Gen Chem at a Community College

Hey Everyone,

I just discovered this site and its an incredible resource and gives me hope that I actually can achieve this goal. My question is I am a 30 year old who did approximately 24 credits at a CC when I was eighteen before being academically suspended and subsequently dropped out. I plan to retake all those classes and am basically starting over. My plan is to do a year at the CC then transfer to Temple University (Philly), but in order to stay on track for a junior year MCAT and due to the sequential nature of the chem classes and bc Id like to be able to take Biochem before the MCAT do you think It would be ok to take Gen Chem I at the CC before transferring or would that be inadvisable because schools will not consider it as rigorous. Should note, I plan to take every other pre req at temple.

Thanks for any advice

Welcome to OPM, you are among kindred spirits here. To answer your question, most medical schools prefer that you have the course work at 4 year institutions as they feel that they are more rigorous. This has been a topic of debate for many years. My question to you is, why are you only going to take the one course at CC and then take the rest at Temple? Would that class transfer over to temple or would you have to retake this class and all you did was throw good money away?

Finally, don’t even start thinking about the MCAT. Don’t set a time frame. Take it when you are ready. By setting a time frame you can cause undo stress if for whatever reason you cannot make that deadline that you put on yourself. Take it when you are ready. It is the kind of exam you really only want to take once.

Hey thanks for the reply,

It is a direct equivalent to Gen Chem 1 at Temple and my only logic for taking it at the CC would be that my plan is to take this upcoming year to retake the old classes and get some Gen Ed requirements out of the way then hopefully transfer to temple in Fall of 2017. I was just thinking that if I transfer to Temple as a Sophomore Id essentially be a year behind on my pre reqs. Since you have to do Chem1>>Chem2>>OChem1>>OChem2>>BioChem in that order if I want to be able to take a semester of biochem before the MCAT, assuming I take it spring of junior year id be a semester behind the 8 ball and thats with taking OChem 2 during a summer sesh. But like you said maybe I shouldnt put a strict schedule on it.

Side note…Im very interested In RowanSOM. Did you enjoy your experiences there and would you recommend it? Also, Im currently on the Philly side of the river, do you know if I move to NJ for a couple years could I qualify for the in state tuition?

I had an excellent education at Rowan, though at the time it was called UMDNJ. I would certainly recommend the school. Unless the rules have changed, you only have to be a NJ resident for 1 year to qualify for in state tuition. But the best thing to do would be call the school and find out

I recently taught Chemistry at the community college level for the first and very likely last time, and I personally would think very hard about taking it there. I felt VERY pressured by my Dean to “water down” the curriculum to ensure not too many students failed the course. Put another way, unless you stay at the top of the class (earn nothing less than an “A”), you’re likely not going to learn enough to go on to higher level chemistry courses.

That said, I also took Chemistry at the CC level when I didn’t earn a “C” the first time I took it at a University. But that was over 30 years ago when premed education at CCs was about teaching/students learning. I also attended one of the best CCs in the country, so the caveat I’d add to my statement is if you attend a CC with a good reputation for preparing their students for higher level chemistry courses, you’ll probably be ok.