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Biology Question

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by thewendster, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. thewendster

    thewendster Senior Member
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    I am trying to fulfill my biology requirements this summer by taking 2 different bio classes at 2 different community colleges this summer that are being offered at different times.
    The thing that is throwing me for a loop is that most of the medical school requirements list the bio requirement as "General Biology 1 & 2 w/ lab". The 2 classes I am looking at are both 4 credits and both include a lab but are not called General Biology.

    One is called "Fundamentals of Biology" the other is "Biology Principles II".
    I am hoping they will fulfill my Bio 1 & 2 requirements. I've contacted the schools and they both seemed positive about their being accepted. I emailed a few random medical schools full descriptions of the classes to see what they thought. I'm still waiting to hear back from them. Any SDN peeps take encounter this same question? Did you find that the courses were acceptable?
     
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  3. MJB

    MJB Senior Member
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    My undergrad only offered one semester of "general bio"...

    All the schools cared about was that I had a certain number of hours of bio, including micro, and some wanted genetics.
     
  4. spicedmanna

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    Well, you are making the right move by contacting schools directly and asking them; they are certainly the final authority on the matter. I don't think the name of the course is as important as course content, number of credits, and whether or not it has lab.

    FWIW, the introductory general biology courses that I took were for biology majors.
     
  5. crx7

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    I really don't see how people think that community colleges are acceptable to get you into med school. I took one science cc course before my readmission came in and I was sickened by the low requirements. The cc I went to pandered to the lowest common denominator of students, those who couldn't get into a real college and were stuggling with the material.

    I know everyone says that if its accredited that it is fine, but that's not really the case. You won't learn as much, won't do as well on the MCAT and if I was on an AdCom and saw CC for most of an applicant's prereqs. I would put it in the trash. I know CC is cheaper and an easier route, but do yourself a favor and get into a regular University full time and do all your prereqs there.
     
  6. MJB

    MJB Senior Member
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    For some CC's, I'm sure that's true...for others...I would guess it's harder than some "real colleges".
     
  7. thewendster

    thewendster Senior Member
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    hi, i'm sicked by your attitude crx7. I graduated from NYU class of 2004. Where'd you go to college? A top tier school? and FYI, i'm actually taking some pre-reqs at Cal State northridge (a california state school.. i erroneously referred to it as a CC in my post. though now you've incensed me to defend those who don't take all their classes at some big university.) Some nontrads have to balance family and school and sometimes cost and class times offered are an issue for us.
     
  8. MSTPbound

    MSTPbound student
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    Hi Wendster. I graduated from NYU the year before you (Gallatin - actually, I finished my coursework in '02, but didn't complete my Senior Colloquium until January '03):) . I hear you about the life balance, cost, and logistical issues...

    I would suggest just to be careful not only about whether the courses are acceptable, but also whether they provide you with adequate background for the MCAT. I've taken all of my coursework in the CUNY system, and while none of it was at a CC, the difference in the scholastic environment was a readily apparent change of pace.

    I would warn against courses with titles such as "Principles of..." and "Fundamentals of...". The classes are probably fine if they include a lab component, but I know that in the CUNY system, CC or not, these titles usually suggest that the curriculum is simplified, and somewhat remedial, i.e. meant to serve as a bridge between high school, and the "College" or "General" science coursework. Your best bet might just be to visit your local school's biology/science department and get a copy of the syllabus for the course. Also look through their textbook. Then compare the syllabus to syllabi from other schools, which are pretty easy to find online, or better yet, compare the syllabus to pages 32-39 of AAMC's MCAT interpretive manual. A thorough reconciliation between these items should put to rest your concern about adequacy of the coursework in your program:

    http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/mcatinterpmanual05.pdf

    Good Luck!

    -MSTPbound
     
  9. thewendster

    thewendster Senior Member
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    Thanks! That link was helpful. I plan on printing the whole damn thing out in the computer lab when noone is looking. I did finally figure out the bio pre-req thing. I had my summer all nicely planned out, only to hear back from several of the med school admissions advisors that I should take a biology class that is 1) at least 4 credits 2) has a lab component 3) be for majors (or at least not specifically say that it is bio for nonmajors) And so, in light of this info I have to rearrange my schedule. I will now be taking some classes in the Valley and one class in Riverside.. which is 80 miles through LA traffic. That's about a 2-3 hour commute each way because my class hits rush hour on Tuesday and Thursdays. But at least I'll be prepared for medical school!

    P.S. I know all about you Gallatin people- I had 2 friends in Gallatin and they had the best of all worlds. My roommate's major was "sign language and pre-law" or something like that.
     
  10. MSTPbound

    MSTPbound student
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    LOL... The great thing about Gallatin is your diploma reads "Individualized Major" so you can customize the description of your concentration to the "needs" of the employer ;) .

    My concentration was "Afro-Caribbean Studies, Dance, and Marketing."

    What did I do with it?

    I became a professional Afro-Cuban/Latin dancer (6 years), ran a Latin dance school (4 years), managed a ballroom dance studio for a year, and became an adjunct at Tisch (2 years). Obviously there was time overlap - I'll be 27 y.o. in September. Otherwise, I can't really imagine having been better prepared!

    Of course... then I realized that my calling was in medicine and science. Go figure.:p
     
  11. canjosh

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    Blanket statements like these are invariably inaccurate. I was more impressed with the quality of education at my CC when compared to the large university up the road. Definitely a better value in my case, and I imagine that holds true for many (not all) students.

    I work with a physician right now who did ALL of his BCPM as a postbacc at a 2-year institution. He says it was never brought up on the interview trail.
     
  12. medstud753

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    Actually I like my classe at my CC better than at my old 4 year undergrad school. Smaller classes which make it way easier to learn the material, and more one on one teacher interaction. CC teachers are very approachable.
     
  13. Paradoxnc14

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    Well, just to throw in my personal experience:

    I attended a 2 yr before my current 4 yr university. The 2 yr is located in another major city in NC, and my Bio I, Chem I, World History, and Lit instructors all taught at other well respected private colleges in that area. They were teaching at the CC because they just needed the extra money. The Bio instructor even went as far to tell us that he doesn't change the curriculum between the two colleges. So the $300 class I was taking at the CC had the same test, homework, etc that was costing students $700 at the other school.

    ...just my experience, for what its worth
     
  14. crx7

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    We have the opposite problem here in Austin. Recently the Chemistry department has been using ACC to supplement for the lack of lecturers in the department. The results have been horrible with multiple students complaining to the department head.

    My personal experience with a CC instructor was in Gen Chem II and it was very similar to the course you were describing with the 1 hour lab attached to the class. The level of understanding required was quite low with the tests directly reflecting a review the professor would hand out. This review and correspondingly the test were much simpler than any of the problems in the back of the chapter. The main issue however with the class was the level of my fellow students. How much material is covered and the depth is usually a reflection of the understanding of the class. I've done comparisons at two community colleges, a major city college, and the main state college. There is no question that the requirements vary greatly between these institutions. If most of the class is struggling with the material you're not getting as much as you could be. Remember there are few admissions requirements for a CC, that's the whole point anyone can attend.

    Small class sizes: Micro and Biochem this semester were about 80 to a 100 students in large lecture halls. Professor, TA, and class organized group study sessions are plentiful where any questions could always be addressed in a more intimate environment and this is at the big state school. I wonder that those complaining about large lecture classes are taking advantage of the resources available to them.

    Sorry for my blanket statement but I hold by my judgment, community colleges are not equivalent whether an interviewer points it out or not.
     
  15. tinkerbell10

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    I have a quick question. My school offers both general and introductory biology. The problem is that before I really declared to go premed, I took the introductory course and cannot get credit for general biology if I decide to take it. Would medical schools not take the credit for the introductory course?
     
  16. thewendster

    thewendster Senior Member
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    I did some research on this and I think you'll find the answer varies from school to school. The UC schools would take intro bio with a lab. I spoke with the admissions lady from Temple and she said that their school required science pre-reqs be the courses for majors. So, if you look at the course description and it says, "this class is for non-biology majors" then Temple will not accept. http://www.temple.edu/medicine/admissions/admission_requirements.htm
    "Generally, the required courses will be eight credit hours and directed to the needs of premedical students. Courses designed for non-science majors, allied health students, et al., are not acceptable."
    I was in the same boat as you.. i was signed up for 2 intro bio classes the summer and had to completely rework my schedule to make sure i was taking the "for bio-majors" version.
     

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