Pre-reqs at Community college a big problem? How can I avoid them?

Mar 19, 2010
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I'm still in high school and I would like to start out at a community college in order to save some money and transfer to a better college than the ones that accepted me. Problem is that I want to transfer to a UC and major in Neuroscience... i checked the UC agreements with the cc for the neuroscience major and I need to take introductory courses to ALL the pre requisites of med school. So.. will I need to take all the courses at first year level once I transfer (and throw a year of my life away) or will some upper division courses in the subjects take over the intros taken at cc. OR, should I just get BIG loans and go to a less prestigious 4-year college from the start?
 

rHinO1

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I'm still in high school and I would like to start out at a community college in order to save some money and transfer to a better college than the ones that accepted me. Problem is that I want to transfer to a UC and major in Neuroscience... i checked the UC agreements with the cc for the neuroscience major and I need to take introductory courses to ALL the pre requisites of med school. So.. will I need to take all the courses at first year level once I transfer (and throw a year of my life away) or will some upper division courses in the subjects take over the intros taken at cc. OR, should I just get BIG loans and go to a less prestigious 4-year college from the start?
requirements may have changed. . . but I transferred from a cc to a UC.

At the cc I took:
Intro bio 1 & 2
Gen chem 1 & 2
Physics 1
English

at the UC:
Organic chem 1 & 2
Physics 2

Then I took many upper division bio classes at the UC including: metabolic biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, genetics, physiology 1 & 2.

I did equally well at both schools and I think my transcript shows that I know the material. Just try to take upper level courses in the same subject at the UC. Especially try to include O-chem at the UC. It will be easy since neuroscience is a type of biology major.
 
Mar 19, 2010
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thank you rhino1,
so do you think I should start out at a cc and keep myself out of loans/save money?
plus, I dont have the HS grades for Berkeley,UCLA or UCSD where I could later on transfer from the cc.
Another thing is.. with my APs and some effort I could get the credits and clear the requirements for UC transfer in one year.. but I believe I would enter the UC as a Junior and I'm not quite sure how it workss. Should I do that or should I take it easy and spend the 2 years at CC?
 

Nevadanteater

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taking the pre-reqs at CC is not a problem. this is doubly true because you're planning on continuing through with a hard science degree.

personally, i'd take 2 years at CC - being at junior status (based on # of credits) won't make you graduate any earlier. one thing you might want to be aware of is that some med schools do not accept AP credit for pre-reqs, so that might be a problem in the future.

save the money and make sure to rock your courses.
 
Mar 19, 2010
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Thanks nevadanteater.. kind of what I needed to hear :]
This whole "will a cc prepare me? will attending a cc affect my chances at med? YOU plan to go to a..(gasp) CC?" thing was getting on my nerve. Fact is that I need to work with what I got and plan for the future, I have a great determination and ambition so wherever I go I'm gonna give it my best, and I'll probably be happier at a cc in SD (a 2-hour drive away from home) than farther away at least for the first years.
Just to know.. how does the junior status based on credits work and what are the pros and cons?

Oh and about the Cal States, I don't have physical residence in CA and since UCs give cc transfers priority I figured Id rather not spend on a CSU. Maybe I was wrong but I didn't apply to any CSUs.
 

naijaboi

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Nov 20, 2009
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I do not know about California CCs' but my state CC had a series of courses that one completes, and those are completely transferable to all the State schools. If you completed them, then you are automatically a junior when you transfer. I agree with the other posters that as long as you major in the hard sciences and do very well, this whole CC thing will not affect you very much. I only explained attending a CC in my Boston University application. No other school asked or bothered. After doing my research, I also discovered that every year Harvard accepts at least one former CC student every year, the most famous being Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa who is from CA.
 

WorldChanger36

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I took Gchem 1 and 2 and G bio 1 and 2 at a CC. Then took Physics 1 and 2 and orgo 1 and 2 at University. If you want to wait you can take other courses like microbio and Intro chem at the CC. You only need 60 creds to graduate from a CC. So do all the basics like 101 english, maths, humanites and a few electives and then you can take the premed pre recs at the Uni if you want.
 

rHinO1

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thank you rhino1,
so do you think I should start out at a cc and keep myself out of loans/save money?
plus, I dont have the HS grades for Berkeley,UCLA or UCSD where I could later on transfer from the cc.
Another thing is.. with my APs and some effort I could get the credits and clear the requirements for UC transfer in one year.. but I believe I would enter the UC as a Junior and I'm not quite sure how it workss. Should I do that or should I take it easy and spend the 2 years at CC?
I think if you want to go to a cc first b/c you will be happier and will save money, then you should do it. I went to a SD cc and transferred to UCSD with a TAG agreement which guaranteed me admission and guaranteed all of my classes would transfer. I think the cc prepared me well for upper division classes and I will graduate from UCSD summa cum laude (top 2%). The main thing the UC's have to offer is research. Please make sure you take advantage of the research opportunities after you transfer. IMO if you are majoring in a science at a UC and don't do research then you are in the wrong major/place.

I would recommend not using your AP credits to satisfy medical school pre-reqs, even if you have to stay 2 years at the cc. There are several medical schools that will not accept AP credits in place of a pre-req. Also, I know several people who struggled in math and upper level science classes b/c their AP course did not provide them with the base to do well in the next class in the sequence. If you take the classes (instead of using AP credit) then you should theoretically have an "easy A" to boost both your BCPM and cGPA.

Once you transfer to the UC you will be a sophmore or junior depending on your # of units. Really your standing doesn't matter except for when you get to register for classes.
 

CALLR001

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Oct 10, 2009
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I did gen chem 1 and 2 and bio 1 and 2 at a community college. I then transferred to a UC where I continued to get great grades. As a result I have been admitted to UCLA med school. I met another cc to UC student accepted to UCLA at recruitment day. He had acceptances to Harvard, Stanford, Yale and many other schools. In other words, cc is a great option. Just make sure you put in the effort and earn solid grades.