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Harvard Extension Post Bacc

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Trickster, Oct 5, 2002.

  1. Trickster

    Trickster Junior Member
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    After scouring the boards for the aforementioned, I've decided the the Harvard Extension program is the most attractive option for fulfilling my pre-reqs. The cost is reasonable (even for a Canadian!) and the location is great (I have family in the area...)

    However, after some extensive Googling sessions, I discovered some profiles in the school's newsletter of students who were in the Health Careers Program. I can only say that I felt even more like a country bumpkin after reading that they had all attended Ivy undergrads/grad schools. Is this who Harvard Extension targets their program towards?

    Any other comments or experiences on the program? Thanks :)
     
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  3. kreno

    kreno Candy Man
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    What is Harvard's Extension Program?
     
  4. conure

    conure Master Distiller
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    Trick, I just finished the HCP at Harvard last year and I can verify that not all kids are ivy leaguers who switched to be pre-med after graduating. I'm not one and of the people I studied with there were a few harvard grads but no big deal. Most of the Ivy grads in the program are much more down to earth, its the nature of the program. There are some really fantastic people in the extension school. Also remember that not everyone in the classes is going through the Health Careers office, many, many, many of them return to their undergrads for comittee letters.

    I knew a kid who commuted everyday from Providence RI and he was 29.

    Have fun.
     
  5. Trickster

    Trickster Junior Member
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    kreno: The program is detailed on their website,

    Harvard Extension: Health Careers Program .

    It offers post-bacc classes for folks who need to fulfill pre-reqs and/or those who wish to take upper level sciences. While it isn't a structured post-bacc program (like Columbia), it does offer pre-med advisory services and sponsorship (provided that you meet certain requirements).


    conure: Thanks for the info. Glad to hear of another positive experience with the program. If you don't mind me asking, what does application to the program require? Aside from having a Bachelor's degree, will we need to get LORs, prepare essays, etc.? (I just requested an application packet, but the darn thing isn't going to reach me up here for at least 2 weeks... :) )

    Thanks again.
     
  6. The Hulk

    The Hulk Official Green Monster
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    Trickster,

    I am currently in the program. In terms of appying, all you need is a letter of rec, a short essay, and a B.A. with a gpa of 3.0... there are lots of people who did not graduate from ivy league schools... also, you made a great choice!.. the program has many really amazing, down to earth people, and there is no curving so the competition is not against each other. Finally, it is by far the best program, dollar-for-dollar. People who make it through the program (3.0 GPA in all courses) have a 93% acceptance rate to med schools, higher than any other program I saw. One word of caution though, they do NOT provide housing and Cambridge is not cheap. Besides that, its perfect.

    TH
     
  7. conure

    conure Master Distiller
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    When I applied to the program they didn't require a LOR just a short essay. I began the classes way in advance of applying so its not a necessity to be accepted. I think as long as you give them a check your in. So many people try to do this and end up dropping it they really don't care until you've almost finished and have shown your desire and abilities.
     
  8. Trickster

    Trickster Junior Member
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    The Hulk: Thanks for the information- the program is looking more and more attractive, so I think I'll be taking the plunge! I did some apartment hunting online and my heart skipped two beats when I saw how much a studio cost ($1300!). I won't have a car if i go down there, so living close to the campus (e.g. 5 minute walking distance) will be a must for me. Any suggestions on good areas that are near the school?

    Good luck on the rest of the year :)


    conure: I didn't realize that we could sign up for courses and then apply for the program...that actually sounds like a good idea, just to test the waters out first.
     
  9. E'02

    E'02 Senior Member
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    I did the post-bac part-time in 2 years (I was working as a per diem computer instructor/part-time GED counselor and doing some clinical research at the same time). I chose the Harvard post-bac because of its flexibility AND low cost. The typical schedule at the harvard post-bac is evening lectures. Some will meet once a week (physics) and others like chem and bio will meet twice a week. Labs are offered throughout the day and evening - I remember scheduling my physics lab right after lecture. It was late but it was nice to get it out the way.Labs and sections are offered on the same and different days than lecture. I found that it really helped (especially for physics) to go to at least two discussion sections. Each TA explained concepts differently and gave various helpful problems for homework. You can certainly take two classes and work AND do well. You just really have to be focused and manage your time wisely. My last semester I went full time and took 3 classes (physics, physio and bio of HIV) while working full-time (just basic clerical temp work). One thing that helps TREMENDOUSLY is forming study groups for each class. Getting together each week to go over concepts and problem sets was extremely helpful. Also, if you can - speak to Dr. Fixsen now. He's the assistant director of the program and is a great person to get know beforehand and throughout the whole post-bac process.

    Areas where I lived: the T sucks...but if you live near a bus line close to Harvard you'll be fine. I lived in Jamaica Plain (Heath Properties is the agency I rented my efficiency from)- 50 minute T ride but 15-20 minute bus ride. Check out Allston. It's a big student city and is a 15 minute bus ride away from Harvard. I also lived in Roslindale - had a big spacious floor to myself but it's tooo far from school. If you're pressed for time in terms of apartment hunting - check out renting a room (Caritas Communities) - that's what I did in Allston.

    BTW - I'm now a first year at Mount Sinai - and there are 4 of us this year from the Harvard Ext post-bac. If you have any other questions feel free to ask!
     
  10. water4girl

    water4girl Junior Member
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    A good family friend did the post bac at Harvard and loved it. She also ended up at Tufts Med School. In the end! I have heard great things about the program especially the ability to have a flexible schedule. Is anyone in the program right now!And if so can they tell me what my chances are of acceptance if i have a undergrad gpa in accounting that is 2.8. Thanks
     
  11. I went through the Extension program at Harvard, and I thought it was great. I worked full time while going to class, so I really liked that the classes were only one or two nights a week. The classes really seemed to be geared to working adults. Also with the exception of the Biochem class, I was very impressed with the instruction. Also For the most part I was happy with the preparation for the MCAT. (The orgo prof taught us nomenclature differently than what the MCAT used, so that needed to be relearned.)

    I didn't go through Harvard for my committee letter. My undergrad school did it for free while Harvard would have cost me $500. However, Dr. Fixsen (one of the profs who runs the program and also the Bio teacher) was very helpful whenever I needed advice. He also was willing to write me a letter of rec even though I didn't need a committee letter from him.

    I didn't go to an Ivy Leage undergrad, but I did go to a solid school and have decent grades before I started the program. I ended up at UMICH (out of state) so I felt pretty happy about my success in applying.

    About housing - it's expensive and it sucks and you normally have to pay an extra months rent "finders fee" just to get into a place! I lived in a teeny tiny one bedroom apartment in Somerville - Winter Hill. It was cheap at 850 heated. To get to school I took a bus to Sullivan Square and then 2 subways (over an hour) or I walked 20 minutes to Davis Square and took the T in (40 minutes total) or I drove to campus and drove around until I found a spot (normally 30 minutes) or if I was lucky I would be dropped off by my loving boyfriend. It was a pain to get there most nights - hence I really liked that it was only 1 or 2 times a week. If you find a place on the red line, it's not so bad. However, the closer you are to a T stop the higher your rent. Basically you need to figure out if you have more time or more money.

    If I can answer any other questions for you, just PM me.
     
  12. calbear2002

    calbear2002 Junior Member
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    Wow! this is great. A discussion on the Harvard Extension program. I've been looking at it as well and have had many questions for those who have gone through it.

    First, what is it like to take only evening classes? I found out and was surprised that classes only met once a week (some). Do most people work during the day then? I was planning on doing the post-bacc full-time.

    Second, what are the students in the program like? What is the age range and is it usually a friendly environment?

    Thrid, how much of an extra edge do you think I would have going to Harvard extension as opposed to my State college to do the post-bacc?

    Thanks for any feedback!!!
     
  13. plasmid

    plasmid Junior Member

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    hello all.. i'm pretty new here also and am looking into going to the extension program. maybe we can all meet up if and when we get there. initially i was worried about the classes having a curb, thus having us compete against each other.. but i'm so happy to hear that its not! anyways, i'm also looking into the special sciences program at penn and also the IMS program at MCP/drexel.. which i think will be alot tougher to get in.

    good luck to everyone!
     
  14. The Hulk

    The Hulk Official Green Monster
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    Calbear2002, I'm currently in the program... As for your questions... the classes are an unsual format... three hours in the evenings are not easy, it does get difficult to concentrate, but there is a 10 minute break where everyone goes to get coffee to recharge... most people work PT, though some don't work at all and some work full time... the students in the program vary greatly in age, its a very diverse crowd, but people in general are really nice and the enviornment is intense but friendly (as said before, they don't curve so as to reduce competition between students)... as for the advantage, I can't say for sure, but ask me this: do 93% of the kids finishing your state post-bac get into med school?;)

    If you have any additional questions send me a message, and good luck whatever your choice! :D
     
  15. Garibaldo

    Garibaldo Membership Revoked
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    I too am enrolled in the HCP program at Harvard. I graduated as a pre-med last May and I'm taking the program just to boost my GPA. I'm assuming that the 93% acceptance rate is for people who do their prereqs at Harvard (diploma program folks), not people like me, right?
     
  16. mulingo

    mulingo Junior Member

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    I appreciate the information about the Harvard program. I was just going to inquire from them about their acceptance rate, and was glad to get that info from the Hulk.
    Currently, I'm on Maui taking chem at a community college, although I once lived in Boston, which was where I originally became interested in the postbac program there. I've been contemplating a return, and would like to solicit further opinions or advice concerning the ultimate feasibility or realistic expectations of gaining acceptance. I have an undergrad of 2.95 in anthropology, although I did some biochem research at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, also a six month stint at NIH in Bethesda. At this point, I'm considering staying on here in Hawaii to finish pre-reqs, but I feel that I would get better exposure at the Harvard program. Any advice from those who are already enrolled, or who have graduated would be appreciated. Does the 93% acceptance rate include folks like me who have terrible undergrad GPAs? I also spent eight years doing archaeology with national geographic, which may look kind of cool on an application, but don't know if it will really enhance my chances? What do you guys think? Should I just head back down south to Latin America? Thank you very much for your time and input
     
  17. The Hulk

    The Hulk Official Green Monster
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    Not necessarily Gairbaldo,

    The figure is for people who got their composite letters of reccomendation from harvard, which required that they take a certain number of courses there (not necessarily all the pre-reqs) and get B or above in all of them. The number is not published on the website like on other programs; Dr. Fixsen told it to me directly.
     
  18. Garibaldo

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    I see what you're saying, Hulk, but I think taking all your pre-reqs at Harvard with a B or better is more likely the reason the acceptance rates are so high. I was under the assumption that most of the people who apply for the committee rec are diploma candidates, right?
     
  19. Trickster

    Trickster Junior Member
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    First of all, thanks to everyone for the helpful posts.

    I received my application in the mail today, but unfortunately also found out that I wouldn't be able to receive a student visa (the Extension school does not give the I-20 form to students in this program). It looks like I won't be able to enroll unless the INS has some sort of special visa for non-degree seeking students (which I highly doubt, but I'll have to pester the US Embassy about it)...

    :(

    I was told to look into the Harvard Summer School courses and -- hurrah! -- they are offering both Gen Chem and Physics. I was supposed to stay with relatives in Boston over the summer, so this would work out quite nicely. Anyway, after reading through the scheduling information, it looks like it would be impossible/insane to do both. Has anyone taken either of these courses in the Summer? Any thoughts?
     
  20. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    Well, I will say that with other Ivy summer programs, if you're taking them with lab, it could be a lot of time you're spending doing work, so it could be difficult. I'd imagine Harvard is similar.
     
  21. jonquille

    jonquille Senior Member
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    If you're going to take these classes over the summer in Boston, why not take them at Tufts? Tufts has a much more reasonable schedule. It is also significantly cheaper than Harvard.

    And if you read Harvard's fine print, they will not allow you to take two full science classes over the summer.

    Tufts will allow this, though it may get pretty crazy and may not be the smartest thing to take both at the same time!

    I took a summer premed class at Tufts and it was fantastic.
     
  22. tedstriker

    tedstriker wicked retahhded
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    Dude, if you wanna save some cash and get a good grade, there's no better place to take a summer class than UMass-Boston! I've taken many a summer course there, and for the money it's the best education value in Boston!


    (*Rejoinder*talk to your premed advisor first about whether taking these courses at UMass instead of Harvard will hurt you; U assume if you do well at UMass it won't matter that much).
     
  23. Toots

    Toots Dr. Librarian
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    Hey all - I am planning on taking Gen Chem at Harvard next summer and I'm already thinking ahead to the housing situation. Does anyone know of any good places to find a short-term furnished studio for around $1500 (or less) within a reasonable walking/driving distance of campus? I may also need a place that accepts small dogs if I can't get my family to puppy-sit over the summer. :rolleyes: Also, when is a good time to make final housing plans so I don't miss out on everything??

    Thanks!
     
  24. Sicamic

    Sicamic Junior Member
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    I went through the Tufts Post-Bac prgram and am currently taking biochem through the Harvard extension school (b/c the texas schools require extra bio). I've only been in the extension school for 4 or 5 classes, but I have noticed a few things very quickly:

    1. Harvard is WAY less expensive, on the order of $550 per credit instead of $1500.

    2. This biochem class is A LOT easier than anything I took at Tufts (bio, chem, orgo).

    3. The harvard extension school is not all ivy league students; either that or iv y league students are not all they're cracked up to be (which I suppose is up for debate on its own). Basically, I don't get the feeling that I'm surrounded by geniuses or anything. I do get the feeling that I'm surrounded by anal pre-med students, as almost every question to the prof has been something along the lines of "how do you grade," "do we need to know this for the test," and my all time favorite bad test question, "Is your test going to be more based on details or facts?" Huh?

    So based on my limited experience, I believe that while Harvard may have been a cheaper and easier way to go, I am very glad I went to Tufts where the teaching and advising were both top notch.
     
  25. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    Look for sublets during spring semester. At my school as a comparison, people start seriously posting after spring break or so (only law students post before that, really). The longer you wait, the cheaper you can get, but if you want prime choices, start earlier.
     
  26. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    Damn grade grubbing anal pre-meds. I'm glad someone else is annoyed by this too. :) Sounded like my Bioethics seminar this week, as we have a midterm next week. This one girl...yeah...

    -RA
     
  27. The Hulk

    The Hulk Official Green Monster
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    Toots,

    Log onto www.bostonapartments.com
    They have info on short-term and summer sublets... you may not find anything for that price within a 5-min walk of campus, but the campus is easily accessible by both the bus and subway and you can find housing somewhere in cambridge for that price without a doubt... it just won't be Harvard square...

    ..........for trickster, I will be taking orgo over the summer.... you must assume that you will have to devote basically all of your time to it for the 8 weeks that it runs, but I hear the professor is known for wonderful teaching and the experience, while alot of work, is a great way to get orgo under your wing in only 2 months....

    ........for random access, are you in the post-bac program?
     
  28. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    No, what gave you that idea? :)

    Oh, I think it's because I mixed up replies to do different posts and put them in the same posting.
     
  29. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    At Tufts, do professors teach summer classes? My roommate took some summer classes at Tufts (intermediate micro and something else random that sounded really fun), and said it was pretty easy. I would guess that at Hahvahd, it's probably mixed between profs and grad students...

    -RA
     
  30. Sicamic

    Sicamic Junior Member
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    Both of my summer chem classes were taught by (great) Tufts profs, but I do know that a Physics class this summer was taught by a visiting prof who was pretty clueless.

    FYI - I don't know about the summer classes, but Tufts regular courses are about 3 times as expensive as the Harvard Extension classes.
     
  31. tedstriker

    tedstriker wicked retahhded
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    Just wanted to recommend taking Orgo at Harvard Extension school. I took it there last year. I didn't do too awesome gradewise (orgo's tough wherever you go), but LOVED lecture (Prof. Rubio delivers orgo lecture like a standup comedian). I would say that if yer gonna have to take orgo, why not have a great lecturer...

    I also took Bio. at Harvard, and Prof Fixsen's okay, not great (though he grades pretty reasonably).
     
  32. jonquille

    jonquille Senior Member
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    The Harvard Extension classes during the year *are* really cheap. The summer classes are not. To take general chem, for example, it costs about $3000 or more.

    Tufts summer school is cheaper than Harvard Summer School. But the regular year courses are certainly more expensive at Tufts than at Harvard Extension.

    I took a summer class at Tufts and took several Harvard Extension classes. I thought I might take summer school recently, so I researched both Harvard and Tufts summer schools, and this was what I found.
     
  33. The Hulk

    The Hulk Official Green Monster
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    Et tu, Brutus? ;) So Random Access, is this when the H-bashing starts? Just so you know, the classes are all taught by full professors (although not all of them are good, and not all of them are actually from Harvard)... gotta go... midterm in a few... :eek:

    TH
     
  34. tedstriker

    tedstriker wicked retahhded
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    Farbeit from me to bash HU, but I don't think it's the case that "full professors" teach Extension School classes. The aforementioned Professor Rubio has a day job running the labs at BU, but I don't think he lectures there. (At the same time, I should reiterate his class is da bomb).
     
  35. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member
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    That's why it was a "guess." :)

    So all summer classes are taught by profs? (we'll ignore the "full" part, because I'm guessing they're not all full profs)...Interesting...

    And isn't it supposed to be "Et tu, Brute?"?
     
  36. Trickster

    Trickster Junior Member
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    Just checked out the tuition costs and Harvard charged $3,700 for an 8 credit course (e.g. full year Gen Chem and Physics) last summer. Tufts charged around $3,000 (~$1,500 per half-year course) for Gen Chem and Physics.

    I'm still deciding on which one of the subjects to take during the summer...

    The concept of 2-hour labs is foreign to me...what exactly can you cram into 2 hours? :)
     
  37. Sicamic

    Sicamic Junior Member
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    And to borrow from Larry David - is anyone else surprised that Caesar, during his own murder, didn't use the more formal:

    "Et Usted, Brute?"
     
  38. Ardeshir

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    Thanks to those who are already enrolled in the program and have informed us of their experience.
    I have a quick question for those people: Is this program any good for some one who has taken the lower division science classes ( I had a very intense science major and I was a premed) ?

    Thanks
     
  39. RainerMaria

    RainerMaria Most days and
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    I did HCP and had a kinda love/hate relationship. I made tons of friends that I am so glad I did it, but the support was a little lacking and the classes were kind of huge. I was glad it was there because I needed to work while going to classes (needed premium health insurance for a past illness). I got into a school and am grateful to HCP for it, but wonder if I would have done better through Bryn Mawr or Columbia (the grass is always greener). The value can't be beat, and you definitely get free reign of the resources at Harvard--libraries, gym (diploma students), Hillel, premed events at the College etc.-- which is nice (including access to research and volunteering at all the Harvard hospitals, definitely sweet). I loved living in Inman Square / Harvard Square for 3 years, probably the coolest place to live outside of SF. Only 1 school had a problem with the "extension" name, but I eventually got in so no big deal. Lots of friends got into schools such as UMass Med, Chicago, Harvard Med, Yale, BU, pretty much everywhere and anywhere. I'd say thumbs up, but if you don't do well your first semester, perhaps consider switching out to somewhere more "hand-holdy."

    My advice: don't work while doing classes; it's tempting, but it doesn't save you that much money and just puts weights on your legs in the race.

    Edit: No grad students teach courses. All terminal degrees, mostly from the Harvard system. All professors in Harvard have written in their contract that they teach at least 1 course every few years through HES, though many do much more. Our Bio professor did nobel-prize winning research; our Chem professor is the Director of Undergraduate Science instruction for the College; Orgo prof is a Dean at Harvard College; Epi professor is Director of Nurses II study at Harvard School of Public Health; Neuro guy is Harvard Med Professor in Neurology at MGH. The opportunities are really endless.
     
    #38 RainerMaria, Mar 22, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
  40. RainerMaria

    RainerMaria Most days and
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  41. TiB77

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    Hey my sdn friends,
    I am currently considering attending the health careers program, but I'm at the stage where I am looking for an affordable place to live starting this fall 2009. Preferably a place close to Harvard and with parking space :xf:. If you are like me, and looking for a responsible roommate(s), please email me at [email protected]. In the email please could you mention a little about yourself, the location, rent, and what you are looking for in a roommate. I would love to hear from you all, cheers! Tashi

    P.S. any info about finding good places to live or even job opportunities within the area are also welcome and would be much appreciated Thank you all, and have an awesome day!:)
     
  42. ucsbfuturemd

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    anyone have any feedback about doing pre med post bacc at HES without being in the HCP program?
    has anyone successfully gotten into medical/dental/PA school taking this route?

    Other than the committee letter (and access to federal loans), is there another huge difference between being in the HCP program and taking classes informally at HES? Is there access to advising either way? Looks like the tuition would be the same.
     
  43. Healer123

    Joined:
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    Hello, quick question!
    Did you take biochem online at HES or in class? Biochem is only taught in class in the fall, but I'll need to take orgo I since thats only offered in the fall, any suggestions?
     
  44. Gurby

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
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    Don't know if this fits your timeline or budget, but the summer school offers Biochem in person, and with a lab too! It is also twice as expensive...
     
  45. FutureLomaStudent

    Joined:
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    How hard are the classes? I am willing to work hard but considering that I'd be working full time and I really want to get A's. How doable is that?
    Are the teachers helpful?
    How are the tests? (I'm not the best test taker)
     

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