Quantcast

Coursera Cetificate vs. Online College Credit

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

bmars18

New Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2016
Messages
9
Reaction score
0

Members don't see this ad.
Hey guys!

Just wanted to get some insight from you all.

I would like to go to med school in a few years. I already took my pre-med classes during my undergrad, but my science GPA (3.2) was not the best, since I took all of those during the last two years of my aerospace engineering degree. My overall undergrad GPA is a 3.5. I am currently working full-time as an engineer with an aerospace company. I have a lot of free time right now since my job requires a security clearance and that can take up to a year to get. I am planning on taking online courses to help boost my science GPA and also take some more sciences courses I didn't get to while I was in undergrad. I've seen a couple options for taking these online courses for a college credit, but they are around $1000 per course. I saw a cheaper option through Coursera, but the only thing with Coursera is that I will only get a certificate for the completed courses.

I guess I just wanted to know what would be the better option for me. Do you guys think the medical school committees will prefer it if I took the classes and got college credit for those, or do you think getting a certificate for the classes will be okay?

Thanks!
 

seanm028

Dulling Occam's Razor
5+ Year Member
Joined
May 7, 2016
Messages
331
Reaction score
477
Certificates from Coursera will probably not count for credit in the eyes of medical schools, nor do I think they will be calculated in your GPA. Is Coursera associated with an accredited college/university?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

wholeheartedly

Epi Geek
Staff member
Administrator
Volunteer Staff
10+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Messages
7,378
Reaction score
6,089
While these open education courses are absolutely awesome, there are known issues for the certificates like rampant cheating, other people completing the work, etc. So employers often view them with reservations. A medical school is going to be even more skeptical.

I highly recommend them for cost effective content review for things like the MCAT, for adding stats skills to your research repetoire, or just satisfying your personal interests. But if you need to use a course to prove yourself to a med school, you need the formal, university based course (if possible).

This was also another recent (past few months I think) thread in here, so if you search you can also read those responses.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Mike Bagwell

Membership Revoked
Removed
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
219
Reaction score
205
When I was shadowing several years ago, there were two medical students from UNECOM who completed half of their pre-req's online. I was surprised because I didn't even think that was a possibility and here they were on their surgical rotation.

My thoughts are to avoid online science coursework. Online coursework can be useful for other areas but science work should be in a classroom and a proper laboratory in a group environment.

I can't imagine "boosting" your GPA through online coursework would be looked at favorably by any admissions committee AFTER having completed classroom work. It's kinda like the graduate who goes and gets the online MBA.
 

chemphysicsinstructor

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
381
Reaction score
116
Hey guys!

Just wanted to get some insight from you all.

I would like to go to med school in a few years. I already took my pre-med classes during my undergrad, but my science GPA (3.2) was not the best, since I took all of those during the last two years of my aerospace engineering degree. My overall undergrad GPA is a 3.5. I am currently working full-time as an engineer with an aerospace company. I have a lot of free time right now since my job requires a security clearance and that can take up to a year to get. I am planning on taking online courses to help boost my science GPA and also take some more sciences courses I didn't get to while I was in undergrad. I've seen a couple options for taking these online courses for a college credit, but they are around $1000 per course. I saw a cheaper option through Coursera, but the only thing with Coursera is that I will only get a certificate for the completed courses.

I guess I just wanted to know what would be the better option for me. Do you guys think the medical school committees will prefer it if I took the classes and got college credit for those, or do you think getting a certificate for the classes will be okay?

Thanks!


To be on the safe side, take the courses for college credit. I think that taking the Courera courses would be a good "warmup" for more difficult courses. Online courses would also be another good "warmup" option.
 
Top