theunderachiever

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There are no recent posts on this matter, so I thought I'd reopen the discussion. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

I read on an earlier post from 6 years ago that Mills College has a widely acclaimed Pre-Med Post-Bacc that sends folks to UCSF and such. Now I'm interested in doing this program to (1) improve my institutional GPA, (2) better gauge my competence in the health sciences (3) prepare for the MCAT (4) ultimately prepare for a DO program sometime in the future.

UC Berkeley Extension has a program too, but the students in recent months have been dishing out horrible reviews! It's disheartening to see, because Berkeley's a great school with a great name, and it's too bad that the extension doesn't live up to the rep.

Do any California folks have suggestions between these two programs, or other Pre-Med Post-Bacc's in the state of California?
 

pericardium

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You can always just retake classes and replace grades. It will boost your gpa pretty fast and won't break the bank
 
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snow529

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There are no recent posts on this matter, so I thought I'd reopen the discussion. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

I read on an earlier post from 6 years ago that Mills College has a widely acclaimed Pre-Med Post-Bacc that sends folks to UCSF and such. Now I'm interested in doing this program to (1) improve my institutional GPA, (2) better gauge my competence in the health sciences (3) prepare for the MCAT (4) ultimately prepare for a DO program sometime in the future.

UC Berkeley Extension has a program too, but the students in recent months have been dishing out horrible reviews! It's disheartening to see, because Berkeley's a great school with a great name, and it's too bad that the extension doesn't live up to the rep.

Do any California folks have suggestions between these two programs, or other Pre-Med Post-Bacc's in the state of California?
Hello theunderachiever,

I just want to point out that some programs are for "career-changing" students who have not taken the pre-reqs before. If you have already taken all or most of the pre-reqs classes, I think it is unlikely that you will be accepted to the career-changing post-bacc programs. However, I encourage you to call the office to talk about your specific situation.

All the best!
 
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Glutes

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Because you posted in the DO forums, I'll tell you that retaking your pre-med reqs at a community college would be the easiest way to get into an osteopathic medical school. You don't need to do a formal post-bacc program because DO schools allow you to retake courses to completely replace the previous grades. Retaking courses would be the cheapest, quickest, and easiest way of improving your gpa. If you do a post-bacc and screw up your grades there, it's pretty much game over. I only see post-baccs as a last resort method to get into MD schools, not DO.

Plus, with all the money you save from not doing a post-bacc, you could probably sign up for a MCAT prep class.
 
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Also be careful with doing a DIY post-bacc, as a career changer I went that route and there were a lot of times I wished I was in a formal program even though I did well. Registering for classes was like pulling teeth as a non matriculated student as all the degree seeking students had priority. Luckily I always managed to get in the classes I needed but there were a few times that was almost not the case. Then again that was partly because I insisted on doing them at a 4 year university, I would have had an easier time registering at the local CC. That of course would have brought it's own problems as some programs look down on CC credits. These are the factors you have to weight in a DIY program, whereas a formal program makes it a bit easier and sometimes even has linkage.
 
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Jan 22, 2015
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mills' full time tuition for premed postbac is 30k/year. that is very expensive just for some general undergrad courses offered by most schools even with a support group. way better off doing DIY at a CSU or community college. i would only pay that much if the program was a formal SMP with possible linkage to the university's school of medicine.
 
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theunderachiever

theunderachiever

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Hello theunderachiever,

I completed the Post-Bacc program at Mills College. I chose Mills from Berkeley Ext. and SFSU's program because of the smaller community and support network that Mills seemed to offer. It didn't meet all of my expectations, but overall I am still happy with my choice. The Organic Chemistry teacher at Mills is phenomenal, and I think I would choose to do attend Mills again just to learn from her. That said, if she wasn't still there, I would really have to think about whether or not to attend (as of now she is still there tho!). I don't think I can share her name, but you should be able to find it on the website. It is a beautiful campus and everyday I appreciated having the opportunity to be there with my fellow students.

I also heard terrible things about Berkeley Extension, although I know students from Mills who took a class or two over the summer at Berkeley Extension and said it was okay. Not great, but okay.

I am not very active on SDNetwork, but if you get to the point where you are considering attending Mills, you can PM me with any specific questions (and this goes for anyone else reading this). If I don't answer promptly, I apologize in advance!

I just want to point out that it is for "career-changing" students who have not taken the pre-reqs before. If you have already taken all or most of the pre-reqs classes, I think it is unlikely that you will be accepted. However, I encourage you to call the office to talk about your specific situation.

All the best!

Thank you for this thought out response, and I may very well take you up on a PM down the road!
 
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theunderachiever

theunderachiever

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Because you posted in the DO forums, I'll tell you that retaking your pre-med reqs at a community college would be the easiest way to get into an osteopathic medical school. You don't need to do a formal post-bacc program because DO schools allow you to retake courses to completely replace the previous grades. Retaking courses would be the cheapest, quickest, and easiest way of improving your gpa. If you do a post-bacc and screw up your grades there, it's pretty much game over. I only see post-baccs as a last resort method to get into MD schools, not DO.

Plus, with all the money you save from not doing a post-bacc, you could probably sign up for a MCAT prep class.
Thank you for pointing this out. I have CC experience in the past and I'm sure that'd be fine and good. I haven't the classes to retake though; this is a career changing move.
 
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theunderachiever

theunderachiever

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Also be careful with doing a DIY post-bacc, as a career changer I went that route and there were a lot of times I wished I was in a formal program even though I did well. Registering for classes was like pulling teeth as a non matriculated student as all the degree seeking students had priority. Luckily I always managed to get in the classes I needed but there were a few times that was almost not the case. Then again that was partly because I insisted on doing them at a 4 year university, I would have had an easier time registering at the local CC. That of course would have brought it's own problems as some programs look down on CC credits. These are the factors you have to weight in a DIY program, whereas a formal program makes it a bit easier and sometimes even has linkage.

What I like about the formal program, especially Mills, is its prospective linkage and lily pad effect to good medical schools. I think I'd fare well on a DIY, but I wouldn't quite feel as safe of course. Money IS an important factor as well, and post baccs are expensive, there is no denying.
 
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theunderachiever

theunderachiever

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mills' full time tuition for premed postbac is 30k/year. that is very expensive just for some general undergrad courses offered by most schools even with a support group. way better off doing DIY at a CSU or community college. i would only pay that much if the program was a formal SMP with possible linkage to the university's school of medicine.
You pose a superb point and I appreciate it. My family and I are willing and (somewhat) able to afford a program of this nature, however. Definitely something to think about.



Thanks again to everybody for their responses and for sharing their wisdom with me.
 

dkt888

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Have you checked out CSU East Bay? I did the academic enhancer program through there, but they also offer a career changer track. Let me know if you have any questions about it.
 
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QueenJames

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Cousin did a formal postbacc that ended up costing her 50K (with books and all the other cotsts like room and board costs). Got accepted into a DO program.

I did an informal postbacc with all science courses at a CC that costed me a whopping total of about $4,000 (with books) with the same amount of units. I got accepted into a DO program as well.

No matter what route you choose, you better ace everything. Good luck!
 
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theunderachiever

theunderachiever

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Cousin did a formal postbacc that ended up costing her 50K (with books and all the other cotsts like room and board costs). Got accepted into a DO program.

I did an informal postbacc with all science courses at a CC that costed me a whopping total of about $4,000 (with books) with the same amount of units. I got accepted into a DO program as well.

No matter what route you choose, you better ace everything. Good luck!
First of all, congratulations!

Second, I do intend to bag the aces. This is where I invoke the academia gods :p

Question-- had you done premed /premed prereqs before ?
 

QueenJames

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Yes. I had completed most of the pre-reqs. I had to retake two semesters of a couple of them though. Just do them wherever is convenient for you. From the money I saved by taking my classes at a CC, I was able to use for other expenses on the med school trail like interview costs, deposits, suit purchases, etc.
 
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theunderachiever

theunderachiever

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Yes. I had completed most of the pre-reqs. I had to retake two semesters of a couple of them though. Just do them wherever is convenient for you. From the money I saved by taking my classes at a CC, I was able to use for other expenses on the med school trail like interview costs, deposits, suit purchases, etc.
All evidently important money-saving tools. Thank you for sharing this with me. I have not taken those prereqs -- I'm as fresh and pink as they come. This investigation continues!
 

QueenJames

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Good luck and don't worry about the time. The time will pass anyway. If I can do it, then so can you!
 
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ecpresso

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I'm currently taking courses through UC Berkeley Extension and have some comments to add regarding the program.

First, the quality of instruction is variable as with every program. The thing here though is that online courses cannot be trusted--this is a mistake many students make as UCBEx offers Genetics and Biochemistry online and on a rolling basis. However, students enrolled in the formal program (Post-Bacc for Health Professionals) are not allowed to take these online courses for credit. That is a huge hint that the instruction will be different even though the instructor is the same. Personally, my classroom instructors have been average to amazing--RateMyProfessor is your friend.

Second, the program is more expensive per unit than most post-bacc programs, but you are allowed to take classes a la carte. This works to your advantage if you're an Academic Enhancement student like me, since I don't need to take every single course or want to wait to take them in a regimented schedule. There is no such thing as checking for prerequisites; for example, you are given the freedom to take OChem before GenChem if you wish (even though you obviously shouldn't). You don't even need to be in the formal program to take courses--just pay and go.

Third, the program is designed for working professionals. Most classes are 6/7-10PM once a week. This is great if you don't want to quit your full-time job, but can be bad if you want to finish the whole program in an accelerated fashion. (Because of this, I find that instructors are often very understanding of your other commitments.) If you were a Career Changer who has the luxury of going to school full-time, then do a full-time program.

An advantage about UCBEx is that classes hardly fill it quickly, so you can take whatever you need to fairly easily. I've also found that the students taking classes through UCBEx are friendly, driven, and a bit older. This has been amazing for me because part of the reason I went AWOL during my premed path in college is because I was so turned off by stereotypical premeds. All in all, I am very happy with my choice.

TLDR:
  • Academic Enhancer w/ full-time job: UCBEx (classroom only)
  • Academic Enhancer w/o full-time job: UCBEx or CC/Open-Enrollment at a state university such as CSU East Bay (DIY post-bacc)
  • Career Changer w/ full-time job: UCBEx or CC/Open-Enrollment at a state university such (DIY post-bacc)
  • Career Changer w/o full-time job: Mills
 

DO2015CA

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If you haven't taken any pre reqs. Start taking them at a CC. especially since you're a career changer the schools won't look too harshly on starting there then transitioning to a 4 year college where you complete biochem, genetics, and maybe one or 2 other upper division biology courses. When CC looks bad is when you got straight A's from the pre reqs at a CC then transferred to a 4yr and can barely scrape Cs on the upper division classes.

The reason I say take genetics and a few other higher level courses at a 4yr is because it'll show that you can handle university pre reqs and just did it for the cost factor. Which for many career changers is a big factor and ADCOMS know that. Also it will help with the MCAT