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Second BA to improve GPA...after getting an MPH??

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by UVABranch, May 2, 2007.

  1. UVABranch

    UVABranch one of 6000
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    Ok, so I've been working on my plan B (and c-f) just in case I don't get in this year. I have not so good stats and will be retaking the July 24th MCAT, but if I don't get into a post back program for this year (plan b), then I am going to take classes a la carte (plan c). With that said, I just found out that I'm only 13 credits away from another BA, or 19 away from a BS. This one would be in Bio, my first was Psych (circa 2000). Does it make a difference if I "officially" get another UG degree (specifically in Bio)? Or just that I'm taking the classes and doing well? Or should I focus on trying to get into a Postbac and forget the 2nd BA? Any thoughts are appreciated!
     
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  3. UVABranch

    UVABranch one of 6000
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    OH! I forgot, and I'll be finishing my MPH this summer with a MUCH better GPA :D
     
  4. armybound

    armybound urologist.
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    I really don't know if the extra degree would put you at a 1+, but as long as you're taking classes it might as well go toward something. This is why I got a MS instead of doing a post-bac
     
  5. lina123321

    lina123321 ralph: im a unitard
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    for a second BA, do u still qualify for financial aid (ie perkins, etc..)?
     
  6. UVABranch

    UVABranch one of 6000
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    I don't know...but in my case I work for the school, so I get tuition benefits. If the school considered you a "degree seeking student" then you should be eligible for aid. Waht types would depend on specific circumstances I assume. For me its really more of a question of getting the official degree versus taking classes randomly even if they don't count towards the degree. But I guess if I'm going to take the classes and spend the time I might as well get the degree if I can...
     
  7. UVABranch

    UVABranch one of 6000
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    any additional thoughts anyone???
     
  8. speedyE

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    Ignoring financial factors, I don't think getting an additional degree just for the sake of getting a third degree is going to make you any stronger of an applicant. If you were going for something completely unrelated, like say history or english, then it might be worthwhile. That would make you a little more well-rounded. Also, like armybound said, an advanced degree would be similar (and you already have one of those with your MPH!).

    My advice would be take upper division classes in areas where your UG gpa is weak. If that is biology, then take the biology and you might earn the degree anyways. However, if you struggled in gen chem, take some other chemistry courses and don't get caught up focusing on a bio degree that won't matter.
     
  9. diosa428

    diosa428 SDN Angel
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    Yeah I don't think you necessarily need another degree, but if you're going to take the classes anyway, it wouldn't hurt. Also, isn't there some thing about how grad classes aren't counted in your undergrad GPA when you apply or something? And that's why people do a post-bacc, because the grades count in your ugrad gpa. So taking more classes towards an undergrad degree may help. But I don't really know the logistics of this, so maybe someone that does can chime in.
     
  10. holafarita

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    my hunch is that an extra bachelors degree won't do much at all for you. depending on your EC's, rounding them out or getting another masters would be your best bet. if your BCPM gpa is hurting, that changes things...depending on how many science classes you need to raise it, it might make sense to get an MS. if you only need a few classes, just take em and fill the rest of the time w/ work/volunteering or something else that will look outstanding on your app.

    imho i don't think another bachelor's will help, though.
     
  11. MSKalltheway

    MSKalltheway I got the magic stick
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    It is true that taking more undergrad classes will count towards your undergrad GPA, in your case working towards a second degree. The degree won't matter as much as the grades behind them. I will say though, in both my case and a friend of mines, we received a dual degree (a separate piece of paper, not just another major which I often have to explain :)). I can't say that the extra BS didn't help me, it likely did and probably resulted in interviews I otherwise would not have gotten. I was bio/psych and the psych degree added another dimension that bio alone wouldn't have provided me. In my friends case, it was THE REASON he got off the waitlist at the only school he was accepted to. The dean told him straight up that it showed he was willing to put in the extra work for the extra paper, although he didnt have to.

    Now getting the BA vs the MPH? I think the MPH will look better to adcoms. It may not count towards your undergrad GPA, but its not like they wont see the grades, you may still have to report them. That and the extra training is always a plus. A good number of my classmates have MS's and MPH's. If I were in your shoes, if its not a burden on your finances or time, I would say to actually get the second BA (or BS) and finish up your MPH...that is if you can do well in all the remaining coursework. If you get a high GPA with whats left, it shows adcoms that you are willing to take the extra step to learn more and that you are highly motivated (which you need a lot of that in med school and beyond, its a lot of self-motivation and study).

    So if you have to choose, id say the MPH over the second bachelors. Me personally? I would do both if I could...I plan on getting an MPH someday, and it just feels really nice to look at two degrees on my wall instead of just one, there is no loneliness :D Either way, be prepared to explain why you took the path that you did, that is most important (they dont need to know you had a choice necessarily). Like other posters said, if you're going to take classes, you might as well get something from it when you can, whatever that something is. Good luck to you!
     
  12. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator
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    I agree with some of the sentiments here. What adcoms will see is this 1) you graduated with your psych degree 2) then you went away for two years to get your MPH 3) then you come back to undergrad to get another degree for some 13 credits

    This has several connotations 1) don't be labeled as the "career student", or the degree hoarder. If you plan on getting a MS with a special masters program or postbac, having yet another bachelors degree will make you look like you are spending your career getting degrees. Stay away from this 2) Getting a second degree with only 13 degree hours won't be too impressive. Whereas if you had gotten the second degree while in college, it would look more impressive to an adcom, now they would only see that you only needed 13 hours to get your second degree- so the challenging nature of getting the second degree is no longer as impressive as having two degrees after 130+ credit hours in your undergrad. Stick with a SMP if you need to improve grades. Some people do go back to take an extended year of a la carte advanced sciences and subsequently get into medical school but these tend to be loaded with 30+ credit hours over the year.

    EDIT: Also something to keep in mind: will that second degree mean much in terms of finding a job or career in the instance that medical school does not pan out? If you're getting it for the sake of getting it, you may find it to be helpful to consider how certain degrees can help you in your future planning.
     
  13. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator
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    I believe he is already nearing completion of his MPH already. His question was to go back to college after finishing his MPH.
     
  14. Critical Mass

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    Grad grades or the existence of an MPH will help you none in the eyes of an adcom if your numbers aren't good enough for admission.
     
  15. MSKalltheway

    MSKalltheway I got the magic stick
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    I understand the other ways this could be viewed. To the OP, I think its important to ask yourself why you would get the degree. Are you doing it just to try to look more impressive to adcoms? I dont think it would be necessary for you to then get the second bachelors degree. Is it something that you just want for yourself, for your own personal sense of accomplishment? Then go for it. The point I want to make is that everything that you do could be potentially be questioned, so if you go on an interview and are asked why you went back for the second undergrad degree, be prepared to give a good answer as to why.

    I dont think there is anything unfavorable in finishing the degree if you want to. It could be argued that any extra education (like an MS or an MPH) is superfluous because you could always learn the skills you get from those degrees elsewhere with just your MD. You can never cover up an unfavorable performance in undergrad, but what is important is that you do something more to show your improvement (doesnt matter what), and be able to say why what you have done is a welcome addition to the school and to medicine through your personal statement(s), LORs and hopefully interviews.
     
  16. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    The additional credential probably won't make much of a difference for med school, but it's probably worth getting for this reason alone. If the med school thing doesn't pan out, you always will have another degree on your resume which might open a door or two.
     
  17. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    And BTW it's postbac without a k (short for post-baccalaureate), in case you are writing it on anything applicaiton related.
     
  18. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator
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    Although I wonder if the differences between a psych and bio bachelor degree are going to be different enough to confer much of a difference in terms of alternative career plans versus a M.S. or using his MPH (in which I would presume his college degrees wont count for much). OP, also take a look at the cost(s) of going back to undergrad for a year
     

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