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Post Bacc or not?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by CWR, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. CWR

    CWR

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    I have posted my question in the other thread but since I got no respond I've decided to start a new thread; if anyone can give some thoughts about my situation I'll be very grateful.

    I am currently a graduating economics major with an ok-ish GPA (3.4), and I have my general biology and general chemistry done (at a JC, B and Cs). Here's the scenario: Should I go for a post bacc program or not? Is it going to be sufficient for me to just take my o-chem and physics at a 4 yr college, get some medical experience at the mean time, and score well on the MCAT (what I am planning to do)? I have talked to a health advisor about my plan and the vibe I am getting is that she feels this is not going to make me competitive enough even if I score REALLY REALLY high on the MCAT. Personally however, I am really leaning towards just D.I.Y. the rest of my prereqs and really study for the MCAT rather than a full post bacc because of obvious financial and time reasons. What should I do?
    Also, if I do end up just taking the 2 classes after graduation, will it be count towards my UGPA as well or is it only SMPs and post bacc that can enhance your UGPA?
     
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  3. spicedmanna

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Here's what I think: delay your graduation for another year and take the rest of your prerequisites and additional advanced science classes as a fulltime undergraduate student. Get all A's in full semesters. If you are applying to DO schools, you may want to consider retaking the prerequisites in which you didn't perform well, since AACOMAS has grade replacement. In either case, consider taking more advanced science classes. Study hard for the MCAT and rock it, scoring 30+, if possible. By staying a fulltime undergraduate student, you remain eligible for financial aid and you can avoid doing any costly post-baccalaureate, or SMP work. You can raise your undergraduate GPA as you also use your additional year to round out your ECs, get more clinical experience, etc. It's a good situation, in my opinion, if you aren't in a hurry.

    BTW, to answer your second question, all post-baccalaureate undergraduate work counts in your undergraduate GPA. If you want to raise your undergraduate GPA, you needn't enroll in a formal post-baccalaureate program, you just need to take additional undergraduate classes, which can be done informally, if desired. An SMP actually does NOT raise your undergraduate GPA; it is counted in your GRADUATE GPA instead. The advantage of an SMP is that it demonstrates your ability to perform well in medical school as you take many of the same classes as MS-1's and are graded on their curve.
     
  4. beanbean

    beanbean 1K Member
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    I agree with the above poster. If this is economically feasible it would be the best route. A year of full science courseload with A's is what your gpa needs. I would advise retaking gen chem or bio classes in which you received a 'C' at a CC or JC. In addition, Make sure you really know your gen bio and chem before moving on the the more advanced classes. You need to know this background material for the MCAT and to do well in advanced classes.

    If you do graduate, you may certainly do your own post-bacc. Just be sure to take classes at a 4 yr university and take a full load of classes each semester. Although the gpa is calcuated separately, it will still help your overall gpa and demonstrate you can handle the rigors of a demanding courseload.
     
  5. neurorat

    2+ Year Member

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    I think you also need to consider where you are applying. For example, Case Western will not accept science courses unless they are from a 4-year school.

    I took my post-bacc stuff at the same school that I went to for graduate school without enrolling in a formal program. With a summer course of Orgo I & II it took me a year to finish & I took my MCAT in August. I took biochem after I applied and it didn't seem to make a difference to the schools.

    I also found admissionsconsultants.com to be very helpful. They hooked me up with a member of Ohio State's medical school admissions committee (I am in Columbus but they have people all over the country). He went over each part of my application and was able to tell me what schools I have the best chance for admission. He helped me with secondaries and with mock interviews. He donated much more time to me than I actually paid for, which is nice, too:)
     
  6. Johnny_D

    Johnny_D Just strummin' away
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    I agree with the above posters. A full-time post-bacc program shows adcoms several things. First, it shows them you are committed to your goal. It is not easy to go back full-time. Second, it shows them you can handle a full courseload of science courses. A full-time post-bacc program is intense, with a full load of all science courses, which is similar (though not in complexity) to med school. If you can handle all of those credits at one time, it is a fairly good indicator that you will be able to handle med school.

    With your grades, you need to take them over. Remember, the schools will also look at your science GPA. You don't want any Cs.
     
  7. Kateb4

    7+ Year Member

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    Agree with spicedmanna... if you can delay your graduation for another year, add on a bio or chem minor and take the rest of your pre-reqs before you graduate. It dosn't do you any good to graduate now anyways. Also, in that time you can re-take any C's that you got in pre-reqs and if any of the schools that you are hoping to apply to don't take CC classes you can re-take those as well. I think that you can only get undergrad financial aid if you have not graduated, so that is another consideration, though I may be wrong and someone I'm sure will correct me. Best to check that out before hand.
     
  8. CWR

    CWR

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    Thanks for the opinions guys. Unfortunately, I have already applied for graduation so staying another year at my undergrad institution may not be possible. I know I have to show the adcoms that I can handle full science courses workload beyond just taking the prereqs (especially with my GPA), so I guess I will start looking into some possible post bacc that fits my needs. If not, I will take the remaining prereqs plus a few more upper-division bio classes myself at 4 year state college next year until I raise my GPA to a satisfactory level.
     

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