Admissions blog: Everything you need to know about wGPA
The wGPA formula is unique to the University of Toronto MD Program application. We receive a lot of questions about it here at the admissions office as it has the ability to impact a students GPA quite significantly. So what is the wGPA formula, exactly?
The wGPA is applied to your application if you complete all years of undergraduate study at a full course load. It is important to note in this case that full course load status is different than full-time status. Full course load is considered to be 5 full course equivalents (FCEs) in the September - April academic period of every year of your undergraduate studies. This could look like 5 semester-length courses in the fall and winter semester, or 4 one semester and 6 the next. Summer courses are not considered towards full course load unless you are a co-op student. Co-op students are assessed as being in a full course load if they have completed 5 FCEs in September - August period of every year of undergraduate study.
If you have taken a full course load, we will remove 1 FCE (2 semester-length courses, or 1 full year course) for every year that you have studied. If you have completed 3 years of undergraduate study at a full-course load, we will remove your overall lowest 3 FCEs. If you have completed 4 years of undergraduate studies at a full-course load, we will remove your overall lowest 4 FCEs. This number continues to go up no matter how many years you've studied - as long as they were all at a full course load.
In my first year of undergrad, I completed 4.5 FCEs, but in every other year I completed 5 FCEs - do I qualify for wGPA?
Not automatically. The only way to guarantee qualification for wGPA is a full course load in every year of your undergrad. If you have not taken a full course load, even just in one year, you are able to write an Academic Explanations Essay as part of your OMSAS application requesting special consideration. In some cases, the admissions committee may apply weighting for the years where you were full course load. This could mean that if you complete 4 years full course-load, with 1 year not at full-course load, 3 FCEs may be removed from your application instead of 4. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis, and no decision on how your application is assessed is released to you.
Courses at my university are worth 3 credits each. What is a full course load considered to be at my school?
We consider a full course load in this system to be between 28-30 credits in the September - April academic period. If you are co-op student, we consider a full course load to be 28-30 credits in the September - August academic period.
Are my overall lowest courses really removed if I qualify for wGPA?
Yes! wGPA is calculated based on how it benefits you the most once you qualify for it. If all of your lowest courses are from the first year, we will remove them all from first year. If they are scattered throughout your degree, we will remove them throughout your degree.
Do my spring/summer courses count towards a full course load?
Unless you are a co-op student, no. A full course load is strictly considered 5 FCEs (28-30 credits) in the September - April academic period for non co-op students.
Do you look at both my wGPA and my cumulative GPA?
If you qualify for wGPA, that becomes the only GPA we use for assessment. If you do not qualify for wGPA, we assess you based on your cGPA (all courses taken full-time in September - April academic period).
What's the difference between full-time and full course load?
Full-time status is typically determined as 3 courses per semester, at a minimum. A full course load is typically the absolute maximum amount of courses you can take per year without requesting special permission. At the vast majority of universities, this is considered 5 courses per semester.
How are credit/no-credit courses accounted for with wGPA?
CR/NCR or pass/fail courses are removed first before any numerically graded courses as per the wGPA. These courses still count towards your full course load.
I failed a course. Does this count towards wGPA?
Yes. A failed but completed course is considered towards your full course load, and can be removed as per wGPA.
Does a withdrawn course (W) count towards a full course load for wGPA?
No. For a course to count towards wGPA, it must be completed, even if it is failed. As a withdrawal is not a completed course, it cannot be used towards a full course load. Withdrawn courses are not removed as your lowest courses either, as they are not completed courses.
A prerequisite course is one of my lowest grades. Will you still remove it with wGPA?
Yes. We just require that prerequisite courses have been passed. Thus, if a prerequisite is one of your lowest grades, we can remove it as per the wGPA formula.