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Author Topic: How do Canadian undergrad schools compare to the US ones?  (Read 569 times)

nfjack

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How do Canadian undergrad schools compare to the US ones?
« on: January 22, 2008, 03:13:40 PM »
I know that top schools get a boost in GPA, like how 3.6 from an Ivy League would be more respected than a 3.6 from some of the less known schools.
So with that in mind, how are Canadian schools regarded with respect to this?
I would ask on the Canadian board down there, but it's pretty much dead.
So, does anyone know?
At what level is a school like University of Toronto? British Comumbia? McGill?

IamAnXman

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Re: How do Canadian undergrad schools compare to the US ones?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2008, 03:57:58 PM »
these canadian schools you mentioned have been rather firmly established as being lower-tier ugrad schools in the us. note i said in the us. in candada they are regarded as rather mighty institutions but when it comes to applying to med schools, business schools, or law schools- those candadian ugrad universities do not fare as well as most american ugrad institutions. the simple reason is that a student matriculating throughout his life in an american school is more adept to not only domestic customs but also indoctrinated in the legal system in which he wishes to one day practice. that is the short answer to your question. i have done quite a bit of research on this matter as i have many canadian friends applying to law schools this cycle so if you'd like more information, pm me.

GreenMtn

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Re: How do Canadian undergrad schools compare to the US ones?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2008, 04:52:57 PM »
I not sure how law schools look at Canadian UG's but when I was a humanities grad student, several departments at my university (ivy) loved McGill and Toronto applicants.  McGill was a popular UG choice at my super-competitve high school.  Long and short: I doubt that McGill or Toronto would be frowned upon.

Traumerei

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Re: How do Canadian undergrad schools compare to the US ones?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2008, 08:54:52 PM »
these canadian schools you mentioned have been rather firmly established as being lower-tier ugrad schools in the us.

Really?

I was under the impression that McGill had quite a good reputation in the U.S., for several reasons, including the huge number of Americans enrolled here who return to the U.S. for jobs/higher education.

Also, I know a lot of students here who simply couldn't afford Ivies, despite getting in (even international tuition is only 10, 000 a year or something here). I mean...no one chose it over Princeton or anything, but there's a pretty strong student body. Definitely considered the best undergrad Canadian institution...

I'd be interested to know if anyone has heard anything from adcomms regarding McGill or UofT for that matter?

What I can say is that certainly in my department, a large one in the Faculty of Arts, the curve is somewhere between 2.7 and 3.0, and this is enforced fairly strongly by the department. The academic standards are quite strict and I would definitely say there is grade DEflation, if anything.


jfq4999

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Re: How do Canadian undergrad schools compare to the US ones?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2008, 09:01:02 PM »
Full disclosure: I attend one of the aforementioned schools. However, I think XMan is way off. Both McGill and U of Toronto attract top students for UG and have top-ranked grad programs. In any sort of worldwide ranking system these schools fare extremely well. The Times of London, for instance, ranked McGill 12th, UBC 33rd, and U of T 45th this year. No American admissions officer with a passing knowledge of international universities would classify any of these three as "lower-tier."

XMan's argument that American law schools want students who are "adept to...domestic customs" and "indoctrinated in the legal system" is absurd. I sincerely doubt that law schools will turn down American students because they've attended undergrad abroad; that certainly hasn't been my experience.

OP - To the best of my knowledge, top Canadian schools are treated as top-tier schools. Admissions reps I've spoken to seem to both respect my school and recognize that top Canadian schools mark more harshly. Other than that, I can only offer anecdotal experience. My LSAT and GPA were very borderline for Cornell, and I was accepted EA.

Hammerstein

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Re: How do Canadian undergrad schools compare to the US ones?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2008, 12:32:20 AM »
Full disclosure: I attend one of the aforementioned schools. However, I think XMan is way off. Both McGill and U of Toronto attract top students for UG and have top-ranked grad programs. In any sort of worldwide ranking system these schools fare extremely well. The Times of London, for instance, ranked McGill 12th, UBC 33rd, and U of T 45th this year. No American admissions officer with a passing knowledge of international universities would classify any of these three as "lower-tier."

I agree with this.  The three universities cited by jfq4999 will most likely be treated as very high quality institutions (as they clearly are).  Just because the lay man has not heard of University of Toronto (just to pick an example) doesn't mean that admissions offices don't recognize these schools as clearly world class institutions.
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TeresaPinfold

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Re: How do Canadian undergrad schools compare to the US ones?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2008, 01:05:06 AM »
Those international rankings are not an attempt to measure UG quality, but rather general institutional strength, leaning heavily towards grad programs and research (nor is the THES one even half-way decent, Stanford at 19, c'mon!).

With that said, McGill is definitely a strong school, pretty much a super-Michigan or Berkeley for undergrad. Despite being a large public school with low emphasis on SATs (and lower Canadian familiarity with that type of test), it has a 1370 SAT average.

Will you be helped or hurt by having gone there? Well, that is an area of debate, in general, but I doubt it will play a factor in most circumstances, both since it is about an average quality school for an applicant to a top law school and because your UG doesn't matter much period. The slight exception might be at Yale or Stanford, where they can afford to bend the numbers a bit and give some preference to higher Ivies.

jfq4999

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Re: How do Canadian undergrad schools compare to the US ones?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2008, 01:20:28 AM »
Yea, of course the THES rankings are flawed/off the subject, but they were the easiest way I could demonstrate that it's incorrect to call those schools lower-tier. I agree that UG probably has little to do with anything anyway.

Matthew

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Re: How do Canadian undergrad schools compare to the US ones?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2008, 06:34:47 AM »
FYI: XMan is flame, ignore him and everything he says.
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