Quantcast
This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

superiorolive

New Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
3
Reaction score
1

Members don't see this ad.
Hi everyone!

I'm a non-traditional applicant. 3.7 cGPA, specialized honours B.A. in Neuropsychology, M.Sc. in Neuropsychology from prestigious school, 2 years of clinical research in a mental health setting, laboratory manager experience, 2 summers of volunteering research, some poster presentations and pending publications, and currently shadowing a psychiatrist working with Women and Trauma.

I recently made the decision that I'd like to be a physician and am looking at Harvard Extension School to complete my pre-med pre-reqs (of which I only have bio, the only other science I've done is 3 biopsych courses and I have some stats under my belt). Because I was looking at programs like JHU and Bryn Mawr, I was under the false assumption that HES would be a 1-year program as well. I've recently been corrected. My time line would be essentially: apply during the next cycle of applications and hopefully start September 2018, complete two years, then start medical school in 2021? I'm a bit keen to get started sooner than that, I'm currently 28.

I was wondering if it'd be possible to write the MCAT and apply to med school half-way through the program by using the next 17 months to take some courses online only for the purpose of helping build my knowledge base to write the MCAT, and not to have on a transcript. I'm also hoping to find something that's either affordable or free.

Any suggestions?
 

Gurby

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Messages
1,982
Reaction score
5,644
HES is kind of a choose your own adventure post-bac - some people do it in 1 year, some people spend 4 years taking 1 class at a time. It is what you make of it. Having Biology done already makes a 1-year plan very feasible for you, IMO, especially since your EC's/volunteering/research/clinical exposure is already built up pretty well. There's still time to start this summer! Possible game plan:

Summer 2017: Gen Chem 1+2

Fall: Physics 1 + OChem 1

Spring: Physics 2 + Biochemistry + begin MCAT studying + prepare primary AMCAS application + have LoR writers send them to the HES committee

Summer 2018: Submit AMCAS primary to 1 school for verification, aim for an early June MCAT date (gives you ~1 month of dedicated full-time studying after classes end). After taking the MCAT start pre-writing your secondaries. Get MCAT score back early July and immediately send out applications to all your schools, be complete late July.

I would put off taking OChem 2 because it will eat up a ton of time that would be better spent studying for the MCAT. Most schools no longer require it, but you can take it the following spring if you fall in love with schools that do.
 

AnotherLawyer

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
780
Reaction score
742
Hi everyone!

I'm a non-traditional applicant. 3.7 cGPA, specialized honours B.A. in Neuropsychology, M.Sc. in Neuropsychology from prestigious school, 2 years of clinical research in a mental health setting, laboratory manager experience, 2 summers of volunteering research, some poster presentations and pending publications, and currently shadowing a psychiatrist working with Women and Trauma.

I recently made the decision that I'd like to be a physician and am looking at Harvard Extension School to complete my pre-med pre-reqs (of which I only have bio, the only other science I've done is 3 biopsych courses and I have some stats under my belt). Because I was looking at programs like JHU and Bryn Mawr, I was under the false assumption that HES would be a 1-year program as well. I've recently been corrected. My time line would be essentially: apply during the next cycle of applications and hopefully start September 2018, complete two years, then start medical school in 2021? I'm a bit keen to get started sooner than that, I'm currently 28.

I was wondering if it'd be possible to write the MCAT and apply to med school half-way through the program by using the next 17 months to take some courses online only for the purpose of helping build my knowledge base to write the MCAT, and not to have on a transcript. I'm also hoping to find something that's either affordable or free.

Any suggestions?

You cannot take college courses and not report them to AMCAS.

I recommend taking your time, but if you want to do this fast and cheap go to one of your instate universities and do something like this:

Summer 2017: Chem 1 & 2.
Fall 2017: Ochem 1, Phy 1, Bio II
Winter 2017-18: Self-teach yourself MCAT P/S.
Spring 2017: Phy 2, Biochem, MCAT prep
June 2018: MCAT & apply.
Glide year: Ochem 2 and any other outstanding prereqs for the particular schools you're interested in.
 

superiorolive

New Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
HES is kind of a choose your own adventure post-bac - some people do it in 1 year, some people spend 4 years taking 1 class at a time. It is what you make of it. Having Biology done already makes a 1-year plan very feasible for you, IMO, especially since your EC's/volunteering/research/clinical exposure is already built up pretty well. There's still time to start this summer! Possible game plan:

Summer 2017: Gen Chem 1+2

Fall: Physics 1 + OChem 1

Spring: Physics 2 + Biochemistry + begin MCAT studying + prepare primary AMCAS application + have LoR writers send them to the HES committee

Summer 2018: Submit AMCAS primary to 1 school for verification, aim for an early June MCAT date (gives you ~1 month of dedicated full-time studying after classes end). After taking the MCAT start pre-writing your secondaries. Get MCAT score back early July and immediately send out applications to all your schools, be complete late July.

I would put off taking OChem 2 because it will eat up a ton of time that would be better spent studying for the MCAT. Most schools no longer require it, but you can take it the following spring if you fall in love with schools that do.

I'm actually Canadian and currently am many months from receiving my green card (my husband is American). HES only accepts citizens and green card holders. So I've missed this year's chance, but good to know I could find a way to make it work in one year in 2018!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

WGSgrad

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
273
Reaction score
198
I figured you were not American based on syntax from your first post (honours, "write" as opposed to sit or take, etc.). I guess what I am a bit perplexed about is why you need to wait to do post-bacc work until you get to the U.S.? Canadian universities and their coursework, perhaps more than any other country, seem to get parity with U.S. universities. Why wait? Why not do the coursework now before you emigrate? Further, you can still apply to many American medical schools as a Canadian. So, is there something else?

Even if you decide to wait to do your post-bacc work until you get to the U.S., why HES? In what state does your American husband have residency? Why aren't you planning to take courses in that state's state schools as spouses can qualify for residency through their partners, as opposed to paying sticker at HES? The only way HES would seem to make sense is if your partner works for Harvard and you can go for free or if you will have a full time job and HES class schedule is flexible enough to allow you to attend while working.

Also, are you committed to specializing in psychiatry? If not, and even if you are, you might consider adding some other clinical hours in a setting that demonstrates (allows you to speak to) that you are comfortable with visually apparent sick or injured people. Adcom/admins on the site seem to continually site this as a shortcoming for a lot of folks.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 
Last edited:

superiorolive

New Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
I figured you were not American based on syntax from your first post (honours, "write" as opposed to sit or take, etc.). I guess what I am a bit perplexed about is why you need to wait to do post-bacc work until you get to the U.S.? Canadian universities and their coursework, perhaps more than any other country, seem to get parity with U.S. universities. Why wait? Why not do the coursework now before you emigrate? Further, you can still apply to many American medical schools as a Canadian. So, is there something else?

Even if you decide to wait to do your post-bacc work until you get to the U.S., why HES? In what state does your American husband have residency? Why aren't you planning to take courses in that state's state schools as spouses can qualify for residency through their partners, as opposed to paying sticker at HES? The only way HES would seem to make sense is if your partner works for Harvard and you can go for free or if you will have a full time job and HES class schedule is flexible enough to allow you to attend while working.

Also, are you committed to specializing in psychiatry? If not, and even if you are, you might consider adding some other clinical hours in a setting that demonstrates (allows you to speak to) that you are comfortable with visually apparent sick or injured people. Adcom/admins on the site seem to continually site this as a shortcoming for a lot of folks.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile


Well this post has a lot of assumptions about my life and I really don't need to justify myself. But I'll go ahead: If I want to complete my pre-med courses, since I've already completed both an undergrad and a master's, at Canadian schools I would need to complete them as a "Non-Degree Student". As a Non-Degree Student, you are not eligible for any financial aid to cover tuition for these courses, so I would need to pay for them out of pocket. I am not in the financial position to do so: I already have $30,000 of student debt that I am trying to pay down while living in the most expensive city in Canada. HES is eligible not only for financial aid but also loans from banks in Canada.

I'm considering taking a course or two over the next 15 months maybe to help reduce my future course load at HES, but I haven't decided yet. I work 50 hour weeks with maybe one lunch break during that week. I have a podcast that I research for. I'm training for a marathon. I'm trying to get volunteer opportunities. I don't have a lot of free time as is, I'd rather dedicate myself fully to something when the time is appropriate, like when I'm completing a certificate program at HES.

Further, I'm less competitive for American medical schools as an international applicant than if I apply as, essentially, an American. My husband is a dual-citizen, has never lived in the US, and is not a resident. We both very much like Boston and would like to live there, or close to there (even as far as Providence, which we both like very much as well). $11,000 for tuition doesn't seem so bad (at HES), especially compared to the other post-baccs I was looking at like JHU, Bryn Mawr, Goucher, Northwestern, Columbia, etc.

And I'm sorry if I've gotten my back up a bit, but I came here to ask a specific question and this wasn't exactly helpful. I'd like to take some informal free online courses that would help me sufficiently study for the MCAT alone, not to replace my pre-med pre-reqs, or at least to help familiarize myself with the material (and my own weaknesses with the material so I can address these) before I begin the post-bacc at HES. I'm looking for people who can vouch for some quality courses that they've taken. I'm not really sure what your comment was meant to achieve in terms of providing advice for the question I posted here.
 

Gurby

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Messages
1,982
Reaction score
5,644
RE tuition, at HES the 4-credit science courses will run you $1400 a pop. You'd be taking 4 courses so $5600 total (wouldn't be surprised if this went up to $1500/class by the time you take them, I think it was $1250/class when I started).

If you took summer Gen Chem 1+2 that's actually through Harvard Summer School which is 2x as expensive and will run you around $6000 for the 8-credit course. So probably around $12,000 out of your pocket once all is said and done, not including living expenses which can be considerable in Boston. You probably still come out well ahead of any of the other name brand post-bacs, though.
 

WGSgrad

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
273
Reaction score
198
Well this post has a lot of assumptions about my life and I really don't need to justify myself. But I'll go ahead: If I want to complete my pre-med courses, since I've already completed both an undergrad and a master's, at Canadian schools I would need to complete them as a "Non-Degree Student". As a Non-Degree Student, you are not eligible for any financial aid to cover tuition for these courses, so I would need to pay for them out of pocket. I am not in the financial position to do so: I already have $30,000 of student debt that I am trying to pay down while living in the most expensive city in Canada. HES is eligible not only for financial aid but also loans from banks in Canada.

I'm considering taking a course or two over the next 15 months maybe to help reduce my future course load at HES, but I haven't decided yet. I work 50 hour weeks with maybe one lunch break during that week. I have a podcast that I research for. I'm training for a marathon. I'm trying to get volunteer opportunities. I don't have a lot of free time as is, I'd rather dedicate myself fully to something when the time is appropriate, like when I'm completing a certificate program at HES.

Further, I'm less competitive for American medical schools as an international applicant than if I apply as, essentially, an American. My husband is a dual-citizen, has never lived in the US, and is not a resident. We both very much like Boston and would like to live there, or close to there (even as far as Providence, which we both like very much as well). $11,000 for tuition doesn't seem so bad (at HES), especially compared to the other post-baccs I was looking at like JHU, Bryn Mawr, Goucher, Northw
estern, Columbia, etc.

And I'm sorry if I've gotten my back up a bit, but I came here to ask a specific question and this wasn't exactly helpful. I'd like to take some informal free online courses that would help me sufficiently study for the MCAT alone, not to replace my pre-med pre-reqs, or at least to help familiarize myself with the material (and my own weaknesses with the material so I can address these) before I begin the post-bacc at HES. I'm looking for people who can vouch for some quality courses that they've taken. I'm not really sure what your comment was meant to achieve in terms of providing advice for the question I posted here.

1) People often come to SDN to ask very specific questions...and then it later turns out that there is additional information that might have be pertinent to their situation and/or changed the advice that they received.
2) I'm sorry you felt my asking additional questions was intrusive. It is my nature to ask questions, in an attempt to get a better understanding of not only the question being asked but why it's being asked, particularly if there appears to be a conflicting information: "I'm also hoping to find something that's either affordable or free." As this would seem to exacerbate interactions between us, I can promise that I will never respond to any of your threads or post again.

Best.
 
Top