UCLA Extension Pre-Med Certificate Program?

LaughingGas

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May 17, 2010
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    Hey Everyone,

    Is anyone currently taking pre-med courses at UCLA Extension, or is anyone doing the pre-med/general science certificate program? I received my Political Science degree from Berkeley, went to t-20 law school and was miserable the whole time. Decided to drop out this past semester and I'm hoping to take my science pre-reqs at UCLA. If anyone has any advice/other program recommendations I would greatly appreciate it.

    From my understanding, it's pointless to do certificate program in terms of $$. It will be cheaper for you to just add individual classes. As long as you can add classes as soon as they open, you will have no problem adding them ( of course, if you have money for each class). Also for the Chem series, I believe its 14A,B,C,D but the two lab courses are only offered during regular UCLA summer session, which you need to take the courses concurrently with the regularstudents. That is a disadvantage because you have the last registration period, by which the time you try to register, all the seats are most likely taken. Double check on the lab part b/c that's what I heard from other extension students. Maybe you could try out berkeley extension or harvard extension as well.
    Look into postbac programs in the postbac forum.
     

    Legato147

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    Dec 20, 2012
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      Hey Tenr2080! I'm in a similar boat: majored in non-science, worked several years and now trying to get prereq's done for med school in Los Angeles.

      Have you considered taking the prereq's at SMC or the other nearby community colleges? I'm currently trying to figure out the best plan of action myself (even considering Scripps post-bacc), but its all a bit overwhelming. I'd love to hear you're thoughts on the ucla extension choice.
       
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      mehc012

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      Jul 9, 2012
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        I ended up making essentially the same decision, and going with UCBerkeley Extension...in my case, since I've already taken all the core courses except Physics, it just didn't make sense to go with an official postbacc. With the DIY postbacc, I can simply do gpa repair until either I'm satisfied, I run out of courses, or the return gets so low that an SMP would be more cost-efficient. I figure I'll do as much as I can there, give it a shot, and if I don't get in, at least my GPA will be high enough for a good SMP shot!
         
        Jun 13, 2014
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          Hey! I'm in a very similar situation as BruinPreMed. I graduated with a philosophy degree from UCLA. I've looked into many postbacc programs, and have weighed the time, cost, and other relevant factors for each. I currently live in LA, and the UCLA Extension General Science and Premedical Certificate (or a cherry picking of relevant UCLA Extension classes) seems like a good option if medical admissions consider it more favorable than taking classes at a junior college (and albeit less favorable than the rather expensive postbacc programs). I'd love to hear whether or not he chose the program and, if he did, whether he'd recommend it now.
           

          Giljr

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          Feb 9, 2015
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          1. Pre-Medical
            So, I'm thinking about doing the pre-medical program at UCLA extensions but I have a question about financial aid. I'm hoping you can help since you are there now.

            I called the financial aid office and they told me I had to pay for my classes up front and then I will get reimbursed. They said I would have to do this every quarter. This seems a bit odd given that most schools just have financial aid (loans etc.) pay for class directly. At the moment, I'm kind of broke and don't think I can put up the money upfront. My question: did you have to pay for your classes out of your pocket and then have financial aid reimburse you or did you pay for the enrollment fee($100) for the program and then have financial aid pay for your classes?
             

            IamLeTired

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            Nov 30, 2011
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              Personally, I believe I am going with UCLA extension and doing the certificate program. At $9,000 its basically the same price as going to a Cal state.

              I have taken many classes at UCLA extension for my prereqs.

              Given the choice between UCLA and, say, CSUN, I wish I had gone with a Cal State school. Most of the teachers at UCLA have other jobs (in research or teaching at state schools), and since UCLA pays them so poorly they can't devote too much time to extension students (usually). Some profs might need the extra cash, while others are trying to get their foot in the door at UCLA. At extension you won't get access to things like office hours or 1 on 1 help with material, and you'll just be another body in a large lecture hall full of gunner premeds between 7:00-10:00 at night. There is no prestige to be gained by the UCLA name: you're in night school, and if you have any issues with the material/how the class is graded, etc. it's "tough cookies, but thanks for the $900.00!" Never have I been treated more poorly or felt like I was just going through a cash-mill (something a law school grad would appreciate) than I did at UCLA extension. It's an easy way for a university with a big name to cash in on the wave of nontrads changing career paths.

              Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or concerns!
               
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              Jade1908

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              Apr 27, 2016
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                Hey Tenr2080! I'm in a similar boat: majored in non-science, worked several years and now trying to get prereq's done for med school in Los Angeles.

                Have you considered taking the prereq's at SMC or the other nearby community colleges? I'm currently trying to figure out the best plan of action myself (even considering Scripps post-bacc), but its all a bit overwhelming. I'd love to hear you're thoughts on the ucla extension choice.



                Hey Legato147, I know It's been a few years but do you have any updates/opinions on this? Did you end up doing the Certificate program? I am deciding on same thing now..
                 

                BruinPreMed

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                Jan 30, 2013
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                  Rest at ease. Pretty much everyone I know from Ext. got in somewhere. My initial concerns about how the extension program might be perceived seem unwarranted.

                  If your GPA and MCAT are high, you apply on time and submit secondaries asap, you'll get interviews. Your personal statement, clinical exp, and research have questionable significance based on my anecdotal observations.

                  So basically, you can get into any med school you would have been able to get into otherwise, via extension. They can get you to the interview.

                  Personally, I wish I could have taken my classes at SMC, the professors are better, have more time, they actually have office hours, you can get a good letter of rec, the campus has way more student resources, way cheaper, and I believe for the average student to really learn science material it ought to be taught in a semester system. All that said, I don't totally regret going to Extension, it worked out, I was just kinda miserable and broke for a couple years.

                  With ucla, you're very much on your own, and with extension, even more so. If you can study and manage everything well yourself, learn via khan Academy and YouTube, etc, have alot of time to devote to self-teaching/practice, I think extension is a good option. Especially if you're worried how they'll judge the names on your transcript.

                  Ultimately, the quantifiable, objective, easy to digest stuff seems to matter more than the details, for most adcoms. I'd advise you go where you can attain the best GPA and learn well enough to kill it on the MCAT too.
                   
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