• Set Yourself Up For Success Webinar

    October 6, 2021 at 2 PM Eastern/11 AM Pacific
    SDN and Osmosis are teaming up to help you get set up for success this school year! We'll be covering study tips, healthy habits, and meeting mentors.

    Register Now!

  • Funniest Story on the Job Contest Starts Now!

    Contest starts now and ends September 27th. Winner will receive a special user banner and $10 Amazon Gift card!

    JOIN NOW
  • Site Updates Coming Next Week

    Site updates are coming next week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Click the button below to learn more!

    LEARN MORE

Retake courses or take more advanced courses?

Getaclue23

Full Member
Apr 9, 2019
16
5
11
  1. Pre-Medical
I just graduated undergrad (like a week ago, underwhelming bc COVID) and I am trying to plan how to best use my time going forward-- largely I am trying to decide if it makes more sense to retake courses I did poorly in (struggled really hard first two years, but then had all As and Bs second two) or to continue to take more advanced courses that show the mastery of those concepts.
I had originally had the understanding that retaking may be a better GPA booster, but because AAMC and AACOM have you input all grades individually even if the average is shown for retakes on your transcript, I am now leaning towards just taking more advanced and interesting courses rather than spending a ton of money to sit through gen chem again.

I would love anyone's thoughts or experiences with continuing education post-graduation from under-grad in advancing their medical school application.

Thank you!
 

iHawk_MD

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2013
738
1,085
226
  1. Pre-Medical
I am currently doing a DIY post-bacc and have struggled with choosing classes as well. The advice that was given to me is to retake common prerequisites (i.e. Ochem, Math, etc) if you have a C- or below. Don't retake other classes unless you have been out of school for a significant amount of time (maybe 5+ years). I started my first round of PB classes before receiving this advice and ended up retaking a class I did mediocre, but not terrible, in, and luckily I got an A in that class but it (1) doesn't show much since you've already been exposed to the material and (2) looks really bad if you don't get an A. Instead, focus on upper level bio and chem courses like immunology, neuroscience, pathophysiology, etc.

Personally, I've been taking a look at traditional MS1-2 curriculums and trying to ensure I have covered everything in those lists. Just be aware that not all BIO listed courses will count for science GPA, for example pharmacology, which is typically in the med school curriculum, will not count (doesn't mean you shouldn't take it, just something to be aware of for pure sGPA boost).
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Getaclue23

Full Member
Apr 9, 2019
16
5
11
  1. Pre-Medical
Thank you!
I'm also considering programs like SMPs or other master's programs with a more defined structure- did you consider these in your journey? And if so, why did you choose post-bacc over MS?

I really appreciate the advice and insight- I know there is no 'right' answer or path, but it helps to have a little guidance.
 
About the Ads

iHawk_MD

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2013
738
1,085
226
  1. Pre-Medical
Thank you!
I'm also considering programs like SMPs or other master's programs with a more defined structure- did you consider these in your journey? And if so, why did you choose post-bacc over MS?

I really appreciate the advice and insight- I know there is no 'right' answer or path, but it helps to have a little guidance.
The main reason I chose a post-bacc over an MS or SMP is money - I didn't have much. Doing a DIY post-bacc allows me to take classes at night while still working a full time research job to pay for the classes and allows me to live with my fiance. I think an SMP can be a good option if you're looking for a quick, one-year fix, but I was happy to spend a little more time working and building the resume while taking classes and not go further into debt.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Getaclue23

Full Member
Apr 9, 2019
16
5
11
  1. Pre-Medical
The main reason I chose a post-bacc over an MS or SMP is money - I didn't have much. Doing a DIY post-bacc allows me to take classes at night while still working a full time research job to pay for the classes and allows me to live with my fiance. I think an SMP can be a good option if you're looking for a quick, one-year fix, but I was happy to spend a little more time working and building the resume while taking classes and not go further into debt.
OP, what are your undergraduate cGPA and sGPA?
Estimating a bit because I went to two schools but ~3.3-4 cGPA and 3.0 sGPA so definitely not great hence needing to do more class of some kind
 

GreenDuck12

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
2,107
2,271
226
  1. Medical Student
I would advocate for the postbac route with taking upper level classes. I agree that you should retake anything with a C or lower because many programs won’t count them. Outside of that, taking upper level classes will demonstrate your abilities more, impact your GPA, and hopefully give you a stronger foundation for the mcat. You need a few semesters of sustained academic achievement and a strong performance on the mcat. A 3.5-3.6 GPA is in striking distance for MD programs and you would be competitive for many DO programs as well.
 

Getaclue23

Full Member
Apr 9, 2019
16
5
11
  1. Pre-Medical
I would advocate for the postbac route with taking upper level classes. I agree that you should retake anything with a C or lower because many programs won’t count them. Outside of that, taking upper level classes will demonstrate your abilities more, impact your GPA, and hopefully give you a stronger foundation for the mcat. You need a few semesters of sustained academic achievement and a strong performance on the mcat. A 3.5-3.6 GPA is in striking distance for MD programs and you would be competitive for many DO programs as well.
Thank you for your response I appreciate it! My indecision with the diy-post bacc (which was my original plan) is that I am not sure how much would be actually needed to boost my GPA enough, so whether just having a new (hopefully much better GPA) in an SMP. As well as the cost. I graduated from a state school in my home state and had initially planned to do post-bacc there but found out that even taking undergrad level courses, you will be charged grad school rates (which really ads up after taking a few classes)... So I would be paying basically the cost of a master's with no degree
I am planning to take this year off entirely to complete a clinical internship and study for and take MCAT.
 

iHawk_MD

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2013
738
1,085
226
  1. Pre-Medical
Thank you for your response I appreciate it! My indecision with the diy-post bacc (which was my original plan) is that I am not sure how much would be actually needed to boost my GPA enough, so whether just having a new (hopefully much better GPA) in an SMP. As well as the cost. I graduated from a state school in my home state and had initially planned to do post-bacc there but found out that even taking undergrad level courses, you will be charged grad school rates (which really ads up after taking a few classes)... So I would be paying basically the cost of a master's with no degree
I am planning to take this year off entirely to complete a clinical internship and study for and take MCAT.
What I have been told by schools I have talked to and people on this site is that 25-30 credits of post-bacc is sufficient, assuming you do well (should probably be 3.9+) and do well on the MCAT. @Goro has a good guide for reinvention. Once you've demonstrated sufficiency academic reinvention, your MCAT is more of the deciding factor.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
About the Ads
This thread is more than 1 year old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.