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Finding a Postbac Program

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Presentation presented as part of the Duke Career Center's Gap Year Exploration series.

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Finding a Postbac Program

  1. 1. Finding a Postbac ProgramDr. Alyssa Perz-Edwards &Ms. Deborah WahlMarch 27, 2013
  2. 2. Gap year exploration seriesSo Many Choices, So Many Decisions: Tips for Crafting Your GapYear Experience: 6pm, Monday or Thursday, April 8, LocationTBD“I want to do a gap year but I have no idea what I should do or where I can findoptions.” Sound familiar? You’re not alone! Join Cindy Broderius from the CareerCenter for tips in discerning types of opportunities you might consider, how to decidewhich opportunities are best suited for you, and resources for locating them.Job-Seeking Essentials for Gap Year Experiences:6pm, Tuesday, April 16, Location TBDOnce you’ve decided on options for your gap year experience, the next step is toapply. What documents might you need for a Teach for America application? What is apersonal statement? Are cover letters any use in applying? Networking—for a gapyear?! Answers to these and other questions, along with tips for job-seekingessentials, will comprise discussion led by Cindy Broderius from the Career Center.
  3. 3. What is a postbac?• Short for Post Baccalaureate• Means after the bachelor’s degree• One of many options for gap year activities• Expensive and don’t always complementeducational experiences of undergraduateyears
  4. 4. Who does postbacs?• Career Changers– Students who have NOT completed pre-requisites (orno more than a few)– Students take undergraduate course work– Fit in all pre-reqs in summer and school year=INTENSE– Some have linkages with medical schools– Examples: Bryn Mawr, Columbia, Goucher, JohnsHopkins– Selective and expensive• Record Enhancers
  5. 5. Record Enhancers• Medical Master’s– Good if GPA is just below 3.3– May need MCAT; application to medical school– Take graduate-level courses (different GPA)– Examples:• Georgetown SMP in Physiology• University of Cincinnati Master’s in Physiology• University of Michigan Master’s in Physiology• Boston University Medical Masters in Nutrition• Loyola, Case Western and others
  6. 6. Record enhancers• Undergraduate record enhancers– Science GPAs below 3.0, not science major– Repeat courses where C- or lower was earned(some schools don’t accept C-, none accept Ds orFs for pre-reqs)– Take advanced biology coursework andchallenging load to strengthen GPA; demonstrateacademic readiness– Examples: WashU, UNC-Greensboro, HarvardExtension Service, UPenn
  7. 7. Record Enhancers• Programs for under-represented minorities– Variable, some require that you apply to and notget accepted to medical schools (NY, CA)– Others focus on students who have completedpre-reqs, but need to focus on MCAT prep, e.g., S.Illinois MEDPREP (2 years); GeorgetownGEMS, Drexel
  8. 8. Before you sign up• Do your research• Programs vary by entry requirements (MCAT, coursepre-reqs, minimum GPA, etc.) and goals• Prices range from $10-40K per year• Services provided vary, some offer great advising, testprep, others do not• Many of these are designed to make money for theinstitutions, so you must be a careful consumer• Call and ask questions, don’t be afraid to inquire aboutexceptions to GPA minima, program track record
  9. 9. Unstructured record enhancement• Repeat science pre-reqs, take upper-level orgraduate level biology courses at in-statetuition rates; 4 year schools• 2-4 courses per semester, perhaps whileworking or getting other experiences• Utilize prehealth advising services at Duke• Utilize MCAT prep materials or courses• Far less expensive; structured programscannot guarantee results
  10. 10. Questions to consider• Cost of program and what value-addedservices does it provide?• Is the program full-time/part-time? How longdoes it run?• Is financial aid available?• Are there linkages to medical schools?• Are advising, committeeletter, programming, community of studentspart of the program?
  11. 11. Sample cases
  12. 12. Let’s look at the AAMC Databasehttp://services.aamc.org/postbac/• AAMC website lists 130 schools withprograms• Programs are self-described• Good starting point