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Getting a Master's degree before med school?

FinasolFinasol Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
I know VERY well that this isn't an ideal plan, but some med schools don't accept undergrad credits after a certain amount of years have passed. However, getting a Master's degree "stops" undergrad credits from expiring. It would be ideal to get into med school right after undergrad, but it's more realistic to have a back up plan in the event that I don't. I'm not getting a Master's to improve my admission chances. This is mainly to stop my undergrad credits from expiring so I don't have to retake them. My parents support me getting my master's degree as well.

Don't get me wrong; I really, really want to become a doctor and I would love to get into med school via the traditional path. With the rising competitiveness of admissions, however, that may not happen.

Replies to: Getting a Master's degree before med school?

  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,306 Senior Member
    edited July 2016
    Undergrad credits don't expire so much as your knowledge becomes outdated. Med schools want evidence that your knowledge is current and you are still capable of academic success if you've been out of college for a while. A few medical schools have specific policies that explicitly state they won't accept any pre-reqs that are more than X years old. (The most common I've seen is 5, 8 or 10 years old.)

    So if your purpose in enrolling in a masters is to show show your knowledge is current and you're still capable achieving academic success--fine. But you could also do this by taking several upper level [undergraduate] bio or chem electives at a local college as a non-degree seeking student and earning As. You don't need to enroll in/earn a master's degree. (As a side note, there is almost no FA for terminal master's degrees in biology. They are money-makers for college bio department since so many med school hopefuls enroll in them.)

    Also if a med school's explicit policy states that won't accept pre-req coursework that is more than X years old, earning a master's won't necessarily fix that problem. If your ochem or general physics or genetics coursework is from 10 years in the past--you're going to have to retake it even if you do earn a master's.
  • umcoe16umcoe16 Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    Things have changed quite a lot in terms of medical school admissions. A few decades ago, one only needed to complete two or three years of college (you didn't even need to finish college) to get into med school. Almost nobody matriculates into med school that way anymore. These days, about 70% of students matriculating into med school have either taken at least one gap year or completed a graduate degree. It is like the non-traditional students will soon become the new definition of traditional students.

    I have never heard of med school prereqs expiring, although I have heard of such for PA school. And then the time is usually something like 6 to 10 years. If you have been out of school for a while though, then it's not a bad idea to take some upper level life science courses.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid Posts: 83,365 Forum Champion
    <<<
    These days, about 70% of students matriculating into med school have either taken at least one gap year or completed a graduate degree. It is like the non-traditional students will soon become the new definition of traditional students.
    <<

    Wow...is it really that high?
  • ElleneastElleneast Registered User Posts: 1,244 Senior Member
    edited July 2016
    mom2collegekids, When I first read about the additional pre-med requirements I wondered if it would up the number of people taking a gap year because of the increased difficulty of being academically positioned to apply after junior year. I haven't looked for numbers but I wouldn't be surprised if the new requirements had some impact.
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,252 Senior Member
    If you read on CC, it sounds like every one is a superman and applied medical school in their Jr. year.
This discussion has been closed.