Best cities for evening pre-med classes?

Reading the many forum posts on here, it’s clear that most med-schools don’t look too favorably upon CC coursework. I looked into local options, but San Diego State here does not have a formal postbacc – as someone with an M.S. degree, I’d have no enrollment priority and would have to “crash” courses to see if I’d be able to get in. And those courses would happen daytime. Although I’ve not researched, I think UCSD is no different.

Also, I don’t have the cash for a full-time postbacc and am not ready to consider financial aid for full-time pre-med yet. So I’m limited to CCs or private 4-yrs with evening classes. The only ones I have are – National University or the SoCal Univ of Health Sciences (a chiropractic college with a 3 hr drive, 8-hour long weekend classes and probably hotel charges all year.) Either of those would cost 11K a year in tuition alone. While that’s not impossible to work out, it would push my finances to the limit.

I’m wondering if there’s other places that would allow me to keep a full-time job and take classes in the evening. I know U-MD College Park is one (Science in the Evening program it’s called, I think?) I’m going to look into the Baltimore job scene, but wondering what other cities I should be considering. FWIW, I’m in wastewater process engineering, and if at all possible, I’d like to establish residence in states which have 4-yr institutes with evening classes and also 4+ med-schools. I’m going to do my research, but your responses would give me a starting point.

Off the top of my head, I know Northwestern University has formal post-bacc premed program which offers evening classes, but they will be very expensive, probably more than 11K/yr. Also, Loyola University at Chicago has a formal program as well, not sure if the classes are in the evening but I remember they mentioned that it’s for working adults so they have to be. So look into programs in Chicago. Chicago/Illinois has 6 med schools.

Also in Chicago is Roosevelt University which offers the pre-med coursework at night. I can give you the name and e-mail of the person in charge of their program if you’re interested.

UC Berkeley extension has a postbac program with classes in Berkeley, San Francisco and Redwood City

On a very general level, it is likely that larger cities with a large concentration of colleges would be the best bet. Unless you choose a very specific program (such as science in the evening) then you should look at your job prospects and living costs (not too mention where you would like to live) as a guide. For example, New York City has multiple City Univ of NY (CUNY) with a large offering of eveing courses, as well as few nearby state schools. Chicago as was mentioned does have several. I know that in Philadelphia, Drexel University (which has taken over the Medical College of PA a few years ago which in turn took over Hanahman Medical School previously) has something like 11 various post-bacc programs.

the AAMC has a searchable list with contact info

If you need a specific city/school contact, I have many on the OPM mailing list

Thx everyone. My initial research indicates that CA, FL, PA, IL, OH, TX, and NY would meet my requirements. MD2B - if I am able to find a job in Chicago, I will contact you for info on Roosevelt. Richard - thx for reminding me of the AAMC postbac link. I’d seen that but completely forgotten about it. I like the idea of PA and upstate NY for many reasons and hope I find a job at those locations… Shall update this post if there’s news to report.

I need to vent frustration so I thought I’d pick on my own thread rather than corrupting someone else’s thread. I’m also having one of those “is this even possible” days, and I’ve not even started with coursework yet. That’s just the problem.

I look at the post I made over a year ago and am frustrated that I’m still in the same spot today. Stuck inside a hamster wheel, really. I tried to find a job in another town but it’s not been the best of times to be job-seeking. So I applied for admission at a local CC and was placed in the last week of enrollment. During the orientation, a counselor tells me continuing students are assigned enrollment dates first, and new students get a randomly assigned enrollment date following that. Most classes were already waitlisted or had closed 3 weeks before my assigned date. Perfect.

Gen Chem I has a pre-req that I don’t automatically clear. I can try getting my foreign transcript evaluated, or take the challenge exam. I think I’ll go for the latter, but that puts it out to next fall, because I really don’t think I want to be taking pre-reqs to a pre-req. Also having problems getting the system to clear my English and Math Placement level. So as it stands right now, I’m waitlist # 8 for Bio I and WL #20-something for Introductory Psychology. Physics I closed a week before my enrollment date (waitlist also full). And even if I can get the system to clear my english assessment, can’t enroll in English 120 since it’s already waitlisted.

I wish I could pack up my bags and get out of here, or at least be able to go full time post bacc, but I’m limited to evening classes for now. Back to the hamster wheel it is.

Then there’s the “is it worth it” aspect. Most days I feel it is, at least emotionally. But my 3rd year UCSD-med cousin is constantly reminding me of his experiences and what a rough time he’s having and on days such as today when I’m feeling not too chipper, I start wondering…

Rule 1: Take a Breath.

Rule 10: FUD – fear, uncertainty, and doubt kills more premeds than GPA and MCAT combined.

Thanks Richard.

I think I’ve discarded FUD (and that’s why I chose to proceed with CC versus 4-yr) but perhaps I need to take a breath. I wanted to be done with residency by 45, but that ain’t gonna happen, so perhaps I should relax. Since the time I posted my rant, the Physics I waitlist has opened up. I need to contact my counselor and get the Math pre-pre-pre-pre-reqs cleared so I can get on the WL for Physics I.

And then one step at a time.

As I did last time around, I’m going to post here so that I don’t hijack another person’s thread. So I’m enrolled in two courses at a CC for a total of 7 units this semester. I have Bio 1 and Bio 1 Lab, and Introductory Psychology online. I’m taking the psych course to satisfy D.O. pre-reqs. As of now, the way my plan is laid out, I’ll be taking the MCAT in spring 2013, and applying during summer 2014 for Fall 2015. I could shorten it by a year but ALL my pre-reqs would be from a CC and I’d have no 4-yr upper div courses at all if I did that.

I’m doing fine on both CC courses and lab so far, but the online Psych course requires much more effort than the campus-based bio class. As a result, I have a good online rapport with the instructor. Here’s my question – I know I can get a decent LOR from the psych instructor, but should I? I won’t be able to use it until 2014, I’d have to store it on Interfolio for 4 years, it’s from a CC instructor, and it’s an online course. Is it worth it? Should I ask?

FYI, my undergrad was from outside the US (so no LORs there,) and my graduate degree in engineering was earned more than 10 years ago (again, no LORs there.) I would prefer not to risk an LOR from my boss at work (we have a testy work relationship)…

Your comments and advice requested.


Same situation from a student, this was my advice to him. First make sure you get As. Once you clear enough science classes, then ask for a combined letter. A letter in which each professor puts a paragraph and sign at the end of it. I think this kind of letter has much more value than a single letter from a single professor. The deal was also that the contact person would be the department chair (math and natural sciences) who agreed in this instance.

Now if you hesitate, I would still ask the letter and store it. Then along the way, you may get better letters and eventually, you may replace the letter.

Keep your options open. From my discussions with adcoms, I don’t think that the letters from professors have a lot of weight (other than saying that you are academically fit, but this is seen in your latest grades and most importantly in your MCAT). Now if it is a bunch of professors saying you are great, it has more weight. But ultimately, you need to secure MD/DO letters. This is a consensus that I have heard many times. These, will have a substantial weight in your application, and I would try to work on these. Start the process at least 6 months ahead, but even 9 months to 1 year is not too much to get in touch with potential references (let them know this is coming).

Avoid your boss’s letter for now. Plus I am not sure of the weight of it. Definitely, network, shadow, volunteer will clear the letter issues.

By the way, my undergrad is from outside the US as well. So extra-curriculars in our cases are perhaps more important than for others.

I’m going to hijack my own thread once again. I last posted almost a year ago. Since then, I’ve completed 18 credits at a local CC.

4: Bio I + Lab

5: Gen Chem I + Lab

3: Intro Psych online

3: Abnormal Psych online

3: English I online

Halfway through last semester, I had to relocate from San Diego to Santa Barbara to keep my job. Although I was initially unhappy, I’ve enjoyed the change. Not only am I enjoying this lovely town, scenic Central CA environs and wonderful weather, I’m also really glad to be working for a project manager who does not make me want to curl up into a fetal position when the alarm goes off each morning. This project is not without problems, but I’m able to work them out with the team. Anyway, I’ll have to sit out the Fall 2011 semester - meaning I’ll be taking fluff courses online. I have to choose between English II, Physical Anthropology I, and Sociology I. Or I could take all 3 for 9 units. Of these, only English II is a requirement, sort of. Any suggestions or comments?

Well from pov I see 2 options that would appeal to me. 1) get Eng 2 out of the way (practical) or 2) Physical Anthropology. I say number 2 because I took this late in my undergrad and I really enjoyed it (wish I found it earlier). It actually combined some aspects of biology and anatomy and was extremely interesting. My 2 cents.

Time flies! I’m taking English II, Intro Anthropology and Intro Sociology with only about a month remaining this semester. Enrollment for Spring 2012 at my CC is next week. The only core pre-req available to me next semester is Gen Chem II. Physics II is available but I haven’t cleared Physics I yet. To fill in the semester, I can choose from the following:

Biological Sciences

  • Human Anatomy with lab

  • Human Physiology with lab

  • Anatomy and Physiology I with lab


  • Developmental Psychology

  • Human Sexuality

  • Physiological Psychology

  • Social Psychology

    Spanish Language

  • Spanish I

    I’m not 100% sure but this being a CC, the anatomy and physiology courses are probably oriented towards pre-nursing majors. They should still be useful though. However, I think Spanish I would probably be much more useful to me. Best of all, it has no pre-reqs for enrollment. Anyone have comments?

More time has flown (nearly 3 years, wow!) and I’m going to continue using this thread as my unofficial diary. Since the last post, I’ve taken Spanish 1, 2, and 3, and forgotten everything I learnt as well. It’s been nearly 2 years that I’ve taken any class at all. And now I’m in the mood for a good rant.

[Begin rant]

Almost 2 years ago, Physics I was the only evening class available, but I decided not to enroll because of FUD. I, a former teaching assistant for a calculus-based Physics undergrad lab at a well-regarded UC, felt unprepared to take on calculus-based Physics at the local CC. Pure FUD because I’d not handled calc-based Physics since 1998. Back in 1998, I did pretty well as a TA and was rated between 7 and 8/10 by my students. On calc-based Physics. But I chickened out enrolling in calc-based Physics at the local CC. Score a big one for FUD.

I recently decided to get things back on track. I am still stuck in a s***ty job but decided that I’m going to officially request part-time status so I can enroll in daytime classes. There’s 4 enrollment groups at my CC district. Group 1 is veterans and active duty, Group 2 is freshmen and high school seniors, Group 3 consists of those about to graduate with an associate’s degree (20-30 units remaining) and Group 4 is everyone else. I’m always in Group 4 because I have no declared major and I’m nowhere near the number of units required for an associate’s degree. Open enrollment for Group 4 this semester was Aug 3. When I tried enrolling on Aug 3, I was informed that I’d need to apply for admission all over again because I have been inactive for 2+ semesters. Great! FML! So I reapplied for admission and had to wait 24 hours for the system to let me begin the process. Perfect!

About 2 weeks before open enrollment, the Bio II class I need was already 75% full. It was waitlisted 10 people and closed to waitlist even before I got to enroll on Aug 4. By some random luck, there was another Bio II class with 2 spots open and I managed to get 1 of those spots today. So I’ll be clearing Bio II no matter what. However, unlike the other class, the professor for this one has a rating of 2/5 on ratemyprof. I guess I can live with that. If I can make a B, I’ll be fine. I just need these damn pre-reqs knocked out. I am also waitlist #4 on Physics I, and I think I’ll be able to make it because folks always drop out. So, progress. I think.

The Bio class is MW 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm with lab on W 4.00 pm - 6.30 pm. I’ll be putting in an official request to drop to 24-hr part-time status at work. I avoided doing this for the longest time, but I have run out of options to clear these damn pre-reqs. I’ll have to cut back on sick, vacation, travel, eating out, etc due to the reduced income, but if that’s what it takes… I’ll also be paying more for healthcare and other benefits as a part-timer. But again, if that’s what it takes…

Bottom line and advice to others - please tackle FUD head on. It can be destructive but you can overcome it. Dive into the deep end, etc. You’ll be fine and so will I.

[End Drama Queen]

And more - I’m considering brushing up on high school topics so I can position myself as a tutor. 25 bucks/hour and 3-4 students 1-2 times a month = good cash income. I guess I should visit the local Barnes and Noble for SAT prep books ASAP.

I have a small tutoring business and yes, the money is good during the school year. FYI, I’ve purchased the majority of my materials through Amazon, B&N can be a bit pricey!

wow congrats on not giving up and letting FUD stop you from doing what want to do. I am 29 years old and have my Bachelors in nursing. I get paid really good and have everything I want in life to live comfortably. But for the past year, I have been thinking of going to medicine. FUD is telling me that its not worth it, cost too much, etc… I am only missing GEN CHEM 1&2, ORGANIC CHEM 1&2, and PHYSICS. ( I have done BIO - ANATOMY, MICROBIOLOGY, PHYSIOLOGY, COLLEGE ALGEBRA, PSYCHOLOGY 3 SEMESTER, SOCIOLOGY, ENGLISH 1 YEAR) and my Bachelor in Science in Nursing. There are times where I thought maybe I’ll be happy with being a nurse practitioner, but deep inside I want to go to med school. I don’t have problems with LOR since I work with MD, NP, etc…

By the way, I enrolled in CC and plan to finish all my last remaining premed prereq there.

@Doc201X - good to know, thanks.


Good luck whatever you decide. For me, things lined up so I’m able to move forward. 2014 was a busy year and I would not have been allowed to go part time - now that those projects are done, I think I’ll have better luck requesting part-time status. If things go as planned, I’ll have only Org 1/2 and Biochem remaining to complete by next June and should be able to make it happen in time for the 2017 application cycle.