Thoughts on On-line pre-reqs.

Anyone have any experience with medical schools looking favorably or otherwise for taking on-line course work?
I just cannot find (in my locale) any weekend or evening courses but may have a chance to take O-Chem and physics lectures on-line. I can swing lab hours locally.
I will run it by the state schools that I am anticipating applying to. Just wondering if anyone has any insight.
Thanks to all that reply. This really is a neat resource.
Peace and my best to you all in your endeavors.
An old PA… getting older :slight_smile:

Hi there,
On-line classwork is very common now. I don’t think that anyone on an admissions committee would look unfavorablely at an online class as long as you learned the material and as long as the institution was accredited. University of Maryland has many on-line classes for example. Distance learning is very good for people who need the flexiblility of being able to do the coursework at different times than business hours. Just make sure that the institution you choose is reputable and accredited.

Now there is something that I did not think of–on line pre-requ courses!!! I have one or two that I would like to take on line…what other schools are accredited that an admissions team would look favorable upon?
E Lynne

I would contact schools and make sure that they actually accept on-line pre-reqs. If I remember correctly some schools did not. Although online classes are common I would hesitate to get all my pre-reqs done that way. Again, the best bet is to contact some schools and ask them.

I took online calculus through the Univ of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I was very pleased with the course. I had already been accepted by the time I completed my two semesters of this course, however.
Some schools have given other people trouble about this, so I would inquire. I would very much hesitate to take any courses online which also require a lab–ie., the basics of bio, chem, physics and a semester of o chem. Integrating the course with the lab is generally better in my opinion. However, I don’t see the harm in taking math courses this way.
best regards

Joe has a good point… what about the labs?

This is something I’ve looked into as well… but the labs are something you have to take. It’s begining to seem like it’s virtually impossible to take lab classes like bio and chem unless you are only working part time- or else take them at a community college. I have scoured and searched to no avail. premed just isn’t geared for full time workers

I’m not sure how it looks at your school, but I took some on-line classes in the past and when I picek up the trascripts they didn’t even mention that those particular classes were on-line classes. So in my case the Ad. Com. won’t even know that those classes were on-line ones.

I would make very very very sure that the schools you are considering will accept on-line/distance learning classes for pre-reqs. As far as keeping all of your options open, I would advise, “Don’t even think it.” But that is the conservative p.o.v. (Math might be the exception to this. Maybe.)

How in the world do the adcoms even know its an online class? A lot of my basic classes I took online and there is no way to tell if I took it online or oncampus.
Does it say on your transcript that is was online or something? None of the schools that I know of do that that is why I am curious.

MamaMD - I know! That’s exactly what I said…They won’t even know it was an on-line class…

Usually if the online class is offered by your alma mater then no it will not show on the transcript as “online course”. Usually with schools that ONLY offer online type education or even some that offer both but it is not your school…it will probably say online or distance ed. Pre-reqs are usually not offered online but if they are most schools do not accept pre-reqs online except maybe math…just beware folks. Judy Colwell has been doing this for many years and she knows her stuff. Adcoms do know which schools are associated with online courses and this may be a red flag. With thousands of folks applying if they have to select that may be one of the selection factors just fyi.

I did O-chem as a distance ed “correspondance” class rather than On-line. This was because I could not find a evening class in my area. It was ok for UNECOM. I suspect doing it “lab free” may have been an issue if I did not have a lot of Lab science otherwise from previous lives.

Great thread… what colleges offer organic online or by other distance learning forms?

University of Colorado - Colorado Springs offers an online version of Ochem. They hold a lab on Saturdays for it, but if you’re from a distance they exempt you from the lab (credits are separate but the school technically doesn’t let you take the labs separate from the lecture), and you take proctored exams. There are a ton of homework assignments, required online meetings, discussions, and quizzes, however, so it is definitely a major time commitment. Also if you’re from a distance the profs that teach it are often willing to set up a different time period for the required online meetings (for example last summer they had a guy in Iraq in the class so 7pm mountain time zone would definitely not have worked; same for a dude from NY).
–Jessica, UCCS

Note that virtually all medical schools will REQUIRE labs which obviously can’t be done online, so even if you do the lecture portion as distance learning you’re going to have to find a way to do labs. Also I have to say: organic chemistry lab is a TON of fun. You don’t want to miss all the cool glassware and fascinating smells.
Finally, it is understandable that people look for these distance learning options, especially when trying to juggle work and school. You need to know that if your transcript indicates that it’s a distance learning class, you can be at a disadvantage compared with applicants taking traditional classes. I would strongly advise that anyone considering distance learning do it as a LAST resort only after exploring every imaginable way to actually attend class. Med school AdComs are traditional-minded folks and you want to minimize the things in your application that cause them to go, "Hmmmmmm."

Would these online course be a good option for refreshing the material if you took the pre-reqs years ago but don’t have access to a school where you could retake them directly? I tried to review for the MCAT with review books alone without retaking courses but found this difficult since it was so many years since I took the courses originally. Many people have also mentioned that schools expect the pre-reqs to have been taken within the last 7 years.

Only if you still plan on doing well in the courses because they will still count in your gpa. Also, as an FYI, the orgo chem class I mentioned doesn’t get listed as on “online” course so an adcom isn’t going to know one way or the other, but yes Mary is right that if it says online or correspondance, adcoms will look down upon them, and you will still need the labs eventually. Also some schools will only accept a certain number of independent study/correspondance course credits (if any) so be careful there. Like I said though, the course I posted about doesn’t say online in the title, is just as rigorous as the classroom course, and quite frankly probably more time consuming because of all the extra assignments required, but the course is outstanding, the profs awesome (I’ve taken both of them in the classroom before), and a great option for those struggling to get physically to a campus.
–Jessica, UCCS

Some med schools specifically prohibit on-line/correspondence credit for the pre-reqs others do not. So, while your mother school may not list the course as “on-line” or “correspondence”, in my humble opinion, it is being deceitful to not acknowledge this or to carry on the facade of the course being an in-house version. Believe me, if a program finds out in retrospect that you intentionally or unintentionally falsely represented yourself on the application - they have more than adequate grounds for summary & immediate dismissal. How would you like to toil for 4 tough years always wondering if they are going to find out? Futhermore, being dismissed from med school does not get those loans forgiven either - you still have to pay them back, just on a much lower salary.

All in all, there is far too much at stake to risk on surreptitiously allowing a program to not know about these sorts of courses. In the future, I suspect that attitudes will change as more & more major, real universities begin offering academically rigorous on-line course. However, to date, “correspondence” still carries the stigma of easy ‘A’ or blow off credit. That is something, if at all possible, tobe avoided.

Besides, even more important to me, is my unwillingness to bend or or sell out my integrity. As badly as I wanted to become a physician, under no circumstances was I willing to lie, cheat or embellish the facts, even a little. Were I not able to get on my own, honest merits - then I simply would accept that as my responsibility for having made the mistakes I had made in the past.

Furthermore, I hate to sound arrogant or supercilious, I do not want to have colleagues who felt the need to compromise their integrity to gain entry into medical school. In this profession, you are making critical decisions about people’s lives & health over & over & over again on a daily basis. This is not the profession for people who cannot face & live up to the truth or who seek to ameliorate its affects through distortion.

I apologize if I have offended anyone - but that is how I feel.

On the practical side, doesn’t one applying for admission to any institution of higher learning, be it university, grad or professional school HAVE to submit ALL transcripts from schools you attended? Even if your home school gives you credit, a transcript from the on-line place would have to be submitted also. To not would be academic dishonesty.