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cclawfjj

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I intend on pursuing a MS is to improve my chances of getting admitted to med school. Now does it actually improve my chance, or am I just wasting supervisor's as well as my time/money?
 

gary5

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Maybe an MS in one of the biological sciences would be best. I know someone who did a one-year Post-Bacc, raised his MCAT scores, and got in.
 
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Haemulon

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Graduate training and experiences are terrific to have. It will help to broaden your application, increase research exposure, show aptitude with advanced coursework, and help you get additional LOR's, among other things. However, I do not suggest getting a MS for the sole purpose of improving your app. It will not help that much compared with the time, effort, and expense that you put into it. I believe that most med schools really emphasize your undergraduate performance, including post-bac work, over your grad work. Grad degrees are nice to have, but really think about your motivations before doing it.
 

sweet2th

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if you are doing a masters to improve your chances for medical school, do a masters program that has the hard science courses. I did public health and although I had a great GPA, it didn't help my chances. In fact, Jefferson rejected me because I didn't retake science courses to boost my science GPA, and I got my masters from their school?!! Absurd
 

Dr.Watson

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If it's to help your GPA, you're better off doing a post-bac and getting 'em to count towards your undergrad GPA. If it's because you have a year until your ready to apply and want to do something interesting, then go for it.
 

inside_edition

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in any degree/program, you will have to take annoying classes that you don't want to take. I'd suggest that instead of going for a degree or a special program, just take classes that you're interested in without making progress towards a degree. for example, take a few undergrad classes that you like at a nearby university so it will count in your undergrad gpa.
 

juleswinfield

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If you really want a master's degree, then get one. If you really want to get into med school, take upper-level undergrad science courses. These are the classes that will actually raise the GPA that adcoms care about. If you've never taken the med school prerequisites before, consider a structured Post-Bac program.

Otherwise, if you're like me and you've already taken the med school prerequisites but got B's and C's, then you should take upper level (3xx and 4xx) biology, chemistry, physics, and math classes. You can do this on your own at your own pace at your local university. It will be cheaper and you can withdraw any time you need to if you get in.

Most med schools require that you complete any degree granting program that you are currently enrolled in before you can matriculate. Do you really want to be laboring over a thesis for two years just so you can apply to med school again?

I went this route and took three biology courses at UMBC fall 2006. It gave me great exposure to new science teachers that I could get LORs from. But it also gave me the flexibility to drop everything if I got into med school. I took a gamble and applied as early in the cycle as I could and it worked. I got into Tulane this year. If I had enrolled in a master's program, I would be stewing in a corner because I would've had to finish that before going to Tulane.
 

Shpamme

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a special master's program seems to be really popular on SDN. i did one and i can attest: before, i had no interviews; after, i have several. the only downside is you typically get a masters in medical sciences, which doesn't provide really concrete backup career options in case you still don't get into medical school. but if you do well, that hopefully will not be a concern--because there are quite a few SMP alumni that ended up getting into really good med schools. ones that come to mind off the top of my head are BU MAMS, Gtown SMP, Drexel. i know there are a few others too. if you search SDN for threads on SMP's you'll be able to collect all the info on them you need.

oh, another caveat being they're kinda do or die. that applies to any postbacc or regular MA program too. you gotta do well, blow it out of the park--otherwise you could be shooting yourself in the foot actualy. if you don't do well, it's a second strike against you that will really give med schools caution.

dang, your supervisor is willing to pay for it? that's awesome!!
 

sendwich

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if you're an okay applicant (>3.4, >30) (estimates), i would not put myself through an smp type of program to boost yourself. do bits of improvements on your app and apply again. however, if you're like me (screwed up undergrad, and a year of great postbac grades not enough to help the gpa), i couldn't have pulled off an acceptance w/o doing an smp (after kicking some major butts of course) so it depends on how strong of an applicant you are, and who you'rea ll about. consider it carefully. i've had friends who did the smp at bu and barely got a 3.0. honestly, i dont know if he has a decent shot at medschool but if you screw up your smp, you're pretty much screwed and medschools will not take another look your way.
 

Wanna_B_Scutty

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If you really want a master's degree, then get one. If you really want to get into med school, take upper-level undergrad science courses. These are the classes that will actually raise the GPA that adcoms care about. If you've never taken the med school prerequisites before, consider a structured Post-Bac program.

Otherwise, if you're like me and you've already taken the med school prerequisites but got B's and C's, then you should take upper level (3xx and 4xx) biology, chemistry, physics, and math classes. You can do this on your own at your own pace at your local university. It will be cheaper and you can withdraw any time you need to if you get in.

This is great advice. :thumbup:

OP, many schools use a computerized screening algorithm based around UG GPA, BCPM GPA, MCAT score and sometimes URM status (don't try to get schools to admit to this, though-- they'll just say something vague about considering your "entire application in context"). Anyway, the point is that your goal is to get past this initial screening so that you can get your app into the hands of real human interviewers. Thus, you'll want to have a UG GPA and BCPM GPA in at least the 3.4-3.5 range and an MCAT of at least 30.

So, if your stats are already at these levels, but you want a Master's, then go for it- it won't hurt and may help. However, if your status are not at these levels, you'll want to bring them up so that you can pass the screening process. That means post-bacc work and/or an MCAT retake.

Good luck! :luck:
 

Shpamme

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I was just doing a little thinking, and realized it might also depend on the number of credit hours you've taken. Like the PP's said, a postbacc has the potential of improving your undergrad BCPM since postbacc grades are averaged in. But one problem is, if you've already taken a bajillion credits in undergrad courses already, any A's in postbacc courses will only give an incremental increase in BCPM GPA (law of averages). In that case, I think it might be more beneficial to get a separate, graduate GPA--especially if a lot of time has elapsed since undergrad and the masters.
 

Falco2525

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Any degree higher than college will increase your chances...only do it though if you really want to...also if you do it you must do well at it
 

koennen

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if you are doing a masters to improve your chances for medical school, do a masters program that has the hard science courses. I did public health and although I had a great GPA, it didn't help my chances. In fact, Jefferson rejected me because I didn't retake science courses to boost my science GPA, and I got my masters from their school?!! Absurd

Don't mean to be an ass, but why is that absurd? Do you think Jefferson owes you admission because you got a masters in public health there? You had the chance to boost your science GPA and show them you can do med school work by taking some additional hard science courses, but opted to take an easier route. It didn't work.
 

armybound

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The reason I went with a masters instead of a post-bac is... it was free, compared to ~$800/hr for post-bac classes.

And I can use my degree for something in the future if med school doesn't work out. What will a post-bac get you?
 

byong_soo

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go for it. if you need to boost your GPA, go for course-based MS program. if you need to boost your research experience, go for thesis-based MS program. If you are able to crank out a paper, you would be in an excellent shape- not to mention a great rec letter (regardless of publication as long as you work hard)
 
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