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Pharmacy and Second Year Orgo/1st Year Chemistry Marks..

A photo of Kshar Kshar
I'm looking into pursuing pharmacy after I have graduated with a degree. I am currently enrolled in the honors specialization in physiology and psychology program at UWO.

My cumulative GPA at this point is roughly around 3.4~3.5. I know it's not great. I've been inconsistent with my grades, getting 80s/90s in some courses while getting 70s in others.

What's really been bugging me is my poor performance in first year chem and second year orgo part 1. I took first year chem in summer school and finished with a 67 percent. I finished the first half of orgo with a 66 percent. The grades for the second half have not been released yet, but I suspect that I finished somewhere in the 70's.

Will the 60's in chemistry hurt my chances of pursuing pharmacy? Should I retake those courses again? I've heard schools calculate a pre requisite GPA, and that is what is really worrying me. I'm sure I can step my game up in years 3 and 4 but am afraid my first two years will bring me down. Do any pharmacy schools drop your lowest grades? Or do they keep prerequisites in your gpa no matter what? Do any of the schools calculate a GPA based solely on your last two academic years?

If I were to retake the chem courses, how would the schools go about calculating my GPA? Do they take the higher of the two marks or do they take an average of the two?

I feel like I'm having a crisis right now, so any input would really help out.

Thanks.
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
From what I've gathered, your performance in prerequisite courses is probably the most important criteria that pharmacy schools use. Overall cumulative GPA is just as important when applicants did not do so well in prerequisite courses. That is, if you can really improve your cumulative GPA in years three and four, then pharmacy schools will more or less turn a blind eye on your poor prerequisite course marks. Quite a few of the people in my class who have a degree did not do so well in their first year or two.

I'm not sure how pharmacy schools treat course retakes. My impression is that the admissions people are human and that there's not necessarily a set process. If on your first taking of a course, you get a 77, and then on second taking, get an 82, then they'd probably average the two. If there's a big difference (e.g. a 60 and then a high 80), then I think they'd be much more forgiving. Would they turn a blind eye on the 60? Probably not, but I think they'd appreciate the improvement. My guess is they'd treat you as if you had taken the course just once and received a low-mid 80 in it (in other words, an average weighted towards your mark on second taking of the course).

Trust me, I know a number of pharmacy students who didn't do so well in their first couple years and then pulled up their socks (and got in). The key is getting better grades. As a person who was in Phys/Psych for his first three years (and pretty much was in fourth year too), I can assure you that doing well in third and fourth year is definitely possible. You might have to work hard to do it, but it is absolutely possible. And once you get into pharmacy school, then you can relax. "Cs get degrees" is the code that a lot of pharmacy students live by.

Experience (working, volunteering, even shadowing) in a pharmacy can help too. So too can a good PCAT score, obviously (if you're applying to U of T or UBC, that is). The fact that you will have completed your degree certainly gives you a kick too. And to a lesser extent, extracurriculars will kick your application up a notch.
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@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
From what I've gathered, your performance in prerequisite courses is probably the most important criteria that pharmacy schools use. Overall cumulative GPA is just as important when applicants did not do so well in prerequisite courses. That is, if you can really improve your cumulative GPA in years three and four, then pharmacy schools will more or less turn a blind eye on your poor prerequisite course marks. Quite a few of the people in my class who have a degree did not do so well in their first year or two.

I'm not sure how pharmacy schools treat course retakes. My impression is that the admissions people are human and that there's not necessarily a set process. If on your first taking of a course, you get a 77, and then on second taking, get an 82, then they'd probably average the two. If there's a big difference (e.g. a 60 and then a high 80), then I think they'd be much more forgiving. Would they turn a blind eye on the 60? Probably not, but I think they'd appreciate the improvement. My guess is they'd treat you as if you had taken the course just once and received a low-mid 80 in it (in other words, an average weighted towards your mark on second taking of the course).

Trust me, I know a number of pharmacy students who didn't do so well in their first couple years and then pulled up their socks (and got in). The key is getting better grades. As a person who was in Phys/Psych for his first three years (and pretty much was in fourth year too), I can assure you that doing well in third and fourth year is definitely possible. You might have to work hard to do it, but it is absolutely possible. And once you get into pharmacy school, then you can relax. "Cs get degrees" is the code that a lot of pharmacy students live by.

Experience (working, volunteering, even shadowing) in a pharmacy can help too. So too can a good PCAT score, obviously (if you're applying to U of T or UBC, that is). The fact that you will have completed your degree certainly gives you a kick too. And to a lesser extent, extracurriculars will kick your application up a notch.



Thanks for the amazing reply. I've read quite a few of your posts on this board and they have all been quite informative!

So, are you suggesting for me to cut my losses on my chem marks and just focus on the next two years? Exactly how "bad" can people get away with doing in their first two years?

How is pharmacy outside of Canada? Less competitive? I've been hearing about people going to the UK to pursue pharmacy. Do you have any input on international schools? I'm really worried I won't make it here, although I will still do my best.
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
You're welcome.

It makes sense that pharmacy schools put a lot of emphasis on your prerequisite course marks: those courses are the ones that the school thinks will best represent your ability to succeed in pharmacy school. If you were worried because you had received mid-70s in your chem courses, then I'd likely tell you not to worry at all and just make sure to get a high cumulative GPA. If you were worried because you had received mid-to-high 60s in courses that weren't prerequisites, then I would also tell you not to worry and just make sure to get a high cumulative GPA. However, with mid-to-high 60s in your chem courses... well, I don't know what to say. I don't think you'd be outright rejected for those chem marks alone, but they are certainly a sizable dent on your record. Simply because of those marks, you have to excel in other measures (cumulative GPA, especially). To compensate, I'd imagine your cumulative GPA would have to be at the very least 3.6 (and, therefore, 3.8+ in your upper years).

So, what it comes down to is how willing you are to retake chemistry, particularly orgo, and how likely you think you'll be able to pull of a 3.8 in your upper years. I think that if you could pull up your orgo marks to 80%+, then that would paint a much better picture of yourself. Sure, you'd still be stuck with that 67 in first-year chem, but an 80+ in orgo would well overshadow that. Furthermore, your cumulative GPA will increase, and doing uber-well in third and fourth year won't be so much of a necessity to boost your application.

I looked into applying to US schools, but that was all. All of the ones I looked at had some odd requirements (e.g. intro to microeconomics, oral communication, US History from 1776-1862, etc, etc...). I didn't have the interest or even the chance to take a lot of the courses required by US pharmacy schools.

In general, international schools are less competitive than Canadian schools. At the very least, they increase your odds of getting into any one school. Definitely worth looking into, but that's about all I know. I do believe that only a certain number of spots are available each year for foreign graduates, so that might be a concern of mine if I were going abroad and wanting to return to Canada to practice.
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@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
You're welcome.

It makes sense that pharmacy schools put a lot of emphasis on your prerequisite course marks: those courses are the ones that the school thinks will best represent your ability to succeed in pharmacy school. If you were worried because you had received mid-70s in your chem courses, then I'd likely tell you not to worry at all and just make sure to get a high cumulative GPA. If you were worried because you had received mid-to-high 60s in courses that weren't prerequisites, then I would also tell you not to worry and just make sure to get a high cumulative GPA. However, with mid-to-high 60s in your chem courses... well, I don't know what to say. I don't think you'd be outright rejected for those chem marks alone, but they are certainly a sizable dent on your record. Simply because of those marks, you have to excel in other measures (cumulative GPA, especially). To compensate, I'd imagine your cumulative GPA would have to be at the very least 3.6 (and, therefore, 3.8+ in your upper years).

So, what it comes down to is how willing you are to retake chemistry, particularly orgo, and how likely you think you'll be able to pull of a 3.8 in your upper years. I think that if you could pull up your orgo marks to 80%+, then that would paint a much better picture of yourself. Sure, you'd still be stuck with that 67 in first-year chem, but an 80+ in orgo would well overshadow that. Furthermore, your cumulative GPA will increase, and doing uber-well in third and fourth year won't be so much of a necessity to boost your application.

I looked into applying to US schools, but that was all. All of the ones I looked at had some odd requirements (e.g. intro to microeconomics, oral communication, US History from 1776-1862, etc, etc...). I didn't have the interest or even the chance to take a lot of the courses required by US pharmacy schools.

In general, international schools are less competitive than Canadian schools. At the very least, they increase your odds of getting into any one school. Definitely worth looking into, but that's about all I know. I do believe that only a certain number of spots are available each year for foreign graduates, so that might be a concern of mine if I were going abroad and wanting to return to Canada to practice.



I guess I'll retake orgo. I wish I could take it during intersession but the problem is that I will be out of the country this summer. Guess I'll have to retake it during the year. How was the third year physiology lab, by the way? What about the course itself?

Also, I was looking at the University of Alberta's pharmacy requirements, as well at Waterloo's. They both ask for statistics, with Waterloo in particular asking for a science statistics course. For the program I am currently enrolled in, I am required to complete a psychology stats course as opposed to a stats for scientists course. Do grad schools generally tend to accept either? Or do they look exclusively for science stats? On another note, I found it odd that those two schools don't look at first year biology when calculating pre requisite GPA.
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
Always be sure to check course equivalencies. For example, what U of A considers "Cell Biology" is actually a first-year half-year course that U of A students take to complete a full year of first-year biology (in combination with "Evolution and Ecology" or something like that). First-year biology at Western is transferable with that Cell Biology course. It might be the same case at Waterloo, or similar.

Yes, I did psych stats too. Most schools want to see a half-year course in stats; while Psych stats may not be as advanced as a science stats course, it is a full-year course, so it's almost always deemed equivalent. It's always worth it to confirm these equivalencies, whether it be with a transfer equivalency guide or with an admissions officer.

The lab course is awesome. Definitely one of my favourite courses in undergrad and a lot better than 2290 or Scientific Methods, or whatever they call it now (the second-year bio lab course). And it isn't a lot of work either. Things I remember doing: sciatic nerve stimulation on a frog, demonstrating the detection of angular acceleration by the semicircular canals by spinning a person in a chair, putting on glasses that skew your vision 30 degrees to the left and then throwing a ball at a wall in front of you (your arm knows how to throw straight, and so it does, but you see the ball go 30 degrees to the left, so you start throwing 30 degrees to the right to compensate. When you take off the glasses, you throw 30 degrees to the right, thinking that you're throwing straight, but then you see the ball hit way right of centre), running on a treadmill to see if doing so would increase urine creatinine levels (to see if your kidneys compensate for the increased cardiac output that occurs during exercise), injecting one group of rats with an unknown hormone and then another group of rats with a placebo and then dissecting the rats to determine what the unknown hormone was. Basically, you get a broad topic and then get to choose what you as a group specifically want to study on that topic, then you design an experiment to do the study, and then you present your findings to your peers (who present their topics and the experiment they did).

The lecture course I enjoyed too, but that's because I had always really wanted to learn about how the body worked. You'll have a very good understanding of that after taking the course. Of all the courses I took in undergrad, that was the one in which I could truly say I had learned a lot from the course. And I'm not just talking about a bunch of BS. After orgo, I learned a lot of chemical reactions and such, so I guess I could say I learned a lot from that course too. Nah, I'm talking about things that you can apply in other medical science courses and in real life. And of all the courses that prepped me for pharmacy school, I'd say that course is the one that helped the most. And I took third-year pharmacology and third-year toxicology. Physiology is just so fundamental to all medical science disciplines. Making it even better: there's four exams, and that's it for evaluations. No required textbook. You go to class and study for exams - that's all.
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@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
Always be sure to check course equivalencies. For example, what U of A considers "Cell Biology" is actually a first-year half-year course that U of A students take to complete a full year of first-year biology (in combination with "Evolution and Ecology" or something like that). First-year biology at Western is transferable with that Cell Biology course. It might be the same case at Waterloo, or similar.

Yes, I did psych stats too. Most schools want to see a half-year course in stats; while Psych stats may not be as advanced as a science stats course, it is a full-year course, so it's almost always deemed equivalent. It's always worth it to confirm these equivalencies, whether it be with a transfer equivalency guide or with an admissions officer.

The lab course is awesome. Definitely one of my favourite courses in undergrad and a lot better than 2290 or Scientific Methods, or whatever they call it now (the second-year bio lab course). And it isn't a lot of work either. Things I remember doing: sciatic nerve stimulation on a frog, demonstrating the detection of angular acceleration by the semicircular canals by spinning a person in a chair, putting on glasses that skew your vision 30 degrees to the left and then throwing a ball at a wall in front of you (your arm knows how to throw straight, and so it does, but you see the ball go 30 degrees to the left, so you start throwing 30 degrees to the right to compensate. When you take off the glasses, you throw 30 degrees to the right, thinking that you're throwing straight, but then you see the ball hit way right of centre), running on a treadmill to see if doing so would increase urine creatinine levels (to see if your kidneys compensate for the increased cardiac output that occurs during exercise), injecting one group of rats with an unknown hormone and then another group of rats with a placebo and then dissecting the rats to determine what the unknown hormone was. Basically, you get a broad topic and then get to choose what you as a group specifically want to study on that topic, then you design an experiment to do the study, and then you present your findings to your peers (who present their topics and the experiment they did).

The lecture course I enjoyed too, but that's because I had always really wanted to learn about how the body worked. You'll have a very good understanding of that after taking the course. Of all the courses I took in undergrad, that was the one in which I could truly say I had learned a lot from the course. And I'm not just talking about a bunch of BS. After orgo, I learned a lot of chemical reactions and such, so I guess I could say I learned a lot from that course too. Nah, I'm talking about things that you can apply in other medical science courses and in real life. And of all the courses that prepped me for pharmacy school, I'd say that course is the one that helped the most. And I took third-year pharmacology and third-year toxicology. Physiology is just so fundamental to all medical science disciplines. Making it even better: there's four exams, and that's it for evaluations. No required textbook. You go to class and study for exams - that's all.



Ah, dang. I was hoping they were talking about second year cell bio because I'm doing very well in it. I finished first year bio with a 72.. so I'm not too sure what to think about that.

To be honest, I knew first year didn't go so well for me. My marks were spread from 90's to 60's. But I never really worried about it because people would always tell me how first year didn't really matter, and that many schools would drop X amounts of lowest credits, or look at your last two years, etc. Profs would also tell us how it was the transition year and it was okay because we were just getting used to university because we had just come out of high school. I'm only now beginning to realize how much I may have screwed up. I don't think my motivations ever felt so low, lol.

I took the first year physiology(it was the exact same course as the second year - same profs + exact same exams - only difference was that we had mandatory tutorials worth 10 percent) and really enjoyed it. I was in kinesiology last year, and so I had to take it.
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
Graduate schools and other professional schools usually look much more at your last two years; it's just that you can get into pharmacy school after one or two years, so there's more emphasis on your performance in first and second year. If you can improve your marks in third and fourth year, then pharmacy schools certainly look highly on such an accomplishment.

Remember that I'm mostly speculating here. You might know a bit more about undergrad admissions after spending a couple years in undergrad, but I'm sure you still don't know exactly the process used to determine whether or not a prospective high school student will be accepted. I can say the same for myself. I've been able to infer a bit about the black box that is professional school admissions (from talking with classmates about their undergraduate performances), but I still have no idea what exactly goes into determining who's accepted and who isn't.

To put it simply, my guess is you'd have to get 3.8 in your third and fourth years as you currently stand; if you repeat orgo and get 80+ in it, then you'd just have to get like 3.7 in your third and fourth years. If you can pull either of those off, then I'd say you're WELL on your way to getting into pharmacy. Minus 0.1 from those GPAs if you get some experience in a pharmacy and/or some half-decent extracurriculars and/or score highly on the PCAT (for U of T and UBC) and/or can write a killer letter of intent (and if you can pull off all those, maybe minus 0.2). So I wouldn't necessarily say repeat orgo, but, if you choose not to, then you're going to have to gloss up your application in other ways. I can't tell you what to do; I don't know you nearly well enough to know which option would be best. Either way you look at it, you're going to have to now put in more effort to compensate for your previous lack of effort.

I should also note that what I've suggested so far are means that will nearly ensure your acceptance to at least one Canadian pharmacy school. If you choose not to repeat any courses and just aim for 3.6 in third and fourth year, you'll still have a shot at getting into pharmacy; the odds just wouldn't be in your favour.
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@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
Graduate schools and other professional schools usually look much more at your last two years; it's just that you can get into pharmacy school after one or two years, so there's more emphasis on your performance in first and second year. If you can improve your marks in third and fourth year, then pharmacy schools certainly look highly on such an accomplishment.

Remember that I'm mostly speculating here. You might know a bit more about undergrad admissions after spending a couple years in undergrad, but I'm sure you still don't know exactly the process used to determine whether or not a prospective high school student will be accepted. I can say the same for myself. I've been able to infer a bit about the black box that is professional school admissions (from talking with classmates about their undergraduate performances), but I still have no idea what exactly goes into determining who's accepted and who isn't.

To put it simply, my guess is you'd have to get 3.8 in your third and fourth years as you currently stand; if you repeat orgo and get 80+ in it, then you'd just have to get like 3.7 in your third and fourth years. If you can pull either of those off, then I'd say you're WELL on your way to getting into pharmacy. Minus 0.1 from those GPAs if you get some experience in a pharmacy and/or some half-decent extracurriculars and/or score highly on the PCAT (for U of T and UBC) and/or can write a killer letter of intent (and if you can pull off all those, maybe minus 0.2). So I wouldn't necessarily say repeat orgo, but, if you choose not to, then you're going to have to gloss up your application in other ways. I can't tell you what to do; I don't know you nearly well enough to know which option would be best. Either way you look at it, you're going to have to now put in more effort to compensate for your previous lack of effort.

I should also note that what I've suggested so far are means that will nearly ensure your acceptance to at least one Canadian pharmacy school. If you choose not to repeat any courses and just aim for 3.6 in third and fourth year, you'll still have a shot at getting into pharmacy; the odds just wouldn't be in your favour.



Very motivating to know that I still have a chance! I actually sent Waterloo an email inquiring about their repeat course policies. I was also looking at first year chem/bio courses at UWO, and noticed that the course codes have changed, and that first year chem/bio have been split into two half credits each. I realize you may not know the answer to this question, and that this answer will quite obviously vary from school to school, but do schools tend to ONLY take the average between two courses with the same course code? Or, if someone had taken two first year bio's/chem's, for example, each with a different course code, would they take the first year course with the higher mark? If they take the higher of the two as long as they have different course codes, then that would be very relieving to know. The reason I didn't address this question in the email I sent to Waterloo was because I was worried that the email would make me sound as if I was attempting to exploit a loophole, or take a shortcut/easy way out.

Also, I noticed that UofA asks for a half credit in calculus. Similar to the last question, does UofA take the better of the two half credit calculus courses (assuming you took both 1000a and 1301b)? Or only the first half?
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
Again, I can only speculate. When an admissions committee person is looking at your transcript and he sees that you have two or three courses at the 1xxx level in biology, all with similar or the same course title, then he is going to wonder what is going on and likely will further investigate. It's not a computer system looking at your transcript; it is a living, breathing human. I'm not saying you wouldn't be able to trick this person, but don't count on it.

Furthermore, and more importantly actually, you can't trick Western. The first-year biology and chemistry courses you took are going to be antirequisites of the newer versions of those courses. I'm not too sure what the implications of that would be for anyone who wanted to retake the older versions of those courses.

The half credit in calculus that U of A is looking for would be Calc 1000.
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@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
Again, I can only speculate. When an admissions committee person is looking at your transcript and he sees that you have two or three courses at the 1xxx level in biology, all with similar or the same course title, then he is going to wonder what is going on and likely will further investigate. It's not a computer system looking at your transcript; it is a living, breathing human. I'm not saying you wouldn't be able to trick this person, but don't count on it.

Furthermore, and more importantly actually, you can't trick Western. The first-year biology and chemistry courses you took are going to be antirequisites of the newer versions of those courses. I'm not too sure what the implications of that would be for anyone who wanted to retake the older versions of those courses.

The half credit in calculus that U of A is looking for would be Calc 1000.



Again, thank you very much for your replies. I hope I'm not beginning to bug you, but could you recommend any third/fourth year courses/professors you may have had? Any classes you may have found interesting? What were the psych courses you took when you were in my program?

EDIT: I saw you recommended Psych 2220 in previous threads and decided to take it. I enjoyed it, a lot, although I get the impression that the professors may have changed. Luckily, by the time intent to register rolled around, that course was a pre-requisite for the physiology program, so I was able to apply for it.

Also, I received an email from Waterloo admissions. I asked:

"Hello,

I was just curious at to how course retakes are taken into consideration when calculating a student's GPA for admission. Is only the first grade taken into consideration, are the two grades averaged, or is the better of the two grades used to calculate GPA?

Thank you for your time in reading and responding to this email.

Much appreciated,

X"

And they responded with a line from the FAQ on their site:

"22. Are repeated attempts of specific courses included in admission assessments?

Yes. The Admissions Committee will review all academic attempts for prerequisite courses including the course load (expected that 5 full year or 10 semester course credits are ‘normal load’). The School does not recommend that ‘mark upgrade’ attempts be made once the passing grade is achieved."

So I never received a direct answer as to how GPA is calculated with retakes. Judging by the last sentence, I get the impression that they look at the first mark you received, but again, as you said, it's on an individual by individual basis.
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Hi,

I don't know much about admission standards other than U of T, but GPA requirments to get into pharmacy is not that high as you may think it is. Your GPA is quite stellar and will make you competetive to Pharmacy programs. Average entering grade in 2010 admission cycle for U of T was around 80% (i'm guessing 3.3ish CGPA would roughly be equivalent to 80 after all the marks are converted to a percent grade first before averaged) and I am assuming its going to drop significantly this year due to number of applicants being decreased in half.

U of T- You may be flagged for *weak in chem* or something. Check the admissions website on their policy because I remember them flagging low grades in chemistry. I also want to advise that pharmacy is a rather intensive in chemistry. This might be something to consider if you really dislike chemistry. You don't need any pharmacy experience because the Mulitiple Mini Interview will not directly benefit you for having worked in a pharamcy nor do they ask for your CV/ reference letter. Oh, and don't stress so much on the PCAT. It really isn't worth your time in my opinion because it doesn't seem to worth much at all.

Waterloo- This is what I know from the people who went through their admissions process. how well you do on the interview will pretty much determine if you get an offer or not. Experience working or at least volunteering in a pharmacy is HIGHLY recommended to get through the admission process.

Btw, Hi Matt! Did you miss me?
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
@ Kshar:

I took educational psychology (not recommended), social psychology (I liked it; recommended if you liked that section of first-year psych), 3224 (definitely recommended if you're interested in neuroscience), and 3229 (I found this to be an interesting course; really makes you think, as it's all about why, on an evolutionary basis, we do the things we do).

Classes I found interesting - Psych 3224 and 3229, Phys 3120, 3130, 4710, and that's it actually. You can access 4710's lecture notes here: http://www.physpharm.fmd.uwo.ca/undergrad/sensesweb/

Hmm. In light of what Rx has said, and at least Waterloo's policy on repeated courses, I'd say just keep on doing what you're doing but bring up your cGPA. I wouldn't bother with repeating any courses.

@ Kshar and Rx:

There's obviously no direct way of converting % average to cGPA average, but my guess is an 80% would equal approximately 3.5-3.6ish on a GPA scale. An 80 average is most likely going to result from a person who had most of his grades between 73% and 87% (considering that most people are pretty consistent). If you're typically getting 3.0, 3.3, 3.7, 3.9s (which, I believe are actually 4.0s at U of T), then you're going to end up with a cGPA of about 3.5.

My class was told that the cut-off was 3.4 and the average was between 3.6 and 3.7. The reason for the difference with U of T is likely because U of T holds interviews and requires the PCAT; U of A holds/requires neither and, therefore, puts a lot of emphasis on GPA. However, U of A does require a letter of intent (U of T doesn't?), so pharmacy experience does help, in two ways actually: 1) U of A looks a bit more highly on you for having the experience and 2) you can write a better letter of intent if you've spent time in a pharmacy.

@ Rx:

Quite a few of your classmates have been members here in my fairly long tenure on these forums. Don't take this to offense, but who are you? Maverick?
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@Rx wrote
Hi,

I don't know much about admission standards other than U of T, but GPA requirments to get into pharmacy is not that high as you may think it is. Your GPA is quite stellar and will make you competetive to Pharmacy programs. Average entering grade in 2010 admission cycle for U of T was around 80% (i'm guessing 3.3ish CGPA would roughly be equivalent to 80 after all the marks are converted to a percent grade first before averaged) and I am assuming its going to drop significantly this year due to number of applicants being decreased in half.

U of T- You may be flagged for *weak in chem* or something. Check the admissions website on their policy because I remember them flagging low grades in chemistry. I also want to advise that pharmacy is a rather intensive in chemistry. This might be something to consider if you really dislike chemistry. You don't need any pharmacy experience because the Mulitiple Mini Interview will not directly benefit you for having worked in a pharamcy nor do they ask for your CV/ reference letter. Oh, and don't stress so much on the PCAT. It really isn't worth your time in my opinion because it doesn't seem to worth much at all.

Waterloo- This is what I know from the people who went through their admissions process. how well you do on the interview will pretty much determine if you get an offer or not. Experience working or at least volunteering in a pharmacy is HIGHLY recommended to get through the admission process.

Btw, Hi Matt! Did you miss me?



Thanks for the advice/input man. Much appreciated, and very reassuring. :)

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@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
@ Kshar:

I took educational psychology (not recommended), social psychology (I liked it; recommended if you liked that section of first-year psych), 3224 (definitely recommended if you're interested in neuroscience), and 3229 (I found this to be an interesting course; really makes you think, as it's all about why, on an evolutionary basis, we do the things we do).

Classes I found interesting - Psych 3224 and 3229, Phys 3120, 3130, 4710, and that's it actually. You can access 4710's lecture notes here: http://www.physpharm.fmd.uwo.ca/undergrad/sensesweb/

Hmm. In light of what Rx has said, and at least Waterloo's policy on repeated courses, I'd say just keep on doing what you're doing but bring up your cGPA. I wouldn't bother with repeating any courses.

@ Kshar and Rx:

There's obviously no direct way of converting % average to cGPA average, but my guess is an 80% would equal approximately 3.5-3.6ish on a GPA scale. An 80 average is most likely going to result from a person who had most of his grades between 73% and 87% (considering that most people are pretty consistent). If you're typically getting 3.0, 3.3, 3.7, 3.9s (which, I believe are actually 4.0s at U of T), then you're going to end up with a cGPA of about 3.5.

My class was told that the cut-off was 3.4 and the average was between 3.6 and 3.7. The reason for the difference with U of T is likely because U of T holds interviews and requires the PCAT; U of A holds/requires neither and, therefore, puts a lot of emphasis on GPA. However, U of A does require a letter of intent (U of T doesn't?), so pharmacy experience does help, in two ways actually: 1) U of A looks a bit more highly on you for having the experience and 2) you can write a better letter of intent if you've spent time in a pharmacy.

@ Rx:

Quite a few of your classmates have been members here in my fairly long tenure on these forums. Don't take this to offense, but who are you? Maverick?



Sorry for bumping up an old thread, but I'm looking at picking my courses out for next year. I will be taking social psychology (2720), psych 2620 (I/O psychology) and psychology 3209 (a neuroscience course). I'm interested in 3224, but I've heard bad things about the prof teaching it (Kohler). If this was the professor you had, could you give me your opinion on him? How about 3229? The professor teaching it in 2011-2012 is Macdouggal-Shackleton, who I've heard is tough. Is that who you had?

Lastly, looking at psychology 3229 on the uwo website, it has Psychology 2820E or both Psychology 2800E and 2810, and one of Psychology 2220A/B, 2221A/B listed as prerequisites. Did you have a hard time getting permission to get into the course, assuming you only took psychology 2810 and 2220A/B?

I'm asking a lot of questions, but I just don't want to end up shooting myself in the foot for taking courses that I'll end up dreading due to ridiculous profs or excessively heavy courseloads.

EDIT: Also, could you tell me a little bit about physiology 3140A (cellular physiology)?
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
I haven't heard of Kohler. But, yeah, Mac-Shack is who I had for 3229. I didn't find that he was tough; I thought he was a good prof actually. Psych students might find that course tough because there is a bit of basic genetics and evolution involved. I'm almost certain that I didn't run into any problems when registering for the course. They must have changed the prerequisites.

Cell phys is a lot like second-year cell bio. You'll learn A LOT about the workings of a neuronal action potential - the physics of it, the receptors involved, the experiments done to decipher the mechanism, etc... I think nearly half the course was on neuronal action potentials. The other half, if I remember correctly, had to do with receptor physiology. Lots about GPCRs, ligand-gated ion channels, second messenger cascades, etc, etc... Boring course.
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A photo of Kshar Kshar

@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
I haven't heard of Kohler. But, yeah, Mac-Shack is who I had for 3229. I didn't find that he was tough; I thought he was a good prof actually. Psych students might find that course tough because there is a bit of basic genetics and evolution involved. I'm almost certain that I didn't run into any problems when registering for the course. They must have changed the prerequisites.

Cell phys is a lot like second-year cell bio. You'll learn A LOT about the workings of a neuronal action potential - the physics of it, the receptors involved, the experiments done to decipher the mechanism, etc... I think nearly half the course was on neuronal action potentials. The other half, if I remember correctly, had to do with receptor physiology. Lots about GPCRs, ligand-gated ion channels, second messenger cascades, etc, etc... Boring course.



Thanks so much dude. You're a big help. Do you remember the format of the exams and quizzes for 3229? It sounds very interesting and I'm actually thinking of taking that course, but I'm not very good at short/long answer exams and am trying to stick with multiple choice evaluations.
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A photo of Kshar Kshar

@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
I haven't heard of Kohler. But, yeah, Mac-Shack is who I had for 3229. I didn't find that he was tough; I thought he was a good prof actually. Psych students might find that course tough because there is a bit of basic genetics and evolution involved. I'm almost certain that I didn't run into any problems when registering for the course. They must have changed the prerequisites.

Cell phys is a lot like second-year cell bio. You'll learn A LOT about the workings of a neuronal action potential - the physics of it, the receptors involved, the experiments done to decipher the mechanism, etc... I think nearly half the course was on neuronal action potentials. The other half, if I remember correctly, had to do with receptor physiology. Lots about GPCRs, ligand-gated ion channels, second messenger cascades, etc, etc... Boring course.



Thanks so much dude. You're a big help. Do you remember the format of the exams and quizzes for 3229? It sounds very interesting and I'm actually thinking of taking that course, but I'm not very good at short/long answer exams and am trying to stick with multiple choice evaluations.
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
I think it was a mix of short answer and multiple choice.
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