Advice for an Informal PostBac PreMed Path

Hello all,

I am new here on this site!

I have seen several topics on the subject of Postbac Premed paths and I need some advice as well.

I graduated in May 2014 with a Bachelors in Psychology… however, my GPA is not all that high: it is a 2.7. While a freshman and sophomore, I failed both general biology and general chemistry, respectively. I was homeschooled all my life, so the transition to an actual school environment may have contributed to that.

But I pulled through, I graduated, and I am still interested in pursuing medical school as it has been a dream since I was a kid. I know that many formal postbac premed programs will not accept me because of my GPA, so I am in the middle of creating a DIY postbac premed program. The only issue is I am not sure which path to take.

My top option right now is at “ABC”, we shall call it. ABC is a part of a four-year university, but is specifically for part-time students. At ABC, you register and take classes part-time towards a degree or a certificate. I can take all the classes I need, and I receive financial aid, even if I register in ABC as a non-matriculated student. So, at ABC, I am considering either applying as a new degree-seeking student and take the classes I need without finishing and receiving a second degree (though I don’t know how that would look to medical schools) or I can take the classes I need as a nonmatriculated student (which may or may not work since I may not get into the classes I need).

A second option is at XYZ, a 4-year college. I can take courses as a non-matriculated, part-time student, as with ABC. At XYZ, I can take up to 18 credits as a non-matriculated student, but once I take more than 18 credits, I MUST apply for matriculation at XYZ.

I am not sure if I should go the non-matriculated route and just take the classes I need (which btw, are general biology, organic chemistry, general physics, biochemistry and any other classes I need for the new MCATs, not including stats and psychology as I passed those). If I go this route, I may or may not get the classes I need, since preference is obviously given to the matriculated students.

If I do become matriculated, I can register for said classes without a problem, and NOT pursue a second degree, even though I am matriculated, though I do not know how med schools will perceive that, not to mention I will become a full-time student and have to find other classes to take.

I should also mention that as of now, I have taken one semester of general chemistry at a local community college, and will start the second semester in a few days, as my original plan was to take the needed classes at a CC, but I am not offered any financial aid, and I don’t think med schools (even DOs) will appreciate that I took the science classes at a CC.

I have also become CPR certified, taken an EMT class, passed the EMT practical exam, and am awaiting the EMT written exam results, so I may also be working as either a certified EMT-B or working in the nearby hospitals while going to whichever school I choose part-time. This will help with paying tuition and rent (and will also look good on med school applications ).

Can you all give me advice on how to approach this postbac premed and make the right decision? Thanks!

Congrats on graduating AND Welcome!!

Don’t worry about matriculation or not as an undergrad pursuing pre-reqs.

Take the required courses, take the MCAT (no “s”) and apply.

Get shadowing in at hospitals, clinics, wherever you can if you can’t get an EMT position.

Take all the classes you can at the best possible school (generally speaking the ones that offer PhD’s in sciences, engineering, math, etc). Typically speaking, CC are not well considered… there are exceptions (CA, FL for instance).


NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO, GET A’s… seriously. No more C’s … a B here and there won’t kill you but NO C’s!!


I’ll be a little bit frank. With a 2.7 and failing of bio and gen chem during a B.A in psych you won’t get into MD schools without having a second degree.

Failing both 1st year biology and chemistry is extremely concerning to me. The majority of medical students are either from top schools or from the top of their class. I’m not sure what events could have lead to failing both bio and chem and I know plenty of people with As in genchem that got C’s in Ochem and poor MCATS so the road does get tougher and it wasn’t an isolated incident as the 2.7 demonstrates.

As for a plan there is nothing wrong with a DIY postbacc. I did one and think it can be advantageous sometimes. If you don’t have near a 4.0 especially at community college after the first few classes I would consider other plans though. I swear I’m not trying to be mean but the path to becoming a doctor is extremely time consuming and expensive as well as provides somewhat little return if not completed.

  • HeyEveryone Said:
I'll be a little bit frank. With a 2.7 and failing of bio and gen chem during a B.A in psych you won't get into MD schools without having a second degree.

I strongly disagree with this statement. Getting another degree requires taking a lot of coursework in addition to sciences, and what medical schools really want to see is success in the sciences. DO schools will do grade replacement, so if you do well in the courses you failed before, they will take the new grade when you apply. That might be a good option for you. Another thing to consider is that schools will want to see you succeed not only in the basic pre-requisites (gen chem, gen bio, etc.) but in upper level courses as well. If you take some of those -- and do WELL, as in A's -- that might allay some fears that you can't hack it in the sciences. But in my opinion, getting another degree won't matter. Focus on what medical schools really want to see -- success in the hard sciences, success on the MCAT, volunteer work, etc. Don't get distracted. My two cents.

As a side note -- I DID wind up getting a second bachelor's degree while doing a formal post-bac (it was a degree-granting post-bac program), but that second degree was NEVER mentioned during my medical school interviews. What interviewers asked about were things like my volunteerwork, my philosophy on particular issues, my career goals, etc. No one cared that I had a second degree. And I got three acceptances. Hence my stance.