Medical DIY Post Bacc Structure - focus on pre-reqs only or branch out?

Not open for further replies.


Full Member
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2010
Reaction score
After a months-long internal debate on a formal vs DIY post bacc program I have selected DIY primarily for the cost and free time available for other shadowing/volunteering/work options. I have a 3.73 cgpa/3.80 sgpa from undergrad ~5 years ago that included math (multiple), physics 1/2, and gen chem 1/2 as an engineering major. I understand I still need organic chemistry 1/2, biology 1/2, and potentially biochemistry. I have a few questions regarding the DIY approach:- with general chemistry far in the rearview (going on 8 years at this point) is organic chemistry tough to jump into?

Only you can answer this
Any value in retaking general chemistry or is self-study/review sufficient?
A number of med schools have an expiration date on pre-reqs. You're going to have to research which ones do.
I am interested in taking classes at Virginia Tech but from what I am reading non-degree seeking students cannot take classes with lab - would this mean I would have to apply as a full-on degree seeking student through the CommonApp? How common are issues with full classes preventing non-trads from getting a seat?
Have no idea
I would be available to start taking classes very early in the summer (late May) - does a summer session/fall/spring approach work to keep the following spring semester lighter for MCAT studying? How would you recommend structuring those classes if the goal is to continue work/volunteering as much as possible while also maximizing MCAT studying in the spring?
I'd start with Bio + Gen Chem, followed by Orgo + Physics +/- Biochem in there somewhere.


Staff member
10+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2008
Reaction score
Yeah unfortunately your questions are pretty specific to you and your situation. Personally I would probably need a refresher on gen chem after many years of not thinking about it; you might not. You certainly don't want to stumble, as you won't have many recent credits upon which prospective schools can judge you... but you also want to be ready to apply by next year. Ultimately you just need to be honest with yourself. If you think you need a refresher, you probably do, but it's your call.

The VT classes is just something you'll need to explore yourself.

I do agree with generally trying to structure a lighter spring load to allow you to maximize your MCAT prep time.

Finally, again, don't rush this. It would be great to apply next year, but if you stumble academically or don't do well on the MCAT that will seriously set you back, much more than if you had just taken some extra time.
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads