one year post bacc v. 2 year post bacc

Hi there,
Just a quick general question. I am curious as to what members on this forum think of one year post baccs as opposed to two year post baccs. Is the quality and preperation for these programs comparable in preparing you for the MCAT? thank you.

Regarding the mechanics of one-year post-bacc, 2 semesters of general chemistry are prerequisites for 2 semesters of organic chemistry. The only way to finish premed in a year, then, is to take 2 semesters of organic chemistry in the summer-- not a good idea. At the slower, fall-spring pace, I study about 3-4 hours of organic chemistry EVERY NIGHT. I had no problem doing the summer school chapter-a-day pace when I took physics this summer. The idea of doing a chapter of o-chem each day is totally inconceivable to me, and I’m a really ambitious student.

If, on the other hand, the post-bacc is specially designed so that all four semesters of chemistry are specially scheduled to fit in one year (rather than doing all the compressing at the end in O-chem, which I agree would be painful), then it might be fine.
I think I would need to know more about two specific programs being compared to have an opinion. If the two-year post-bacc includes more classes, more credits, more advanced sciences, and is designed to help you do better in med school as well as getting in, that would be different from one in which the standard core courses are simply more spread out, allowing you more time for volunteer work or gainful employment, like my informal personal do-it-yourself post-bacc.
I would say a more-credits kind of program would be good for someone with poorer grades to overcome–“See, I’m really better now and I’M NOT KIDDING! Look at the pretty biochem grades!” Or, it would have more advanced sciences and prepare you a little better for med school.

well I was looking at post bacc programs that specifically apply to people who dont have a science background. Two of the post bacc programs I am looking at are formal and are compelted in one year. IF anyone has any more info on these programs Id appreciate it.
I think one of them is Bryn mwarr? and bennington.

I am pretty sure that the “one year” post-bacc programs mean ONE YEAR, not the two semesters we think of as being a “year” in academia. I believe that at Bryn Mawr the “year” starts in June with gen-chem. Then o-chem follows on its heels come fall (and spring) semester. I know this is how it’s done at Goucher, where the post-bacc means the prereqs.

Three years ago I applied to the Bryn Mawr, Goucher, and Bennington programs. They were one year programs. The Bryn Mawr program was set up so that you could either start in June and finish in May (gen chem 1&2 in the summer ochem, biology and physics fall and spring or start in September gen chem, physics, and biology fall and spring followed by ochem 1&2 in the summer. I was accepted for the starting 2002 class and chose Bryn Mawr then ended up not going (another story). I was accepted at Bennington too, but it just wasn’t as good of fit for me as Bryn Mawr. Goucher wanted me to retake GREs first since my score was old (I had originally taken them in 1987). I did well on the GREs, but thought that was not a hoop I needed to jump through again.
There is a current OPM at Bryn Mawr (former attorney).
If Bryn Mawr is doable for you, it is a fantastic program.


Harvard Extension’s post-bacc program is similar: summer chemistry, followed by orgo, bio, and physics in the fall and spring semesters. The courses are structured to provide the necessary knowledge to take the April MCAT.
On this subject, I have a question that perhaps someone can answer. I am struggling with schedule issues right now; I am trying to find a way to take the MCAT in '05 but not to overload myself in the spring because our baby is arriving in January. I’ve done general chemistry and am signed up for orgo, bio, and phys (is it time for a new abbreviation like OBP?).
If a baby were not coming I would take these three courses and then the August MCAT in '05. So simple!
But we’re worried that I’ll not have time to participate in her first precious six months, something I want to do.
So I’ve thought of taking OBP in the fall, only orgo and bio in the spring (maybe audit physics), and prep all summer for the August MCAT. Then I’d take Physics II in spring '06; if I were lucky enough to gain entrance to medical school they would make it contingent on completing this course. Do they do this?
It seems as though postponing physics to summer '05 is not practical because I’d have little time to prep for the MCAT.
What would you do?
Many thanks,

Don’t have any real advice for you on this one, but do keep in mind that the Harvard fall classes go through January (usually a review class and the final after the holiday break). I’m not sure when your wife is due, but having three classes to prep for finals around the same time as your daughter makes her grand entrance might be a bit hairy.

Yep the little tike is due January 2, and classes restart on January 3!!! I have this rather romantic notion that I’ll be sitting there studying my organic chemistry and, from time to time, reaching out my foot to rock the cradle. My spouse tells me this is not a realistic plan.

All the post-baccs I’ve looked at are 1 calendar year. Mostly summer, spring and fall sometimes another summer. What I’ve seen is Chem 1& 2 over the summer followed by bio, org & physics the fall & spring. Hopkins actually has only bio & org with physics over the second summer.
I’m not applying to a formal program mainly because of money. While I understand I’ll be in debt anyway and what’s another $30k…I have a problem paying $30k for 8 classes!
Terry, I’m not sure about taking physics after the MCAT. From everything I’ve read here that is not a good idea. The test is physics intensive and not having would hurt you. I could be wrong…


Regarding the mechanics of one-year post-bacc, 2 semesters of general chemistry are prerequisites for 2 semesters of organic chemistry. The only way to finish premed in a year, then, is to take 2 semesters of organic chemistry in the summer-- not a good idea.

I can tell you that at Bryn Mawr, one of the oldest one-year post-bacc programs, there are two options:
1. Start the program in the summer and take Chem 1 and lab during first session of Summer and take Chem 2 and lab during second session of summer. Then take bio 1 and 2, physics 1 and 2, and orgo 1 and 2 with labs during fall and spring semester; OR
2. Start the program in the fall, taking bio 1 and 2, physics 1 and 2, gen. chem 1 and 2 with labs during the fall and spring semester and take orgo 1 and 2 with labs during the summer following the spring semester.
Also, Mary is right. The one-year post-bacc programs refer to full calendar year, not an academic year.