Joint graduate/undergraduate course. Not sure how to take it. Advice?

Oct 20, 2010
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Pre-Medical
As I have said in some of my posts I am a graduate student. Recently switched to masters after ADHD diagnosis. Going to try to make it into medical school (which I gave up on a ~2 years ago after bombing the MCAT (feel I can perform well now with the Adderall)).

I came here as PhD, switched to masters.

I will be finished with all requirements at the end of Fall Next year. After that, not sure what I will do probably take undergrad courses only (for preparation of applying the following semester) depending on MCAT. Focusing hard on the MCAT as I know that is the end all for me.

That being said. I have essentially three more semesters here.

I was planning on taking 4 undergraduate credit hours every semester, and sending a final "update" in december with the 12 undergraduate credit hours.

If I rock As in these undergraduate courses after 12 credit hours of pure undergrad course work, (4 credit hours each semester (I may have to substitue a 5 and 3 credit hour course depending on what courses are available), my BCPM GPA will be bumped up to a 3.42 and my oGPA will be bumped to 3.48 from 3.35 and 3.45 respectivly).

I am making sure that these undergrad courses are not counted as graduate credit.

The thing is, that one class I want to take next semester, is offered as both graduate credit and undergraduate credit.

I am a TA for the teacher of that class, and am hoping to get a glowing LOR from him. Hopefully it will work because I will have to take the class (and a couple tests atleast) before I ask him for a LOR. The class ends May and I am applying June, so there will be a tight gap between end of class and when I apply, so timing on requesting the LOR will be a problem. Any advice on that?

Now for the class itself. Graduate version is 5 credit hours. Undergraduate version is 4 credit hours.

If I take it as a graduate student, I will be sitting at either 11 credit hours or 14 credit hours (if I add a 3 hour undergraduate course as well).
If I take it as a undergraduate student, I will have 13 credit hours (9 graduate and 4 undergraduate).

I am studying for the MCAT that semester so I am worried about overload. I have to without question take either 11 credit hours or 13. If I do the graduate version, I want to take another 3 credit hours of undergrad.

If I took the graduate version of the class, since it is also a undergraduate course, can I count it in with my undergraduate GPA?

What do you suggest.
13 credit hours, 4 hour undergraduate version, 3 hour graduate elective (I have to take an elective this semester).
11 credit hours, no undergraduate course, 5 credit hour graduate elective (this course I am taking regardless because I need the LOR).
14 credit hours, 3 hour undergraduate course, 5 credit hour elective.

Noting I need the LOR (since I am TAing for him also and he and I have talked a bit).
I am just trying to get out of this graduate program while maximizing my chances at medical school.
I am studying for the MCAT.
 

datongnoodles

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Jul 5, 2010
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I can't comment on the grad versus undergrad course, but as for timing of the letter of rec and application, it's okay if your class ends in late May. This year, even though the AMCAS could be submitted beginning of June, AMCAS didn't actually forward the primary out until June 25th. To top it off, my school holds onto all our letters until the final committee letter is written, and they were promising us VERY LATE dates, like mid-September, for sending the entire batch of letters out. I got lucky so my letters were sent to AMCAS end of July. So basically, my secondaries weren't considered complete until end of July, BUT THIS IS STILL VERY EARLY! I got the majority of my interview invites between August and October. Anyway, if you submit AMCAS early, ask for a letter when your class ends in late May, then even if it takes your prof 4 weeks to write it, you're still VERY EARLY in the game. So don't worry about the timing of the letter. Try to get the AMCAS submitted June if possible if you want a super early advantage, but July is okay too. If you submit in August it might take a long time to get verified.
 

Avoidthetiger

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Dec 29, 2008
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Your post is to long, but I hope you find this helpful...

Since you are enrolled in a graduate program and it says that on your transcript, even if you take a traditional undergraduate-only course or a 200/300-level course (graduate course work is usually 400+ levels - at least at my school), it still counts towards your gradGPA.

Ex. I took a 300-level psychology class while working on my masters that was for undergrads, but since it was on my graduate school transcript, it was counted as a graduate GPA.
On the otherhand, I took graduate level coursework as an undergraduate (400+ level coursework) and it was counted towards my undergraduate GPA.

To sum this up, unless you re-enroll as a student seeking an undergraduate degree or make sure your school has a second undergraduate transcript for you, all those "undergraduate classes" will be considered graduate work according to AMCAS. I am unsure how you verified that those undergrad courses are not counted as graduate credit.


Additionally --
As a graduate student, your professor/LOR is going to expect you to take it as a graduate student course (usually this entails an extra paper/assignment compared to undergrads).
 
OP
C
Oct 20, 2010
82
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Your post is to long, but I hope you find this helpful...

Since you are enrolled in a graduate program and it says that on your transcript, even if you take a traditional undergraduate-only course or a 200/300-level course (graduate course work is usually 400+ levels - at least at my school), it still counts towards your gradGPA.

Ex. I took a 300-level psychology class while working on my masters that was for undergrads, but since it was on my graduate school transcript, it was counted as a graduate GPA.
On the otherhand, I took graduate level coursework as an undergraduate (400+ level coursework) and it was counted towards my undergraduate GPA.

To sum this up, unless you re-enroll as a student seeking an undergraduate degree or make sure your school has a second undergraduate transcript for you, all those "undergraduate classes" will be considered graduate work according to AMCAS. I am unsure how you verified that those undergrad courses are not counted as graduate credit.


Additionally --
As a graduate student, your professor/LOR is going to expect you to take it as a graduate student course (usually this entails an extra paper/assignment compared to undergrads).
Damn. Yeah, this undergrad class contributes in no way to me graduating. They told me that it isn't counted as graduate credit. Maybe it does go as a graduate GPA though =(.

I actually called AMCAS and one of their phone application specialists told me that if I take an undergraduate course as a graduate student but it doesn't contribute to any degree or fulfill any of the the requirements for the degree I am working towards, it is considered postbac course work and incorporated into my cumulative GPA. I would expect the school to not differentiate the two, and I don't care either way, but from what this guy told me over the phone is that so long as it isn't used as a graduate degree requirement and it is a undergraduate course, it is post bacc course work.

I have some thinking to do.

I actually work for the professor (I am a TA for one of his classes) so I am not sure if he will refuse me a LOR if I don't take his course as a graduate course. I am sure he will understand regardless of which way I take it. Beyond the AMCAS vs school GPA crap, I want to take this class with him, and taking it as a graduate student puts a lot of restrictions on me. I am not worried about him refusing to write me a LOR because it wasn't graduate level. Hell I would just do the extra requirements of a graduate student but take the official undergraduate grade if that was the case.

I just have to find out for sure if any undergraduate courses that don't contribute to my graduate degree are in fact considered graduate coursework anyway by the AMCAS, or if they are postbac like that gentleman told me.

I do have doubts because how is AMCAS going to know it was a undergrad course that didn't contribute to my graduate students vs a graduate course, besides the fact that it is in the 4000 levels and not the 5000 level and how they will know I didn't take a undergraduate course that contributed to my graduate degree requirements =(.

Ex. I took a 300-level psychology class while working on my masters that was for undergrads, but since it was on my graduate school transcript, it was counted as a graduate GPA.

Was that counted as graduate GPA by the school or the AMCAS? I can understand if it was calculated as such by the school. If it was considered graduate course work by the AMCAS, was that 300level course used to fulfill graduate requirements?