Introduction - Seeking Advice

Hi all, just thought I would finally register and say hi, and thank everyone for the great information on this site. A little about myself: Currently 28yo. I went from high school to a 5 year stint in the army, and then enrolled in college. I was majoring in Computer Science up until I dropped out 1.5 years ago. I am 4 semester hours short of my B.S. My cumulative uGPA is somewhere around 2.7. I have taken no pre-med prerequisites except for General Chem I, in which I received a C.

I’m going to enroll next January to begin knocking out some of the BCP courses. Any recommendation on the best sequence/order in which to take them (feel free to toss in some recommended courses even if they aren’t technically required)? I will probably have to work full-time at least the first semester or two, and maybe during the entire post-bacc run. I also plan to retake my Ds and Fs which should boost my uGPA a bit. Thanks in advance for any advice.


Hi Dave,

I’m 28 also. Though I went the traditional route for my first degree in Information Systems and then later decided I wanted something else.

I decided to take Bio and Chem the first year, and next fall I’ll be taking O-Chem and Physics. Obviously you’ll have to take Chem before O-Chem, but the order of when you take Physics and Bio is up to your comfort level with problem solving courses.

Retaking the classes that you didn’t do well in from the past will boost that GPA up well for DO schools since they do grade replacement. Unfortunately, MD programs only average everything in.

Good Luck!

Do all D.O. schools do grade replacement rather than averaging it all in? If so, that is good to know. I made a C in Organic Chemistry I and a B in the Lab. Since I have studied the section for the MCAT, I’m confident that I can do very well in the course. The concepts are so much more clearer now.


Thanks for responding. I have a few more questions if you (or anyone else) are up for it. Is it advisable to finish both Chem 1 & 2 before taking Organic 1? Also, if I wasn’t working at all is it inadvisable to take Chem1/Bio1/Physics1? I am aware of the time Chem1 takes, but I have never taken a Bio or Physics course. Are they about on par with General Chem in terms of difficulty or time required? Any insight would be great.


You are correct in stating that D.O. schools will use a replacement course when calculating your GPAs rather than averaging the two grades together.

At the Univ. I attend, you cannot get into Organic 1 without having both Chem 1 and 2. I would not advise trying Orgo without having the Chem’s done - it is a really tough class, and Chem 2 is basically the foundation for Orgo 1.

Biology is mostly memorizing, but my expereince with Physics is that it is just as hard/time consuming as Chem. You can take Phys/Chem/Bio all in one semester, but be prepared to spend alot of time studying…

Hope this helps! GOod luck!

Remember you will be reviewing these courses again when studying for the MCAT. You want to get a clear understanding of the information learned in the lectures. Taking Bio/Physic/Chem along with the required lab for each in one semester would be overwhelming. Why risk yourself for getting C’s in one of these courses because of time constraints. Let the time to be overwhelmed stay in medical school. Don’t rush just to get into medical school sooner. I suggest taking Biology and Chemistry together in one semester. Both courses build on one another, like in Biochemistry.

Thanks for the advice so far, I really appreciate it. Would your recommendation to not take Bio/Chem/Physics in the same semester be because I said I may have to work? Or is your opinion the same even if I am not working at all? My dilemma is this: I have probably 2 semesters (maybe 2 semesters and a summer) fully paid for with a monthly stipend to cover rent/utils/misc. I have all of the pre-requisites to take, and am trying to plan out how best to structure my classes. i.e. which semesters I should use my remaining GIBill on, and which semesters/classes I could work during since I probably will have to work at least part-time at some point during my post-bacc.

My advice would still be the same. Yet, I understand since you have this GI bill, you want to get the max out of it since it is for a year. Here is my suggestion: semester one- take general biology I, general chemistry I. summer semester take general physics I and do part-time summer work. (save your money since you still have the GI bill here). semester two- take general chemistry II, general biology II, physics II (do this one only if you did very well in semester one courses and have a solid grasp of the materials learned). So now at this point, you only have Organic chemistry I and II left to take. I suggest taking organic chemistry by themselves since it is very challenging. Keep in mind I still recommend not taking three classes at a time, yet I understand your situation. As for Physics during the summer, find out which instructor is generous in their grading system. My physics I instructor only wanted to see the set up of solving a physics problem on the exam. Whether the answer was correct or not wasn’t an issue. On the other hand, my physics II instructor wanted the answers correct regardless of how the set up was. Guess which class I got an A in?


I took bio, o-chem, and physics together (took gen chem sequence the prior summer). It can be grueling, but it is managable and I did well in all (1 B, 5 A’s). I did this while working limited part time (about 12 hours per week). You will need to decide what you’ve got in you and whether you’ve got the background to do it. I love math and had still remembered my trig and algebra very solidly so physics was just a lot of fun for me and didn’t feel like work. However, had I tried to take a microbio or biochem class in place of physics I think it would have buried me. I think it’s different for each person.

Also, if you’re going to do it, be prepared to do A LOT of homework!! There are tons of problems to do in both gen chem and physics, not to mention all the lab prep and reports you will need to prepare.

As a little side note, I would definitely not recommend taking gen chem and physics together unless you believe you have very strong math skills. Gen chem requires some good algebra foundation, and physics requires a solid understanding of trig and algebra.

Best wishes!

Dar, I took microbiology, physics and o-chem together, 13 semester credits in all, labs with each course. I wasn’t trying to hold down a job but I did have my usual job as Mom during that year. I did that during the fall semester and then in the spring did o-chem, physics and MCAT prep. It worked fine for me. I agree with MD2010 (mangling the screen name, sorry) who commented on math skills. I really liked math and so gen-chem was easy for me… although it didn’t make physics easy for me, at least initially. I will tell you that three courses with labs is a LOT even if you don’t have anything else going on. I worked my ass off that semester. Good luck!


Thanks to all three of you for your input, it is greatly appreciated. I still have some time to decide and will take your advice/experience into account. I’m beginning to think I will be at the mercy of the schedule of classes at my university since it isn’t very large and typically only offers a few sections of each course every semester. Thanks again!