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Forced to Declare a Major Post-Bacc

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by MIGLdr, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. MIGLdr

    MIGLdr 2+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Hiya all, I registered a while back at SDN but this is actually my first post!

    I am a non-trad who'se just started this long and exciting journey. I got my bachelor's in business admin in 2003 and worked in IT Consulting for 3.5 years prior to deciding to do this.

    I recently enrolled at a different 4-year university then the one where I originally got my degree for the purposes of completing my science requirements. (I have to take them all lol, the only thing I have going in my favor is having finished Calc 2 back in the day :) ) My plan was to just finish my year of inorgo/orgo/physics/bio, take the MCAT and leave for med school leveraging my original degree. This doesn't sound really out of the ordinary, and I'm sure most non-trads have taken similar paths.

    Recently, I received a letter from the University where I'm taking courses at now, threatening to not let me enroll for classes for future terms because I have not yet declared a "major." This is the result of them having seen my previous transcript and transferred all my credits from my prior undergraduate work and going past x number of credits. I am currently listed as "Undeclared." So my questions are as follows:

    - Will adcoms be confused if I declare a major for my post-bacc even if I don't intend to finish this major? (Assuming I just declare something to get this university off my back)

    - Should I fight this decision to remain undeclared?

    - Is anything in my situation I described above really out of the ordinary? By this I mean, should I have returned to the same school I got my original degree from? This would have been logistically difficult (impossible actually) for me.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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  3. soonereng

    soonereng Double Trouble Physician 10+ Year Member

    Does the school you attend now allow for a special graduate student status or something similar?

    That's what I went back as, but it too had some hangups. I had over 130 credit hours, but had to wait until the closing of freshman enrollment to enroll (not sure if all schools have staggered enrollment based on credit hours but all the ones that I talked to do). I basically had to go beg the profs to let me in the upper level classes because they were full by the time I could enroll.

    If I hadn't gotten accepted for medschool this fall, I was going to declare some biology major so I didn't have the hassle of getting in the higher level classes. I don't think that it would have hindered my application to med school for the next cycle.

    Oh, and all of this was at the institution where I got my engineering degree. Way to treat alums. :thumbdown:
  4. futanta

    futanta New Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Are you matriculated? If so, you might want to consider changing your status to non-matriculated to avoid declaring a major.
  5. Nasem

    Nasem 2+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 2006
    Lansing, MI
    I am in the same boat as you are right now, I graduated in 04 with a bachelors of Computer science and a minors in mathematics. My over all gpa is 3.01 (crappy).

    Anyways, to make story short, after working in the I.T world for a few years, I realised I wanted to change carrers. So, Last november I applied to the only university in my city (Michigan state university), they told me I would not even get accepted without declaring a major, since I needed to take general chem / orgo I and II / bio I and II, I declared my major as chemistry (2nd degree bachlors).

    I am pretty sure this woun't really effect my application at all, during my interview I'll explain to adcoms my situation.

    Btw, we are very similar, I only took calc-base physics and rocked it hard. Other than that, I never took any chemistries or biologies so Im doing that now.
  6. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    I think this is just a common university policy -- has to do with stuff like maintaining enrollment statistics by department, financial allocations to different departments, academic advising (e.g., the bio advisor gets a list of all the bio majors to 'advise'), registration priority (majors often get priority on certain required classes before the general student population) etc. etc. Just go ahead a register for a 'major' in whatever you want -- nothing says you have to complete the requirements for a second degree. Maintaining 'undeclared' or 'non-matriculated' status, or whatever they call it, isn't worth fighting over, plus it may put you at a disadvantage in terms of registration, particularly for any upper level classes.

    In terms of academics, med schools are just going to look at your AMCAS application, which will indicate that 1) you have a degree and 2) you took all the prerequisite courses. Everything else is just administrative, bureaucratic BS with your undergrad school, so don't worry about it.
  7. thebrown88

    thebrown88 5+ Year Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    I will be starting as 2nd degree student this summer at the school where I did my undergrad.

    Before making my decision on degree/non-degree status, I called the med school at the univ. where I am at. They told me that not finishing your 2nd degree is not a problem(for this particular med school). So I would ASSUME that is the case in most other places.

    I decided to declare a chem major because they made me pick somthing. It turns out there is 1 advisor for chem and he so far has been a total jerk. Just be careful about letting that advisor know about your intentions of just fulufilling the pre reqs(I made this mistake).

    I also am up in the air about my fin aid and if I have to register as if I have 0 hrs because my advisor is crap.
  8. droyd78

    droyd78 7+ Year Member

    Nov 30, 2006
    You might as well enroll. From what it seems, med schools won't hold it against you that you didn't finish a 2nd bachelors. They know that not everyone has access to an official post-bacc program. In my case, I decided to re-enroll even though I have an English degree. I am senior status which helps because a) tuition is cheaper for degree-seeking students than it is for non-degree, b) I can get in on financial aid, and c) I get to register earlier. All good things.

    I'm at a school with no official post-bacc but good pre-health advising and a good record with med schools. The pre-med adviser I've talked with didn't mention any problem with not finishing my new degree.
  9. whatintheworld?

    whatintheworld? New Member 2+ Year Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    I was enrolled as a post-bac (technically, "non-degree seeking") student for the first couple of semesters when I was completing my pre-reqs after getting my BA. I then switched and "enrolled" as a degree-seeking student (major: Biology), b/c of the difficulty I was having getting into the classes I needed (and getting into the specific classes that fit around my work schedule).

    During interviews, I was asked a few times if I was planning to finish my Biology degree. I just explained that I was only picking up the pre-reqs. No one seemed to have a problem with it, and no one gave me any grief about registering as if I was majoring in Biology. In one interview, when asked what my back-up plans were, one of my answers was that I would think about finishing the degree in biology and then apply again.

    I have not had any trouble from the school I did the pre-reqs in either. So far I have one acceptance to med school.
  10. PB2464

    PB2464 10+ Year Member

    Feb 18, 2007
    Where in Texas did you complete your post-bac? I'm looking at UT-Dallas.
  11. Mjefferson80

    Mjefferson80 5+ Year Member

    Nov 26, 2006
    A friend did a post-bac at UT-Dallas - enrolled as a non-degree student and received good help and advice from the pre-med office. Being a public school with a solid engineering program, I imagine the grading for the med school pre-req courses is pretty tough. It's very much a commuter school.
  12. whatintheworld?

    whatintheworld? New Member 2+ Year Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    I did my post-bac at UT San Antonio.
  13. PB2464

    PB2464 10+ Year Member

    Feb 18, 2007
    Yes, I'm considering UTD because of the pre-med office and high percent of post-bac enrollment.
    Do you think it's better to do a post-bac where the pre-req courses may be easier? I can't imagine these courses being tougher than at SMU or Rice, for example.
    Being a commuter school doesn't bother me as I've already had the "college experience".

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