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Post Baccalaureate Programs in Chicago

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by NiaSymone, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. NiaSymone

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    I graduated with a BS in Chemistry with a 3.4 GPA. I moved back to Chicago from Mississippi after graduation and started volunteering at Northwestern. I have been debating whether I should get a post bacc at Loyola or Northwestern. Which school will set me up for success? The reason why I feel I should get a post bacc is to better prepare me for the MCAT, entrance into a Chicago medical school, and my undergraduate GPA is too low. Or is there any other route that you may suggest since I already have a science background?
     
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  3. DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines

    DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines Pink Panther & Hope Diamond
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    I got into Loyola's post bac but I deferred to work and save up $$. I am also applying to Northwestern at the moment for Fall 2016 or Summer 2016 admission...but what I hear about Northwestern, it's super hard, but it will make your MCAT higher and you having a background in Chemistry might mitigate the extenuating factors that make it hell for the rest of us who haven't taken a single science or math course since high school.

    From what I've gathered thus far:

    Northwestern:
    Only nights and weekend classes
    Your cohort will be full of older nontrads - you don't take classes with undergrads
    Supposedly really hard, but that's a bonus for the MCAT
    On the quarter system


    Loyola:
    More established program
    You have to take classes with undergrads
    They advise you and get you a letter of committee
    On the semester system

    Honestly, I'd suggest a SMP - Special Masters Program - in your case since you already have a pretty decent GPA and it's in the sciences.

    Loyola has two SMP programs that might help you out:

    http://luc.edu/biology/mainmedicalsciences/

    Sorry, don't know how to find the other one, but that one's actually at Loyola's School of Medicine.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. NiaSymone

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    But SMP requires you to already have taken the MCAT at 25 or better (at Loyola specifically). I haven't even taken the MCAT at all. And thank you for your suggestion!
     
    #3 NiaSymone, Sep 5, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
  5. DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines

    DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines Pink Panther & Hope Diamond
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    Here's Loyola's other SMP program: http://ssom.luc.edu/physio/education/ms/
    It's taught at the School of Medicine and they say:

    "Students interested in attending medical school will be guaranteed an admissions interview at the Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine by achieving a GPA in the MSMP Program of 3.5 or higher and whose most recent MCAT score is 30 or higher. MCATs taken after completion of the MSMP Program must be taken within one year of completion of the program."
     
  6. DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines

    DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines Pink Panther & Hope Diamond
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    I guess that means you don't have to have the MCAT to get in. Just my two cents. I think a SMP would open a lot more doors for you, it's not like your GPA is the worst one out there and you already have a science background. A postbac isn't a degree, it's a certificate.
     
  7. NiaSymone

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    No, that doesn't mean that you don't have to take the MCAT to get in. When you look at the requirement, one must have 28 on their MCAT to apply. However there has been cases where they have accepted someone with a lower MCAT. And then that program is $40,000. Yikes. So that means I would have to study my but off in order to take the MCAT by May 2016. If I get a 30 or better, do you think I should just apply to medical school?
     
  8. DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines

    DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines Pink Panther & Hope Diamond
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    My second post was for the second SMP at Loyola's School of Medicine not the MAMS based in Loyola's Biology Department. That's what I was referring to regarding not needing the MCAT for admission. Did you check it out? Also, with the Loyola programs if you do well, you are guaranteed an interview at Loyola's Stritch School of Medicine.

    http://ssom.luc.edu/physio/education/ms/

    Most post bac programs will run you anywhere from 26K (Northwestern's certificate program) to 60K and up.

    Did you check out the Post Bac FAQs sticky thread in this forum? I'd rather have a Master's degree than a post-bac certificate if I was planning on shelling out any kind of cash to boost my GPA.

    I'm not an AdCom nor do I know your extracurriculars, languages, volunteer work, or racial background so I can only offer one person's opinion here. A person of non-Asian and non-White descent and/or an extremely disadvantaged background might have a better shot with your GPA and whatever MCAT score at applying this cycle.

    Also, FYI, I think the MCAT uses a different system now, I think a new good score is somewhere in the 525 range but I could be wrong ---- anyway, it's no longer the same range.

    Since you've stated you want to focus on a Chicago school, I believe there are 7 med schools (M.D., not D.O.) in the Chicago area. It might behoove you to check out their admissions requirements and a profile of the stats of the matriculating class to see where you need to be.

    If money is a factor, then just take the few upper level classes you need boost the GPA and fill in any pre-reqs needed. Take them as a Student-at-Large at the University of Chicago, Northwestern, or Loyola (you can take classes as a visiting student at ANY school, btw. Rush, UIC, Chicago State, NEIU, Concordia, Dominican, etc.) and pay for an MCAT class at Kaplan or wherever, since it seems the MCAT is what you probably need to focus on.

    If Post-Bac is what you want, be advised both Northwestern and Loyola both state their certificate programs are designed for students with no science background. SMP would probably be your best bet if you want a formalized post-bac type program.

    However, Dominican University has an interesting type of Post-Bac (it's $30,600) - where you can get a second bachelor's in BioMedical Sciences in a year and take upper division classes. Same with North Park University.

    Good luck.
     
    #7 DoctorDrewOutsidetheLines, Sep 6, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
  9. chicago_postbacc

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    This is a late response to your post regarding Post-Bacc programs in Chicago. I am currently finishing the Post-Bacc Certificate program (NOT the MAMS...Masters in Medical Sciences) at Loyola and would not recommend it. This program is intended for students who do not have previous science credits and shouldn't be considered by students looking for a grade enhancement program. The MAMS program at Loyola is well known and very strong.

    The Certificate program I participated in has no linkages, very little pre-health support (and the support that is offered is geared toward young, immature undergraduates, not career changers or older students), and classes with the standard undergraduate population. Be prepared for egocentric professors with little regard for their student composition. At nearly 30, I can't tell you how many times I was called a 'kid' by a professor, talked down too, and generally disregarded.

    The perk to the program is a composite letter from the pre-health committee - but as the semesters went by this felt less and less worth it. As a career changer or an older applicant, I highly recommend looking for programs that specifically cater toward your needs. I felt that this program was a money maker, and in name only.
     

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