I have a BA in Psychology (1997) with abysmal grades which are not even close to getting me into a post-doc pre-med program.
So, the only realistic option is for me to go back and get my second bachelors degree, in Biology. I’m actually excited.
I’m also working with someone who has a great deal of expertise in navigating how to obtain federal aid, and I’ve been told that if I go back to school full-time, then I can receive the best, highest level of aid possible.
Has anyone found themselves in this situation?
This time around I’m focused and ready to begin school again with a wiser and more disciplined perspective with the primary objective of getting into medical school.
My objective is to complete a BA in Biology with a substantial academic record that can overlap my less than stellar first BA transcripts. I also figure that getting my second BA will give me enough time to also pursue “Leadership” projects that speak to my leadership ability.
Has anyone investigated what medical schools require these days? I feel like I’m also expected to be on the committee that helped find a cure for cancer while maintaining a 4.0 while taking really challenging courses. Not complaining, just realising I need to reach out and learn how others are doing it.
Does anyone have any helpful advice or perspective?
I have a BA in Psychology (1997) with abysmal grades which are not even close to getting me into a post-doc pre-med program.
Welcome to the board! If you do a search there are a TON of topics on this very subject. Alot of us are in this boat and there are many who have asked your same questions and there are alot of helpful answers. I think one of the main reasons we found for going for that second Bachelors is for financial aid reasons, seems those pesky folks want us actually obtaining a degree not just aimlessly (so it seems) taking courses! Anyhow happy searching!
Thanks! I’m new to these boards still finding my way around. Appreciate the suggestions and already found many stories. This board is absolutely awesome, I love it and so grateful to find a community of others pursuing the same goals!
Yes, physiology. UG BA 1989.
well, i graduated back in 2006 with a degree in finance. my gf asked me this weekend if i was in love with what i do. i could not honestly say yes. then, she asked me if i could do it all over again would i still do business. i took a minute to honestly think about it, and i said no. i would have done biology or something to get me to med school.
so, i pulled up my transcripts and started doing some research. i think i would have to get a whole new undergraduate degree in order to have a shot at med school. my gpa was crappy for the most part. i am capable of making straight A’s in nearly any class, but i have come to realize that my heart was just never in finance.
now, i am looking into what my options are. i am thinking i have to get a whole new bachelor’s degree to make up for my lack of trying. what are some of the better majors for applying to med school? biology comes to mind first because i have always liked it. tomorrow night, i am going to dinner with a friend that has been a pathologist for over 30 years. i am going to ask him what he thinks about doing school all over again in order to take a shot at med school.
I’m going to explain why I am getting a 2nd bachelor’s degree as I do NOT think it is required for med school as many on here will probably attest to.
My Ugrad GPA probably fits in well with skunks, possums, and wet dogs. It is also 20 years old. I was a business executive (VP of public company, and partner elect at two of the Big 4) and am running away from it. RUN!
While busting my butt and clamoring for every point I can work for, I am also a realist.
What will I do at my age if I do NOT get accepted first time? What then? I hated my positions outside of leading and mentoring my teams. I LOVED that aspect of my job - how was the job affecting their lives, how could I help alleviate the stress, how could I empower young women in a field so filled with men (sorry guys) and give them added confidence to speak up in meetings with authority rather than shrink into lower voiced oblivion? What mentoring, shadowing and rotational programs could I put in place for my teams so that at the end of the day they 1) knew where they were going after a few years in my group 2) had a focus and purpose outside of validating evidence 3) had a fun, supportive environment in which to thrive. I LOVED that aspect of my job… oh… and the travel, I LOVED that too… but I hated the “work” aspect of it. Seriously? You want me to figure out the NPP of s/t investments and then implement a control strategy around that? I’d sleep. Hated it. But at that level I was paid rather well.
So, what would I do if I give all that up and med schools turn their noses and their signing pens away from me? It was a question I had to consider from every angle before jumping onto this path…
I chose a 2nd degree.
It gives me the options of PhD if not accepted where I can teach students, or research cancer if all else fails. Ultimately, for self satisfaction, I want “Summa Cum Laude” on the diploma for 2nd degree if for no other reason than “damn, THAT feels AWESOME!” whether or not, I get into med school.
What I might suggest is taking a look at a few med schools’ requirements and seeing where/how they fit with what you’ve taken and what you’d NEED to take. THEN take a look at what else would help shore up the MCAT prep pieces - biochem, micro, immuno, anat, etc. Figure out timing - what classes follow which and when are they offered? FINALLY, figure out how close that gets you to a 2nd degree.
When I did that for myself, I ended up exactly two classes short of 2nd bachelor’s degree and that, ultimately, is what made me choose to get one. The other reasons were just additional considerations and influencing factors.
G’luck to both of you, and welcome!
It sounds like we were twins separated at birth. Kidding!!
I too have a BSc from 1989 in Pharmacology and Physiology. Crap GPA except in my last year. Got me into a co-op MBA program and I did well ending up as a Snr Marketing Director getting paid very well for a job I did well but …ughh. I too loved the team management and mentoring aspect but the work - after 15 years - blah! I got the company to package me out last spring and I have been working on my post bacc. After reading your post I am thinking that perhaps I should have gone the 2nd degree route - nutrition is the area I am interested in. I’m up here in Canada and med school advisors are few and far between so I have just contacted Judy for some guidance. As an added hurdle, the university where I am currently taking Org Chem and Biochem has had a strike since Nov 6 - all classes cancelled since then. The government is legislating them back to work this week so I can resume classes on Monday. I have been beside myself.
Anyway, I’m curious - what 2nd degree are you pursuing and are you going to the conference in June? I have used my points to book my flight. Have to get to the hotel part now.
I just joined OPM today and found my way to this forum posting. As a returning non-traditional pre-med student, I’m experiencing the same struggles that many of you have or are currently facing.
I graduated in 2007 with a BS degree in sustainability and a minor in philosophy. I was in school for seven years and explored 11 different majors but never really heard my calling. After taking some time to reflect on what I wanted from life I decided to return to school and pick up a 2nd BS in biomedical science. As others have pointed out, earning a second degree only adds a few classes on to what you need before taking the MCAT and applying to school. I’m planning on filling the extra credits in the year between applying and starting med school.
I too am making up for a less than stellar GPA from my first go-round and I believe that completing the second degree with a much improved GPA will improve my chances of being accepted more than if I only take the pre-req courses.
Anyway, that’s just my take on things. Your situation may be different. Sorry to ramble on but I have to say it is both inspiring and uplifting to know that so many others are making the same decision I made and that it’s never too late to start something new!
Hope to hear more from all of you soon. Best of luck in all your endeavors.
well, i fired off a few emails today to a few colleges. among those that have already done it, how many hours is average to get a second bachelor’s degree? i wouldn’t think i would have to repeat a whole 130+/- hours like my original undergrad.
p.s. i realize every school will be different.
I believe it to depend on the degree you would be seeking…Look at the credits/courses you have completed and compare them to the courses that are required for your 2nd degree.
Say for example I have a BSN (nursing) and wanted a business degree or something of that nature, I would assume alot of your math would possibly be different as well as your theory. It just depends on the degree you have and the degree you would be seeking…
I’m doing something that’s kind of similar…but more because it just worked out. I would have finished a BA in Geography this semester, but now that I’m starting prereqs in the fall, it’ll end up being taking on a second major. The course requirements for Mol, Cell, Develop. Bio so closely match what’s required for med school that I decided to add it (and also because I’m really interested in the bio research that’s done here).
My gpa is right at 3.0 right now, but I’ll end up with 3 more years of classes so…no idea how it will be in the end. But I know I’ll definitely need to work on an upward trend with that.
I’ll be starting back this fall for a second bachelor’s. It made more sense to me to do that rather than just get the prerequisites for a couple of reasons.
First, I have a personal goal of bringing up my overall GPA to at least a 3.5, which would take about 70 hours of classes to do. Also, since I haven’t had any of the bio or chem prerequisites yet, it would take me two years to get the Chem I & II and Orgo I & II, and I certainly wanted all of this done before the MCAT. That would give me the glide year to do something with, and I had time to get another degree in that time. I wanted some additional higher level coursework too, so there was the opportunity for that. And of course the factors of being degree seeking influencing when you can register for classes and financial aid status.
I suppose I’m hedging somewhat too. If I am unsuccessful in getting accepted into medical school, I think that with a degree in bio I can find employment more to my liking than what I could without. So, a little contingency planning went into it as well.
Of course, just because this made sense for me, doesn’t mean that it makes sense for everyone.
Hey Bronxcat: I saw this post while doing a search. So I just wanted to ask you since posting this…
How are you doing? Did you matriculate to a 4 year place? Decide to do something else? Still serious about medicine?
I am pretty much EXACTLY where you were when you posted it, right now, and trying to evaluate my options. Like you, I graduated a while back, in 1998. My GPA was a 2.5 because I pretty much decided to stop going to classes my junior year of college and nearly failed out. I was unfocused back then and had personal issues (etc.) I’m 33 yo career professional now and a markedly different person who knows I can perform if I gave myself another shot.
After writing to a few postbac programs, and explaining my GPA, they kindly and candidly told me that I would not be competitive for just about anything because of my undergraduate record and that a postbac wouldn’t get me there. Still, they did not discourage me, but suggested I do some individual courses, take the MCAT, score well, and apply to the caribbean schools.
Which sounds straightforward enough, but it’s a risk. Because I do want to invest myself 100% academically and avail myself of financial aid…but still have a useful degree if I don’t get in anywhere or find out I’m not nearly as med school material as I think.
Hence, I am considering the second undergrad degree route as well.
This is by far the longest and most painful way to med school, but here I am, considering a 4 year school AGAIN after just paying off my student loan a year ago. :-o
So did you follow through with it?