Advice for going back for pre-reqs!?

Hey everyone

I’m planning to go back to school to finish some pre-reqs (Chem 1 & 2, Bio 1 & 2, Phys 1 & 2, and Organic 1 & 2). I’m currently 24, with a little over a year of experience as an Electrical Engineer with my BS in Electrical Engineering Technology. I would love to become an Electro Physiologist and have decided that I’m to young not to go for it.

I have signed up for classes but have yet to quit my job due to the uncertainty of “am I really up for taking on this financial and personal commitment”(more so the financial aspect). Only working a year I unfortunately don’t have that much money saved up, and am planning on getting Federal Direct Loans to cover tuition, but am unsure of how to pay for living expenses besides trying to work on the weekends and getting private loans. When I spoke with Financial Aid Services at my school, they said I was only eligible for one 12-month period of Federal funding since I would be going to back to school as a “non-degree” student.

I unfortunately did not apply myself very well in my first four years and received a 2.96 overall GPA. I am however a very hard working and goal oriented person when I put my mind to it.

Does anyone have any advice or similar experience? Is my poor GPA going to haunt me throughout the application process or can I kick it in high gear and have that overlooked?

Thanks in advance for reading and any advice you may have,



Welcome to the group! Is it possible for you to become a degree seeking student? I’m not sure where you’re located, but perhaps you could, using your past credits, also pick up a bio major? I don’t think it’s actually required for you to finish your degree before entering medical school (although if you are in a masters or doctoral program many medical schools want you to finish that degree before committing to med school). In other words, can you have the intent of pursuing a bio (or chem) degree to get in your prereqs, and then, should you be accepted to med school, simply not finish out the degree? I imagine the undergrad school may not be happy about it, but people don’t finish degrees all the time.

With respect to a low GPA, I’d look up OldManDave’s posts about his journey. I think it will provide you with some good inspiration. What will be important is that you are truly committed to the journey from here on out.

Best of luck with things! Hopefully you’ve already discovered that people here are a friendly bunch and willing to offer lots of thoughts–just pose your questions as they come to you.

I’m not sure if this will apply to your particular situation, but here is what I did… I have a BS and MS in Engineering. I called up the Department of Chemistry and told them I am interested in a PHD program in BioChem. They allowed me to come in as a Post bac student to take some preliminary chemistry classes for a few semesters (which is where I am slipping in the medschool pre reqs)…so I am not actually in a PhD program, but I am not a non-degree seeking student either…somewhere inbetween.

If there is anyway you can manage without working, I would really advise that…this is your chance to get great grades in those courses and present a strong application! Talk to your financial aid office and find out what the best solution is to get enough aid to cover you - they can be really helpful.


Welcome! To speak to your work/class situation I would have to agree with Clark. In order to get the most out of your classes and do the best you can , you’ll need to be at full throttle minus a full-time job. I’m taking full load and still hesitating to pick up something part time.

As far as the grades, unfortunately nothing is overlooked but that doesnt mean you cant make an awesome comeback! Just do the best you can from this point on.

I came to the same conclusion. It’s difficult to give your full attention to a full time professional job and be a full time premed student.

You may want to draw yourself a timeline/roadmap of when and where you can take class, etc. Perhaps taking one class a semester and working for another year might be something to consider. I was considering doing that until I looked around and found out that I could take all the prereqs in one calendar year locally. If that was not the case I would have spread it out and kept working. You don’t have to do everything right now, think marathon not sprint, but do something to start.

Everyone here has a slightly different situation and background. So its hard to say what is the right answer for you personally. There is a great post by gonnif (Post#61836), that everyone should read.