Do med schools account for non-transferable units from community college?

Apr 11, 2020
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Hey everybody. I’m a transferring community college student now studying pre med at a university. I had a couple questions regarding community college and how it’s viewed by med schools.

1.) Do med schools account for non-transferable units? Some units at community college are “non-transferable” meaning they do not technically transfer as units to a 4-year university. Is this the same for medical school? Or do medical schools account for ALL - every single class ever taken?

2.) Do medical schools look down upon community college transfers? Are they viewed as less favorable as candidates who attended only university?

3.) I received an “F” in an extremely low level math class that is not transferable. Will this be viewed negatively, and also impact my med school GPA? Or since it is a low level, non transferable math class do they not account for it in calculating my GPA?

thank you everybody!
 

rdyotz

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You must submit transcripts for all credits you have taken - meaning CC transcript and your 4-year college transcript. They will see everything, including college classes taken during high school and credits earned for military service.

Some schools do look down on CC, but you can mitigate it by taking prereqs at a 4-year and doing exceptional. Universities are typically harder and admissions understand that.

You can overcome bad grades in early years by doing well later, but all grades affect your cumulative GPA, regardless of where it was taken or the level of the class.
 

OchemOficionado

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All college classes will count in your GPA.

I’ve heard about this community college stigma and the things you can do to overcome it are to excel in your university courses and try to take most of your pre reqs there.
 
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aldol16

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It's all factored into your GPA. AMCAS will have you calculate a GPA for pre-college college classes, then each year of college. At least I think that's what they still do. Upward trend is good.
 

PierreMD

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I believe the CC stigma mostly applies to science prereqs if you are a university student but choose to take it at the CC level. I think there is slack for those who take them before they transfer and possibly career changers. Our resident adcoms can confirm/deny this.
 
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Nov 21, 2019
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I don't understand this because a lot of 4 year institutions require that you complete many of what are also medical school pre-requisite courses at CC. I wouldn't have been able to transfer to my university without having completed the LD general bio, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics at the CC. Once I did transfer to my university though I was able to take UD bio classes..
 

gonnif

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I don't understand this because a lot of 4 year institutions require that you complete many of what are also medical school pre-requisite courses at CC. I wouldn't have been able to transfer to my university without having completed the LD general bio, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics at the CC. Once I did transfer to my university though I was able to take UD bio classes..

There are some medical schools that directly speak to this idea of community college courses. This may give a little better insight in how the underlying “culture” or “attitude” of admission committee members, whether a formal policy or not, may perceive applicants who choose summer or community college coursework. While this list is not exhaustive, it is representative enough to help advise students who are considering such a step.

SUNY Upstate College of Medicine
Frequently Asked Questions | College of Medicine | SUNY Upstate Medical University
“Applicants should avoid taking more than one or two prerequisite science courses during the summer and avoid taking them at community colleges.”

Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
http://icahn.mssm.edu/education/medical/admissions/regular-track/requirements
Q: Can I take my courses at a community college, or must I take them at a four-year college or university?
A: We have no requirement about where you take courses, though the Committee on Admissions does take that into consideration in evaluating your application.


Johns Hopkins Medical School
Prerequisites, Requirements and Policies | Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine M.D. Program
The School of Medicine accepts prerequisites completed at the community college level. In order to be competitive in the selection process, we encourage prospective applicants with community college prerequisites to supplement these courses by taking advanced courses in related subjects at their four year institution.

University of Florida College of Medicine
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions » FAQ » Medical Admissions » College of Medicine » University of Florida
Q: Can I take the prerequisite courses at my local community/junior college?
A: In order to create the most academically competitive application you should take all prerequisite courses at the most competitive bachelor’s degree granting institution where you can gain entrance. You should try to complete your pre-requisite courses at a four-year institution


Albert Einstein College of Medicine
https://www.einstein.yu.edu/educati...pplication-procedure/course-requirements.aspx
Whereas course work at a four-year college or university is our benchmark, if a student chooses to meet a competency component via an alternate route such as through laboratory experience, through an advanced placement course, a course taken at a community college, a course taken abroad (during a semester abroad for which the undergraduate U.S. degree-granting institution gives credit, or for which AMCAS will verify and report the grade), or an online course, he or she should seek guidance from his or her advisor to ensure that the option meets the above guidelines as well as the rigorous academic standard required by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

George Washington University
MD Program Frequently Asked Questions | The School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Do you accept community college credits?
Yes. The Committee on Admissions does accept coursework taken at a community college; however, it is preferable to have the pre-medical coursework taken at a four-year college or university.


Florida State University College of Medicine
http://med.fsu.edu/?page=mdAdmissions.admissionRequirement
Listed below is the pre-requisite coursework required for all matriculates to the FSU COM. Advanced Placement, CLEP, and dual enrollment credits fulfill the course requirements. However, courses taken in a traditional classroom at a four-year institution are considered to be more academically competitive.

Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
MD Program Admissions Requirements | Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
Two pre-requisite science courses can be fulfilled with AP credits, community college courses or through a study abroad program.

Texas A&M Health Sciences Center College of Medicine
Medical School Admissions
Policy on AP Credits, Credits by Exam, and Dual Credit
We generally prefer that applicants take the prerequisite courses at 4-year accredited colleges and universities rather than utilize advanced placement credits, credits by exam, dual-credit, pass/fail course work or community college courses. We do not dismiss these credits; and, if they have been taken, we will accept them toward meeting the prerequisites. In fact, if an applicant has placed out of a required level course, we will also accept another course in that discipline at the same or higher level. Again, our preference is that applicants take graded courses at 4-year institutions, particularly the prerequisites in the biological sciences and the chemistry series.

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
http://www.medschool.vcu.edu/admissions/md/faq/#q43
Are community college classes accepted as prerequisite course credit?
They may be, but the Admissions Committee generally expects students to complete all prerequisite courses at a four-year undergraduate institution.

Yale
https://medicine.yale.edu/education/admissions/apply/premed.aspx
Pre-medical courses must be completed in a U.S., U.K., or Canadian college or university. U.S. Community College courses are acceptable, provided that the courses include laboratory work and are comparable in content to courses at four-year colleges, universities, or institutes of technology.

Weill Cornell
http://weill.cornell.edu/education/admissions/app_faq.html
Can I take my prerequisite courses at a Community College?
It is not recommended.




 
Nov 21, 2019
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@gonnif I get that schools value seeing pre-med coursework completed at 4 years but the issue I'm posing is that for those that didn't start at 4 year institutions often have no choice. To get into 4 year university you need to complete those LD's at CC. What do you do then? You can't retake those credits, nor would it make much sense. I suspect this is more oriented towards 4-year students who voluntarily take coursework at CC while maintaining other courses at their university.
 
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OchemOficionado

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@gonnif I get that schools value seeing pre-med coursework completed at 4 years but the issue I'm posing is that for those that didn't start at 4 year institutions often have no choice. To get into 4 year university you need to complete those LD's at CC. What do you do then? You can't retake those credits, nor would it make much sense. I suspect this is more oriented towards 4-year students who voluntarily take coursework at CC while maintaining other courses at their university.

Make sure you do well in the upper division sciences courses at your Uni. Possibly take extra.
 
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themoonman2

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I have a weird story: I went to CC after high school and decided on pre-med right before transferring to a 4 year university as a psych major. After graduating from my undergrad, I went back to that CC to finish my science pre-requisites, because it was the only real affordable option and taking the increased coarse load of pre-recs plus normal major classes plus volunteering and research while at the university seemed like a bad choice. I am now graduating from med school in 2 weeks (early graduation) and have matched into a competitive surgical subspecialty that I will be starting in July.

In retrospect, I think going to a CC absolutely hurt my application to med schools. It obviously worked out, but I get the feeling it held me back from interviews and acceptances at other places. My memory of medical school interviews was that I was asked about the CC in every interview I attended. I was also asked about the CC multiple times during my residency interviews, which felt pretty embarrassing- most of the people in my specialty did not have anything similar to me. I have not sat in on any adcom meetings at my med school, but I would not be surprised if attending a CC is factored in, especially in light of what was posted above.

Regarding non-transferable units: my memory is that I had to put every class I had ever taken onto my med school application. Plus, when you send your official transcript, they're going to see it anyways if they double check your self-reported info.

It definitely sucks you failed a math class. I would expect it to be calculated into your science GPA and overall GPA regardless of if it was transferable or not. This doesn't mean you can't be accepted anywhere, but you should be prepared to address what happened with that class and you also should show through other classes you have remedied whatever led to that failure.
 

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