Non-trad...Taking Grad VS Undergrad Biology Classes....Help Please

crazyhead

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I am a non-trad with US undergrad Biology (cgpa 3.3ish with few repeats) and graduate Epidemiology degree (cgpa 3.7). Currently on student (F1) visa, but likely to be a permanent resident in couple years if things go smoothly. Now, coming to my question I have been planning of taking few (4-6) biology classes over the course of next 1-2 years. However, I am wondering which (grad or undergrad) level biology courses I should take if my ultimate goal is to apply med school in future? I will likely to get tuition reimbursement from work if I go for grad certificate in micro/biology, but think comparatively undergrad level biology classes will help my low undergrad GPA and med school chances than grad certificate. Need expert suggestions. TIA.
 
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gonnif

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Your intuitions are correct. Graduate courses are viewed as highly inflated anyway (unless it's part of a formal postbac/SMP).

Unless money is a significant problem you should go for (upper level) undergraduate classes.
I concur; the UG courses will apply to your UG GPA which is most vital
 
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crazyhead

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Your intuitions are correct. Graduate courses are viewed as highly inflated anyway (unless it's part of a formal postbac/SMP).

Unless money is a significant problem you should go for (upper level) undergraduate classes.
I will have to pay International student tuition for undergrad classes which run in the range of $15K- $20K for 6 classes and won't be reimbursed from work. I can manage to pay for 1 undergrad class/sem, but worried med school won't look at that course load favorably at all even though I will be working full time at the same time. Initially I was thinking of taking at minimum 2 classes each/sem. Should I push school back 1 year, save some more money, and then take 2 upper level UG classes/sem? OR taking 1 class/sem while working full time will be fine in the eyes of adcoms?
 
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LizzyM

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Been dreaming for years to be a US Permanent Resident, but don't know if that will ever happen.
This is your bigger issue. Until you have that, your chances of getting admitted to a US medical school and getting an F1 visa to attend are very, very slim.

I am a non-trad with US undergrad Biology (cgpa 3.30 with few repeats) and graduate Epidemiology degree (cgpa 3.7)
Your cGPA is another issue. Whether you can ever do enough to overcome these issues and whether you should pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to chase what may be impossible due to circumstances that can't be changed (how quickly your green card is issued and your past academic record) is up to you but I think it is a bad bargain. Sorry to be less than encouraging but you are not in a position to be in the top 20% of international applicants (where you need to be to be admitted to med school in the US) and it is unlikely that a handful of classes taken long after you have been awarded an MPH degree are going to make any difference to the overall picture.
 

Goro

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Best chances are at the 14 DO schools that accept internationals
 
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crazyhead

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This is your bigger issue. Until you have that, your chances of getting admitted to a US medical school and getting an F1 visa to attend are very, very slim.




I have been on F1 visa for 9 years now and that includes this very moment.


Your cGPA is another issue. Whether you can ever do enough to overcome these issues and whether you should pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to chase what may be impossible due to circumstances that can't be changed (how quickly your green card is issued and your past academic record) is up to you but I think it is a bad bargain. Sorry to be less than encouraging but you are not in a position to be in the top 20% of international applicants (where you need to be to be admitted to med school in the US) and it is unlikely that a handful of classes taken long after you have been awarded an MPH degree are going to make any difference to the overall picture.
If everything goes smoothly then within next 2 years from now (yesterday my employer said they will sponsor GC for me). I already have almost all medical school prerequisites done during my undergraduate. Also, I think my current ECs are fine (clinical, non-clinical, research) and I will be devoting some more time down the road. I have waited really long and would prefer to begin the med school journey as soon as I become permanent resident. So, in these 2 years what do you suggest I should do to be a viable Allopathic med school candidate ? Aware I will have to do really good on MCAT. Will really appreciate your feedback.
 
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crazyhead

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Best chances are at the 14 DO schools that accept internationals
Thank you. I haven't have the privilege of personally working and knowing a DO yet. However, I have basic awareness of osteopathic medicine and will be looking into it when I begin my med school journey.
 

LizzyM

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Catalystik

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in these 2 years what do you suggest I should do to be a viable Allopathic med school candidate ? Aware I will have to do really good on MCAT.
Were you more confident of getting a green card, and if you get a strong MCAT score, you might consider completing a one-year, full-time, true Special Masters Program, if you are sure you can earn a 3.7+ GPA. These require you to compete with current medical students for grades, essentially giving you an expensive audition opportunity to prove you have what it takes. Be warned that success with this endeavor does not give you a guarantee of admission to allopathic schools, but in the eyes of some of them, will redeem your undergrad record.
 
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LizzyM

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Were you more confident of getting a green card, and if you get a strong MCAT score, you might consider completing a one-year, full-time, true Special Masters Program, if you are sure you can earn a 3.7+ GPA. These require you to compete with current medical students for grades, essentially giving you an expensive audition opportunity to prove you have what it takes. We warned that success with this endeavor does not give you a guarantee of admission to allopathic schools, but in the eyes of some of them, will redeem your undergrad record.
Would you bet $50,000 that you could outscore 50% of the medical school's freshman class? If so, a SMP might be for you.