Can I Take Classes at Another School While in a Postbac?

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Session 115

Today we have an interesting question from a student who is in a postbac but is looking at taking a class during the summer at another school. Is it possible?

This is actually a very common problem that both traditional and nontraditional students have.

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[01:45] The OldPreMeds Question of the Week

“Wanting to know if I’ll look poorly if I’m enrolled in a postbac program which offers limited courses in the summer but does offer Gen Chem 1 and 2, which I need to take. However, I commute one and half hours to my postbac program and was wondering if this summer, I take the Chem courses and another course at a college closer to my home, not a community college. Would this look bad to medical schools in the future. I also have three other transcripts from my undergrad and move often during undergrad. So I’m trying to avoid more transcripts, if necessary, in case this looks poor on my application. Any ideas?

It would be cheaper to take the courses at a school near me this summer and I could possible take more than one, which would help me get more prereqs done faster.”

[02:35] Do It Yourself Postbacs

So this student is doing a postbac at a school which offers the classes that he needs to take. But he cannot commute one and a half hours to the postbac and take the courses closer at his college. But he already has three other transcripts from undergrad. So, why would you do a postbac that’s far away when you have a college next to you?

This is a dilemma for a lot of postbacs. A lot of the students will look at a formal postbac and think it’s better. There are some reasons to do formal postbacs and there are some reasons not to do them.

If you have a college right next to you that has all the courses that you need to take and it’s easy enough for you to take them there, take them there. This is called the Do-It-Yourself postbac. You just need to take the classes at a university. If you need the structure and premed advising and MCAT prep that a formal postbac may offer you, then check and do it. It’s going to cost a lot more money, but check it out and do it.

[Tweet “”If you need the structure and premed advising and MCAT prep that a formal postbac may offer you, then check and do it. It’s going to cost a lot more money, but check it out and do it.””]

[03:44] Too Many Transcripts

This student already has a lot of transcripts that may be a concern in the future. There may be one dean or director of admissions out there who looks at that and would question the number of transcripts. Why did this student move so much from school to school?

Do all transcripts look good? Are the grades good? I assume no, otherwise you won’t be doing a postbac unless you’re a non-science major going through undergrad.

[Tweet “”If the grades are bad and you’re moving a lot, there are some questions that pop up.””]

If your grades are bad and moving a lot, that could lead to some questions popping up. It may not prevent you from getting interviews but you better be prepared to talk about it. You have to be prepared at talking about anything in your application.

[04:50] Taking Courses at a Different College

So if you want to take courses at a college closest to your home, then do it. Just make sure though that you have a solid reason for doing it and if it comes up, go ahead. The core of everything you do in this process is if you can explain it, go ahead. If you are okay with the fact that there may be somebody out there who scratches their head and says why you’re taking postbac at this school when they know the program near your school also offers the same class.

It will look different if you took the chemistry courses at your postbac and got Ds and then you went to college and you got As. That actually raises more red flags, thinking you couldn’t handle the curriculum in one spot. You probably went to a different school where you knew somebody and you got As. Just saying that this may raise more concern.

[Tweet “”But if you’re getting As everywhere you’re going, then keep getting As. It’s the GPA that’s going to matter.””]

The scrutiny of class by class and transcript by transcript and college by college is going to be likely minimal. They could ask you about it.But the fact you’re going to a four-year university and not a community college does help.


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