Non traditional student working full time, really worried about taking pre-reqs at community college

May 25, 2019
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So I’m a non traditional future applicant in the sense that I have a master’s degree (MSW), am working full time, and have to go back to do all the pre-reqs (besides basic stuff like English).

My local 4 year university only has classes during my typical work hours and they’re 3 days a week so it’s not like I could even just take a day off work a week. There’s a community college nearby with evening offerings that is also WAY more affordable but I’m so worried that it will prevent me from being accepted to medical school down the line.

The community college does have some upper level classes because it offers a couple of bachelor’s degrees (but it’s still classified as/seen as a community college) but I’m just worried that adcoms will doubt if I can handle the rigor of medical school. I know that community college classes aren’t necessarily easier, but there is that perception.

There are about 4 upper level classes the CC doesn’t offer (at least that aren’t considered equivalent to the 4 year) (biochem, histology, cancer bio, and microbio) so I plan to take a semester off work (or work only on weekends) in my last semester of prereqs so I can take them at the 4 year. I know those aren’t required prereqs but I’m a non traditional who is attempting to reinvent myself. I had a 3.29 in undergrad studying psychology (mental health issues) then got a 4.0 in my MSW program so I need the extra post bacc credits to get my GPA up.

I’m planning to take 2 classes with labs a semester while working 40 hours a week. 67 postbac credits total (bio 1&2, chem 1&2, Orgo 1&2, precalc for a refresher, calc 1, physics 1&2, genetics, a&p, histology, immunology, cancer biology, virology, microbio)

Will adcoms understand why I had to take classes at the CC or will the CC being on my application get my application skipped over to where I won’t even have a chance to explain?
 
Aug 18, 2020
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Hey there - I am sort of in you same boat as you.... And I also live in West-Michigan if your username checks out. (go blue!).

I work full-time as well, and I currently have a bachelor's degree in clinical laboratory science. I am also finding that 4-year universities are only offering the upper level pre-requisite science courses during the working hours, and it makes it difficult to accommodate my work schedule. however, my local CC does offer class times in the evenings that would allow me to get these pre-requisites in.

The general consensus I am getting from the information out there is that you might be asked about your CC credits while you are in an interview, and you'll have to be ready to answer WHY you took the classes at CC. I think you have a perfectly valid explanation - You work full time. Some schools won't mind, others might take it into consideration or be curious. There is just no straightforward answer out there, so I am opting on the safer route to do my science heavy pre-requisites (orgo 1&2, Physics 1&2, Biochem, calc 1) at a 4 year university (bye $$$), and the more "social-science" courses with the community college (psychology, sociology).

Just consider that some places might be concerned about the amount of credits in postbac that are with a CC. Be ready to explain and be honest about the situation. "I work full time, and provide for a family (if you have one), and the community college post-bac route was the most financially wise decision I could make for my family".

I think your 4.0 MSW program will be taken into consideration if a red flag is raised about the CC credits - they won't just ignore that!
 
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GreenDuck12

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So I’m a non traditional future applicant in the sense that I have a master’s degree (MSW), am working full time, and have to go back to do all the pre-reqs (besides basic stuff like English).

My local 4 year university only has classes during my typical work hours and they’re 3 days a week so it’s not like I could even just take a day off work a week. There’s a community college nearby with evening offerings that is also WAY more affordable but I’m so worried that it will prevent me from being accepted to medical school down the line.

The community college does have some upper level classes because it offers a couple of bachelor’s degrees (but it’s still classified as/seen as a community college) but I’m just worried that adcoms will doubt if I can handle the rigor of medical school. I know that community college classes aren’t necessarily easier, but there is that perception.

There are about 4 upper level classes the CC doesn’t offer (at least that aren’t considered equivalent to the 4 year) (biochem, histology, cancer bio, and microbio) so I plan to take a semester off work (or work only on weekends) in my last semester of prereqs so I can take them at the 4 year. I know those aren’t required prereqs but I’m a non traditional who is attempting to reinvent myself. I had a 3.29 in undergrad studying psychology (mental health issues) then got a 4.0 in my MSW program so I need the extra post bacc credits to get my GPA up.

I’m planning to take 2 classes with labs a semester while working 40 hours a week. 67 postbac credits total (bio 1&2, chem 1&2, Orgo 1&2, precalc for a refresher, calc 1, physics 1&2, genetics, a&p, histology, immunology, cancer biology, virology, microbio)

Will adcoms understand why I had to take classes at the CC or will the CC being on my application get my application skipped over to where I won’t even have a chance to explain?

What are your goals: apply MD, DO, or both? Some schools state a preference for all prereq classes to be completed at a 4 year university or college, others accept CC classes on a case by case basis, others accept CC classes without reservations. Your best bet is to get a copy of MSAR which has detailed information about admissions for US MD schools. Using this tool you can get a better sense of how to proceed. Your graduate degree is interesting but your graduate GPA won’t offset your undergraduate GPA.
 
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May 25, 2019
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What are your goals: apply MD, DO, or both? Some schools state a preference for all prereq classes to be completed at a 4 year university or college, others accept CC classes on a case by case basis, others accept CC classes without reservations. Your best bet is to get a copy of MSAR which has detailed information about admissions for US MD schools. Using this tool you can get a better sense of how to proceed. Your graduate degree is interesting but your graduate GPA won’t offset your undergraduate GPA.
I’m planning to apply to both DO and MD. Where would I get a copy of MSAR? Yeah I’m hoping to get my GPA up to >3.45 ish before I apply, hence the 60+ credit post bacc. I do have a 3.73 in my last 60 credits of undergrad but I know med schools put a lot of emphasis on overall GPA.
 

Goro

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So I’m a non traditional future applicant in the sense that I have a master’s degree (MSW), am working full time, and have to go back to do all the pre-reqs (besides basic stuff like English).

My local 4 year university only has classes during my typical work hours and they’re 3 days a week so it’s not like I could even just take a day off work a week. There’s a community college nearby with evening offerings that is also WAY more affordable but I’m so worried that it will prevent me from being accepted to medical school down the line.

The community college does have some upper level classes because it offers a couple of bachelor’s degrees (but it’s still classified as/seen as a community college) but I’m just worried that adcoms will doubt if I can handle the rigor of medical school. I know that community college classes aren’t necessarily easier, but there is that perception.

There are about 4 upper level classes the CC doesn’t offer (at least that aren’t considered equivalent to the 4 year) (biochem, histology, cancer bio, and microbio) so I plan to take a semester off work (or work only on weekends) in my last semester of prereqs so I can take them at the 4 year. I know those aren’t required prereqs but I’m a non traditional who is attempting to reinvent myself. I had a 3.29 in undergrad studying psychology (mental health issues) then got a 4.0 in my MSW program so I need the extra post bacc credits to get my GPA up.

I’m planning to take 2 classes with labs a semester while working 40 hours a week. 67 postbac credits total (bio 1&2, chem 1&2, Orgo 1&2, precalc for a refresher, calc 1, physics 1&2, genetics, a&p, histology, immunology, cancer biology, virology, microbio)

Will adcoms understand why I had to take classes at the CC or will the CC being on my application get my application skipped over to where I won’t even have a chance to explain?
The bias against CC credits is definitely med school specific, and Adcoms do understand that non-trad students have lives, and have to do what is needed. Hence, dive into your schooling, do well, and don't look back.
 
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