Biology Pre-reqs

Back in the early 80’s when I was getting my BS in computer science I passed a Clep test for one semester of BIO and took the other semsester on a Credit/No Credit basis to prevent the B that I had in the class from lowering my gpa.

I know I can’t count the clep credit towards the 2 semesters of BIO required and I need to refresh the knowledge anyway. I signed up for an A&P class at the local community college. I think everyone in the class is a nursing student. Will I be able to count this towards the BIO requirement?

It looks like it is going to be a really good class and I would rather just take this instead of repeating a general biology class and studying plants, etc that really don’t interest me.

It varies from school to school how they will view the A&P. Most medical schools want one semester of cell biology with lab and then are more flexible on the other semester of bio. I understand you not wanting to take plant bio or something like that, but if your biology is from the 80’s, you really need to retake a general/cell bio class because so much has changed in this subject area. Most universities have bio courses that they recommend for pre-meds - find out what they are at the school you are attending. In addition to cell bio, a microbiology course would also be very helpful.

The rule of thumb that I found useful in choosing bio classes was, would it count towards a biology major? Is the A&P class geared toward certain majors? While some four-year schools having nursing students taking many of the same science courses as pre-med students, others will have a separate “track” of A&P, bio, chem etc. for the nursing school. Those courses would NOT count toward a B.S. in bio or chem and therefore I would not expect them to meet a pre-med prerequisite either.

Now, that’s not to say you can’t take the class esp since you sound psyched about it. Taking it because it’s good and it’s fun and you learn something - those are all good reasons. But you may still need to do your 8 credits of prereq bio in other coursework.


I would contact the med schools where you plan to apply and ask them. Schools have varying rules with regard to pre-reqs and also varying willingness to make exceptions to these rules. Best of luck to you.

Just remember, the MCAT is based on the information in the first year bio classes. I doubt that very many med schools would consider A&P as fulfilling the requirement for a year of “intro” bio. The field has changed enormously since the 80’s. You probably should seriously consider taking bio again. Also, take into account that most med schools want pre-reqs completed at a 4-year institutions, not a community college.



Now that I am officially underway with my pre-reqs (in first BIO class) I can actually give some real advice. I also took biology last in the 80’s, and I am surprised at the amount of change. No question - take it again. It will update you on the latest, and provide a good foundation for subsequent courses and the MCAT.