Reasonable time to completion of prereqa

I am planning on going back to school to take ALL the pre-reqs so I can apply to medical school. I have to do extremely well because my undergrad GPA is a miserable 2.6.

How long does it take? What would be a reasonably expected amount of time to complete the pre-reqs (while still working full-time for the time being)? I would like to begin in a year or two, and would like to be in med school by the time I’m 40. I am currently 33.


Hi RevGood, If you haven’t completed any of your prerequisites, figure that it will take you 4 semesters. The first two semesters you will have to take are Gen Chem I and II, and the second two semesters will be Organic Chemistry I and II. The other two prereqs (Biology and Physics) can be done either year one or two dependent on your schools requirement for prereqs. For Physics you will have to make sure that you have your math prereqs done (primarily trigonometry).

The only advice I can give to you is to be sure not to just rush through the classes…since your GPA is low, you really want to excel in these class. It’s going to take a lot because of your GPA…You’ll also want to really consider taking upper level science classes and do really well on the MCAT.

You’ll want to also have strong LORs and ECs. It’s definitely doable. I do think that a DO school would be more open, PLUS if you can retake some of those classes that you did poorly in during your undergrad, I believe that DO’s will replace that grade, so your GPA may show to be higher.

Just a thought…Good Luck!


Hey there, Rev :).

In a similar boat - comparably poor UGPA, need to retake all pre-reqs - it’s taken me about 2 years. I probably could have accelerated it somewhat, but my schedule allowed me to take some really interesting upper-level courses which I definitely don’t regret.

At this point, I feel like I’m on the cusp for proving that I can hack it over a sustained period. The general consensus I’ve heard is that 2 years of full time coursework is about enough; I’ve got 1 year full time and 1.5 part time. Finances won’t permit me to continue as a full time student - so we’ll see how it goes with what I’ve got, eh?

Even if you, say, limit yourself to two courses a semester so you can continue to work full time, I’d expect you’ll be in a position to apply within your projected timeframe.