How old can prereqs be before they must be retake/repeated?

I took most of my lower division prerequisites for medical school 7-8 years ago. In the interim, I did lots of upper division coursework (at the advice of a local medical school, but which in retrospect ruined my overall GPA). I also did some long-term rural health work outside the U.S. to supplement my domestic experiences. I am currently studying for the MCAT.

Now I am wondering if all that elapsed time since I took my prereqs is making them too old, and if I will have to retake them (for the 3rd time as I took them once decades ago but I was not premed at that time).

Any ideas on how old can be prerequisites?


datsa - it varies by school, but generally up to 10 years is ok. Look at the web pages of the schools you are planning to apply to. Also, even if they “say” 5 years, they are often flexible, so it is worth talking to adcoms.


Ditto what Kate said but also keep in mind that some schools are lax on the age of prereqs if you have recent science coursework.

Ditto on path. Some of my prereqs were over 10 years old when I applied, but I had taken a couple (including an “upper science”) in the preceding months. I think a strong MCAT score can show that you still retain/relearned knowledge that you should have gotten from the lower level courses.

Thanks all, I’ll need a strong MCAT showing to make up for my GPA mess (which is completely my fault). I am moving the MCAT to August. I am also applying for SMP’s and Carribean schools to hedge my bets. Now the only problem is LORs.

As others have said the age of the coursework will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the med schools. Keep in mind that the MCAT will also go a long way (if you do well) in reassuring the med schools that the course content is current (no matter how long ago you took the actual classes) and that you have the knowledge you need to do well in med school.