I’m looking into the USC Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program. Does anyone have information, reviews, or comments about this program? Do their graduates get accepted into highly-ranked medical schools, especially in California?
I was also wondering whether doing a pre-med post-baccalaureate program in California would be beneficial at all in applying to California schools.
I’d appreciate any info you could give me!
I canâ€™t really answer your questions about the University of Southern California (that USC, not Leeza Gibbonâ€™s alma mater, the University of South Carolina) program. I can say, though, that medical school admission committees always prefer selecting their own undergraduates because they are most familiar with their own undergraduate premedical programs. With that said, Iâ€™m sure California medical schools would be more familiar with USCâ€™s program than, say, my alma mater which hasnâ€™t sent anyone to medical school in over 20 years. But then again, if I had the money and time, I’d select Georgetown’s SMP program or Drexel’s IMS program because these programs mimic the first year of medical school. Of course, you already have to have completed your premed requirements to be eligible for these programs.
USC is a great school. The faculty and quality of education is better on average than most UC and Cal State schools (of course there are always exceptions).
Pros of the USC program - a large community of postbaccs. You’ll have friends. You’ll often have other postbaccs in classes with you, and you’ll get a lot of support along the way. This is important for some. It’s also easy to get the classes and sections you want which can be an issue at times with the Cal State / UC system. Clinical and research opportunites are easier to find as well. Overall, the USC program presents a very efficient and structured option for the full-time postbacc to get all prereqs completed + research + clinical/caring experience. If you only need 3-4 classes, or are going part-time or in the evenings, or don’t need the other resources, state university extension or open university programs are probably a better fit for you.
Cons - cost
Hope this helps.
I can’t speak to the USC post-bac program. However I just finished my prereqs at Georgetown as part of their PBPM. For me, the real draw was the increased advising available to these clearly defined programs as opposed to just taking classes at a state school. When I looked at returning to school after two years working, my undergrad state school was difficult to get a hold of for questions, was unresponsive for some and told me that I would have to fight for higher populated classes that even upper class undergrads can’t get into (Bio 101, etc). This made me discouraged about the process as a whole.
When I looked into specific programs, like Georgetown, I found incredible responsiveness to a variety of questions. I was able to contact a few professors directly before even applying(this was limited, but still very valuable). The advising staff was interested and knowledgeable about situations similar to mine, not just the traditional undergrad premed student.
As a topper on the cake, for Georgetown (and others) the school premed recommendation committee offers a review process. This can be a very valuable addition since the committee is looking at your application for med school before the med schools do. You can revise your essay or other points. The rec from the committee is an clear stamp of approval from a (hopefully) impartial group of people. This can weigh very well in your favor.
As for cost. It is prohibitive. You got to weigh it against availability of funds, personality (are you going to be more successful in this environment than any other), and some luck. I have found the other post bacs in my program immensely helpful in getting each other through those ugly tough classes (orgo, etc!). That can make a drastic difference in grade point.
If you can, go to the school and visit classes you would be in. Or get a list of the profs who regularly teach those courses and visit their classes, even if it is one you wouldn’t be in. These will be your pool to make a connection with and ask for recommendations from. And more importantly, these are the people who have your grade point in their hands. Ask students (several, so you don’t get the one disgruntled one) what they think, whether the tests are fair representations, etc. Talk to the prof. They should be mildly responsive. Even interested. If they are not, beware. If they won’t talk now, can you really count on them being interested later. Look to see if the school has a rating listing for different profs and their old courses. These can be invaluable tools.
If you don’t like the feel of most of the profs, don’t go! Whether state school or private, this is where the work is. One advantage of larger schools (state schools) is that you may have the ability to choose which prof you take classes from. If there are two bad choices, its still no good. My one big dislike of Georgetown is that you have no choice in choosing profs. If you want to take a class, you take that prof. Classes during the year were larger and more difficult to get time with the profs. However, time was available. And for the most part, I have found the teaching acceptable, if not all of it completely user friendly. Summer classes were much easier to learn in the smaller environment.