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What would you choose?

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by Cire, Apr 21, 2007.

Which would you choose?

  1. University of Miami

  2. Georgetown University

  3. Harvard Extension School

  1. Cire

    Cire 2+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Hi all,

    I've sent out my applications to several post-baccalaureate pre-medical programs (to start this summer) and have been accepted to three. They were not my first choices, but alas these are where I got accepted to and I must make a choice. I'm really having trouble choosing one (and everyone I ask chooses a different one, though granted most of them don't really know what they're talking about, heh), so I'd really like to hear some outside thoughts. I've searched and come across threads here that cover each school, but some of them were several years old and not that informative. If anyone has first-hand feedback to offer, or even just what you've heard about the school, I'd be most appreciative. :)

    The first is the University of Miami. It's a private university that is not too far from where I currently live (about 45 minutes or so), so moving to a new place wouldn't be too hard and I would still sort of know people and family in the area. I could also probably continue at my current (very selective) volunteering position at a local hospital. That said though, the information on the program doesn't seem too extensive, and I don't really know how reputable the program is. I'm also thinking that it might also be nice for me to try and instead live somewhere with a more seasonal/cool climate for a year or two for once in my life :D, which leads me to...

    The second is Georgetown University. The program seems respectable as does the school, and it seems about 50 students were admitted into the program for this upcoming summer session. I'm not crazy, however, about the area/community from what I've read about it so far, but I've never personally visited.

    The last is Harvard University's Extension School. Though the Extension School is technically part of Harvard University, it is still an open enrollment program. As I understand it, so long as you meet the requirements you are accepted into the program. As was the case with me, they mailed my acceptance letter less than 24 hours after receiving my application. While "Harvard University" in itself seems impressive, I'm worried about the rigor of the program or the reputation of it given how lax it seems to be with regards to selectivity; it seems to be almost the opposite of the main Harvard University in that regard. Also, it seems all the Extension School classes are offered in the evening, which since I want to enroll full time into a post-bacc program, I can't say I'm a huge fan of.

    What are everyone's thoughts?
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  3. postbacker

    postbacker Banned Banned

    Mar 27, 2007
    Frankly, you would be nuts to move to DC or Boston with a perfectly acceptable alternative near your home. From what I understand of HES, it is not much of a "program," more of you taking the classes fairly independently. Be sure you understand what kind of support you get - do they prepare a committee letter for you? Etc...

    I have lived in both DC and Boston - they are very expensive places - very congested, lots of rude people - don't bring a car unless you want to spend a couple hundred a month parking it somewhere...and unless you have lots of money to blow on an apartment, expect to spend over $1000 per month for a crummy crackerbox studio in either place...a nice studio will run you $1500 in might lower your monthly with a roommate deal through craigslist, but you will still be looking at at least $700 to share a small apartment with one bath in Boston (I had a room in a decent 2 bed / 1 bath condo last year and paid $1100 for the privilege in the South End)...I think the same is true in DC...

    Save your money for med school.
  4. WisePrincess227

    WisePrincess227 F.R.O.G. 2+ Year Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    In the South
    I believe that if you want to stay near to home for a post-bacc to save more money then you should do it. I think all the programs that you have been accepted to are fantastic programs. If I had your choices, I would rank as followed

    1. Georgetown (been around a long time and they have a lot of connections with other universities for future med school apps)

    2. Univ. of Miami (I am not sure how long this program has been around, but I think because it is a private school and if you want to attend school in Florida they have a rigorous program that I think schools like FSU, USF and UF would love to see that you completed)

    3. Harvard Extension (??? Someone else probably could speak better on this choice)

    Bet wishes, Wise :cool:
  5. Cire

    Cire 2+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Thanks for the comments (and votes) so far. I see most people are voting, but are not leaving any kind of commentary. I appreciate it, but if you could, it would really be even more helpful to know why some of you voted for what you did. :D

    I was thinking that too, but my main internal argument to this point is that Georgetown is probably the better school. No?

    I'd say my two main choices at this point are probably between Miami and Georgetown. I can move far away to somewhere I've never been and where I don't know anybody, but go to probably the more respected University; or to stay relatively close to my friends and family and settle for a slightly lesser-known University.

    From my research, cost of living is going to run me more or less the same in the DC area as in the Miami Beach area, so I won't really be saving too much by staying close to home really. A decent place runs in the range of $1200-1400 a month (yikes) in either city (probably around $1500-1600 with utilities, food, and other expenses), and overall tuition for both of the schools are roughly the same. I suppose I'm not opposed to doing the roommate thing, but I think with the intensity of the program, I'm really going to want to come home to a quiet place every night to either study or sleep and not have to worry about other people's schedules.

    Hopefully the parents will help out as much as they can with the finances, but I will no doubt still have to take out a private student loan probably in the area of $30-40 grand (yikes again). I'm hoping I can catch some decent work during the glide year and pay off as much of the loan as I can before starting up the four years of med school. Anyway, that's next year's problem; I'm stressing out enough just over the decision between schools for now. :D

    Thanks for the replies so far, they are indeed very helpful. Please keep them coming! :)
  6. Heinz57

    Heinz57 2+ Year Member

    Nov 17, 2006
    Cire - this may not answer your question - but I have spoken with an area (DC) med school admissions dean, various mds, and current md students and they all agree that it doesn't matter where you complete your postbac work, as long as it's at a four-year school, you achieve great grades, score over 30 on the MCAT and volunteer/research/shadow. I think the only reason I'd pay for a "name" school is the linkage options. Also, I'd look for a certificate program that offers a committee letter of rec. Based on this, I'd take the cheapest route possible, but since you say that Georgetown and Miami will cost you about the same, and since they both look like good programs, I vote for Miami, or even look for something cheaper, if money is a concern. Moving is very expensive and stressful and having a good support group around you would be nice. But if your support group will distract you, then maybe you should move.

    There are some recent, extensive posts on the Georgetown program if you do some research on SDN. When I called them, I wasn't impressed with the Director, but some of those actually *in* the program speak highly of it. If you decide on DC, be prepared - in my estimation, DC can feel very cold and isolating, and you will most likely get allergies, since DC was built on a swamp. This may seem minor, but I never had allergies until I moved here, and they can really impair a person. Also, almost everyone gets them. The seasons can be nice (spring in the VA countryside is beautiful), but the winters are long and the summers stifling. Not that Miami is any less humid, but Spring/Autumn in DC generally last for about three weeks each. Anyhow, good luck with the decision and keep us posted!

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