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Help, where do I take these classes????

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Dmite, Apr 3, 2000.

  1. Dmite

    Dmite New Member

    Apr 2, 2000
    Satellite Beach, FL, US
    I am hoping someone here can shed a little light on this situation for me. After long and careful consideration I am going to apply to medical school. I am what the "insiders" would call a non-traditional applicant because my BS and MS are in business. I have strong GPAs in both degrees so that should not be a factor.

    My question is regarding the pre req science classes. Do they have to be taken at 4 year school or can they be from a CC. The reason I am asking is because working a full time job and finding a university that offers science classes at night is almost impossible in my area. The one university that is in driving distance is a private scholl and tuition is $650 per credit hour. (you do the math [​IMG].

    I have talked to a few of the addmissions people at the medical schools I am interested in and they "recommend" the classes come from a 4 year school. Ho wmuch will taking the classes at a CC hurt? Has anyone gone through this or have any advice??
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  3. Besyonek

    Besyonek Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2000
    I would suggest that you bite the bullet and take the classes at a four-year college. Adcoms are generally suspicious of courses taken at CCs. while I certainly understand your reluctance about the additional cost, keep in mind that you'll be paying approx. $40,000/yr for tuition and living expenses while in med school.

    As another non-trad student, I did a post-bacc prog which was significantly more expensive than the place you're talking about. Yes, it was painful to write out 4 and 5-figure checks. However, it was an excellent program and prepared me very well for the MCAT and med school.

    sure, I might have saved a lot a money and gone to a local CC, but then I might not be in med school today. I'm not equating cost with quality; however, I think there is some correlation, especially considering the perceptions of med school adcoms.

  4. carolyn

    carolyn Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 15, 1999
    yup, i agree with Besyonek. i spoke with an admissions officer and she said that schools don't look favorably upon science courses taken at CC's. when evaluating your courswork, the adcoms would rather you have a good GPA comprised of difficult/competitive classes taken at a 4yr college than a 4.0 GPA of post-bacc work from a community college.
  5. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth. 10+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2000
    On the other hand...

    I am currently attending a CC - (long story) and I have seen many a post-bacc from my classes get VERY high scores on the MCATs and one of my tutors just got into EVERY school she applied to. (including UCSF, where she will be attending this fall.)

    I say check out the science dept. at your CC. Are they a transfer CC - ie, do most of their students transfer to a four year university, and if so, which one? At my CC, everyone in the sciences applies to UC Berkeley, so all of our science courses are in most ways exactly like theirs.

    Ad Coms are wary of CC's, but they aren't stupid - if you do well on the MCAT's and explain WHY you went to a CC (not everyone can afford to gamble away $450 bucks/unit), then, from my own experience, your chances are not that deminished.

    Hope this helps-

  6. dthankins

    dthankins Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    I agree ..CC classes should be kept to a minimum. I had 8 hours of gen bio from CC but also another 20 or so 4.0 bio hours to back it up.

    Another option is to try independent study by correspondence. I took Organic this way (still had to take the labs in person a a local school). The best site for correspondence info is
    you can also look at

    My organic by correspondence was far more in depth than most lectures get -- very hard to do without a teacher but it is possible (be prepared to work). I do not recommend that all classes be taken this way, but two or so won't hurt.

    [email protected]
  7. abbeydesert

    abbeydesert Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2000
    I took all my pre-reqs in CC, had great teachers, learned the material thoroughly and ended up with 12P and 13B on the science sections of the MCAT. My community college had Honors sections of most science classes and I'm convinced the level of instruction was at least on a par with most 4-year schools, certainly superior to sitting in a lecture with 500 other students, as at many state schools. Nevertheless, many med school adcoms, for whatever reason, apparently do seem to be wary of CC coursework- maybe they just *want* to see that you can "tough it out" in a class with 500 people and still excel. (I did go on to take advanced biology classes at a 4-year school later. ) Here's my suggestion: if you have very little science background, go ahead and take your first few science classes at a CC- *especially* General chemistry and/or physics. Especially if you're a returning student with little science background, I think the personalized attention and smaller class size will be very important in establishing a good foundation. After that, I would strongly suggest completing at least some of the other requirements at a 4-year school- you will probably want to take some advanced Bio classes like Genetics or Cell Biology anyway, to better prepare you for the MCAT (my General Bio class alone wouldn't have been enough to prepare me IMHO).
  8. Oolong Wa

    Oolong Wa Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Here is my scoop with CCs.

    I have the option of enrolling in one that, in a addition to the regular semesters, split semesters into A and B terms. This means that I could do, for example

    FALL A
    Bio 1 w/ lab
    Chm 1 w/ lab

    FALL B
    Bio 2 w/ lab
    Chm 2 w/ lab

    ........16 credit hour semester


    Org Chm 1 w/ lab
    Phy 1 w/ lab

    Org Chm 2 w/ lab
    Phy 2 w/ lab 2

    ........16 credit hour semester

    Can't this really show to adcoms that you have what it takes, if you do it with a high GPA...even more so than top notch schools with normal terms?
  9. mj

    mj Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 13, 2000
    Oolong Wa
    I've seen you post this question several times without response. I don't know the answer and it doesn't look like anyone else here does either. My suggestion would be that you call a few of the schools you are interested in applying to and ask them. They are usually very helpful with this kind of stuff. Let us know what they say.

  10. whynotme?

    whynotme? Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I have found that the admissions dept. at most med schools are extremely helpful. I agree with the above and check it out. You don't have anything to lose and might find out really good info. Let us know! [​IMG]

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