Should i complete my prerequisites in a Community College or a Post Bacc Program

I am a non-traditional pre-med student. I have B.S. and M.S degrees in engineering and have worked for 10 years. I am now going back to school to complete my science prerequisites before aplying to Medical school.
The big decision i need to make now is whether to take my prerequisites in a Community College or a formal Post Bacc program. The cost of the Post Bacc Program is more than 3 times higher than that of a Community College so i am questioning the need to spend this much extra money on the same classes i could take in a Community College.
I am the kind of student that is self motivated and does not need too much extra motivation or guidance but in this case given that i am completely new to the med school admission process i wonder if a Post Bacc program would be beneficial and worth the extra cost.
Would appreciate your thoughts / opinion on this, and your advice.
Thank you in advance

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Hey Eva,

Based on what you’ve posted here, my opinion is that a DIY post-bacc would be fine for you. I mostly say this because of your statement about being a self-motivated person. The advantages of a formal post-bacc are the structure and built in “counseling” services. However, if you feel that you have the motivation to create your own structure and find/enroll in the classes that you need for med school then the added benefits of a formal program diminish greatly. For more detailed information I’d recommend checking out some of Dr. Gray’s podcasts as he often talks about deciding between a formal post-bacc and DIY post-bacc. One of the more recent episodes is Ask Dr. Gray: Premed Q&A Episode 122 (iHeart radio link).

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I’m beginning my prereqs in a DIY program at a community college for now. The only four year program that allows me to complete the post bacc part-time is super expensive because it’s private. I spoke to the pre-med advisor at that school and she said she wouldn’t recommend taking all of the classes at a community college, but general bio, chem, physics would be okay if I wanted to save some money. She suggested trying to find a four year school to take organic chem and biochem in the future because they’re viewed as more rigorous. I would rather not take out loans since I’ll need to take them out for med school in the future.

On the flip side, I did listen to Ryan Gray’s podcast mentioned above and there’s been plenty of non-trads that have gotten into med school with community college prereqs. The only benefit to a structured post-bacc, besides more guidance and structure, is the committee letter but many schools I’ve looked at will take either a committee letter or three letters of recommendation. I think as long as you develop good relationships with your professors so that they’re able to write letters of recommendation for you, it should be okay. If I continue DIY post bacc, I am just planning on asking my professors and maybe my supervisor who could highlight my professional accomplishments and work ethic (I’m continuing to work full-time until I get accepted to med school).

Good luck! :slight_smile:

P.S. I forgot to mention…try asking around your community college if they have a pre-health advisor. This first A&P class I’m taking (mainly just for knowledge and for fun, not for prereqs) is taught by my community college’s pre-health advisor so I’m gonna try to become besties with him! :smiley:

Good morning. I’m Ryan Allen and I am a scholarship coordinator with the US Navy. I know this doesn’t pertain specifically to your post but I do have some opportunities to share with you in regards to our Health Professions Scholarship Program as well as the Health Services Collegiate Program. Feel free to look online at for more information.