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Picking universities - finding it difficult!

  1. Nov 27, 2012 #1
    Hi, I completed two years of my undergraduate Physics study at Imperial College London (2009-2011). Since then, I have interrupted my studies until 2013 due to financial difficulties. Now, I'm looking to transfer to Canadian universities and I have a list of 22 universities which I want to narrow down based on my academic credentials, but I'm getting nowhere. Can anyone here please help me out?

    Here are the list of universities:

    1. University of Toronto
    2. U of British Columbia
    3. McGill University
    4. U of Waterloo
    5. Simon Fraser U
    6. York Uni
    7. Queen’s Uni
    8. U of Western Ontario
    9. U of Ottawa
    10. U of Guelph
    11. Mcmaster uni
    12. Carleton Uni
    13. Concordia uni
    14. Ryerson Uni
    15. Brock Uni
    16. Wilfrid Laurier Uni
    17. Laurentian uni
    18. Trent Uni
    19. Bishop’s uni
    20. Trinity western uni
    21. Ontario institute of technology
    22. Capilano uni

    And here's my academic credentials:

    O levels: 8 A's
    A levels: A's in Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Further Maths, Additional Further Maths

    University first year: average 88.6%
    1. Mathematics I - 97%
    2. Mechanics and Relativity - 93%
    3. Electricity and Magnetism - 94%
    4. Structure of Matter, Vibrations and Waves, Quantum Physics - 98%
    5. Professional Skills - 78%
    6. Laboratory and Computing I - 69%
    7. Project I - 59%
    8. Mathematical Analysis - 95%

    University second year: average 68.9%
    1. Quantum Mechanics - 74%
    2. Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics - 64%
    3. Electrons in Solids and Applications of Quantum Mechanics - 63%
    4. Electromagnetism and Optics - 83%
    5. Mathematics and Statistics of Measurement - 73%
    6. Laboratory and Computing II - 66%
    7. Professional Skills II -82%
    8. Mathematics Methods - 51%
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2012 #2
    just to clarify your question. are you wondering what school you would get accepted into based on your marks?
  4. Nov 29, 2012 #3
    cause i know most universities require a minimum gpa of 2.0-2.5 to transfer after two years depending on what school. if your gpa is above 3.0 i dont think there will be a problem getting accepted into any school
  5. Nov 29, 2012 #4
    you should definetly take a look at all the schools you are interested in and check out their admission requirements and look under international students
  6. Nov 29, 2012 #5
    I wouldn't say this is the case for undergrad. For example, McGill is one of the top 5 colleges in Canada as far as I know... you can probably compare it to Harvard, and high school GPAs are expected to be above 3.5. Transfer students will need a higher GPA because it'll be more competitive.

    I would suggest to go to a site like the Princeton Review or a Canadian version of College Board and go through all the universities you're interested in, rank them in terms of how your own scores, grades and GPA compare to other students, and then start contacting schools for more information.
  7. Nov 29, 2012 #6
    UBC is 1st and their requirement for transfer students is 2.0. rankings are meaningless. they are based on academic research funding. Also, they have the same requirements as every other university, i just looked at their site and it says 88% for highschool students so you are right about the 3.5 gpa. Which is the same for UBC(high90s)SFU(low 90s), UVIC and others while UBC and SFU require 2.0 for transfer students
    Also, i just looked up UofT and it is 60% for transfer students

    regardless, to the OP i suggest you take a look at all the universities websites that interest you to find out more information on international transfers.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  8. Nov 29, 2012 #7
    http://www.queensu.ca/admission/apply/firstyear/requirements/general/international/England.html [Broken]

    to help you get started here is Queen's website for students from England. requirements is around what i stated before. 2.0 - 2.5
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  9. Dec 9, 2012 #8
    Well, my problem is really with converting the canadian GPA into a british grading system (where 70% of above is a first, 60% to 70% is a 2:1, etc.). I don't understand how to convert between the two. If I can do that, then that will narrow down my choice of universities. Can anyone help me with that?

    Also, I heard that the University of Toronto does not allow transfer students to transfer their credits to their program of choice if they studies more than two years at their previous university. I have a problem here, because even though I only studied two years at Imperial College London, I covered a lot of the material in the third year courses at University of Toronto. Not sure if I should still apply to U of T. Any thoughts?
  10. Dec 9, 2012 #9
    In American Universities:

    It should be quite similar for Canadian schools.

  11. Dec 9, 2012 #10


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    This doesn't help the OP. For example, I'm sure that the British percentages *don't* convert correctly to US letter grades via this chart. (The percentages aren't even valid in the US. They indicate a sort of traditional expectation, but probably no more than a third of college-level teachers base grades on that scale. I know I don't. If I wanted to, I'd have to dumb down the material on my tests to the level where it was all about mindless memorization.)

    This WP article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_undergraduate_degree_classification links to this spreadsheet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_undergraduate_degree_classification#cite_note-hesa-5 .

    If I'm understanding correctly, it sounds like the OP's grades in the freshman year are equivalent to a "first," while his/her sophomore grades are equivalent to a 2:1. According to the spreadsheet, a first in the physical sciences put a student in the 89th percentile, while a 2:1 is 64th percentile.

    Converting these percentiles to US grades is going to be very difficult, because there's so much grade inflation in the US. At some schools in the US with highly selective admissions, the majority of grades are A's.

    I would suggest applying to one backup school that you're sure you can get into, one from about the middle of your list, and then as many more as you can afford to apply to at the top of the list.

    You could also look for stats on how many transfer students each of these schools accept every year. I don't know about Canada, but here in the US that statistic shows a huge amount of variation. Some schools get about half their student body as transfers from community colleges, while others (e.g., Cal Tech) might accept something like 10 transfer students every year.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
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