DIY/informal post-bacc questions

itsgonnamove

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Jan 11, 2015
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    Hey, I'm 25 (I've graduated from UVM already) and have been looking for DIY school options where you can just register for available courses as a non-degree student. I see the posts about them on here a lot, but besides saying "state schools" no one really ever says WHICH schools do it. All the ones I've looked at so far, including state universities, have said that they do have non-degree students, but they still have to apply and are judged by the same standards as regular applicants or formal post-bacc students, which confuses me because I assumed there were schools that allowed anyone to register in courses if there are still openings. My gpa was fine and all, but I don't want to do a formal post-bacc program because I think it's a waste of money for a piece of paper when I could just do the same thing myself.

    Anyway, for those of you who went this route, what schools did you go to? Alternatively, do you know of any schools that are what I'm looking for? Anywhere in the US and Quebec is fine, I'm just frustrated that I can't find anywhere that seems to do this. Thanks so much!
     

    DrMidlife

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      Search for "nonmatriculated" or "extension" or "continuing" or "open" at any university. Distance/online not recommended, still controversial, limits your options.

      The postbac forum (way down SDN under Interdisciplinary) has more info on specific programs like HarvardX and BerkeleyX, which are good standards for comparison.

      If you move to do a DIY postbac then you're not saving any money. You might find that a structured postbac has a lot more to offer than a piece of paper - those programs can be the start of a high value network of contacts, for instance.

      Best of luck to you.
       
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      SomedaySoonMM

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        I did a DIY post-bacc at Harvard extension. The selling points for me were its relatively cheap cost and all the pre-req classes are on nights and weekends(labs). I worked full time throughout and it worked out for me. The classes were enjoyable and pretty well taught too.
         

        JW2020

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          At UConn you can apply as a General Studies student; this status will allow you to register for classes earlier as a student rather than non-student but is different from the official post-bacc application process (which is very competitive). There is an application process but it's easy; pretty much as long as you have a bachelor's and explain what you're doing they'll take you. This would save you money, since you could pump out the pre-reqs and wouldn't be forced to take some of the upper levels that formal post-baccs often include (micro, genetics, etc). Obviously it's beneficial to have these courses but at many schools it won't kill you not to have them.
           

          NonTradJp

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          Jan 1, 2013
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            I'm not sure about other places but the UC's and Harvard have extension programs where you take classes equivalent to their classes for regular undergrad students. These classes are geared towards those that have graduated and are generally less time intensive and populated by graduates. I think that's a better environment then "open" courses which, from my experiences, are the same courses as undergrads. I bet there are many more that do so, but I have only met those who did it through UC and Harvard extensions.
             

            DocWinter

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              You can register as a degree seeking student and work on your own schedule. That's what I did 3 years ago, as advised by my university advisors, and it worked out well. It allows you better financial aid and preference when registering for classes. Plus, they had a great prehealth program and did the interfolio letters of recommendation thing.
               

              bbbaaa

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                University of North Carolina is very friendly towards bachelor degree holding, non-degree seeking students.. Registration priority over undergrads, can get loans.
                 

                Kvasir

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                Apr 19, 2013
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                  You can register as a degree seeking student and work on your own schedule. That's what I did 3 years ago, as advised by my university advisors, and it worked out well. It allows you better financial aid and preference when registering for classes. Plus, they had a great prehealth program and did the interfolio letters of recommendation thing.


                  I did this as well. Since I used some of my GI benefits to pay for it, I worked it out with my state school to enter as a degree-seeking candidate in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology. That pretty much ensured I got proper first pick for classes I needed. When I was 'done' I called the business office to withdraw in good standing from the school after completing my last semester. Hint: Make sure they do it *after* you finish your current semester and before you sign up for next semester classes....don't want a nice semester of W grades :).

                  Honestly, I recommend doing it straight through if you can afford it; take the credit load you can handle and any summer intensives. Summer physics and gen chem worked out great....I would never suggest summer orgo, however.
                   

                  Flippinski

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                    All of the SUNY schools in NY are great, and there are a lot of options that allow you to do a DIY post bach. What areas would you want to live in? Do you know what schools you would want to apply MD to? Sometimes in state residency plays a big role in certain schools so doing a post bach in that state may be highly beneficial. Give us some regional areas and then maybe we can give some more advice on schools.
                     

                    ghostman

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                      I also went Harvard Extension. Although I was in the "diploma" program which required you to apply and maintain certain grades, several classmates there were not part of that program. After that, I also took a biochem course at a CUNY.
                       

                      sazerac

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                        You can declare yourself degree-seeking and not actually pursue another degree. I was non-degree-seeking at my second undergrad, and one semester my advisor changed my status to degree-seeking, even though I did not request this.

                        I quit taking classes and got accepted to medical school in late 2011. I still get a letter once a year from the state school, asking me when I'm coming back to finish my biology degree, lol.
                         
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