Completing Master's Program Pre-Matriculation

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username1379

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Hi! I hope the app process is wrapping up or starting nicely for everyone.

I was admitted into an M.D. program that starts in early August. Do schools generally require students to fully earn a Master's degree if you've started a program (non-SMP)? I'm 2 courses away from graduating but 1) honestly didn't think I'd get in this cycle and 2) won't be able to complete a summer semester in time. I'm definitely going to check with my specific school but was wondering if anyone had any experience in this arena, e.g. with completing the Master's within the first few weeks of M1, deferring, dropping out of the MS program, etc.? I'm 99% certain my admission wasn't conditional on my grades in the Master's program because my GPA was on par with my undergrad GPA.

Even more broadly speaking -- any thoughts on the benefit of trying to finish the Master's degree? It has been expensive and I worry I'm either falling victim to sunk-cost fallacy or truly wasting thousands if I stop now. Torn on the utility of the degree in the future -- any input would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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If you are admitted into the MD program, you do not need to complete the master's since they already made the decision prior to completion.
 
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If you are admitted into the MD program, you do not need to complete the master's since they already made the decision prior to completion.
Thanks for your response!
 
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If you are admitted into the MD program, you do not need to complete the master's since they already made the decision prior to completion.
I know of some schools where this is not the case and they do expect you to finish. Definitely check.
 
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I would just ask the school. Some care, some do not at all. I would also talk to your program director and tell them what’s going on. They want graduates and since you got accepted they’ll be excited to add you to the list of students that “used their SMP to get into med school” and may make some exceptions.
 
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First, check the letter of admission to the medical school. It will specify if you are expected to complete any degree that was reported as underway when you applied.

Schools get dinged by their accreditors if they don't have a graduation rate of at least 80% so having professional degree programs poaching students who don't finish the MS degree really stings. Some professional schools, out of courtesy to their fellow academics, will not permit matriculation if it means dropping out of a grad program. Again, check with the medical school.

Ask the school where you are a current student if it would be possible to take a leave of absence and finish the degree in the summer after M1. Check with the med school to be sure that the free time after M1 coincides with the term for the grad program and that they'd be okay with that.
 
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