Online Premed Courses

Has anyone had any success in finding a decent online premed degree or courses?

I would avoid online in every humanly way possible.

To expand on what BaileyPup so clearly stated, Online is not the preferred way to get pre-reqs done…(says someone who has done multiple courses this way). The perception (not the reality - they required significantly more work than most of my class room courses) is that the courses are not as rigorous and/or that you are not as competitive a candidate as if you took the same courses in a brick and mortar school.

Best of luck to you as you embark on this journey!


I have personally taken this risk because:

  1. I didn’t know better when I started

  2. Once I realized the issue with on-line classes, I still had no other way to get the courses done with my screwy work schedule (and I’m the primary breadwinner for my family)

  3. I only needed one course with a lab, which I was able to do on-campus with the rest of the course on-line.

  4. I already have an excellent GPA/degree from a decent university, showing my ability to do well with a heavy full time course work at a “real” school

  5. My online courses are from a decent brick and mortar school and will not show that they are online, and the school is near enough geographically to not raise red flags to an adcom. I had to specifically call the school to ask how the courses showed on my transcript.

  6. I plan to do everything in my power to excell on the MCAT as further evidence to med schools that I’m a candidate to consider.

    All this to say that although it is possible to take SOME of the prereqs online, it is not optimal. Any classes with labs (bio, chem, physics, o-chem) MUST have real on-campus labs done as well. And any class that you can take in person should preferentially be done on campus. This also will help with letters of recommendation, as it is really hard to get a meaningful letter of rec for an on-line class. If you don’t yet have a degree, I would even more strongly recommend that you don’t attempt to get one on-line. Even reputable, academically rigorous on-line programs are lumped in with the programs that are primarily out there to hand you a piece of paper after taking your money.

I guess I agree with a lot of what Sevenwheels posted. I find that I often do better in an “actual” classroom than with an online class. Some of my online classes have been exceptionally time intensive. To get the grade that I want I have had to work harder than a class where I can verbally participate.

I would also agree that there can exist a stigma about online coursework. But I would also point that many, if not most, reputable universities offer online versions of some of the same classes.

If you live in Alaska and have grades from U of NC, U of Maryland and Stanford I guess that most adcoms are going to suspect. In my case though, my two years at the CC have online coursework in them. There is no way to tell looking at my transcripts whether I took that sociology elective online or not. Now that I am at university, I continue to take an online class each semester, as long as it is one of the courses where the number doesn’t differentiate it as correspondence/online.

I guess that is along way around to say that I would start with where you are doing your undergrad already or at schools in close proximity.

If you are really stuck on online coursework there is a thread over on the PA forum dedicated to online classes. But bear in mind that they are looking for A & P’s etc. The chem/physics/bio classes for pre-med are pretty generic and I think there is a little more flexibility in the PA application process regarding CC and online course work.

For what it’s worth/my two cents/etc, etc.


My comment was directed more towards taking online classes from an online university. Typically online universities are know more as “diploma mills” and not really taken seriously. I know from my prior work experience that managers would “file 13” accounting degrees from UofP.

In the 2010 version of the MSAR each school lists whether online courses are acceptable as prereqs. This does not say anything about how competitive an applicant would be with online courses.

Also, as a previous poster mentioned, be cautious of which school you take courses from. There are out and out diploma mills. Then there are the private for-profit that likely don’t carry alot of weight with adcoms.

Reputable and established universities that have online offerings are the best bet. There is a trend by many of these schools to not differentiate between online and real classroom course on transcripts. They do this under the philosophy that all courses at the school are equally rigorous no matter how they are taught.

Lastly, one of the osteopathic schools, UNECOM has a post-bacc fully online. I have spoken with them and most students are prepping for nursing and other allied health professions.

I posed this question to one of our med school deans, and her response was if the online course was offered through a brick-and-mortar university, the admissions committee did not differentiate between the online course or the classroom. I’m sure that varies between institutions, so best to call the admissions offices and ask directly.