Next steps, class advice

So I got accepted to do a second bachelor’s in health science full-time this fall! I’m pretty excited about it. So here’s my question. This college accepted the D from my undergrad for zoology (and, ridiculously, the D for chemistry and C- for calculus) for transfer. So I don’t have to take it, but I could clearly use a refresher. And I took zoology in 2001. OLD premed :wink:

The issue is that the college I’m attending is really, really easy. Their zoology course actually uses the Campbell freshman bio book and content-wise is on par with my alma mater’s freshman bio course. In terms of pace, it’s below par. I really don’t want to spend a semester taking a class that I don’t need if I can learn the content over the summer by reading the book. I do plan to get a more in-depth book like the Hickman to supplement.

So my question is, if I’m confident that I can brush up on zoology over the summer, would it look bad not to retake it as long as I do well in the subsequent upper level bios? DO grade replacement is dead, and transfer credits don’t count toward the new school’s GPA. Thoughts?

Regarding chemistry, I’m definitely retaking that. For over a decade I’ve had a recurring nightmare that my college degree is going to be revoked because they made a mistake and the D in chemistry should not have counted toward graduation. It’s an awful dream lol.

I wouldn’t retake a course like zoology if there are other lateral or “advanced” courses in biology you could take. Things like cell bio, human bio, etc would probably be way more applicable at this point. You bombed a class 17 years ago, so unless you feel like you need that info, you should take other things that are better suited to take you in the direction you want to go. Grade replacement is dead, like you said. Big picture, the GPA you graduate with in your second degree carries some weight for recency, but the reality is that the gpa won’t matter as much as your performance. AMCAS will still incorporate all of your credits into their gpa calculations. This will drag your overall gpa down. I wouldn’t focus on gpa so much as just killing your upcoming classes and the mcat.

The only reason I would outright retake a course would be if you think that the info you need from that course is tested on the MCAT and you feel like you need to restart from scratch on the topic. Otherwise, I’d say take different classes and do an MCAT refresher type course to revisit the concepts from your classes years ago. (Okay, second reason would be if schools you want to apply to require specific classes to be done within a certain timeframe).

Thanks, Kennymac. I always appreciate your advice and your frank style. Unless one of my schools requires zoology specifically (most merely suggest it as part of a recommended course of study), I’ll probably skip it and go onto microbiology or anatomy and physiology. Most other upper level bios require chemistry prereqs. As long as I end up with all As, I’d rather start behind and play catch-up than twiddle my thumbs on a review course.

I got to talk to my school’s premed advisor this week who confirmed that I don’t need to retake it. She suggested that I jump straight to anatomy and physiology and retake chem and college algebra this fall and round out the schedule with some non-science prereqs like English and sociology. Just an FYI in case anyone is in the same boat.

Are you doing a full 4-year bachelor’s program? I absolutely agree with Kennymac. Also, do yourself a favor and take general sociology, general psychology, developmental psychology, and abnormal psychology–maybe even a neuropsychology course if it’s offered. This will pay major dividends for the new MCAT. Psychology is the second-most tested subject in the new MCAT. If you take those courses, reviewing for the MCAT will be much easier.

If only I could go back and advise myself!

Thanks for the advice, englishprofessor. 78 credits transferred, so I’m not sure how much room in my schedule I’ll have for in-depth psych and sociology courses. General psychology and sociology are required for the health science major, but the other courses might need to be unofficial summer reading. As things currently stand, I’m very interested in family medicine and psychiatry, so I’d like to learn more about psychology and sociology regardless of MCAT utility. Do you have any reading suggestions beyond textbooks?

Hello, this is my first time commenting on here, and I have a similar decision to make regarding classes for my post-bacc program.
First, this is my background: I graduated as an international student with Economics degree in 2014 (I took all the pre reqs except psych, sociology, biochem, and any other relevant upper level science courses). I had varying degrees of success, ending up with 3.5 ugpa and 3.1 sgpa.

In 2015, I enlisted for the US military as a medic, service through which I became a US citizen.
I started my post bacc program in Fall of 2017.
This is where I haven’t received many clear answers because I suspect that the majority of the post bacc students as well as the advisors that guide them are only used to handling career changing students.
My post-bacc advisor recommended that I should retake the core pre req courses as well as biochem (and perhaps additional upper level science courses), while gaining research and clinical experiences. The reason for retaking the courses being that I have taken most of them in 2010-2012, and by the time I would be applying to med schools, these courses could be considered “too old”.

Truth be told, I do need to brush up on the basic sciences and I sure do not remember anything about organic chemistry from 2012. However, many people on this forum seems to be leaning towards jumping into upper level science courses.

As someone who has not taken MCAT exam yet and wish to build more foundation in preparation for the exam, should I go with my advisor’s course plan (and add upper level courses as I see fit)? And if so, how many upper level courses would be realistic to be able to show that I can “handle the materials?”

Or should I have jumped straight into the upper level courses regardless of my foundation in science? I am somewhat anxious because I feel that this formal post bacc program taking me in- in the first place- could have been an oversight.

I am currently in my second semester of the program, retaking chem2 and bio1. I I am doing much better in these courses and I may work as a TA starting next semester. Despite doing well and building a solid relationship with professors, I find myself wondering if I am doing the right thing to strengthen my application. I am hoping to offset any of these “irregularities” with a good MCAT score.

Thank you for your feedback, and I appreciate your time.

I am doing post bacc as both career changer and as someone requiring academic enhancement, having taken majority of pre reqs in undergrad (4+ years). Should I retake them and add some upper level courses, or should I be taking only the upper level courses? Would any of these matter as much if I do well on the MCAT?