Can I take my medical prerequisite classes at a community college?

What if I’m about to earn my Bachelor’s from John Jay College but decided to switch routes and become a doctor? I have a 3.7 GPA. I do not want to go back to John Jay to complete my prerequisite classes, I was hoping I’d take them at a community college where it’s a lot cheaper.

Not if you want to actually get into medical school.


@WayOutWestMom can explain better.

But is there a four year college where you can take these courses? That would be a better plan.

First of all, not all the pre-reqs required for med school will be offered at a community college. Biochem isn’t, for example.

While it’s more acceptable for those who have already earned a bachelor’s degree to do some/most of their basic pre-reqs at a CC, it’s not ideal. CC coursework is considered to be less competitive and less rigorous than coursework taken at a 4 year college. A higher than median MCAT score can help offset the CC coursework, but there are no guarantees that you’ll score very high on the MCAT. (The median MCAT nationally for all accepted applicants is already at or above the 85th percentile, and for many NYC area med schools, it’s above the 95th percentile. Plus score creep is real. Every year the median MCAT score for accepted students goes up.)

Additionally you’ll need at least 2 LORs from BCPM professors who have taught you in a class to apply to med school. Letters from CC instructors aren’t acceptable.

You could take some of your pre-reqs at a CC–physics 1&2, gen chem 1&2, intro bio 1&2, sociology, psychology-- but you really need to take ochem 1 &2, stats and biochem at a 4 year college. And while you’re taking those, add genetics and/or A&P to supplement the CC bio classes to make yourself a truly competitive applicant.

And as @thumper1 suggested, you don’t need to take your pre-reqs at the college where you earned your degree. Any 4 year college will do. You can enroll as non degree seeking student and go part time.


Look up post bacc programs. Goucher and Georgetown have them, many more schools…Google the school and then “post bacc.” Yes it costs.

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There are many ways to skin the proverbial cat. Generally, speaking CC to 4 yr is seen as acceptable. A LIMITED (2-3 classes max) number of GPA repair work at a CC is acceptable. CC is also acceptable if you are a non-traditional that is re-taking some classes that was taken years ago to freshen things up. What is absolutely not acceptable is to take classes at CC to avoid rigorous weed-out classes.

Your best bet might well be the cheapest and nearest to your home 4 year school where you can commute and study part-time as a self-directed post-bacc student.

Another option to explore is post-BACC programs with assured admission. Wake Forest used to have one for URM students. These are not cheap and cost about the same as a year of med school.

You don’t have to enroll in a post Bacc program to get these courses done (they are pricey). You can create your own post bacc program by taking these prerequisite courses at a four year college…not as a matriculated student. That is possible in many places.

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Re: attending college as a non degree-seeking or non-matriculated student

Be aware that students who are not formally enrolled in a degree/certificate granting program are ineligible for federal student loans. If you choose this route, be prepared to pay for your classes out of pocket.

One idea if your finances are tight–university employees typically get free tuition for a limited number of classes every semester.

How many pre-med courses do you need to take? You might be able to take a few of the entry-level courses at a cc, but the best plan would be, as noted above, to take the requirements at the closest state university(assuming you’d get in-state tuition).