Gko

Mar 26, 2010
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2
41
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Hey SDN,

First time poster. I'm in the process of finishing up my Econ degree at Rutgers University this spring semester. I also just took up my first internship at an office in NYC for this semester and I've come to realize that being behind a computer and desk is not something I can handle/be happy doing. I've thought of going down the pre-med path my freshman year but decided to go the "safer" route down economics, so i don't have any science background. But lately, I've been getting increasingly excited at the possibility of going into medicine (I've even been enjoying reading through my friend's old Gen Chem book). In other words, i'm hyped and super motivated about doing this. I've talked to some academic advisors and friends currently taking MCAT's and they've all pointed towards doing a Postbacc program rather than staying extra years. However, I'm just not sure where I should apply to and whether my credentials are strong enough to go to some of the top programs. I have a 3.48 GPA, but no science background. I want to go into a good program that's around the Tri-State area and that won't kill my pockets (a tall order, i know), with the city being preferred since I could commute from home.

I plan on talking more with other advisors here and calling the schools, but I was wondering what you guys thought are some good programs I could get into (would Columbia even look at me?)


TL;DR....
I'm currently sitting on a 3.48 GPA as an Econ major at Rutgers University (Last semester) and I have no real idea as to how competitive that is for some of the top Postbacc programs that I would like to get into. I don't have any science background either. What're the best places I can get into?
 

jslo85

Resident
7+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2010
826
8
151
Chicago
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Resident [Any Field]
Hey SDN,

First time poster. I'm in the process of finishing up my Econ degree at Rutgers University this spring semester. I also just took up my first internship at an office in NYC for this semester and I've come to realize that being behind a computer and desk is not something I can handle/be happy doing. I've thought of going down the pre-med path my freshman year but decided to go the "safer" route down economics, so i don't have any science background. But lately, I've been getting increasingly excited at the possibility of going into medicine (I've even been enjoying reading through my friend's old Gen Chem book). In other words, i'm hyped and super motivated about doing this. I've talked to some academic advisors and friends currently taking MCAT's and they've all pointed towards doing a Postbacc program rather than staying extra years. However, I'm just not sure where I should apply to and whether my credentials are strong enough to go to some of the top programs. I have a 3.48 GPA, but no science background. I want to go into a good program that's around the Tri-State area and that won't kill my pockets (a tall order, i know), with the city being preferred since I could commute from home.

I plan on talking more with other advisors here and calling the schools, but I was wondering what you guys thought are some good programs I could get into (would Columbia even look at me?)


TL;DR....
I'm currently sitting on a 3.48 GPA as an Econ major at Rutgers University (Last semester) and I have no real idea as to how competitive that is for some of the top Postbacc programs that I would like to get into. I don't have any science background either. What're the best places I can get into?
Hi welcome to SDN. I bolded parts of your post in the key areas/questions that you have for my own benefit and other posts who might want to give advice. I'll address them in that order.

-You don't have any science background. That's actually not a bad thing as of right now your sGPA is 0. In application process for medical school they take into consideration three things (normally two things): sGPA (science GPA), cGPA (cumulative GPA) and graduate GPA (if you have done any graduate ie. Masters work). With no science background you qualify for all pre-med formal post-bacc programs on that point.

-You want to do a formal post-bacc program. This is optimal for non-traditional/career changing students (which you are) because many formal programs often have linkages to medical school and have a reputation widely regarded by Adcoms for a rigorous competitive environment and competent teaching faculty. Coming out of one of these programs successfully might mean more to an admissions committee than completing the science pre-reqs at any local four year university (which is another option). They will write you a committee letter or great letters of recommendation and aid you in the application process as well and give guidance in whatever direction that you choose.

- Your 3.48 GPA is competitive for most programs. For instance Mills College offers a pre-med post-bacc program and according to their website they look for applicants with a 3.2 (B+) or better. Another school Scripps College which is also a very reputable program states that their minimum is a 3.0. You fall in the competitive range for most of these programs.

- "Won't kill my pockets." That statement is I guess subjective. I don't know what your financial means are, nor do I know how much you are willing to spend on a program but the elite pre-med programs are expensive. But they also boast very high rates of success in their students matriculating into medical school, some as high as virtually 100% according to their websites. Many of the posters here who are medical students have gone through programs such as these such as Drizzt and Newmansown who you can PM for their personal advice. You are paying for their reputation (which is substantial in Adcoms eyes) as well as their established linkages with select medical schools.

In the end it is up to you. You have two routes you can pursue, one of which is a formal post-bacc program and the other is completing the pre-reqs on your own at a local university. The latter will undoubtedly be cheaper but as I stated above, you will have to work by yourself on the application process and be without the valuable linkage that is offered. Most programs include an MCAT prep class as well which may be an incentive.

As for the Tri-State area, I'm not too familiar with schools in that region but the colleges that are among the best and most reputable for this purpose would be Goucher, Bryn Mawr, Mills, and Scripps among others. I am not very familiar with Columbia's program but I am quite positive that it will not come cheap. Anyway best of luck on your decision.
 
Feb 4, 2010
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0
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Pre-Medical
I'm not a big poster but I disagree with jslo's advice so I feel compelled to contribute my two cents.

I think your best bet would be to defer your graduation and complete your pre-reqs at Rutgers. Do whatever you need to do to take a 5th year.

1. Your 3.48 GPA is perfectly respectable but it is hardly competitive for the top one-year post-bac premed programs (Bryn Mawr, Goucher, Scripps, JHU, UVA, etc). But more than that, these programs expect you to have already demonstrated an interest in medicine through volunteer work, etc. And I don't get the sense that you have this kind of experience under your belt. It's also really late in the application cycle so the top programs, which have rolling admissions, are likely filled for the 2010-2011 year.

2. Since you're not competitive for the top programs (especially this late in the game), your post-bacc options would be places like UPenn, UVM, Tufts, Columbia, Harvard Extension, etc. People are successful at these places but it's more of a gamble. Use the search feature and spend some time reading about these programs on forums. Each of these programs has pros and cons, which certainly complicate the situation.

3. My most important point, though, is that your gamble is not just academic it's also financial. All of the post-bac programs are expensive. If you visit websites, you'll see that most of them cost around $20,000+/year. AND the financial aid process for any post-bac program is much more complicated than just taking an extra year of undergrad. Since you'll already have a bachelor's degree, you're only allowed to take out a very limited amount of money in federal loans. The rest has to come through private loans, which usually include higher interest rates.

If you're in-state for Rutgers then you'll not only be paying in-state tuition (a great deal) but you'll also be eligible for the same kind financial aid that any undergraduate degree-seeking student receives. This includes more federal loan options and sometimes the possibility of grants and scholarships.

Good luck on your journey! It's sure to be an adventure!
 

drizzt3117

chick magnet
10+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2006
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I think HES would be a good option. The OP is probably also competitive for Penn.
 

Gko

Mar 26, 2010
41
2
41
Status
Thanks for the advice peoples. I should probably point out that I'm okay if I get into the next couple of tiers of post bacc programs. Linkages is what would be most important for me. I am super confident that no matter where I go, I will get the results needed. This is the first time since I've been in college that I'm excited about my future/career outlook. All I really need is that help with the first step because I feel like my lack of science background hurts me. (The only medical background I have is being EMT certified many, many years ago...which I'm thinking of re-certifying if i have the time)

I'm 100% set on doing a formal post-bacc after having every single person (med school friends, academic advisors, etc.) tell me that it's the better road to go down. Rutgers has a post-bacc program but I haven't heard/read anything about it so I'm a skeptical of that one (not too big on going to newark, but i can roll with it). Going to set up some appts. with the rutgers HPO and attend some info sessions in NYC and see how it goes. Thanks again folks. :thumbup: