jankodejenko

2+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2015
288
13
Status
Pre-Dental
Has anyone received or heard any information and/or personal stories from the UCBX. I have Ochem 1 and bio 1 to take next semester and wanted to know what I was getting myself into.

If you have any recommendations on professors, or about the legitimacy, anything would be appreciated. thanks.
 
Sep 27, 2017
9
15
Status
Pre-Medical
This is an old post but I wanted to reply since I'm almost done w the UC Berkeley extension post-bacc and found that a lot of the information here is old. When I was deciding on a post-bacc here's what I wish I knew:


Overall I am so, so glad that I chose Extension. I am a career changer and I completed the majority of my science coursework at extension. I am applying to med school this cycle. This review is for the in-person courses, as I have not taken any online ones.

Pros:

Excellent professors: Some are better lecturers, some less so, but almost all covered the content thoroughly and were sincerely dedicated to helping students learn. Some of the lecture courses were challenging for me as a non-science major, but the grading almost always felt clear and fair. Note though that since most classes are once a week, expect to do a good amount of homework/studying outside of class. I am studying for the MCAT now and feel super prepared based on the depth of content covered in my classes. Also most of my labs were excellent, many were on the UC Berkeley campus, so we were literally doing the exact same labs as regular Cal students, but with a professor rather than a TA. Professors I would esp recommend are Liu for anything bio, Strawn for ochem (the other prof is supposed to be good too), Grigorescu for physics and Samuelson for gen chem (not the most engaging lecturer, but uhmazing outlines and thorough).

Scheduling: I started the post-bacc when I was working full time and so the fact that all courses were offered at night, and most are once a week was huge for me. Also, you can take the lectures and labs separately, which really helped with fitting everything into my work schedule.

Small class sizes: most of my classes had 30 students or less. One had around 10. This made it much easier to get to know professors than at my undergraduate institution, and a few of my classes were run like seminars which was awesome.

Advising/support: the primary pre-health advisor is great. She has years of experience advising pre-meds and is extremely knowledgeable, accessible and supportive. You have to seek out the support yourself, but if you do, it's super accessible, my advisor literally has an online calendar where I can schedule appts w her anytime. Also the program offers seminars on topics like financial aid, personal statements, interviews etc which has been helpful for me since I was not a pre-health undergrad and am learning how to navigate the process now. A few of them cost $ which is lame, but they are super high quality and in my opinion worth it.

Cohort: extension seems to attract people who are working and/or have other life commitments, which slants to a slightly older and more diverse cohort than other schools in the area. I really appreciated getting to be in class with people who have had varied life experiences and are going back to school because they are truly interested in healthcare. While the program doesn’t have a “cohort feel”, it’s small enough that I ended up in multiple classes with the same people and a few have become solid friends and support through the application process.

Cons:

There are 3 campuses, Berkeley, San Francisco and Belmont. I live in Oakland and I was able to take around 80% of my classes in Berkeley, but I had to take a few in SF/Belmont because of scheduling issues. In all cases, there was a course offered in Berkeley, it just didn’t work with my schedule.

Bottom line:
Definitely consider Berkeley Extension for pre-health, especially if you are working or have other life commitments. It's not hyper structured but the support is there, which worked super well for me because it allowed me to go at my own pace and work at the same time. The classes are solid and there are some real gems of professors. I think it's an especially good fit for people who feel comfortable studying on their own and are fairly self-directed.

I'm also happy to answer any other questions students may have.
 

Premedgirl27

2+ Year Member
May 8, 2015
230
133
California
Status
Pre-Medical
This is an old post but I wanted to reply since I'm almost done w the UC Berkeley extension post-bacc and found that a lot of the information here is old. When I was deciding on a post-bacc here's what I wish I knew:


Overall I am so, so glad that I chose Extension. I am a career changer and I completed the majority of my science coursework at extension. I am applying to med school this cycle. This review is for the in-person courses, as I have not taken any online ones.

Pros:

Excellent professors: Some are better lecturers, some less so, but almost all covered the content thoroughly and were sincerely dedicated to helping students learn. Some of the lecture courses were challenging for me as a non-science major, but the grading almost always felt clear and fair. Note though that since most classes are once a week, expect to do a good amount of homework/studying outside of class. I am studying for the MCAT now and feel super prepared based on the depth of content covered in my classes. Also most of my labs were excellent, many were on the UC Berkeley campus, so we were literally doing the exact same labs as regular Cal students, but with a professor rather than a TA. Professors I would esp recommend are Liu for anything bio, Strawn for ochem (the other prof is supposed to be good too), Grigorescu for physics and Samuelson for gen chem (not the most engaging lecturer, but uhmazing outlines and thorough).

Scheduling: I started the post-bacc when I was working full time and so the fact that all courses were offered at night, and most are once a week was huge for me. Also, you can take the lectures and labs separately, which really helped with fitting everything into my work schedule.

Small class sizes: most of my classes had 30 students or less. One had around 10. This made it much easier to get to know professors than at my undergraduate institution, and a few of my classes were run like seminars which was awesome.

Advising/support: the primary pre-health advisor is great. She has years of experience advising pre-meds and is extremely knowledgeable, accessible and supportive. You have to seek out the support yourself, but if you do, it's super accessible, my advisor literally has an online calendar where I can schedule appts w her anytime. Also the program offers seminars on topics like financial aid, personal statements, interviews etc which has been helpful for me since I was not a pre-health undergrad and am learning how to navigate the process now. A few of them cost $ which is lame, but they are super high quality and in my opinion worth it.

Cohort: extension seems to attract people who are working and/or have other life commitments, which slants to a slightly older and more diverse cohort than other schools in the area. I really appreciated getting to be in class with people who have had varied life experiences and are going back to school because they are truly interested in healthcare. While the program doesn’t have a “cohort feel”, it’s small enough that I ended up in multiple classes with the same people and a few have become solid friends and support through the application process.

Cons:

There are 3 campuses, Berkeley, San Francisco and Belmont. I live in Oakland and I was able to take around 80% of my classes in Berkeley, but I had to take a few in SF/Belmont because of scheduling issues. In all cases, there was a course offered in Berkeley, it just didn’t work with my schedule.

Bottom line:
Definitely consider Berkeley Extension for pre-health, especially if you are working or have other life commitments. It's not hyper structured but the support is there, which worked super well for me because it allowed me to go at my own pace and work at the same time. The classes are solid and there are some real gems of professors. I think it's an especially good fit for people who feel comfortable studying on their own and are fairly self-directed.

I'm also happy to answer any other questions students may have.
I don’t have much to add after this- 100% agree! This program is great if you are self motivated and don’t need hand holding. For organic chemistry I would recommend jay Parrish if he still teaches.
 
Sep 27, 2017
9
15
Status
Pre-Medical
Its ~$1000 per class, regardless of whether the class is a 3 or 4 credit lecture, or a 1 credit lab (lectures and labs are separate and are each $1000)

Way cheaper than Mills, but more than CSU east bay and SF state, the other schools I was considering. Even though it's more expensive it actually ended up making way more financial sense for me because I was able to keep working almost full time through much of the program.

What was the cost per credit? Was it a huge factor that the program was mostly nights, weekends, and flexible ?