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1-year Masters Program

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by Alshera, May 23, 2005.

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  1. Alshera

    Alshera Junior Member

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    I'm going to be a senior this fall and my GPA is really pretty low a 3.0 at a state school. I am going to take the MCATs in this coming April, but I don't think its possible for me to do all that great because well, if I was good at Physics or Gen. Chem, I would have a much higher GPA. Anyway, I had been planning on going to a 1-year Masters program during my application process. I was wondering if this seemed like the best plan and if so, any recommendations as to where to go. I have a friend that did the program at Georgetown, and then got into George Washington's med. school. Any suggestions would be really appreciated.
  2. nicholonious

    nicholonious Street Performer

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    I think Finch has one. I know of a friend who's starting the Boston U. program this upcoming fall. It seems to have a decent matriculation rate after completing the program and transitioning into a med school. If I can dig out more then I'll post it.
  3. dm1279

    dm1279 Junior Member

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    I did the BU Master's program and it definitely made a difference for me. If you have any specific questions about the program, feel free to PM me. FYI, most people seem to have the best success applying AFTER completing the program (instead of applying while doing the program) because then they have a FULL year's worth of grades to show.
  4. PineappleGirl

    PineappleGirl Sweet and Juicy!

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    The BU program does have an excellent reputation and a very large success rate for their applicants. This is from their website:
    "In fact, of the 661 graduates, 572 have been admitted to MD or MD/PhD programs at 74 allopathic medical schools across the country. An additional small percentage of students with dual citizenship have chosen to enroll in European medical schools in England, Ireland, Sweden and Israel."

    http://cobalt.bumc.bu.edu/current/Catalog/medsci/intro.htm
  5. Phil Anthropist

    Phil Anthropist SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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    I'll just name a few:

    Stanford MS in Biology
    Colorado State MS in Biomedical Sciences (Plan B track)
    Georgetown special masters program MS in Physiology and Biophysics
    Florida Atlantic U MS in Biomedical Sciences
    Loyola MA in Medical Sciences
    Rosalind Franklin MS in Applied Physiology (formerly Finch)
    Indiana University MS in Biology (pre-professional, non-thesis track)
    Tulane MS in Pharmacology
    Tulane MS in (Human?) Genetics
    Tulane MS in Cell and Molecular biology
    Boston U MA in Medical Sciences (can be completed in 1 year, but often 2)
    KCUMB MS in Biomedical Sciences
    Dartmouth MS in CECS
    EVMS MS in Biomedical Sciences (Medical Sciences track)

    Definitely check out the postbac forum for more info

    Edit: There are also a lot of one-year biomedical science certificate programs
  6. tinkerbelle

    tinkerbelle

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    I went to the Hopkins School of Public Health and got a masters (MHS) in reproductive biology. It's a cool program because you take both science classes and public health classes.
  7. Alshera

    Alshera Junior Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions! I understand its best to apply after completeing the course, however time wise I'm just hoping that maybe seeing as how I'm already taking a year off to get my Masters they might just let me in :) . I would like to get to med. school as soon as I can, but I suppose now I am worried I wont get in period. Is it better to start a two year masters program, and in the event I get in that first year, leave without a degree? That doesn't sound like a great idea to me just because of the time/money spent and not having a degree to show for it. Again any suggestions are appreciated (I'm begining to think my school's pre-med advisor is illiterate).
  8. sunnyjohn

    sunnyjohn Got Mustard?

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    I have been told that if you start a masters or graduate study, you will be expected to finish it before you matriculate into med school.
  9. tinkerbelle

    tinkerbelle

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    I've heard the same thing.
  10. JTHURMA

    JTHURMA Senior Member

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    As a graduate student, it is highly likely that any school you are applying to will require you to complete your graduate degree before matriculating at their school. I will complete my Master's in Biochemistry this Summer and I've seen that requirement on many FAQs on multiple sites.

    I'm not generally one to reply to posts, but I feel you'd make a big mistake by not completing the degree. It may come off as a negative character trait to adcoms.
  11. Alshera

    Alshera Junior Member

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    So I should stick to my plan of doing a one-year masters degree? Is there a strong chance I wont be accepted because I'm applying while I'm completing the program? Thanks again for your help with this, especially taking time to post!
  12. Hoberto

    Hoberto Squirrel Girl

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    My husband had trouble with med schools not wanting to pull him out of a graduate program. They told him they didn't want to steal him from another program. So, I would say to plan on finishing the degree.

    Although, I do wonder if there are acceptable reasons to drop out of a program. For example, needing to re-enter the work force or wanting more doctor related experience.
  13. sunnyjohn

    sunnyjohn Got Mustard?

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    What about putting some time in trying for a good MCAT score?

    General consensus, the lower your GPA, the higher your MCAT score should be.

    Have you considered auditing physics or G-Chem. to help you brush up on those topics for the MCAT? Have you considered the Princeton Review or Kaplan or the other reviews courses out there?

    Some self-study aides may be the ticket. Since you have taken the pre-req’s study aides may help you finally grasp the material.

    You say you don’t like Physics and G-chem? Did you get a bad grade in these classes? Less than a C?

    What is your science GPA?

    You say you'll be a senior in the fall? Take classes this summer to improve the GPA. Then take more next summer. Call this your ‘informal post-bacc’.

    Then hie thyself off to a good SMP (Special Masters Program)

    I’d just do a one-year program.

    Do your research, consider your options and develop a plan of action.

    The worst mistake you can make is trying to rush through a program or cram in a credit hour overload. With a low GPA you must do well going forward and in a graduate program.


    Study hard. Do a search of SDN and you will find quite a few folks with low GPA’s that have gotten in to decent schools.
  14. deuist

    deuist Stealthfully Sarcastic Lifetime Donor

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    I see that you mention going to graduate school to compensate for your low GPA. Why not do post-bacc instead? Graduate courses will only be counted in under the graduate GPA category, meaning that your undergraduate GPA will stay low. Second, the graduate GPA is an insignificant factor in applying to medical school since most the grades are inflated anyway.

    If you want to increase your undergraduate GPA, you're going to have to take post-bacc classes for a year or two. Ask me if you need more information about post-bacc programs.

    If, despite this warning, you still want to go to graduate school for a year, I can recommend the non-thesis master's degrees in engineering offered by the University of Florida (Click on the link for a list of available programs). Many of these degrees can be completed online, meaning that you won't have to move to Gainesville and burden yourself with the nice weather and gorgeous undergrads.
  15. Alshera

    Alshera Junior Member

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    What about putting some time in trying for a good MCAT score?
    I actually pushed the past three years to make sure I had a light course load my senior year to study for my MCATS I plan on taking the Kaplan course as well as just going through MCAT prep books. I definetly understand that I should push for a great MCAT score, but I suppose my concern is (and its been this way in my entire undergrad career) regardless of how much I study or love what I'm learning I usually end up doing really mediocre(B's-C's) I've tried all the different learning methods for physics and organic and well I did improve in organic but physics just kicked my ass. So I'm kind of just being pessimistic and realistic thinking that I wont be able to do great on the MCATs.

    Have you considered auditing physics or G-Chem. to help you brush up on those topics for the MCAT? I actually just took physics 1 this past spring and will be taking physics 2 this coming fall, so I'm thinking that it'll be brushed up on its own. Also I'm taking the MCAT prep classes as well. Do you think gen. chem is really stressed on the MCATs enough to warrant auditing 3 credits?

    You say you don’t like Physics and G-chem? Did you get a bad grade in these classes? Less than a C? I got a C- in physics 1 (thats with studying my ass of for it) and a C in both gen chem

    What is your science GPA?I'll get back to you on that, but I'm pretty sure its around a 2.8-3.0

    You say you'll be a senior in the fall? Take classes this summer to improve the GPA. Then take more next summer. Call this your ‘informal post-bacc’.

    I'm taking classes right now actually, ideally I will do well in them and improve the GPA.

    Whats the difference between a Special Masters Program, an engineering program, and all the other 1 year programs?
  16. tinkerbelle

    tinkerbelle

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    I don't know if you had specific programs in mind, but in general:

    special masters programs - make you take first year med school classes

    engineering program - Well, you take engineering classes. I beleive you said you have a hard time with physics. I was an engineer in undergrad, and if you can't do physics, you reallllly want to avoid any engineering program.

    other one year masters programs - You take a bunch of classes, write a library based thesis at the end of the year, and *poof* you have a masters degree
  17. tinkerbelle

    tinkerbelle

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    Being pessimistic doesn't help :p Have you ever tried to analyze your study habits? I mean, if you put so much effort into studying, but still do poorly, you're doing something wrong. How exactly do you study? Do you re-read your lecture notes? Do example problems? Seek help from TA's? Do you study with friends who talk non-stop? (Sorry if this sounds retarded, but I always see my sixth graders studying ineffectively for tests and sometimes you just need to change a few things and then you'll see tons of improvement).
  18. Alshera

    Alshera Junior Member

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    Well, for my gen chem. grades I was just kind of learning how to study like a science major (I had just switched from poli. sci.). As for physics, I am seriously handicapped at math. I think it was my inability to just do plan math on my own that really didn't help. The worst part about that is I've taken the remdial math classes to "help" me with harder math. Also I had a heavy course load when I took physics 1 (18 hours 16 of science), so I'm really hoping with the aid of tutors I will at least get a B in physics 2 seing as how its 5 of my tweleve credits. The other C's I've gotten have all been high but just below the B percentile. Thats probably been one of the biggest disappointments for me and one that makes being pre-med the most difficult to continue. However, in Biology classes (human parasitology, med. microbio) I've done well in.
  19. Alshera

    Alshera Junior Member

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    So apparently I'm a larger failure than I thought, my science GPA is a 2.6 :(
  20. hinduluv

    hinduluv Junior Member

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    Alshera:

    DO NOT GIVE UP. I was in your same position last year and did the Masters in Physiology at IU. Got in early this semester. Its the best option if you want to stay in Indiana. However, this year they got rid of the Masters in Physiology program at IU, so I would say your best bet to get into med school would be to do the Masters in Biology non-thesis track. The reason i say this is that IU like IU students. Someone i know did the GW program and just recently found out she got into IU, also a indiana resident. But she had to wait and there was a lot of uncertainty. They basically told us that if we mantain a 3.5 or better average and had like a 28 on the mcat we would be in.

    On a sidenote, i know i said dont give up above but have you tried other options such as DO schools or dentistry?

    rao.
  21. Alshera

    Alshera Junior Member

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    I've thought about DO (I could never do dentistry) but I just don't think I'd have the same personal satisfaction being a DO, I would kind of feel like I'm giving up on a MD. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but I've volunteered at lots of hospitals and clinics and just feel my fit is definetly with a MD.

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