Pre-reqs how old is too old and what med schools accept them

Hi everyone. This is my first time posting a thread. I’m glad I found this site for non-traditional students. The stories I have read have been very inspirational to me. I took my pre-med courses about 12 yrs old. I contacted a univ. in Fla. and mentioned this to them. They suggested I re-take them. I did well in these courses. Can anyone please tell me what is the amount of time lapsed that med. schools would accept pre-req. courses? Does it depend on the med school? Do med schools look unfavorvably at students that have taken their pre-reqs along time ago?

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Can anyone please tell me what is the amount of time lapsed that med. schools would accept pre-req. courses? Does it depend on the med school? Do med schools look unfavorvably at students that have taken their pre-reqs along time ago?

Not really. Yes. Maybe.

What you will find is that it varies not only from med school to med school, but situation to situation. Most med schools will state something vague like they recommend/prefer that pre-reqs not be more than x years old (insert 5-10 years for x). They leave it vague for people who really don't need to take the pre-reqs - e.g. someone with an advanced science degree, or who has been working in a scientific field for the past few years, or someone who has a ridiculously high MCAT despite having old pre-reqs.

If you did well in the pre-reqs the first time around, you probably don't need to retake all of them. However, you should retake biology - it has changed significantly in the past 12 years. You should also take some upper level science coursework to prove that you still have the academic chops. You should also sit down with some MCAT prep materials and see if you think you can remember enough/adequately prep on your own.

Hope that helps.

my prereqs were almost all more than 20 years old. I never asked if that was too old - I just sent in the transcripts – The wrong way to do things???

probably… but its Dr steve now, so it can’t have been too wrong

Perhaps a better way to ask this question is:

Will an applicant be rejected simply because a course is too old?

I just added this questions to a workshop on “questions and confusions of non-traditional students” that I am hosting tomorrow at the AACOM convention.

Can we get a definitive answer? Yes, No, Maybe, I hope so

Thank you for response. I took upon myself to send various inquiry to MD & DO schools to ask them the same question.The responses seems to be similar. I will retaking the biology and probably refresher for the rest of the sciences if needed. The reaponse i receive from the schools are as following


Our policy is that once you have taken a pre-req, you do not need to repeat it again. There is no time limit on the courses. I do not know what other universities do, though. Hopefully, this information will help.Thank you for your interest in The Ohio State University.

Des Moines University

Thank you for checking in with us. The answer to this question really depends on the medical school. You will want to check in with each of the schools you are interested in to be sure you meet their requirements. For Des Moines University, we prefer to see all pre-requisite courses within six years. However, this is not a hard rule as we would look at all aspects of an application. If you can let me know a little bit more information about yourself and your academic history, I would be happy to advise you further.


At the KU School of Medicine, we do not have a time requirement for the prerequisite courses. Generally, applicants that prepare for the MCAT exam by completing practice tests get a sense whether or not they need to retake a course completed earlier. All your courses will be reflected on your AMCAS application for an cumulative science GPA and overall GPA.

Prerequisite courses can be completed at a community college. You would want to meet with that institution’s pre-med or pre-health professions advisor to make sure you are selecting courses that fulfill medical school prerequisite requirements.

Michigan State

There is no expiration date on required coursework.


Thanks for your questions and interest in the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. Each school varies on the pre-reqs, but for UNE-COM there is no expiration date. The farther a candidate is away from classes (graduated more than five years ago, for example), the more the MCAT counts as it is more current.

For us, there is no reason to retake pre-reqs. Even if the grades were poor, retaking sophomore level science classes after having been out of school does not demonstrate much. If someone were to retake classes as a current undergrad, the latest grade is calculated by AACOMAS (different than AAMCAS, in which the two are averaged).

A few classes at a community college is not a concern for us at UNE-COM. We don’t recommend a prospective student taking all at a community college, though.

SUNY Downstate

Thank you for your interest in SUNY Downstate. This is an individual school decision. At SUNY Downstate, we do not have a time limit on courses taken to meet prerequisites. We will look at your overall academic record as part of the application process.


WVSOM does not have a time limit on prerequisite course work; however, I would think that your preparation for the MCAT would be difficult if the course work was too long ago. Also, the Committee understands that there are times when applicants have no choice but to take the course work at a community college. Just make sure you are getting the preparation you need for the rigors of medical school.

Excellent work. Thank you for posting your responses for all to see. I think the common theme that emerges from your responses is that if your pre-reqs are old(er), the MCAT becomes more important for you. I.e. - a 25 MCAT with 12 year old pre-reqs (even if they were great grades) is not going to cut it.

So the consensus from Doc Heart’s investigative reporting is that most schools either do not have a prereq time limit or their time limit is flexible and/or not strictly enforced. Makes sense, especially if you have a recent MCAT score to gauge their current knowledge and perf level by.

Thank you for taking the time to organize and post this! It’s so nice to see information straight from the medical schools.