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Adding non-degree courses in AMCAS? (not post-bacc)

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by nomadista, May 14, 2014.

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  1. nomadista


    Apr 24, 2014
    I'll be graduating this June with a bachelor's degree but I will be taking 3 courses in fall. My Canadian school gives me the status of a "non-degree" student post-undergrad. We don't have any formal post-bacc programs, but I understand that according to AMCAS's "Year In School" these courses fall under the post-bacc category. I'm sorry, I never even heard of a post-bacc degree until next year so these things are still kind of a mystery (do we even have them in Canada?!)

    What I am rather confused about is how exactly should I even add my fall non-degree coursework into AMCAS. I'm taking these courses at the same university, so rather than trying to add another school I clicked "yes" to obtaining another degree...but the post-bacc option isn't there.

    Should I correct it manually and add a second degree as "post-bacc"? I'm hesitant because I'm not getting any certificate or degree from this, I'm just taking some courses that I need for some med schools (ex. statistics). Adding a second degree and then calling it "non-degree" seems ridiculous too. Or should I just add it to my undergraduate degree and just select "post-bacc" when adding the courses? The thing is these courses don't show up, obviously on my undergrad transcript so I need to get a letter from my registrar to confirm enrollment either way.

    Thanks so much!
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  3. mehc012

    mehc012 Big Damn Hero 5+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    The Black
    Post-bacc is not a degree - it's a catch-all term for undergraduate-level courses taken by someone who has already obtained a baccalaureate degree. Click 'no' to obtaining another degree, as you are NOT currently a degree seeking student. These courses will show up as 'post-baccalaureate' courses in the same way that the courses you took last year showed up as 'Senior year' courses. It's simply a notation of when, in your academic timeline, you took said courses.
    nomadista likes this.
  4. onelastpuff23

    onelastpuff23 2+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2012
    Great.. is there a stigma with post-bacc courses? are they considered to be "fluff" .. I did a year of post-bass with 9 credits of a research course along with a physiology course. I also did two humanities courses.

    I partially enjoyed it but it doubled as a GPA boost.

  5. mehc012

    mehc012 Big Damn Hero 5+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    The Black
    As far as I know, there is no stigma which is intrinsic to post-bacc work itself. People may take these classes for any number of reasons - career change, GPA repair, interest, prereq fulfillment, retaking forgotten material, etc. So the timing of the work (the fact that it is after your baccalaureate degree) doesn't necessarily impart a stigma, but if you have to do a postbacc for GPA repair, you are going to have a different app profile than someone who had a good GPA the first time round.

    Other factors that often come up with a postbacc:
    Schedule/load: It can be difficult to find post-bacc courses, and finaid is not as readily available as for traditional college. Thus, many people take only a few courses, or spread them out over many semesters (I did 2 classes/semester). This could look bad, if you have nothing else going on, or it could be a positive, if you are able to sustain high academic performance while working fulltime. In either case, it is still undeniably different than taking classes full-time, which is the most common and easiest comparison being looked for in applicants.

    Institution: Also, many people have difficulty finding a suitable school to do their postbacc at. Thus, they may take more CC courses, or (in my case) extension courses, etc. Many full colleges don't allow non-degree seeking students, or require you to be in a certain program which may or may not suit your needs. Those that do are typically not 'prestigious' (though whether that actually matters is a separate debate).

    So, no...the simple fact that your classes were taken after graduation is not necessarily stigmatized, but there are a bunch of ways in which applicants with a post-bacc simply look different than straight-up, 4-yr, 'traditional' applicants, for better or worse.

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