An introduction

I’m a 29 year old female and married with no children except two dogs and a cat. I’ve been a vet technician for 10 years but in search of a new career, I entered a community college 1.5 yrs ago. This year I decided to pursue pre-med and will be transferring to IUPUI this fall. I’ve yet to take any premed classes in fear that community college biology and chemistry courses will be an inferior educational experience compared to those offered at universities. I have 30 credits to transfer over to IUPUI and IU school of medicine, where I hope to be accepted, requires 90 credits total.

I’m seeking advice as to how I should proceed with my premed classes at IUPUI. Especially since I will be needing to work at least 15-20 hours a week for the next 2 years to help pay off debt before med-school.

Also, I have to factor in family planning before med-school. Anyone else been in/are in the same boat?


I’m in indy too. I’ll be talking classes at IUPUI starting in the summer, I think.

I know med school typically say 90 credit hours, but my understanding is that it’s highly highly unusual to be accepted without a bachelors degree. But that’s only 1 more year and 29 yrs old is like a baby around here.

You could talk to the pre-med advisor at IUPUI if you haven’t already.

With 20 hours/wk of work, you just need to consider how many classes you can handle. I know people that have worked full-time jobs in college and graduated early with an engineering degree. Most of us can’t pull that off; I know I couldn’t.

2 classes should be doable, 3 isn’t unreasonable if you’re sharp and don’t have much else going on. It’s more important to do well than be done quickly. You have a better idea what works for than anyone here will.

I would probably try 2 classes to start, and then you can always add a 3rd, 4th, etc., the next semester.

Hopefully, we can both laugh about this at IU med school some day.


One thing that I would think about is the 15-20 hours of work. I know when I worked for a major retailer that the 15-20 quickly became 40, so taking 2 classes and a lab was king of hard with those kinds of shifts. Also even when it was 20 it was from 3 til say 11 at night, which is also hard. Now when I was truly an undergrad I had an office type job that I worked 4 hours in the morning and then had the rest of the time for school and that worked out taking 5 classes. Just something to consider.

Re: 90 credit hours - don’t be fooled into thinking you don’t need a degree. You do. The 90 credit hour thing is something put in place by medical schools either to admit truly outstanding individuals before the completion of an undergrad degree or as a way to allow for people to do combined BS/MD programs. You will most likely not be a competitive candidate applying with only 90 hours as the vast majority of applicants will have degrees and a fair amount will have advanced degrees. (A note - BS/MD programs are very, very selective and usually only open to high school students. They aren’t designed for the non-trad candidate.)

Thanks for the insight! I agree starting out with two courses such as bio and chem w/ lab is probably about all I should attempt in the beginning. Then when I feel I’m in the swing of things I may add additional courses. Quality over quantity is my definite goal!

Hope to run into you at IUPUI. My friend runs the science mentoring program there, so let me know if you need a mentor/ want to be a mentor.

Much appreciated advice! It’s difficult to plan out a school and work schedule when you’re not exactly sure what you’re up against.

Good point. It never occurred to me that most non-trad applicants have other degrees and experience that, well unfortunately I do not have. Guess my plan to study hard for the next 10 years will serve me well. After all, I’m in no huge rush and I do have some time on my side; so if I happen to accumulate two or so degrees before getting into med school then so be it.