Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

NonTrad Options ?

Recommended Posts

After looking over a few of these threads, I see alot of questions about what is the better route to take to get into med school. And it seems most of the time the question is should I

A) get a second degree

B) do grad studies


C) get my masters or phd


And the answers vary but I note alot of "med schools dont really look at second degrees but they kind of do maybe depending on the eclipse of venus on scorpio" :P In the end its just the admission requirements of that particular med school right?


But what about non degrees? or certificates? Are these deemed not enough?

Your a full time mom or dad, or work full time and volunteer on weekends and choice A, B or C dont mesh but the required course load at a night school for pre-req's is doable, is that valued? Or is it valued so long as its an A, B or C status?


And to clarify I don't mean your taking night school at some random street corner institute. I mean an accredited University.


I've read many different stories and there have been some great successes that didn't have the A,B, or C type backround but I'm just curious I guess as too whats what...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's so dependent on the school. What I did when I was first deciding to apply was I went to each school's website and looked at their requirements compared to what I had (GPA, MCAT, required courses, how they consider grad work, etc). Then I made 3 lists - schools I had a decent chance at right now, schools I would have a decent chance at if I did X, Y, or Z, and schools I wouldn't have a chance at ever. Making lists like that might be a good way for you to focus your efforts. Then if you look at the list of schools where you would have a decent chance if you did X, Y, or Z, you can see whether a second degree or grad work or something else (maybe even just picking up a few prereq courses in some cases) would be the most helpful for you. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It also depends on what the weak part of your application is. If your undergrad GPA is quite low, then doing a second degree will help with those schools that take the best two years, if you can get a high GPA in the second degree. Lots of people also choose to do a second degree in a field that will give them a back up plan should they not make it into medical school (ie. dietetics, nursing, medical radiation, etc.)


If your undergrad GPA is not too bad, then doing a graduate degree can help flesh out other parts of your application: research, publications, etc. It can also provide people with a back up plan should they not make it into medical school (PT, OT, research, etc.) If someone is really, really close to gaining admission, then some schools give you a slight "plus" to your application for a Masters and a bit more of a "plus" for a PhD.


Taking courses part-time can certainly help to boost your cGPA. The problem with part-time studies or certificate programs is that most medical schools want to be sure that students can handle a rigorous courseload, ie. full time studies. Many of the medical schools that consider the best two years, or have another weighting formula require full time studies to be eligible to drop years and/or use their weighting formulae. That said, you can still gain admission without making use of the GPA weighting as long as your GPA is high enough. For non-traditional students, there are medical schools that offer a non-traditional pathway (I know McGill is one). So for single parents who need to work full-time and can only do studies part-time, this non-traditional pathway admission may work best for them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was able to find that the University of Ottawa had nice clarification on questions such as mine on their website


"Since we require at least three years of undergraduate full-time studies in any program leading to the obtention of a bachelor degree within our eligibility requirements, we will only convert the most recent three years of studies pertinent to the bachelor program of studies of the candidates and not convert any undergraduate degree and/or certificate of one-year duration."


makes sense to me - :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...