother with a psychobio textbook. Make sure you have a laptop or else you'll be basically printing your own cell bio textbook.

8) There aren't any classes that try and screw you over for marks, except psych. They're all pretty fair.



In Les Prince, you get your own washroom. Just sayin'. ;) And I think the majority of res food sucks, but you really have to look for the things you like. I love going to Bistro, even though it's like 40%-50% more expensive than the rest of campus, it's easily the best place to eat at. As well, I second Andrew in that you should definitely get the math textbook (and also the chem one!). It's always good to read the textbooks before you go to the lectures to better yourself for the material. Read the powerpoint slides too! And yes, don't bother with the psychobio.

Rant about psychobio: THIS IS THE WORST COURSE EVER. The TAs are unfair, you might get a really bad psychobio time (if your tutorial is right after the journal submission but before your first lecture of the week, you're at an unfair disadvantage because you can't ask any questions during the tutorial pertaining to the journal), and the professor can be hard to understand at times to me because he makes all kinds of analogies to "simplify" the material. It feels like even though you've worked REALLY REALLY hard on the group essays, and the journals, but you might not even get the mark that you expect. Gr12 English all over again.
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A photo of luckystar luckystar

@inthemaking wrote
I graduated from health sciences this year.

Yes you have an equal chance, they screen all applicants to make sure they hit the 90% cutoff and after that 3 people (2 4th year students and 1 faculty member) will rank each supp app from 1-7 (7 being the best score). The scores are averaged and the people with an average score of 7 (aka got 7s across the board) are offered admission first. And they keep going down the list until they've offered acceptances to ~160 students. If there's a tie they will look at the average as a tiebreaker.



Does mc health sci like the math/physics people?
So far my average is 94.5:
data 100/func 100/physics 98/chemistry 92/biology 89/English 88

Do I have the chance?
Thanks in advance
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A photo of Ozinator Ozinator



Does mc health sci like the math/physics people?
So far my average is 94.5:
data 100/func 100/physics 98/chemistry 92/biology 89/English 88

Do I have the chance?
Thanks in advance




Is your average above 90%? :albino: Then you have a chance. Yay for common sense :cat:
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A photo of lesson1 lesson1
Hey guys, this thread has been really helpful. :) I'm interested in psychiatry/ neuroscience, and after doing my homework, it really looks like the top programs in Canada boil down to Mac's health sci and Mcgill's neuroscience. Although it would be overly optimistic of me to assume I could even get into both these programs, I was wondering if you guys could give me a little comparison between Mcgill and Mac in terms of res life, costs, program recognition, etc.

Also, social life and res atmosphere is a huge factor for me, and it seems like you guys both had good experiences in that department. But I really want your honest opinion on this one... I know this is an enormous generalization but I've heard that a lot of the kids who make it to health sci tend to be a little socially awkward/ competitive... What were your experiences with the people there?
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A photo of KayS94 KayS94
Quick question- does the admissions committee take into account whether an applicant is in IB or not?
I'm considering not applying to Mac's health sci because my average may not be above 90 & apparently they don't look at your supp app unless you are above their cutoff.
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
luckystar: What ozinator said.

lesson1: There are socially awkward people in every program, so yeah there are some in health sci. And yes there are some high achievers that are super competitive. If anything though, the competition just made me work harder (though I was never one of those students that would cry over a 88, nor would I go around asking people their marks). Most people in my class were normal, smart kids who wanted to have have fun/party while still doing well in school.

KayS94: No they don't take AP/IB into consideration.
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A photo of Aeria Aeria
I would highly recommend you put Les Prince as your first choice. Keyes is great but its more expensive. If you don't cook there's little point in having a kitchen. Why I love Les Prince so much is that you have the best of both worlds. You get to have your own room and washroom and you actually go out of your room and meet people in study rooms and common rooms. In addition there's so so many health scis here, its great for collaborating for chem or other health sci courses.

Healthsci is great but be warned there are so many subjective courses. Like lookatme said, Psychobio is just incredibly unfair.I don't even know what to say about that course. You have to be lucky enough to get a good TA and a hardworking group. I virtually wrote the first essay on my own (keep in mind there's 4 other people in the group). In addition, the TA is incredibly unfair compared to the others.

Inthemaking how did you deal with the subjectivity of courses like Psychobio? How do you deal with groups that slack off and are so dependent on you? It just irks me so much when I work so so hard. In my elective and in chem I have nearly a perfect average so I am working hard. *Sigh*

To the OP: If you get into healthsci do A LOT of research and make sure its what you want. If you don't get in, don't feel bad at all, you'll probably do much better somewhere else.
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
Aeria: You kind of have to just grimace and bear it. I was fortunate enough that I always had a good group (can't think of any particularly bad group members) who were willing to work hard. Psychobio is just one of those courses where you can't get 12s in. Health policy is another one (in 3rd year) and I absolutely hated that course because it was literally impossible to get a 12 in it, as in nobody in my class did (rumour was that the TAs were given a predetermined average and they would mark around that average - ie. if they wanted the average to be 83 then for every person with an 88 there would have to be someone with a 78). I felt like the whole marking system was definitely rigged because my 2nd assignment was way crappier than my first yet somehow I did better on it than my 1st.

Anyway. Focus on your other courses and doing well on those to maintain your GPA. Luckily it's really just psychobio and health policy that I can think of where the marking schemes are skewed, the other health sci courses are pretty fair.
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A photo of McMasterHopeful McMasterHopeful
I just want to thank all the mcmaster students for such wonderful advice and i cant wait to go to school there. About the competitive over achievers, there are normal students who help each other out and work together right? cause i'm the type of person who helps anyone out when they need it and i don't see skool as a competition at all i'm just following my dreams of becoming a neurologist and i jus want to know if 5there are "real" people you meet in health sciences? About the keyes residence when u get assigned roommates are u able to choose who your roommates are if u already know some of them from high school? And about the labs do the profs give you a lot of direction or do they just give u a sheet and say figure it out? People also say after your undergrad you shouldn't apply to med school cause they will most likely reject you is that true? And also about the textbooks, so i shouldnt buy them and just take really good notes?
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A photo of McMasterHopeful McMasterHopeful
I just want to thank all the mcmaster students for such wonderful advice and i cant wait to go to school there. About the competitive over achievers, there are normal students who help each other out and work together right? cause i'm the type of person who helps anyone out when they need it and i don't see skool as a competition at all i'm just following my dreams of becoming a neurologist and i jus want to know if 5there are "real" people you meet in health sciences? About the keyes residence when u get assigned roommates are u able to choose who your roommates are if u already know some of them from high school? And about the labs do the profs give you a lot of direction or do they just give u a sheet and say figure it out? People also say after your undergrad you shouldn't apply to med school cause they will most likely reject you is that true? And also about the textbooks, so i shouldnt buy them and just take really good notes?
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A photo of lookatme lookatme

@McMasterHopeful wrote
I just want to thank all the mcmaster students for such wonderful advice and i cant wait to go to school there. About the competitive over achievers, there are normal students who help each other out and work together right? cause i'm the type of person who helps anyone out when they need it and i don't see skool as a competition at all i'm just following my dreams of becoming a neurologist and i jus want to know if 5there are "real" people you meet in health sciences? About the keyes residence when u get assigned roommates are u able to choose who your roommates are if u already know some of them from high school? And about the labs do the profs give you a lot of direction or do they just give u a sheet and say figure it out? People also say after your undergrad you shouldn't apply to med school cause they will most likely reject you is that true? And also about the textbooks, so i shouldnt buy them and just take really good notes?



The people in health sci are the most friendliest people I have ever met. I can not imagine that ANYONE in our program would sabotage anyone just because they are excessively competitive. Everyone (most) work really really hard, and are definitely what many would call "over achievers", but this program is about collaboration ("don't hate, collaborate!") as seen from the large amounts of group work in this program.

As for labs, you get a lab notebook with directions as to how to do the lab so read that beforehand, and finish the prelab questions too. You can also choose your roommates if you wish. I chose mine. :)

You should buy the textbooks. I took math as an elective and I bought that one, as well as my chemistry textbook. Maybe it's just me, but I just prefer reading a textbook rather than an ebook online.
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