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Upenn vs. Mills

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by epeck, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. epeck

    epeck 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 16, 2007
    I am having to make a tough decision on which of these postbac programs to attend. As far as I can tell they are both quite good. I was just wondering if there are any of you out there who have attended either of these programs and have any feedback regarding the advising, students, profs. etc.

    Also, if I go to Penn I want to keep my Cali residency status. Does anyone know how to do that? I don't want to eliminate the UC's as a possibility.
     
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  3. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 23, 2004
    I went to Mills and thought it was a great program. Lots of individualized attention (great LORs), small classes, and classes structured specfically for premeds. I have no idea how Mills is regarded on the east coast, but if you're shooting for UCs, the placement rate is very, very high. I wouldn't say it's the best postbac in the country, but I'd put it in the top five or ten, and one of the top three on the west coast.

    If you're shooting for east coast schools, UPenn may be better regarded out there. I have no idea.
     
  4. epeck

    epeck 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 16, 2007
    thank you for that. I had heard that the advising wasn't so great at Mills, but did that really matter in the end? Also, with the small classes, does that eliminate the no matter how hard I work some profs. are only gonna give a very small number of A's. Basically is there an atmosphere of cuthroat look out for number one competition. Obviously beyond the natural competition that exists in any challenging class? Oh yeah, one more thing. Is it a better idea to take two years with this stuff if I haven't ever taken chem or any of these classes before? It is kind of tempting to try and get done sooner, but i don't want to screw myself.
     
  5. raceblk

    raceblk 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 29, 2007
    The Mills program pretty much makes you do the work in two years unless you've already taken some of the pre-reqs. And after those two years, there is the glide year...

    If you want to get it done in a year, you might really want to look into the one year intensive programs like Bryn Mawr or JHU (I'm sure that there are others back east). I think that it's really up to you how you want to get through the work.
     
  6. NY Musicologist

    NY Musicologist Career Changer 5+ Year Member

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    Apr 1, 2005
    Boston
    I wouldn't risk losing my CA residency if I were you. In any case, I don't believe the relative "prestige" of postbacc programs carries enough weight to merit moving across the country solely to enroll in one. Just go with the program that's most reasonable to you and make sure you do as well in it as you can.

    (Mills looks like a fine program to me. I was admitted but got cold feet about the whole medicine thing and didn't enroll.)
     
  7. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    That's true. There isn't a lot of great advising. It didn't really bother me at all, but I suppose it would be a weakness.
    No class I took at Mills was graded on a curve. It's not that kind of place.
    Zero of that. Mills is very cooperative. Sharing of notes and resources, ad hoc study groups, etc. Lots of self-directed pressure, but no competition amongst students that I could see. It's very much a Bay Area school and a liberal one at that.
     
  8. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    Actually, that's not true. Mills operates just like JHU and Bryn Mawr. All these postbac programs require one academic year of study assuming you have completed General Chemistry I and II. If you haven't, you take it in the summer preceding the postbac, which is how they're called "one year programs".

    I completed Mills in one year, taking Bio/OChem/Physics. I had taken Gen Chem previously. You can take it over the summer before just about anywhere.
    Good question and it's up to you. I firmly believe that more postbacs hurt themselves by rushing than taking things too slow. Taking GenChem I and II over one summer session can be pretty exhausting and at a challenging program like Mills, three courses is a full-time load. This doesn't allow a lot of time for volunteering and whatnot.

    I worked my butt off to keep my volunteer hours up and still get good grades, but pretty much had no life and didn't have time to study for the MCAT (put it off until August). But I'm no genius. I'm sure smarter folks did it with a lot less work.
     
  9. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 23, 2004
    I agree with that. I debated attending a less prestigious postbac program where I live but instead commuted an hour each way to do Mills. That's about as much a move as I'd make. I wouldn't relocate for a postbac unless there aren't any other options near you.
     

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