Post-bacc vs. Master's Program. Pros and Cons

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by JJP919, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. JJP919

    JJP919 Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2004
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    I'm in a spot between two different choices. I was wondering if I could get some knowledge from people that probably know a bit more than I do.

    I graduated already with my B.A. in Neurobiology from UC Berkeley. My grades aren't that stellar and are pretty much the only thing that is keeping me from getting into med school. MCAT is awesome (36P composite) and I have a load of volunteer and research experience under my belt. But it's not enough. All of the people that I have been talking to (admissions counselors, pre-med advisors, med schools, current students) tell me that my only fault is my GPA. Which is why I've chosen to go back to school and improve my GPA before wasting more money on the application process.

    I'm currently enrolled as a non-matriculant student at the University of Utah (U of U). I'm basically going to take upper division science courses over a year's time and use those to hopefully improve my GPA. Since those classes are undergrad courses, I would assume that they would be used to improve my GPA from UC Berkeley.

    My next choice is I was accepted into Drexel's Master's of Forensic Science (MFS) program just this past friday. 18 month course that grants a certificate at the end. Relatively young program that just started in 2005. There are people currently in the program that are in the process of applying to med school.

    What I'm wondering is, which program would be best suited to what I want to do, which is get an end result that would help my med school chances. Will my grades from the MFS program be used to bolster my undergrad GPA or would they be considered separately? Would my grades from the U of U not be considered as high since I'm not in a specific program and just taking classes on my own?

    Anyone want to chime in on this or at least point me to some posts that may help me out? Any help or knowledge would be much appreciated.
  2. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
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    Attending Physician

    Grades from the MFS program will not be used to bolster undergrad GPA, as the combined number (UG GPA + Postbac) does not include graduate level courses; it would include your U of U classes. So the UG GPA will still stand alone if you do the program. I know nothing about that MFS program, but suggest that you find out more about how much success that Drexel program has had in getting folks into med school. Is forensic science even a feeder for med school? Places like Georgetown SMP may be more advantageous not only due to their track record, but also because they are a known commodity to med schools -- a new Drexel program might not be.You didn't give us a sense of grades, which might make a difference in this analysis. Bear in mind that in the extreme cases, folks have had to do both additional undergrad and graduate level programs to rehabilitate (which would be unfortunate in your case as you might need to redo the MCAT if too many years go by)..
  3. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2001
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    First off, isn't this thread already active...well over 2 pages now... in the other forums? (
    Therefore I suggest merging these threads or just having one thread. Anyway please see my response in the other thread about the pros and cons of post-bacc vs. masters.

    I also have to second this.....I will have to retake my MCAT in a year or two. Hopefully I'll get the same score or better :p

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