Note: this topic was started in a different thread. Just moving it hear for ease
- amykaylit Said:
- spoxjox Said:
A post-bacc program is just that: A program. When you finish, you get to show the medical school that you have completed a program, and even have a little certificate to show them. As far as I can tell, that's the only real difference.
There are several important differences between formal and informal (e.g. taking classes on your own) post-bacc program. Additionally there are big differences among post-bacc programs
For those who may not know, Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical programs are exactly what the names implies. Pre-medical prerequisite courses for those who already have a bachelor's degree. They come in several flavors as used by the AAMC in formal programs http://services.aamc.org/postbac/
80 undergraduate programs
*all non-degree, split between certificate and non-certificate
48 graduate programs
*non-degree with both certificate and non-certificate
*degree with traditional masters with thesis/hard science
*degree special masters program with applied/medical science, some have thesis
*undergraduate, degree programs
*undergraduate, non-degree/non-matriculat ed classes
*graduate (should be included too I guess, but I don’t have much info/experience)
Here are some differences/things to consider (by no means is this list complete)
1) Classes: In formal programs, you may have a higher priority and/or separate classes for the pre-reqs as you would for an undergrad degree program. As a non-matriculated student, you are last on the list for class space. Colleges have cut class offerings and this is a real issue for some students, as in California schools.
2) Advising: Most for post-bacc programs, there is at least some formal advising for students, probably as good as premed advising for regular degree undergrads. I am under the impression that a large percentage, probably a majority, of formal programs have dedicated staff separate from regular undergrad advisors. The formal post-bacs should be better at dealing with non-traditional students than typical UG advisors.
3) Cost: Most formal programs are going to cost more than typical undergrad classes and you may not be getting much more. For example, SUNY Stony Brook charges graduate course rates for the formal post-bacc yet you’re in the same classes with regular undergrads who pay about 1/3 as much for a class. Some programs can cost an arm, a leg, a lung, 3 feet of intestines, and a lobe of your liver.
4) Linkage: Some formal post-bacs have strong linkages with medical schools that may give you a leg up in terms of prestige.
5) Volunteer/Research: Some formal programs seem to have more organized volunteer and research arrangements
Now, despite all the above, I actually am not a real big fan of formal programs. There is wide variation amongst programs, many are designed with the concept of recent college graduate with good to great background, have very structured scheduling, and are expensive. As always, it really depends what your needs, budget, location, scheduling, etc. So you really have to explore, examine, and evaluate programs independently.