I"ll drop in from time to time. But I don't think it'll be time that constrains me from giving advice so much as the constantly changing nature of admissions and possible changes that may occur in the post-bacc program itself. Whatever advice I have now re: med school admissions may may not be as useful a few years from now.Thanks for hosting 2012/2013 threads. Those threads will help newbies start their post-bacc for sure. If you are not too busy visit here time to time to give us more tips. Good luck to you!
I don't know anything about Genetics. Cell Bio can be fair amount of work, especially if you have no prior experience in a bio lab. I had none and the writing component was a bitch for me. The other portion of the class is straight standard bio lecture and is just as easy to study for as the other bio classes I've taken at HES (Intro bio and biochem). The math class sounds like a waste of time/money and I don't think it would count toward any requirement. You'd be better off taking stats/biostats/calc (or pre-calc first if your math is rusty).Hi ya'll! I had a quick question with people who have experience at HES plus people with any thoughts all together -
I'm slowly working my sGPA up; will be taking classes this summer but also was looking into HES classes. I'm currently a grad student at another Harvard graduate school. I'm thinking of taking one of the following classes:
Quantitative Reasoning: Practical Math
Does anyone know the general workload/difficulty of any of these classes? From the looks of it, the math class seems easiest, but is it wise to take something that sounds easy like that one? I'm teetering between Cell Biology and Genetics, but don't know if I'll be able to handle something ridiculous like orgo-level difficulty if I'm working and going to grad school at the same time.
Any thoughts help! Thanks and all the best,
Possible and manageable are two different things. Pretty much anything is possible. The question is whether or not this would be manageable. These courses will take up a bunch of your time. With proper time management, you can make it happen, but don't sacrifice your grades for this. If you need to lighten the load to eat, then do so. If you can afford to cut back on work and get by that way then do that. Ideally, you want to take the larger load of classes both to demonstrate that you can handle the higher courseload as well as to get through the post-bacc a little faster.Taking Orgo and Physics at the same time, while working 40 hours per week. Is it possible?
I mean people work 80 hour per week jobs but I wouldn't recommend this for the sake of optimal performance. Orgo takes up a lot more time than physics, easily 20 hours per week. I spent way more than that. Physics closer to 10.Taking Orgo and Physics at the same time, while working 40 hours per week. Is it possible?
Hi everyone! I'm new to the Student Doctor Network! I am applying to the Harvard Extension School for the Health Careers Program. I am open to any/all the advice you can give me. I'm a little nervous about getting accepted. There is no specific requirements regarding GPA on the website, and unfortunately I wanted to go through the program in order to enhance my credentials. Any knowledge about this would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Don't buy the book. Doing well on the exam and psets in cell bio is pretty much the same as in biochem. Doing well on the writing assignment is a little bit trickier, but the TAs are super helpful in this regard, so if you put in some effort and get your hands dirty then you should do fine. My TA basically became my personal tutor for the writing assignment as I felt like I was reading a foreign language when we first delved into formal research articles.Has anyone taken or heard anything about bios e-16 cell bio?? Is the book necessary for the class or is it like biochem where you don't really need the book and the exam questions can be answered from the notes? And is the class difficult to get an A in like I heard from others?
Any tips on how to well on the exams, psets and writing assignments?
Thanks!Don't buy the book. Doing well on the exam and psets in cell bio is pretty much the same as in biochem. Doing well on the writing assignment is a little bit trickier, but the TAs are super helpful in this regard, so if you put in some effort and get your hands dirty then you should do fine. My TA basically became my personal tutor for the writing assignment as I felt like I was reading a foreign language when we first delved into formal research articles.
Average age varies. This is my fourth semester TF-ing for physics and I've had students from all parts of the age spectrum; we're talking fresh graduates right up to parentsHi everyone!
I am a current college senior (graduating this May) and I'm planning on enrolling in the HCP at HES this fall! I'm a business major, but i've taken a few biology courses and excelled in them. Just a few general questions that I have:
What is the average age of those who are enrolled in this program?
What class would you recommend taking first? (I've read that the bio classes should be taken after chemistry because they're particularly grueling)
I'm thinking of starting out with taking Gen Chem I, would you rate this class as being super difficult or is it manageable if you put the time in to study?
And lastly, any other general advice for someone who is just starting out on this journey?
Thank you for your response! Just wondering, how does the billing at Harvard extension school work? Can you pay per class or do you have to pay per year?Average age varies. This is my fourth semester TF-ing for physics and I've had students from all parts of the age spectrum; we're talking fresh graduates right up to parents
The popular track is General Chemistry/Physics during your first year followed by Biology/Organic Chemistry your second year. With the recent changes to the MCAT this recommend may change.
General Chemistry is manageable, but difficult. All of the classes at HES are difficult. If you give them the attention and respect they demand you will do well. Remember, while they are advertised as 4 credit classes you should treat them like a 5-6 credit course. The upside is that they will leave you fully prepared to take and rock the MCAT.
My advice: take everything one step at a time. Unfortunately (for you), there are sweeping changes being made to the premedical curriculum. The MCAT is changing and will be more difficult. Competition for interviews/acceptances is becoming more and more fierce. The last thing you want to do is enroll in two classes and pack your schedule with too many EC activities. Add things slowly and give your brain and body time to adjust. Last spring I was studying for my MCAT, taking A&PII/OrgoII, working as a teaching fellow, working in my lab, volunteering in the hospital and training for a powerlifting meet. If I had tried to manage that schedule during my first semester back in school I would have been screwed. Remember, this isn' t a race. Take your time and enjoy the journey.
Good one.If you like sitting in a lecture hall with 300 people at the time of night when most people are winding down and eating dinner then this is the program for you. Caveat emptor!
That sGPA might be a barrier to acceptance. Remember that whether or not you gain admission to the Health Careers Program, you can take premedical courses from HES and Summer School. The main advantage of the HCP is potentially being eligible for a composite letter of recommendation ("sponsorship"). Some great students pursue premedical studies at HES without being HCP students or without in the end qualifying for sponsorship for one reason or another (e.g. visa status, or finishing up just a small course load at HES to add to other work elsewhere).Undergrad sGPA: 2.4 (10 credits total), cGPA: 3.34 . My sciences were all intro/gen ed requirements that I did not take seriously or attend often; back then, I was to become a writer.
My sense is that I'll be able to gain admission to HCP and will need to prove myself to stay there and do well. I'm wondering if 1) you agree with this assessment
With only 10 credits for science, you can easily increase that part of your GPA with good grades going forward. Easier said than done of course. Are you including math classes in that sGPA?Hey Folks --
I know this type of question has been asked and answered a million times, but I wanted to submit this to see if anyone has thoughts. I thank you in advance for your help.
Undergrad sGPA: 2.4 (10 credits total), cGPA: 3.34 . My sciences were all intro/gen ed requirements that I did not take seriously or attend often; back then, I was to become a writer.
My sense is that I'll be able to gain admission to HCP and will need to prove myself to stay there and do well. I'm wondering if 1) you agree with this assessment and 2) what you all think about the prospects of being able to overcome those science grades with stronger grades later on while doing the prereqs.
Thanks a lot!
Unfortunately, yes -- My math class is what's causing me serious trouble -- a low grade in an easy math requirement that I did not take seriously at all. My sciences are in the B range. Thanks for the input.With only 10 credits for science, you can easily increase that part of your GPA with good grades going forward. Easier said than done of course. Are you including math classes in that sGPA?
If you want to feel really confident, review all homework problems, practice problems, discussion section problems, and Monday review session problems. Also, it's helpful to review the reactions from first semester; to do this, I used the pdf of the first semester final review (which included all rxns for the semester), which was posted on the course web site.Any last minute tips for the first O-chem II exam? I feel confident about my understanding of the material but have heard Dr. McCarty's exams are considerably difficult, so I want to be fully prepared on Thursday.
Agreed, except that final exam was a bloodbath. I'd never seen someone breakdown and cry during an exam until that one.If you want to feel really confident, review all homework problems, practice problems, discussion section problems, and Monday review session problems. Also, it's helpful to review the reactions from first semester; to do this, I used the pdf of the first semester final review (which included all rxns for the semester), which was posted on the course web site.
Last year, I found Logan's exam's to be very fair and straightforward. They weren't easy, but if you put in the work to review all of the questions/go over anything you find tricky, you shouldn't encounter many surprises on the exams.
1. I don't think it would be a problem. Best bet is to ask Fixsen & Co.Hi all,
I am currently filling out the application for HCP. I'd appreciate advice on a few questions:
1. At the moment, I would like to begin classes this summer in hopes of completing the program in a year and applying to med school next summer (2015). However, it's a decision I'm still debating. For the question that asks starting date - if I put down summer on the form, is there any reason I couldn't delay until fall if I change my mind?
2. Related to the above, has anyone done the HCP post-bac in a year (i.e. taken physics/bio/orgo simultaneously each semester) and could speak to its feasibility? I'm willing to work as hard as need be and am not a stranger to being overcommitted. I still feel like I have a pretty solid base in chem and bio from which to work, though, and am using spare time during my current job to review before I start.
3. I am currently working abroad in a non-healthcare job, which won't finish until May. I'm waiting to hear back on several summer internships at the moment, but can't do much with job plans in the meantime. I am concerned about applying to HCP with little clinical experience and feel if I could show I had a hospital job lined up for when I get back, it would solidify my application. But reading through SDN, it seems they'll accept applicants pretty readily? Is this true, i.e. should I just apply now (I'm worried about the program filling), or should I risk waiting until the end of March when I should know more about my summer opportunities?
4. Considering doing Gen Chem 1 & 2 during the summer at UMass due to costs...HES has great semester costs, but summer gets up there. Can I still do the HCP program if I come in the fall having already done gen chem...?
Thanks very much - hopefully I'll meet some of you in the program!
HEPS (Harvard Extension Prehealth Society) does a decent job of putting things together. Thursday evenings there's always a good showing at a local pub for drinks/trivia. Classmates are social and I know plenty of people who have made good friends in the program (myself included).Thanks for your advice, johnnyscans; I did send an email to them and got a few questions answered, but others were vague. I'll take all of that into consideration. Definitely planning on some clinical and research obligations outside of class, but still determining how much I can reasonably balance and am willing to make changes as need be. Just need to get accepted first...
Out of curiosity, do you find a good post-bac community forms at HES? Is there a pre-health group/any outside social life or anything? Or do people mainly just attend to classes?
Most of what you say sounds doable EXCEPT for summer orgo. Take biochemistry and some other upper level course over the summer and take orgo during the year. Your brain will thank you for it.Hey everyone!
I've been accepted to HCP for Pre-Vet and just enrolled in the summer Gen Chem course with Tucci. This and the other HES threads have been very helpful during the whole process, so thanks to everyone who contributes!
Are there any other pre-vets joining the program this year, or veteran pre-vets who might be able to speak to the difference in experience?
I know HCP is fundamentally a sponsorship program, and since most vet schools don't require a committee letter I've joined the program primarily for the financial aid/scholarship eligibility (and HES's wonderfully low tuition). I'm a career changer (econ background) with none of my prereqs completed, so I have a pretty full plate in front of me, with what's shaping up to be 13 or 14 courses. (I need full Bio, Chem, Physics, and Orgo sequences, plus Biochem, Microbio, and Genetics. Some programs also require Physio and Cell Bio, so I'd like to fit those in as well. I might need Animal Nutrition, but I hear I can take it online without too much hassle.)
I'd ideally like to make it work in 2 years plus summers. It looks on paper like I can do it if I take Chem1&2 my first summer, Physics & Bio my first year, Orgo 1&2 my 2nd summer, and some configuration of Biochem/Microbio/Genetics/Physio/Cell Bio my 2nd year. I don't have to take the MCAT for vet school and already have the GREs out of the way, so my 2nd year won't be as packed with extra studying as it is for pre Med students. I don't have much experience w/ college level science courses and labs, though. Do you guys think it's realistic to succeed w/ such a fast paced schedule while still making sure I get 1000 hours of clinical experience under my belt? Is a full sequence of Orgo in 7 weeks doable while working part time, or will I need to take a break from work during my summers? For reference, I did well in undergrad (3.9 GPA with 4.0 science/math GPA, though I only took one science class, and it was Biological Oceanography, no lab and not particularly rigorous).
Anyway, I'm super excited about starting the program! Anyone else signed up for Tucci's Chem class this summer?
I wouldn't rule out summer orgo so quickly. You definitely can't work part-time while taking it, but it is doable. I hadn't taken a math/science course for over a decade, did Chem/Physics during the year, then took summer orgo and I managed just fine. See how your year of Bio/Physics goes and gauge from there.Most of what you say sounds doable EXCEPT for summer orgo. Take biochemistry and some other upper level course over the summer and take orgo during the year. Your brain will thank you for it.
I'm hoping one of you can school me very quickly on HES. HES's website isn't very descriptive about the HCP and is actually kind of sketchy..
I haven’t taken any of the premed science courses yet.
- 3.7 undergrad GPA (accounting major).
- 1800 SAT score (700 in math).
- 9 months experience as a nursing assistant.
- A few hours of shadowing experience (no research exposure)
Do I even stand a chance of getting in?
1.) Is there a difference between taking all the premed courses through HES rather than the HCP besides the committee letter?
2.) Is there actually a structure to HCP or is it mostly autonomous? There is a “typical path through the program” detail but besides that there is no talk about the actual program.
· Are you provided a premed counselor?
3.) There’s no requirement for LORs but I think it’s a trick and they actually want LORs. Did you send them in anyways?
4.) There’s that new MCAT coming out and some med schools have changed their admission requirements, have you been able to incorporate those changes into your curriculum? (I think Harvard Med has a new foreign language requirement)
Thanks a bunch to whoever can help me out or even reads my questions. Also I have lurked through the other yearly threads and there’s info here and there but nothing definitive (that troll guy is a dick).
Hey Jordan,It seems like you are a good type of candidate that this program is suited for. I recently heard back from HES, and they did not accept me because I have taken all my pre-req's and a decent amount of upper-level bio's already (I was hoping to gain sponsorship after taking some of their upper-level bio courses). Since this isn't really a 'rejection', HES even refunded my application fee. So...based on my recent experience, I can only assume that it is more suited for someone like you as opposed to someone like me.
I think you can send these questions to the HCP director Dr. William Fixsen ([email protected]). He is really good with emails and seems like a helpful guy. Not only did he reply to all my emails in a timely manner, but he also wrote a letter to me in response to my application, sending back my application fee and providing me some advice on which schools to apply for instead.
Hope that helps at least somewhat. Good luck.