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Question about summer courses and Canadian med schools - any of them but mainly UofT, Please help!!!

A photo of 456ooo456 456ooo456
hi, i'm just a bit confused regarding summer courses and med school.

so most med schools don't count courses taken during the summer as part of the GPA - but they are counted towards finishing up a degree? what if the courses are prerequisites?

i go to the university of toronto - scarborough campus. it's a trisemestered school, so the courses taken do count towards my gpa and my degree, whether they are prereqs or not, right?

but for the UofT med school, it says that they don't count summer courses into the gpa.

i am not taking a full course load during the year, only four courses per semester, and i'm planning on doing two in the summer. i was going to do to easy electives then, but now i'm thinking i should shift some of my harder courses to the summer session so they won't count towards my gpa and just do the easy ones now. is that how it works, or am i missing something?

i just got interested in medicine, so when i chose my course load (and i chose this lighter one due to some suggestions by a few friends)i didnt take any fo these factors into consideration.

so do med schools look down on a lighter course load and summer school?

what if from next year (my second year) i take a full fourse load for fall/winter, but do soem hard courses (like organic chem) that are not required for my degree/program, but so that i get the knowledge needed for the mcat and not have them count towards my gpa?

can someone clear this up for me and tell me if im missing something?

please help me out, i just found out about this minutes before and im so confused and scared!!

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You can't take prereqs during the summer because med schools (and professional schools in general) typically require prereqs to be taken during full time semesters (ie. while taking 4 other courses). This is to prevent what you're actually thinking of doing (taking a lighter courseload to make it easier to achieve a high GPA). Otherwise, everyone would just take their prereqs in the summer when they have all the time in the world to focus on doing well in the course rather than during the regular school year when you're juggling 4 other courses, ECs, volunteering etc. They want to see that potential med school students are capable of handling a normal courseload (5 courses/sem), get good grades, have ECs etc during undergrad. If you can't handle that in undergrad then there's no way you would survive in med school. So yes, most med schools definitely look down on a lighter course load and in fact you may be automatically disqualified if you aren't taking full time semesters.

Honestly med school will be so much harder than undergrad that people who are used to taking 3-4 courses/sem will be completely overwhelmed and unprepared for the workload.
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thanks for the help! but just one thing, UofT's med school site says that its okay to not have a full course load during the year, any year of undergrad in fact. this is directly from the site:

Prerequisites:

two full-course equivalents (FCE) in any life science
one FCE in any of social sciences, humanities, or a language

FAQ'S:

2) How will part-time courses affect my GPA?

Marks from any courses completed on a part-time basis are not included in the calculation of the GPA, but are accepted as credit towards the degree requirements and in fulfillment of prerequisites.

4) Do I have to carry a full-course load every year to be eligible to apply?

No. Carrying a full course load is only relevant to the weighting formula. Applicants are eligible to apply if they are completing 15 credits by the end of the third year, or 20 credits by the end of the fourth year. Applicants who fulfill these requirements despite not taking a full course load in the regular academic session are not penalized in the evaluation process.

5) What is the weighting formula?

The weighting formula is a method of GPA calculation eliminating some lower course marks. It is in place to encourage applicants to pursue rigourous and advanced coursework without penalty. It is applied only for applicants who have taken a full course load of five full-year courses (or the equivalent) each year in the regular academic session, and who have at least three completed years at the time of application.

The Admissions Office will recalculate the GPA, eliminating the applicable number of marks. Briefly, a student with three completed years may drop the three lowest full-year course marks, or six lowest semester course marks, or any combination thereof. A student applying with four completed years may drop the four lowest full-year course marks, or eight lowest semester course marks, or any combination thereof.

6) What if I take four courses in the regular session and one summer course?

The weighting formula would not be applied. It is only applied if a full course load was taken in the regular academic session in every year of study.

7) What if I carried a full course load in some years and not in others?

The weighting formula would not be applied. All years must have a full course load.

so now im lost :S it's okay to take prereq's in the summer, right? and i can take any amount of course from sept. to april and those will count as part of my gpa? but anything i take during the summer (as long as i'm a part-time student - so less than 3 courses) wont count towards my gpa even if its a prereq for either my degree or even med school?

i'm not planning on taking a lighter course load for any other year, just my first one because i was advised by a few friends so that it'll make the transition a bit easier. i'm regretting that now because it amkes everyhting more complicated. if i had taken a full course load (too late now that first semester is done - and no way i'm doing six courses this coming semester) i would have had the option of dropping 8 of my lowest marks, that's down the drain now :( but won't the effect be similar if i do some harder courses in the summer?

sorry for the toruble, any help is greatly appreciated!!!
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A photo of ktel ktel
Every med school has different requirements. You should research all the ones you plan on applying to in order to determine your best course of action. Based on what you posted it looks like the only way you get penalized by U of T for taking less than a full course load is that you don't get to drop any marks.
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