Newbie seeking suggestions

Hi, I’m a non-traditional premed, just finishing up my first biology class.

I am looking for some feedback on my approach and objective opinions on my chances of getting into an “average” medical school.

Here are my stats:

-B.S. Computer Science with overall GPA of 3.5 and major GPA of 3.78.

-Completed a master’s degree in computer science from a top 5 computer science/engineering graduate programs in the US with a mediocre GPA of 3.45. I did slack off =(

-Been working as a software developer for 6+ years

-5 years of leadership experience as a martial arts instructor

-Planning to take all premed courses at a community college.

My main doubt is about taking classes at a community college. I have seen some schools implying they do not prefer the candidates taking the courses at a community college. But due to schedule issues, community college is my only choice.

Any feedbacks or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

The CC issue is a common question, so you might try a search of similar posts. I’m loving my CC experience, but am choosing only to take only some of my prereqs there. People usually say to ask the dean of admissions (or similar person?) at your school of choice. In my case, KU (Kansas) is fairly flexible, I suspect partly because of a feeder CC that is very good. The MCAT is also a good equalizer. Not knowing your situation, you may be limiting your choice of schools if you take the classes at a CC. Good luck

While the general consensus is that pre-reqs at CC are not looked on as highly as completing the same courses at a 4 year school (exception is in california), your background fits one of my theoretical “it depends” situations. Since you have an excellent academic background in a difficult subject but few of the prereqs completed, your taking courses at CC is not an attempt to improve previous poor grades or to inflate a GPA.

but as H. L. Mencken once said, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” So my speculation above could be completely wrong

Local med schools in Illinois may have a different view of CC in your area so you would be well advised to contact the med school, make an appointment with an admissions person, and discuss the situation.

Remember that we are non-traditional so atypical solutions and situations should not be dismissed out of hand without contacting actual medical schools and discussing the situation

I agree with the above posts. You need to talk to the admissions advisor. I took a fair amount of my prereqs at a CC (chem, ochem, calc), for me it was a cost issue. I ace’d all of the classes, however, I did average on my MCATs and therefore my choices were limited. I am not sure if it was just the MCATs or a combination of both.

You have some good grades and a background that make you a good candidate for medical school. I would just explain in your letter or interview why you had to take classes at a CC. Most places will understand. They will also see that you are able to juggle a full time job and take classes. Make sure you do well, which I am sure you will.

Good luck

Rachel Yealy, DO

Staff Emergency Medicine

Pittsburgh, PA

Well, I have been looking through the previous posts and it seems it really “depends” on individual situations, as gonnif said.

I was planning on to take all pre-req courses at a CC then take my MCAT, then go to 4-year institution and load up all advanced science courses and prove that I can handle the course load.

Is this a bad approach? Due to schedule and financial issue, I need to take courses at a CC until end of next year. Should I wait till I can take the courses at a 4-year institution?

And the school of my choice has a FAQ section and this question:

Will it affect my application negatively if I complete my pre-requisites at a community college?


Funny how great minds think alike as taking some advanced courses at a 4 year was going to be my next suggestion. It this day and age, simply explaining that timing as due to logistics (and the price of gas in driving) would understood by most. I would think you wouldn’t need to load up as a 3 to 5 courses would be more than enough.

I do think it is important to ace your MCATS in a situation like this…

gotta run Organic Chem is calling me like sysiphus

Do you have an idea of where you would like to attend medical school? If so, it’s really not that hard to get an appointment with the director of admissions, or equally competent admissions counselor. You’d be surprised what persistence will do. As everyone else echoed you really need to contact the school. I have been receiving conflicting info from one school in terms of CC vs. 4 yr so I’m meeting with the Director of Ad next month. I do agree with gonnif - MCAT is super important to do well on, esp if you go the CC route. You’ll want to prove your academic competitiveness in the sciences, since your non-science background seems pretty strong!

Good Luck!