Nov 16, 2010
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Anyone else having regrets about this program? The program doesn't seem at all interested in making you a better applicant. Its just like theyre funneling students through as another means of income. It's almost impossible to find an advisor who would actually help you out or give you advice, they all seem to give one sentence replys and direct you elsewhere.

There's 100+ students in every graduating class, and about 3/4 will do the 1.5 year route... meaning 175+ people in the program each year and a LOT of people applying to dental/medical schools each year. I don't know what the success rate is... but from what I'm seeing so far... its probably 25% or much less. This program is geared more towards giving you the degree rather than helping you get into health programs.

The classes seem to be way too easy which is both good and bad... its good because it pads your stats... but its bad in that if you want to get into NJMS/NJDS its very hard to differentiate yourself from everyone else when everyone is getting A's left and right. More than half of the people seem to be graduating with a 3.8+ in this program. I know a LOT people who are graduating this december with a 3.8+ in this program that have applied to med school and dental schools and have not gotten any interviews yet, not even from UMDNJ. I know a very select few who have gotten interviews from UMDNJ, and theyve all taken the medical/dental courses. The only way to differentiate yourself is to take the medical and dental school courses, which comes at a huge risk.

Take 2 of those courses and get As in them along with As in your other classes and you've just cemented your interview spot with NJMS or NJDS.

Take 2 of those courses and get Bs in them along with As in your other classes and your chances at NJMS and NJDS will be no better than before the program... and you probably just killed your chances at any other med/dent school because they don't care/understand what those classes really are... just that you got a B in them.

If I had to do this all over again, I would've chosen to attend Tulane's Cell Biology program instead (which I will most likely have to do as it seems this program isnt going to improve my chances of getting into medical school)... since its specifically designed to assist students in getting into health programs. It seems this program was never intended to do that (assist students in getting into med/dent programs) and I just went in with false impressions.

You can get very, very high grades at most masters programs it seems... you just have to pick one that will help you with the NON-numbers portion of your app... something UMDNJ GSBS doesn't seem interested in doing.

Just my two cents
 

jslo85

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Jan 27, 2010
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I've definitely heard that UMDNJ's GSBS class size is huge but then again, does this include the class size at each campus (stratsford, RWJ and Newark) or all together?

Another thing is, are you posting on a smurf account? I'm sorry but it goes against credibility at least for me, hearing of a complaint (perhaps legitamite) against a well known program from a brand new account and having the status of a fellow.

On a different note, it's really not realistic to come into any SMP expecting to ace all courses. Is it possible? Definitely. But you really can't gauge your performance prior to taking the courses and the exams thus I would normally advise you to choose the programs that have a history of taking back their own students in significant #s.
 

theWUbear

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Jun 7, 2009
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I find a lot of truth in your post, but Dr. Wagner and the rest of the advisors have been incredibly helpful, willing to meet with me at the drop of a hat, and genuinely concerned with getting me into medical school.

Also, with regards to your point that taking class with the med/dent students comes with great risk, I have a few friends who got B+'s or equivalent grades in SMP classes at the BU masters and Gtown masters and they are both spending their next year doing research while reapplying to med school again - my point being that this phenomenon of A's or bust in SMP's is hardly unique to UMDNJ GSBS Newark.

I agree that there is grade inflation and a large student body. Do what you need to to stand out.

Edit/Addition: I definitely do think this program is well aware of students' intentions to apply to med/dental school and attempts to tailor parts of the program around that. I do not disagree that you might get a better program if you're at a private school paying 40k a semester as opposed to something like 5k a semester here. In fact I'd be damn pissed if I was at Gtown/BU/Tulane paying 8 times as much and there was no tangible benefit in outcome. I came here because NJMS was/is my best shot so I'm giving it my all within the UMDNJ community; UMDNJ GSBS masters may not be the best choice for everyone.
 
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mw1

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Jun 12, 2009
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I agree with pretty much everything you said. After speaking with advisors, the vibe I got is you can still hurt your chances of getting into NJMS, even with a high GPA. According to them, the adcom knows which courses are "easy" and which courses are "hard," and so if you want to distinguish yourself, you should take mostly (if not all) hard courses and get A's.

As for the advisors in general, I've had very mixed experiences. There are times where they seem very into the students, and very willing to help/offer advice. Other times, they literally take a week or longer just to reply to an e-mail. And then when you finally get a reply, it's obviously half-assed/rushed.

Personally, I'm just trying to make the most of it now by taking courses that interest me and doing the best I can in them. I'm not even going to attempt to tailor my schedule to "hard" or "easy" classes. Beyond that, it'll be what it'll be, I can only hope for the best.

Overall, I definitely regret ever applying to this program. If I were asked by anyone else, I wouldn't recommend it.
 
Dec 30, 2009
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I agree with pretty much everything you said. After speaking with advisors, the vibe I got is you can still hurt your chances of getting into NJMS, even with a high GPA. According to them, the adcom knows which courses are "easy" and which courses are "hard," and so if you want to distinguish yourself, you should take mostly (if not all) hard courses and get A's.

As for the advisors in general, I've had very mixed experiences. There are times where they seem very into the students, and very willing to help/offer advice. Other times, they literally take a week or longer just to reply to an e-mail. And then when you finally get a reply, it's obviously half-assed/rushed.

Personally, I'm just trying to make the most of it now by taking courses that interest me and doing the best I can in them. I'm not even going to attempt to tailor my schedule to "hard" or "easy" classes. Beyond that, it'll be what it'll be, I can only hope for the best.

Overall, I definitely regret ever applying to this program. If I were asked by anyone else, I wouldn't recommend it.
I'm just curious, what degree program are you in attending UMDNJ GSBS? Are you in the M.S program with the thesis requirement or MBS program with non-thesis? I would assume if your planning on going to med school or another grad program the MBS is the better choice of the two since with research, at least bench research, you never know when the project will be complete.

From what I've read about this program, its not really a hard-core SMP program then like say Georgetown, BU, Cinn, etc. You only have molecular medicine/genetics and physiology with the med students correct? The rest of the program is really more structured like a hard-core biomedical science program with lab rotations, etc.

How do you know what courses are considered hard in the biomed side of things so that you don't take easy courses that hurt your admission chances?

Reason I ask all this is I'm possibly considering this program as a SMP for fall 2012 so I'm trying to find out as much as possible. One of my requirements for doing an SMP is that a Master's degree gets awarded and you don't come away empty handed, God forbid you don't do well or you don't get med school admissions. This way you have a master's to fall back on for a career if need be!
 

mw1

7+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2009
15
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Pre-Dental
I'm just curious, what degree program are you in attending UMDNJ GSBS? Are you in the M.S program with the thesis requirement or MBS program with non-thesis? I would assume if your planning on going to med school or another grad program the MBS is the better choice of the two since with research, at least bench research, you never know when the project will be complete.

From what I've read about this program, its not really a hard-core SMP program then like say Georgetown, BU, Cinn, etc. You only have molecular medicine/genetics and physiology with the med students correct? The rest of the program is really more structured like a hard-core biomedical science program with lab rotations, etc.

How do you know what courses are considered hard in the biomed side of things so that you don't take easy courses that hurt your admission chances?

Reason I ask all this is I'm possibly considering this program as a SMP for fall 2012 so I'm trying to find out as much as possible. One of my requirements for doing an SMP is that a Master's degree gets awarded and you don't come away empty handed, God forbid you don't do well or you don't get med school admissions. This way you have a master's to fall back on for a career if need be!
Sorry for taking forever to reply to this. I don't login here nearly as much as I should.

I'm currently officially an "MS" student, but I'm going to do the "MBS" route. It really doesn't matter which one you're in, you can easily switch. I'd say stick with MBS and if you find a research lab you really love and have a genuine interest in, switch to MS.

As for Med Courses, there are 2 or 3. You're right about MGM and Physiology. I know they offer an anatomy course as well, but I'm not sure if it's with medical students or not. You should know, though, that not everyone gets into these courses - there are a very limited number of seats. They give priority to those with higher GPA and MCAT scores.

After a semester or so, you get the sense of what's hard and what's easy. Also, the advisors (at least Wagner) are very straightforward about this as well. When you speak to her, I'd recommend choosing a large number of classes and asking her opinion on them. Choose maybe a dozen that interest you and take notes on whether she says they're hard, easy, or not even worth the effort. From that you can tailor your schedule as you see fit. Just to provide you with an example, the "BioDefense" courses are considered easy, and the "Stem Cells" courses are considered hard (according to Wagner - I didn't think the first Stem Cells course was that hard, but definitely required more effort than the first BioDefense course).

As for your final comment: yes, you do walk away with a master's degree, but that's all it is. It doesn't prepare you for anything. You could probably tailor your schedule and research experiences to specialize in an area, but the program itself is not designed to prepare you for any type of job. It's really useless besides the fact that you can now say you have a master's degree.

I don't mean to discourage you, but in my personal opinion, there are far better options. If you're interested solely in medical school admission, look into the master's program offered by RWJMS or the post-bac program offered by Temple. If you're interested in getting a useful master's degree, look into the Rutgers Microbiology program, or something else where you actually specialize in a field.

I'm not saying don't do it, just be sure you understand your options.
 
Dec 30, 2009
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Pre-Medical
Sorry for taking forever to reply to this. I don't login here nearly as much as I should.

I'm currently officially an "MS" student, but I'm going to do the "MBS" route. It really doesn't matter which one you're in, you can easily switch. I'd say stick with MBS and if you find a research lab you really love and have a genuine interest in, switch to MS.

As for Med Courses, there are 2 or 3. You're right about MGM and Physiology. I know they offer an anatomy course as well, but I'm not sure if it's with medical students or not. You should know, though, that not everyone gets into these courses - there are a very limited number of seats. They give priority to those with higher GPA and MCAT scores.

After a semester or so, you get the sense of what's hard and what's easy. Also, the advisors (at least Wagner) are very straightforward about this as well. When you speak to her, I'd recommend choosing a large number of classes and asking her opinion on them. Choose maybe a dozen that interest you and take notes on whether she says they're hard, easy, or not even worth the effort. From that you can tailor your schedule as you see fit. Just to provide you with an example, the "BioDefense" courses are considered easy, and the "Stem Cells" courses are considered hard (according to Wagner - I didn't think the first Stem Cells course was that hard, but definitely required more effort than the first BioDefense course).

As for your final comment: yes, you do walk away with a master's degree, but that's all it is. It doesn't prepare you for anything. You could probably tailor your schedule and research experiences to specialize in an area, but the program itself is not designed to prepare you for any type of job. It's really useless besides the fact that you can now say you have a master's degree.

I don't mean to discourage you, but in my personal opinion, there are far better options. If you're interested solely in medical school admission, look into the master's program offered by RWJMS or the post-bac program offered by Temple. If you're interested in getting a useful master's degree, look into the Rutgers Microbiology program, or something else where you actually specialize in a field.

I'm not saying don't do it, just be sure you understand your options.
Thanks for the information. I agree for the most part but with RWJMS, their program is fairly new and when I spoke with an advisor about it she told me only 1 course is taken with med students and the rest are graduate science courses. I actually think you have a better opportunity with the MBS program in Newark then you do in Piscataway after finding that out if your truly going to use it as a SMP for med school admissions.

A master's degree is still a master's degree and you can use it for higher level jobs in the private and public sector so I don't see it as completely useless. Granted your not being trained in a specific specific area, like immunology or virology for instance, but it still specific for jobs relating to biomedical sciences.
 

theWUbear

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Thanks for the information. I agree for the most part but with RWJMS, their program is fairly new and when I spoke with an advisor about it she told me only 1 course is taken with med students and the rest are graduate science courses. I actually think you have a better opportunity with the MBS program in Newark then you do in Piscataway after finding that out if your truly going to use it as a SMP for med school admissions.

A master's degree is still a master's degree and you can use it for higher level jobs in the private and public sector so I don't see it as completely useless. Granted your not being trained in a specific specific area, like immunology or virology for instance, but it still specific for jobs relating to biomedical sciences.
Newark GSBS is just as much a pseudo-SMP as Piscataway GSBS, in that there are only two classes with med students - the rest grad school classes, and you get a masters degree (MS or MBS). The true SMP's involve taking many classes alongside med students (gtown, possibly BU, come to mind)
 

DrLeon

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Jun 25, 2009
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Wow...Stratford got no love on this thread. It seems like there is a little misinformation in here. When I was researching my campus they told me I would get a Masters degree in Biomedical Sciences (which someone stated was the main portion of the program). I was told that If i did not get into Med school it would be easier for me to get a teaching job (which you can get in the state of NJ with a masters) or do reseach (which all research companies that I thought about applying to required). The program is what you make of it. I am currently taking the physiology course with the first years and the anatomy course (I don't really have grad school classes anymore) and I will be graduating the program this may with 2 acceptances under my belt already. Another aspect you guys are missing is the GPA flip (Idk if RWJMS and NJMS do it). Once you graduate your undergrad grades will be replaced by your grad grades (not everywhere) and then it's just a matter of making sure your MCAT is strong if the stats are all you care about.

Another way of making yourself stand out at your campus is to do more than go to school. Join med school clubs on campus and take an active role, or take up leadership in any graduate clubs. I'm am currently the president of the Minority Association of Premedical Students on my campus and through that I am known by all of the faculty (who teach both the med school and graduate school) and the administration. The dean of the med school even knows who I am. Our admissions director Paula Watkins is takes a lot of time out to meet with the grad students and talk to them about how they personally can work toward gaining acceptance to the med school, so if you have someone like that on your campus utilize her.

Sorry about the long post, but I had to get across the point that they won't hold your hand and carry you to medical school. These programs are all about how much you want an acceptance.
 

heathercelina13

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Nov 1, 2010
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Wow...Stratford got no love on this thread. It seems like there is a little misinformation in here. When I was researching my campus they told me I would get a Masters degree in Biomedical Sciences (which someone stated was the main portion of the program). I was told that If i did not get into Med school it would be easier for me to get a teaching job (which you can get in the state of NJ with a masters) or do reseach (which all research companies that I thought about applying to required). The program is what you make of it. I am currently taking the physiology course with the first years and the anatomy course (I don't really have grad school classes anymore) and I will be graduating the program this may with 2 acceptances under my belt already. Another aspect you guys are missing is the GPA flip (Idk if RWJMS and NJMS do it). Once you graduate your undergrad grades will be replaced by your grad grades (not everywhere) and then it's just a matter of making sure your MCAT is strong if the stats are all you care about.

Another way of making yourself stand out at your campus is to do more than go to school. Join med school clubs on campus and take an active role, or take up leadership in any graduate clubs. I'm am currently the president of the Minority Association of Premedical Students on my campus and through that I am known by all of the faculty (who teach both the med school and graduate school) and the administration. The dean of the med school even knows who I am. Our admissions director Paula Watkins is takes a lot of time out to meet with the grad students and talk to them about how they personally can work toward gaining acceptance to the med school, so if you have someone like that on your campus utilize her.

Sorry about the long post, but I had to get across the point that they won't hold your hand and carry you to medical school. These programs are all about how much you want an acceptance.
I'm so glad someone mentioned Stratford campus! Would you say attending Stratford for the GSBS program helped you gain acceptance into the SOM? I'm hoping it will help me.