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Need advice: SMP vs. DIY postbac for Bio major?

gna2849

New Member
May 31, 2020
4
0
1
  1. Pre-Medical
Hello, I'm currently a full-time mom and a part-time tech worker who lately wanted to pursue a career in medicine.

Got 512 for MCAT but the problem is my undergrad GPA.
I graduated with a Bio major back in 2016 with cGPA of... 2.98 :(

Since my undergrad major is Biology, I pretty much took most of basic prerequisite courses...

1. Should I apply for SMP or do DIY postbac classes that I Q-dropped or withdrew?
2. If I do DIY, should i re-take classes with C's? Or take other upper courses instead?
3. Will they still count towards my undergrad GPAs even though I completed my bachelor's degree from other institution already?


Thank you!
 
Last edited:

ASociety'sShade

New Member
Apr 19, 2020
8
13
36
Hi,

Please check out Goro's advice for pre-meds who need reinvention: click here. There is a lot of great information there, including answers to your questions #1 and 2.

#3. Graduate GPA earned during a SMP (special master’s program) is calculated separately from undergraduate GPA. Post-bacc classes are calculated in undergraduate GPA, and have a separate line in the medical school application.

Some highlights/additional info:
  • SMPs are very high risk but also high reward.
  • If you choose to pursue the SMP route, the general consensus is to do one at a medical school with some sort of linkage, is shorter (but at least a year in length), and has the lowest tuition cost.
  • If you choose to pursue the post-bacc route, the goal is to "show that the you of now is not the you of then, and that you can handle a medical school curriculum."
 
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Jun 11, 2010
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Hello, I'm currently a full-time mom and a part-time tech worker who lately wanted to pursue a career in medicine.

Got 512 for MCAT but the problem is my undergrad GPA.
I graduated with a Bio major back in 2016 with cGPA of... 2.98 :(

Since my undergrad major is Biology, I pretty much took most of basic prerequisite courses...

1. Should I apply for SMP or do DIY postbac classes that I Q-dropped or withdrew?
2. If I do DIY, should i re-take classes with C's? Or take other upper courses instead?
3. Will they still count towards my undergrad GPAs even though I completed my bachelor's degree from other institution already?


Thank you!
1) I lean to SMP as it's high risk, but high reward. If finances are an issue, go the DIY route.
2) Only those C- or worse.
3) ALL work done after graduation goes into your cGPA. But now, it's no longer about that. It's about you showing that the you of now is not the you of then. So, schools that reward reinvention will see the post-bac GPA,

Read this:
 

soundofwonder

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 27, 2015
133
1
70
156
  1. Pre-Medical
1) I lean to SMP as it's high risk, but high reward. If finances are an issue, go the DIY route.
2) Only those C- or worse.
3) ALL work done after graduation goes into your cGPA. But now, it's no longer about that. It's about you showing that the you of now is not the you of then. So, schools that reward reinvention will see the post-bac GPA,

Read this:

@Goro @gna2849 I've actually learned from personal experience that DIY post-bacc is actually REALLY expensive, especially if you are signing up as a non-degree student. You have to pay out of pocket, unless you get a private loan. and the courses per credit are more expensive than taking the courses through an undergrad or grad degree program. DIY Post-bacc as a non-degree student GETS EXPENSIVE FAST!

I would go for the SMP if your choosing one or the other. Some SMP's have linkage agreements meaning you have a guaranteed acceptance or interview (be wary of just guaranteed interview, it's not guaranteed acceptance). I know UPenn (Professional School Linkage Agreements) has a linkage with two medical schools:
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine

You could maybe even consider going for a Master's in something you're interested in, like research, if you plan to go on to do research as a part of your career. Some people go for the Master's or PhD during residency when they have dedicated research time, you could do that now, and get a leg up later in your medical career.

I'm personally going for a science Master's if I'm not accepted in the 2019-2020 cycle. However, thinking now I'm sort of regretting it since I really want to get into medical school and it's kind of a chance I'm taking since I want to learn research skills, but at the same time it would be nice to be in a program that has a guaranteed acceptance linkage... We'll see.

But YES do anything BUT a DIY Post-Bacc and APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID. DIY POST-BACC IS EXPENSIVE. Unless you really have to repeat a prerequisite you got a D in. My Master's program is completely paid for by Federal Un subsidized loans through FAFSA which is like 9500 per semester. At the state school I'm going to, taking a non-degree 3 credit course is like $3,000, when I can take five 3-credit courses or more for $9,500, which is paid for by loans.
 
Jun 11, 2010
66,966
2
102,962
276
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
@Goro @gna2849 I've actually learned from personal experience that DIY post-bacc is actually REALLY expensive, especially if you are signing up as a non-degree student. You have to pay out of pocket, unless you get a private loan. and the courses per credit are more expensive than taking the courses through an undergrad or grad degree program. DIY Post-bacc as a non-degree student GETS EXPENSIVE FAST!

I would go for the SMP if your choosing one or the other. Some SMP's have linkage agreements meaning you have a guaranteed acceptance or interview (be wary of just guaranteed interview, it's not guaranteed acceptance). I know UPenn (Professional School Linkage Agreements) has a linkage with two medical schools:
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine

You could maybe even consider going for a Master's in something you're interested in, like research, if you plan to go on to do research as a part of your career. Some people go for the Master's or PhD during residency when they have dedicated research time, you could do that now, and get a leg up later in your medical career.

I'm personally going for a science Master's if I'm not accepted in the 2019-2020 cycle. However, thinking now I'm sort of regretting it since I really want to get into medical school and it's kind of a chance I'm taking since I want to learn research skills, but at the same time it would be nice to be in a program that has a guaranteed acceptance linkage... We'll see.

But YES do anything BUT a DIY Post-Bacc and APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID. DIY POST-BACC IS EXPENSIVE. Unless you really have to repeat a prerequisite you got a D in. My Master's program is completely paid for by Federal Un subsidized loans through FAFSA which is like 9500 per semester. At the state school I'm going to, taking a non-degree 3 credit course is like $3,000, when I can take five 3-credit courses or more for $9,500, which is paid for by loans.
Repeat anything with a C- or worse. Many schools require a C or higher for pre-reqs.

It's OK to take courses at CC's. Non-trads get cut some slack for this.

When looking at SMPs, there are four criteria I recommend:
1) Pick the cheapest
2) also the shortest
3) is given at a med school
4) has the best sort of linkage
 
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jhmmd

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Apr 28, 2020
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GPA <3.0 won't make the cutoff for most schools (DO schools may be the exception), so you want to take classes to raise your GPA to >3.0. Compelling ECs and essays/LORs would probably put you in the running for most DO schools, depending on their mission/values. Don't get anything less than an A from here on out. Good luck.
 
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