Intro, and soliciting feedback on Hunter UMass Boston's post bacc program

Hi everyone,

I’ve been lurking on here for a little while, and wanted to make a quick intro before I seek some input.

I reside in NYC and am currently applying for a few post bacc premed programs (HES, UMass Boston, and Hunter - the budget options!). I’m 25, going on 4 years out of undergrad where I majored in Film, so needless to say I will be starting from scratch as far as coursework goes. I had a 3.53 GPA as an undergrad, scored a 1430 on the GRE, so I feel somewhat confident that I should be able to tackle the hard math & sciences despite not having taken an since my senior year of high school!

I have seen a lot of feedback online re: Harvard’s post bacc program, but not nearly as much about UMass Boston or Hunter’s programs. Anyone here been through one of these programs and have any general or specific impressions to share?

Thanks in advance for any input! I’ve really appreciated the positive and encouraging tone on this forum, quite different than the other forums out there.



Hi Lucy,

If you are strained for $$, there is another option in NYC- City College with their post-bacc program. Just a thought.

However, Hunter has priority registration for the post-bacc premed students and that’s a huge asset in overcrowded public schools.

I did a lot of research on both and went to City so feel free to msg me about any questions you have.

Current Hunter student here. I know a LOT about the program. Feel free to message me as well.

Thanks dnelsen! I was just about to PM you, but then thought maybe it would be helpful to keep our exchange on the public post for future members who might be interested in Hunter’s program, if that sounds OK?

I’d love just to to hear some of your initial thoughts about the program, what the major upsides/drawbacks have been in your experience, what factors went into your decision, any tips to make the most of it, etc…

Really appreciate it!

You know I was thinking the same thing!

I looked at most of the NYC programs (NYU, Columbia, CCNY) and decided on Hunter based on a number of factors:

  1. Cost: CUNY is $240 per credit as opposed to like $1392 per credit at Columbia/NYU. It is a bargain.

  2. Location: It was the closest CUNY to where I live. Going to CCNY would have added substantially to my commute.

  3. Priority Registration: Postbaccs at Hunter have very high class registration priority. This is in contrast (I believe) to CCNY postbaccs who have a very low priority.

  4. Formal program: You get a committee letter, certificate, advising and there are linkages.

    AFTER I entered the program, I was very pleased for the following reasons:

  5. Great Professors: If you do your due diligence on ratemyprofessor and elsewhere (for Lab TAs too) and wield your priority registration diligently, you can pick the best profs.

  6. Community: Super nice people in the postbacc community. Almost no cutthroat behavior. People study together, share notes, and are great resources for most everything. Very chill.

    I guess the cons to the program would perhaps be perceived lack of rigor being a CUNY as compared to Columbia. The college’s facilities are definitely not nice as compared to other places with more money. They are redoing some of the labs this summer however. Class size is an issue. Intro Bio is like 500 people. The largest intro chem is maybe 300.

    I would also say if you have a less flexible schedule you can end up with some horrible profs and there are some really bad adjuncts floating around. The quality of the Lab TA is also a bit uneven. If you make a misstep in the Hunter bureaucracy or class registration things become frustrating rapidly.

    Any more specific questions?

Great, thanks for a thorough answer! Addressed most of the points I will be considering.

A few other things I had wondered about were availability of summer classes, and if there is any available advising/support in terms of curriculum plannings/etc.

Also, out of curiosity, do you work, or are you a full time student? I’m trying to figure out for myself if I will try to keep working at all while I do this, or if I would be better off to focus completely on coursework…

Hunter offers a decent amount of the pre-reqs during the summer. They do not, however, offer Bio and Orgo over the summer. I believe you can do some sort of ePermit thing where you take classes at other CUNYs but I have no direct knowledge of that.

There are 3ish premed advisers who can help you with your curriculum planning. You can also reach out to the postbacc community. A quick note that the advisers aren’t going to advise you if you aren’t a matriculated CUNY student.

I initially worked. I had to stop working when I hit Orgo and I am now a fulltime student. There are a fair amount of evening classes so if you need to work you can likely find something to fit your schedule. For example, The Intro Bio (there is only one) is taught at night.

In terms of applying to the program, I believe you have missed the window for 2012. There is only one postbacc class per year and they start in the Fall. You could apply to Hunter as a regular non-degree student and start taking classes earlier. Perhaps start off with precalculus and work up from there?

Thanks drnelson, been really helpful to hear your perspective.

I actually did manage to get my application in (just barely!) by their December 1st deadline, just hadn’t really done my homework on the program since the deadline caught me off guard slightly.

One last question - do you remember when you were notified about your acceptance?