Advice on post-bacc program that coincides with application process

Jun 20, 2016
Hello everyone!
So I'm a recent college graduate and will be applying to medical school for the first time next year (for hopeful admission in 2018), and I've been actively seeking affordable post-bacc type programs that'll boost my science GPA in order to make me more competitive for admission. I recently found out that the university medical system that I'm employed by in Chicago offers 75-80% off tuition for full time employees, and I definitely want to take advantage of this.

The program I'm looking at is a post-bacc certificate program of 4-8 classes, which is manageable and would work perfectly for me. However, these classes won't start until the Spring quarter, which runs from March-June 10th of 2017. At that point in June, I would only have taken 2 classes that would have fulfilled the requirement, and I would receive my grades several days after application opens.

So, I'm looking for some advice. Has anyone been through a similar situation? I know for sure that I want to apply next year, but should I wait to submit until after I get my grades for those two classes on June 10th, or should I submit as early as possible and update my application when I receive those grades? Is it worth updating grades on my application as I complete the rest of the classes for the program, which would most likely be in the Fall and well into the application process? Will this make a considerable difference on my application to the schools I apply to?

I'm confident that I can perform well in these classes, but unfortuntely the timing sucks when it comes to lining up with the application process. Any info would really help! The site is great for this kind of insight, so I was wondering what you all thought of the situation.


the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
Academic Administration
Once you submit your AMCAS application for verification, you can't update it. You could send update messages to the schools to which you have applied but that won't help if the automated screens will screen you out based on your GPA or sGPA. There is also the possibility that your updates won't be seen by adcoms or won't be taken seriously by adcoms because they have not been verified and aren't calculated in your official GPA.

When will you take the MCAT. Is it possible that these classes may greatly increase your ability to do well on the MCAT? If so, it might be wise to plan on taking 2 years to prepare and applying in 2018. Do it right; do it once.


Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
The Big Bad Apple
If the primary purpose of the Postbacc is to enhance GPA, then applying before you have taken most of the classes and have the grades to show medical schools you can handle the work is counter intuitive and presents several issues/questions.

1) You need to do well in your classes by having to study especially for finals. Yet you want to now spend significant energy preparing an AMCAS application in order to submit ASAP at the same time you need to acing your finals. You dont get into medical school by being first; you get in by being good.
2) In order to apply you need to have a great MCAT putting much prep time into that. If you plan to apply in June 2017, while working full time, and taking two courses, just when you be prepping for the MCAT. You dont get into medical school by taking an early MCAT; you get in by doing well.
3) To do well on the MCAT it is advisable to have all the course work first. Presumably in your plan, you will be taking the MCAT before you even finish your first set of courses. You dont get into medical school by racing past your preparation, you get in by working at it.
4) Applying and having an active cycle with piles of secondaries while you are trying to now do postbacc courses for the summer and fall, splits your time and energy again so you are risking grades in course work. So your small hopes of successfully applying early actually reduce your chances the following cycle by putting GPA at risk, the GPA you need to enhance to get into medical school.
4) So is your goal to get into medical school or to get into medical school quickly? I am sure you would say something like "But I'll already be 26!" Oh please, go look at some of the age threads for that and you will see that is a ridiculous worry.

So you have two options:

-The Trump Option: this is where you rush a campaign into applying in June 2017 with fanciful ideas that have no understanding of how things really work or listening to advisers without enough time or preparation and you fall embarrassingly on your face when you are fully and quickly rejected after spending several thousand dollars to do so (and possibly going to Trump University Medical School and Casino Resort, opening up on a Caribbean island real soon. Its gonna be Yuge!)

-The Clinton Option: This may not be the most exciting campaign, but with it has well-though out policies with input from advisors presenting a sane and competent way by not applying until June 2018 that may lead to a landslide of success not seen since Reagan or Bush 1.
Jun 20, 2016
Thank you fore the insight and advice! I'll be taking my MCAT at the beginning of 2017, which would be before the program starts. I should have elaborated, but it's more of a SMP than a post-bacc (even though it's listed as one). I've taken all of the pre-med required classes in undergrad, but this program would entail taking a few upper-level biology courses. I definitely am the type of person to want to do something once and right, so I have no problem applying when I'm fully ready; I just wasn't sure how the application process worked in terms of updates!
Thanks again! If anyone else had a similar experience with some insight, that would be helpful as well.