Wanted to start new post but unsure why i am unable.
Nonetheless…hello to everyone and thanks so much for all the valuable info i have absorbed over the last few months.
My original plan was to take Gen. Chem this semester however, as a non matriculator it is tough finding a spot with an open lab. (however, i do not want to apply for a second bachelors as i work F/T). Also seriously considered Harvard extension school but the commute for one sememster will cost about 560 bucks. (geez)
So given that i have a Bachelors degree but no practical premed classes…( only statistics from the last millineum and have barely a memory of HS math) I am planning on taking precalc. Despite my desire to jump head first and 'get all the prereqs overwith and feel like i'm moving forward I think getting the demons out of the way will be my best bet and then trying over the next year to pay bills and then doing a more formal post-bac regimen.
My questions are :
Does this sound like a logical plan ??(realizing i am not getting any younger but trying to map out the best route)
Will precalc suffice as a math class?
Has anyone ever seen colleges have 2 'gen chem' classes listed Gen Chem I and II? Keep in mind there is no prereq for gen chem II. Is it okay to take GEN CHEM I as a premed requirment? Why do they have 2 gen chems?? Isn't this process confusing enough??
Also is Intro to Organic the equivilent in admits eyes as Organic?
And lastly, has anyone ever taken a chem one semester and the lab the following?
Thanks thank thanks.

Hi - I'm still working on a first bachelors but from what I understand it's extremely common to take post-bacc/premed requirements under the classification second bachelors. It's more for financial aid/getting spots in classes purposes, then actually planning on finishing a second bachelors. Even if you are working full-time I don't see why you couldn't apply as a second bachelor candidate, take your prereqs as a part time student and apply when you have the prereqs regardless of whether you're truly working toward a second bachelors or not. Taking precalc this semester and holding off on gen chem sounds like a logical plan tho.
Most med schools require at least precalc and a stats class, several require a semester calc as well, a few a full year of calc. It really depends on what schools you are looking at. It will also depend on whether you plan on taking alg based physics or calc based. You would need at least a semester of calc to take the calc based physics classes, but those aren't necessary.
Gen Chem I is the first semester in a year long course. Gen Chem II is the second semester. If they are both offered during the same term, it just means that you're lucky enough to attend a school that offers multiple sections at multiple times. You will need to take both to fulfill the gen chem prereq. While your catalog may not have it as a prereq for Gen Chem II I highly suggest taking Gen Chem I first because everything builds on everything else throughout the entire year course.
Intro to Organic most likely won't fulfill the two semester requirement of organic chem. If they offer an intro to organic I and an intro to organic II then it would, but otherwise it'll just be a semester course and you'd still need another semester somehow. (Usually the intro to organic courses are geared toward nursing students - at my school anyway).
I've known people who have taken the labs at different times from the lecture. At my school the lab for gen chem is lumped into the lecture credits/class number so it wasn't an option for that. Honestly tho I think it's a better idea to take them at the same time since the lab reinforces things you'll be working on in lecture. You'll get the material that much better with all the repetition…
Like many of us I imagine you're wanting to cut things as short as possible, but take your time. You will get there. You'll do yourself a disservice by trying to cut corners with things like intro to organic or trying to get away with only a semester of gen chem.
Hope this helps!
–Jessica, UCCS

My situation is similiar to lizzied’s. I’m taking PreCalc this semester (while I work FT) and will be taking the follow-up class (PreCalc with Trig) in spring. I hope this will count as the math requirement. If not, I will take Calc somewhere down the road. I have a bachelor’s degree in a non-science field and thus have to take all the prereqs, which I could either do 1 at a time while I’m working like I’m doing now or could quit my job and apply to post-bacc programs/second-degree bachelors (informal post-bacc)s and take several classes at once, which I will do next year.
Some people are able to pull off FT jobs and taking 2 classes a term (and some superstars all that with spouses and/or kids!) but as for me, I’m just doing the 1 class b/c I want to do well. I’m not a math person, it’s difficult for me, and I need to focus on it completely so hence the slow train north. cool.gif I learned the hard way not to jump in too fast: I tried the PreCalc with Trig class last spring (basically the same class I’m taking this fall and next spring only squeezed into 1 semester) and it was too much for me–a stiff grading policy and it was hard to keep up so I had to withdraw as much as it pained me.
Bottom line–do what’s best for you. I think as OPMs we get into this mindset of the clock is ticking, I’m not getting any younger, and I want to be done with prereqs already and into med school! But, we’re only hurting ourselves if we can’t pull the GPA requirements. I hope this is helpful.
P.S. I’m taking the math first to prep for the sciences…

thanks to all. i have gone round and round so many times. i took a 'refresher' course last spring which after i was there about a month i realized the professor was less interested in teaching than i'd ever seen. however, the previous text will probably be a great adjunct to precalc.
i am not (i hope ) going to take a calc based physics class and and like you 'starting over' am not a 'math' person. and i too feel i need to build this strength . i would actually love to take my bio I class now as i am feeling like i would do well. unfortunatley it is not open to non matiriculators.
skaterbabe. i might actually look into the b.s. in bio. if only for the fact that registration is a pain when you are a non matriculator. i love the Harvard extension program as i feel as it is so well organized but practicality may drive my decision and direct me closer to home as the commute would be a lot of time away from my kids.
sometimes i think i am so deep into a medical career now as an NP with a great salary that i have no reason to move over to this whole med school path. however, i am rooted in the belief that if i do change my mind later down the road i will have my prereqs in case i change it back again later.

lastly, thanks to everyone. i follow all the journeys on a regular basis but it sometimes nice to connect.
Good luck to everyone this semester.

Hi Lizzie,
Sorry to see that you won't be joining me in gen chem at Harvard Extension School. It would have been cool to have class with a fellow OPMer! But I can certainly understand the commute issues, I live less than 10 miles from the Harvard campus and even that can be a pain (traffic, T, etc.). Sounds like you've got a pretty good idea, though. Taking the precalc class will probably help you get back in the swing of school and make you feel better about your math skills. And if you're not planning to take calc-based physics, than no need to worry about that. If schools you look at require calc, you can always do it during the lag year. And hopefully you can enroll in a school as a 2nd degree student, to at least get you into classes, even if you don't actually get the 2nd degree.
Best of luck to you, keep us updated on how everything goes!

arciedee, funny i just responded with a similiar post to you on another thread. i'll restate that i'm so psyched for you. are you planning on doing a more formal post bac or staying at HES if things go well. i too was looking forward to some commraderie in a class of strangers. Good luck. Keep me posted.

Thanks Lizzie! Right now I’m planning to apply to Bryn Mawr’s post bacc program for next summer. It’s scary to think about going without a paycheck for a year, but I like the idea of being able to focus exclusively on school and get everything done in a year. Plus they have a consortial option with the med school I really really really want to go to! I was hopeful that I could do two courses per semester at HES while continuing to work, but just thinking about it made me feel burnt out. I remember in the info session I attended on their Health Sciences Program they mentioned that most people do NOT work full time while in the program, and I can certainly see why. It’s a lot to juggle.
We’ll see how I feel in a few months once I have the first semester of chem behind me… one step at a time smile.gif

arciedee, Bryn Mawr seems like an awesome program. I had been in touch with them and a fellow OPM'r i believe took a class there. I too like the idea of being 'dedicated' but the no paycheck thing would break me. Will look forward to your posts.

Hey folks, I’m new here, but thrilled with the site…
Quick question, how strict are they at HES about previous coursework? I did some premed back in the dark ages, but I need to start all over again… I would love to go nights and be able to be home with baby (#4) in the day… rolleyes.gif

If you want to take classes at HES, they’re completely open enrollment, anyone can sign up. If you’re looking to enroll in the health sciences program I would suggest getting in touch with one of the people in charge of that program. I’m sure they’re well aware that people may have taken the courses before but need to retake because of the amount of time that has passed. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. I’m far from the expert, but may be able to offer some help!
Just had my first gen chem course last night and it was AWESOME. The profs are great, you can tell they really enjoy what they’re doing. It was almost like watching a comedy show (a comedy show for geeks, that is laugh.gif ). They’re super-well organized, too. We have a web site for our class that has a ton of info on it, they pass out lecture notes at the beginning of class that we can follow along with and take notes on, and they gave us an outline for the entire semester telling us what we need to do to prepare for discussion sessions/labs and lecture. I have my first discussion session on Monday so it will be interesting to see how that goes (since it’s led by a TF). Then we’re taking a standardized chem test for bonus credit. I guess the profs give it at the beginning of the year and again at the end (after 2nd semester) to see how people progress and analyze their teaching. Hmm… I have a feeling I’m going to end up filling in bubbles to make pretty patterns, but hey, I still get extra credit just for taking it! Woohoo! biggrin.gif

Your class sounds terrific, a far cry from the local comm college classes I have been taking… one class was organized but taught by a monumentally dull prof, and another was taught by an entertaining, and intelligent one, but he was totally disorganized, dumping a full third of the workload on us in the final few weeks of class… ohmy.gif !!
I will get in touch with the health sciences program people… the tuition seems much more reasonable than Tufts Pre-Med post bacc program… I was planning to take classes at UMASS, but HES would be about the same travel time for me.
How did they schedule the labs and extra tutorial sessions? I am hoping to minimize the time I have to turn up on campus, compress it all into a couple days etc.

Yeah, I’m really enjoying it there. I took an intro. psychology class at HES last spring and was really impressed with that prof., too. I’m not sure how the other sciences courses are, but hopefully they follow this trend (I guess if these people are giving up their evenings to teach they must be pretty excited about what they do and happy to be there… one would hope anyway!). The tuition at HES is very reasonable and if evening classes work best anyway it sounds like it might be a better choice than Tufts for you.
Labs are scheduled based on the student’s schedule. For example, we had 5 options: M, T, or W from 6-9:30 (6-7 for discussion, 7-9:30 for lab), Wednesday morning 9-12:30, or M/W split (M 5:30-6:30 discussion, W 5-7:30 lab). I think that last one was designed to work with the intro bio class which meets M and W evenings. So there are quite a few options and they seem pretty flexible. I’m not sure specifically how it is for other classes, but physics and orgo both seem to have similarly flexible schedules, plus both only has 5(?) labs during the semester, although there is discussion session every week. Bio combines lab into class time, but they meet twice a week anyway, as opposed to once a week for the other classes. I hope this answers your question in a very roundabout way! smile.gif

Thanks! I did call over there and talked to Dr. Fixsen…(very helpful person btw) and I think it would be a good fit for me. I may not be able to start til next fall… this process keeps getting longer and longer… I am taking an EMT-B course this semester with an eye to working next spring anyway. I am hoping to save up for this little blink.gif project of mine!

I could be wrong, but I think the only place you really use Calculus in physics (at least first year physics) is in the first (quarter/semester). It really ties both together quite nicely: you see a practical application of Calculus (specifically, derivatives), and the derivatives make the math, and the conceptualization, so much easier…for such things as distance, velocity and acceleration. IMO, learning the “math” for the non-calc physics is harder than the calculus…(this from someone who could never get better than a C in calculus).
Just my opinion.
Anyone else?

I thought calc-based physics was easier to understand than the non-calc based (was it algebra based? I don't remember, but they called it life science physics at my college). So if you have to take calc anyway I would recommend the calc based physics after you've had some calc. But if this is too complicated, or if you don't need calc otherwise, and it would just delay you to take calc, then take the other physics.
(I got As in calc based physics and Cs in non-calc physics. Physics just made more sense to me after I knew some calculus)