Intro + California issues

Hi, first post here.

The quick and dirty: I have a B.A. in Art and Film from UCSD in 2007 (and my GPA was 2.76 at graduation). I have been taking nursing pre-reqs. because originally I was thinking of a Direct Entry Master’s in Nursing, but as I shadowed nurses and NP’s and looked at the MSN curriculum I felt science was lacking for me.

+30 units nursing prereq. at (3.76 GPA) [Anatomy (B *first class in a couple years), Physiology (A), Gen Chem. I (A), Micro Bio (A), Nutrition (A), + some social science classes

=cGPA: ~2.97

I’m scheduled for 2 classes in the fall (Gen. Psyc and Statistics) that should get me to a cum. of 3.01

I think that if I’m going to make a med school run that I’ll need a formal post bacc program; I’ll want the structure. Are all the UC post bacc’s really only for URM? With just a 3.0 (with shown improvement) Do I have a shot at an expensive private post bacc like Mill’s or Scripps?

SF state seems like I’d have a shot at getting in but a two year program seems like a bad deal. And CSU east bay is quarter system which is weird.

Also, can someone explain the bias people seem to have against UC berkeley extension’s post bacc? (not here, but definitely on SDN)

Thanks in advance for any input.

Hello, and welcome to OPM!

I’m not from CA, so I can’t address any of those specific questions. I can, however, tell you that this site has been incredibly helpful to me, and that I hope you find it to be as such yourself.

In addition, I am doing a formal post-bac myself starting this fall. So if you have any more general post-bac program questions, I’d be happy to (try to) answer them.

Best wishes to you, and keep posting about your progress!

P.S. I have a journalism degree (2003), and I was a writer/editor for 7 years before embarking on this journey. Just wanted to let you know you’re not the only one from that end of the spectrum who wants to go to med school.

Hi! Welcome!

I’ve only looked into UCLA’s program (RAP) and it is for URM’s that have applied to med school previously and been denied. With a quick check of UCSD’s site I see that they have 2 programs (one is for reapplicants) and they state that both are for applicants from “disadvantaged backgrounds” (which isn’t necessarily URM’s). Looking deeper into their requirements, they also say that an applicant from an underserved area is qualified.

The CSU programs you mentioned are most likely the only way you’ll be able to access that system as a post-bacc. As far as I know, all CSU campuses are now closed to informal post-baccs and second bachelors students (that haven’t already begun their studies before the budget cuts).

As far as UCB extension goes: since I’m a So Cal girl I can’t comment on anything about that campus. I never looked into them since they’re so far from me. I have recently been looking into UCLA extension though (my undergrad money is about to run out so I’m looking into other options) and have heard some decent things about their pre med offerings.

Mills and Scrips: I’d contact an admissions person at either/both schools if I were you. I imagine that with the CSU’s closing their doors on non-trads, the competition at both Mills and Scrips is probably worse now. You’ll never know without asking though. Before deciding on going the informal route at a CSU I spoke with Scrips and the admissions people were very helpful.

There are several other posts in this forum regarding the current situation in California. It might be helpful to search for them. Good luck to you!

I attended the UCB Extension postbac - it’s pretty good but like all classes, you get out what you put in. The program is fairly new and seems to suffer from growing pains like being hard to get the classes you need when you need them. However, I got what I needed and am now in a DO program in Ca.

  • NonTradClimber Said:
Hi, first post here.

Also, can someone explain the bias people seem to have against UC berkeley extension's post bacc? (not here, but definitely on SDN)

My perception of the comments on SDN about UC Berkley (and other extension programs from upper echelon schools) is one of, dare I say, snootiness (ie pompous; snobbish; inclined to turn up one's nose; elite; exclusive)

"These extension programs are not the REAL Berkley and Harvard. How can they let these mere mortals use the good name of our hallowed institution. They have to be outstanding, cream of the crop like me. They cheapen me, these non-trads"

SDN has a lot of good information, but it also has alot of young inexperienced kids who discuss perceptions without real information. So take everything you read with a grain or two of salt (and a lime and a tequila)

I wouldn’t write off the CSU’s because of the quarter system. (although I have to put a disclaimer, I did my undergrad at UCLA which has the quarter system so maybe I’m a little biased towards it) I’m doing an informal post back at a school on the semester system and as far as I can tell the only difference between the two is organization of the presentation of material, you still learn the same amount in a year in either system. I don’t want to make any assumptions about your situation but I imagine it will come down to the same deciding factors I had: cost and time. The extensions are much cheaper and the quality of education is the same. It has to be otherwise those credits wouldn’t be transferable. And as far as the quarter system is concerned I’ve always felt it was more flexible in that if I couldn’t sign up for a class I could always get it next quarter, and it would still be in the same school year. Anyway, Good Luck in your search!

Hey! Welcome to the site!

I’m also recovering from a nasty GPA - 2.89. I’m currently living in Northern California so I have a little insight.

  1. CSU is closed to informal post-baccs. This happened in the fall of 2009 due to budget cuts.

  2. I hate to burst your bubble about Scripps and Mills, but when I emailed them last summer, they were not so encouraging due to my GPA. The thing with both programs is that they have a great rep. If you have an ungrad GPA less than 3.0, their fear is that you won’t get into medical school, which will reflect negatively on them. Scripps flat out told me no. Mills was on the fence, and said if I was willing to go to Osteopathic school or the Caribbean they would consider it (not kidding). Also, they won’t take you if you have taken any science courses recently.

  3. I’m taking courses at UC Berkeley Extension. I haven’t talked to the program director myself, but a lot of people say he is easy to talk to. The courses are expensive, yes. I think the problem with the SDN crowd is that most of the professors who teach there are not UC Berkeley professors. They are contracted from other schools. While I’ve been lucky and have had a decent experience, I also have heard horror stories from other students. So it’s a little hit or miss.

    Feel free to private message me some more. I’m currently a RN looking to become a MD, but I’m wondering if Northern Cal is the place to do it.

    Good luck my friend!

Thanks for all your responses so far.

I recently got a phlebotomy license, so I’m going to try to find work doing that. Also, with the phlebotomy license it looks like I’m eligible for some research assistant positions (like at UCSF for example). Would that be a highly desirable gig to land for me at this point? I heard you need a Good Clinical practices Cert. , and some cert having to with shipping biomedical materials; anyone know about these?

Academic plan so far:

Fall 2010: Gen. Psyc and Statistics

-and apply for formal post bacc

Spring 2011: Gen. Chem II and Calc I

2011-12: One year post bacc