Is University that much harder than Community College?

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Oct 30, 2002
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I've gotta serious question and I need honest and informative answers. I was reading in another forum (can't remember which one), but a lot of people were saying how they got C's in Freshman Biology, General Chem, etc. I graduate from Community College in May and will be starting UIC in the summer. Am I in for a shock? Are university science classes considerably harder than community college science classes? I checked UIC's description of the classes vs my college's description and they match. I took my concerns to my professors; they told me they are the same level of difficulty. I'd rather you scare me now than for me to be in total shock. :confused:

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Don't worry, college, whether it be a community or university is nothing compared to Optometry school. Study & you'll do fine!

In the next two weeks, i have a Theoretical optics/ophthlamic optics exam, evidence-based med exam, pharm, Immunology, histolgy & Physiology exams, 2 clinical skills quizzes, 3 practicals, 2 take-home assignments, clinic, etc...I should be worrying lol :eek:
It all depends, Tyra. I guess it all boils down to whether you know the material or not. I have never taken any science courses at a community college, but I would imagine that if you know what you are supposed to know then there is little difference. One problem I had in undergrad at a university were professors who made their tests overly challenging because they think that they are really important, and deserve to do so. These exams really didn't measure your knowledge of material, but more your proficiency at guessing. :) I personally feel that if there is a difference in difficulty between community college and the university, it may lie in the difficulty of the teachers and their testing methods, rather than being vastly more difficult material. This is just something you may encounter, as i did. Of course, it is a whole new ballgame when you get to optometry school. I feel your pain, Christie.

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I think it really depends on 1) the community college, and 2) the university. There are some community colleges that are excellent academically, just like there are some colleges/universities that aren't so great academically. (How's that for a non-committal answer? ;) )

One difference that definitely does exist is in comparing the general academic level of the students at both types of schools. Granted, *many* excellent students go to community college for financial/scheduling/etc reasons before tranferring to a 4-year, but *overall* the competitive level is going to be much higher at a university vs. a comm coll. This ends up affecting your GPA and (I would think) your self-assessment of what you can handle -- i.e. "I am in the top 5% of the class, I'm kicking butt" at a comm coll might end up mapping to a "I'm in the top 40%" at a 4-year. I never attended a comm coll, but I've heard from many transfer students that their first semester at a 4-year was definitely an adjustment -- if only in that initial "mapping" period. But that's true in going from one 4-year to another, so again, it depends on the schools.

All that said, I think you'll be fine, Tyra. You sound like a very focused, conscientious, on-top-of-it type of student, and that's 99% of the battle at being successful! :D

(I really look forward to feeling your pain next year, Christie and TAL! [I can't believe I just said that... ;) ])
I went back to a community college to take pre reqs after four years at UTexas. I thought community college science was WAY easier. I easily made a 4.0 at the community college. The professors were more lenient, the drop out rate was phenominal (my anatomy class started out with 50 and ended up with 12), and I enjoyed the break. Yes, the material is the same, but the tests (from my experience) aren't of the same caliber.

But, TAl and Christie are right.. OD school is a whole nother ball game. I went from top of the class, to right about the middle.... and considering the company I'm in with my class.. I'm cool with that. :cool:

I'm experiencing exactly what you're speaking of!! I'm going to be slightly off track because they cancelled my Physics class on the first day of class (due to there only being 2 people enrolled), and there's only 10 of us left in General Chem. I slept an entire hour today in Chemistry because the teacher had to repeatedly cover valence and molecular orbit theory for the 3rd class meeting in a row because of everyone's constant whining! I HATE THIS! She finally decided the class was dragging and told everyone to go see the tutor. I almost feel like crying. I'm carrying 21 credits and as of midterm have all A's. But what's upsetting me is that I know I am not working to my full potential. It shouldn't be this easy!!!! Optometry school is hard enough to get in as it is. I just want to be competitive. It just sucks that the content of the OAT will consist of the first 2 years of my college education spent at a community college :(