UPenn Post Bacc Program

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TauAlzheimBrotein

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had my SSP interview 6/25/20, accepted 6/30/20. Will probably decline in favor of another program

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Dent.dork

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Just had my interview! It looks like the committee will be meeting again on the 10th and more decisions will be sent out between the 24th-30th for anyone who’s wondering!
 
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arm0956045

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Hi everyone! I am looking to apply for the spring semester 2021 (applications due November 1st, 2020). I am wondering if anyone who has gotten into the program or any post-bacc program would be willing to review essay for admission to the UPenn Post-bacc. I graduated magna cum laude with a cGPA of 3.52 and I majored in natural sciences, minored in neuroscience, and got a certificate in community health assessment. I worked in a sleep research lab for 2 years and then as a medical assistant for a physiatrist for six months. My original path was to become a physician assistant but I realized my true desire is to become a doctor of osteopathic medicine. Thanks for any advice or willingness to help :)
 

backgroundnofound

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hi! I was wondering if anyone who is in the program or who recently graduated from this program (especially specialized studies one) wants to share their experiences? Thank you!
 

futuretrashwoman

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Hi! I finished the program in August (did only 1 year of Specialized Studies). I really enjoyed the program-- great classes, professors are incredibly intelligent/willing to help, and there are numerous volunteering/research opportunities at Penn.

PROS:
I met so many amazing people from all over the country from different backgrounds (academic, SES)-- truly the highlight of the program was the amount of friends I made and still keep in touch with.

Faculty wants you to succeed-- that being said, you do need to put in effort and work hard. These classes are not easy, and I came from an difficult undergrad science program.

I loved the city and made the most of it when I was in Philly since COVID-19 forced me to finish my classes online in my home-state.

CONS:
I am salty that I had to finish my classes online so the online version of my education was not enjoyable-- but hopefully by the time you enroll you will be on campus.

Some people are overly competitive (for whatever reason) but I stayed away from them and found a group of great people to hang/study with.

If you want anymore details, feel free to PM me!
 

saren99

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hi! I was wondering if anyone who is in the program or who recently graduated from this program (especially specialized studies one) wants to share their experiences? Thank you!
Hi, I am currently in the program and I have a slightly different opinion. Currently, the program is 100% online. Due to this fact, we were unable to really participate in any of the amenities that the program has to offer. In regards to professors, some are helpful, and others are not. If you are looking for a structured post-bacc this might not be the program you. You have full autonomy in picking your coursework which may be helpful to some, but there are other programs out there that specifically design your schedule to help you with the MCAT. Also, the classes are not 100% post-bacc students, it is a mixture of post-bac, undergrad, and grad students!

In regards to the MCAT they do not offer any free prep. I repeat they DO NOT offer any FREE prep. They advertise Kaplan prep on their page and even put a class block on Canvas labeled MCAT during the semester. But if you fill out the little form you are signing up for discounted prep that's like $2000. And it turns out that only 25% of students actually partake in it.

Additionally, I do not recommend the SS program if you are looking to benefit from linkage, The linkage agreements are catered to the Core Studies programs (literally down to the essay questions). They only submit like three kids each year to medical schools for linkage and in 2019 none of them actually matriculated from the SS program.

Lastly, super sorry if it sounds like I'm just trashing this program. The advisors are super helpful and the students are really nice. Everyone has their own experiences so please take everything I say with a grain of salt. I just wanted to make sure that this got out there because it was thought it was peaches and cream when I was applying. Please feel free to PM if you have any additional questions.
 

foreverstudent21

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I agree with you 100% and want to add my two cents.. I found the lack of support and the limited selection of professors teaching within the program is not worth the price tag.

The online format is weak and teaching is mediocre.

Aside from the Penn name, students may have a better experience elsewhere.
 

kazill

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I will note that the biggest benefit I got from this program (4 years ago now) was the connections and research at UPenn and Penn Medicine. Given it's online currently that's pretty majorly hamstringing what I think is the best part of going into the specialized studies program, i.e. meeting people and getting involved at a super prestigious and well-funded medical institution.
 

doctry23

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Hi, I am currently in the program and I have a slightly different opinion. Currently, the program is 100% online. Due to this fact, we were unable to really participate in any of the amenities that the program has to offer. In regards to professors, some are helpful, and others are not. If you are looking for a structured post-bacc this might not be the program you. You have full autonomy in picking your coursework which may be helpful to some, but there are other programs out there that specifically design your schedule to help you with the MCAT. Also, the classes are not 100% post-bacc students, it is a mixture of post-bac, undergrad, and grad students!

In regards to the MCAT they do not offer any free prep. I repeat they DO NOT offer any FREE prep. They advertise Kaplan prep on their page and even put a class block on Canvas labeled MCAT during the semester. But if you fill out the little form you are signing up for discounted prep that's like $2000. And it turns out that only 25% of students actually partake in it.

Additionally, I do not recommend the SS program if you are looking to benefit from linkage, The linkage agreements are catered to the Core Studies programs (literally down to the essay questions). They only submit like three kids each year to medical schools for linkage and in 2019 none of them actually matriculated from the SS program.

Lastly, super sorry if it sounds like I'm just trashing this program. The advisors are super helpful and the students are really nice. Everyone has their own experiences so please take everything I say with a grain of salt. I just wanted to make sure that this got out there because it was thought it was peaches and cream when I was applying. Please feel free to PM if you have any additional questions.
Hi! Can I PM you for some additional info?
 
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jacksteel777

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I was recently accepted into LPS UPenn SS program. Can anyone tell me how Long I have to make a decision? I am still waiting on certain med schools that have expressed interest and an early admissions/conditional acceptance program. It seems I might not hear back from them for at least another month. Please, any info will help ease my anxiety.
 

j_diggity

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I was recently accepted into LPS UPenn SS program. Can anyone tell me how Long I have to make a decision? I am still waiting on certain med schools that have expressed interest and an early admissions/conditional acceptance program. It seems I might not hear back from them for at least another month. Please, any info will help ease my anxiety.
Can I ask about how the interview went? What kind of questions did they ask you? I am just preparing for interviews now and I have never done a post-bacc interview before, so I want to put my best foot forward. Thank you!

PS - This goes for anyone else here as well :)
 

futuretrashwoman

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Can I ask about how the interview went? What kind of questions did they ask you? I am just preparing for interviews now and I have never done a post-bacc interview before, so I want to put my best foot forward. Thank you!

PS - This goes for anyone else here as well :)
Hi everyone,

Former UPenn SS post-bacc student here. The interview is very relaxed: they just want to know why you want to enroll in the post-bacc, your career goals, what you can bring to the student body, anything you are excited about (i.e. Living in Philly, doing research, checking out the AMAZING food scene). Be yourself, its very chill.
 
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jacksteel777

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Hi everyone,

Former UPenn SS post-bacc student here. The interview is very relaxed: they just want to know why you want to enroll in the post-bacc, your career goals, what you can bring to the student body, anything you are excited about (i.e. Living in Philly, doing research, checking out the AMAZING food scene). Be yourself, its very chill.
I agree with this individual, if they invited you for an interview they already like you. They just want to find out more about you!
 

doctry23

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Now that it's time for registration for the Penn specialized studies program, does anyone have any course recommendations that are a must and also taught by good professors? Any courses that people recommend avoiding because of grading/difficulty? Thanks!
 

j_diggity

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I had my interview last week (for Core Studies) and felt that it went well. The interviewer seemed to like me and had pretty good feedback, but ultimately the decision is up to the full committee, which meets each Friday. I am anxiously awaiting a decision because I really like the Penn program! I actually went down to Philly this past weekend to see if I'd like living there and it was a ton of fun, so I've really got my fingers crossed. It would be a big bummer if I didn't get accepted! But thankfully I was accepted to another solid program, so I wouldn't be SOL. Penn seems better though ;).

I love that the hospital is literally next to the campus, the diversity of the city of Philadelphia, all the fun activities, tons of clinical opportunities, and have been really impressed by how helpful the students are! I reached out to a few students to ask about their experiences and was astounded by how helpful they were & how generous they all were with their time.

Good luck to everyone else who is applying & I wish you all the best!
 

j_diggity

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I had my interview last week (for Core Studies) and felt that it went well. The interviewer seemed to like me and had pretty good feedback, but ultimately the decision is up to the full committee, which meets each Friday. I am anxiously awaiting a decision because I really like the Penn program! I actually went down to Philly this past weekend to see if I'd like living there and it was a ton of fun, so I've really got my fingers crossed. It would be a big bummer if I didn't get accepted! But thankfully I was accepted to another solid program, so I wouldn't be SOL. Penn seems better though ;).

I love that the hospital is literally next to the campus, the diversity of the city of Philadelphia, all the fun activities, tons of clinical opportunities, and have been really impressed by how helpful the students are! I reached out to a few students to ask about their experiences and was astounded by how helpful they were & how generous they all were with their time.

Good luck to everyone else who is applying & I wish you all the best!
Update: I got in!!! YES!!!!
 
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j_diggity

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Side note: UPenn is requiring COVID vaccines for all students for the 2021-2022 academic year, which means it's very likely that classes will be in-person again. I'm very much excited to be back on a college campus, safely, and the idea of Zoom classes was really not appealing to me. I commend those who have been able to do it.
 

j_diggity

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Wanted to share some intel here as well - earlier in the thread people share some scary stories about the Core studies Gen chemistry sequence - things like class average being a B- (in a postbac-only course), exam averages being 50-60%, the class instructor being very rigid or impersonable, etc. (user TheSecondZ posted a pretty horrific experience that doesn't line up with anything I've heard- even from people who took the older professor. I wouldn't put too much stock in their story, although I feel terrible that they had such a negative experience)

Either way, that old prof is no longer with the program and the students I've spoken to in the program have said that the new instructor is so much better, both with the grading and the quality of instruction.

So, I wouldn't be too concerned about that if that's something you're concerned about.
 

surgeonhopeful98

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Hi everyone,

Former UPenn SS post-bacc student here. The interview is very relaxed: they just want to know why you want to enroll in the post-bacc, your career goals, what you can bring to the student body, anything you are excited about (i.e. Living in Philly, doing research, checking out the AMAZING food scene). Be yourself, its very chill.
Hi! I was just accepted into the program and was wondering if I could PM you with questions or just give a review of the program itself (professors, grading, advising, success in the program)? Thanks!!
 
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lialalala

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Hi! I was just accepted into the program and was wondering if I could PM you with questions or just give a review of the program itself (professors, grading, advising, success in the program)? Thanks!!
Hello, and yes you can!
 

9jaPremed

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hello everyone! I'm in the process of applying for the spring 2020 start term (specialized studies). For those who have recently had an interview, what was it like? what type of questions were asked? how did you prepare?
 

asfhxmf

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Hi Everyone! I was accepted into the Core Studies program, and I'm currently deciding between UPenn LPS and Bryn Mawr for my postbac studies.

For those who did Core Studies, do you have any info you feel I should know? It sounds like there's some gripes about Specialized Studies and (probably) outdated opinions on Core Studies.

For those who also got accepted, hit me up!
 

toothfairydiary

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Hi everyone! This thread seems to have been dying down since 2020, but I figured I would drop in to see if there are any active members.

I was just accepted into the Specialized Sciences program for Fall 2022, I would love to connect with other classmates or program alums! Also, does anyone know if there is a Facebook group for accepted students?
 

mbunga

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I recently got accepted to the Postbacc program. Anyone on here currently enrolled that can give their two cents on the program?
Seems like most of the feedback is a bit dated and would really appreciate any help. Thanks so much in advance.
 

tenma_dr

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Hi, I am currently in the program and I have a slightly different opinion. Currently, the program is 100% online. Due to this fact, we were unable to really participate in any of the amenities that the program has to offer. In regards to professors, some are helpful, and others are not. If you are looking for a structured post-bacc this might not be the program you. You have full autonomy in picking your coursework which may be helpful to some, but there are other programs out there that specifically design your schedule to help you with the MCAT. Also, the classes are not 100% post-bacc students, it is a mixture of post-bac, undergrad, and grad students!

In regards to the MCAT they do not offer any free prep. I repeat they DO NOT offer any FREE prep. They advertise Kaplan prep on their page and even put a class block on Canvas labeled MCAT during the semester. But if you fill out the little form you are signing up for discounted prep that's like $2000. And it turns out that only 25% of students actually partake in it.

Additionally, I do not recommend the SS program if you are looking to benefit from linkage, The linkage agreements are catered to the Core Studies programs (literally down to the essay questions). They only submit like three kids each year to medical schools for linkage and in 2019 none of them actually matriculated from the SS program.

Lastly, super sorry if it sounds like I'm just trashing this program. The advisors are super helpful and the students are really nice. Everyone has their own experiences so please take everything I say with a grain of salt. I just wanted to make sure that this got out there because it was thought it was peaches and cream when I was applying. Please feel free to PM if you have any additional questions.
Hey! Could I PM you with some questions?
 

futuretrashwoman

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Hi! I finished the program in August (did only 1 year of Specialized Studies). I really enjoyed the program-- great classes, professors are incredibly intelligent/willing to help, and there are numerous volunteering/research opportunities at Penn.

PROS:
I met so many amazing people from all over the country from different backgrounds (academic, SES)-- truly the highlight of the program was the amount of friends I made and still keep in touch with.

Faculty wants you to succeed-- that being said, you do need to put in effort and work hard. These classes are not easy, and I came from an difficult undergrad science program.

I loved the city and made the most of it when I was in Philly since COVID-19 forced me to finish my classes online in my home-state.

CONS:
I am salty that I had to finish my classes online so the online version of my education was not enjoyable-- but hopefully by the time you enroll you will be on campus.

Some people are overly competitive (for whatever reason) but I stayed away from them and found a group of great people to hang/study with.

If you want anymore details, feel free to PM me!
So multiple ppl have reached out to me. I’ll just comment here so everyone can see it.

I got accepted to medical school 2 years after I finished my time at Penn. Did my time at Penn get me accepted? No clue. But it def helped bc my GPA was not where it should have been to matriculate without the program. My experience at Penn was cut short bc of the pandemic so things may be drastically different now from when I was there. I will say some of the courses at Penn did kinda prepare me for med school. Aka in undergrad I never took immuno but I took it at Penn and it did help a lil bit.

I don’t remember the interview so I can’t comment on that, sorry. But just be yourself and know why you wanna be in the program and what your long term goal is.

Good luck, if you can afford the program i think it’s worth it. My entire friend group from the program (except one person) is in medical school or dental school now. Fyi.
 
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