Hopefully this is the right spot for this
I graduated in 2003 with a BS in Electrical Engineering and will soon be starting classes to fill my pre-reqs (I need most of them still, electrical engineering only required 1 quarter of gen chem, and no bio).
I did, however, take a lot of classes at my local community college as a high school student (junior and senior year of high school) through a program in Washington called running start. I completed almost 2 years worth of classes and entered the University of Washington as a freshman my first quarter and became a junior my second quarter.
It looks like the application requires you to fill out any college classes you took during high school under the high school academic year… so what will happen is almost all of my math and science classes will show up under high school, a quarters worth of classes as a freshman, and then all of a sudden I was a junior taking mostly electrical engineering classes with a few math classes every now and then. These are the classes I took while in high school at the CC:
Precalc - 2 quarters
Calc - 3 quarters
Chem - 1 quarter
Physics - 3 quarters (calc based)
Economics - quarters
Language - 2 quarters
I started taking those classes in 1998. I don’t intend to retake physics (will review for MCAT), but do plan on retaking the first quarter of Chemistry.
How is this going to look on an application followed up by a couple of years of post-bacc most likely completed at a community college? It’s all a little unorthodox… I’m a little worried by the amount of classes taken at community college since I did it before university and then will be doing it again as a post-bacc.
If it matters I had a 3.96 GPA at community college, and a 3.86 GPA at the university
Your GPAs are good, so you don’t have to worry about that.
But you should have your prerequisites done in a 4-year university. While physics hasn’t changed since you took it, it is from a community college + taken years ago. I’m not sure how ‘quarter’ system translates into regular semesters, but it might not even be enough to correspond to a full year of physics (2 semesters) with Lab!
I know it’s extra time + money spent to take this class might be not what you want, but in general taking shortcuts in applying to med school doesn’t work - especially for non-traditional students.
- madkasia Said:
Your GPAs are good, so you don't have to worry about that.
But you should have your prerequisites done in a 4-year university. While physics hasn't changed since you took it, it is from a community college + taken years ago. I'm not sure how 'quarter' system translates into regular semesters, but it might not even be enough to correspond to a full year of physics (2 semesters) with Lab!
I know it's extra time + money spent to take this class might be not what you want, but in general taking shortcuts in applying to med school doesn't work - especially for non-traditional students.
I wasn't necessarily looking to take shortcuts, but would it look weird taking Physic a second time? My grades in physics the first time around were 3.7, 4.0, 4.0 and all of my electrical engineer classes taken at the university built upon my physics classes. 3 quarters of physics counts as a full year (2 semesters) and they were taken with lab.
I would definitely prefer to fill my pre-reqs at a university, but unfortunately the only public university nearby is the University of Washington and they don't let many post-baccs in every year. There are some private universities I could look into I suppose, but they're all very expensive.
What about the fact that I'll have a huge gap between freshman and junior year? Think that will raise any eyebrows? I'm just a bit worried since I'd be non-traditional to start with as a person going back to school, and then further non-traditional in the way I completed my degree the first time around.
Hmm. I would tell you just to talk to the schools you think you will apply to and see what they say. If it was me, I’d want to confirm how the med school would count the classes, which could be different than how the university you went to counted them for your BSEE. I didn’t take anything for credit but humanities courses during high school.
I’m also curious how you did 3 quarters of calc & diff eq in high school. Did you take calc I,II, and III? (It’s not that it’s that difficult, but we couldn’t even start calc until our senior year at my high school. There sure wasn’t any teacher who was qualified to teach Diff Eq.)
As for the weird gap of jumping from freshman to junior, I wouldn’t worry about how it looks. You can probably incorporate your shortened time in college into your personal statement somehow. I personally didn’t take classes my sophomore year and still graduated with my “class.” I think if you read enough of these forums, you realize your situation is far from the weirdest and worst.
All of the classes I listed were taken at my local community college while I was in high school. Washington state has a program that allows you to attend community college full time your last two years of high school and obtain both high school and college credit for those classes. So when I entered university I was more of a transfer student than an incoming freshman, though the university of washington treated me as a freshman as far as admissions go. I transferred in with 85 credits. And was a junior upon completely of my first quarter there.
I think my first (junior) year at CC I took pre-calc, chem, economics, and a few other classes, and my last (senior) year I took calc I, II, III concurrently with linear algebra, diff eq, and physics I, II, III.
The community college is accredited and the credits transferred to University of Washington without too much issue. The only class I had to retake because of transfer issues was Calc III (I would have taken another quarter of math at the community college to get full credit for calc III because of differences in material taught)
I guess you’re right in that I should contact schools to see how they will count them. Would be bad to have surprises late in the game :).
It sounds like U Dub is right around the corner from you…or at least close enough to go visit. Why don’t you talk to the folks in the med school admissions office and get their thoughts? And while you are there, ask about what they like to see in their most well-qualified applicants.