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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Cornell University/Division of Nutritional Sciences Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Health Studies

August 2018-May 2019

Comments from our graduates

We know that making a decision about which post-baccalaureate program to attend can be daunting. The Cornell/DNS Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Health Studies has been developed to provide graduates not only with enhanced academic knowledge but also to enrich their intellectual spirits and to equip them with the professional skills to apply their knowledge. We asked graduates of our program a few questions to give you insights into what they have gained from participating in our post-baccalaureate program. We hope these comments will help in your decision-making:

What did you like best about the program?

The Cornell/DNS Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program provided me the opportunity and space to engage in a challenging environment while gaining educational and clinical knowledge. The clinical experience was the highlight of the program for me, specifically the ability to participate in hands-on activities that gave me firsthand experience with specific orthopedic surgeries and procedures.

I loved the flexibility and ability to choose from so many interesting electives across a variety of disciplines.

The program is like an all-in-one inclusive package. The post-bacc program has all the resources you need to equip you as an applicant for medical school. The professors are truly there to support you and want you to succeed. It's not common to have such a supportive environment with many resources at your fingertips.

In addition to how closely you work with the advisors, I like how close the students in the post-bacc program become, and we really start to help each other succeed in our goals.

I loved the professors. They all care, and they are all your advocates. You can be yourself, because you don't have to impress anyone, because you know the professors are there for you. The professors in the program were so helpful and kind, and they also taught me how to begin to think clinically. The professors who taught classes outside the program were so knowledgeable and passionate about their subjects, it was infectious. I learned so much just through their passion.

How would you describe your elective courses?

They were unequivocally the best classes I have ever had the opportunity to enroll in. Not only did I enjoy the material in my elective courses and learn an incredible variety of material in just one year, but the professors were amazing. In addition, some of the classes had an awesome student-to-professor ratio that fostered student growth and development.

My elective courses provided an opportunity to explore and get a taste of different science courses that weren't offered at my undergraduate school. As post-bacc students, we could take any science course we wanted and not worry about whether we met the pre-reqs or if there was enough room in a class. All the professors are amazing teachers and really care about the learning experience of the student.

Some of the classes I took at Cornell have been lifesavers in helping me master some of the material faster in medical school.

Very, very valuable. I kept all my notes from Mammalian Physiology, Cellular Physiology, and Biochemistry. I reference them in medical school constantly. They are hard, but they are so worth it. I learned so much.

How would you describe the exclusive post-bacc program courses: Preparation for Professional Studies, Health and Humanities, Biomedical and Clinical Sciences I & II?

Preparation for Professional Studies not only prepared me to be a better, more efficient student, but it has also provided me with skills that transfer into the private tutoring I do on the side.

They were great. You experience the challenges of being in a real anatomy lab without all the pressure.

I would say that Biomedical and Clinical Sciences I and II were the most useful to me personally. The orthopedic session we had 1) was interesting and 2) is coming in handy as we cover some of these topics in anatomy/etc. in medical school. The case study session (Biomedical and Clinical Sciences II) is very similar to problem-based learning that we do in medical school—I think that learning to think this way is very useful (and also learning to work in teams!).

How would you rate the advising you received during your post-bacc year at Cornell University?

Advising is definitely one of the strongest components of the post-bacc program, which was really amazing to me, as it had unfortunately been the greatest shortcoming of my undergraduate education. . . . [T]he ability to make appointments with the program director, Dr. Swanson, to discuss not just graduate school plans, but also current coursework, future potential coursework, and every component of the sometimes daunting application process has proven invaluable to me and to so many of my classmates.

It was great. I have always been shy about approaching faculty, but Dr. Swanson and Dr. U initiated contact and were able to help in all the areas that I needed help with.

These professors are truly your advocates. They sat down and patiently went through the interview process with me, helped me with my essays, wrote great recommendations for me. Even after I left, they would Skype with me before interviews and answer all of my questions.

Would you recommend the Cornell/DNS Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Health Studies to others?

I would definitely recommend the program as a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity, a chance to meet incredible professors, mentors, and friends, and one of the most productive and positive learning experiences I have had.

If you truly want to attend medical school, I highly recommend the program. It requires a lot of work, time, and a big financial investment, but it will all be worth it in the end if you keep to your commitment.

Yes I would recommend the Cornell/DNS Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program. It helped me and more than 80% of my colleagues get into where they wanted to go.

Absolutely. I truly, wholeheartedly believe that if it weren't for the post-bacc program, I wouldn't have gotten into the medical school of my choice. I really feel like it was a blessing that I got accepted, and I know I wouldn't have the confidence and knowledge to succeed in medical school without it.