UPenn Post Bacc Program

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by premedw, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. goriku671

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    Just got accepted to the SSP. Now to see how I'm going to afford this. Going to have to relocate from sunny San Diego..
     
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  2. goriku671

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    can we get a facebook group started for all 2015-2016 postbaccalaureate students? Feel free to PM me for facebook info
     
  3. Schwann Lake

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    Message me or @goriku671 if you want the fb link to the group! Or just search for Penn Pre-Health Post-bacc 2015-2016


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  4. shanzone

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    Hello guys! This is my first post in SDN. I've been reading through the posts and they are just extremely helpful! By the way, I am an international student and applying for the Pre Health program for this Fall 2015. Does anyone know the acceptance rate into this program?

    Thank you! ^___^
     
  5. Zanjrb

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    For those still waiting, I was offered an interview today, and I wanted to give you guys some thorough info because I was browsing these threads just a week ago down on myself thinking I'd have no chance due to how late my app was. Now I'm just waiting to hear back from the Temple ACMS program, and UVM.


    Applied ~ may 20th,

    Non trad. in the sense that I'm 24, and wasn't planning upon attending medical school as of graduating two years ago, wanted to work in the psych pharma industry. Got there, absolutely hated it and decided it was time for a change.

    Only compelling story is that I'm a second gen college student, and the first one to go to school on academic merits and not football (not really that big of a deal IMO, but some schools seemed interested), and I seriously overworked myself in university to come out debt free, which when added to my EC's paints me as extremely involved in both academic, social and work life during college.

    Stats:

    Grades/Scores.
    3.3c 3.0s for GPA, 85th-95th on the new MCAT, 90th% + on GRE, GRE Subject, SAT and ACT. No trend in GPA, up and down throughout college, but All a's in bio prereqs, A's and B's in other prereqs, except one C in Ochem2. Coursework primarily focused in Neuroscience and Biochemistry.

    EC's.
    Multiple publications in 2 fields, EMT, 2k+ volunteer hours, 100+ shadowing hours, research coordinator in clinical setting psych pharma trials, worked in a low income school, study abroad, TA and tutor for several upper division biology courses, worked quite a bit (40hrs a week of paid work during college), helped plan and run 2 Relay for Lifes, and have a somewhat substantial list of awards and elected positions to my name, mostly in campus leadership and service, but a few in academics as well.

    Essays.
    Talked about experiences working with extreme poverty patients, and expressed a desire to work in a primarily urban and low income area, or alternatively military medicine.


    After seeing all these average GPA's above mine, and thinking it's probably to late for me to just go back to undergrad to boost my GPA .2 or .3, to be competitive, it was a huge wait off my shoulders to hear that I was going to get an interview today. I've seen positives and negative about the Penn program so far, but I just want to wish everyone good luck, especially those of you who had to make hard choices about how to use your time during college, and perhaps suffered for it.

    Good luck to everyone.
     
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  6. newtoPA

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    @Teal08 What would you recommend for students to do if they had a spotty GPA trend?
     
  7. newtoPA

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    @Zanjrb Would you recommend solid coursework if someone had a spotty GPA with a recent downward trend?
     
  8. robflanker

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    You posted the same basic message to like 6 users in 4 different threads.

    The basic solution is you get As in your coursework.

    The more complicated answer depends on your GPA numbers exactly as how to best proceed and whether you've done the pre-reqs or not
     
  9. newtoPA

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    @robflanker Thanks for catching this. I will be better about it next time.
     
  10. Zanjrb

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    Just got an acceptance.

    If anyone has any questions about my application process or interview, im happy to answer.
     
  11. CityRaider

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    How long did they take to confirm your test scores? I submitted my application on the 15th and the "GRE scores still needed" prompt is still on the checklist.

    I was told by the application coach to wait until tomorrow to contact the school again, but it's a bit of a concern right now.
     
  12. Zanjrb

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    Mine were verified within 3 days.

    That said, I submitted ACT/SAT/GRE/MCAT.

    They may not have cared about my GRE because I sent in an MCAT score.
     
    #1612 Zanjrb, Jun 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2015
  13. CityRaider

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    That's weird, because I've submitted a DAT score. Oh well, I will contact them tomorrow - thanks for the response.

    How was the interview?
     
  14. eeeeems

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    hi goriku and others who are wondering about expenses...

    this program is eligible for direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans from the government. see SFS' policy here, http://www.sfs.upenn.edu/special-polices/policies-degree-status-lps.htm

    also prices of courses, http://www.sas.upenn.edu/lps/postbacc/pre-health/tuition

    you do need to apply for the FAFSA, and i am not sure if the deadline has passed yet for the fall semester of 2015.

    hope this helps,
    e
     
  15. goriku671

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    Because the program is non degree seeking, you can only get up to $12,500 of unsubsidized loans for one year. I ended up having to pull another 33k in private student loans in order to pay for everything.

    @eeeeems Are you looking for a roommate or do you know anyone looking for a roommate by chance? I really want to find a roommate who is in the same program as I am.
     
  16. goriku671

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    Can anyone comment on how doable taking 4CU of classes and studying for the MCAT in January 2016 or April 2016 is? I really want to apply to med school next year, right after I finish the program. This would be a retake, but last time I took the MCAT it was still in the old format... :/
     
  17. Zanjrb

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    The interview was fairly brief, with Dr. Wittmer.

    Why isn't your GPA as high as you want it, why medical school, what makes a good doctor, etc.
     
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  18. goodvibes94

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    Hello everyone,

    I plan on applying to SSP next year. Does anyone know if you can apply for the summer session (in my case summer 2016) but differ to the fall session (in my case fall 2016).

    Basically, I would like to get the process started sooner rather than later.

    Thanks
     
  19. sfkniner81

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    making my first post on SDN :)

    just got in today for SSP and really excited about it! applied with ~ 3.5 cGPA and ~3.45 sGPA with a 29 mcat (retaking this August). now deciding between Tufts MBS and this program!

    with 12 credits in SSP at 3.7 avg I would boost my GPA to about 3.6 and 3.55 sGPA. Definitely need to boost my research experience (none so far) and get a little more clinical experience regardless of which program I decide. would love any advice!
     
  20. goriku671

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    @sfkniner81 Do the SSP at Penn and study the MCAT with me!! LOL
     
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  21. CHoge25

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    I interviewed Friday and am waiting to find out if accepted... But if I do I will need someone to study mcat with :)
     
  22. goriku671

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    @CHoge25 PM me if you get accepted and decide to attend. I'm shooting to take it in January and want to start studying for it when the program begins
     
  23. CityRaider

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    Got in today (Specialized Studies) for Fall of 2015 :D
     
  24. sfkniner81

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    is the advanced certificate for specialized studies students that beneficial? or is it just kind of meaningless? Deciding whether I should take 3 or 4 courses this Fall while doing research / volunteering on the side
     
  25. goriku671

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    I think I remember the counselor saying that you need the advanced certificate in order to get a committee letter from them.
     
  26. robflanker

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    it was meaningless for me. but i got my committee letter from my undergrad
     
  27. CityRaider

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    Is anybody else going for dental school? I know the program is much more heavily medical school-hopeful centric, but just curious.
     
  28. BornSinner

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    I am finishing up the program this semester and know a buddy of mine who is in it for Dental. It isn't too bad and there are definitely dental specific options for you when it comes to volunteering etc if you are interested. Same goes for pre-vet people!
     
  29. BornSinner

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    False. You just need a certificate and have a GPA higher than 3.5 along with a 30+ MCAT which is about a 505/6/7 on the new one I believe.

    Oh and you need to finish the program within 2 semesters or 2 semesters + summer to get the committee letter for the next immediate app cycle... so for you it would be the 2017 cycle.
     
    #1629 BornSinner, Aug 25, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2015
  30. BornSinner

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    Don't do it. Many of these courses require week to week presentations/papers that absorb so much time it's ridiculous.

    Take the MCAT in May or June. That isn't late by any measure. Hell even July puts you firmly on time if your apps are already verified.
     
  31. BornSinner

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    It is not that difficult, but it highly depends on the classes you end up in. Some are a lot easier when it comes to day to day things compared to others.
     
  32. rainnramo

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    Could you please comment more about the difficulty of getting As in the core program? I'm trying to decide between staying an extra year at my undergrad or going into a more structured post-bacc program. I still have five pre-med reqs to fulfill but as of right now have a 3.94 sGPA, 3.91 BCPM and around 3.8 cGPA. I would like to take the next step towards medical school by entering a program like Penns but would chose to stay where I am if it likely meant a drastic drop in GPA.

    If it helps, I've done my math and science courses at a top 30 and top 50 school (I transferred closer to home after taking time off from school due to illness).

    Are the majority of the students coming from top schools? Do you by chance know the approximate SAT score of students in the core program? You said the drop in GPA is not worth the gain in prestige, but what about the opportunities for research, ECs... Is it possible to research and volunteer with the course load?

    As you've already gone through this program, I would greatly appreciate any insight you could give me.

    Thanks a ton
    Tugg
     
  33. ucsbfuturemd

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    For the pre-med post bac is the GRE required for the application?
    I dont know why the GRE would be required if the programs purpose is to prepare people for medical school, which would require the MCAT...but my Checklist says "GRE Status: needed"
     
  34. Moko

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    It's doable, but they definitely make you work for those A's. As someone else mentioned though, most people are not getting the A's they need to be competitive due to the grading scheme. If you are among the people who excel academically in the program, it will be looked upon very favorably by the admissions committees. A gain in prestige is definitely not worth a significant drop in GPA though, so I'd recommend only pursuing this route if you are confident and realistic about your own abilities.

    I would say 1/2 and 1/2. Philadelphia has many great volunteering and research opportunities. Though the same can be said for most cities with an academic hospital / vulnerable patient population nearby. I would say that juggling research and/or volunteering with studying is almost expected. Post-bacc applicants are held to the same standards as 'traditional' applicants. Some applicants do get accepted without having one of these check boxes filled--but they're in the minority.
     
  35. sfkniner81

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    how terrible would a W look for one of my classes this first semester? I fell behind a little bit in one of my classes studying for the 9/23 MCAT, but am doing well in the other 2 classes I am in (on track for A's). I also recently just started a research position here so I am worried I will just fall farther behind in this course and the professor and I don't really mesh too well. There's a slight chance I could get a B, currently sitting at a C grade, but the professor didn't sound too hopeful about it :cryi:. This would be my first W on my entire transcript and I came in as a specialized studies student w/ a 3.487 GPA from a top 20 undergrad.
     
  36. ucsbfuturemd

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    has anyone had a interview and was NOT accepted? if so, how would you do your interview differently?
     
  37. Moko

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    In my opinion, having a W on your transcript looks a lot better than having a C. The W can be explained and benefit of the doubt can be given whereas it'll be tougher to do that with the C, especially when you're trying to prove yourself to med schools. "Better to remain silent and to be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."
     
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  38. Garurumon

    Garurumon a digivolving wolf
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    I'm interested in applying to the SSP next year; I haven't had room to take upper-level science courses in undergrad, and I'd like to bump up my science GPA. In terms of ECs, I'm lacking in the research department. Are there a lot of opportunities through the program, or around Philly? Assuming that I'd take 4 c.u's at Penn, would I have enough time for research?
     
  39. goriku671

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    I'm in the program right now. There are a ton of research and volunteer opportunities, so don't worry about that. Taking 4 cu's at Penn plus extracurriculars is definitely doable, but brace yourself for a really really busy semester. A lot of students take 3 cu's in the fall and spring semester, then take 2 cu's in the summer to satisfy the 8cu requirement for the certificate. This makes doing other extracurriculars more manageable.
     
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  40. Garurumon

    Garurumon a digivolving wolf
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    Thanks for replying. I'll probably do what you've suggested and spread out my coursework so I won't be overwhelmed. A few questons if you don't mind me asking: What do you think of the program so far? What do you like and dislike about it? Any advice about applying?
     
  41. Rocketsfan2301

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    What is the interview like? i have mine this upcoming Friday and trying to prep. Does upenn charge an admissions fee if accepted?
     
  42. ooooooooooze

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    Okay I have been looking through the forum, but I didn't find anybody quite exactly in my situation (of course it is highly likely that I missed what I was looking for... but there's 34 pages for pete's sake!).

    I am a senior at a western university that does NOT crank out very many pre-meds (maybe 30-35ish every year that apply to med school; their main area of expertise is agriculture and ecology). I will graduate with a ~3.6 cumulative GPA, about a 3.5 science, and I earned a 512 on the MCAT-2015 (33ish on the old exam?). I also have what I consider to be fairly good extracurriculars. I applied to medical school this year, and I have been very fortunate to have been invited a couple of interviews, but I am highly interested in having a really solid back-up plan. I am interested in attending a good-quality medical school (so far, I have only enjoyed one of the two schools that I have interviewed at; the other school seemed a little dodgy and unprofessional). My main interests in applying to the Penn post-bac program would be to help increase my extracurriculars, as well as take some more upper-division courses. Another main focus of mine is that I would like to be a part of an interesting and engaging lab/research experience. I participated in research last year for two semesters @ 7-10 hours a week, but it was in an irrelevant field of study and I played a pretty passive role. I don't even know if anything was published, as I was let go when the project ran out of funds. I have yet to find a decent medical-related research project at the college; as the school is in a fairly small city, there aren't a ton of opportunities for relevant research.

    Is the UPenn post-bac program good for someone in my shoes? I know that this may sound bad, but hypothetically if I only get the one acceptance to the school that I did not feel was a good fit for me, I would rather do a post-bac at a reputable school and increase my chances of going somewhere a little more put-together and professional than go somewhere that I knew that I didn't enjoy (and wasn't even in my top-five choices). I am not trying at all to sound arrogant, I am just genuinely interested in the program, and I would like to know if I would be a good candidate for the post-bac program. Thank you for being patient with me; I am new to the forums here! This is actually my first post!! I wish everyone here the best.
     
  43. ooooooooooze

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    also, what is the total tuition for two semesters' worth of classes?
     
  44. CHoge25

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    The Penn bost-bac may be a good fit for you... You can take challenging classes that interest you (do well and hopefully boost your GPA). The best part about this program is all that is available at Penn. Tons of research (bench and clinical) as well as other opportunities. From your situation this may sound like a good fit, but you will be pushing your medical school back two cycles (assuming you finish the Post-bacc and apply the following spring).

    You would be spending probably about 30k not including daily necessities
     
  45. ooooooooooze

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    Thank you so much for taking time to answer my questions!
     
  46. ooooooooooze

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    Also, do they require you to retake the MCAT? While a 512 isn't the best score, it's also right around the 90th percentile. I would prefer to not retake it. Also, for anyone who has "cross-shopped" other post bac programs (i.e., Harvard Extension, etc), what made you choose Penn?
     
  47. Moko

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    Should you only be accepted to this 'less-than-put-together' medical school, be absolutely sure that you cannot achieve the career trajectory that you're looking for at this program before turning it down. Great grades are not a guaranteed thing at Penn (or any other post-bacc program at the big name universities for that matter), and an acceptance at a 'more acceptable' program is similarly not guaranteed (especially when you will need to mark down that you're a reapplicant with a prior acceptance). Just my thoughts. Good luck with your current cycle and with whichever path you choose.
     
  48. ooooooooooze

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    Good point. Thank you guys for your help! I really do appreciate it. Playing the medical school game is a tricky beast... but it helps that when I have a question that people are willing to be kind and help me out. I'll pay it forward :)
     
  49. Rocketsfan2301

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    How are the classes? are people usually pretty open to studying together or more of a cut throat attitude?
     
  50. CHoge25

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    No you do not need to retake the MCAT... and to be honest I did not decide to take the Post-Bac route until the end of May, and by that time Penn's July 1st deadline was the only one I could make...But I am glad I did.. Great school with a ton of opportunities to gain experience in a wide variety of research.. I am currently taking classes, working in a biomedical research lab and also volunteering on a clinical research project in my "free time".. These were all opportunities that I did not get in my undergraduate institution that will help bolster my resume before applying to medical school. I have learned a lot and it has been a good experience overall.
     

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