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Was this an exception?

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by SundayT, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. SundayT

    SundayT 2+ Year Member

    Nov 14, 2007
    I met someone who has just finished medical school and had taken all of her post-bacc classes at Santa Monica College; I'm a little confused though since I've been told time and again that adcoms look down on students that take post-bacc classes at community colleges. Maybe she was the exception? I just want to know if there are any more of you who've attended community college for post-bacc and gotten into med school this way. More specifically, have any of you taken your post-bacc classes at SMC? If so, what was your experience like? Would you recommend doing this or going to a 4-year university?
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  3. Xcited392

    Xcited392 2+ Year Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    Do you know what her MCAT score was?
  4. flip26

    flip26 2+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    I think it is the exception to the "rule" (take your pre reqs at a 4 year uni if at all possible), but SDNers and uninformed pre-meds misconstrue the "rule" to mean that CC pre reqs are not allowed.

    Most applicants take the classes as traditionals as part of their UG curriculum (they are pre-med). A growing number of nontrad college grads take the classes in a post bacc (formal or informal). While it is always advisable to take them at a 4 year university, there is no hard and fast rule against taking them at a CC (there are reportedly exceptions to this - BU may have something to say about acceptability of CC courses - may also be less welcome at top research med schools, too - I really don't know of a list of schools in this regard, though).

    Like everything, it depends. If you went to a 4 year university and did well (say 3.7+ GPA), but for the pre-reqs you later attended a CC, I think the truth is that you will be OK - not to say it would not be "better" to attend a 4 year university for the pre-reqs - but you will not be raising too many eyebrows as someone who was trying to avoid a tougher university environment.

    Also - if you do the pre-reqs at a CC, you really have no excuses when it comes to grades. Any cumulative GPA below 3.7, if not actually closer to a 4.0, will be viewed suspiciously.

    Finally - as a nontrad, you already know you need to apply broadly. This is probably doubly important if you take the pre reqs at a CC. The truth is that some if not most med schools will be OK with it, but some won't, so you need to apply very broadly to account for the schools that may screen you out...

    And as the other poster asked, her MCAT could also have made a big diff - a high MCAT, coupled with high CC grades, would be a positive thing. A low MCAT could be a killer...
  5. SundayT

    SundayT 2+ Year Member

    Nov 14, 2007
    Thanks for the replies! Her MCAT score was actually 29, so pretty average, right? She said she got over 3.5 GPA for her post-bacc classes, but nothing amazing like a 4.0. She also graduated with high honors for her undergrad at one of the top universities, so I think that definitely helped her. For my own situation, I might just take some classes at a CC and then transfer over to a 4-year to take the rest of them. We'll see---I'm still debating. If anyone else has any suggestions/tips/etc., please let me know. Thanks!

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