Gen. chemistry question...

Hello, OPM. My name is Mike and I am a first-timer, exploring a possible career in medicine after completing a BA in journalism with little relevant science preparation.

I’m currently taking an intermediate algebra class this fall at a community college to get myself back into gear since I plan to take General Chemistry next spring. I’m wondering, however, if it would be problematic to take Gen. Chemistry at a comm. college, and then transfer to a university (likely FIU) to finish my prereqs, or if this would be detrimental in any way. Thanks in advance for any advice!

take it at the community college… you’ll do better and get more attention from your professor/instructor. I took gen. chemistry I and II at the community college this past summer and received A’s in both. I’m taking Organic Chemistry and Biology there too as well as physics next summer. I will have the pre-reqs completed (for the most part) within 1 year of initially taking them. i’m working full time by the way and am also serving in the Reserves. you can do it! have fun and best of luck

My understanding has been that the preference is towards taking your prereqs at a 4 year college/univ. I’ve spoken to admissions folks here at Michigan, and although it’s not a stated requirement, it is their preference.

I have heard of people also transferring their CC credits on their prereqs to a 4 year school, and having met success that way.

Best way is to check with the schools you’re interested in applying to, and see if they’re ok with it.

I have to counter J.Miller’s enthusiasm for community college a little bit. Despite the advances CC’s have made in quality of instruction and the like, there are still some very real biases out there on on the part of medical schools. A few (very few) medical schools will not accept any CC credits, and most will tell you that they prefer that the pre-reqs be completed at a 4 year institution. The general rule of thumb is whenever possible, you should take your pre-reqs at a four year institution.

I know there are many excellent community colleges out there, and that at many, the instruction may well be superior to that you would get at a four year institution in terms of one-on-one interaction with the professors and professors who really care about teaching. Considering this, it may seem unfair that med schools are biased towards CC’s, but as is often state on here, “It’s their ball and their rules.” Whenever going the community college route, you have to weigh as a factor that when applying to medical school, you will be competing against many, many, excellent students who have attended 4 year institutions and a CC education may well put you at a disadvantage in admissions committee discussions.

That being said, the CC route is the best route for some people and people DO get accepted to medical school with CC credits. In your case, I certainly don’t think that taking gen chem at a CC will hurt you, especially since you plan to transfer to a 4 year institution for the remainder of your credits. Get A’s, learn your material well, and kick butt on the great equalizer (the MCAT).

Good luck!

Thanks again for weighing in on the matter. The thing is that FIU (and I think most schools) require you to complete the entire gen chem. sequence (1 & 2) at one institution. So, while I’d like to “ease” into the material, I don’t want to hurt my chances in the long run. I would think that if I limit myself to these classes and maintain good grades, I wouldn’t hurt myself too much.

Code blue -

I think you’ll be fine. I totally agree with taking the entire series at one place - I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. Not only for ease of transferring or requirements of other institutions, but because topics are often covered in different sequences from school to school.

What I do is to talk to the instructor and just sit in on the class the semester I want to ‘ease’ into it.

However I make sure that I complete all the assignments and study for the quizzes like the other students. Then a day or two after a midterm or the final, I go to the instructor and pick up the quiz and the answers and have a mock exam for myself.

If you know the medical school you wish to go to, I suggest calling an advior at that school. I know that the medical school I wish to go to will take the credit that I have from the community college.

Some schools are just looking at the grades. An A at the community college in chemistry is better then a C or B from a univestry. Thats what the advior told me.


I too gotta throw water on the CC route.

Get to a 4 year place and take the courses (labs at the same time) consecutively…


Taking a few classes here and there at a community college is not the end of the world… BUT I strongly suggest you take you important sciences (Organics and biologies and the upper level stuff) at a 4-year university…

My opinion is…university level classes make your application look much stronger

good luck