MS vs Post bacc

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by pathdr2b, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    There's been a lot of talk on the threads lately about ways to make ones' application to medical school more competitive.

    Having done a year as a post bacc and completed an MS in Chemistry, I think I am able to introduce the topic and comment intelligently.

    I'd agrue that getting an MS IN A HARD CORE SCIENCE like Molecular Biology or Biochemistry is a better option for the following reasons:

    1) Graduate schools force you to maintain a "B" average to graduate and at some schools, you can get no less than a "B" in any class. This worked very well for me.

    2) You may be able to take medical school classes as a part of the requirements for the degree. When you do well, this is another "feather" in your cap since you'll be showing you can compete with medical students!

    3) If you're planning on being an MD that does research AND your graduate program trains you well, you've already have a some idea of what it takes to do research successfully.

    4) It's a perfect "fall back" if you're never admitted to medical school. After getting my MS, I worked at a pharamaceutical company for 2 years and was "paid"!!!!! I'm talking serious "benjamins" here!!!!

    5) Most importantly, because I finished from a top notch chemistry program, 90% of the adcoms I've spoken with have been more than willing to forgive my undergraduate years. Also, a few of them were alumnae/i of this school or personally knew my PI and that definitely helped!

    If you choose this option, here's some advice I think is helpful for those considering a full-time MS program:

    1) Don't enter a PhD program with the plan to leave with only a Master's degree for the purposes of getting into medical school. There are plenty of "terminal" MS programs out there that can supply tuition and a stipend ( I had a scholarship, tuition remission and a very good stipend). Also your transcript will read PhD student semester 1 and 2 - graduate MS in X. People may see this as a PhD student that failed and now wants to go to medical school even if that was not the case.

    2) This will probably be you're last chance to do well, so don't blow it!

    3) Attend a school that has a medical school. Go by the admissions office to let them know what you're planning to do, in other words, NETWORK!!!!!

    4) Take a course or two with medical students. This did wonders for my self-esteem since it's nice knowing I really can "hang"!!!!

    5) Pick an area of reseach that really interests you - This will make it easier for you to have something to say on your personal statement and is always a good interview topic since you know it so well. I choose to do research in Sickle Cell disease for my MS and was actually asked to explain it on a job interview. Needless to say, I got the job!

    6) DO NOT SEEK OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT DURING YOUR MS PROGRAM! More often than not you'll be able to get a stipend that will more than provide enough for you to live on comfortably. You can also get student loans. I completed my program as a "seperated" parent in 1.5 years so if I could do it without "outside" employment, so can you!!!!

    Good Luck and since this site has been most helpful in helping me stay focused and motivated, I'd be happy to help anyone considering the MS option.
     
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  3. DAL

    DAL no thank you

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    Thanks for the information Kim...I pm'd you by the way:)
     
  4. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    at many schools (mine at least), all of the same stuff can be said about MPH programs. But, I see a few differences:

    1. with the MPH, I see there being an added advantage of having a background in public health for when you are later doing clinical medicine in contrast to an MS in a "hard core" science (like biochem or mol bio) which won't help you in clinical medicine (in my opinion). Just look at the number of MDs getting their MPH these days. Have you ever seen an MD get an MS unless it was was very applied (such as a surgeon getting an MS in transplant biology)?

    2. the advantage of the MS over MPH route is that you have to do many BCPM/hard core science classes. However, in my MPH program you have enough time to take 1-2 hard core courses each semester. And many of these classes can be used as MPH electives, such as virology, pathology, bacteriology, oncology, vascular biology, etc etc.

    3. The MS requires you to do research; most MPH programs require very little actual research (since it's a professional degree), and it's almost always not basic/bench research. But again, if you're motivated and a bit crazy, one can do basic research while doing the MPH (like I am). Yes, it's harder, but it's fun!

    Basically, if you want a graduate degree, but your interests lie more in public health than a hard core science, I think the MPH route is great. Also, if you're very motivated and a bit crazy, you can do most of what the MS people do in addition to the public health stuff.

    Do ya'all agree with me? I'd love to hear other's comments on this topic. I'm by no means an expert in this stuff!

    Adcadet
     
  5. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    Hi everyone,

    To everyone who sent me messages I haven't forgotten to reply. This is a big week at on my job and I've got a midterm in infectious disease epidemiology next Monday. .:mad: So bear with me i'll get back to you by the end of the week.

    I highlighted the above quote by adcadet because this is the reason I think and many other medicals schools I've spoken with agree that the MS is a better route than the MPH. If getting the GPA up and/or showing committees that you can handle "hard core" science" is the goal, then getting an MS in a hard core science I think is the best way to go especially if you like reseacrh as I do.

    Ironically, I work as an epidemiologist and not having the MPH was not a huge problem in getting this "gig". My interest have always been in public health but the med school committee at UNC-Chapel Hill made it clear that the MPH just wasn't going to cut it. Plus the MS serves another purpose which for me was demostrating to ad coms that I could handle work at that level. I also learned to think critically which is one of the best ways having an MS has helped. I don't know yet how it will influence my MCAT scores since I haven't taken it since I finished the MS, but on the practice tests I score no lower than an 11 in each section I think due to the skills I learned in grad school. My overall test taking skills have also improved, skills I probable mastered while having to defend my Master's research. When I take the test in April, I'll be sure to let everyone know if my theory is correct!

    Finally and most important for me, my MS was free and included a stipend but the MPH would have cost me at least $40,000 dollars. This may not be important for some studnets but it was crucial for me.

    Kim
     
  6. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    i was under the impression that "free" ms programs were few and far between, and this was usually only attainable by enrolling in phd program and dropping out after the masters. thats just me though :confused:

    the mph option i am biased to because, well, I'm a public health student. I didn't get it cause i needed the help with my application, but because i was interested in epi since i worked at cdc as an undergrad and hadn't really decided on med school yet. If you're really interested in preventive medicine, clinical research, policy and management, while not absolutely necessary as path has shown, the mph is a worthwhile degree (and, has in fact made GREAT interview fodder for myself so far). But, dont get it "just to boost the gpa". you're better off doing a ms or a post bacc. Even then, you have to find a "good" masters program some grad schools aren't very "grade intensive" (i took two grad chem classes my senior year of undergrad, they were pretty easily graded).
     
  7. ItNeverEnds

    ItNeverEnds Senior Member

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    I'm currently a public health student and plan to enter a post-bacc program after I get my MPH. After college, I wanted to continue doing research, so I decided to pursue public health. Honestly, I could not have made a better decision. Not only has the program helped me clarify my career plans (I'm torn between PhD and MD/DO), but I am gaining valuable research experience and publications!

    In the competition for those valuable med school seats, you have to set yourself apart from other applicants. An MPH degree is one way to do this. It is also important to demonstrate that you are actually concerned about other people. An internship or practicum in public health (required in most programs) offers you the opportunity to get into the community and apply your public health training.

    In sum, I think the program you pursue depends on your individual interests. There is no recipe for getting into medical school. If your sciences are weak, take post-bacc courses or do an MS in chem, bio, physio, etc. If you like public health, take an MPH. Regardless, you'll make yourself a more attractive applicant.
     
  8. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    great thread. y'all have given me some good things to think about.

    i'm applying now, but i'm debating if i want to apply for MS or MPH programs. my dilemma is that i think i would enjoy the mph more, but i need to boost my basic science grades. my work now is largely focused on public health issues, and i really enjoy them. if i don't get in to med school (please dear god, let me get in), i can see myself using an mph to find a job i enjoy more than i can see myself using an ms. the only reason i would pursue an ms is to boost my chances of getting in med schools.

    hopefully, i won't have to worry about deciding between an ms or an mph. :)
     
  9. ItNeverEnds

    ItNeverEnds Senior Member

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    Sweet Tea,

    Why don't you look into MPH programs in which you can take science courses? See AdCadet's post above. This sounds like a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Of course, you'd have to find an MPH program that allows you to take science courses in addition to the required MPH classes. Electives may be the only way to do this.

    INE
     
  10. DAL

    DAL no thank you

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    Kim-

    What did they mean by saying the MPH wouldn't cut it? I was under the impression that you got your MS to improve your Science GPA, and I can understand how an MPH wouldn't cut it for that purpose.

    But did Chapel Hill say that they essentially look down on applicants who either have an MPH or are working towards an MPH. If so, what were their reasons for thinking this?

    In my mind, having an MPH seems like a great addition to any med school application. I can't think of a single reason why a medical school would be turned off by an applicant with an MPH. Can anyone else? DW and Adcadet's experiences seem to prove otherwise as adcom's seem to have taken great interest in their MPH.

    I hope I'm misunderstanding what you said. I'd be sorely disappointed if my state school was turned off by applicants having an MPH, as I'm looking at the possibilities of enrolling in a program.
     
  11. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    While I may have left this out of my original post, I've certainily included the fact that I needed to raise my GPA in other posts on other threads. You're guys are right, I did the MS primarily because I needed to increase my GPA. But since I'm looking at an MD/PhD programs, an MPH wouldn't make me a competitive applicant to this type of program with a weak undergrad GPA at least not at the schools on my list like Duke and Harvard. I'm not saying the MPH hurts but that for students like me, the MS is better. My original post outlined (I think) one way to make a student who didn't do well as an undergraduate be a more attractive applicant to medical school.

    I should also mention that at Carolina in the Chemistry dept, I had the option of doing research in Public Health and seriously considered Nutritional Biochemistry as my focus. MS degrees do not have to limit you unless you allow it to (depending on the school, of course) and I certainily enjoyed taking courses with MD students, PhD students and yes MPH students as well. So you all are right when you say that there is on one way to make a great application to medical school but those in my exact situation and with similar goals, the MS is the better option in my opinion.

    I should also mention that I don't think Chapel Hill or any other school for that matter "looks down" on the MPH degree and many physicians have them. BUT, my understanding from some of the folks at Chapel Hill is that many applicants have MPH degrees and that having one is not all that uncommon among holders of graduate degrees. An MS in Biophysics or Molecular Biology (University of Maryland Baltimore County) is much more rare so when you talk about "standing out" among the crowd these degrees better address that issue.

    Kim
     
  12. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    If we're talking about "looking down" on degrees, I think it is worth mentioning that, at least from what I've seen, MS degrees are looked down on more than MPH. Here is why:
    MS degress are generally NOT terminal degrees (that is, somebody doing chem research would not stop their chem education with an MS), whereas for many, the MPH is a terminal degree in public health. The MPH is designed to serve as your last degree in the field of public health. I'm not sure if this is true with MS degrees. Thus, an MPH can act as a nice compliment to the rest of your application in that it really prepares you to enter the field of public health; it can seen that the MS is just something to boost your GPA (which it does serve nicely to do; moreso than an MPH for the BCPM GPA as other have pointed out). Unless you plan on doing basic research as an MD, I really wonder how valuable an MS will be after getting the MD.

    Again, just my thoughts and observation.
     
  13. dph201

    dph201 Senior Member

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    This is a great thread and perhaps you guys give me some advice. I am currently enrolled in a masters program and I am working full time doing cancer research. Now I am not sure whether or not I should finish my masters. The reason is I don't want to work in a lab for the rest of my life. I want to provide healthcare. So now I am in the process of applying for an accelerated nursing program. What do you guys think I should do? Continue with the masters because I have good grades that I think will strengthen my credentials or should I pursue nursing showing that I am dedicated to the medical field. I am really confused and don't know what to do. HELP!!!!!!
     
  14. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    Nursing? I'm only familiar with MPH stuff and MD stuff. I'd suggest going for your MD!

    OK, if you want to do nursing....perhaps you can ask around at nursing programs. They would probably be able to give you a better answer. If you want to do something related to your current studies, then I think finishing your master's would be a great idea. I guess it depends where you are in your program, and what you want to do in life.
     
  15. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member

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    GREAT thread! keep it coming.
     
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  17. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    I'll list the schools that have expressed interest in me as an applicant and encouraged to apply based on my having the MS degree (Believe me it was NOT for the undergraduate GPA):

    1) Harvard
    2) Emory
    3) Darthmoth (sp?)
    4) Michigan
    5) Univ. of Penn

    All total, ~ 20 schools from all 3 tiers.

    Adcadet, no offense but the MS can be a terminal degree so please don't confuse people who may be reading these boards for advice. In my case I had 3 options when I entered Chapel Hill: Pursue the MPH, pursue the Master's degree (terminal), or pursue the Master's then PhD track (not terminal). On "paper" I chose the MS (terminal) but took all the requirements for the PhD which included passing a certain number of cumulative exams.

    Also, I have a Master's degree in Chemistry so I just blew away your arguement about what a Chemistry major would or would not do. I didn't "stop" doing my research when I left. With the help of my advisor, I set out a 1.5 year "agenda" to complete my research requirements in a decent time frame.

    Again, my main point about the MS is that I was able to take classes with medical students. While it may be possible as an MPH student, my impressions from looking at curriculums (Harvard, Chapel Hill, UMich, GWU)is that there really is no "time" for this in an MPH program nor do I think it's allowed.

    Finally, I'm the FIRST to admit it I needed to increase my GPA as is clear from a look at my undergraduate GPA. However, I seriously doubt that ANYONE would see a degree program that required courses like Advanced Chemical Thermodynamics and Pharmacology as good GPA boosting courses. But since you bring this up, how difficult can courses in Public Health Administration and Environmental Health really be? I've taken these courses including others in Public Health and Epidmeiology and I can tell you that while I will be prepared for a career in public health, they weren't much of an academic challenge beyond that. And this to an adcom, is PRECISELY the point!
     
  18. DAL

    DAL no thank you

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    path-

    So Harvard and U. Penn contacted you hoping you would so graciously apply to their MD/PhD program? Impressive to say the least.

    Oh yeah, thanks for getting back to me on my pm. I understand you're busy, hopefully you're able to respond to adcoms when necessary;) Regardless, don't worry about responding now. It's been weeks and I think I've deduced my own conclusions concerning the questions I had.
     
  19. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    DAL,

    I Pm'ed you a few days after I got your message. I wouldn't leave anyone hanging like that intentially. Besides I had an INTENSE epidemiology exam this past Monday, so please give me a break (and not just because I work full-time and raise a kid on my own;).

    Also after rereading your message on this thread, I think I covered most if not all of your questions.

    I should also mention that while both Harvard and UPenn encouraged me to apply, they also encouraged me to get my MCAT's up. Remember as I always do, there's a HUGE difference between being "encouraged" and getting accepted, a difference I try not to forget as I currently prepare for the MCAT.
     
  20. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    aint that the truth! :laugh:

    you sent me a freaking brochure to apply to your school!! UPenn, why wont you f*ckin interview me already? :(

    ahh, well , here's some snoop dogg for you

    :)
     
  21. DAL

    DAL no thank you

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    path-

    No worries....I never received a pm though. All my questions were answered so no biggie.
     
  22. Mr. Z

    Mr. Z Senior Member

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    Path or anybody who could offer insight...

    Much like others on this thread, i'm trying to make up ground for a less than stellar ugpa by completing an MS in Pharmacology. My question is, how much emphasis do you think adcoms put on the masters gpa? Will the amount of emphasis depend on how long it has been since you graduated college?

    Would a 3.9 MS gpa and 10,10,10 R make up for a 3.0 ugpa from 8 yrs ago? or is that just wishful thinking?
     
  23. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    no offense taken. My point is that in many programs an MS is not intended to be a terminal degree, or at least that is the perception. I know many people who think that after college those who want more education and have a good GPA start a PhD program; those who can't get into a PhD program start an MS program. I realize that this is often (usually?) innacurate, but it's a perception. Hopefully adcoms are smarter than this. Furthermore, when you see the major players in public health, they often are often have both the MD and MPH. How often do the major players in chemistry (or another hard science) have an MD and an MS in chem (or another hard science)? I'm not familiar with the big names in chem, so I don't know - but I bet they'd be more likely to be PhDs. I get the impression people can do more as an MD/MPH than an MD/MS.





    I can't speak about every school, but at mine there is definitely time to take to take other classes. In my program I am required to have 8 credits of electives. Furthermore, a normal courseload is only ~12 credits, allowing ample time to take more classes. Granted, you probably will take more BCPM courses in an MS program. But I think my point is that in some MPH programs, you can take significant credits to raise your BCPM GPA. And I wouldn't worry about taking medical school classes in particular - if you go to med school you'll get that material anyway.


    First, if you want "hard core" science courses, you can usually take them while doing an MPH (see above). And second, I doubt many MS students get to take many courses in things like Environmental Health and Public Health Administration. If you got to take these, and if you thought they were easy, good for you. My point is that for many people, a background in these areas can be a significant addition to their med school application. Furthermore, with things like a required field experience, I think an MPH gives more "real world" experiences than a hard core MS program. For example, today I spent the afternoon in a Tobacco Dependence Clinic and some questions arose over medicaid policies. Having had some exposure to public health administration helped me figure out what was going on. Then we ended up debating emergency contraception prescribing policies (it was a slow day in clinic). Without my class on Maternal and Child Health, I would have gotten very little out of the conversation. I'd bet most people in an MS program would have taken few of these courses or even had the opportunity to be in such a clinic. This is why I think an MPH can be a great degree for many people looking to go onto medical school.



    I think the point is that for some people an MS is great. For others, an MPH is better.

    Adcadet
     
  24. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    one thing I'm sure pathdr2b and I agree on is that if you do an advanced degree, it is probably wise to do more than just what is required for the degree. If you're doing an MS in a hard core science, it's probably not a bad idea to take a few public health courses (as it seems pathdr2b has done). And if you're doing an MPH, it's probably a good idea to take a few hard core science courses. And regardless of the degree you're doing, do good, interesting, important research if you can that will help build your future career. I doubt anybody has ever gotten into med school or done anything great just because they had an extra two or three initials after their name.
     
  25. CD

    CD Senior Member

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    Ummmm.....let me clarify a point. A M.S. CAN be a terminal degree, although it isn't common in my field (chemistry). I am registered as a M.S. candidate and I did this for several reasons. First I wanted my transcripts etc. to show from the beginning that my intent was M.S. That way there is no question that my ending there was intentional and not because I couldn't hack it! If I change my mind after completing the M.S. I can then take the cum's (as we so affectionatly call them) and pursue a PhD. The second reason was because I wanted the flexibility that the M.S. afforded me. As for the stipend issue.....it's the same at my school if you are a masters or doctorate student. I don't know how the competition is for the places in the program but there were 20 new incoming graduate students this year each of which had full tuition paid and a stipend of $1400 a month.
     
  26. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    I started this thread to explain why students who need to improve in the GPA area should get an MS versus doing a post-bacc. Somehow, it was turned into an MS versus MPH debate.

    As a person with an MS degree and 16 credit hours toward an MPH I can only relate to everyone my experiences. Adcadet, in her response left out the most important issue to the students I know and that is MONEY. An MS is usually free but the MPH, 9 times out of 10 going to cost you. Why borrow money for a degree (MPH) when you can do a similar program (depending on your area of research) for free?

    "I think an MPH gives more "real world" experiences than a hard core MS program."

    Another myth...I worked in the Sickle Cell disease clinic while getting my MS (while I was registered in the department of chemistry, my research was in pharmacology, BY DESIGN). Not only did I get research stuff done( my project examined extracellular matrix protein involved in sickle cell "crisis" events), but I was able to get some recent clinical experience as well, which we all know is almost a requirement for medical school. So again, your "myths" about "hard core science MS programs is unsubstantiated.

    I am at the National Cancer Institute working in Cancer Epidemiology. Do you want to know how many folks in my division of 25 have the MPH? Only one! So I guess we as the nation's leader in cancer epidemiology research have no "major players" as Adcadet put it. How ludacrious! Our last Surgeon General didn't even have an MPH and he was over the Public Health Service!

    With that last point I hope everyone understands that what you major in graduate school is what you make it! Don't allow others to "pigeon hole" you with their perceptions about what you can and cannot do with certain degrees. Do something you like while keeping an "eye on the prize" which for all of us is admission to medical school.
     
  27. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    Mr.Z,

    I think getting the MS in this area is a great idea but only if:

    1) You can register as an MS student only
    2) You can take some courses with medical students

    I can tell you from my personal experience that getting the MS while not completely "erasing" your undergraduate GPA will help you address GPA issues tremendously! However, some schools (Hopkins) won't really care about the graduate GPA UNLESS you're a URM with a great (30) MCAT score(again, my expereince with Hopkins).

    I mentioned in my previous post that I did my research in Pharmacology while a graduate student in Chemistry and I loved it! This background also paid off when I decided to work in the pharamaceutical industry for a while before applying to medical school. My income was about $60,000/year including the bonus. ( Avg salary for a person fresh out of an MPH program ~ $35,000/year)

    Just remember that you'll need to make mostly A's as the average GPA of ~3.7 is "typical " for graduate students.
     
  28. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    And most of what you say I agree with. I definitely think that for many people, perhaps most, an MS would be better than a post-bac program. I only wanted to point out that for some people an MPH would be even better.

    [/B]
    Excellent point about cost. I know some MPH programs don't allow their students to receive graduate assistantships. My program does, but you're not guaronteed one.

    I'm a "him," by the way.


    "I think an MPH gives more "real world" experiences than a hard core MS program."

    Another myth...I worked in the Sickle Cell disease clinic while getting my MS (while I was registered in the department of chemistry, my research was in pharmacology, BY DESIGN). Not only did I get research stuff done( my project examined extracellular matrix protein involved in sickle cell "crisis" events), but I was able to get some recent clinical experience as well, which we all know is almost a requirement for medical school. So again, your "myths" about "hard core science MS programs is unsubstantiated.

    [/QUOTE][/B]

    How many MS programs require "real world" experience? My guess is none. In contrast, the MPH degree requires such experience since it's a "professional" (as opposed to the academic MS) degree. So if you're in an MPH program, it will probably be easier to get such experience. Regardless, I think if you want to go to med school, you must find time to go beyond your program and do other stuff if you want to get into medical school. I think pathdr2b seems to exemplify this point. Similarly, if you are interested in basic research you will probably not get that are part of an MPH and will need to find a way to do that, such as what I'm doing.



    The "big names" that I see on a regular basis tend to have "MPH" after "MD," not "MS." I'm not refering to people doing reasearch, but to those who direct research.

    Let's take the latest thing I've read that was written by the big names in the area I'm intereted in: smoking. If we look at the editors of the 2000 Sugeon General's Report on Smoking (http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/sgr/sgr_2000/FullReport.pdf), we see that the Director of CDC and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry was Koplan, who holds an MD and MPH. If we count the number of people with MSs and MPHs among the editors, I count:
    MPH: 18
    MS: 3

    If we look at the Surgeon General's Report on Marijuana
    (http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/mentalhealth/cre/sma-01-3613.pdf) in the Acknowledgements and Science Editors, I count:
    MPH's: 2
    MS's: 0

    Exactly.
     
  29. from what i have read so far, u guys keep saying MS is free, almost all the schools i have checked dont give stipends, so could u just give some links to the 'free' M.S programs? thanks :)
     
  30. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    I'm not sure universities give outright stipends. Mine doesn't at least. Usually they support their students with graduate assistantships (which generally pays for tuition and gives a paycheck).
     
  31. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
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    It would be rather difficult to list schools that give stipends. I'm pretty sure that if you look at the graduate catalog for UNC-Chapel Hill its not going to state that MS students recieve stipends anywhere.

    That being said if you really want to get a stipend to finacially support an MS program, you're going to have to bust your as* to find money at most schools. I left Old Dominion University to attend UNC-Chapel Hill based in large part on this issue of funding. I can also admit that UNC's reputation had a lot to do with my transfer as well. The point is that finding money can definitely be done at almost EVERY research oriented school even if that means getting on to someone's RO1 grant for funding(through the NIH) and doing research you're not that thrilled about.

    Finally, I should mention that my ultimate goal is MD/PhD. The MS is the only real competitive route for admission to this extremely competitive program given my undergraduate record. I've never met anyone (although I'm sure they exist) that was admitted with my "type" of record with an MPH.
     
  32. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    If you want to do basic research I'm sure the MS is the route to go - especially if your undergrad science GPA needs works. But I think if you were looking to do an MD/PhD in a public health major an MPH would be preferable. I've been told that these days the MPH is the prefered degree for those looking to do PhDs in a public health major. My arugements earlier in favor of doing an MPH over an MS was based on the assumption that the ultimate goal was to get the MD and practice clinical medicine.
     
  33. CD

    CD Senior Member

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    I can't speak for most schools but Oregon state's chemistry department takes around 15-20 new graduate students a year,(both M.S. and PhD combined) with the intent of supporting them through T.A. and R.A. stipends. In fact, I only know of one other new grad. that isn't supported by the department and she is supported by her employer (intel I think?). I had NO IDEA departmental support was so rare....I thought ALL chemistry departments did it this way. The program I'm in also allows us to do research work in the Pharmacy department if we wish to choose a major professor from Pharmacy. That is exactly what I've chosen to do!
     
  34. Morima

    Morima New Member

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    I already have master's degree in quasi science (environmental management =some biology, chemistry, statistics etc.) Do you think it's still better for me (to be pre-med) to pursue MS or MPH than doing 1-year post-bacc pre-med program?
     
  35. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    I assume you still need to fulfil your pre-med reqs. I think you need to take whatever number of classes will give you your desired BCPM GPA (if your previous science GPA wasn't so hot, this may be many more classes than just the premed requirements; if you did well on your other sciences from undergrad and grad, this probably won't be much). You also need to find a program that will give allow you time to take the premed pre-reqs.

    What are the pre-med pre-reqs?
    -two semester of general/inorganic chem
    -two semesters of organic chem
    -one semester of biochem (maybe/recommended?)
    -four semesters of bio
    -two semesters English
    -maybe a math course

    I doubt a flexible two-year MPH program will allow you to take even half of these classes. Perhaps an MS in something like Biochem or molecular bio will. If you need all of the the pre-reqs, perhaps a post-bac is just the thing for you.
     
  36. CD

    CD Senior Member

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    Ummm, inorganic is NOT the same thing as general chem!!!!
    And I think most schools only require 2 semesters of bio.
     
  37. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    ummm... inorganic is basically the same thing as general chem.

    2 semesters of bio with lab are required at most med schools. a few require 1 or 2 more.
     
  38. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    Yeah, inorganic=general chem.

    Most med schools only require a year of bio? Wow. At my college we replaced intro bio with four intermediate-level bios - Cell/Molec, Genetics, Physiology, and Ecology. So I was never really up on what the standard bio coursework is. But only two semesters? Do people get in with that little bio?
     
  39. CD

    CD Senior Member

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    No! inorganic is a graduate level class offered to people pursuing a graduate degree in chemistry. It is taken mostly by people gaining their advanced degree in inorganic chemistry (v.s. organic, nuclear, analytical, or physical chemistry). It is labeled "inorganic chemistry" and has a 500/600 level designation. GEneral chemistry is an entirely different bird.
     
  40. CD

    CD Senior Member

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    I know OHSU requires only a year of bio although I can't speak to other med schools requirements.
     
  41. ItNeverEnds

    ItNeverEnds Senior Member

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    For those interested in med school:

    If your science GPA needs a kick, take advanced sciences as a post-bacc in an undergrad program and try to knock off A's.

    If you are interested in community health and want to add something different to your application, take an MPH.

    If your science GPA needs a kick AND you are interested in community health and want to add something different to your application, do BOTH! I'm doing an MPH now and plan to do some post-bacc work while applying next year.

    The MA/MSc in Medical Sciences programs are crap. You'll be stressed and in debt by the time you're done. Enter them at your own risk and only if it's your last option.
     
  42. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    i don't know why i'm arguing this, but for med school purposes general chem = inorganic chem (as in non-organic chemistry).

    as a chemistry major, i have actually taken advanced inorganic chemistry as well. although it covers entirely different material than general chemistry, some schools refer to general chemistry as inorganic chemistry.
     
  43. CD

    CD Senior Member

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    Apologies. ... Although I have NEVER heard general chemistry called inorganic by chemistry majors, it is ENTIRELY possible that some med schools might confuse the two.
     
  44. general chemistry = inorganic chemistry
     
  45. CD

    CD Senior Member

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    I'm a grad student in organic chem, although I have several friends in the inorganic chem grad department. I also T.A. general chemistry (I love the T.A. part of grad work!!:) ). I can assure you general chemistry and inorganic chemistry are NOT the same thing. I looked up the two med schools near me and BOTH of them call it general chem, although I can't speak for those further away.
     
  46. well i guess it depends on the school, i just checked my school's website and surprisingly only 400 level courses are inorganic chemistry, well my bad!
    :oops:
     
  47. mp119

    mp119 Junior Member

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    does a 3.63 sci gpa from ucla need a "kick"?
     
  48. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    university of alabama school of medicine requires 8 semester hours of "inorganic chemistry".

    i'm pretty sure others do as well, because i came across it while applying and did not apply to university of alabama.

    anyway, yes, they're different. however, med schools sometimes call gen chem inorganic chem. i hated advanced inorganic chem by the way. all that symmetry crap -- ugh!
     
  49. ItNeverEnds

    ItNeverEnds Senior Member

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    a 3.63 sci GPA is competitive for virtually all med schools. Talk to your pre-med advisor to get a comprehensive evaluation.
     
  50. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

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    Man, I can be such a trouble maker here. First I divert the whoel MS vs. post-bac debate into an MS vs. MPH debate, and now this! I'm really not this difficult in person. Oh wait, my fiance always calls me "difficult." Think of me as a fussy toddler who happens to be a 23 year old premed/grad student.

    OK, back to the discussion at hand:

    I agree that general chem is not any more inorganic chemistry any more than general chemistry is organic chemistry. But med schools have a strange way of shifting your view of the world. For example, a professor of epidemiology is only a science professor if he/she has taught you in a course that ends in "ology." Similarly, a professor who you do science research with isn't a science professor unless you take an "ology" from him/her. But a LOR from a TA who taugth you in an "ology" is entirely unacceptable at most schools. And apparently the supervisor of your master's thesis isn't nearly as qualified to speak about your ability to study and practice medicine as the physics professor you had your first year of college. And of course that first year physics prof is a much better position to recommend you for a medical school that the Professor of Medicine who supervises your translational research. And your volunteer coordinator's opinion of you means nothing if it's not on official letterhead, even if the organization doesn't have any for that person, and strictly prohibits that person from using their official letterhead.
    </rant>
     
  51. gooloogooloo

    gooloogooloo Senior Member

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    what can u do after graduating from a MPH program? where can you find a job other than public sector? i believe the option for MS in science is wider than MPH outside public sector.
     

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