Starting Post Bacc Pre-Med... need advice

Hello… My name is Toni and I amm 32yrs old and planning on starting my post bacc pre-med requirements in the fall. I live in NYC and was wondering if anyone is currently attending any programs in NY and could offer me some advice. Is one school better than the other??? etc…

I am very nervous about starting because it has been so long since I have even been in college. I am wondering which math I should start with, since it has never been a strong subject for me.

Any advice would be helpful.


Welcome, Toni, and best of luck :). I can’t offer you any specific advice about NYC, but in general:

  • Find the right pace for yourself. If FT work and part-time coursework (an algebra or trig refresher, perhaps?) feel right for you, start with that. We non-trads tend to overextend ourselves at times.

  • Are you doing a formal or an informal post-bacc? I think a lot of us are surprised to find that a formal program is not necessary; rather, all that's required is to do well in the pertinent coursework. A formal post-bacc program may help with this - YMMV.

  • Have fun with it! The years required for this are only worthwhile, IMHO, if this is your passion, and only you can determine that.

Again, welcome, and be sure to pick the brains of our many members better-versed in this than me .

Hi Toni,

I started taking prereq classes around the same age as you(currently 35 y/o). Since I had to continue working while in school, I took only one or two classes at a time. My main objective was to get the best grade possible. It is better to get an A in one class than to take 5 classes per semester and make C’s. My main advice to you is DONT RUSH. Take your time. Don’t create deadlines for when you want to get into medical school. I was determined to get into medical school in 2 years after I begun my Pre-req. Well I had to drop a course one semester, had to withdraw out of school because my mom got ill, and had to relocate due to hurricane katrina. Things come up in life that we have no control over. Just take your time but enjoy the journey.

Adam - I’d like to do an informal post-bacc., but how do I go about doing that? It seems at all the 4 year colleges in the area, that part-time or non-degree students have to register after full-time, and the classes I need with lab sections are already filled by the time non-degree seeking students can register. Any advice there.

My situation is - I’m 50. I’m a certified nurse-midwife, did my master’s work in 82-85 (3.99 GPA), but my science pre-reqs date back to '75-80. I need second semester organic, and second semester Chem, and feel to have a chance I really need to retake Inorganic Chem, and the first semesters of Organic Chem and Physics (to be able to pass 2nd semester). However, the 2 formal postbach. programs in my state say they don’t want you to retake courses. I’m not wanting to do it to doctor my GPA, but because it is so darn long ago. Any advice??

(I know this is really old, but longevity runs in my family…kind of expecting to make it to 99


Kate -

Apply and enroll as a degree-seeking undergrad student. It doesn’t matter that you won’t actually be finishing the degree. That will help you with the non-degree part. As for the full-time/part-time status - maybe see if you can talk to an advisor there and see if they have any suggestions for getting enrolled in those classes?

When I was doing my post-bacc, I met a girl who was doing her post-bacc (for pharmacy school). I enrolled as a non-degree student, she enrolled as a degree-seeking student. It just so happened that the advisors each of us talked to told us to enroll that way. She got to register slightly ahead of me, but at least at my school non-degree students had priority registration over everyone but seniors and honors students.

Kate - I think it varies somewhat between schools, but Emergency’s advice has steered me well at mine. Basically, I just applied and enrolled as a degree-seeking undergrad. To be honest, that felt a little sketchy at first, but the advisors assured me that it was no problem at all.

While in general degree-seeking students register earlier than non-~, I’ve had to get overrides for at least half of my classes anyway. It’s worked out for the most part, though.

It sounds perfectly reasonable to me that you want to retake the basic sciences - good luck with it! And with the 99 thing, too .