Need Advice Please on Online Biochem at UC Berkeley Extension!!!

Oct 27, 2010
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Has anyone recently taken Dr. John Forger's Online Biochem Course at UC Berkeley Ext ? I would love to get some info on it before I enroll (and drop $770!)...

1) What is the online course like? How's the professor's style of teaching? How many hours did you have to study a week to get a B+ or above?

2) Is the grading fair? Does he make it possible to get an A with the appropriate amount of studying, or is it nearly impossible to do well in it (as it typically is in bigger universities)?

3) Does it satisfy DO schools' and UC Irvine and USC's Biochemistry requirement for med school?

4) Would you recommend any other online courses or in-class Biochem courses (with a schedule that caters to a post-bac premed full-time worker) in the Bay Area?

Any detailed information would be helpful! THANKS SO MUCH!!!
 

TriagePreMed

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Last time I checked it does not meet the requirements of some medical schools (I checked schools in Texas) because it's an "introductory" biochemistry. Would love to find out if this class is good enough for California schools.
 

sharmi

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Oct 15, 2009
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Its not. Someone in my Gen Chem class did check with some CA schools. Its only Intro Biochem. You need Gen Biochem. UC Berkeley Extn offers it in the evening in an in-class setting. You should consider that instead.
 
OP
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Oct 27, 2010
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Thanks for the advice, guys! So I guess I won't risk it by taking the Biochem class online because I really want to apply to CA schools (as a resident) too.

On that note, has anyone taken the Biochem course at UC Berkeley Ext. in the past couple years? I know it'll be a hard course but I really want to take a course where I can learn the material well AND get the grade I deserve that's representative of the hard work I put forth.

Does anyone have experience with the UC Berkeley Ext course and would you recommend taking it or not? Any other places in the Bay Area worth taking it at?
 

mspeedwagon

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Oct 20, 2009
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Like the above posters have said, don't waste your money with the online course as for the vast majority of schools that require biochem, it won't count. If you are looking for an online course that will count, I've heard the one through UNE is pretty good.

I took Biochem through UC-Berkeley Extension at the Redwood City campus. I took it over the summer and it wasn't too bad. I took it with Dr. Wakeham and she was great. The problem sets she assigns are fairly hard, and her exams (though open book) were hard (however, she was not always looking for the right answer, but a well thought out answer). I managed to get an A- without much problem (I probably would have gotten an A, but for the first quiz we took I had a huge work assignment and didn't have enough time to study).

I'd advise sitting in on the first class or two. I feel that there were a few people that dropped it initially, but the people that stuck it out all worked hard and got a B+ or better. It was my favorite class at UC - Berkeley Extension (followed by Orgo II). You actually learn useful relevant material in both these classes (more so in biochem).


Thanks for the advice, guys! So I guess I won't risk it by taking the Biochem class online because I really want to apply to CA schools (as a resident) too.

On that note, has anyone taken the Biochem course at UC Berkeley Ext. in the past couple years? I know it'll be a hard course but I really want to take a course where I can learn the material well AND get the grade I deserve that's representative of the hard work I put forth.

Does anyone have experience with the UC Berkeley Ext course and would you recommend taking it or not? Any other places in the Bay Area worth taking it at?
 
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juliedi

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Anyone know of any biochem courses available in Southern California? I tried looking into the community colleges around me, and alas, none of them offer biochem. Thanks!
 

juliedi

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I just found out that the UC Berkeley Extension online biochem class does actually fulfill the requirement for USC. Idk if it works at other schools though.
 

teddy bear doc

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I took that UCB Extension biochem as a prereq for U of Nebraska, and they accepted it no problem. Call individual schools personally if you want that question answered. Always better coming from the horse's mouth, you know? If the UCB Ext class is NOT accepted, don't bother taking it, as it will cover similar material and just be a waste of time and money.

The course was ok. There were I think 10 written assignments answering prompts pertaining to the "lecture" notes (posted online) and the assigned reading from the book. The assignments were only 40% of the grade, though, and the entire other 60% came from a proctored final exam. You have 3 hours for the final. I hand-wrote 9 pages for the final and ended up with a high A in the class. You also have to memorize lots of structures and metabolic cycles (with structures, of course). I learned quickly that my assignment grades were a lot higher if I basically read and paraphrased/regurgitated, as opposed to putting a tremendous amount of thought into it. After speaking with friends who took a classroom based intro to biochem, I'm not sure if that's too different from the norm though, as biochem as a subject seems to be a lot of memorizing and spitting back. Just my $0.02. I know biochem doesn't HAVE to be mindless memorization, just that it tends to be, particularly at the intro level.

Good luck, OP! :luck:
 

juliedi

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One more question for anyone who's taken the UCB extension online biochem: Is there any reason you'd need the exact edition of the textbook? I have an earlier edition (the one it asks for is $100 used :eek:), so I was wondering if I'd be ok with this. Thanks!
 
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I just completed the UC Berkeley Extension, MCELLBI X105 - Introductory Biochemistry course (11/1/15). PM me if you would like more information regarding the course, mid-term, or final.