Some Advice Please

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by jxr902, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. jxr902

    jxr902 Junior Member

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    Hi All,
    I am new to this form and I have some questions about whether or not I am an appropriate candidate for Post bac schools.

    First here is some background information:
    I entered the University of Maryland as an undecided freshman in the fall of 2003. I had by all means a rough first year- I failed out of school with just under a 1.0 GPA. My academic failures were due to social, personal, and acclimation problems. I petitioned to be re-instated; the committee decided that I needed to take 12 credits (in fall 2004) and get over a 2.5 in order to be let back in. I went to a community school and took 15 credits and got a 3.0 and was reinstated. I was forced to have a tough spring 2005 semester because I needed to retake all the classes I had failed (+2 other core requirements) my freshman year in order to stay in; these classes included (English1 (3credits), Bio1 (4credts), Bio2(4credits),and pre-calc (3credits)). I ended up getting straight C’s in all of those classes the second time around; and 2 A’s in the core classes. Coming into my junior year I was still undecided and had a 2.35 (Freshman Forgiveness). I changed my major to Kinesiology right before the fall semester started (UMD has one of the best Kinesiology undergrad and grad programs in the country). My junior year was a complete success; combining the Summer05, Fall05, Winter05, Spring06, and Summer06 semesters I got 50 credits of a 4.0 GPA. I took my 2.35 (Maryland UG GPA) and transformed it to a 3.3. Also these 50 credits were not easy, 24credits were 4 credit lab sciences (Chem1&2, A&P1&2, Neuromechanics, Motor Control), and then most of the rest were 300 and 400 level KNES major requirements + a few cores.

    I will be graduating in Spring 07 (on time) with a (130 credits)BS in Kinesiological Sciences, with a predicted UMD GPA of a 3.43. Additionally, starting this fall I am doing research in the Department of Kinesiology’s Cognitive Motor Neuroscience Lab, on the treatment of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) which will show up on my UG transcript.

    When I started my UG work I was pre-chiropractic; I had planed to switch into kinesiology (which is why I took bio 1&2 freshman year (they were requirements)), but my poor academic performance hindered that.

    Now, it is about time for me to start thinking about how I am going to get into an AAMC Allopathic Medical school (in mainland USA).

    I have been advised that the best route for me is to go to a Post bac program and take the remaining half of my pre-med requirements (orgo1&2, Physics 1&2, and Calc?) then take my MCATs and apply.

    My question is how good of a candidate I am for a prestigious Post bac program like Bryn Mawr or Goucher; or should I be aiming lower; if so how low? Also, at what point should I apply (ASAP when my GPA 3.3, or at the end of the fall when my GPA is conceivably .05 higher and my research physically shows up on my transcript)?

    Or, is Post bac not the right thing for me; would I be a better candidate of I did an MPH program + the rest of my requirements?

    FYI, my preference is to get into Bryn Mawr in the summer of 07 and try to take advantage of their consortal agreement with SUNY Downstate, how feasible is that?

    Here are some other facts about me that might help:
    - I am legitimately learning disabled; I have ADD, and an odd benign Visual organization problem. I also have a comprehensive paper trail dating back to 2nd grade, which probably will get me slightly extended time on the MCAT (if I choose to request it (I heard it might not be such a good idea to do so)).
    - From an academic standpoint, I have really gotten the hang of how to do well in an undergrad environment. I am able to fully compensate for my learning disabilities and have good study habits. I am confident that I can do very well once enrolled in a Post bac program.
    - Though money is obviously important, I am able to afford a Post bac program at a school like Bryn Mawr, and support myself during the glide year if necessary
    - My research this coming up year will most likely not result in a publication; the lab that I am in publishes quite frequently and is a fairly prominent lab in its class.
    - I have some excellent relationships with my professors and can count on some above average letters of recommendations.

    Thank you all for taking the time to read my lengthy but comprehensive academic history, I appreciate any advice I can get.
    If you require more information PM me; also if you think that I should talk to a professional advisor about my non-traditional situation please refer me.

    - Jason
     
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  3. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    You won't know how good a candidate for Bryn Mawr or Goucher you are unless you apply. It's not all that expensive to just send the application, so give it a shot. If they don't want you, they will let you know. There are other formal postbac programs out there too -- check out the postbac board. MPH makes no sense unless you plan to go into public health. It is really not a substitute for a postbac; Don't do it unless it directly fits into your intended career plans.
     
  4. jxr902

    jxr902 Junior Member

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    Thank you for your imput, it is appreciated.
    Does anyone else have any advice.
     
  5. dittozip

    dittozip Senior Member

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  6. Id do a PB or get a masters in a "Hard Science" (I dont mean difficulty level) I mean like one of the basic sciences. I did not so well my fresh year, I busted my ass to finish UG with a 3.8. To make up for the bad year i stayed at the school i was at and got a masters in molecular biology. It turned out to be good cause i got a publication out of my thesis.
    Just do your best man
    I think you will do fine
    It might just make it 0.5% harder now as it did me :D :thumbup:
     
  7. jxr902

    jxr902 Junior Member

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    So I have gotten some great advice from PM and the posters. So, given my academic history, and my current 3.3 gpa. If I want to apply to a post bac program when should I do this:
    A. As soon as possible (I don’t know when they start accepting applications for summer 07). If I apply ASAP before my Fall 2006 grades get applied to my transcript my GPA will only be a 3.30 and my research will not show up on my transcript (but I will include it on my app).
    B. By the end of December my GPA will (most likely increase to a 3.32), my research will appear on my transcript (UMD URAP) and I will have more volunteer work/work related experience. But will applying that late into the rolling process hurt my chances to get into a post bac program (possibly Bryn Mawr)(that starts in the summer)?
    C. Or should I wait even longer and apply after my winter mini session (4credits), when my gpa should be conceivably higher (maybe a 3.34) and apply for the Fall 07 start?

    I think my plan is to try and start a solid post bac program as soon as a graduate UG (may 2007). Any last thoughts, and more importantly any thoughts of when to apply?
     
  8. jxr902

    jxr902 Junior Member

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    Any takers?
     

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