Sign Up

Sign In

Forget Password

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link and will create a new password via email.

Sorry, you do not have a permission to add a question, You must login to ask question.

Real advice from real students.

Got a question about student life? From program comparisons to admission requirements to residence reviews—get real answers from real Canadian students.

cookiemonstersayshello

McMaster HealthSci vs. Western MedSci with President’s Entrance Scholarship & Scholar’s Electives

Hey! This is my first time posting here, and I really appreciate any help/thoughts you could share. Recently, I got offers from my top two choices:
  • McMaster Health Sciences
  • Western Medical Sciences (with President’s Entrance Scholarship + Scholar’s Electives)
I understand that this is a situation that I should be grateful to be in – and I sincerely, truly am! But, I want to make a decision that I will not regret later on and if you are in one of the programs, I’m hoping to get an honest opinion. I’ve heard good/bad stuff about both. I know McMaster is known to give out crazy high GPAs and since I hope to go to medical school in the future, that’s something to consider. However, Western is giving me opportunities that I’m not sure are worth rejecting. So, what I really want to ask is – if I choose Western, will I be able to keep up a relatively high GPA (is it as hard as forums say to get a 3.8+) and are there any other huge advantages associated with McMaster (besides the GPA boon)? I really scoured the internet, reading forums/threads etc. before coming here, but if I’m mentioning something wrong, please let me know! I really want as much first hand info as I can get and you are doing me a big favour which I really appreciate!!

13 Answers

  1. It does not sound like you did much research. Eragon and sunwing spelled it our quite clearly here. Read their posts.
    https://bhsc.mcmaster.ca/current-students/post-grad/ – this tells you everything you need to know
    https://uthink.com/question/western-med-sci-ivey-aeo-scholars-electives-or-mcmaster-health-sci/
    https://reddit.com/r/OntarioUniversities/comments/gkqgt7/western_med_sci_cons/
    Western med sci is useless. The program does not start until 3rd year, less than 20% get into med school (you can see their career survey right on their website), and the program weeded out hundreds of students in first and second years (800 acceptances for 500 spots). I’m not sure what advantages you think you are going to get in this program. It’s just another regular undergraduate science degree. I’m also not sure why it is so hard to believe that not everyone in med sci has an A average? This isn’t high school anymore. The program has an admissions cutoff that is 92-93% and attracts all high achievers and professional school gunners. Of course not everyone will get an A average. The class average has to be kept at a C/C+ in university; this is not rocket science. If you want to get an A average, you can, but that is not to say that you are owed an A average or that it will be easy. Mac health sci’s grade inflation is important for med school wannabes because no other canadian program has grade inflation, and med school acceptance rates are less than 5%. As for scholar’s electives, eragon has outlined that clearly as well in the other thread. You can do research with a prof anywhere. I know students at York and Ryerson doing it. All you have to do is talk to your profs outside of class, and go to their office hours, to show that you are interested in their work. I fail to see what advantages western med sci or any other science program has compared to mac health sci. I have friends that came out of med sci and most did not get into med, dental, law, etc., and most just entered the job market making near minimum wage in totally unrelated fields. Med sci is not medical school. It’s just another undergraduate science degree. Frankly useless in the job market without further schooling, which is why health sci is so coveted. They have sent over 1100+ of their alumni into Canadian med schools so far.

    • 0
    • Hi! Thank you for your help and insight, really appreciate it. I would like to say that yes, I might not know as much as you do about these programs (assuming you’re in either one of them), but I’ve spent the better part of this year just reading forums/looking up profiles of students who got into med school and the university websites – I have done research. This was another avenue through which I could have more perspectives. I also, as I said, recognize that McMaster Health Sci sends more people to med school. This number however cannot be taken without considering how many people out of the cohort actually wanted to apply to med. HealthSci inherently attracts usually premeds, but MedSci is also known as a popular program for research/academia bound students. Yes, I know MedSci sends fewer students than HealthSci. But it doesn’t send none. The major risk I see that is associated with Western is not having a high GPA ( I know it is hard to get an A avg – but it’s not impossible). I just wanted some insider insight on approx. how many people actually end up keeping it. Western is offering me more tangible opportunities (the scholarship + SE) and if there is a possibility I could keep a high GPA there, I don’t see why I should choose McMaster.

      Also, I read a thread by someone who got into med school with a 4.0 GPA in MedSci – that thread is what made me question how many actually keep up a 3.9+ GPA at Western. Yes, I recognize this person is probably exceptional, but I am ready to put the effort required. I am not a deluded high school student who thinks MedSci/ HealthSci – MedSchool.

      Thank you very very much for those links and the additional info- gives another perspective. : )

      • 0
  2. It does not sound like you did much research. Eragon and sunwing spelled it our quite clearly here. Read their posts.
    https://bhsc.mcmaster.ca/current-students/post-grad/ – this tells you everything you need to know
    Western med sci is useless. The program does not start until 3rd year, less than 20% get into med school (you can see their career survey right on their website), and the program weeded out hundreds of students in first and second years (800 acceptances for 500 spots). I’m not sure what advantages you think you are going to get in this program. It’s just another regular undergraduate science degree. I’m also not sure why it is so hard to believe that not everyone in med sci has an A average? This isn’t high school anymore. The program has an admissions cutoff that is 92-93% and attracts all high achievers and professional school gunners. Of course not everyone will get an A average. The class average has to be kept at a C/C+ in university; this is not rocket science. If you want to get an A average, you can, but that is not to say that you are owed an A average or that it will be easy. Mac health sci’s grade inflation is important for med school wannabes because no other canadian program has grade inflation, and med school acceptance rates are less than 5%. As for scholar’s electives, eragon has outlined that clearly as well in the other thread. You can do research with a prof anywhere. I know students at York and Ryerson doing it. All you have to do is talk to your profs outside of class, and go to their office hours, to show that you are interested in their work. I fail to see what advantages western med sci or any other science program has compared to mac health sci. I have friends that came out of med sci and most did not get into med, dental, law, etc., and most just entered the job market making near minimum wage in totally unrelated fields. Med sci is not medical school. It’s just another undergraduate science degree. Frankly useless in the job market without further schooling, which is why health sci is so coveted. They have sent over 1100+ of their alumni into Canadian med schools so far.

    • 0
  3. -> Given the fact that there are students with visual arts, music, social science, commerce, engineering, nursing, etc. backgrounds in medical school, just what kind of “med school preparation” are you expecting in undergrad?
    -> There is a reason why medical schools:
    a) do not care what you studied
    b) do not care where you went
    c) have little to no prerequisite courses (unlike pharmacy for example)
    d) do not require the MCAT (some, not all)
    -> I have a friend that studied commerce, never volunteered in a hospital, has no research experience, and took very few science electives in undergrad, that self-studied for the MCAT, and is now in medical school. Many high schoolers naively think they need science/health oriented courses and extracurriculars to stand out in the medical school admissions process, but this is dime a dozen.
    -> There are thousands of applicants applying with these profiles. My buddy did commerce, performed well in his courses, had a lot of community service and activism, got multiple med school interviews, and is now well on his way to becoming a doctor.
    Mac health science does have grade inflation, but why is that a bad thing; do you not want to go to medical school? Acceptance rates are less than 5% and the GPA cutoff is 3.9+ for most schools. University is nothing like high school; most students are not able to get a 3.9+ GPA (this puts you in the top 1% of your class).
    -> If you have to go to Mac health sci to get an inflated GPA, do it. You can then spend the remainder of your time building your application, rather than stressing about grades and having your dreams crushed (like U of T life sci kids).
    -> The hard part is actually getting into medical school. You’ve been given the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory that many others would sell a kidney for in a second (I am serious. There are many med school failures that would do this). Accept it and do not look back.

    • 1
    • Hi! Thanks so so much Eragon for this. Truly appreciate it. I understand med school is a goal that can be achieved through many routes! Also, I am really grateful that I am in the position to choose b/w McMaster and Western. If I hadn’t gotten the scholarship/SE I would’ve blindly accepted Health Sci. Do you think the scholarship at least somewhat separates me from other med aspirants? Of course, a good GPA is must (hence the question if it IS really as hard some threads say, to keep up a good one, at Western).

      Thanks so so much for the time you took out to help me out- the info is really helpful!! : )

      • 0
  4. OP, if you want to get into med school, a 3.8 will not get it; you need a 3.9+ to be competitive for most schools. Do the math. Just how many university students do you think have a 3.9+ out of 4.0 GPA. This puts you in the top 1% of your class no matter where you go. It’s always puzzling when high schoolers keep asking about whether a high GPA is possible, and where they can attain one. Do you think performing in the top 1% in university is easy?

    • 1
  5. OP, if you were smart enough to get into Mac health sci and want to become a physician so bad, why didn’t you bother applying to QuARMS. That’s the only true “pre-med” program in Canada where you basically start med school after only two years of undergrad.

    • 0

Sorry, you do not have a permission to answer to this question.