: Post Bacc Program vs 2 year Masters Programs


This will be my first post. Where to begin. I recently applied to passed application cycle and was rejected.

I have taken the MCAT multiple times (4),


B.S. Management Information Systems, 3.0 GPA

Last MCAT: 21 (2012)

Took my prerequisites at my local community college. 2005-2008, 2009 3.17 GPA

Completed an EMT course,

Volunteered at UMD shock trauma Center.


science GPA 2.97

Total cum GPA: 2.95

I was going to restructure study plan and retake the MCAT. However speaking with a medical student, I see I will have to prove I can handle the courseload as well. It has been while since I was in school.

I took my prerequisites after undergrad. My last course was in 2009.

I have been debating whether took look into master programs such biochemistry and bioinformatics or post bacc programs. Since I took all my pre-req I am limited choices for the my postbacc programs.

I am Maryland resident and I hope to stay in the area. Eventually I hope to go to my state medical school.

I guess I worry about a 2 year cost for a masters program. If I take out loans for the program will it affect the loan amount for medical school. Also there is the issue of the GRE, which I have study material.

Bacc programs I’ve reviewed:

John Hopkins Health Intensive Program

The Commonwealth Medical College, Master of Biomedical Sciences Program

Georgetown Post PreMedical Certificate Program

Any feedback will be much appreciated.

I think you should contact the programs (md/do) you are interested in and ask for their advice. Ask the schools that rejected your application. I heard some schools do not lump together undergrad and grad coursework therefore gpas. SMPs can be expensive in my opinion so Postbacc program may be better option. Best of luck!

This post is going to be the truth NO sugar coating, so I hope you receive it in the spirit (to help) which it’s being given in.

  1. The stats are VERY clear, MCAT scores/GPA’s in the range of your score indicate VERY clear test taking problems and a lack of mastery of the material which is also indicated by your GPA. And these 2 issues could result in you failing our meds school classes and/or board exams. “21” was also your highest score after a number of retakes further confirming my point. If I were you, I’d commit myself to improving my test taking skills but getting help before you retake the exam.

  2. You need to have at least a 3.0 from undergrad (>3.5 for Master’s programs) to be competitive and probably shouldn’t have applied with under a 3.0.

  3. You took your preqs at a CC which put together with your GPA, doesn’t say you can handle med school.

  4. The process of trying to be a competitive applicant is expensive, so worrying about the costs involved with getting reasonably competitive is not the right thing to do. If med school is really your goal, you MUST be committed both academically AND financially to doing everything in your power to eventually get accepted.

  5. You may have thought you had a shot at DO, but more and more DO schools are getting VERY selective too. So treat DO admissions the EXACT same way you’d treat MD admissions, present the BEST application you can.

  6. I’d seriously consider getting an MS if I were you because if for some reason you’re not admitted or it takes many admissions cycles to get admitted, you’ll have a decent “fall-back” employment wise.

  7. I’d also retake EVERY preq for med school to: a) Prepare for the MCAT and b) Because DO schools have grade replacement.

    IMHO and assuming you work, this is going to cost $$$$$$ and is going to take anywhere from 3-4 years to do RIGHT. If you don’t have to work, I think you could get it done in 2 years of consistent butt-busting.

    Good luck!!

Thanks for your feedback.

I’ve contacted my one school so far. The cost did way in as far as financial aid wise. I am kind of leaning towards some postbac programs due to their MCAT preparation , interview preparation, etc.

Thanks for all the info.

Number one is test-taking. I need to work on my test anxiety I do okay on the AAMC practice tests, can score a 29. Do poorly on the actual test.

Regarding courses, areas I believe affected the AMCAS GPA calculation.

I did have to take Physics I(5 credit) and Chemistry( 4-credit for my previous major ( Computer Engineering) in undergraduate degree. D poorly. However managed to get As and Bs in Community College.

Computer Programming, I failed, repeated got a B+

The course is 4 credits.

All these grades were factored in.

At community college, two courses Forensic Science (a D, slacked on assignments my fault, Organic II, C). Rest of prereqs (As and Bs)

Last post was in reply to pathdr2b

  • BG Said:
Thanks for your feedback.

I've contacted my one school so far. The cost did way in as far as financial aid wise. I am kind of leaning towards some postbac programs due to their MCAT preparation , interview preparation, etc.

I also forgot to mention that I ended up doing BOTH a post-bacc AND a Masters degree before getting admitted back in the day. I also took a lot of upper division courses in the hard core sciences at a major university, and only took 2 of my preqs at a CC.

I should also mention that Engineers seem to get a "GPA bump" that other majors don't get (and rightfully so IMHO), but not for GPA's below a 3.0.

Last thing (I think, LOL) is that you’re not competitive for any of the post-baccs you listed. But you could consider either a DIY post-bacc which works just as well, or getting a second undergrad degree, which I also did.

You’ve gotten excellent advice from pathdr2b; everything she articulates is on target.

Before you plow forward, though, you need to stop and figure out exactly what the issues are and then be honest with yourself as to whether you can fix them. Why did you perform poorly in your science courses? Were your study habits poor or was your preparation lacking? You’ll have to take a different approach to change the outcome. The same goes for the MCAT. Four tries is a lot; what would be different on a retake and why? You’ve got to have a strategy and know why you did poorly before to have a different outcome.

If you decide to go forward with a new approach you may want to consider the U of Maryland’s Science in the Evening program. It’s much cheaper than the other programs you cite (and which your <3.0 GPA disqualifies you for) and is in you area.

The bottom line is that it will take a lot of time to make a dent in your past performance and bring it up to what you’ll need as a credible med school candidate, as pathdr2b has said. If you’re willing to spend the time and money–and you have a different approach–it could be done. But be sure you understand what it will take before going forward.

Good luck!


I wasn’t aware of the UMD Science in the Evening. I will check it it out. Thank you.

Another question I have: WIll post -bacc programs used to my AMCAS application GPA or my GPA listed on transcripts which is a 3.0?

  • BG Said:
I wasn't aware of the UMD Science in the Evening. I will check it it out. Thank you.

I'll second the suggestion of this program, I know of a few people who were admitted to med school after participating. And unlike some DIY programs, the profs seems to care.