Post-bacc timeline, or how exactly this whole process works. Pls explain!

Dec 12, 2013
21
1
So first step is to attend a post-bacc program or DIY and get your science requirements. The goal here is to stay focused and get all As if possible. Right?

Second step would be to do well on the MCAT, or am I wrong?

Third step would be applying to medical school and hoping you are accepted somewhere.

I'm 22 right now and next summer I will be 23. If I can get into a post-bacc that starts in Summer 2014 (looking at Rutgers since I'm NJ resident.. hoping to speak with them this Tues/Wed), I can hopefully be done by Summer 2016. By then, I'll be 25. Now, I have a glide year if I do this, correct? Is this when I study for MCAT?

Finally, let's say I am able to focus (like I did during my final 2 yrs of UG) and do very well in my classes and manage to knock out a decent MCAT. What now? Do I go for SMPs to improve my GPA further? If I get a 3.75 average over my courses, I'll have a combined (UG + science classes) GPA of 3.43. If I get all A's it will be a bit better. When do I actually apply to medical school?
 

Goro

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Yup

So first step is to attend a post-bacc program or DIY and get your science requirements. The goal here is to stay focused and get all As if possible. Right?
Yup!

Second step would be to do well on the MCAT?

Yup.
Third step would be applying to medical school and hoping you are accepted somewhere.

Ideally, you should be studying for MCAT while still taking your post-bac. You should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Don't forget the necessary ECs.


I'm 22 right now and next summer I will be 23. If I can get into a post-bacc that starts in Summer 2014 (looking at Rutgers since I'm NJ resident.. hoping to speak with them this Tues/Wed), I can hopefully be done by Summer 2016. By then, I'll be 25. Now, I have a glide year if I do this, correct? Is this when I study for MCAT?



At that point, an SMP will NOT be needed. You'll have demonstrated to AdComs that you can handle medical school
Finally, let's say I am able to focus (like I did during my final 2 yrs of UG) and do very well in my classes and manage to knock out a decent MCAT. What now? Do I go for SMPs to improve my GPA further?

What is your current cGPA? sGPA? we need to see both of those numbers. Finishing all of your education with a 3.4 GPA is below avg for MD programs (think 3.6) but perfect for DO programs. For MD schools, you should aim for the low-tiers, your state school (if any) and all new programs. In time, invest in the MSAR and target those schools whose median numbers are close to yours.

If I get a 3.75 average over my courses, I'll have a combined (UG + science classes) GPA of 3.43. If I get all A's it will be a bit better. When do I actually apply to medical school?
 
OP
L
Dec 12, 2013
21
1
Goro you are very helpful. Thank you.

I have one more question and I hope you will bear with me.

As I mentioned in an earlier thread I created, I have a 3.23 UG GPA with a very good upward trend in final 2 years. I was on deans list, etc. got a ton of LORs from 300/400/senior proj professors.

I need some help figuring out my GPA according to the official requirements. I retook one class from freshman year and turned it around from a D to an A. How do I count this? Also, I had an F from freshman year dropped off my record because of the things I went through. I had tried to withdraw but couldn't because I was in hospital, etc. but they said they would exempt me from that grade.

If I get a 3.7-4.0 in science classes during post-bacc does that mean my science GPA is a 3.7-4.0? Will these grades be factored into my undergrad grades for a cumulative GPA? Because even with these grades factored in, my GPA will still possibly be quite low in the 3.4 range. I looked online at medical schools and even at the rank 100 schools I am below the median GPAs. What do I do then? If my GPA is low am I done for?
 

theseeker4

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Apr 20, 2011
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Goro you are very helpful. Thank you.

I have one more question and I hope you will bear with me.

As I mentioned in an earlier thread I created, I have a 3.23 UG GPA with a very good upward trend in final 2 years. I was on deans list, etc. got a ton of LORs from 300/400/senior proj professors.

I need some help figuring out my GPA according to the official requirements. I retook one class from freshman year and turned it around from a D to an A. How do I count this? Also, I had an F from freshman year dropped off my record because of the things I went through. I had tried to withdraw but couldn't because I was in hospital, etc. but they said they would exempt me from that grade.

If I get a 3.7-4.0 in science classes during post-bacc does that mean my science GPA is a 3.7-4.0? Will these grades be factored into my undergrad grades for a cumulative GPA? Because even with these grades factored in, my GPA will still possibly be quite low in the 3.4 range. I looked online at medical schools and even at the rank 100 schools I am below the median GPAs. What do I do then? If my GPA is low am I done for?
For MD schools, both that D and the retake for an A are counted toward your calculated GPA. For DO schools, only the most recent grade, the A, is counted

For the F, how does it appear on your transcript? Is it an F or a W? If it is an F, it will count toward your GPA regardless of whether your school counts it toward your GPA there. If you re-took the course, of course, only the new grade will count for DO schools, but both would count for MD schools.

Your science GPA for MD schools is any math, biology, chemistry, or physics classes. DO schools have a slightly different classification, that I won't try to explain for fear of getting it wrong. Any course in those departments you ever took at the college level will count toward your BCPM GPA (sGPA) for MD schools. How many of those classes do you have before starting your post-bac? They will all count, as will everything you take in those departments during your post-bac.

A number of medical schools will consider recent science coursework a lot more strongly than your overall GPA. Your total GPA will be seen and taken into account, but a person with straight B+'s through 4, 5, 6 years of college will NOT have as good of a chance as a person who did poorly early on, and then did several straight semesters of As. Additionally, even if you have a few poor science grades from earlier on, your sGPA is much more mobile than your cGPA, so getting a ton of A's in science courses will mean you might be applying with a 3.4 cGPA, but also a 3.7 sGPA. That 3.7 combined with a good MCAT will have a lot of schools pay more attention to you than if you were straight 3.4 across the board

You are a few years away from really having to worry about where you will apply, and how you do from now on will have a big influence on what your options are, but keep in mind that performing as close to a 4.0 as you possibly can from now on will give you the best chance you can no matter where you apply.
 
OP
L
Dec 12, 2013
21
1
Hi

Thanks for the reply.

The F is marked with an "E" next to it. I have no grade for it whatsoever and with the exempt it is not counted at all. However, it remains on my transcript I believe.

I took Calc I during my first year and got a C+ in it. Again, this was my rough time in life and I could have done better. I have a B+ in statistics. No science classes at all except an astronomy class that was listed as Physics 2xx... but I believe that doesn't count since it was really just memorizing the moons of saturn lol.

So basically, go for a 4.0 in post-bacc courses and kill the MCAT. Can I take more classes in addition to the science pre-reqs? can I take some easy classes to boost my GPA or is that considered to be in poor taste?
 

GreenMed

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Jan 21, 2012
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I'm 22 right now and next summer I will be 23. If I can get into a post-bacc that starts in Summer 2014 (looking at Rutgers since I'm NJ resident.. hoping to speak with them this Tues/Wed), I can hopefully be done by Summer 2016. By then, I'll be 25. Now, I have a glide year if I do this, correct? Is this when I study for MCAT?

When do I actually apply to medical school?
Hi Lego. You'll want to study for and take your MCAT before your glide year (or as early in your glide year as is possible for you), because the glide year is when you're applying to medical schools. The application process takes a year, with the primary AMCAS application, the secondaries, interviewing, and lots and lots of waiting. You'll need that MCAT score to apply. And you will need something else to do during that glide year too.

(Also, I expect your Astronomy course will count toward your science GPA.)
 
OP
L
Dec 12, 2013
21
1
Ah okay. Thx for your reply!

Do you think I can take more classes than necessary to boost my UGPA? In one of the astronomy classes (I took 2) I got a C+. The other one I got a B.

I want to repair my first 2 years GPA somehow. If I take the 10 courses required over 2 years, and then stay in school another semester and take like 4 or 5 easy-ish classes would that be allowed?

If I average a 4.0 over the 10 post-bacc courses, the astronomy classes will hurt my GPA as will my calculus 1 grade. I did all right in statistics (got a b+) but I need to repair those other 3 grades. A C+, B, and C+ averaged will hurt my sGPA quite a bit won't it? I believe it will be like 3.65...

That's not too good :(

I don't mind going to school for another semester or even two. If I am allowed to take more science or math classes to fix my GPA I'll do it.
 

Beandog

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Mar 10, 2011
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Ah okay. Thx for your reply!


If I average a 4.0 over the 10 post-bacc courses..
Not impossible, but that's a tall order.

A C+, B, and C+ averaged will hurt my sGPA quite a bit won't it? I believe it will be like 3.65...

That's not too good :(
It's really not too bad. I don't know what schools you are shooting for, but unless it's ivy league, you're right about average for state MD schools.

.
 
Last edited:
OP
L
Dec 12, 2013
21
1
Thanks for reply.

To be honest, I just want to get into a top 40/50 school. Any top 40-50.

Can I take extra classes beyond the 10 post bac? Is that allowed?
 

theseeker4

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Apr 20, 2011
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Thanks for reply.

To be honest, I just want to get into a top 40/50 school. Any top 40-50.

Can I take extra classes beyond the 10 post bac? Is that allowed?
As far as med schools are concerned, you can take as many classes in whatever you want. It will depend on what you are allowed to take at the undergrad you do your post-bac at. This will depend on their policies so you will need to check with them. As far as the best things to take to improve your chances in the eyes of med schools, go on to complete more upper-level science courses, mainly bio and chemistry, and get As in them.

To be honest, any US MD or DO school will properly educate you and will allow you to be a successful doctor. Why the focus on an arbitrary "top 40/50 school?" Understand that coming in what a lower GPA, you may be lucky to gain admission to ANY US MD school, depending on how you do in your post bac. There is a chance for you, definitely, but realistically you will not want to limit yourself to a narrow set of schools if your primary goal is to be a physician.
 
OP
L
Dec 12, 2013
21
1
Thx for the reply.

The only reason I had the "top 40/50" is to prepare myself. If I set that arbitrary goal, I can put my mind to it. I know I'm no ivy student, but if I pretend that's my goal even though I'll never get in, I will focus really hard.

I did that in my final 2 years of college. I had to shine. It was my only chance. And I did very well. I absolutely destroyed my 300/400 level courses, did well (A) in my senior capstone.

Its just motivation for me really. But you're right I should change my attitude. Be humble, be thankful.

I am gonna talk to my school (which doesn't come up on the official post-bacc list, but does offer all courses required) as well as other schools in NJ to see if I can do either a DIY post-bacc or structured program. Gonna take upper level classes too and destroy them. :D