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undergraduate or graduate courses-HELP!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by sjordan, Jun 28, 2002.

  1. sjordan

    sjordan Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 8, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    I am currently waitlisted with no acceptances and was looking into taking some science courses to raise my grade point average.

    One counselor told me to take undergraduate courses at a UC to demonstrate I can handle the coursework. Another counselor stated I should stay completely away from undergraduate courses and take graduate courses instead...I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!
    any insight would be great. thanks!!
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  3. I would look into both undergraduate and graduate classes. Don't cancel either option out right now. See what is offered by the school of your choice, and take a class that answers to the weak points of your application. For example, I had a waitlisted friend who had a lower grade in her chemistry classes. So, she devoted herself to an upper level chemistry course. It was undergrad, but it proved that she could handle Chemistry.

    There are just as many easy graduate courses as there are challenging ones. Basketweaving 501 will not impress the admissions board anymore than Basketweaving 401. And you don't want to get in over your head and end up with a low grade in a class you never really needed in the first place. I would just choose the best classes for showing off your strengths and minimizing the weaknesses of your application.

  4. lola

    lola Bovine Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    i personally would not take graduate courses unless i were planning on completing a graduate degree and had a genuine interest in getting the degree. if you are going to get another degree, then going this route is fine. if you're just doing it to raise your gpa, i'd take undergrad classes. med schools probably won't know what to think of a 3.7 gpa in 6 grad classes. they will know what to think of a 3.7 gpa in 6 undergrad classes.
  5. sjordan

    sjordan Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 8, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    anyone out there taken extra undergrad courses after graduating and then was accepted to med school...
  6. jonquille

    jonquille Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 4, 2002
    It really depends. If your undergrad GPA is close to certain med school averages of accepted students, and taking one or two classes and getting an A would boost it, then it might be worthwhile taking the classes for undergraduate credit. If you were a science major, like me, it would probably require taking 4 or 5 classes and getting A's to raise your GPA about a tenth of a point. Calculate it out and see what your particular case is.

    If your undergrad GPA isn't really SUPER close to the averages schools publish, it might instead be worthwhile to take some graduate courses, either taking classes you are interested in, or as part of a program. I have talked to several directors of admissions that have said that even if you have a low-ish undergrad GPA, they would like to see that you've taken a couple of grad-level courses (science) to show that you can handle academic rigor. What your undergrad GPA is per se won't matter as much once you've proven that you can handle tough classes. BUT this varies a lot from school to school! And if you have a reason for having a "low" GPA, make sure you can "prove" that you're at a different place now (one way to prove that is by taking classes).

    One last point: If you have any grades in pre-med requirements that are less than a C, you may want to call med schools to see what their requirements are. Some med schools consider that if you have a grade below a C in a pre-med requirement that you have not taken that class at all. (Again from the mouths of admissions directors and literature published by med school adcoms I've run across).

    Either way, grad or undergrad classes, I don't think you'll make a huge mistake that will set you back. Taking new classes and doing well will always be a bonus on your application.

    Good luck.
  7. kittyjuice

    kittyjuice Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 23, 2002
    take my advice and dont waste your time on a stupid graduate program. that is what i did and am doing and its nothing but a true waste of time. why? because the undergrad GPA is what is used to compare students to each other. and thats the key to the game.

    in my situation, i did a masters, but i took tons of upperdivision bio course that are basically anatomy, medical micro, immuno..and tons more, trust me. but it was all incorporated into my graduate GPA. and adcoms can say "graduate GPA's are inflated." which is true, and they wont even consider that GPA. plus, not everyone has a grad gpa, so what good is that as far as comparing applicants? so usually what happens is that they just look over the grad GPA, dont really care and trash your application if you have a bad undergrad gpa.

    also, as far as different grad programs varying in difficulty etc.. that is true, but how are you gonna convince the adcoms? u gotta play the game right.

    i would recommend getting involved in postbacc undergrad work. the easier the school the better. postbacc gpa is a better gauge for them, so its more respectable to do well with the postbacc. name. take like a heavy load of science classes and get all A's. show them you can handle it while playing the game as well. do that for a year or two and you will be good as gold.

    or dont even graduate and take classes so its all incorporated into your undergrad gpa. cuz once you graduate, that GPA is now officially sealed. its known as ur undergrad GPA. then you have postbacc gpa or a grad gpa.

    unless you are really interested in getting that masters degree, dont waste your time trying to impress adcoms that you are a "graduate student." youre basically wasting your precious time.
    -thesis boy
  8. sjordan

    sjordan Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 8, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thank you everyone for your extremely useful advice. I am truly motivated to keep working toward this med school dream now that I know my plan of attack! Thanks again.

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