Mar 24, 2010
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Hi All,
I'm considering CUNY Hunter and U of R as my post bacc schools.
I'm planning to start in Fall 2011 when I'll be 37 years old. I'm a career changer after having wasted the past 10 years of my life doing something I hate. Anyway, I haven't seen any postings on the U of R program. I believe they started theirs in 2008 so it probably hasn't gotten much exposure here.

Is there anyone on this board attending, planning to attend, or know someone who attends the U of R program? I'm originally from that area and see it as an opportunity to move back home to save money while studying. If so, any thoughts on the program? the good, the bad?

Thanks,
Joe
 

illegallysmooth

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May 21, 2008
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Hi All,
I'm considering CUNY Hunter and U of R as my post bacc schools.
I'm planning to start in Fall 2011 when I'll be 37 years old. I'm a career changer after having wasted the past 10 years of my life doing something I hate. Anyway, I haven't seen any postings on the U of R program. I believe they started theirs in 2008 so it probably hasn't gotten much exposure here.

Is there anyone on this board attending, planning to attend, or know someone who attends the U of R program? I'm originally from that area and see it as an opportunity to move back home to save money while studying. If so, any thoughts on the program? the good, the bad?

Thanks,
Joe
I don't know much about the program, but I went there for undergrad and could tell you a lot about the profs and facilities. Could you provide a description or link to a description of the program (or list of faculty)?
 

illegallysmooth

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Here are my thoughts:

UR as a whole - I greatly enjoyed my time at UR. It is a fantastic little school. I love love love the campus, and there's access to a million health-related opportunities between UR, URMC and Strong Memorial. Join a volunteer-oriented club if you need volunteer hours and that won't be a problem. Not all the profs are great, but this is something you'll find everywhere. Generally they are approachable and it's easy to form a relationship since it's a small school. There are ample places to study on-campus. The campus is old and as a definite historical, intellectual-type feel in certain parts (I loved the old parts of the library). Other parts have been renovated or built recently and are quite modern.

Rochester as whole - There are very nice parts of Rochester and very crappy parts of Rochester. The campus is lined by the 19th Ward on one side, and I wouldn't recommend walking by yourself in the dark around that area. I did, however, live there one summer and had no problems (my house was broken into before we moved there, though!). Housing is VERY affordable. If you're into live music, there are always opportunities to see classical performances (Eastman school of music) and local artists. The weather is very depressing from November through March. Summer and autumn are lovely.

From the program link, I'll go over some profs and classes:

CHM 131 with Hickey - I was preparing myself well for every lecture, and then stopped because he was just going over the lecture notes by reading them word-for-word. Not a difficult class. I don't remember him well but the name sounds very familiar, so I'd say I probably had him but there's nothing outstanding to report.

CHM 132 - Definitely got harder. Stay on top of the material.

BIO 110 with Olek - You will either love him or hate him. I LOVED him so much I wanted to adopt him into my family. He's super cool. Some students hate him because he doesn't always answer questions clearly, but rather he'll ask you a question in return and try to get you to arrive at the conclusion on your own. He cares about his students. He's also the undergrad research liason or something like that so he can help you find a research opportunty. BIO 110 was also one of my favorite classes. It's not difficult.

BIO 198 with Sia - I didn't have Sia, but my class was quite difficult. I idn't stay on top of the material and didn't do very well. I recommend keeping up with it.

CHM 207 with Goodman - Orgo is hard any way you look at it. I think I had Goodman but I don't remember much about him.

CHM 208 with Toder - THE TOAD. UGH. ::shiver:: Hated him. Everyone hated him. For the most part, our labs were pretty relaxed, but Toder was known to sneak into the lab and walk around, trying to catch people heating flasks without boiling sticks. He'd ask your name and mark down your grade on the spot. I suggest you get on his good side. From what I heard, he was better to people that sucked up a little. Nobody knew what the hell they were doing in this lab. I highly suggest you use your TAs as a resouce.

PHY113 - Doesn't list a prof. I LOVED this course, and my prof, Dr. Manly, was the BEST. SUPER COOL, and a great teacher. I hope he teaches it again. He switched off and I TA'ed the course under a different prof - Andrew Jordan. He is not nearly as cool, and not a very clear instructor. He's better suited to upper-level physics classes. Not a terrible instructor, though. He just focuses too much on theory and deriving formulas and not enough on solving problems.

BIO111 with Minckley - this class is super easy, I TA'ed for it too. As long as you study, you shouldn't have a problem. I didn't have Minckley for a prof, but I know he is a NUT CASE - in an intellectual sort of way, lol. His research is all about bees and insects and he talks about it nonstop. A cool guy though, if not a little odd.

BIO250 - I didn't take biochem, but my friends who did said it was the hardest course they took (and I'm talking about B.S. Microbio and Chemistry majors). You will need to devote LOTS of study time to this course.

CHM 204 - I didn't think this semester was much harder than the first, but I tried a lot harder this semester. Your TAs will be really valuable to you in Orgo, so definitely use their help even if you don't think you need it.

PHY114 - I pray you don't have Douglas Cline. He is the stereotypical super-intellectual physicist with a British accent who says things like "it's actually quite elementary" to a room full of students staring blankly at him. He's not a dick, he's just not very clear at all. My friends and I had to work super hard to do OK in his class. He's the prof you will do impressions of to blow off steam during a study session.

Hope this helps. My pre-med courses at Rochester were a good mixture of easier courses and challenging ones. I never felt like I didn't have the resources to succeed - the TAs and profs were good at being useful and available. Also, the pre-med advisors are alright. Some people on SDN say to avoid them like the plague but they didn't steer me wrong. They accurately predicted I would likely be admitted to several DO schools but probably not MD (I have 3 DO acceptances and 1 MD interview in April).

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.
 
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coolfez

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Mar 20, 2010
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Bio 250 is crazy. The teacher is nice, but she is new and always changes up the exams so you won't have previous years exams as practice


I hated Minkley, seriously, something happened to him the year I took his class (last year), he wouldn't put up lectures online, made the averge into a C instead of a B like most bio professors and I think about 15% withdrew from his class.

Olek- I liked him but watch out for the exams. A lot of them don't have a definite answer, so you are in the mercy of the TA grading your test. Basically, there are multiple answers to a questions but your TA may not know that. Case in point: There was a question about flower petal color and gene transfer, I used a answer that my TA who was the HEAD TA and been TA for 3 years told us in class ( the question was in the practice exam) and it was marked wrong because some idiot TA didn't know there are other answers than what is on the master answer sheet!

In terms of chem lab, be expected to do stupid experiments that have not been updated for years. So they are poorly written. basically, know who is the nice and who is the "mean don't take my spot in med school" TA's. Don't be afraid to transfer to another lab or recitation to find a TA you like!!
 
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Dec 14, 2010
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Hello friends,
I'm currently attending the U of R post bacc program. Happy to answer questions. So far, its fantastic. Great people, very small and intimate program (there are only 15 of us and everyone is amazingly cooperative and supportive).

Be warned -- the U of R is a tough science school, meaning that the program is very challenging and they do not throw punches. So, be prepared to study, a lot!

There is, however, a tremendous wealth of support resources available to you as a post-bacc. We all get free 1-on-1 student tutoring vouchers, redeemable for any class (or all of them :) and there are various study groups, exclusively post-bacc TA led workshops, and a post-bacc only intro bio lab.

We do take our other classes with the undergrads, which, to be honest is a good thing. Thats because, as a post-bacc, you work way harder than 90% of the undergrads, and their poor performances will pull down the average, resulting in very reasonable curves.

The profressors range from excellent to atrocious. The phisics profressor this year (Bodek)is particularly bad. Thomas Krugh however is a great Gen. Chem. professor, with very transparent expectatinos (he posts old exams and all lecture slides) If you take chem over the summer here, be warned, hickey is trickey! :) Olek for Bio-110 is increadibly thourough (perhaps too much so), but does a great job of introducing molecular mechanics and more-than-basic cell bio. He will test even the strong bio students, in a way that is unorthodox yet interesting (if you can put up with his arrogance). Olek's tests are challenging, but he curves like crazy! (overall, an 85 is a solid A, and he ususally adds points to each exam.) Calculus here (at least the 141-142 sequence) is increadibly easy! Although the professors range all over the place. (Olsen is bad, Mahdu, rodgers, Fili, are great.)

If your not strong in math and science then perhaps taking a pre-calc and prep for college chemistry/phisics course is a good idea. There is a very good community college (MCC) located minutes away from the U of R that offers these courses at least twice/ summer.

Hope that helps,
Best of luck to prospoctive post-bacc's!
 
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bamtuba

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Jul 6, 2006
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Hey everyone,

I was in the first class of the UR post-bac program and can also answer questions via PM if people have them.

I enjoyed the program, but there were challenges in being a part of the first group to get through it. I'm sure things have been adjusted from our experiences.

UR has a lot to offer and plenty of opportunities in the Rochester area for strengthening one's application if you're willing to put in a little work.

:luck:
 
Dec 14, 2010
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Hey Bamtuba... an alum!
Glad to hear you navigated through the progam in one peice!
Care to share your experiances with the application process after completing the program? I'm interested to hear what kindof assistance you were provided by the program, and any general thoughts or recommendations you have on that whole process.
Again, congrats!
 

bamtuba

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Jul 6, 2006
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Hey Bamtuba... an alum!
Glad to hear you navigated through the progam in one peice!
Care to share your experiances with the application process after completing the program? I'm interested to hear what kindof assistance you were provided by the program, and any general thoughts or recommendations you have on that whole process.
Again, congrats!
I'll post this here since people considering the program might want to know.

The first year class generally felt that we were treated as "undergrads" with "special consideration." There really wasn't much about the program that was different than just taking the pre-reqs as a non-matriculated student except that we were eligible for loans and had our own academic counselor.

As far as the process, I felt like the help offered by UR was hit or miss. I can only speak to my experiences, but there were times that I followed what I thought was good advice provided by some here on SDN, and when that conflicted with what I was told by UR I went with SDN. People were generally well-meaning, but had I followed the advice given at my mock interview I would not have done nearly as well as I did in the end and I know people who did better than I in the program but ended up having trouble during the application process because they did what they were told they should do by the school.

The academic affairs office? Great but sometimes misinformed. The Career Center? Avoid it like the plague. If you want more info about this, PM me and I'll share what I can.

What worked for me:
-take the MCAT early and only once (ie. work hard to ensure success the first time you take it)
-apply ASAP (try to apply in June)
-don't limit where you apply based on your scores, but also be realistic and don't spend tons of money applying to only the "big names" if you don't have the best application.
-be well-rounded. Having experiences in research, volunteering, and leadership makes up a lot in terms of numbers.
-be yourself at interviews. This will help you end up where you would be happiest. If you have to lie to get in you'll likely hate it when you get there.

Most importantly, don't let anyone tell you what you can and can't do. I had interviews at Hopkins and Mayo after being told that I wasn't a "competitive candidate" by a dean at UR. I wound up going to Mayo for free and couldn't be happier.

I enjoyed my time at UR and had every opportunity I needed by going there, but just like everywhere you go it is what you make it!

:luck:
 
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