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Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 9, 2005
los angeles
Medical Student
usethe4ce said:
I've been told that my situation is rather unique. I started out as an undergrad physics major and hit the ground running. Once I saw the opportunity to take CLEP and departmental exams, I availed myself of them to the fullest, testing out of so many credits that I effectively started as a junior. Nice way to save $50K and two years of my life, I thought, plus circumventing every class that would require writing a paper. Then after two years in physics I switched to applied math and graduated the summer of my second year with a 4.0 GPA. So here's what I have:
  • AP Calculus I from high school
  • equivalency credit for Calculus II, Physics I, and Chem I & II
  • CLEP credit for Bio I & II, Composition I & II, and gobs of humanities
  • labs for Physics I & II, plus the actual Physics II class
  • plenty of advanced physics and advanced math courses
  • a lone Tech Writing course
After working as a programmer for five years, I'm seriously thinking about changing careers and going to medical school :) . I'm looking at what it will take to get there.

So, at first I thought I had all the basic requirements for medical school covered except Orgo. But on closer examination, schools seem to vary wildly in how much of this they will accept. They are all keen on the labs, of course. Physics & Math are no problem, but Bio & Chem (& possibly even English, ugh!) look like trouble. Some say if you have an AP credit (what if I have two?!) you have to make up for it with an advanced course, even though it won't have a lab (!?). Many refuse to accept CLEP, period (!). To muddy the waters further, many fail to clearly distinguish advanced placement in general (such as my Chem) from the official high school AP program (such as my Calculus) in their requirements documents.

So, I'm not sure what I really need. It could be as bad as re-taking Bio I & II and Chem I & II and even Comp I & II (oh, the indignity!) then adding Orgo I & II and maybe a Biochem; or, instead of retaking Bio & Chem, I might be expected to substitute two (!) higher-level courses of each. On the other extreme, I could just get Orgo I & II and maybe an advanced bio, and hopefully any reasonable person would look at my transcript and my stellar scores and judge me worthy.

Depending on what exactly I need, I was thinking I could squeeze it all in a post-bacc this spring & summer, take the August MCAT, and get admitted for 2007. Ideally I'd go to Harvard Extension, which is local for me, and get sponsored through their program, though their October deadline for that is long gone.

What do you guys think? Is getting in for 2007 doable, or am I crazy to even be thinking about this?
i didn't get if you need labs. if not, bio, chem, org, and comp is doable. although chem is a prereq for orgo they should let you take it. but if you start this spring, you still have next year, you can apply w/o all your classes done so there is plenty of time, you have 1.5 years to finish.


Ready To Jump
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2005
South Florida
The minimum requirements require two semesters of bio, physics, and chem with a lab . This is not a requirement that can be waived. Your best bet is to call a premed advisor at your undergrad (or really any school you might want to go to) to figure out if you need to take the classes that go with the lab, or if your clep credit will exempt you from that. My feeling (for what it's worth) is that you're actually going to have to take these classes along with the labs.


Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 20, 2005
Cambridge, MA
Labs were odd at my university. Physics had separate lab courses, which are the only labs I ever took. Chem had the labs included in the main course, so I got credit for both. Bio had no labs whatsoever. If it came to just needing the Chem & Bio labs, I could perhaps pick them up at someplace that offers them separately.

madonna, that's something I hadn't really considered. I can apply with some of my prerequisites missing and just say I'm going to take them in my glide year? Sure, that would be plenty of time.
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