After how many years is someone considered a "Real" Nontraditional Applicant/Student?

Gandyy

5+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2014
3,453
2,136
Status
Medical Student
Title. Simple question. After how many gap years is someone considered a "real" non traditional student?

1? 3? 5?
 

gonnif

Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,493
31,224
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
There is no set standards nor acceptable definition to this. The age of over 26 is used mostly historically from age cut-offs used into the 1970s. A strict definition would be anyone who doesn't go from High School to College(with a biological science major) to Medical school. In any event it makes no difference to medical schools. They ask are you a qualified and competitive applicant. Labels dont matter
 
  • Like
Reactions: gyngyn and Gandy741

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,653
78,924
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
As soon as you graduate.

Title. Simple question. After how many gap years is someone considered a "real" non traditional student?

1? 3? 5?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gandy741

0dee

SDN Gold Donor
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2015
409
610
Status
Medical Student
It's all about what you feel on the inside. I don't consider myself non trad over though I am over the age of 24 lol.
 

narvik2016

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2014
258
261
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I think it depends on what you've been doing and the experiences you have had that makes you a "non-trad." I was probably considered very traditional throughout college until the time I graduated and decided to become a high school teacher in a low-income neighborhood. My work experience, interests, motivations, etc. outside the realm of healthcare, medicine, research, etc. is what makes me feel non-traditional, even though I am currently only 24 and will probably be 26 when I matriculate.
 

teeayejay

2+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2014
1,491
2,076
Status
Medical Student
I feel pretty traditional as a time-taker off-er lol but maybe that's because I know a lot people who did or are planning to..
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
23,178
32,844
Status
Academic Administration
I do think that the answer is somewhere >1 year and, in my mind, generally requires having done something full-time outside of academics for at least one year. This might be full-time volunteerism such as Peace Corps or full-time employment in a clinical setting, lab, or another industry.
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,891
Status
Attending Physician
Title. Simple question. After how many gap years is someone considered a "real" non traditional student?

1? 3? 5?
You aren't a nontrad until you stop posting this kind of question in pre-allo and take it over to the nontrad board (where BTW) this question has been asked and answered dozens of times already...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Goro
OP
Gandyy

Gandyy

5+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2014
3,453
2,136
Status
Medical Student
You aren't a nontrad until you stop posting this kind of question in pre-allo and take it over to the nontrad board (where BTW) this question has been asked and answered dozens of times already...
Well, you are in a good, responsive and well mannered mood as usual.
 

NonTrad16

2+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2015
893
967
Status
Medical Student
I think it depends less on the time and more the journey. If you're a dance major who became interested late and does a postbac for the required courses... That seems nontraditional. If you're a bio major who worked in a pharm lab for a few years, that would do it. If you've pursued an unrelated grad degree or extended work experience... That seems nontrad. Alternatively, if you're a bio major who had a gpa slump or never did research and wants to improve your app, so you do that for a year or so and apply, you're still a "premed" in my mind since you're doing the standard pieces along the typical timeline (which seems to be drawing out longer now).

Really, I think it's easier to say who the "traditional" applicant is: someone who has been a premed since sophomore or junior year (regardless of major) and takes between 0 and 2 gap years for med school reasons (MCAT, grade boost, SMP, research, etc). The shades of grey outside of this box can include the dance major or the 10 year post-grad/alt career applicant, and any variant you can think of in between.
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,891
Status
Attending Physician
Well, you are in a good, responsive and well mannered mood as usual.
No, I meant you are posing your question to a board populated predominantly by 18-23 year olds, when there's an actual Bon Fide nontrad board on SDN filled with people who actually went the nontrad route and who have answered the exact question quarterly for years. Until you bother to look over there you don't really want a real answer. That's all I'm saying.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Goro

gonnif

Only 389 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,493
31,224
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
No, I meant you are posing your question to a board populated predominantly by 18-23 year olds, when there's an actual Bon Fide nontrad board on SDN filled with people who actually went the nontrad route and who have answered the exact question quarterly for years. Until you bother to look over there you don't really want a real answer. That's all I'm saying.
Not too mention there is OldPreMeds.org, the website for the National Society of Nontraditional Premedical and Medical Students. I'm just saying
 
  • Like
Reactions: Law2Doc

AORiverContra

5+ Year Member
May 28, 2014
66
17
Status
Medical Student
A real "nontrad" is someone who has been out of school 10 years, married, 3 kids, and is switching careers from finance. Everyone else is "traditional"