Jul 28, 2009
What are the pros and cons of each?
I understand advising may be better in a formal program.
Is there anything else? I can't find a lot of info on this subject.
It seems to me that a formal program could create a gunner atmosphere.
I would hate that! I went to law school, and law school is the worst when it comes to gunners.
Also are the grades in formal programs curved?

Thank you in advance!


10+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2007
Attending Physician
If you are competitive for one of the top formal programs, there are only two reasons to do it yourself:

1) You can do it super cheap at your local 4-year.

2) You have a compelling reason to stay in a very particular location.

In my experience, formal postbacs are actually significantly less gunner. The students come from non-science backgrounds and are (usually) very chilled out, in no small part because they tend to be a bit older and more mature. In a do-it-yourself situation at a large university, you have the stereotypical typical young, narrow-minded cutthroat pre-meds of lore to contend with.
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