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Developing a record for admissions : Do graduate credits make a difference?


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Hello all. I am trying to get into several Canadian MA programs, which as a visa student is proving to be QUITE difficult. I don't know if anyone else has done/tried this as an American here, but currently most schools only have 2 spots open each year for visa students! Adding to this already extremely competitive spot, as an American, lots of people apply from Western Europe where they were held to much higher undergraduate standards and had to complete a thesis just to graduate! Also I have heard from schools they most of the time admit these visa students who have prior published work.... from an undergrad level. Very, very tough odds indeed.

Anyway, so when I graduated my major GPA (Soc) was great, it is very competitive. But my overall GPA is quite low, around a B-. Realizing I did not prepare at all well for admissions, I am currently taking courses full time as a non-degree student to boost my GPA and also work more closely with professors to show them I am capable of grad work. Now of the courses I am taking, 4 in all, 2 of them are graduate level credits. I am very interested in knowing if I do well, would doing well in graduate courses help me out at all in terms of how I look to someone analyzing my transcripts? More so, would submitting a paper for the writing sample, done in a graduate class, hold any more favor in terms of my judged ability to an admissions committee?

Thanks for taking a look at this, feel free to reply with any advice you might have.

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