Hello! Thank you for reading this message. I hope you can handle one more â€œlow gradesâ€ profile from yet another member. I have tried to seek help from pre-medical advisors all over the country but the majority of those I have contacted through phone and email have simply sent me a brief, generic email in response telling me â€œto go to a post-bacc program.â€ The problem is, I donâ€™t qualify for post-bacc programs geared towards non-science majors and I also am not a candidate to pursue graduate coursework in the sciences with such an incomplete foundation in the basic sciences.
I graduated with a B.S in Anthropology in 2002 from UCLA. I left during my second year of undergraduate work and attended community college for two years before returning to UCLA. During my time at the CC, I received the following grades in these science classes:
Between Fall of 1999 and Spring of 2000:
General Chemistry I â€“ Letter grade A
General Chemistry II â€“ Letter grade B
Physics I â€“ Letter grade B
Physics II â€“ Letter Grade B
Calculus 2 â€“ Letter Grade B
(On a side note, I took Calculus I right after high school at a different community college in 1997, garnering a C.)
When I returned to UCLA in 2001, I took four quarters of Life Science, which is the equivalent of two semesters of Biology. My Life Science grades at UCLA were:
Between Winter 2001 and Fall 2001:
Life Science 1 (Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity ) â€“ Letter Grade C+
Life Science 2 (Cells, Tissues, and Organs ) â€“ Letter Grade C
Life Science 3 (Introduction to Molecular Biology ) â€“ Letter Grade C-
Life Science 4 (Genetics) â€“ Letter Grade D
And then I attempted the first quarter of Organic Chemistry two times at UCLA:
Spring - Summer 2002
(First attempt) Organic Chemistry 1 â€“ Letter Grade F
(Second attempt) Organic Chemistry â€“ Letter Grade C-
So as you can see, I have taken nearly all of the pre-requisites except for the last two quarters of Organic Chemistry. But I received frightful grades in half of those pre-reqs.
My questions are:
- It has been an average of 6 years since my last science course â€“ should I retake ALL of them, even the ones in which I received Aâ€™s and Bâ€™s?
- My Chemistry and Physics grades are not bad, so I suppose I donâ€™t necessarily need to retake them. Yet, how can I jump into O chem WITHOUT retaking G Chem after a 7 year gap? Do you recommend I retake a course in which I received a decent grade in if it means preparing myself for the next course in the sequence (in this case, O chem.)?
- Should I retake Calculus I since it has been 10 years since I last took it (and received a C in when I took it in 1997)?
- And what of my one quarter of Organic Chem I, which I took two times 5 years ago, both times with bad grades? Do I retake it a THIRD time?? Clearly I must retake it if I am to prepare myself for the second and third quarter of O Chem, isnâ€™t that right?
- Shall I completely retake Biology?
My problem is that one advisor told me NOT to bother retaking ANY of my pre-reqs and just to take upper division courses instead to show the medical schools I can handle the advanced workload. I see the logic in that except for the fact that I couldnâ€™t possibly enroll in any upper division science courses when it has been so long since I took Math, Biology, and Chemistry. To retake some of those pre-reqs would only make sense, even though I did receive Aâ€™s and Bâ€™s in Physics and G Chem, wouldnâ€™t it? Yet, this pre-med counselor advised against this. What classes should I retake then, if any?
Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this. I truly would appreciate it if anyone out there could assist me with this. I have been very discouraged because it has been hard to find anyone who will just lay it out for me and tell me exactly what I should and shouldnâ€™t retake. I donâ€™t know how successful I would be at a formal post-bacc program because the ones geared towards science majors immediately throw you into the upper division science courses (which I am not prepared for) and the post-bacc programs that focus on non-science majors will not let you apply if you have taken the majority of the pre-med requirements, which I have, albeit with terrible grades. I have been in search of some real, tangible guidance so if there are any kind souls out there, please do get in touch with me.
Thank you in advance for all of your help - I truly appreciate it.