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Hey Everyone!!

I was wondering if there's anyone applying to Canadian masters programs.

I'm a recent undergrad graduate (Bsc in Biology) thinking of applying for Fall 2012 or 2013 since it's getting a bit late, but find myself completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of programs and schools that exist. I'm especially interested in conservation biology and also ecology programs. I'm not the strongest candidate (3.4 gpa (last two years), 3.0 overall from an ok (but by no means great) school, only 8 months of research experience so far (one poster presentation, secured my own funding for the summer, potentially a publication but it won't make it onto this years applications) but am currently working on getting into a lab as a volunteer, haven't done GRE (yet?) as most canadian programs don't require it, have one reference letter so far). Unfortunately I didn't really "figure it out" until the last two years of my program so my coursework overall wasn't as good as it could have been although there is a significant upward trend and I have lots of "A"'s in upper level undergrad courses, unfortunately my "last two years" GPA is dragged down by some 1st/2nd year courses (ochem/bchem) that I put off doing. Also since I didn't "figure it out" I don't have nearly as much research experience as I would like. If only I could go back and do it all again knowing what I know now? Isn't that always the case!?

Are there any schools/programs that you would recommend/avoid over others? Which schools are you applying to? How do you narrow it down!?!?!?! Any Canada specific advice for applications?


Edited by CdnRdr
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Hi! I'm not in biology specifically, but I can really recommend my school (University of Guelph) for life science programs. We have the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario here and quite a few well known profs. It doesn't quite have the prestige of some bigger schools, but if you're concerned about your GPA I think you'd have a great chance at Guelph. I'm applying to some Canadian schools as well and I would definitely recommend networking quite a bit to make some connections with faculty you're interested in! From what I have heard this can get you into a program regardless of some defects in your application. I also know several graduate students in my department who didn't have prior research experience before entering master's programs. Good luck!

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's not uncommon for great students to not find their paths until the last two years. Many programs actually look at the last two years of grades for rankings.

The strongest recommendation I would have is to find a faculty member whose research is complementary to your work and desired career direction. That way, both of you can get something out of the relationship.

(SFU's Biology program, if that helps at all. There are ecology research groups. We were just ranked top comprehensive university in Canada by Maclean's again this year.)

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