1st Year
McMaster University
You can maintain a good GPA if you put the work into it and you should be able to find a good balance between your studies, social life, and ECs. It was a little hard for me to find the balance because I focused way too much on my studies (because I was so scared about my average dropping) and got a good GPA but now I’m so burnt out :/ (don’t be like me lol). A way to get a high GPA is to take easy electives that you actually enjoy.
McMaster coop starts in 3rd year. It’s quite competitive and you would usually need to have at least a 10.0 GPA (A-) even though their requirement is a 5.0 GPA (C) and pass their interview to actually get into the coop program. From what I’ve heard from upper years, most ppl get a position, but you would have to find the positions yourself because the coop office doesn’t really help you with that.
You choose your specialization at the end of 1st year in April where you rank your top 4 specializations and find out which one you got into in June. Admission is based on GPA. You can also change your specialization in 3rd year!
Some coop placements people in life sci get are research lab placements (e.g. cancer), hospitals, etc. The cool thing is that it’s not just limited to Ontario, you can also do a coop placement outside of Ontario and even internationally!
Yes – I’m actually going through the application process right now. It’s just as competitive as applying from grade 12 – 5% acceptance rate (sometimes even lower). We even have the same application questions as gr.12s this year too, but our GPA needs to be at least a 10.0 (A-). They accept 20 students and sometimes even less, so not many life sci students are successful.
From my experience, they take forever to mark your midterms and sometimes the midterms are really hard. But it honestly depends on which courses you’re taking from the bio department. Last semester, I took evolutionary bio and it ended up being my lowest mark. This semester, I took cellular + molecular bio and it was my highest mark. But there are other departments that are pretty good at Mac like math, physics, interdisciplinary science, and biochem. But regardless, Mac still has a lot of cool research opportunities and the content you learn is interesting and can be relevant to your future plans in healthcare.