science pre-reqs

Does anyone know how long the pre-reqs are good for? I took Biology 1 & 2, Chem 1 & 2 in 1999. I’m just wondering if I have to re-take all my sciences again. Any thoughts?

I would think that you might be ok with the chemistry but biology is changing quickly. You could take upper level classes to cover “prereqs”. Some schools allow that. I would suggest though that you call a couple of the schools you are interested in and get their take on the matter.

Good luck.


You’re probably okay with the general chemistry, as long as you think you remember enough of it (or can bring yourself up to speed) for organic chemistry. Biology, I would recommend retaking. Remember that you need to know the material from these courses for the MCAT, so you want to be up to date on them.

I think most schools would forgive the age of the chemistry if you take ochem now and do well on the MCAT. As always, though, if you have specific schools you are set on, you should call them and ask.

when i initially began looking into starting my journey, i found that it depends on the med school. for instance, U of Ariz med school requires that pre-reqs are no more than 8 years old but i talked to a school in wisconsin that said they don’t have any time limits.

since i didn’t want to have any limitations when i apply and i also want to have all the material fresh in my mind for MCAT, i decided to re-do all my science and some i haven’t done before (like o-chem, cell bio, and physiology that i started last week).

After reading the responses, I checked into it, as well. In my state (NC), Duke is the only medical school that requires pre-reqs to be in the last 8 years. Thanks everyone for stearing me in the right direction!

Becky - that’s good to have checked out the schools in NC. I would suggest that you widen the geographic area you are looking, however. It can be a good strategy to apply a bit more widely, when you get to that stage.


One other thought on this…unless your previous career required you to keep up, it’s probably not a good idea to skip over the pre-reqs, regardless of what may or may not be on the MCAT. The human genome was mapped in 2000, and it’s kind of been off the chain since, in terms what we know now vs. then. If you don’t have a solid grasp of some of the newer concepts, you’re going to struggle with understanding inherited or genetically acquired pathologies like metabolic syndromes and cancers. JM$0.02