Convert USA GPA to Canada grading/School suggestions?

PathIntegrals92
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:42 pm

Convert USA GPA to Canada grading/School suggestions?

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:42 pm

Hey Everyone,
I am looking into applying to physics graduate school in Canada and it seems like different regions in Canada have different grading systems.

University of Toronto is currently on my radar and they have this to convert:
http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/aacc/sites/ ... ourGPA.pdf

For physics, they require B+ minimum to apply. Apparently that is between 77-79% and corresponds to 3.3. The B+ and 3.3 makes sense, but how do they determine the percentages? How competitive is it for international students to get admitted to Canadian schools for grad? I am from USA.

My GPA is a 3.5ish for physics, so it is somewhere between A- and B+ according to that chart. I know it is mediocre, but I have strong research experiences and have taken many advanced courses (never received anything lower than B for physics). I was wondering if my application would at least get looked at? I go to a well known small LAC in USA ( not well known for physics), but I have no idea if it is well known in Canada or, internationally. I am guessing this matters somewhat? There is a student from my college currently at Toronto for Poli-Sci, but that's different.

I do know for a fact that Mcgill and Waterloo would be reaches. any other school suggestions? I have research experience in HEP-th, but I am open to all other options. HEP-EX/CME.

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: Convert USA GPA to Canada grading/School suggestions?

Postby Catria » Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:48 pm

Funding makes this entire enterprise that much harder; the department is expected to fund not only the in-province tuition but also the international one. You were correct in saying that Waterloo and Toronto were reaches.

PathIntegrals92
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:42 pm

Re: Convert USA GPA to Canada grading/School suggestions?

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:24 pm

So essentially, it's very difficult for international students to get admitted?

So I guess, I shouldn't bother applying to U Toronto? I don't really know rankings of Universities in Canada, had no idea Toronto was ranked so high. :/ Sort of just google searched research interest + Canada and clicked on U Toronto physics haha.

I guess I am better off with U.S universities.

TakeruK
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Convert USA GPA to Canada grading/School suggestions?

Postby TakeruK » Sat Nov 01, 2014 12:35 pm

I'm Canadian -- did my BSc and MSc in Canada (except for Toronto, the Canadian system is MSc first then PhD, unlike the US).

Toronto, UBC and McGill are the top 3 schools in Canada and would correspond to rankings around 20th to 30th in the US. Canada doesn't have any elite private research focussed institutions like Harvard, Caltech, MIT, etc.

As to "how to they determine percentages", Canadian grades are usually given as percentages and then converted to a letter grade later. At my undergrad, UBC, our percentage grade is the official grade used to determine things like scholarship eligiblity etc. The letter grade is only for reference. Most courses in Physics in Canada are graded something like 30% homework, 30% midterm, 40% final (or final project). The average course grade for upper level physics (i.e. usually only the good students take these) is around 80% at my undergrad.

Finally, yes, it is more difficult for an international student (than a Canadian student) to get admitted to Canadian grad schools. This is because international tuition is usually twice as much as domestic so they have to pay international students more so that everyone takes home the same amount of money. However, this is way less extreme than in the US. Canadian grad tuition (for Canadians) range from $4000 to $7000 per year while international students probably pay around $12,000-$15,000 per year. In the US, international students pay up to $30,000 per year!!

So, I think it's easier for an American to get into grad school in Canada than it is for an international student to get into a public grad school in the US. If you are interested in the program in Canada, don't let the fact that it might be harder scare you away. There are plenty of American students in Canadian schools!

PathIntegrals92
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:42 pm

Re: Convert USA GPA to Canada grading/School suggestions?

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:51 pm

Thank you TakeruK for the in depth response! I really appreciate it. Of the three schools you mentioned, I am most interested in Toronto. I think I will definitely apply. The worst that can happen is that I get rejected. =)

One of my professors did his undergrad at Mcgill, maybe I should ask him for advice too.

Also, wow! College seems to be a lot more affordable in Canada than U.S.

TakeruK
Posts: 816
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Convert USA GPA to Canada grading/School suggestions?

Postby TakeruK » Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:25 pm

PathIntegrals92 wrote:Also, wow! College seems to be a lot more affordable in Canada than U.S.


Yeah, I am shocked at how much Americans have to pay for an undergraduate degree. I guess our tuition are lower because we have much higher taxes (but most towards the higher income earners--grad students are not taxed on stipend!). In Quebec, where taxes is the highest, tuition at McGill is something like $2000/year for Quebec residents.

Every time I see the tuition bill at my current school (private US school), I get a mini heart attack (even though I don't have to actually pay the tuition) because 1 year here costs twice as much as my entire 5 year undergrad degree!!!

PathIntegrals92
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:42 pm

Re: Convert USA GPA to Canada grading/School suggestions?

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:55 am

PathIntegrals92 wrote:Every time I see the tuition bill at my current school (private US school), I get a mini heart attack (even though I don't have to actually pay the tuition) because 1 year here costs twice as much as my entire 5 year undergrad degree!!!


Seriously tuition prices in U.S schools are insane! There are options to make colleges more affordable, but if only most colleges were affordable! My state school tuition is equivalent to the tuition for international students to attend school in Canada! ( as you stated above)

I actually decided to go to a private school because the amount they gave me in grant money reduced the tuition price so it was less than my state school. Also public school out of state is insanely expensive. I guess my permanent resident status could have been in a different state...

Isaias44
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Re: Convert USA GPA to Canada grading/School suggestions?

Postby Isaias44 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:49 am

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