hurbong

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Hello, I've been lurking here for a while and now that I've seen some recent posts that are related to my situation I feel compelled to contribute.

I'm a recent graduate (12/03) from a UC with a BA in Biology. I had a rather bumpy undergrad experience and eventually graduated with a 2.75 GPA. However, my BCMP GPA and actual AMCAS GPA are lower due to some repeats of F's. Only within the past few months have I decided that medicine is the route I want to take with my life. I am now living in the Los Angeles area with a significant other, so moving is not an option. Therefore, my post-bac options are limited as I see it. In fact my options all seem to be informal programs at local universities. I can take courses at CSUN or CSLA as an undeclared post-bac student, or take classes through UCLA Extension. I have since decided that UCLA Extension is probably the right choice for me.

First of all I'm wondering if that is the right choice. I was hoping I'd be able to get into some regular session UCLA courses through the Extension concurrent enrollment program, but that seems like it may be a long shot since the lower division science classes are so heavily impacted right now. So now I am worried that actual UCLA Extension courses won't be as highly regarded (by adcom's) as the actual UCLA courses that I wanted to get into. I've seen a few people discuss UC Xtension options here recently (ie. LoneCoyote and gh) so hopefully there are some folks out there that can shed some light on this topic. Also, has anyone actually contacted a medical school and asked how they view Extension courses? Are they given less weight than the actual UC courses that they are equivalent to. Possibly even less weight than a comparable CSU course? Thanks for your help.
 

lktm831

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whoa.. you're situation sounds very similar to mine. i'm from the LA area too and too am considering a post-bacc program. well i'm waiting to interview/hear from some DO schools. but i'm preparing myself just in case. USC & UCLA both have MPH programs which I think would be good post bacc prorgams. rather than taking extension courses. pm me.. and maybe we can get our info together and see whats 'best' :luck:
 

Terpsichore

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Hi, this is my second quarter taking classes in UCLA so maybe I can be of help. I'm in the Extension Physics class that is being taught by a former UCLA professor, so I'd like to think that he expects the same standard from us as he did his former students. He grades on a curve just like in regular UCLA classes, and since almost everyone in the class is premed, you have to do better than these people to get an A.

I'm taking Organic Chemistry through concurrent enrollment though because Extension didn't offer Chem 14C in the fall. If you're planning to do the same, know that regular-session classes in the 14-series (for Life Science majors) usually fill up easily. I've heard that a number of students drop after a couple of weeks, but if you don't want to risk not getting in, do what I did and enroll in the 30-series for Physical Science majors. Although it's more demanding and three quarters long, you go much more in-depth with the material than in the 14-sequence. It is Organic Chemistry, after all.

If there's one thing I hate about concurrent enrollment, it's PARKING. Seven bucks a day, and no in-and-out privileges, for crying out loud.
 
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hurbong

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Terpsichore said:
Hi, this is my second quarter taking classes in UCLA so maybe I can be of help. I'm in the Extension Physics class that is being taught by a former UCLA professor, so I'd like to think that he expects the same standard from us as he did his former students. He grades on a curve just like in regular UCLA classes, and since almost everyone in the class is premed, you have to do better than these people to get an A.

I'm taking Organic Chemistry through concurrent enrollment though because Extension didn't offer Chem 14C in the fall. If you're planning to do the same, know that regular-session classes in the 14-series (for Life Science majors) usually fill up easily. I've heard that a number of students drop after a couple of weeks, but if you don't want to risk not getting in, do what I did and enroll in the 30-series for Physical Science majors. Although it's more demanding and three quarters long, you go much more in-depth with the material than in the 14-sequence. It is Organic Chemistry, after all.

If there's one thing I hate about concurrent enrollment, it's PARKING. Seven bucks a day, and no in-and-out privileges, for crying out loud.
Although I must admit that I didn't know the Extension Science courses were full of premed students, this still matters very little unless the adcom's at the various med schools I will be applying to know this as well. After all that is the only opinion that matters in cases like ours. What I am afraid of is taking all these pre-reqs and paying all this $ for these Extension courses that will ultimately be scoffed at by adcom's. Common sense tells me that people assume "extension" means similar material but less expectation out of the students since they are likely older adults and are just taking the courses for enjoyment. Now whether the adcom's know this to be false or not is what I am interested in. Especially since the UCLA Extension isn't a well recognized and regarded formal program like Harvard Extension for example. Have you or any of your classmates heard from actual med school admissions on how they view UCLA Extension courses? I already have enough question marks on my app's due to my horrendous undergrad record, so I need to make sure there aren't any in my post-bac career. :)

About the chemistry sequence, I just recently enrolled in the 14A, 14B/14BL (regular session) sequence for this summer. I'm hoping I will be able to finish with 14C/14CL, and 14D in fall and winter through concurrent enrollment (especially if 14C isn't offered through Xtension in fall like it wasn't for you). I already have a lot on my plate so I'd rather not venture into the 30 series, but how difficult would you say concurrent enrollment is for these 14 series pre-reqs? How about for any of the other pre-reqs? I know the classes fill up before the quarter starts, but how soon do seats that would be available to me open? Any idea? Any help is appreciated and good luck in your undertaking. All of the info you can give me on Extension in general I am truly thankful for.
 
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hurbong

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lktm831 said:
whoa.. you're situation sounds very similar to mine. i'm from the LA area too and too am considering a post-bacc program. well i'm waiting to interview/hear from some DO schools. but i'm preparing myself just in case. USC & UCLA both have MPH programs which I think would be good post bacc prorgams. rather than taking extension courses. pm me.. and maybe we can get our info together and see whats 'best' :luck:
I spent a fair amount of time a few months ago looking into local graduate programs that would be beneficial to me in my ultimate quest for med school admission. However, there were several things that made me redirect myself toward a post-bac focus on the med school pre-reqs. First of all, my GPA is below the minimum requirement for acceptance into a UCLA or USC grad program. Secondly, I have yet to even take any GRE which is typically required for grad school. And lastly, from what I have gathered, someone in my situation that has done fairly poorly in their undergrad in the med school pre-reqs is best suited to retake them as a post-bac student. Otherwise I would have adcom's just foaming at the mouth waiting to ask me how my MPH makes up for my deficiencies in Physics and Chemistry. I need to prove myself in the actual pre-reqs before I can focus on anything "extra" that might pad my application.

I'm glad there are others out there that are in similar situations though. It makes me feel much better knowing that there is some sort of support system out there for folks like us. At least we have each other and SDN, huh? Thanks for the input and good luck! You can pm me anytime.
 

Homer101

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I do agree with alot of things that have been said in this post. If you science and overall GPA are below 3.0 it will hard to get into a good MPH program. Also most decent MPH programs also require you take the GRE and have average or above average scores. If you have both GPAs above 3.0 I think a grad school option does exist and worse case if you don't get into medical school you can get a decent paying job with a grad school degree. However if you GPA is low then I would really suggest a post bacc program. Kick ass in the classes and then take the MCAT. There are many people on this forum who does this and are med school.

Make sure that if you do decide to do a MPH you do it because you want to not just because you want to get into medical school. They adcoms will chew you up on the interview if you don't have a good reason for that. Also MPH is a professional degree and many classes use the skill set you learn while taking premed courses. Good luck guys.