Post Bac Certificates Useful? Informal Post Bac Graduates Regretting?

Dayzed00

10+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2008
18
0
Status
Non-Student
Hello,

As I am looking into formal post bacs to complete med school prereqs (specifically organic and inorganic chemistry, humanities(?), and biochem), I realized the programs I'm interested in require at min of 18 mns to complete. Ideally, I would like to finish the prereqs and take the MCAT within a year.

Answers to the following questions is appreciated.
When applying for med school, how important is the post bac certificate/degree?
If I go with the informal, unstructured post bac route, what program would I apply to? Let's say Columbia, or NYU or Drexel/Temple?
Could I join the MCAT preps? Would I have to pay extra?
I assume I will be out of the running for linkage programs?
For anyone who took the informal post bac route, any regrets? Any advice?

Most importantly, what are the advantages/disadvantages of going through formal post bac vs informal other than structured curriculum?
 
OP
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Dayzed00

10+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2008
18
0
Status
Non-Student
One more thing, could anyone just enroll in a class they need to fulfill the med school prereqs at JHU or NYU or Columbia without applying to a specific program? Is this even possible?
 

scarshapedstar

MD c/o 2016
5+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2010
1,126
15
Status
SMPs are usually structured as 2 ~16-hour semesters and you will have your hands full trying to take those classes while also finishing up your prereqs. And you probably won't be able to sign up for the real prize, the classes taught by med schools, as a non-degree-seeking student. You will also possibly find that some of your prereqs conflict with the most important SMP classes; they don't expect anyone to be taking them along with humanities, inorganic/organic chem, etc.

That said, I don't think schools specifically designate their non-med-school classes as "SMP only" and if you can register as a non-degree-seeking graduate student then you can give it a shot.

Overall though, I don't think your one-year goal is realistic. I mean, I wish I could have done my informal postbac in one year, but it wasn't even possible to schedule all the classes I needed in that timeframe, I needed 18 months. It sounds like you can finish all these prereqs in the next 2 semesters and then apply to an SMP. That's the by-the-book way to do this and knowing nothing else about your background it makes the most sense.

2 years may sound like a really long time but you want to get the best possible grades out of this. If you bite off more than you can chew then you will regret it for much longer than the one extra year. :)
 
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