How Many Credits for My DIY Postbacc?

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OPM 316: How Many Credits for My DIY Postbacc?

Session 316

This student needs to take Organic Chem 1 and Organic Chem 2, and she plans to take Physiology. How many more postbac credits does she need?

Questions answered here on the podcast are taken directly from Go ask your questions there and use #OPMquestion. Also, please be sure to check out all our other podcasts on Meded Media as we try to bring you as many resources as you need on this journey.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

[01:18] The MCAT Minute

The MCAT Minute is brought to you by Blueprint MCAT.

How long does it take to prepare for the MCAT and when can you take it? You have to know when to take the MCAT about 18 months prior to when you are starting medical school. And that’s going to take you another three to four months on top of that to study for the MCAT. Or maybe even more as a nontraditional student who has a family and is working full-time.

And so, you need to make sure you have a plan in place. Sign up for a free account at Blueprint MCAT and get access to their free study planner tool to figure out what that plan looks like for you.

[02:22] OldPreMeds Question of the Week

“Given that I have a husband, six medically complex kids, and a job, how many total credits do you recommend for a do-it-yourself postbac in my situation? I’m currently enrolled for eight credits this fall, repeating Organic I, in anticipation of Organic II which I “need” to retake, and Human Physiology which I also NEED TO RETAKE.”

[03:10] Let Mappd Help You

Go to and use the referral code OLDPREMEDS and get three months of Mappd Pro for free. That will give you the ability to enter your grades and activities, and then go to the chat advising feature. Chat with one of our premed expert advisors and ask this question so that they can get the full context to be able to help you.

[03:50] Should You Retake Organic II and Human Physiology?

Physiology is not a prereq for almost all schools. There are a few schools out there that do have it as a prerequisite. So whether you need to retake human physiology depends on your school list.

[04:27] Where Grades Matter

Now as a nontraditional student, with a husband, six medically complex kids, and a job, medical schools don’t really care about that. They need to make sure you are academically capable of doing well in medical school before they will even consider the context around everything else. And this is where grades matter. At the end of the day, you need to show academic ability.

To do that, you have to have around 25 hours, at as close to a 4.0 as possible. Dr. Scott Wright, former director of admissions at UT Southwestern, used to run the entire TMDSAS; he has seen 40 hours historically. So take that for what it’s worth.

[05:54] How Many Credits Do You Need?

Reach out to some of your state schools, your local schools, whatever schools are around you, and schools that you want to go to. Give them a brief overview of your life story and talk about your plan of taking on x amount of credits.

'Medical schools receive every single piece of data. They can slice and dice and chop and sort however they want.'Click To Tweet

The admissions committees at these schools can do whatever they want. And so, if you have 20 hours of a postbac, they can completely ignore your undergraduate GPA, and just focus on your postbac GPA. On the contrary, other schools may say it’s not good enough for them.

We used to talk about the 32-hour rule. There were several schools, and there probably still are schools, that publicly had a 32-hour rule where they’re going to reset your GPA with 32 hours of postbac work.

Ultimately, context matters. Your story matters.  And you have to show academic ability before they get to the point where they look at everything you’ve done.

“On top of all of this context, you have to show that academic ability first.”Click To Tweet

[09:58] Things to

Sign up for a free Mappd account to get access to our free resources. Then we have the Mappd Pro which costs $90 right now. Then you can get access to our expert advisors instead of paying several hundred dollars hiring advisors.

Get three months for free using the referral code OLDPREMEDS and get access to chat advising with our expert advisors.

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