Post Bac Prereqs - are all CCs created equal?

Hello, I am a 35 year old new mom about to start her prereqs at a community college in Illinois. Just wondering if some IL/Chicago programs are stronger than others. I realize that some med schools may frown on prereqs taken at CCs, but in the case of an OLD nontraditional student like myself, there are too many factors - job, family, kids, etc. to consider before one gets into debt @ a university post bac program.

I’m not familiar with the schools in the Illinois area, but the med schools probably are. You might try contacting some med schools in the region and see what they say about CC credits, and if they consider some better than others.


Congrats on starting on this journey! (I was going to insert an adjective before journey, but all I could think of from my own experience were “wild, crazy, insane” which didn’t seem very supportive


Thank you, Kate. I’m hoping that “wild, crazy, insane” refers to the notion of the initiative itself and not necessarily to your daily “grind” as a med student. A lot of people wail about how terribly difficult it is to be a medical student, but life itself is not easy. At least for med students, regardless of age, - there is light at the end of the tunnel and while they’re at it - they keep on learning and advancing! Which is usually not something a lot of mid-careerists can attest to.

Hi there!

In the same boat, 33yrs old, and in IL! I have run into the same issue, as there does not seem to be any actual 'rankings’for community colleges.

Also, your experience may be different, however I have contacted MULTIPLE medical schools and everyone gave me the boiler plate answer of “yes we accept class from community college” and “no, the school doesnt matter as long as its accredited”.

I know thats not very helpful The only thing I can say from my experience is that the city colleges seem pretty bad (harold washington, truman, etc), but thats just my experience.

If you find anything please message me.

Good luck!


I completed my bachelor’s at Loyola Chicago, but I’ve also earned credit hours @ Oakton, Harper, Truman and DePaul before I graduated. I attended UIC for an MBA/MIS. My decision to complete the prereqs at a CC is based on my experience that EVERYTHING depends on the professor and to a lesser extent on the school in which the class is being offered. I’ve had some top notch professors that taught the same exact class at Oakton/Truman and Northwestern University. I’ve had other professors that were just blah…at DePaul & Loyola and a more than a handful of professors @ UIC who may have been excellent researchers but sorely lacked in English communication skills and were very difficult to understand. Oakton and Harper are hands down better than CCC & UIC, but I’ve had some pretty awesome professors at Truman. I almost registered @ Malcolm X just because it’s a block away from my job, but ran as fast as I could after speaking to their advising staff - based on the quality of advising, it is more backward than the worst high school I’ve never attended.

Yes - the “crazy, insane” is about deciding to do this later in life (figure I should get it in before another does). But also, I would say I enjoy med school as much as it is possible to enjoy it. At the moment, that is a LOT as I am doing my first “audition” rotation in 4th year. I am Loving it! When studying for a board exam, not so enjoyable


I attended Oakton for two years before transferring to UofI. When asked if I would do it again, I would. Had some great professors there.