Aug 29, 2017
7
1
Hello everyone,

For the last two years of high school I was enrolled in the running start program. For those who aren't familiar, the running start program allows high school students to spend their last two years of high school at a community college where they obtain both high school and college credit. I earned 90 college credits and am on the path to graduate within 2 years at my university and move on to medical school in 3 years despite being 18.

My questions are for those who have transitioned from community colleges to universities and gone on to medical school.

Did you find that courses at universities were more difficult than those at community college's? Did you have any issues with medical schools not accepting your community college credits? Finally, did you find that you suffered more through the coursework during medical school than students who took all of their prerequisites at a university.
 

21Rush12

Searching a cave behind a waterfall
5+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2014
2,249
4,131
Status
Medical Student
I will do my best to answer your questions based on my experiences from CC>UG>Med school.

I found that by and large the courses were harder on the university level, partly because I was taking upper level courses at the four year institution. However, in my opinion both the Gen Chem 1 class I took and the Calculus class I took at community college were much harder than my university. Also, my microbiology class from community college was more intense than the one I had to take at my UG institution, and it included lab which my UG did not. The short answer is that it varies I'm sure, but usually universities are seen as more rigorous regardless of the reality.

I had no issues with accepting my credits, but I would recommend that you take upper level courses in any subjects you are using CC credits for to prove your academic ability. Several schools list on their websites that they prefer you do all of your prerequisites at a four year institution (SUNY upstate comes to mind, and I think @gonnif has a list somewhere of these schools more specifically).

As far as suffering: I think I keep up with the Ivy leaguers just fine and I always beat the average on exams.


Sent from my iPad using SDN mobile

Edited for clarity/spelling
 
OP
Jimbo Neutrombo
Aug 29, 2017
7
1
I will do my best to answer your questions based on my experiences from CC>UG>Med school.

I found that by and large the courses were harder on the university level, partly because I was taking upper level courses at the four year institution. However, in my opinion both the Gen Chem 1 class I took and the Calculus class I took at community college were much harder than my university. Also, my microbiology class from community college was more intense than the one I had to take at my UG institution, and it included lab which my UG did not. The short answer is that it varies I'm sure, but usually universities are seen as more rigorous regardless of the reality.

I had no issues with accepting my credits, but I would recommend that you take upper level courses in any subjects you are using CC credits for to prove your academic ability. Several schools list on their websites that they prefer you do all of your prerequisites at a four year institution (SUNY upstate comes to mind, and I think @gonnif has a list somewhere of these schools more specifically).

As far as suffering: I think I keep up with the Ivy leaguers just fine and I always beat the average on exams.


Sent from my iPad using SDN mobile

Edited for clarity/spelling
Thank you. Your answer was very thorough and helpful. I have heard that it can vary by professor but I am prepared to step up my game regardless of whether or not university turns out to be much more difficult for myself.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 21Rush12
About the Ads

gonnif

Only 342 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
20,789
32,193
The Big Bad Apple
Status
Non-Student
I had no issues with accepting my credits, but I would recommend that you take upper level courses in any subjects you are using CC credits for to prove your academic ability. Several schools list on their websites that they prefer you do all of your prerequisites at a four year institution (SUNY upstate comes to mind, and I think @gonnif has a list somewhere of these schools more specifically).


There are some medical schools that directly speak to this idea of community college courses. This may give a little better insight in how the underlying “culture” or “attitude” of admission committee members, whether a formal policy or not, may perceive applicants who choose summer or community college coursework. While this list is not exhaustive, it is representative enough to help advise students who are considering such a step.

SUNY Upstate College of Medicine
Frequently Asked Questions | College of Medicine | SUNY Upstate Medical University
“Applicants should avoid taking more than one or two prerequisite science courses during the summer and avoid taking them at community colleges.”

Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Medical Program Admissions Requirements | Icahn School of Medicine
Q: Can I take my courses at a community college, or must I take them at a four-year college or university?
A: We have no requirement about where you take courses, though the Committee on Admissions does take that into consideration in evaluating your application.


Johns Hopkins Medical School
Prerequisites and Requirements| Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine M.D. Admissions
The School of Medicine accepts prerequisites completed at the community college level. In order to be competitive in the selection process, we encourage prospective applicants with community college prerequisites to supplement these courses by taking advanced courses in related subjects at their four year institution.

University of Florida College of Medicine
FAQ
Q: Can I take the prerequisite courses at my local community/junior college?
A: In order to create the most academically competitive application you should take all prerequisite courses at the most competitive bachelor’s degree granting institution where you can gain entrance. You should try to complete your pre-requisite courses at a four-year institution


Albert Einstein College of Medicine
https://www.einstein.yu.edu/educati...pplication-procedure/course-requirements.aspx
Whereas course work at a four-year college or university is our benchmark, if a student chooses to meet a competency component via an alternate route such as through laboratory experience, through an advanced placement course, a course taken at a community college, a course taken abroad (during a semester abroad for which the undergraduate U.S. degree-granting institution gives credit, or for which AMCAS will verify and report the grade), or an online course, he or she should seek guidance from his or her advisor to ensure that the option meets the above guidelines as well as the rigorous academic standard required by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

George Washington University
M.D. Program Frequently Asked Questions | The School of Medicine & Health Sciences | The George Washington University
Do you accept community college credits?
Yes. The Committee on Admissions does accept coursework taken at a community college; however, it is preferable to have the pre-medical coursework taken at a four-year college or university.


Florida State University College of Medicine
http://med.fsu.edu/?page=mdAdmissions.admissionRequirement
Listed below is the pre-requisite coursework required for all matriculates to the FSU COM. Advanced Placement, CLEP, and dual enrollment credits fulfill the course requirements. However, courses taken in a traditional classroom at a four-year institution are considered to be more academically competitive.

Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
Requirements | Lewis Katz School of Medicine
Two pre-requisite science courses can be fulfilled with AP credits, community college courses or through a study abroad program.

Texas A&M Health Sciences Center College of Medicine
How Do I Apply?
Policy on AP Credits, Credits by Exam, and Dual Credit
We generally prefer that applicants take the prerequisite courses at 4-year accredited colleges and universities rather than utilize advanced placement credits, credits by exam, dual-credit, pass/fail course work or community college courses. We do not dismiss these credits; and, if they have been taken, we will accept them toward meeting the prerequisites. In fact, if an applicant has placed out of a required level course, we will also accept another course in that discipline at the same or higher level. Again, our preference is that applicants take graded courses at 4-year institutions, particularly the prerequisites in the biological sciences and the chemistry series.

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
http://www.medschool.vcu.edu/admissions/md/faq/#q43
Are community college classes accepted as prerequisite course credit?
They may be, but the Admissions Committee generally expects students to complete all prerequisite courses at a four-year undergraduate institution.

Yale
https://medicine.yale.edu/education/admissions/apply/premed.aspx
Pre-medical courses must be completed in a U.S., U.K., or Canadian college or university. U.S. Community College courses are acceptable, provided that the courses include laboratory work and are comparable in content to courses at four-year colleges, universities, or institutes of technology.

Weill Cornell
Medical Education at Weill Medical College of Cornell University | About Us
Can I take my prerequisite courses at a Community College?
It is not recommended.



 

precisiongraphic

2+ Year Member
Oct 29, 2015
768
765
Status
Non-Student
I have not applied to/attended medical school but I have recently taught at (and a looong time ago, attended) a community college. (I'm in Washington State and have had tons of Running Start students.) I have these observations: In general, Community college classes are usually smaller and the instructors/professors are more interested in getting their students over the finish line than instructors/professors in large 4-year universities. (This would likely not be true of smaller or liberal arts colleges. And it is not true in all cases.)

So you may have to attend more office hours, talk to TAs and spend more time getting noticed at universities and if you need help/are struggling, you'll need to be more proactive getting help. This is especially true in the case where you want a good reference letter as large university instructors often have more students and are less responsive, in general. Working in an instructor's lab, for example, may help you forge a stronger bond with an instructor.

Some CCs (those in California or Washington are ones that I'm familiar with) have an agreement with the 4-year university to accept the credits and those classes may have the same name/course number and the CC will generally try to have a syllabus that mirrors the 4-year syllabus. Sometimes these agreements are called "articulation agreements" and a good way to check would be to ask the academic counselors at your CC or go to the University transfer fairs that many CCs have during the fall semester. If these are in place, then you can know that the content of the CC classes is more standardized which should be reassuring.

Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jimbo Neutrombo
About the Ads