No science in 10 yrs. What level should I start at?

I just enrolled for classes starting in January '09 at a local CC.

I have not taken any science courses since '98 in high school (I received mostly A’s). For those of you who completed a non- science undergrad degree, what did you do when going back to school (or switching) to your science pre req’s? Did you take some of the beginner introductory courses before signing up for Chem I and Chem II, etc?

Does anyone have any advice, or able to point me to a previous thread on here?

There were no openings for Chem 1 or Bio 1. I did find Bio 1500 - an Environmental Science course ( focus through an interdisciplinary investigation on (a) developing an awareness of one’s total environment (social, physical, and biological), (b) identifying the cause and perspective of our environmental concerns and, © exploring the possible and preferred solutions and strategies to those environmental issues)

I also found a physical science course that covers the following: basic concepts of chemistry and physics: chemical nomenclature, oxidation/reduction, acids, bases and salts, atomic structure, mechanics, magnetism and electricity, optics, and relativity. A laboratory is integral to the course.

Would the Bio 1500 Environmental Science course be a waste of time?

Should I tackle math instead?

Is physical science a good place for me to start?

I’m plan to work part time while taking courses.


welcome to the forum.

I personally think that both of these classes would be loss of time and money… unless you have a strong interest in them, and want to take them just for fun.

The classes that fulfill the prerequisites requirement for most medical schools are usually designed in such a way that even people who never took any sciences before, can do well. These are very basic introductory classes and they don’t assume that students have previous knowledge of the subjects discussed.

If you are really worrying about your skills, I’d rather find a course that you are going to take at some time in the future and audit it! It would probably be a better way to invest your time.

If you’re going to apply to schools that require math, and I you haven’t taken it yet, it might be your other option to use the spring semester productively.

Hope it helps,


I agree with Madkasia, never waste credits on stuff that does not “count”! Remember tho, you have to consider where you are to determine what absolutley counts or does not.

If you want to start out with something that you will need and will get you back into “classroom shape” (if you have been out this long, I would be surprised if you were not a “bit flabby 'round the middle” academically speaking) as far as schedules, fitting study time into your life and brushing up something you will need later… I have a few suggestions

  1. How is your math? You WILL need it, algebra and trig I found quite “extinctable” unless you use them a lot. You will need them for gen chem (like the good old henderson-hassebalch) and physics (for EVERYTHING) and it is VERY RISKY, not to mention a real DRAG, although possible, to learn it on the fly. Plus, most medical schools want you to go through calculus (although to date I have NEVER USED the calculus for anything other than the “A” I got in it). Plus every CC has math every semester; every campus… and you can start as basic as you need (and of course start racking up the good numbers that are also mandatory)

  2. Without knowing what you have (I assume you probably have most gen ed stuff from a previous degree), but have you had your transcripts evaluated by the place you hope to attend? Usually there is some course that will not transfer for whatever reason (often it is “ego”) like school X will not accept “Western Civ” from school Y. I think I had to take psychology II again. A fluff course that you can “blow away” (and of course pad the numbers)

See if your school advising office has a placement test you can take to see if you’re ready for the basic prereq courses. If you are, then I’d say definitely use this time to brush up on your math. I’m not so sure about item #2 on Richard’s list, though. If you already have a previous degree, you don’t actually need to transfer any credits to your new school. If you’re trying to finish one, though, definitely getting your transcripts evaluated is an important early step.

I hope this helps! Hang in there.


You are right, I was transfering from CC Nursing to a four year school. If you were doing a straight post bacc. you would not need to do this!


Waste of time. I was in the same boat. Make sure each course you take is PRE-MED Specific…there are not that many you need. From visiting with admissions, the main goal is doing well on the MCAT.

I agree with the other posters. Get started on Math.

You need it for Chem, and its a good mental cleanser.

I wouldn’t load up on Chem w/o knowing where your maths are at.

my .02 mols