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graduating early (after being accepted)

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CyanideDN

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So as it turns out, I will be able to graduate a quarter early and save $5-6k by skipping my spring quarter. I'm planning on moving back to my hometown and find a part time job there to earn some extra cash prior to matriculating to med school (I've already been accepted). In the mean time, I've completed all the med school pre-reqs and will get my BS degree after winter quarter. There's no point for me to stay here an extra quarter and take meaningless classes. On my AMCAS, I didn't indicate the classes that I will take this year, but I did indicate that I'm going to have my BS degree in June, 2009.

Will I run into a problem when med schools find out that I'm skipping out my last quarter and graduating early? I've emailed the school that offered me an acceptance, but I figured I should try SDN first.
 

bluesmd

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i was thinking about this too... anyone?
 
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mmmcdowe

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It depends on two things

1) Are you in the school that you want to be in? If not, you might want to stick around and take interesting classes like Bioethics, dance, etc. Things to increase your diversity.
2) As long as you are SURE that all reqs are transferable and complete! Call or email and CONFIRM that all of your classes (AP, etc) are good enough, and check the MSAR to see if they require biochem or stats or something.

If you satisfy both of these reqs, then there will be no penalty to you. Back in the day, you didn't even have to finish your degree ;)
 

n618ft

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Don't be a professional student... congrats on graduating early - that's a good thing! Your acceptance I'm sure isn't based on you stretching your graduation out... I graduated a year early so I got a job in VA for a year... I'm from FL... I fear that a lot of people that are on here have lives that revolve solely around books, school, and being engulfed in their lack of real-world experience - they don't know better... get a job, voluteer, and have some fun while you can.
 

CyanideDN

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It depends on two things

1) Are you in the school that you want to be in? If not, you might want to stick around and take interesting classes like Bioethics, dance, etc. Things to increase your diversity.
2) As long as you are SURE that all reqs are transferable and complete! Call or email and CONFIRM that all of your classes (AP, etc) are good enough, and check the MSAR to see if they require biochem or stats or something.

If you satisfy both of these reqs, then there will be no penalty to you. Back in the day, you didn't even have to finish your degree ;)

Hey mmmcdowe,

@1: Well, the school that I got in is one I'd definitely go if I had to go out of state. I'm just waiting for my in state schools right now, not doing any more interviews out of state. My family is undergoing some financial problems with me and my bro in college at the same time, I will be helping out my family by skipping out spring quarter and using that money for my bro's tuition instead (he's a freshman).

@2: I will call the school to find out for sure. I'm not using any AP units and I have some biochem/stats units already (2 quarters of each). Plus, if I stay an extra quarter, I'll just be taking random GE classes so I don't think they'll count as pre-reqs.
 

mmmcdowe

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Hey mmmcdowe,

@1: Well, the school that I got in is one I'd definitely go if I had to go out of state. I'm just waiting for my in state schools right now, not doing any more interviews out of state. My family is undergoing some financial problems with me and my bro in college at the same time, I will be helping out my family by skipping out spring quarter and using that money for my bro's tuition instead (he's a freshman).

@2: I will call the school to find out for sure. I'm not using any AP units and I have some biochem/stats units already (2 quarters of each). Plus, if I stay an extra quarter, I'll just be taking random GE classes so I don't think they'll count as pre-reqs.

Sounds good to me. Unless your in state school is a March 1st kinda deal for acceptances, I don't forsee it mattering anyways ;).
 

Jolie South

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If you've reached all your degree requirements and finished the pre-reqs, what's the problem?

Take some time off. Travel, save money, work. It'd be a good change of pace before med school in the fall.
 

CyanideDN

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If you've reached all your degree requirements and finished the pre-reqs, what's the problem?

Take some time off. Travel, save money, work. It'd be a good change of pace before med school in the fall.

Well is it going to look bad for the schools that I'm still interviewing / will interview if I graduate early? I mean if I go back to my hometown, I won't be able to continue with my current volunteer work and research. Most likely I'll get a job so I can help my parents out.
 

cbrons

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Why did you plan on staying till June if you all your degree requirements we going to be finished a semester early? I mean, I don't mind some classes but I'm certainly not about to go to school just for fun :D:D:D.
 

tdittyx2x3

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If you are qualified for an interview, then if and when it comes up just say you had the opportunity to graduate early, go home to spend time with your family, and seek out a new opportunity. If you take good advantage of the extra time, it only further rounds your application.

But bottom line: Do what you want as long as you can explain it.

Congrats on your acceptance. I think if you are satisfied with your education then you have every right as an applicant to start anew with something else. Right now I'm building houses with Habitat, not at all education or medically related, and its a great topic during an interview. Good luck.
 

bluesmd

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It depends on two things

1) Are you in the school that you want to be in? If not, you might want to stick around and take interesting classes like Bioethics, dance, etc. Things to increase your diversity.

how will taking interesting classes help get us into the school we want?
 

nka1985

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Check with the school you were accepted to just to be safe, but it shouldn't be a big deal.

If you get a new interview somewhere else, just tell them the truth: It was better for you and your family financially so you finished a little early and got a job to help out. It's a good reason.

Honestly, even if you didn't have a good reason it still makes sense. Why dump out more money to take more classes that you don't need and won't be of any real benefit? I graduated a quarter early because it saved me ~$4000.

Enjoy your time off-have FUN because those lazy day memories will be great to look back on when your busy and exhausted in med school.

And now I really should get back to work since I have an endocrine exam tomorrow morning.:oops:
 

Non-TradTulsa

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You're very smart to e-mail your medical school. As long as they approve of your graduating early, you're good - and go have a good time and a rest.

Approval from your medical school matters because you undoubtedly listed the classes you intended to take in your last quarter on your AMCAS as "future work" (at least, you were supposed to do so, I think!). Your acceptance letter undoubtedly said something vague like "your acceptance is conditional on your maintaining your current performance standards" or something stupid like that. What that means is, you can't let your grades tank just because you got into medical school. You also can't cancel coursework that was listed on your app - whatever coursework is listed on your AMCAS is a binding part of the agreement between you and the medical school that accepted you.

If you're eligible to graduate, I can't imagine that they'd have a problem - but, again, you're smart to get permission from your medical school - in my opinion, contacting your medical school was not optional.
 

icarus8

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You're very smart to e-mail your medical school. As long as they approve of your graduating early, you're good - and go have a good time and a rest.

Approval from your medical school matters because you undoubtedly listed the classes you intended to take in your last quarter on your AMCAS as "future work" (at least, you were supposed to do so, I think!). Your acceptance letter undoubtedly said something vague like "your acceptance is conditional on your maintaining your current performance standards" or something stupid like that. What that means is, you can't let your grades tank just because you got into medical school. You also can't cancel coursework that was listed on your app - whatever coursework is listed on your AMCAS is a binding part of the agreement between you and the medical school that accepted you.

If you're eligible to graduate, I can't imagine that they'd have a problem - but, again, you're smart to get permission from your medical school - in my opinion, contacting your medical school was not optional.
I don't believe this is entirely accurate - when the AMCAS rep visited my undergrad, she was explicitly asked if "future coursework" was binding. She said no.

That said, the result is the same - you should find out from the school/schools.
 

CyanideDN

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You're very smart to e-mail your medical school. As long as they approve of your graduating early, you're good - and go have a good time and a rest.

Approval from your medical school matters because you undoubtedly listed the classes you intended to take in your last quarter on your AMCAS as "future work" (at least, you were supposed to do so, I think!). Your acceptance letter undoubtedly said something vague like "your acceptance is conditional on your maintaining your current performance standards" or something stupid like that. What that means is, you can't let your grades tank just because you got into medical school. You also can't cancel coursework that was listed on your app - whatever coursework is listed on your AMCAS is a binding part of the agreement between you and the medical school that accepted you.

If you're eligible to graduate, I can't imagine that they'd have a problem - but, again, you're smart to get permission from your medical school - in my opinion, contacting your medical school was not optional.

Well....I actually didn't list any future course work for my fourth year on my AMCAS application. I only realized my error after submitting the AMCAS. However, I did indicate that I would graduate with a BS degree in June '09 so I think they assumed that I would be taking classes throughout my fourth year. Luckily, it turned out alright. My undergrad institution has given the green light for me to graduate early. Now I just need to hear back from the med school dean.
 

moab336

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I indicated on my AMCAS that I was graduating this December after 3.5 years. Of my four interviews, in half this seemed to be overlooked on my application until I mentioned it. In mentioning it, all interviewers seemed either slightly indifferent (not so much impressed - but happy for me) or slightly impressed by it.

My point is that I can practically promise you it will not be a negative factor. If anything, you can send update letters to school saying you graduating, getting X job, and hoping to accomplish Y during this time. Unless you're playing ps3 in your parents basement for the next 6 months, this can only be looked upon positively in my opinion.
 

CyanideDN

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Ok, I've just received the medical school dean's approval. She doesn't see a problem with this since I'll have my BS degree and all my med school pre-reqs done.
 

Non-TradTulsa

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Ok, I've just received the medical school dean's approval. She doesn't see a problem with this since I'll have my BS degree and all my med school pre-reqs done.
Wow - 10 bonus points for maturity, and good luck to you. I've wasted a fair amount of time posting in the pre-allo forum - some of it I enjoy; sometimes I post because a whole lot of people helped me tremendously when I was applying to medical school and I feel some obligation to try to help someone else.

I get a little exasperated when I see so much quasi-legalistic "hair-splitting" on SDN - as if there were some 2" thick AAMC Master Book of Rules for Medical School Admissions. There isn't. There are accreditation standards against discriminating against applicants, but medical school admission offices pretty much do what they want to do. And you, the poor applicant, can be the victim. This isn't stressed nearly enough, in my opinion.

So, the AAMC lady said that future coursework was not binding. I suspect what she meant was, AMCAS would not consider you guilty of violating the promises you made to AMCAS when you signed your application if you changed your future study plans. Does that mean each school is bound by AMCAS' opinion? Absolutely not! If a particular school is concerned that you might not take a course which they decided was important in the admissions process, they can "throw a fit" if they choose to and AMCAS can't do a jolly thing about it. And you end-up the victim.

Hate to sound discouraging, but my point is - there is so much about the admissions process that is random, capricious, and beyond your control - it is ALWAYS safer to CYA if you think something has even a tiny potential to cause you a problem.
 

dragonfly99

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In this situation I would do exactly what you did...graduate and be done with it. Hope you won't miss your friends, etc. too much! Good luck with the next few months.

I think it is OK to quit a hospital volunteer job if you have to move...just give them a few weeks notice. 2-4 weeks should be plenty. As far as research goes, if the prof wants you to keep doing it, they can pay you from now on.

I doubt any ad-coms would mind someone graduating early...just best to check with them. Wanting to save 5k tuition so that it can be used for your little brother is definitely a good reason to go ahead and graduate as long as you have all the necessary credits. Saving up some money in the next few months is a great plan...you can use that to pay rent, etc. the first year of medical school. Don't forget to have fun too!
 

CyanideDN

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Thanks to everyone who offered advice and congratulations. Everything's set up for me to graduate at the end of next quarter. The one thing I'm going to miss most is hanging out with my friends, but I'm going to visit them every once in awhile.

Again, thanks everybody.
 
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