I officially declare that I am an old premed.
I will begin my journey in January 2011 as a full-time, on-campus, freshman Biology major at a small private college. I have a bachelor degree in a liberal arts major, but I have to start over because my credits are all between 10-20 years old, and the college I’m attending has an official, written policy of not accepting transfer credits older than 10 years of age.
I looked into other schools in my region that would still accept my credits, but there were three major roadblocks: either I couldn’t afford to attend them as a self-pay student (I’m not taking out any loans for the second degree), or they didn’t offer payment plans, or they offered payment plans through a 3rd party company, but I wouldn’t have been able to meet that company’s payment due dates.
I had already decided not to go the CC route because I’ve read of the strong preference medical schools have for science and math prerequisites being earned at a 4-year college/university. Plus, with me being single (divorced), and having no children, I really don’t have a good reason to justify CC courses over those of a 4-year college.
I was bummed a little to find out I’d have to come in as a freshman, but once I thought about it, I realized that this could very much work to my benefit. My original GPA is NOT competitive, so I need all the grade rehab time I can get, not to mention that I should get “easy A’s” in the repeated general ed courses. Just because I took the courses long ago doesn’t mean that I forgot the content.
The school I’m going to, coincidentally, has a dual degree program with a medical school. Transfer students aren’t eligible for that program, so by me having to come in as a freshman, I become eligible for it, so that works in my favor, as well.
So, in the next two months I’ll be tying up loose ends, and getting ready for this next chapter in my life. I’m excited but just a little apprehensive at the same time, because I’ll be living in the dorms and there’s a huge generation gap. I’m sure I’ll have many funny stories to tell of life amongst people who weren’t even born when I started college the first time, LOL.
Did any of you have to start completely over because your credits were too old? Did anyone decide to move on campus to complete their prereq’s, or first/second degree? It’d be great to hear those experiences.
I officially declare that I am an old premed.
My experience is very different than yours – I’ve just started a post-bac program this fall – so I can’t offer any advice/etc. specific to your path.
I do, however, want to welcome you to OPM. So, welcome! I have found this to be a wonderful place, and I hope you find it to be the same.
Best wishes on your journey.
My undergrad credits were all 30 or more years old, but I did not repeat much. Even if you do not have a biology degree, that is not needed for medical school. All you need is SOME bachalaureate degree, and recent specific prerequisites for med school - 2 semesters of bio, chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics (with labs). Having said that I’d make two points. Taking some upper level courses - biochemistry, anatomy, genetics are pretty high-yield - will help you in med school. Secondly, enrolling as a freshman will let you get into those courses…but you do not necessarily have to complete the degree. Many of the OPM’ers here have constructed a “do it yourself” postbaccalaureate by doing so.
However, the relationship of the medical school to the school you are attending may increase the value of completing the degree. I’d make an appointment to discuss the matter with the college’s premed advisor.
Juat a thought…
I called the school to double check what I needed to do to complete my admissions application, and I got to talk to the registrar. He told me that that my general ed courses could transfer, and that the age limit was for major/content courses, only. So, I will not have to start over. At the same time, I won’t be eligible for the dual-degree program, either. But, as long as I keep my grades up and do well on the MCAT, I should have a solid chance of getting in somewhere.
If I can’t get into an American medical school, I’ll seek out another medical/allied health profession, but going to the Caribbean is not an option for me unless I get a full ride, and I know that’s probably not going to happen, LOL. Anyway, here are the biology major requirements for the school I’m going to:
Gen. Bio I & II w/ labs
Human Anatomy & Physiology I & II w/ labs
Gen. Zoology w/ lab
Microbiology w/ lab
Genetics w/ lab
Biology elective w/ lab
Honors Biology Seminar
Gen. Chemistry I & II w/ labs
Organic Chemistry I & II w/ labs
Physics I & II w/ labs
Analytic Geometry & Calculus I
Introduction to Probability & Statistics
The only class I’ve had out of that list is psychology, so I’ll have to repeat that. The other courses I’ll be taking for the first time. The required biology course I took in my first degree was about evolution, ecology, population studies, etc. It was labeled “Gen. Biology I”, and was supposedly a biology course for majors, but I guess at that school they didn’t get to the topics we usually think of, when we think of a biology course, until the second course, which I didn’t need. Even if I had taken it, I’d have to repeat it since it would be too old.
I’m not apprehensive about my original CGPA anymore. If I get high grades, by the time I’m finished with these 75 credits, whatever general ed courses this school tells me I need to fulfill their degree requirements, plus the minor I think all bio majors at this school have to have, my CGPA should be nicely rehabilitated.
Thanks, Kate. I got to talk to the registrar and I don’t have to start from scratch. Yaay!
In response to moving in the dorms… That will be fun for you and different I’m sure. My husband is the student and our situation is a little different but we do live on campus with other students who are married and have families. My family is the biggest, we have 4 children ages ranging from 10 yrs to 9 months old. Most of the other families have 1 or 2 and maybe 3 if they are about to graduate. We are the oldest as well. It’s kind of funny the conversations that they all have but they have deemed us the wise couple here. We just moved here about 2 months ago and already are making friends and love how close we are to the school. So many pros to consider. My husband is working on his 1st bac degree. He will enter med school Fall 2012. Let me know if you have any other questions, I’d be more than happy to answer.
Sorry for the delay in responding. I was under the weather and then had PC problems. Well, I decided not to go to the school I initially wrote about, so dorm living is off the table for now.
- Scott91 Said:
Well, there’s been a change in plans. I decided not to attend the college I initially wrote about. I didn’t mind relocating, but the school is in a rural area that isn’t served by Greyhound or Amtrak. The town doesn’t even have any taxi services, so getting to the nearest airport (about 45 minutes away) would be hard to do as well. The price was right, but it just had too many negatives, logistically. So, back to the drawing board.