I am in the process of applying a pre-med program in a state univerisity. The university offers course work to meet the requirements of medical school while providing a biology degree. I have a B.S. degree in finance and an MBA. That means I need take all the pre-req classes to be able to apply for the medical school. Shall I just complete the pre-req courses or get a biology degree? How will this affect my application to the medical school? How long will it take me to finish all the premed requirements if I take at least 3 classes a semeter? Thank you for any advice that you can give.
- helensun Said:
Hi Helen and welcome to OPM. You certainly don't need to complete another degree in most cases. Some people do choose to complete another degree for various reasons (poor GPA, undergrad transcript that shows a lack of focus, etc), but you generally don't need to do so.
Typically, it's going to take you a minimum of two years of course work to complete the pre-reqs because of the two years of chemistry. If you are able to take three classes a semester, you should easily be able to knock them out in two academic years and even take a couple of other upper level science classes. You will want to complete most of the pre-reqs before taking the MCAT and applying. The application process is then a year long. Some people use the application year to complete additional coursework such as biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, etc.
Given that your passion is for medicine - and thus that you have the same undeniable desire as the rest of us here do - the second Bachelor’s may not be necessary for you. Especially given that you’ll only be able to take 3 courses a semester (if that’s what you’re implying?), the full degree might take 2 more years and expose you to things you don’t really need, like ethnobotany.
Even with my poor undergraduate GPA (2.5 cumulative before I came back), I was able to successfully apply after having taken on the pre-med pre-reqs and a few more courses. I was probably in a similar situation to you, needing all of the hard sciences to complete the prereqs. It took me about 2 years of mixed part time and full time coursework, with the glide year at the end as I applied.
Unless you really need to re-prove yourself from scratch (as OldManDave did, for instance), a full second BS might be overkill. You’ll want to plan out your courses so you can build on the material - if GenChem is required for Organic, make sure you slip that in first, so you can have at least OrgoI (and preferably OrgoII) before taking the MCAT. You can use the glide year (while you apply) for fun stuff like Biochem, which some schools require (and many recommend).
Good luck with it!
As long as you have the pre-reqs (with excellent academic achievement [transl: “good grades”]), you don’t need another bachelor’s degree.
Thank you for all the valuable info. I think I will try to take 4 courses a semester (full-time) and get it done in two years. I have two other questions: 1. Do I need to take GRE test to enroll a post-baccalaureate study (if I don’t need a degree)? 2. I have a GPA 3.73 for undergrad and GPA 3.44 for gradschool. What is average grade I need to get for those pre-reqs classes to secure a place in medical school?
Sorry I forgot to introduce myself before I posted all these questions. I am 31 year old. I have been an accountant, then senior accountant, currently work as a financial analyst. I thought about this over and over and over. And here I am, my only passion is for medicine like all of you. Thank you again for all the help. Wish one day I will be able to help others at this wonderful place.
Welcome, Helen . I can’t give you a formula for what grades you’ll need to succeed. You’ve done well in your previous studies, it seems. Just continue to do so, and really apply yourself to your passion. If you do that, I expect your grades will speak for themselves, and you’ll do yourself justice at interviews, explaining why you need to make the change from financial analyst to physician.
The GRE is in no way necessary for post-bacc work, so don’t sweat it.
Thanks for your timly response. What a relief! I don’t need to take GRE! Now I can enroll in this summer.
Good luck Helen!
Thank you. It is indeed a long way to go. Wish you and everyone else here good luck too.