The Hulk

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Hey Guys, quick question, which Med schools are known for letting in non-traditional applicants and for putting a high value on personal experiences and motivation? I don't mean med schools that have lower mean GPA's, I mean schools where the admissions committee doesn't simply have a hard GPA / MCAT cut-off line, but really looks at the applicants as a person, not just two sets of numbers. Thanks in advance for the help.
:)
 

kaos

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Einstein and Drexel
 

SolidGold

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Einstein, really? I always heard they have strict guidelines regarding the two big numbers and not much regard for other important aspects.
 
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Tweetie_bird

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I hear Univ of Washington is big on non-trads, especially those that are married. But their average matriculant age is really low from what I've seen. Go figure!
 

kaos

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No, I heard from people who've worked with Einstein's adcoms that they like URMs and nontraditional applicants.
 

SolidGold

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Damn, now I regret taking Einstein off my list of schools to apply to.

The University of Miami seems also to be attracted to non-trads, but they only accept about 25 or so out of staters, so that might not help.
 

woolie

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I second the Einstein vote: I am way non-traditional too ;) but my advisor suggested them and I know old-sters of 39+ and other non-trads who got in and were really appreciated, etc. I wouldn't apply to NYU for instance tho, because I think they're about as non-trad friendly as a wet stick (ok, ok, this is my own feeling, I might be wrong here ...).

I also hear that Yale/Columbia/Mayo/ are receptive to different types. Yale is my favorite mostly because they were open enough to accept my childhood GP (a woman) in 1954. Medical College of Wisc and then whoever else you personally want to apply to.

My advisor said: never mind the age/non-trad stuff - just apply all over and to lots of places. You never know.
 

lll505

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From what I heard from all my non-trad friends who applied last year and are now at med school-

Friendly =
UCSF, Einstein, Yale, Mayo, Davis, Pitt
but all the people I knew also had great grades and MCATs and multiple acceptances at top 10 schools

Not so friendly=
UCLA (likes them young), NYU

Good luck!
 

woolie

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Actually, I asked point blank and face to face about older non-trads to an NYU adcom person one time and she hemmed and hawed and said something about legal issues and I finally said: look, I work in Investment Banking on Wall Street and we SAY we hire everyone but the truth is we only hire white men and not much else. Is that true for you, too? At that she reluctantly admitted that they only accept very young, very traditional people (ok, men and women, but you get the idea here), period. (btw, I wasn't anything but a peon in the bank, just a wage slave like alot of other people ;) )

I was REALLY angry but glad I made her cough up the truth. It still makes me really mad to think about that conversation 3 years later. Think of all the really great people they ignore. I am so bent out of shape by her comments and their behaviour that I have somehow just "blanked" out the existence of that whole NYU complex and medical center. We have alot of other really great med schools and hospitals here anyway.
 

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Originally posted by woolie
look, I work in Investment Banking on Wall Street and we SAY we hire everyone but the truth is we only hire white men and not much else. Is that true for you, too?
Yeah, I went to a JP Morgan presentation the other day, and I felt like the video they showed had like the 10 non-white people who work in all of JP Morgan. The interns they hired were all tall white "Aryan" men, one of which I've been told is not quite the sharpest tool in the shed, by some of my friends who had classes with him...

-RA
 

LoveDoc

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I'm non-traditional, 29. I could care less what schools say. I have faith I'm getting in somewhere by 2004.
 
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spanky

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Hey I also used to work as a securities trader and I am a non-traditional applicant this year. The Medical University of South Carolina seems to be very friendly to non-trads. The average age of their incoming class is 26 yrs old. I just received my secondary app this week and it asks what your former occupation was if you're a non-trad, unlike other applications that want to know about your mommy and daddy. I still laugh when I have to fill out those questions.

But seriously, I have contacted quite a few schools and most seem to set aside 10% of their seats for what they consider to be non-traditional applicants. Some even post this info on their websites. I have often wondered if their is some sort of quota for each group of applicants. If there are only x-number of seats for non-trads, then we are really only competing with other non-trads for admission. Personally, I like those odds, considering the fact that the applicant pool for non-trad is much smaller than for 22 yr olds.

By the way, what is the definition of a non-trad anyway (age cut-off)???????????
 

the*mess

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My advisor defines non-trads as those who have had a significant interruption in their academic journey... such as more than a year away from school. Other schools may define differently, but if you've taken a couple of years away from school (whether to work, join the military, raise a family), you're probably in the non-trad category.

It's OK... not all the traditional students despise us.;)
 
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The Hulk

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God Love Ya Doc:)

May the non-Trad's Rule the world!!!

Thanks for the info everybody... I just crossed NYU off my list....
 

spanky

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Who are you guys using for LOR's? Most of the secondarys that I have received require only a letter from the pre-med committee. I received an excellent letter from mine, but as non-trads should we send in additional letters from former employers? I know that most schools like to see that you have worked in some capacity in the health field, but they don't ask for recommendations from any physicians. Should I get LOR's from a physician as well?

The toughest part of being a non-trad applicant is trying to find a spot on applications where you can tell your full story. I started out with a personal statement that was about 1500 words and had to make significant cuts in order to meet the maximum length allowed on AMCAS. The secondarys are worse, giving you enough room (for about 3 sentences) to cover 10 years of your life experience. What would be the most important thing that adcoms look for in a non-trad that can be articulated in three sentences?
 

woolie

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Wow, I try and be very mild-mannered and not make a big stink but it's interesting to hear other peoples' responses to my NYU experience.

My feeling is if you want to apply to a school, no matter what you hear you should still do it. I would still apply to NYU if that's where my heart was set and I would tell them: you are the one for me and this is why, etc. If they ignore me well, then at least I tried my best and gave it a good shot. This is just my experience and there are always exceptions. This is why I find the forum so incredibly helpful, we can all learn so much from each other.

Maybe applying to medical school is like dating, sometimes people you are crazy about don't like you and ignore you and then you just say well, at least I tried and asked him/her out etc., instead of just staring at them across the room. I am going to apply to all kinds of places and at least give it a shot. I don't think I'll get into Yale but what the heck!

People tell me that non-trads (anyone not still an undergrad and under 23 I guess) are important for medicine and that alot of adcoms like us because alot of schools want people who are really committed to the field and have worked hard to prove that. They are very concerned about investing so much time and money into students only to have them say: I don't really like this field and walk away. Personally I think we are a really cool bunch :love:
 

Sweet Tea

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UNC likes non-traditional students-- actually most people I know there are non-traditional.

ECU LOVES non-traditional students, but you have to be an NC resident.
 

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Case Western LOVES us non-traditionals :) Here at Hopkins I would say about half the class has taken at least a year off and I think the ad-com here really looks for diverse experiences, whether that be as an undergrad or post-graduation. I had no luck last year at NYU and Emory (rejected no interview), so I second what has already been said about NYU being unfriendly to non-traditionals. Other than those schools, I have no more info, I think it's safe to say that being a non-traditional student can only help in the process at most schools.

Good Luck to all my fellow non-traditional pre-meds! PM me if you have any questions about stuff along the way this year, it's a long haul but it's worth the ride in the end!

JHU SOM 2006
 

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70% of our class has spent at least one year out of school either before college, during college, or after college. So, I'd say UCSF digs the non-trad students. Average age = 25, but we have over 5 people over 30.
 

GoodMonkey

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i'm not *that* nontrad, but i'll be 25 (nearing 26 when i start school) and i took a few years off post ugrad to work in the biotech industry. i've had interviews at umich and mich state and they had both been very receptive to my taking time off. i've actually had two people (one interviewer at each school) say how they liked that i took some time off to get my head on straight and figure out just what it was that i wanted. i have a handful of other interviews, so i hope they go as well.

moral of the (longish) story: umich and msu seem receptive to non trads. i've also heard yale, case western, u of washington are quite open to non trads.
 

lola

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so what is the story with all you non-traditionals?

i suppose i'm a non-traditional applicant since i've been out of college for 5 years, but i don't really feel non-traditional since i was a traditional pre-med in college. i took all the courses by the end of my sophomore year but decided to go abroad my junior year and never applied after that. i got an ms in epidemiology a couple of years ago and have been working with data ever since -- yuck! when i got into public health i really thought it was my calling, but after working in it for a few years i realize that i need to interact with people to feel like my work is meaningful and to feel fulfilled. i still can't believe i'm going to be almost 28 when i start med school (if i get in). yikes! having kids worries me a bit...
 
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lola

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spanky,
i'm using the pre-med committee letter from my undergrad. i'm attaching a work letter to the applications that specifically ask for additional letters.
 

gwenn5

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I think I am about as non-traditional as they come. At 34 with 5 kids, no high school, community college, a ten year stint of accounting and computer work, I am finally finishing my BS this December! I still believe I will get in, but I guess we'll see in the next few months whether that is true...
 

SMW

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Originally posted by lola

i suppose i'm a non-traditional applicant since i've been out of college for 5 years, but i don't really feel non-traditional since i was a traditional pre-med in college.
lola, you are definitely a non-trad! :)

You are all so inspiring. I don't know how some of you do it! Like Gwenn5!!! 5 kids :eek:

Best of luck to all the non-trads!! :D :cool: :D
 

pathdr2b

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Originally posted by Sweet Tea
UNC likes non-traditional students-- actually most people I know there are non-traditional.

ECU LOVES non-traditional students, but you have to be an NC resident.
Sorry Sweat Tea, but I'll have to disagree with part of this statement. I went to UNC for graduate school (late 90's), and took courses with medical students. I can tell you from my personal experience with the adcom committee (just in conversation, not as an applicant) that they definitely don't "like" nontradditional students particularily the ones with children. I think it may depend on how you define nontraditional. They may have some students over the "traditional" age, but very few if any "nontraditionals" in social status.

On the other hand, I have a classmate that went to ECU MED as a single mom at 28 years-old and she had a great experience!!
 

spanky

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Has anyone checked on line to find out which schools publish information regarding how many non-traditional students they will accept. So far, on the University of Louisville student profile section, they say that they consider anyone 27 or older to be non-trad and that those students make up 10% of each class. I would love to know if anyone else has found anything else. You guys are a great source of information!!!
 

Sweet Tea

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Originally posted by pathdr2b
Sorry Sweat Tea, but I'll have to disagree with part of this statement. I went to UNC for graduate school (late 90's), and took courses with medical students. I can tell you from my personal experience with the adcom committee (just in conversation, not as an applicant) that they definitely don't "like" nontradditional students particularily the ones with children. I think it may depend on how you define nontraditional. They may have some students over the "traditional" age, but very few if any "nontraditionals" in social status.
i meant non-traditional as in they didn't come straight from undergrad into med school. i know 7 first-years at UNC this year, and only 2 of them graduated this past spring. maybe i just have more non-traditional friends. :laugh:

anyhow... i hope they smile on THIS non-traditional applicant! :laugh: :D :D
 

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Hey Hulkster,

How "non-trad" are you? I've heard some students refer to themselves as non trad and they're only 24. ;)

In any case, I'm a non-trad, and I fell in love with Temple. Their curriculum is really geared towards the student and they seemed to really appreciate the additional experiences that I had, as opposed to just going straight from undergrad to med school (not that there's anything wrong with that).

As some others have suggested, I've also heard that Case, Pitt, Columbia, and Yale are really cool about non-trads.

You can e-mail me if you have any questions about Temple.

Best of luck to ya. :cool:


Originally posted by The Hulk
Hey Guys, quick question, which Med schools are known for letting in non-traditional applicants and for putting a high value on personal experiences and motivation? I don't mean med schools that have lower mean GPA's, I mean schools where the admissions committee doesn't simply have a hard GPA / MCAT cut-off line, but really looks at the applicants as a person, not just two sets of numbers. Thanks in advance for the help.
:)
 

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Originally posted by Caerulea
Hey Hulkster,

How "non-trad" are you? I've heard some students refer to themselves as non trad and they're only 24. ;)

In any case, I'm a non-trad, and I fell in love with Temple. Their curriculum is really geared towards the student and they seemed to really appreciate the additional experiences that I had, as opposed to just going straight from undergrad to med school (not that there's anything wrong with that).

As some others have suggested, I've also heard that Case, Pitt, Columbia, and Yale are really cool about non-trads.

You can e-mail me if you have any questions about Temple.

Best of luck to ya. :cool:
Hey are you a first year? Do I know you? I am also a non traditional (32 yrs old) first year at Temple?
 

DoubleL

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Hey all -

Throw my name into the non-traditional applicant pool as well. I started college as a premed, couldn't handle organic chemistry, switched to mathematics and never looked back. Went on to get a master's degree in biomedical engineering at CWRU when I finally saw the light, and spent a year doing post-bac work at Cleveland State. Now I'm just working as a research engineer, trying to cover the costs of these applications!

I know for a fact that CWRU SOM is non-trad friendly, and I'm counting on it, cause they are at the top of my list!

LL
 

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USSD,

I sent you a PM. ;)

Good luck DoubleL! CWRU is a great school......hope you get in ! :cool:
 

Zack90

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I was 35 last year and applying as a non-trad.... I didn't have a stellar gpa (3.3) or MCAT score (7-12-12 - second attempt) and was accepted to Temple, Penn State, and Drexel... I was placed on High Priority list at UMDNJ-RWJ (and I'm NOT a NJ resident and interviewed on their last interview date) and waitlisted at GW..... From my experience, all these places are open to non-trads..... Oh, and I was invited to interview at Univ of Cinti and declined the invite.
 

Caerulea

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Hi Zack,

I see your Philly address. I don't know any Zacks in my Temple first year class.....are you at Hahnemann/Drexel ?
 
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