Community College

How differently do you guys think medical schools view courses taken at a community college from those taken at a four-year institution? I took most my science courses at a community college many years ago, and got mostly A’s with the exception of my very first semester which was bad, but I am concerned that because they were so long ago and because they were at a “junior college”, they won’t look very strong. I am contemplating retaking a round of science courses to improve my application but would that look weird to retake two semesters each of organic chem and physics when I got straight A’s through all of them the first time around?

I can just imagine an Admissions Board putting my application up against someone who had the same grades and MCAT scores but selecting them because they took their classes at a university.


The fact is, the exact thing you said in your last line would likely happen. It is always better to get your pre-reqs done at a 4-yr college. That being said, it is not a death kiss to go the community college route but you MUST kick butt in the classes and the rest of your application must be stellar including a very good MCAT score.

Not trying to discourage you because it can and has been done but you will need to work very hard.

Good luck! We’re here for you!

If your credits are several years old, you’re likely to be expected to do some new coursework anyway. Med schools want to know that you still have the chops to endure the academic rigors of med school, which is about the equivalent of 25 semester-hours per semester.

So rather than go to a 4-year school and retake courses you did well in, take some new courses - molecular bio? genetics? biochemistry? - and do well in those.


Thanks for the advice.

That is my main dilemma at this point. I plan on enrolling this fall in a evening post-bac program, but I don’t know how many of my pre-reqs to retake. My two top schools both state they prefer to see the “bulk” of the pre-reqs taken at a four-year institution. So even if I take some fancy new science courses in the post-bac system, I wonder if the fact that the original chem, physics, and org chem were taken at a 2-yr college will still hurt me. Maybe I’ll only retake organic chem 1 and 2 since they were very involved and they’ll help me prepare for the MCAT anyways. That will put me at 4 pre-reqs only taken at a 2-yr college with the remaining 7 or 8 science courses taken at a university. Hopefully that will be sufficient.

I’ll see what the post-bac program director says when I get the opportunity to talk to her.

Thanks again for the words of wisdom!