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What's the difference between doing a post-bacc and being a non-matric student?

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by anonymous4, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. anonymous4

    anonymous4 Junior Member
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    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Hey guys,
    I've just graduated with my BA in Marketing and have decided to aim for Dental School in the near future. So I'm trying to find a Post-Bacc program to help me meet the science requirements.

    My question is, is there a benefit from doing a post-bacc as opposed to just applying as a non-matric student? Or is it the same thing. Theoretically, I always assume that schools that offer post-baccs will have more demanding courses because they actually have a program that focuses on science courses. Where as schools where you can apply as a non-matric with no post- bacc programs will be less rigorous in workload etc.

    In the end, does it really matter? because don't Dental/Medical Schools just want to see how well you've done in the class regardless of what program your in or where you've taken it? Do Dental Schools really care if you were in a post-bacc program or not?

    I'm just trying to decide if I really want to go ahead with a post- bacc program and if its really worth it, but ultimately, i just want to do well in my courses. preferably with a less demanding workload
     
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  3. TheSecret

    TheSecret Junior Member
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    The thing that makes a postbacc program more attractive is the specialized advisement that may (or may not) be available to you. The application process is slightly different for people not applying during their senior year of college, and there are many more special cases that arise when you have a "non-traditional" background (even though non-trads are becoming more and more prevalent).

    Perhaps even more important is that in a postbacc program your school will write you a committee letter, which seems to be a very large plus in an application. If you don't have a committee letter, you have to organize your recommendations yourself, and in many instances it's preferable to have the pre-health committee handle that for you.

    I'm at Columbia's postbacc program, and we have to jump through some hoops to get the committee letter - we need to get individual recommendations from 3 science faculty members at Columbia, a letter from each stage of our lives from undergrad on (professors for undergrad and grad work, supervisors for work experiences), maintain a certain GPA, go through an interview process, write 6 essays...it's quite a bit of work.

    With all that said, if you're willing to do a little extra work in organizing that part of your application, there's absolutely nothing wrong with just taking the courses and applying. In a lot of ways it might be more convenient for you.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Lindyhopper

    Lindyhopper Senior Member
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    At CUNY Hunter non-matric. often get closed out of courses esp. labs as they have late registration dates.
     
  5. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    You need to be in a progra conferring a certificate or degree to be eligible for federal financial aid. No loans for taking courses on a non-matriculating path.
     
  6. dasta

    dasta Member
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    There are some differences: there are formal post-baccs which are aimed at helping those without the pre-science requirements to get those lower division classes, while other formal programs offer upper division coursework. These programs tend to be relatively structured to highly structured, often offered by private universities, hence they are expensive. But in return you get hand-holding, committee LORs, etc. In many colleges, one can enroll as an "undifferentiated post-bacc", basically a grad student without a department. Once in you can take whatever you like. This approach is often better for those who don't want the structure, are working, have kids, etc.

    Probably, it doesn't matter at all in the end, at least for applicants to state med schools. However, my own research shows there appears to be some slight bias towards applicants from these private formal programs, especially among top tier/"Ivy League" med/dental programs that appear to prefer those who went to private post-baccs.
    Ultimately, good advice. Doing well at a 4-year school is probably a good compromise between formal post-baccs and community colleges -- some med schools give less weight to courses taken at a 2-year CC than a 4-year U.
     

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