Aug 22, 2013
297
79
California
Status
Pre-Medical
Give me a chance to explain why I'm making a thread on an issue that's been endlessly questioned on here. I've searched and found topics on SDN and the general consensus says that it's not "favorable" to take prerequisites at a community college, and really "frowned" upon to take all of them there. I see a lot of these types of words being used; ones that don't give a clear connotation on what to expect. I didn't take high school seriously and now I'm paying for it. I'll spend around 3-4 years at a community college and than transfer to a university for 2 more years. At the moment I'm trying to major in a biology sub-major. It requires me to take ALL of the medical prerequisites to transfer. Would I be better off to major in something like humanities so I'd be able to take all of the prerequisites at the university? I feel like realistically I'll end up without a job and without an M.D. admission if I take all of the medical prerequisites at a community college. Is this true? What would you do in my situation? Take the prerequisites at medical school and pursue a biology major in which I'm genuinely interested in, or major in anything else which would allow me to take the prerequisites in a university?
 

SpartanGuy

ASA Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2012
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East Lansing, MI
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Medical Student
The best thing you could do would be to contact some medical schools you are interested in and talk to their admissions counselor yourself, until then most of the advice on SDN will be speculations or regurgitated advice that you have come across many times.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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Sep 4, 2006
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Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
Give me a chance to explain why I'm making a thread on an issue that's been endlessly questioned on here. I've searched and found topics on SDN and the general consensus says that it's not "favorable" to take prerequisites at a community college, and really "frowned" upon to take all of them there. I see a lot of these types of words being used; ones that don't give a clear connotation on what to expect. I didn't take high school seriously and now I'm paying for it. I'll spend around 3-4 years at a community college and than transfer to a university for 2 more years. At the moment I'm trying to major in a biology sub-major. It requires me to take ALL of the medical prerequisites to transfer. Would I be better off to major in something like humanities so I'd be able to take all of the prerequisites at the university? I feel like realistically I'll end up without a job and without an M.D. admission if I take all of the medical prerequisites at a community college. Is this true? What would you do in my situation? Take the prerequisites at medical school and pursue a biology major in which I'm genuinely interested in, or major in anything else which would allow me to take the prerequisites in a university?
Do you have an impression of how rigorous the science offerings are at your current school? If they are a watered-down version of what you can get at the local four-year schools, it would be better to wait. If they are using the same texts and even faculty as a local university, you might well get a sufficiently in-depth experience to prepare you well for the MCAT and give you a solid basis for upper-level coursework at the university level. If in doubt, consider talking to some of the instructors about this.

CC coursework is frowned on by a small number of MD institutions, and by none of the DO schools. Whether preparation was adequate would be demonstrated by on-going excellent grades at the university rather than a 1 to 2 term serious drop in grades that is all too often seen, and sabotages one's efforts to become a viable med school candidate without additional remediation.
 
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Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
52,575
76,235
Somewhere west of St. Louis
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Non-Student
Firstly some schools don't like CC coursework, and some are OK. Some don't say. It's too early for an investment in MSAR to find out which ones do and which ones don't.

You're more of a non-trad student now, and CC credits are viewed differently. They are looked down upon by AdComs when they're taken concurrently for their pre-reqs; it looks like you're trying to weasel out of the difficult courses offered by your university.

So, CCs before UG degree school? OK
CCs after UG degree for GPA repair of career change? OK

We should make a sticky for this!

Give me a chance to explain why I'm making a thread on an issue that's been endlessly questioned on here. I've searched and found topics on SDN and the general consensus says that it's not "favorable" to take prerequisites at a community college, and really "frowned" upon to take all of them there. I see a lot of these types of words being used; ones that don't give a clear connotation on what to expect. I didn't take high school seriously and now I'm paying for it. I'll spend around 3-4 years at a community college and than transfer to a university for 2 more years. At the moment I'm trying to major in a biology sub-major. It requires me to take ALL of the medical prerequisites to transfer. Would I be better off to major in something like humanities so I'd be able to take all of the prerequisites at the university? I feel like realistically I'll end up without a job and without an M.D. admission if I take all of the medical prerequisites at a community college. Is this true? What would you do in my situation? Take the prerequisites at medical school and pursue a biology major in which I'm genuinely interested in, or major in anything else which would allow me to take the prerequisites in a university?
 

hv92

5+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2011
272
29
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm actually in a semi-different situation. I'm retaking courses didn't so hot in and guess what.. It was either pay 2500 bucks for 8 units at some 4-year... Or pay 500 for 13 units.

You can guess what I chose. As Warren Buffet says, there's a difference between the cost and value of something. (Not a direct quote but something along the lines of this) lol
 

sat0ri

Everything we see hides another
5+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2013
512
295
742 Evergreen Terrace
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm actually in a semi-different situation. I'm retaking courses didn't so hot in and guess what.. It was either pay 2500 bucks for 8 units at some 4-year... Or pay 500 for 13 units.

You can guess what I chose. As Warren Buffet says, there's a difference between the cost and value of something. (Not a direct quote but something along the lines of this) lol
First I think that's more properly attributed to Oscar Wilde, originally formulated as, they "know the price of everything and value of nothing"
Also, it's a really bad idea to retake at a CC. It's one thing to take classes at CC, but to fail (already hugely problematic) and then retake at a lower level will unequivocally be seen negatively. With a bit of irony, it's just the price you pay for not doing good the first time...
 

hv92

5+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2011
272
29
Status
Pre-Medical
First I think that's more properly attributed to Oscar Wilde, originally formulated as, they "know the price of everything and value of nothing"
Also, it's a really bad idea to retake at a CC. It's one thing to take classes at CC, but to fail (already hugely problematic) and then retake at a lower level will unequivocally be seen negatively. With a bit of irony, it's just the price you pay for not doing good the first time...
Yeah.. I meant Oscar Wilde! Stupid iPhone autocorrect... :p

But seriously though OP, my advice is go wherever you feel like. If you prefer paying less, being in smaller class sizes, etc. than go the CC route. If you can manage to pay more, than go the 4-year route. Wherever you go, just do well! Good luck!
 
OP
W
Aug 22, 2013
297
79
California
Status
Pre-Medical
For me the issue isn't the cost. My grades in high school weren't good so I can't go straight to a university. If I decide to major in biology than I'll have to take all of the medical prerequisites in community college. Otherwise, I can major in humanities for example, and than take all of the medical prerequisites when I get to the university. I'm thinking I should do this?.... I'll already be applying as a non-trad, which is a disadvantage in itself. I'm just confused over all, and I'm still not too sure on what I should do.. *sigh*
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
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I'll already be applying as a non-trad, which is a disadvantage in itself.
Why do you think that? Adcomms like older, more mature applicants with rich life experience.

Why will community college take you "three or four years" before you move on to the university?
 
OP
W
Aug 22, 2013
297
79
California
Status
Pre-Medical
Why do you think that? Adcomms like older, more mature applicants with rich life experience.

Why will community college take you "three or four years" before you move on to the university?
Because I need high math courses to transfer, but I didn't score so good on my placement test. I'm starting from the bottom and working my way up if I want to major in biology. Should I just major in humanities and take all of the prereqs at the university? I'm thinking that this might give me a better change of getting in because of less time and prereqs at university. . . ?
 
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Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
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Can you start out as an undeclared major at first, at least until you've done the research I suggested above? Can you major in Humanities and still take some science classes, or are you not allowed to do so if that's not your track? Are you good at Humanities-type classes? Will they keep your interest and allow you to earn an excellent GPA while you figure out how to adjust your study regimen for the faster classroom pace in college?

You also need to see how things go with getting math basics down. You've made a wise decision to get a solid grounding in math before moving up to classes that are related to what a Bio major needs. I've seen all too many rush their fences with math classes they are not prepared for, and screw up their GPAs only to have to remediate anyway.
 
OP
W
Aug 22, 2013
297
79
California
Status
Pre-Medical
Yeah, my major isn't officially declared yet. I'm completing my first semester in a couple of weeks. At the moment I'm just taking general education courses. Biology majors require me to pass calculus 3 before transferring, but at the moment I'll only start with basic algebra. It'll take a while before I can even start gen chem and bio course as well. At the university I can major in anything and take any courses I want on the side as well. I actually enjoy philosophy a lot and it seems really easy for me. I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to major in that and than take gen chem, math, organic chem, etc, etc, ... at the university on the side. This would allow me to take all of my prereqs for medical school at a university level and I think that it might save me some time as well. My first choice for a major is definitely neurobiology, it seems AMAZING to me, but it'll take a while and I'll have to take all of the medical prerequisites at my community college. Basically, I can major in something else that's not AS interesting as my first choice and take my prereqs in a university, or I can major in neurobiology which I find fascinating, but it'll take me longer and I'll have to take prereqs at cc. In this situation, what would all of YOU guys do? I feel that the answer is pretty blatant, but I want to hear y'all out. I feel that if I major in something else and take all of my prereqs at the university level, than I won't be any less competitive than any other premed student. What do you guys think? Bear in mind that what I'd REALLY want out of this whole ordeal is to be as competitive as I can be and to have a lot of doors open for me when applying to medical school.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,323
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Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
It would save time, since you're math challenged right now, and since you don't need that much Calculus to meet med school prerequisites, I'd agree with avoiding the Bio major designation at this time. With Philosophy, you can ease into Ethics and then Biomedical Ethics, which will give you an edge on some med school interview questions, as well as throughout a medical career.