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Questions about Canadian university applications

A photo of willeh willeh
Hi, I am an Ontario high school student entering grade 12 in the upcoming school year. I've been doing some research about Canadian universiteies and now I've got a few questions. I would appreciate any help I get from this forum, especially those from the university students who went throught it all and have lots of experience. Now onto the questions!

My top 2 choise right now are Life Sci at UBC and UoT, and I would like to study the field of biochemistry (not med).

Question 1: I've went to both the websites of UBC and UoT, and I've only found information about submiting the OUAC number under the application tab. But what about the supplements? By supplements I mean personal statement, recommendation letter, history of awards, etc. I couldn't find any info on the website about when and how to submit these items, and I'm wondering are these document even needed for application. Would someone with experience applying to university tell me are these items needed for application or not?

Question 2: I am not a Canadian citizen, but I have lived in Canada for the past 6 years and have a permenent resident card, does this affect my university application at all?

Question 3: I have heard from some sources on the web that unlike US universities, Canadian universities focus more on the students' grades and less about extra curriculars. If this is true, just how important are grades compared to extra curriculars for a Canadian university?

That's all my questions for now, I may come back to the forum with more questions as the days go by. In the meantime, I would like to thank everyone who helped answer my questions!
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
1. Usually you submit the supplementary stuff online (they'll have a secure website when the time comes), or you have to mail it in yourself. All of the supplementaries I've had to do were online.

2. I'm not sure, but there's an option on OUAC where you check off if you're a citizen/permanent resident/other.

3. More or less true (depends on the individual programs). UTSG life sci does not care about ECs at all (at least not back when I applied in 2008, there was no supplementary app for it). For a lot of programs, high marks are all you need to get in.
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A photo of willeh willeh
Thanks for the fast reply, a few more questions about supplementaries:
When you said "submit the supplementary stuff", what exactly do you mean? Does it include personal statement and recommendation letters? I'm really stressing these two things here because my aunt went to Britain universities and she's urging me to start writing my PA now, she says that it is really important, but do canadian universities even require them? I don't want to put all the hard work in for nothing.

And you said there wasn't any supplementary to submit for UoT Life Sci, so all you had to do was just apply through OUAC and you're done?
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A photo of ktel ktel
Most programs don't require a supplementary application. You should easily be able to figure out now which ones do, and if you want to start early, go for it.
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking

@willeh wrote
Thanks for the fast reply, a few more questions about supplementaries:
When you said "submit the supplementary stuff", what exactly do you mean? Does it include personal statement and recommendation letters? I'm really stressing these two things here because my aunt went to Britain universities and she's urging me to start writing my PA now, she says that it is really important, but do canadian universities even require them? I don't want to put all the hard work in for nothing.

And you said there wasn't any supplementary to submit for UoT Life Sci, so all you had to do was just apply through OUAC and you're done?



I applied to Mac health sci, UTSG life sci, Queen's sci, and UWO biomed. Only Mac health sci and Queen's sci required supplementary apps (both online). I didn't have to provide ref letters for either, just the contact info for an academic reference (their name, telephone number, email, position etc). Had to fill out some short essay questions, but not an actual PS (personal statements are really uncommon in Canada except for entry into grad/professional schools). If a supp app is required, it's usually not due till Feb/March so you have plenty of chance to complete it after applying through OUAC.

Yes I just applied through OUAC for UTSG life sci.
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A photo of Zion Zion
You don't need all that supplemental stuff. Canadian applications are much simpler than American ones. We don't really care about ECs here either. It's almost completely dependent on your marks.
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A photo of willeh willeh
Thanks for all the replies guys, glad to hear that you don't need a PA, cuz I'm not really good at writing that kind of stuff. So can you guys with the experience tell me what I do need to prepare for my apllication? Also if anyone know any details about the application process of the UBC life sci program that would be helpful too.

Another sort of unrelated question here. I want to study biochemistry and have a career in the research fields, so far I got 3 universities on my list, UBC, U of T, and McMaster, anyone know other Canadian universities that's good in this field too? I think I need to apply to a few more universities just to be safe, and how big are my chances of getting in with an average around 93%? Would having no work experiences hurt my chances?
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A photo of cliffhanger33 cliffhanger33
I know UBC sciences will ask you to do an OPTIONAL supplementary. You don't have to do it, if your marks are high enough to impress the admission officers. However, it is highly recommended (in UBC) to just do the supplementary application. Increases your chances by far. They like well-rounded students.
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