SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Post Bac program vs. MS

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003], Apr 21, 2002.

  1. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member 7+ Year Member

    863
    1
    Apr 8, 2002
    I was just thinking what I was going to do in case if I get rejected from a med school next year. I was between choosing a Post Bac program or to earn a MS degree. I was thinking that an MS would be more impressive because if I get good grades there for the graduate level classes, it would be more impressive than getting an "A" in the classes I have already taken. Correct me if I am wrong. Plus you get a tuition reimbursement n grad school.
     
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. Green912

    Green912 10+ Year Member

    724
    0
    Jun 11, 2001
    My understanding about Post Bacc programs is that if you already have a science degree or have already taken the Med School prerequisites courses (BCMP's) then you're probably not eligable. If you choose the MS route just keep in mind that some schools will accept you while you're in the program with the stipulation that you finish before matriculating. It's fairly easy to get $ for an MS especially if you TA in which case the school pays you! Also keep the GRE's in mind. Most schools require you taking some form of the test.
     
  4. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    791
    1
    Jun 23, 2001
    there are pros and cons to both. i'll write more later when i have the time, but basically, the major con to getting a masters is that graduate grades aren't averaged in with your undergrad grades when your AMCAS GPA--the one that med schools use to screen and make decisions--is calculated, so if your undergrad GPA is low, getting a masters won't directly counteract it. but the problem with post-bacc programs (i believe there are some for people who have already taken the prereqs, but you can also just take random undergrad courses too) is that it is no guarantee of getting into med school, and if you don't get in, you walk away from 1-2 years of hard work with nothing to show for yourself (i.e. no degree) like you would have with a masters.

    too bad there is no search feature right now. this topic has come up many times.
     
  5. Green912

    Green912 10+ Year Member

    724
    0
    Jun 11, 2001
    Sandflea, Does AMCAS do anything different with the GPA calculation if you undergrad was 7 years ago versus a current graduate GPA. I understand that the Adcoms will weigh the current course work more heavily especially with a gap as long as mine. Is there any way to insure that the current grades are presented at the top of the list, or am I doomed to be screened via my undergrad? Thanks!
     
  6. lola

    lola Bovine Member 7+ Year Member

    3,849
    3
    Mar 22, 2002
    california
    Hey Green 912... I was wondering this too! I just took a look at the AMCAS instructions, and it seems as though my undergrad GPA is going to be way lower than I expected :( This is mainly due to 2 B's I received my senior year in upper level Chemistry classes that will get averaged in with my pre-med courses. The grades were really not even fair grades, but that's another story. In graduate school I did much better. Will this be taken into account? I didn't realize the grad school grades would not be averaged in with the BCPM GPA.
     
  7. Green912

    Green912 10+ Year Member

    724
    0
    Jun 11, 2001
    I honestly don't know how it's going to play out and I'm actually pretty worried about it. I had a "C" average as an undergrad (7 years ago, partying etc..). Currently though I'm happy to say I've pulled my act together and have a 4.0 Grad GPA and tons of relevant EC's. The answer I get from pretty much everyone, including a Med School Asst. Admissions Dean, is that they'll be interested in my current grades and how I'm doing NOW not years ago. That sounds great but I keep hearing about the "pure numbers screening". I hope that doesn't preclude them from ever even getting to my current "numbers". Hopefully they list the two GPA's seperately but side by side. I dunno. :confused: :confused: :confused:
     
  8. lola

    lola Bovine Member 7+ Year Member

    3,849
    3
    Mar 22, 2002
    california
    Maybe we should post this question with a different topic name? Are you sure grad school courses don't get averaged in with BCPM?
     
  9. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    3,398
    15
    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    For last year's AMCAS the graduate GPA was entirely separate from the BCPM and undergraduate GPA's. The GPA's that are reported include a TOTAL GPA, BCPM GPA, and ALL OTHER GPA for each of freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior, postbaccalaureate, and cumulative undergraduate. There is a separate graduate GPA and it is not broken down into BCPM, ALL OTHER, etc.

    Green912, if I were you I would be sure to apply to lots of schools. If your undergraduate GPA is less than a 3.0 many schools may screen out your application right away. Also, don't neglect looking into ostepathic medicine. Although admission to osteopathic schools is more competitive than allopathic schools, they tend to look past the numbers.
     
  10. Lavndrrose

    Lavndrrose Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    802
    0
    Feb 9, 2002
    No...grad school courses DO NOT get averaged in with the BPCM. As I've been informed, Admissions Committees are well aware of grade inflation in grad school. Therefore, your best bet is to take heavy loads of upper division undergraduate science courses.

    What I don't get is...how come a lot of students don't know this? :confused:
     
  11. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    791
    1
    Jun 23, 2001
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Lavndrrose:
    <strong> What I don't get is...how come a lot of students don't know this? :confused: </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">no one knows this because no one actually comes out and specifically tells you this. the fact that grad degrees won't get averaged in with undergrad on the AMCAS app is something i noticed when i filled out the AMCAS app, but it didn't become really apparent until the application process went on. some schools recalculate their own GPA taking grad school into account, but this isn't the majority and the AMCAS GPA is generally considered the gold standard. the BCPM GPA that adcoms use to screen and make decisions is calculated only from undergrad classes. if your undergrad GPA is very low, then the thing for you to do is to take a whole bunch of upper-level undergrad science courses to boost your GPA up--this also applies if your undergrad grades are pretty old, because it would address the issue of what you can handle as a student today. it's dumb, especially since grad-level courses would speak more directly to your ability to handle med school work, but that's the way the game is played.
     
  12. Green912

    Green912 10+ Year Member

    724
    0
    Jun 11, 2001
    Thanks for the info everyone. I guess lola when it comes down to it the decision is still the same: apply and try your best. I was actually filling in some of the info for that part of the AMCAS app a little bit ago and it does seperate Grad from Undergrad careers. At least the contrast will be evident even if the BCMP's are seperate. The second best "revenge" as stated by the Admissions Dean is to do well on the MCAT. We'll see this August.

    I have to take exception to the above post about inflated Grad grades. It's been my overwhelming personal experience that to do well in Graduate courses takes a tremendous amount of effort. If you do entertain the idea that Prof's hand out B's just to pass a Grad student then they get to apply with a whopping 3.0. Professors however tend to take their work, research, and careers very seriously. I doubt many of them, at least where I'm at, would radically compromise their integrity and reputation by handing out undeserved grades. :mad:
     
  13. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    791
    1
    Jun 23, 2001
    actually the idea of graduate grades being inflated is pretty well-accepted, and as a graduate student, i would totally agree with this. it doesn't mean at all that grad students don't work for their grades, just that the atmosphere and attitude in grad school is different and profs aren't looking to weed you out, not when they've invested faith, time, and often money (i.e. research funds) to have you in the program. in my program you really need to *try* get to get below a B--a C is really equivalent to an F. because of this, a grad GPA of 3.0 is really the kiss of death when it comes to med school admissions, much more so than a 3.0 undergrad GPA, which in many cases can be way more difficult to attain. no insult is intended--it's just the way grad-level grades are viewed. you just deal with it and move on.

    unfortunately one thing that i've noticed is that a stellar MCAT score still won't totally make up for a low undergrad GPA. they call the MCAT the great equalizer and all, but nothing changes the fact that your GPA is still the number-one most important factor in getting into med school.
     
  14. Lavndrrose

    Lavndrrose Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    802
    0
    Feb 9, 2002
    Well, I've been informed by an Admissions Advisor that generally speaking, the mean in grad courses is a "B", whereas the mean for undergrad courses is a "C". I've seen many times on this forum that Grad students are told to go back and take undergraduate courses...even though they may be teaching undergraduate courses themselves. That's just my advice, take it as you will. Good luck!
     
  15. Lavndrrose

    Lavndrrose Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    802
    0
    Feb 9, 2002
    I agree with you Sandflea...
     
  16. lola

    lola Bovine Member 7+ Year Member

    3,849
    3
    Mar 22, 2002
    california
    I definitely agree that grad school grades are inflated. They practically gave away A-'s at my grad school program. Getting an A was much more difficult, but an A- was not hard at all for most classes. No one got below a B in most classes. There were a few courses that weren't quite so inflated that actually gave a few C's and F's, but for the most part teachers gave A's and B's.
     
  17. Green912

    Green912 10+ Year Member

    724
    0
    Jun 11, 2001
    Holy crap! I hope I don't get told something like that. I guess there's no clear path for someone returning after awhile. You could probably find success stories either way. I hope Ohio favors the MS route because I'm pretty committed at this point. Thanks for the advise, experience, and hearing me vent.
     
  18. lola

    lola Bovine Member 7+ Year Member

    3,849
    3
    Mar 22, 2002
    california
    Hey Green 912, I just wanted to write and say I hope that our words weren't discouraging. While most graduate programs are known for grade inflation, perhaps not all inflate grades. Also, if you have a 4.0, you must be doing quite well. Even if the grades are inflated, not getting any A-'s or other grades is a real accomplishment. All you can do is study hard for the MCAT, put your application out there, and hope schools will take notice of your recent hard work. That's what I'm doing! GOOD LUCK!
     
  19. tater tot

    tater tot Member 7+ Year Member

    64
    0
    Apr 2, 2002
    new york
    i agree about grad grade inflation. i took a few grad classes--- all A's. it was work, but it was more black and white. did you study or not? no tricks, no weeding. grad programs want you to pass and do well, that's how there geared. in my classes, they didn't even give out C's or below. i think you'd get pulled aside and maybe plucked from the program if you're not hackin' it.

    my pre-med advisor told me the same thing. although i took undergrad classes starting 7 yrs ago, he said take MORE undergrad, due to the tough competition and weeding. although i feel like i'll be chasing my tail for another 2yrs, taking endless undergrad classes, I guess it makes sense. I'll need a higher gpa before i apply to ANY kind of school anyway. ( grad, med, PA...) that's in my case anyway. so i'll grin and bear it. :)
     

Share This Page