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BETTER: post-bacc or grad school???

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by toxin, Jul 14, 2001.

  1. toxin

    toxin Senior Member
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    Since I have to raise my gpa im debating should I go to postbacc program (and which one) or get a masters degree....any stories, advice would greatly appreciated
     
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  3. together

    together Senior Member
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    Hi Toxin (cool name!)

    I was in the same situation just a few months back after I graduated from college. I have since decided to pursue an M.A. in Biomedical Sciences at the Boston University School of Medicine. In spite of the fact that the program is expensive and challenging, it will allow me to audition my abilities in medical school-level classes and to pursue advanced biomedical research. I may even pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience after the program since it should take approximately 2 years after my M.A. thesis.

    But that's me. I would need to know more about your present situation -- academic background (major, GPAs, MCAT, etc.) and what your ultimate goals are before I can give you an honest reply. Some programs that are great for some are terrible for others. You have to find what satisfies your interest.

    Feel free to e-mail me.

    Together
     
  4. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member
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    i think what your decision comes down to is whether or not you completed the pre-med course requirements during college. post-bacc programs are for students who did NOT complete these courses and decided after they graduated from college that they wanted to pursue medicine. grad school, however, is recommended for students who have already completed these courses but need to raise their gpa's in order to be more competitive.
     
  5. phillybabe

    phillybabe Senior Member
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    Post-bacs at MCP Hahnemann, VCU/MCV, Finch, etc are for students who have completed pre-med requirements and wish to add advanced science credits to their transcripts. Do a search on post-bacs and u'll find more like these. Masters programs usually take 2 years and post-bacs take a year. Some med schools will not let you matriculate unless you complete the masters degree.
     
  6. WISC-ite

    WISC-ite Senior Member
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    Just thought I would add my four cents to the post-Bacc conversation. I myself opted for the post-Bacc route and am very happy with my decision. I am at MCP/Hahnemann and feel the program is specifically meeting my needs.

    My GPA is high enough (not a 4.0), but my MCAT scores are lower than desired. So I am enrolled in the MSP program at MCP/Hahnemann. This program is smaller than their major post-Bacc program, but it is very good for the MCAT problem. It is also cheaper that the other available programs at other schools.

    I don't want to paint an overly rosie picture of things because there are other options at other schools and I personnally feel it is up the the individual. Two of my friends are at the Georgetown program and really like it thus far. It is also a really good program. I would say that it is aimed at a student who has different needs than my application. It is very similar to the MCP/Hahnemann IMS program. Both are for students with good MCAT's (at least a 27) and mediocre GPA's (or simply students who didn't get in).

    Hope this helped and any questions just ask.

    PHILLYBABE, which program are you in???
     
  7. WISC-ite

    WISC-ite Senior Member
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    Just thought I would add my four cents to the post-Bacc conversation. I myself opted for the post-Bacc route and am very happy with my decision. I am at MCP/Hahnemann and feel the program is specifically meeting my needs.

    My GPA is high enough (not a 4.0), but my MCAT scores are lower than desired. So I am enrolled in the MSP program at MCP/Hahnemann. This program is smaller than their major post-Bacc program, but it is very good for the MCAT problem. It is also cheaper that the other available programs at other schools.

    I don't want to paint an overly rosie picture of things because there are other options at other schools and I personnally feel it is up the the individual. Two of my friends are at the Georgetown program and really like it thus far. It is also a really good program. I would say that it is aimed at a student who has different needs than my application. It is very similar to the MCP/Hahnemann IMS program. Both are for students with good MCAT's (at least a 27) and mediocre GPA's (or simply students who didn't get in).

    Hope this helped and any questions just ask.

    PHILLYBABE, which program are you in???
     
  8. omores

    omores sleep deprived
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    If it's your GPA that concerns you, be aware that ONLY post-bacc courses will help to raise your undergraduate GPA.

    AMCAS counts post-bacc work as undergraduate-level courses, so they're averaged in. Graduate-level courses, in contrast, get their very own Graduate GPA, which is reported separately. Since many schools do an initial screening based on undergraduate GPA, if yours is dangerously low, you might want to opt for post-bacc. If your undergraduate GPA is adequate enough to get you past a screening, you might be better off (or at least have a more interesting time) pursuing a master's.

    Be aware, too, that if you choose to go post-bacc, you can either enter a formal program or follow a "do it yourself" route. Formal programs offer name recognition, structure and sometimes a "back door" to medical school in exchange for a hefty pricetag. Doing it yourself means simply taking the courses you want as a non-matriculated (i.e. non-degree-pursuing) student. I did this at my local state school and it worked just fine.

    :) :cool: :) :cool: :)
     
  9. EC

    EC

    Hi Toxin,

    Also, remember if you choose to do a post-bacc, you don't necessarily have to do an organized program, like the Johns Hopkins post-bac program. You can just take extra upper level courses at any school. I did this...completed my pre-med requirements at my state school, and it seems that medical schools don't have a problem with it. Anyhow, good luck.

    EC
     
  10. omores

    omores sleep deprived
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    In case it looks as if EC didn't bother to read the last paragraph of my post, I'd like to mention that I added the bit about taking state school courses as an edit to my original post. The change went through just as EC was posting the same idea. Obviously we're psychic wonder twins!
    :D :oops: :D
     
  11. EpiII

    EpiII Senior Member
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    The advice given by 'omores' is very good. If you need to raise undergrad GPA, post bacc is the way.

    If you want to have another degree, etc. then grad school obviously is the way to go.
     
  12. imtiaz

    imtiaz i cant translate stupid
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    I had a very low (2.8) undergrad GPA. I went to grad school instead of the post bac route. I'm still in grad school, I'll be out in the summer of '02 with an MS in Chem. I don't know if one or the other is better, but from what I've read on this forum when I was looking for advice there are advantages and disadvantages to both routes.

    The advantage of post bac is that it raises your undergraduate cumulative GPA because you will take undergrad level courses. Also as was previously stated some of these programs are affiliated with medical schools and are looked favorably upon by their respective medical schools (like the MSP at MCPHU). On the other hand, if you are unsuccessful at getting into medical school after one of these programs you really have nothing to show for it in terms of advancement. I don't know about you but I'd feel like I was "spinning my tires."

    Grad school has disadvantages too. It does nothing for your undergrad GPA. That's the major disadvantage. But for me, the advantages outweighed the disadvantages. I two publications out now. I will have a thesis out by the summer. I have new recs from professors that know me very well as a result of research and colaboration. I have a much better GPA (3.7). I'm applying this year so I can't tell you if it helped (YET).

    I chose grad school because my MCAT was OK. It isn't stellar (10V,11P,10B,M) but it isn't bad either. I needed publications and a better GPA and that's why I chose grad school. Whatever you choose, do well at it and hopefully your effort will be fruitful. Good luck!
     
  13. Biffer

    Biffer The good times doc
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    Imitiaz,
    Was is it very difficult for you to get into a master's program with your lower than avg. GPA? I was thinking of doing the same thing for one year-and then ditching if I got into Med school. Is this a viable route?

    Thanks,
    Biffer
     
  14. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member
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  15. imtiaz

    imtiaz i cant translate stupid
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    It wasn't difficult because I was doing research with my now graduate advisor as an undergraduate. Also, I started working on my masters project as an undergraduate so I will be out in 1 year. It's kind of misleading. Grad programs take two years on average. And I do have the timing issue that sandflea addressed. I only have 1 semester of grades posted now, and I'm sending in copies of them with my secondaries, I don't know if theyll help but I doubt they will hurt. I'm a lot more indifferent to the whole process now the 2nd time around. I have no expectations, just giving it a shot. Sandflea is also right about the poaching issue. Poaching means recruiting/admitting students/professors from other schools to your own. I had to get letters from the director of graduate studies as well as my advisor saying I would be done before I matriculated if I was accepted anywhere. So make sure you know what youre getting into. Good luck.

     
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  16. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member
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    hey, do the postbac. It is a smaller time committment and it will make you more 'connected' with your ultimate goal. I would imagine it would be tough to stay in graduate program and be motivated, being around people whose research is all their life, and you are just doing it as a resume booster. Plus, in a postbac you don't have to do a thesis and can have a linkage with a med school. Grad school can be great too, but you gotta have some guts to tough it out and stay sane. For this, I really admire kutastha (Andrew). good luck
     

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