SMP worth it for my situation? (Out of school for a few years)

anhnen5

2+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2015
44
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Pre-Medical
Hello everyone,

Graduated in 2015 at an average state school and planning to apply next year for the 2018 cycle. I recently spoke to my undergraduate pre-health adviser and he told me med schools may be concerned I'm out of school for too long and my pre-reqs may expire? I never heard of that before. So he said I should consider getting a masters or doing a post bacc program before applying.

I was wondering if an SMP, Post-bacc, and those certificate programs (like Georgetown, Temple, VCU) are worth it in this case? It's a lot of money to throw down if it's not worth it.

I'm gonna leave things vague just so I don't reveal too much personal information.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
 
Last edited:

P0ke

M3
2+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2015
429
584
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Medical Student
Hello everyone,

Graduated in 2015 at an average state school and planning to apply next year for the 2018 cycle. I recently spoke to my undergraduate pre-health adviser and he told me med schools may be concerned I'm out of school for too long and my pre-reqs may expire? I never heard of that before. So he said I should consider getting a masters or doing a post bacc program before applying.

I was wondering if an SMP, Post-bacc, and those certificate programs (like Georgetown, Temple, VCU) are worth it in this case? It's a lot of money to throw down if it's not worth it.

I'm gonna leave things vague just so I don't reveal too much personal information.

My GPA is 3.8, Science is 3.7ish

MCAT- 510 < my score < 515 (I took this in 2016 so it should be good for 2018?)

I'm an ORM. My EC's are pretty good imo. Not going to go into specifics, but lots of volunteering, shadowing, and clinical experience throughout undergrad as well as since I've graduated. Only thing I'm lacking is research experience which is what I'm doing this next year.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
That adviser should be fired. Pre-reqs don't "expire". Your numbers are too good for an SMP. Do something non-academic to build your application like volunteering or a clinical job while applying.
 
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Goro

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7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
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Hello everyone,

Graduated in 2015 at an average state school and planning to apply next year for the 2018 cycle. I recently spoke to my undergraduate pre-health adviser and he told me med schools may be concerned I'm out of school for too long and my pre-reqs may expire? I never heard of that before. So he said I should consider getting a masters or doing a post bacc program before applying.

I was wondering if an SMP, Post-bacc, and those certificate programs (like Georgetown, Temple, VCU) are worth it in this case? It's a lot of money to throw down if it's not worth it.

I'm gonna leave things vague just so I don't reveal too much personal information.

My GPA is 3.8, Science is 3.7ish

MCAT- 510 < my score < 515 (I took this in 2016 so it should be good for 2018?)

I'm an ORM. My EC's are pretty good imo. Not going to go into specifics, but lots of volunteering, shadowing, and clinical experience throughout undergrad as well as since I've graduated. Only thing I'm lacking is research experience which is what I'm doing this next year.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
So help me, if you go for an SMP with those excellent stats, i'm going to reach into your computer screen and smack you upside the head!

Invest in MSAR Online and start making up your list.
 

ChopinLiszt

2+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2016
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Pre-Medical
I've been out of school for over a decade and I've only come across 2 schools who said that prereqs expire (in 3-5 years) for their application. You're fine. Maybe you should refer your advisor to SDN for a refresher course - his advising prereqs seem to have expired.
 
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DBC03

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Dec 28, 2016
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I've been out of school for over a decade and I've only come across 2 schools who said that prereqs expire (in 3-5 years) for their application. You're fine. Maybe you should refer your advisor to SDN for a refresher course - his advising prereqs seem to have expired.
Ok, I won't lie - I'm dying to know which two schools!

OP - you have a solid GPA and a solid MCAT. If anything, do some additional volunteering on top of your research this year and it sounds like you should have some success.
 

ChopinLiszt

2+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2016
576
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Ok, I won't lie - I'm dying to know which two schools!
Cornell and UNC come to mind. I thought Cornell used to be a 5 year expiration, but their website says 10 years now. A few other schools used to have soft expirations (Jefferson at 5 years, a few others I can't remember) but most are dropping it lately. It's the whole "progressing to competency based admissions" thing. But any school will want to see some kind of recent science coursework.
OP, you really didn't graduate that long ago. Just don't let your mcat expire. ;)
 

DBC03

2+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2016
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Cornell and UNC come to mind. I thought Cornell used to be a 5 year expiration, but their website says 10 years now. A few other schools used to have soft expirations (Jefferson at 5 years, a few others I can't remember) but most are dropping it lately. It's the whole "progressing to competency based admissions" thing. But any school will want to see some kind of recent science coursework.
OP, you really didn't graduate that long ago. Just don't let your mcat expire. ;)
Haha - Ok, I actually couldn't apply to either of those because of those requirements. I thought maybe I missed two others! I was surprised that VCU wants ECs within a certain time frame. I'm thinking my ECs (which are strong only when considered together over the past bazillion years) will probably keep me out this cycle.

Moral of the story: Keep up the ECs.
 
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anhnen5

anhnen5

2+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2015
44
18
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for the responses everyone! I was really hesitant about heeding his advice, but you all really helped me trust my gut. I definitely didn't want to throw down $25k + for no reason. The reason I was concerned was because he said exactly what @ChopinLiszt said too "Schools want to see some kind of recent science coursework". I've been out of school for 2 years already and going to be 3 years when I apply so I thought I really messed up by waiting too long.
 

ChopinLiszt

2+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2016
576
1,266
Status
Pre-Medical
Yeah, I just don't think it would be considered too long. Show that you're still using your brain. Do well in your research gig, get good LORs, write great essays. Two years is not a long time. You could always call a few schools you're interested in and ask, though. But even if you need recent coursework, a few upper level courses at a 4-year would do the trick.
 
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