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A Really Stupid Question About Master Degrees I Had To Ask!!!!

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by stookie, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. stookie

    stookie Slick Nasty
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    Does it matter what kind of masters degree you get if you want to apply for medical school? Instead of getting a masters in applied phys or into an SMP how about an MBA/Healthcare administration? Would they look at your application with a WTF look on their face? Also, how would they take it if you got your degree online from a well known school like NYIT or University of liverpool or George Washington University? I doubt that on the degree it will not have the word online printed on it.
     
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  3. stookie

    stookie Slick Nasty
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    Also, what about a degree (not online) in liberal studies from say Empire State College?
     
  4. microgin

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    Most people who do a Master's solely for the intent of impressing med schools, complete one in "hard science", like the applied physiology one you mentioned. The goal here is to prove you can handle the advanced science coursework that you will encounter during your first two years of med school. Some people do get MPHs prior to/during med school and there have been threads on SDN lately debating their impact on med school admissions that you can use the search function to find.

    If you are interested in completing a Master's for your own interest, or for a "Plan B", then the others will suffice. However, I find it highly unlikely that a med school would be too impressed by either online Master's degrees or advanced liberal arts degrees, both of which will probably be viewed as "fluff" courses done solely to boost one's GPA.
     
  5. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna
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    Yes, it does usually matter. Either a life science like Microbiology or an SMP type Master's are the best. An MPH or MBA won't hurt, but I don't know how much they would help.
     
  6. dr4ku

    dr4ku Member
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    I'm a first year who studies with a person who has a Master's in Microbiology.

    They are really kickin some major bootey so far. Everything we have completed, except gross anatomy and phys has been cake. Why? They have seen it or heard of it and are intimately knowledgable on pathways.

    Also, in the 2nd year, we do path and we were talking with some 2nd years one afternoon after a path test. Everyone had just had it handed to them. A tough test. Anyway, this person was answering their questions. I was like...man...your degree rocks.

    Good luck
     
  7. Vista04

    Vista04 Member
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    I agree with tacrum43, the type of master's prgram does matter. It depends on how you are trying to improve your application.

    As for myself, I went with the Masters in Medical Sciences Progam at BU. The main reason I chose this program was because my undergrad science gpa was less than stellar, so I needed to take "hard" sciences like biochem, physio, histology, etc, to show aptitude in the sciences. It has paid off and now i've been accepted into med school to begin fall 06.

    On the other hand, if you're record in the sciences is solid, but you lack any other type of coursework, I could see how an MPH or some sort of Health Care Admin. degree could improve your application.

    Again, think about how you want to improve your application.
     
  8. stookie

    stookie Slick Nasty
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    What about a masters in biology or chemistry? would that help or hold the same weight as a SMP degree?
     
  9. microgin

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    I honestly don't believe that they are viewed the same way, and this is coming from someone who has a Master's degree in Biological Sciences. Think of it this way... the dreaded MCAT is a way to normalize applicants to a fixed standard. You can have two students with 4.0 GPAs, one who graduated from Harvard and the other from Whatsamatta U. In order to see if the 4.0's are really equivalent is to look at their performance on the MCAT... if comparable, then you know you are comparing apples to apples. If MCAT performances are dissimilar, than possibly the coursework rigors that both 4.0 students had were not equivalent, and you would be comparing apples to oranges.

    Same goes for MS Biology/Chem programs and SMPs... with a good showing in an SMP, adcoms know that you'll be able to cut it in med school seeing as you've already taken classes with 1/2 yr med students. With MS programs, there's no way of knowing the rigors of the courses (no standardization between programs).

    I went for the degree that I did because I was more concerned with having a Plan B in case things didn't work out for med school. With my degree I have the option to teach if I want or get a cushy job in academia/industry.
     
  10. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Yes, it absolutely matters. First, while having an MBA might be considered something "interesting" on your application, it is looked at more the way that any other EC might be looked at -- nice to have, and perhaps might give you points in terms of class diversity, but not going to swing any adcom votes by itself. Adcoms will generally regard an SMP or masters in science as more relevant graduate degrees, and a better indicator of how you might be able to handle med school science classes.
    But bear in mind that unlike med school, where all (eg US allo MD programs) are deemed at least "good" by future employers, the same is simply not thought for MBA programs -- there are far too many, and a wide range of quality and reputation. Thus many employers of MBAs tend to stick hard and fast to the US News rankings (give or take certain regional biases for local universities). For an MBA it is much more important where you get your degree than for pretty much any other graduate degree, and certainly many adcom types know this -- especially those at schools which also have business programs. Also bear in mind that an MBA is usually a degree you get to improve existing skills, or to move up within your organization or industry, not something you get to originate skills -- thus most of the better MBA programs won't even accept you unless you have some period of time of real work experience. I would not bother with an online degree, unless you are doing it to get a promotion with a current emplyer -- it simply doesn't have much cache in the real world. And unless you really plan to use the degree in some way (ie. to actually go into hospital administration), I wouldn't bother with that route -- it's not really a tried and true stepping stone into med school.
     
  11. little_late_MD

    little_late_MD Ready To Jump
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    It's funny how much people who know next to nothing about how admission's committees work opine on what is the right thing to do to gain admissions somewhere. Truth be told, unless you've actually sat on an adcom, you know nothing about what they think of different degrees, and how they will play in med school admissions. If you have sat on one, then you only know what that one institution holds as valuable.

    My point is, don't take something strictly for its value in admissions, because no one here can possibly know that information. Take something you find interesting, and something you can use in whatever direction you're going in life. If anyone here knew how to gain admissions to med school through application manipulation, they would be making millions of dollars advising nervous pre meds like yourself.
     
  12. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Lots of folks on here have done their research, spoken to adcom members and former adcom members as well as various other advisors. Some of us hold various advanced degrees and thus have first hand insight as to what multiple adcoms may have advised us as to their respective "worth". Still others probably just are offering opinion. When one posts on SDN, he/she must expect to sift through various levels of valuable and less valuable information. That's the nature of the beast.
    FYI, There are, in fact, quite a few premed consultants/advisors (often former adcom members) who earn a very nice living advising premeds how to best "position" themselves for med school...
     

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