Legato

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I finished my bachelors and planned to take a year off afterwards. Due to a variety of reasons, I ended up in a grad program in this time. My MCAT and GPA were very high, so I don't know why I joined it. Anyway, due to unnamed reasons, I feel that I can't continue it and that I must drop out of this program. What should I do? Does anyone know how negative it would look? If worst comes to worst, I can just apply next year since my MCATs should still be valid for 09-10 cycle (taken fall 2007). Of course, I'd rather not.
 

213965

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I finished my bachelors and planned to take a year off afterwards. Due to a variety of reasons, I ended up in a grad program in this time. My MCAT and GPA were very high, so I don't know why I joined it. Anyway, due to unnamed reasons, I feel that I can't continue it and that I must drop out of this program. What should I do? Does anyone know how negative it would look? If worst comes to worst, I can just apply next year since my MCATs should still be valid for 09-10 cycle (taken fall 2007). Of course, I'd rather not.
I'm in an almost identical situation, except my MCAT isn't that high. To top it off, I got a C(!) in my grad program. Despite all that, I still have 2 allopathic interviews. I've met with multiple academic advisers and admissions committee members, and general consensus was NOT to drop out, and that doing so could even tank your application completely. Please try and at least finish your program, even if it means taking the hit with a few bad grades. Please PM me if you have any more questions, since there's a lot more I could say about this. Good luck.

*edit* I should add that if your "unnamed reasons" involve a death in the immediate family or a serious medical illness, dropping out might be acceptable. However, if it's for financial reasons, that won't work (trust me, I've tried).
 
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Non-TradTulsa

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The reason dropping out of a graduate program looks bad is because it makes you look unfocused - as if you were thrashing around, trying to decide what you wanted to do with your life, and you hit on medical school at the last minute. Whether it's fair or not, that is interpreted as a lack of maturity. I think it's easier to have a push-back when you look at what they're probably thinking.

I dropped out of a graduate program - and my school has a reputation for not liking students who do that - but I got in. After working as a CPA for many years, I wanted to expand my knowledge base and started working on a second master's in computer science (I already held a M.S. in accountancy). I had about one semester and thesis to go when my father died. I took a semester off to look at my life - and realized that medical school was a dream I had shelved years before. I decided to go for it.

This story of changing my life's focus after my Dad's death was in my personal statement - so I decided to deal with the issue head-on. I did spin things a bit at interview, telling them that I was more interested in taking the computer science coursework for my job than I was in graduating - but that I refused on principle to take courses without working toward a degree.

Of course, physicians with heavy com sci backgrounds are pretty prized - so now my school is telling me that I stay with them for residency, they'll try to work my schedule so that I can finish my M.S. in computer science. No good deed goes unpunished......

Best of luck to you.
 

Chuck's Right Foot

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I dropped out of a Ph.D. program and it definitely made it difficult for my application. However, I have received an acceptance. If you can finish, do. If you can't, you can't. It won't keep you from getting in, but it can cause a few bumps in the road.
 

Fiko18

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im in a similar position but i have an acceptance in hand, i just started this grad program then got accepted to a med school, im still waiting to hear back from a few other schools but is it ok to drop the master's program that I am in after and if i get accepted to my top choice? it would save alot of money! do med schools even care?
 

rkaz

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Do schools require you to submit a final graduate transcript? I would hope not, since we all have completed our undergraduate degrees already. If you get on academic probation for not completing/failing a course (that occurs AFTER you have already submitted your transcripts at the time of application), do med schools get to know about it - especially if the med school is at the same university as grad school? I have heard of schools revoking acceptances of undergraduates who have failed a required course, but since our courses are not required, I wonder if this matters.
 

sean1984

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By dropping out, do you mean deciding to leave with a masters? I would be in the same situation if that is true. I decided to try a PhD in the field I graduated my undergrad with. After awhile, I decided to wanted to go to medical school. I am hoping this doesn't hurt my chances since Ive already applied. But no where did I say I moved from the PhD to masters track. It never asked for it, so I didnt figure to write it.
 

PornStarPreMed

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Rennykim -

i would think that providing a school with an excuse regarding finances, should suffice... if you can't afford the graduate program any longer, why should that be held against you? maybe one of your loans is no longer available, or in general, your financial circumstances have changed (with the current economic collapse, these "excuses" are actually pretty plausible).

what exactly was your situation, and why didn't it work?
 

213965

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PornStarPreMed,

I thought lack of finances was a reasonable explanation as well, esp. considering my strong academic background and therefore lack of necessity for being enrolled in the SMP.

The fact is, I took out over $30k in loans, turned down a 35k job at the same time, therefore putting me over $60k in the negative for just doing the grad program. I wanted to drop the master's when I realized it was an SMP, get $20k back (for the last two quarters), and start working full-time in a health care related profession. I thought this was a reasonable plan, but many adcoms I met with disagreed. Hence why I'm still here :/

If you're in a similar situation and don't want to post publicly, feel free to PM me. I've pretty much went through every scenario with multiple advisers and maybe I can be of more help.

*edit* For many people doing a 2 year master's (or longer), be careful because several schools will require a final updated transcript with proof that you've completed your degree, and if it's a 1 year master's or SMP, I think almost all will require you to finish. However, I know several people who dropped the second year after being accepted during their first year, so apparently some schools do not care. Same with PhD; there are people who've applied in the middle, been accepted, and obviously could not finish. If this is your situation, some schools will require a letter from the dean or director of your program stating that they are aware of your application to medical school and therefore possibly not finishing if accepted. And correct me if I am mistaken, but I believe if you are accepted and have to send the final transcripts showing proof of program completion, you can pretty much just pass (C's) and they can't rescind your admission.
 
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diosa428

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im in a similar position but i have an acceptance in hand, i just started this grad program then got accepted to a med school, im still waiting to hear back from a few other schools but is it ok to drop the master's program that I am in after and if i get accepted to my top choice? it would save alot of money! do med schools even care?
You need to contact each school to figure this out. Usually acceptances are given with the expectation that you will finish whatever degree program you're in, regardless of whether it's a bachelor's degree or a graduate degree. However, some schools will ignore this, especially if you've ALREADY been accepted. For those that haven't made a decision on your app yet, it may not look so good.
 

Aladdin

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Both schools I have gotten into have said that I do not need to continue with the SMP next year. They said that if it was a Master's, it would be necessary to continue. Unless there was some form of agreement that I actually would continue, it is up to me.
 

gopens67

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im mid way through a SMP program now...and I want to consider dropping it, so I have time to do an MCAT retake...and honestly im just tired and I need a break before entering medical school. If I never formally informed a DO school about being in the program, would they know about me dropping it, if I got an acceptance for this fall?
 

213965

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I don't really see how they would know, unless you included something about it in your AACOMAS and/or essays. And if you didn't talk about it during your interview, of course.
 

SBK

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Im really considering this also. I have already been acccepted to med school, and my dad had a stroke recently and is recovering. The fact of the matter is that I have no money and I'd rather be with my family than worry about my 2nd year of the SMP. I dunno though...
 

rama kandra

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aside from SMP issues, I ended up not wanting to go directly to med school and instead tried something that i was really interested in... so i went to grad school for design. a few months into it i had no desire to finish the program and i wanted to do what i thought was best, medical school

should i really be penalized or even be bothered with this? it was a personal decision with my own interests and i wanted to test the waters. i went with all my heart and it sadly didnt feel right after a while. is that not good enough? i really hate this vibe about having to 'live up' to your actions when this isnt of any consequence. i am sure i want to go to med school, i would not be spending a year and a half doing basically nothing but mcat + app stuff if that were not true.

but alas i know that med schools are going to wonder why this poor sap (me) went from biochemistry to architecture and suddenly decided medicine was the right stuff. theyll ask me and my answer is simple, it didnt feel right. ya heard?
 

Kuuaku

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Many schools have indicated in secondary app emails, secondaries themselves and in acceptance packages that acceptances are contingent upon completion of any and all programs (BS, MS, MPH etc). I'm sure a family issue is valid but every school is pretty different.
 

diosa428

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aside from SMP issues, I ended up not wanting to go directly to med school and instead tried something that i was really interested in... so i went to grad school for design. a few months into it i had no desire to finish the program and i wanted to do what i thought was best, medical school

should i really be penalized or even be bothered with this? it was a personal decision with my own interests and i wanted to test the waters. i went with all my heart and it sadly didnt feel right after a while. is that not good enough? i really hate this vibe about having to 'live up' to your actions when this isnt of any consequence. i am sure i want to go to med school, i would not be spending a year and a half doing basically nothing but mcat + app stuff if that were not true.

but alas i know that med schools are going to wonder why this poor sap (me) went from biochemistry to architecture and suddenly decided medicine was the right stuff. theyll ask me and my answer is simple, it didnt feel right. ya heard?
I agree that it sucks, but from the schools perspective, there's always the possibility that you'll get 4 months into med school and decide your heart isn't in it or it "just doesn't feel right" and quit that too. If you made a poor decision once, you're really going to have to prove that you're committed this time, and you're going to really need to demonstrate that you know what you're getting into.
 

diosa428

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Many schools have indicated in secondary app emails, secondaries themselves and in acceptance packages that acceptances are contingent upon completion of any and all programs (BS, MS, MPH etc). I'm sure a family issue is valid but every school is pretty different.
It's true; a lot of schools consider whatever degree you're working on as part of your application and use people with graduate degrees to diversify the class, etc. So if you say you're getting one, and then you don't... it's kind of like saying you're an URM when you're not (although it's not an outright lie, you're still not bringing to the table what you said you would). However, adcoms realize that plans change, so some will cut you some slack. Again, the best way to determine each schools requirements is to contact them directly. Also, if you've already been accepted, it's a lot less likely that a school will revoke the acceptance if you forewarn them.
 

FAUowl

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What if you are enrolled and in the middle of a master's degree program for Biomedical Sciences but it is not considered an SMP, and you want to switch to a SMP at some other school before completing the master's degree at the original school? Do medical schools still make you complete your master's before or after you completed the SMP and before matriculating?

Basically, I enrolled in the grad program at my school to enhance my application to medical school. However, I have realized that my GPA from my Master's degree will not really be looked upon in the application process, and that an SMP would benefit me more. So I was thinking about dropping out of the current grad program I am in and enrolling in an SMP somewhere else. Any thoughts?
 

diosa428

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What if you are enrolled and in the middle of a master's degree program for Biomedical Sciences but it is not considered an SMP, and you want to switch to a SMP at some other school before completing the master's degree at the original school? Do medical schools still make you complete your master's before or after you completed the SMP and before matriculating?

Basically, I enrolled in the grad program at my school to enhance my application to medical school. However, I have realized that my GPA from my Master's degree will not really be looked upon in the application process, and that an SMP would benefit me more. So I was thinking about dropping out of the current grad program I am in and enrolling in an SMP somewhere else. Any thoughts?
If you drop out of a Master's program before you start applying to medical school, they can't make you go back and finish it, but they will notice on your transcript that you started a graduate degree that you did not finish, which will probably not look too good. What kind of Master's are you doing? Are your grades good? Are you doing research? Any chance you'll get published? It might be worth sticking it out if you're going to get some benefit from the Master's (I mean, you will have a graduate degree). I don't necessarily think that the benefits of an SMP will outweigh how it will look if you drop your Masters degree program vs just finishing it.
 

FAUowl

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The more I think about it, it makes more sense to go ahead and apply to medical school this upcoming cycle and finish up my master's degree (which is in Biomedical Science) in December. If I do not end up getting into medical school, I will go ahead and apply to enter a SMP I suppose. My grades so far are a 3.4gpa (B- in Immunology got the best of me last semester). I am non-thesis so I am not doing any research. I am looking at getting around a 3.7-3.8 graduate gpa when I apply to Medical Schools in June. I was just thinking that an SMP would benefit me more so than the master's degree I am working on currently. So I was thinking maybe I could either drop out of this program and enter a SMP come July, or atleast put it on hold. I guess it is better to be safe than sorry though, and just go ahead and complete the master's and then enter the SMP if needed. I just feel working along side medical students and being able to compare my grades to their's would help in the admission's decision making.