question about mph vs. science masters vs. postbacc

dblue10

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May 30, 2008
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(i know there are threads similar to this out there, but i can't find them. sorry!)

hey all,
i've applied this cycle and haven't had any luck, so im making backup plans. i feel that a lot of what is holding me back is my gpa (3.3), so in my gap year i should probably do something that'll help my grades. i think an mph is something i want to do, but because of my gpa, im not sure if a non-bcpm-boosting program will help at all (so maybe i should look at hard science stuff). and since i majored in bio and took all my science prereqs, i think i can rule out some post-baccs. what do you all think?

thanks in advance!
 

ruraldr

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I would advise an informal post-bacc, taking some science classes that you haven't taken yet, but that would demonstrate recent science ability--eg: biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, genetics, etc...

This will affect your undergrad science gpa (unlike the MPH or science masters) and will probably cost less than either of those options...
 

dblue10

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what if i have taken all of those? haha

obviously, there are advanced courses in those areas (ex. biochem 2, upper level genetics courses, virology, immunology, etc.). so i assume you mean these then?
 
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RoyBasch

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I would advise an informal post-bacc, taking some science classes that you haven't taken yet, but that would demonstrate recent science ability--eg: biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, genetics, etc...

This will affect your undergrad science gpa (unlike the MPH or science masters) and will probably cost less than either of those options...
I think this is very sound advice. MPH and a science masters will not be computed as part of your uGPA and not given too much attention. Medical schools feel like they need a standard of comparison and they have opted for uGPA (I would disagree with the wisdom of this personally but I'm not an adcom) for the sake of simplicity.

A masters can be a sort of awesome EC-like activity, but if you're issue is GPA, you should address it directly. I agree with the poster above. a 3.3 isn't too low, if you can pull it up to a 3.4 especially with the "upward trend" by taking other undergrad classes I think that would be a good thing. Furthermore I think taking a post-bac which for you sounds like it would be very redundant isn't the best use of your time.
-Roy
 

ruraldr

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yes--I would advise picking up the next level of courses the are applicable--as you have mentioned. I would carefully look at those that will be considered by AMCAS as "Science" vs. non-science. This is often determined by the department they are taught in...
 

Mobius1985

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Apr 4, 2007
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I completely agree with the excellent advice already posted. Don't forget to keep building on your volunteerism/clinical experience, too. Three to four hours/week is fine, if you don't get a job in a patient care situation.
 

RoyBasch

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what if i have taken all of those? haha

obviously, there are advanced courses in those areas (ex. biochem 2, upper level genetics courses, virology, immunology, etc.). so i assume you mean these then?
These would be the sort of classes I (and I think the other posters) are talking about. However, if you do not want to take classes at this level, you can take ANY BCPM (biology, chemistry, physics, math) course to boost your GPA (science GPA in particular). So, you could start taking chemistry classes from the post-organic world like 300-lvl inorganic (usually not too tough), though I would personally stay away from Thermodynamics or Quantum Mechanics.

There are always science classes with fancy names and high level designations that aren't too hard because they are essentially discussion seminars of recent research. These classes are actually great, some of my favourite classes I have taken in college. Usually an easy A if you come to dicussion prepared and well-read on the material and there aren't exams or labs.
-Roy
 
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