Online Postbacc?

Hello, I am a new member of this forum. Very helpful place!

I was pre-med in undergrad 15 years ago and did well until I hit a bad personal situation at the same time as orgo+physics and dropped out. However I took the MCAT anyway and got 8s/9s but decided to do grad school in psychology instead. I now work in research but want to try the med school route again.

Now I’m 35 and I know I will need to take all the premed courses again. I am most concerned with flexibility and cost. I am not really excited about paying $$ for a 2-yr postbacc program but not comfortable doing courses on my own either. Does anyone here know about postbacc courses online that exist? Pros and cons? Anyone with experience with this?

Personally I don’t see how classes such as chemistry and physics are in any way feasable w/ online learning. Labs are a required part of the pre reqs and that simply can not be accomplished through a computer monitor.

Is there any colleges close enough for you to at least take one course at a time?

I’m presently taking Gen Chem I with lab through UNECOM. They also offer Gen Chem II, Org I and II, and Biochemistry online. However, it’s definitely not an easy online course! Hope this helps!

Thanks for the tip. Where do you plan to apply? The web site at does state that you should check to make sure their courses would be accepted.

  • npdoc Said:
I'm presently taking Gen Chem I with lab through UNECOM. They also offer Gen Chem II, Org I and II, and Biochemistry online. However, it's definitely not an easy online course! Hope this helps!

How do you do labs with an online course? I took a pre chem course on line (a you've been out of highschool too long type thing) and although they had lab simulations, they paled in comparisson to actually going into the lab and collecting the data and watching a bonified reaction take place. I really learned much more inside an actual lab.

minan, if it were me I would bite the bullet and take local courses. The online option has been discussed extensively on this forum; if you do a search it should turn up a few threads. Some people think online is perfectly acceptable.

However bear in mind that med school is still full time, in-house lectures and labs and if you want the admissions committee to have a comfort level about your ability to handle that environment, you should demonstrate recent good performance in live classes. If you do online courses, you may get an excellent education, but some of the old fogeys (and young fogeys) interviewing you may not believe it. Med schools are rather conservative places when it comes to academics. Best of luck,

Somewhere I had read/understood that online courses were looked down upon by Medical Schools. Am I making that up?

I am taking an online course in the fall, but not a science or math course…I have to take an American National Government course so I’m doing that online. I don’t like online courses, I don’t feel I learn as well with them so for me personally I wouldn’t take any “important” classes online. Not that government isn’t important, but I’ve already taken American Federal Gov. they just won’t transfer the credits for whatever reason…so it’s a re-do.

I plan on applying to UNECOM (of course they will accept their own online course) and probably a few other schools of osteopathic medicine. I will also most likely apply to the SUNY medical schools (since the tuition is the most affordable) and our local medical college, Albany Medical College.

As for the labs for this course and Gen Chem II, the labs are done at home with a LabPaq. They say it’s the equivalent of doing the labs in a lab at a college, but with smaller amounts of chemicals. The reactions studied and the knowledge gained is supposedly equivalent to that of other four year colleges. You can read more specifically about the labs and courses on UNECOM’s website.

It’s probably a good idea to check with the med schools you are going to apply to. I’ve taken other four year college chemistry and biology courses (with labs) many years ago, and this is one of the most rigorous courses I’ve ever taken. With my work and family obligations, my only options at this time were either taking this course or community college courses. However, in the future, I’m hoping to take Physics and possibly Organic Chemistry in person at SUNY Albany. I will probably take Gen Chem II online and I might take Genetics and Biochemistry online as well.

Most of the medical schools I’ve spoken with have indicated that it’s ok to have a few courses as either online (from a reputable college, of course) or a community college, as long as the majority of your undergraduate credits have been taken at a 4 year college/university.

Good luck!

FWIW, my CC offers many science courses online. I took Bio 1 online and will take A&P online in fall. I’m taking chem II and org chem 1 in person, but there is an online option for chem II. You do have to be local to take these, because lab sections are in person. I go in “X” Saturdays per semester for lab, and you typically do 3+ labs/session instead of 1/week. It was fine for me for biology.

Here’s a link that gives some tips for determining if online classes are right for you.

Taking local courses online is a lot different than a whole online program because you still have in-person access to the school’s staff for support. I’m not sure how I would fare in a Phoenix-type online program. . .