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Med school admissions and online degrees

LEDS360LEDS360 2 replies2 threads New Member
Hello all,

I am looking for your opinion on the following: I am a transfer student doing a double major in the humanities.

I intend to finish both of these degrees and then enroll at a community college to take the required medical courses (all the pre-requisites seem to be available).

Do you think it would be a problem for less selective medical schools if my degrees were earned online (albeit from a highly selective, accredited school)?

What about more selective schools (not in the top 10)?

Thanks and have a good evening. xD
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Replies to: Med school admissions and online degrees

  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10244 replies206 threads Senior Member
    edited November 8
    Do you think it would be a problem for less selective medical schools if my degrees were earned online (albeit from a highly selective, accredited school)?

    Probably, for a few reasons.

    1) medical schools do not accept most online coursework, particularly for science classes. Med school admission offices will likely have reservations about accepting your degree if the bulk of your coursework is done at an online institution. (The one exception is if you are active duty military deployed overseas.)

    2) for your med school application, you will need 3 LORs from college professors who have taught you in their in-person class--at least 2 of those need to come from BCPM professors. A LOR from a CC instructor or an online instructor just isn't going to cut it.

    3) a number of medical schools flat out do not accept CC credits for pre-reqs. Those that do accept CC credits state that to be competitive an applicant needs to supplement those CC credits with at least an equal number science credits earned at 4 year college. (Right or wrong, community college coursework is viewed as being less rigorous than coursework taken at 4 year college.)

    4) you need to take a semester of biochem. It's a requirement at most medical schools and a topic that is tested heavily on the MCAT. Biochem is an upper level bio or chem elective and is not offered at a CC.

    You should check MSAR to see the specific policies med school hold regarding CC and online coursework.
    edited November 8
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  • thumper1thumper1 75179 replies3300 threads Senior Member
    Suggestion...ditch the second major, and take your medical school requisite courses.

    How many more years of college do you have? You may find it difficult to complete the courses for Med school admissions in terms of the course sequences and when they courses are offered.
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 29730 replies176 threads Senior Member
    "Do you think it would be a problem for less selective medical schools if my degrees were earned online (albeit from a highly selective, accredited school)?"

    How will they even know if the course was taken online instead of in person?
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  • texaspgtexaspg 16515 replies340 threadsForum Champion Pre-Med & Medical Forum Champion
    edited November 10
    I have seen applications in 2015 for 2016 and this year for 2020. Most schools care about courses taken online. Many are asking applicants to answer whether they have taken "ANY" course online and list those if there are any from online.

    I dont remember if any schools posed this question in 2015.
    edited November 10
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  • diegodavisdiegodavis 59 replies11 threads Junior Member
    This is the first thread I've seen where community college classes and online classes are not treated as equal to other school's.
    It is making me rethink my respect for the California universities which have been encouraging the community college path as the preferred route to admission at the four year university.
    Somewhere things have to change.
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  • texaspgtexaspg 16515 replies340 threadsForum Champion Pre-Med & Medical Forum Champion
    edited November 10
    There is a difference between how a state wants to provide education opportunities to their students vs how a medical school determines who the best candidates are for their medical school.

    Educating students alone does not make them admissible to medical schools, when they have an admit rate of 1% at most medical schools these days. Nothing will change with respect to that level of competition in getting into a medical school and a degree alone does not take you there.
    edited November 10
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 14811 replies996 threads Senior Member
    if my degrees were earned online (albeit from a highly selective, accredited school)?
    Is this a brick and mortar college? I have never heard of a highly selective online only college.
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10244 replies206 threads Senior Member
    edited November 10
    Re: how would a med school know if a class was taken online.

    @happymomof1 Aside from the fact the secondaries ask about online coursework, there is a national database of course catalogs that includes section numbers of classes which indicate which are in person and which are online. During the due diligence process of accepting a student, med schools check this and may even contact individual registrar offices to verify if a course was in person or online.

    @diegodavis Not all community college programs are rigorous or high quality. Med school adcomms cannot be expected to know the academic rigor and competitiveness of the several thousands of community colleges across the country so med schools develop general policies to cover the bulk of cases.
    edited November 10
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  • GoldenRockGoldenRock 1608 replies5 threads Senior Member
    @diegodavis

    It depends on the context and may differ depending on what someone wants to accomplish.

    For pre-med students, still it is ok to start at CC and switch to UC. But make sure to do advanced course in UC if any pre-requisite courses related to BCPM are done at CC.

    CC is a good path for students who are tight in budget since it saves ton of money in first 2 years. Also it helps to get in to top UC during the 3rd year compare to getting admission directly from HS.

    I know few students who have successfully transitioned from CC to UCB Computer Science and also other majors.

    Similar to Univ, CC also differs in the level and quality of education. Also it depends on the area of education.

    Personally done few courses in 2 different CC. Kudos to CC and the few teachers and they did a wonderful job on par with the level of education I got when I did my Masters in an University few decades ago. But will not vouch the same for every CC and every subjects. Some of them were not good at all.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9009 replies335 threads Senior Member
    I reread your other thread. Did you drop out of UCF 4 years ago because you didn't like your major or because of the stress? Med school is very stressful. If you didn't like finance because it was stressful then make sure med school is a good fit before you tackle the work it will require to apply to one.

    You have over 128 credits now. How many schools is that from? Have you taken any pre-med requirements yet? I think med school GPA is calculated differently than the GPA that's would be used for master's programs.
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  • LEDS360LEDS360 2 replies2 threads New Member
    No, I dropped out because it was a joke and to pursue a startup idea.
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10244 replies206 threads Senior Member
    edited November 10
    Some things you need to know about a med school and life as a physician:

    1) your gpa will be calculated using the grades from every college level class you have ever taken, including any dual enrollment courses taken during high school. You are required to send an official transcript from every program you have ever attended, even if you did not earn any credits in the program. AMCAS and individual med schools both verify this. Omitting any program or classes is considered to be lying On your application and will get one permanently banned from applying to med school.

    2) med school is extremely stressful. The #1 reason why med students fail to graduate is due to mental health reasons. The suicide rate for med students in more than 3x higher than their age peers.

    3) pre med, med school, residency and working as a practicing physician is one long series of high stakes, computer- based exams, the shortest of which is 8 hours long. MCAT ( requires for medium school admission), USMLE exams (required to advanced thru and graduate from med school, these also determine your eligibility to enter your chosen specialty), NBE exams (one for every clinical subject you study in med school), ISE exams ( one during every year of residency to make sure your knowledge base is on track), national board exams —oral AND written (required to become board certified in your specialty), plus you have to retake board exams every few years to continue your board status. I also need to mention that some of these exams, if you earn the bare minimum passing grade, you are not permitted to retake fora better grade. And failing an exam? That could mean the end of your medical career.

    These exams are taken in a specialized exam center alongside dozens of other students in a room that is often filled constant low level noise and people moving about. Special accommodations — like a quiet room or noise cancelling headphones— are extremely difficult to get.

    All of these things you’ve mentioned as being an issue for you.

    Besides just the academics, being a competitive med school applicant means having the right ECs: community service with the disadvantaged; clinical volunteering at hospitals or public clinics; physician shadowing in primary care fields; holding leadership positions in your activities; laboratory or clinical research. If you’re missing anything ( except research), you shouldn’t bother applying.
    edited November 10
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