Introduction and Help.

Hi everyone,

I registered on this website this week and have been reading posts by most users. It is great to see so many people pursuing their dreams. rah! rah! rah!

To introduce myself … I am 35yrs old and have bachelors and masters in Computer Science from outside USA. After that I worked in computers for 11 years, and since the beginning of this year I have been dreaming of becoming a physician. I feel that is what I want to do when I grow up!

I am looking at a local university to take the pre-requisite courses (non-degree) and would appreciate your feedback on my situation. I cannot leave my job at this point (financial reasons) … and from my home … the office is 15 miles south and the university is 60 miles north. AND, I love snow but driving in it; not so much. From where I am - I am ready to take that challenge as well.

Now, how sane is it to think that I can do a full-time job and take 2 courses at the university each semester and ace them?

P.S.1. - I am a permanent resident of US.

P.S.2. - I do not have any biology or chemistry in my undergrad or postgrad.

P.S.3. - I completed Masters in C.Sc. in 1999.

First welcome and I’d say that you should hang on to your dream. There is no reason why you can make it.

To answer your question, the big issue with most pre-reqs is that they are science classes and that includes both lecture and lab, which take about 6 to 7h/class/week of face time. You have to add the homework which can represent at least the same amount.

Second is how good you are with science. Some folks who are in science wouldn’t have any issues acing two classes a semester, even with a full time job.

It also looks like you will have quite a commute. Finally and perhaps the most important info that you didn’t provide, is “do you have kids?”

My opinion would be to start with one class a semester and see where you are at. Then if you do fine, move on to two classes the following semester. Be careful, since you are starting in the US, you should aim for As only.

The major issue that I see in your case is to get started. You will soon see that for most classes you have pre-requisites. In my case for instance I was not allowed to take anything (PhD life science), but because I teach, then I was allowed to register.

So get started now and figure out what you need to register for the medical pre-reqs.

But for sure, if you don’t have kids and depending on your job as well, I believe that two classes a semester is doable. But again, it depends on your abilities, the commute, the time you have outside of work etc…


You have plenty of life sciences courses in your background, which is good. It will make you stand out during med school admissions.

To answer your question, I do not have kids … not right now. And, my job is pretty demanding and not very flexible with timing… so I would need to work out all those details before Jan.

I think it is a good idea to feel it out with one course in next semester … and see how that goes. Commute really bothers me, especially Nov-Mar weather/roads can get really nasty here.

At this point, the good news is: I have an interview at the local hospital on Wed. Hope they like me and can give me a shadowing opportunity! Though at this point I am open to even admin or computer related work. Gotta feel the environment. Fingers crossed!

Wish me LUCK!

Also, I have another meeting with a pre-med advisor tomorrow … so I will check the pre-reqs for the pre-med pre-reqs … that will be a setback!!! But good point. Thanks.


good luck for your interview and let us know what comes of your apt with the pre-med advisor. Looks like you will learn interesting stuff.


I just finished meeting pre-health advisor, she actually asked me to take Introduction to Chemistry … before starting with General Chemistry I. She said it is not a pre-req but something that they advise to students coming from non-CHEM background. No other pre-reqs to pre-med pre-reqs.

Besides, she gave me the number of another advisor at a different branch of the same school, which is about 10 miles north from my house: cuts my commute time a lot.

I will have to talk to them and see how I feel about it!

60 miles extra commute is really bad, but they have an excellent reputation. So confused!

Advisors have to advise. I don’t know what to think about her request. Is it a must or an opinion for you to take intro to chem?

Now, I don’t think that an intro to chem is necessary to succeed in Gen Chem I. However it depends on you and your abilities. In my class, the average on each test was between 67 and 77 or so. So that gives a good clue of where people usually are.

You know yourself better than anyone. If you feel uncomfortable starting Chem I right away, an intro may give you confidence. Plus it is a good way to get back to school and take things easy. But I am sure it is not necessary to succeed.

Oh and commute is definitely an issue. So it’d be better for you to pack your classes in a day or two at best and sleepover (assuming that you job allows you to do so).

Although commute is time consuming, I remember that you have no kids. So I am sure that you still have more time than me.

Good luck.

She said “Intro to Chem” is an option. I think I am far from starting with school at this point … so much more to figure out.

Also, I need to figure out how to get admission to undergrad with my foreign transcripts? Hoping I do not need to take SAT or something.

One thing after the other!

Yes one thing after another. For undergrad admission I can’t really tell. But for sure expect some bumps ahead.

I am taking my stuff at a community college. They didn’t recognize a single thing. Thankfully, I am teaching there, so the dean(s) are very nice to me and allow me to take what I want (and I get free textbooks), but I still pay the tuition which is not too bad for a CC.

Yep! The advisor told me it is ok to take few courses at CC … and then take higher level courses at 4 yr college to prove that one can score A’s in a 4yr college.

So you are doing the right thing.

  • ChicBrownie Said:
Also, I need to figure out how to get admission to undergrad with my foreign transcripts? Hoping I do not need to take SAT or something.

One thing after the other!

Well I am in the similar situation...And i have recently got admission in the college(for a 2nd bachelors). To avoid SAT and stuff, i applied as a transfer student. As i completed my undergrauation from a foreign university in computers, the college transfered most of my credits and now i have to complete the general requirements and core req.(as i have changed my major from computers to bio). taking 'intro to chem' is not a good idea at all. I dont think that this will help you with the general chemistry 1 but again, it all depends on you. I studied chemistry in the high school, so i am confident that i can handle g.chem.

Best of luck with the process:)


that’s a good news. I am sure they would not do that for me. The only place they may do that for me is a private (very reputable) university here, but the cost is ridiculous (like over 1k/credit). I would have to take at least 60 credit hours or so.

Business is business.

Oh that is good. Happy for you. And thanks for sharing.

I will check with the school here and see what they say. I do have a masters though.

Which state are you attending this Univ - if you do not mind sharing? Is it a public or private univ? or community college?

well i am in ny and its a public university…the city college:)

Thanks Jessie.