Guidance Needed

Hi all,

These are the specifics of my case.

Completed 10+2 years of studying in 1999

Completed my Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science(10+2+4) in 2003.

Been working as a software engineer since 2003.

So as you can see, since 1999 onwards i have had no touch with Biology/Chem/Physics.

All my studying has been abroad.

I have a few questions, some of which may seem very basic, because I’m not familiar with US universities. So please bear with me.

  1. Can I get a superset list of the subjects/credits that should be studied in the pre med post bac program that would qualify me for most med schools.

  2. How long does it take to comeplete the post bac if done:

    a) thru an informal DIY way

    b) thru a regular course.

  3. Can I get a website(s) which lists out universities with good DIY post bac programs.

  4. If I choose to do the DIY post bac program, how would I do the laboratory experiments that are part of Bio/Chem/Phy ?

  5. What is the shortest way to complete the postbac program ? And how long is the shortest way…1 year or more ?

  6. A fear I have about the DIY post bac program is that I may be able to sit at home, study and get good scores, but may miss out on critical MCAT preparation tips and guidance that can be obtained by a formal post bac course.

    How true/warranted is this fear ?

    Thanks in advance.


By DIY you mean online? If I am correct in my assumption, you will want to see how your “Med school of choice” looks at online courses. My understanding is here in Washington State it is not looked highly upon. They poo-poo on the online courses. As always, I could be wrong and I am sure someone out there did their whole degree online and was accepted to a med school. Just make sure yours doesn’t mind.


Im not too sure of that myself.

I have read quite a few posts wherein people say that they have done the post bac ‘themselves’ as opposed to going thru a ‘formal’ post bac course.

If anybody could shed some light on the difference between ‘formal’ and ‘themselves’ , it would be truly appreciated.



DIY doesn’t mean online!

It means that instead of enrolling in a formal post-bac program (which assigns you to a preset schedule and classes) you enroll in a 4-year university as a non-degree seeking student and you decide which classes to take when But you still go to class and to labs.

Formal post-bacs are usually more expensive, and more rigorous. But they offer you excellent preparation and are a very good indication of how intense med school is going to be.

If you decide to go DIY way you will have more to say about the order of classes and about your schedule. If you choose to do so you’ll be able to stretch the entire process in time…

Any university that offers science classes and has accreditation is good to do it DIY way.


Thanks Max,

What is the shortest time one could complete a DIY post bac course? i.e. assuming I work from 9-5 mon thru fri.

And also, what is the shortest time one could complete a DIY post bac if one is not in a job.



I don’t know if a post-bacc alone would be sufficient for you. I think that most med schools want to see, if not a full US degree, a significant amount of coursework done at an american institution. It’s possible that I’m wrong, or that they’d make an exception (as you’ve clearly got a lot of education already), but even so, you may be at a disadvantage. Basically, the AdComs wouldn’t have much to use to compare you with US students. Your MCAT, of course, would be critical.

The general requirements to get into most schools are:

1 year bio w/ lab

1 year chem w/ lab

1 year organic chem w/ lab

1 year physics w/ lab

some require calculus, or less often statistics

some require a semester or a year of biochem

I’d say that the minimum to complete this would be 2 years, as inorganic chemistry is often a prereq for organic. Even w/ 2 years, working full time it’d be a pretty rough slog. You also have to factor in MCAT prep time, application time, extracurriculars, and perhaps things like eating and sleeping .Is there a particular reason you’re in a hurry?

You’ll definitely want to familiarize yourself with all the info at , which is pretty darned official. It’d probably be useful to browse and search through our forums here, to learn more about the process and pick up some more information.

Welcome, and good luck!

Thanks for the info Adam.

Hello, everyone!

First of all, I just want to let you all know how happy I am to have found this website! Sometimes I really feel like I’m truly out there flappin’ trying to muddle through this process on my own, with no guidance at all.

Anyway, I graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing in 1999, and I have been at the bedside or on a helicopter (flight nurse) ever since then. I will be 35 years old in April, and I have finally decided to finish up my pre-req’s, take the MCATs, and apply.

I currently reside in Albuquerque, NM, and I have applied to UNM as a non-degree status student.

Here are my questions:

Do I have to re-take all my previous science classes? …so I really want to sit for the MCATs with a physics class I took opver 15 years ago…? Didnt think so…

I will be working full time and attending school part time. What classes should I take?

Ok, so, I basically have no clue where to start. I am in the process of procuring an academic advisor @ UNM as well. If anyone has advice, I would be forever indebted to you.




I totally missed the part about all your classes being from a foreign institution. I’m not sure if it’s necessary, but med schools like seeing a degree from an American university. I don’t know where you did your undergrad - if it’s from an English speaking country or not.

I did my undergrad in Poland, and before applying to med school I went to college again in here and got another degree. I took me about 2,5 years b/c I could transfer most of the general elective classes; Again - I’m not sure if it’s required, or you can only take science pre-requisites. Talking to a couple of admission people in the schools you might be interested in, or to a pre-med advisor might give you a better idea and answers tailored specifically to your case.