Canadian universities

Posted by: greenlotus

Canadian universities - 01/26/21 02:50 AM

We are looking at Canadian universities for our daughters, and I see that some of you are Canadian so perhaps you can recommend some links to me (an American parent) so I might get a sense of the schools and the system (I recently learned that college in Canada = 2 years, university = 4). My husband is Canadian but hasn't lived there for years so he doesn't know much either.

Some of the research I have done makes me wonder if my quirky DYS DD would fit into the schools there or if a smaller liberal arts college in the US would be a better fit.
Posted by: Wren

Re: Canadian universities - 01/26/21 04:11 AM

I was away for 30 years and things have changed dramatically. First, you should get CDN citizenship for your daughter, if you haven't already. Will save you lots of money.

And there are many more specialty programs. Like feeder programs into medical school. Not just taking prerequisites and getting a BSc. And in my day, they took 6 remarkable kids out of 1st year and allowed them entrance into medical school if they took orgo in the summer. But anyone could apply after 2nd year. Gone. And Ryerson was not a university and now it is. Waterloo is a globally recognized comp sci and engineering school and competitive. And you cannot switch into engineering from comp sci in 2nd year there. I believe you can switch majors at other schools but Waterloo does not allow it. You get in the program, that it if you want to stay there. No SAT, question marks on extracurriculars. It seems more that they are looking at what you do, though technically it is only about marks. And although they do not differentiate between schools, they do. They know if you are in school like DD that is accelerated and competitive or some general high school. The top schools are very good. U of Toronto is generally in top 20 globally. UBC is good for many things and an excellent school. And in Vancouver which is beautiful. Now, U of T is broken up into colleges. Not 2 year community colleges, just sort of like housing groups. I was going to go, then I went to Western. Western also had some colleges, like Brescia, a girls catholic college. Kind of like Radcliffe at the end. You got a Harvard diploma, but you were in Radclife. you took classes at Harvard etc. I think that only Toronto and Western have this but I have not researched, just so you know what that is. Toronto is more like Trinity College is more a liberal arts college. They used to dress for dinner when I was in school. I have asked how it works if you get into Trinity (the most competitive) but take engineering. Not a clear answer, hence you may want to ask how that works in Toronto. Western is a very nice campus, just north of the downtown of a small city, good college town. McMaster is in Hamilton, an industrial city, bigger and commuter rail ride to Toronto. Queens is a very good school. On Lake Ontario. The original prison of Canada is a museum, right on the water front, near the university. Kingston's main industry was prison. But a nice small city on the lake. DD goes there for international regattas since the winds are always good. Queens is an excellent school. Good engineering. McGill is the school that most New Yorkers hear of. English speaking university in Montreal. Very good school but research dollars have not been invested so it has fallen to about 45 in world rankings. Better than Western or Queens, but I think just because of name recognition. Being in Montreal is cool, french speaking but Quebecois not real French. But amazing food. Quebecois are the best cooks. Other than that, I don't think I would go to another school unless she wanted forestry. Then you go up north to some uni in Thunder bay.
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Canadian universities - 01/26/21 06:19 PM

Many Canadian universities are excellent. You’ll want to review the Universities Canada website (linked below), which is the representative body of the Canadian post-secondary sector:

https://www.univcan.ca/

Key resources you’ll want to search are “U15” and “Maple League”, as these are the larger research programs and confederations. Broadly speaking, university in Canada is a 4-year honours undergraduate. “College” is vocational and technical programming, generally in an accredited trade and culminating in a 2-year diploma. Graduate school typically includes a 1- or 2-year master’s degree before a doctorate. Professional programs tend to be analogous to credentialing in the US.

If you can give us more context on program of study, region, and career aspirations, I might have more targeted info for you. Please feel free to PM me if you would prefer to keep some of the personal discussion private.
Posted by: Wren

Re: Canadian universities - 01/27/21 04:08 AM

disgress: it seems more and more common to do a PhD and no masters. Any input why? DD had a conversation with a recent PhD and she said guys try and tell women to take their time and do a masters, but she said why waste the time, just do a PhD. So is masters out as something to do?
Posted by: Archie

Re: Canadian universities - 01/27/21 04:25 AM

Originally Posted By: Wren
disgress: it seems more and more common to do a PhD and no masters. Any input why? DD had a conversation with a recent PhD and she said guys try and tell women to take their time and do a masters, but she said why waste the time, just do a PhD. So is masters out as something to do?


I did honours before a PhD. In Australia, this is an option for those who achieve high scores in undergrad. Some choose or have no choice but to also do a master's by research after honours if they want to become researchers or need exta points towards a scholarship. It depends on the university here.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Canadian universities - 01/27/21 01:03 PM

I think master's vs doctorate likely depends on the field. There is a long history of STEM doctorate programs having a courtesy master's thrown in somewhere around when you pass your PhD qualifying exams, so intentionally pursuing a master's in its own right is kind of a waste of time, if your long-term goal is a doctorate (unless there are other life circumstances that make the logistics of that impractical). The exception to this is 5-year combined bachelor's/master's programs (which aren't standalone master's either, of course).
Posted by: Wren

Re: Canadian universities - 01/27/21 01:42 PM

Kings College London offers combined bach/mast in neuroscience in 4 years.

If you really know what you want, you can really cut down on education years by taking advantage of these programs.
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Canadian universities - 01/27/21 06:38 PM

Field specific and depends on whether the work is applied vs research in nature, with applied professions and ones requiring considerable judgment favouring retention of master's degrees.

Master's degrees are frequently found as post-professional designations to denote a specialty. Examples might include:

- a Pharm.D with a Master's in a specific clinical sub-specialty working in a hospital or research setting;

- a JD who might want to be a judge, who works in a theory-heavy specialty, or who works cross-jurisdictionally;

- an MD with training in business who works in operational leadership of a technical firm, or with an epidemiology degree who works in a blended academic research clinic focused on public health research;

- diplomats carrying portfolios like commerce and trade, health, or legal affairs;

- a nurse specializing in cardiac surgery, etc.

So many fields also benefit from the maturity of the candidate, rather than being sling-shot through in minimum time. (Spoken by someone who has done both and sees merits in both, depending on one's personal goals and one's place in the life cycle.)

Posted by: aquinas

Re: Canadian universities - 01/27/21 06:58 PM

I will also give the political answer here: research departments like cheap labour. The longer you can extend students' tenure, the larger the potential supply of acceptably qualified RAs and TAs to pad into research grant applications - or undesirable teaching positions. So there is that angle at play, too.
Posted by: greenlotus

Re: Canadian universities - 01/28/21 04:59 AM

Originally Posted By: Wren
I was away for 30 years and things have changed dramatically. First, you should get CDN citizenship for your daughter, if you haven't already. Will save you lots of money.

Yes, we are waiting the very looooong wait for the paperwork to be done.
Also, thank you for all the information. So much to think about.
Posted by: greenlotus

Re: Canadian universities - 01/28/21 05:12 AM

Originally Posted By: aquinas
Many Canadian universities are excellent. You’ll want to review the Universities Canada website (linked below), which is the representative body of the Canadian post-secondary sector:

https://www.univcan.ca/.

Thank you, aquinas, I will go take a look.

Originally Posted By: aquinas
If you can give us more context on program of study, region, and career aspirations, I might have more targeted info for you. Please feel free to PM me if you would prefer to keep some of the personal discussion private.

We are definitely looking at a location which is "international folk" friendly as we have now lived overseas for years and find it it very important to our multicultural family. Quite a few people have directed us to Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa.
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Canadian universities - 01/28/21 05:42 AM

I think you will find you can cast the net pretty broadly in Canada as far as communities supporting diversity and welcoming newcomers. smile

Depending on programming and professional needs, you might also find Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Kingston, and Halifax to be nice, mid-size options.
Posted by: Wren

Re: Canadian universities - 01/28/21 06:47 AM

I have a question that people with recent experience may be able to answer.

In my day, you applied in the spring and found out in the spring. Now people have heard in late fall, early winter. My neighbor told me that her dd got into Dalhousie (Halifax). And she told me they only take the average of 5 subjects (lucky since her DD had a 9% in biology-- the teacher was going to give her an assignment to bring it up to 60%). I was surprised it wasn't more competitive, since I thought Dalhousie was in the top group of schools, but also, they know already? I checked the website and it says Jun 1st.
Does anyone know the timeline of acceptances?
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Canadian universities - 01/28/21 08:13 AM

Here's the link to the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC): it lists all the application materials, timelines, and has FAQs for all programs in Ontario. OUAC serves as the application portal for Ontario university admission - both for domestic and international candidates.

https://www.ouac.on.ca/

I'm not familiar with Dalhousie's admissions policy, but I'm sure their registrar has that information mapped out on its website.
Posted by: Wren

Re: Canadian universities - 01/28/21 08:48 AM

I did look at that site, before I posted, and it doesn't mention anything about early admissions. Are admissions rolling?
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Canadian universities - 01/28/21 09:57 AM

From OUAC: "Most universities will make conditional offers of admission on a rolling basis using a combination of Grade 11 and available Grade 12 marks. This type of assessment depends on students being registered in all required Grade 12 courses"

Source: https://www.ouac.on.ca/news/important-covid-19-update/
Posted by: greenlotus

Re: Canadian universities - 01/28/21 10:37 PM

aquinas, I just sent you a PM.
Posted by: Wren

Re: Canadian universities - 01/29/21 05:26 AM

thanks. we had a parent town hall with the school admin last night and they sort of talked about this but even their guidance was not clear on it and said it was only for some admittance, not competitive programs.
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Canadian universities - 01/29/21 07:21 AM

Originally Posted By: Wren
thanks. we had a parent town hall with the school admin last night and they sort of talked about this but even their guidance was not clear on it and said it was only for some admittance, not competitive programs.



No problem. I'd eliminate the middle man and contact the programs directly. Sounds maddening!
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Canadian universities - 01/29/21 07:44 AM

Originally Posted By: greenlotus
aquinas, I just sent you a PM.


Replied.
Posted by: madeinuk

Re: Canadian universities - 01/30/21 06:58 AM

Waterloo in Canada is a world leading facility for computer science. Their Quantum Computing is fantastic and another DYS family that we know sent their son there. Another family sent their daughter to Ontario and she loved it - the Canadian universities filter out the dross so much more effectively than their US counterparts and she really appreciated the rigour.

For our 16 year old DYS, she still appears to be focussed on Medicine so we will probably be focussing on trying to optimize the dual constraints of cost and rigour because we want to do our best not to revert 250 years and have our daughter start her working life as an indentured servant bound by her tuition debt.

The Canadian options show some promise but the region with the mildest winters (BC) is also the most expensive...
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Canadian universities - 01/30/21 08:28 AM

Quote:
the Canadian universities filter out the dross so much more effectively than their US counterparts and she really appreciated the rigour


This made me laugh! Thanks madeinuk.

Quote:
The Canadian options show some promise but the region with the mildest winters (BC) is also the most expensive...


I suggest wool socks and rich foods. wink

Canada would do well to have your DD study here. Wishing her every success.