Post BACC school: is REPUTATION impt. for getting in?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by calbear2002, Oct 4, 2002.

  1. calbear2002

    calbear2002 Junior Member

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    Hello all who have good advice,

    I just wanted to get some advice on what you think about post-bacc school reputation. I graduted from a good reputation undergrad with a lower GPA, and am now wanting to go back and do a post-bacc to finish up my pre-requ's for med school.

    I am wondering if it matters to medical schools where I do my post-bacc. Or, would it be the same if I go to a state public school rather than a big name Ivy league school like Harvard or Columbia?

    Thanks!:D
     
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  3. xaelia

    xaelia neenlet
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    There are definitely advantages to going to some of the more organized, reputable programs. I attended the Bryn Mawr College program, and some of my interviewers have been familiar with the program and have complimented me on its reputation. Additionally, one nice thing about some of these programs is that they do a lot of the legwork involved with gathering recommendation letters and mailing them out to all your schools.

    I don't know anything about Harvard's postbac program, but I have mixed feelings about Columbia; it takes two years, its really huge, and doesn't seem all that fun....
     
  4. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
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    I think the reputation helps too. The Hopkins Post-Bac program was started and directed by the former deans of admission of the School of Medicine. It's a well organized program that will find you both clinical and research experiences within the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

    http://www.jhu.edu/postbac/

    Good luck.
     
  5. Iron Horse

    Iron Horse The luckiest man

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    While in the midst of selecting a post-bacc program, I asked the associate dean for admissions at my top choice med school what he thought. He clearly stated that the most important factor was performance -- do well, don't worry about the name, to paraphrase. There are lots of programs out there and quite a variety of approaches. Bryn Mawr is very polished and they provide students with a lot of help through the admissions process. I chose Bennington for a number of reasons: unlike most of the programs I visited, it did not have a pre-med factory feel, they did have very small class sizes, research opportunites, liked the faculty/students, and they have a very successful history of placing students. Unlike Bryn Mawr, Bennington did not do much to hold your hand through the application process (other than provide recs, etc.) But I knew that going in and it was not a concern. In the end I could not have been happier (and yes, I got into my school of choice, thankfully).

    However, another woman who started in my post bacc class (three of us total) was miserable and dropped out after a year. She had not done any research prior to selecting the program and created a mess for herself that was avoidable.

    Do yourself a favor and do some research before choosing a program. Not all approaches/environments work for all. In the end I do believe that your performance and effort are the biggest keys.
     
  6. calbear2002

    calbear2002 Junior Member

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    Wow...thanks guys. This is helping. Iron horse, your input about the "performance factor" is good to know since I am debating between going to my local state university and Harvard post-bacc. I've heard some pretty good things about that. The only thing that I'm concerned about is that the classes are only at night and only once or twice a week. I wanted to take classes more like a regular student, but if the program is good, I wouldn't have reservations in going.
     
  7. rat-tickler

    rat-tickler Junior Member

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    i think the last poster has the right idea. do your research. i know that the bryn mawr post bacc program feeds students into several medical schools that they have arrangements with. also, for the past few years the acceptance rate into medical schools of bryn mawr post-bacs has been 100%. i know the program is pretty competitive and the committee only accepts people that they know they will be able to get into med school.
     
  8. pallhaco doce

    pallhaco doce Member

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    Hey, what is wrong with taking night classes? :rolleyes: I had to do my postbac coursework in a combo of night class and concurrent classes at UCLA. I did well in all of my classes and have had no problems getting interviews.

    I agree that doing well in class is going to matter the most. However, taking concurrent enrollment courses can be a big pain in the butt b/c if you take courses through extension, you get very low priority. Impacted classes (i.e., premed courses) are usually hard to add, so you need to be tenacious to get into these courses. Sometimes that does not even work, so it can be a drag. But for me, the biggest factor was cost -- tuition ended up costing about 1/4 as much as going to an official postbac program. Good thing because I spent all of that money and then some traveling to my interviews!

    Bottom line: research each program, but whatever choice you end up making will be the right one.

    Good luck,
    PD
     
  9. LoneCoyote

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    Hey Calbear,

    I am also of the opinion that it really doesn't matter a whole lot where you do your post-bac work. I have a friend at the Columbia Program and one at the Harvard Extension program. Both work at these repective universities so they are getting a significant discount on tuition and neither are very happy with the programs. They say the classes are too big, the teaching quality is not great, and that the level of competition among students makes the classes very difficult to deal with. Both are finishing the programs but have opted to do some of the classes at local state schools, and said if they could do it over they would not have bothered.

    I chose to come to a state school to do post-bac also and think that my experience has been better than theirs in some ways. It is definitely more mellow and you can get to know your professors easily since you are one of a handful of highly motivated students as opposed to one of an entire program. I also was not very worried about reputation since I went to a top 5 liberal arts college that will support my med school application. Cal would probably support you as an alum so you might not have to worry about finding a post-bac program that can do that.

    I'm not sure if you have looked at it, or are considering it, but I would suggest checking out the Cal State Hayward program. They have a formal post-bac premed program with seperate advisors. I looked at this program and met several students, all of whom were Cal grads looking to do prereqs or to raise their GPAs, and all were very happy with the program. The advisor seemed very helpful as well. I was planning to go there but decided, for a variety of reasons that had nothing to do with the Hayward program, that I needed to leave the Bay Area temporarily. So it might be worth a look.

    Definitely do your research and pick the program that seems like the best fit. I don't think the name will matter that much in the end. Good luck.
     
  10. md689

    md689 Member

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    On reputation: I don't profess to be an expert on how much it matters, but I will say that I have heard several interviewers across the country praise the Harvard Extension School program. It is widely recognized and well-regarded, as far as I can tell.

    On price: I'm a little confused about the price issue. Harvard costs $720 or so per class, including lab, so that the entire program, should you need all 8 lab courses, is $5760. The sponsorship fee is $500 and Dr. Fixsen is quite responsible, but as another poster pointed out, you can probably just go for free through your own premed advisor. You can take the classes on an as needed basis, which may amount to less than $5760. I won't claim this amount is cheap, but I have always regarded it as very cheap, comparably speaking.

    On instruction quality: It ranges from fair to outstanding. The biology lectures were superior; I would consider them on par or better than many lectures at my top 5 liberal arts alma mater. The organic chemistry lectures were also outstanding. I cannot vouch for the other courses, which I believe receive more mixed reviews.

    On competitiveness: I never got the impression people were competing against each other at all. The atmosphere was very cooperative. I think it is completely possible to stay away from those types of people ... some of whom I think are everywhere.

    Good luck choosing. There is another thread on post-bacc programs too.
     
  11. phinicky

    phinicky Senior Member

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    Calbear,

    Have you considered the post-Bac program at Scripps College (one of the Claremont Colleges in CA). I was an undergrad there, and I know that there program is top-notch. The porgram is rather rigorous, and you do take classes, full-time, with undergrads. They have a few linkage programs with med school, so you can bypass the whole admissions program if you do well. Also, I know many people who did the program and got into top med schools. Also, I should mention that there are 5 people from the post-bac program in my med school class right now.
     
  12. calbear2002

    calbear2002 Junior Member

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    I should really visit this site more often! People seem very helpful :D

    Aside from suggestions about post bacc programs, I am now wondering (and am torn between...) whether or not to stay in Cali to do my post bacc at a Cal State Univ. while working and living at home, or to move to the East (something different that I've never done) and do a post bacc there. Perhaps somewhere like Harvard Ext. will save me some money over some other programs--although living there will not be cheap.

    What do you think?
     
  13. Patrick Noonan

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    To those concerned with getting all of the pre-meds reqs in a post-bac program, Goucher is an excellent place to consider attending. The Princeton Review medical school guide recently dubbed it "unparalled" in its success rate at getting students into medical school. For many reasons, it has made all the difference in my applying to med school-- a majority of the schools at which I have interviewed praised the Goucher post-bacc program as one of a few such programs which is not just "money-making machine" for the school. Indeed it does seem that a post-bac school's reputation really can help you.

    Look around though-- Bryn Mawr has a great reputation too as well as others. BTW, for the person who is wondering about Scripps' program, I urge some caution because I have 2 personal friends who had very bad experiences there within the last couple of years-- so be sure to talk to students from the program before committing.

    I can't say enough good things about Goucher, though.

    good luck!
     
  14. conure

    conure Master Distiller

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    I completed the post-bac at harvard and if you search this site you will find my opinion of it posted all over the place. In a nutshell I'm a huge supporter of it.

    But to move from Cali to do it? I'm not sure that would be the best call. Finding an apartment in boston sucks! Its expensive and when you find one it will be less then you hoped for. But there also are plenty of work opportunities medical experiences here in Boston.

    Like others I think performance outweighs prestige. I have a less than stellar undergrad GPA but with a high post bac average I have been fairing well this season so far (fingers crossed).
     
  15. futuromd

    futuromd Junior Member

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    For those of you who have/are attending Harvard's post bac...

    I've looked at the Harvard extension school web site, and I can't seem to find any info on how to apply for the program. Then, I read somewhere that it is an open-enrollment program...
    Does this mean that anyone can get in? Are there limited spots? Does anyone know the deadline for getting in?

    Thanks for your help!
     
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  17. conure

    conure Master Distiller

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    Call and leave your name and address and they will send an app.

    In short yes everyone can get in. It is not really "competetive". But there are thresholds that must be maintained in order to gain sponsorship. These thresholds will be in the packet you recive from them.

    Yeah pretty much unlimited I guess. The program is really self limiting. Meaning that a lot of kids don't complete it or ask for sponsorship from the committee.

    No deadline. Apply anytime, in fact you could enroll in the extension classes and begin taking them before you applied.
     
  18. futuromd

    futuromd Junior Member

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    Conure,

    Thanks for the info... I actually just recently requested the bulletin/application online.

    Would it still be worth doing (or how would med schools view it) if I decide to take classes but not get sponsored? Would it still be beneficial in terms of getting in to med school (assuming I do well in all the classes, of course)?

    Thanks again!!
     

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