Community College Credit

<p>Hi :)</p>

<p>I was just wondering if taking community college classes would be beneficial for pre-med route for college. I know only certain colleges take certain credit, but was just wondering if this would be something to take advantage of. I am currently looking at schools in Illinois and I am a junior. I would be taking classes if the summer and possibly senior year if this option is beneficial. Has anyone gone through this, thoughts, etc.</p>

<p>Thanks :)</p>


<p>Are you looking for a admission boost for admission to a 4 year college by taking courses at a CC while still in high school? Or are you wondering if it’s an option to take your pre-med requirements at a CC while still in high school?</p>

<p>If it’s the first–go ahead and take some CC courses. It will help demonstrate to colleges that you’re capable of handling college level work. You may even get some advanced standing in some of your classes or fulfill requirements like freshman writing.</p>

<p>If it’s the second, you’re wasting your time. Medical school look very UNfavorably at pre-reqs taken at community colleges. Even more so if taken while still in high school. </p>

<p>I would strongly recommend against taking ANY science classes at your CC, though it would be fine if you took some gen ed courses (English, calculus, etc). </p>

<p>If you have time this summer, instead of going to a CC, you might be better served by finding a doctor you can shadow or doing some volunteer work at your local hospital or other medical facility–like a nursing home or hospice care center.</p>


<p>Thanks for replying. I was looking into community college for either a) get some possible pre-reqs out of the way or b) just to gain some experience. I know many people say do not take any “pre-med” courses at a CC, but why? How would I know what courses would count towards certain colleges, is their a list? or is their a way to find out from a certian college?</p>

<p>Has anyone done this experience - kristin, BDM, etc.?</p>

<p>My kid had (I think) 36 hours of CC credit (dual credit). Helped her AMCAS and TMDSAS GPA. That’s about it. Her UG accepted none of it. She might have met some English requirements (took Brit Lit at CC) at some med schools (but she had AP credit that her college did accept and one college writing course, too so I’m not for sure). </p>

<p>Each college has their own rules. Each med school has their own rules. </p>

<p>As to why it is so, well…they want you to take your pre-req’s at your 4 year school and they make the rules. Simple as that.</p>

<p>I know I’m going to take Mandarin at mine a few summers, but nothing beyond that. I only recommend taking classes that you are interested in but otherwise would not have been able to fit into your schedule. All your pre recs should be met at your undergrad or another respectable undergraduate institution (lots of Northwestern students used to take orgo at HArvard, for example). If you take something like orgo at a CC, it will look as though you were attempting to take the easy way out and attempting to save your GPA. I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t like to know that my doctor avoided necessary challenges in order to get into med school. Just sayin’.</p>

<p>Med schools require the following coursework </p>

<p>2 semesters of general chemistry w/labs
2 semesters of organic chemistry w/labs
2 semesters of introductory biology w/ labs
2 semesters of introductory physics w/labs
1 semester of calculus 1
1 semester statistics
plus freshman writing</p>

<p>That’s it.</p>

<p>Some schools may also require any or all of following: biochemistry, an upper level English class or upper level writing intensive class, 2 or more upper level humanities classes, introductory psychology.</p>

<p>The only pre-reqs from the first list you should consider taking at a CC are English, stats and Calc 1. Med schools want to see how you’ll “stack up” academically in the sciences against your peers at a 4 year college. Whether true or not, med school admission committees perceive CC science courses as being less rigorous than those taken at 4 year colleges.</p>

<p>As for which CC (or AP) credits will be accepted by which college-- there is no single list for that anywhere. Every school will have its own policies. In some cases, every department within a college will have its own policies. You’ll need to do your own research for that. Google is your friend! </p>

<p>I’ll repeat my earlier advice, if you want to get a running start at CC, go for it. Just don’t take your science requirements there. </p>

<p>(BTW if you’re thinking that you’ll take Intro Bio at your CC, then retake it at your 4 year school and dominate that class, check the policies at your future college carefully. Some schools will not allow you to re-take classes you already have credit for.) </p>

<p>Also you’re required to provide transcripts for ALL college classes you’ve taken when applying to med school so you can’t take a class at a CC and have it “not count” in your GPA for med school admissions. Med schools want records of everything you’ve ever taken.</p>

<p>^^according to msar, only 20 med schools require Calc; 33 require other College Mathematics; 85 require English/writing; 93 require Bio. Nearly all require Chem & Physics. (The low math requirement was a big surprise to me…)</p>

<p>Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t colleges require pre-reqs such as your english, math, history etc, and then your major classes? Or am I wrong on this? </p>

<p>So say for example I want to take a history class or math class at a local CC during the summer or during my senior year and then get accepted to a 4 year university, would this be okay? I am still confused on how this works.</p>

<p>I know that med schools look for the following ^(wayoutwestmom) for your major or classes for “pre-med” for med school, and that they shouldnt be taken at a CC for med schools look down upon this. </p>

<p>All in all, it comes down to, take CC classes if they apply to your interest, but take your pre-reqs/major requirements at your 4 year university. Am I correct?</p>

<p>Sorry for the confusion, but beginning this college process has come up with some questions. Hoping to major in either bio/chem/or biochemistry, really interested in genetics for pre-med.</p>

<p>If you want to take a history or math class at a CC over the summer, that’s fine. But don’t take your sciences there. </p>

<p>However, any and all coursework that you do at a CC WILL be counted in your GPA for medical school admissions and you must provide an official transcript from the CC to AMCAS when you’re preparing your admission file. (So no “free passes” re: grades. Make sure you do well at the CC.)</p>

<p>Your college degree program and your pre-med requirements may or may not line up. It depends upon your school and your major. You can be a history or astrophysics or dance major and still be a “pre-med”. You don’t have to major in biology or chemistry–although many pre-meds do simply because there is a lot of overlap between what those majors require as graduation requirements and what med schools expect their applicants to have.</p>

<p>So if you want to take a CC class over the summer, go ahead. The credits you earn may or may not apply towards your major and they may or may not be counted toward your graduation requirements. As I said, policies vary widely from college to college. (And as curm indicated up thread, it’s really not uncommon for ambitious students to graduate with excess credits from APs, CC classes and co-enrollment. Both my kids have or will have excess credits on their transcripts at graduation.)</p>

<p>^^concur with taking General Elective courses during summer. BUT, summer courses should not be taken so that one can take a lighter load during the regular year. (Goes back to the rigorous schedule thing that undergraduate admissions looks for.)</p>

<p>yes definitely do it</p>

<p>“^^according to msar, only 20 med schools require Calc; 33 require other College Mathematics;”</p>

<p>When I applied to medical school in 1995 (U.S. LCME accredited allopathic medical schools only) I do not think there were any U.S. medical schools that required Calculus and only a few that even required a college Math class. Since my undergraduate degree was in Astrophysics it would not have made any difference to me since I had at least five semesters of Calculus. The only other person in my medical school class who knew Calculus as far as I know was a Math major who had been working as an actuary for a number of years before applying to medical school.</p>

<p>Calculus was not used in any of my medical school classes or clinical rotations. It was not even used during residency and I did my residency in Nuclear Medicine. I have never had to use Calculus as a medical practitioner. The fact is that physicians will often make dozens of calculations per day but the level of mathematics required to do them is basically high school Algebra.</p>

<p>WOWMom, with all due respect you’re somewhat misinformed with regard to both pre-reqs and perpetuating a bias against cc that simply doesn’t exist in the only place that actually matters which is admissions. </p>

<p>The pre-reqs for most US allo/osteo schools are:</p>

<p>2 semesters of general chemistry w/labs
2 semesters of organic chemistry w/labs
2 semesters of introductory biology w/ labs
2 semesters of introductory physics w/labs</p>

<p>Very few medical schools require calculus or calc-based physics nor is calculus required for the MCAT, the ones that do require it are typically the research powerhouses like Harvard. None that I’m aware of require any of the other courses you’ve listed, most of which will be ug requirements anyway.</p>

<p>The bias that exists against cc in general and pre-med pre-req’s taken at cc seems to be exclusively limited to those who are in no way involved in admissions. </p>

<p>It is 100% false that adcoms care where you take your pre-reqs and more and more people are taking them at cc for financial and other reasons. Far more critical will be your overall undergrad GPA and your MCAT. Period. </p>

<p>ALL medical school applications are submitted through AMCAS or AACOM. I’m told that many med schools initially filter applications based solely on these two numbers, your application will be rejected sight unseen if you do not meet their minimum score requirements but I don’t know if this is actually true. </p>

<p>Beyond that, it cannot be stressed enough that med school admissions are holistic, your EC’s and shadowing experience/clinical exposure are critical as is the interview. While an interview will not make or break an undergrad application, it will absolutely make or break a med school application. The holistic nature of med school admissions, like that of university admissions, is one that continually leaves applicants with stellar stats confounded as to why they have been rejected when they appear perfect on paper while the “lesser” applicant is accepted. Personally, I think the lack of critical thinking ability this indicates speaks for itself but…whatev. </p>

<p>That said, in much the same way that all universities are not created equal, all ccs are not created equal. For example, my sister attends University of New Mexico in Taos. She is limited in the courses available due to the lack of qualified professors in a small community and she feels that the teaching quality is very unpredictable. I attended cc in Los Angeles where classes were routinely taught by professors from UCLA/USC/CSU. My physics professor was a Phd and former Berkeley prof, one algebra professor was a renowned statistician and current USC professor (probably one of the worst teachers I’ve ever had btw). </p>

<p>Over the course of 3 years at cc, I’ve known many students who’ve transferred to top universities and 6 who have been admitted to medical school with some or all pre-reqs taken at cc, 1 accepted to USC medical with a BA in communications from Idaho state and ALL pre-reqs taken at community college.</p>

<p>There is some great information on CC, but there are far more accurate sources for pre-med/med school information such as AAMC, AACOM, and the student-doctor network website.</p>

<p><a href=“[/url]”>;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;

<p>[AACOM</a> Home](<a href=“]AACOM”></p>

<p>[Student</a> Doctor Network Forums | An educational community for students and doctors spanning all the health professions.](<a href=“http://■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■/index.php]Student”>Student Doctor Network Communities | Student Doctor Network)</p>

<p>It really doesn’t matter who teaches your CC classes. Medical school don’t care if you are getting a great education. They want you to demonstrate that you are smart. Most CC courses are easy. It’s as simple as that. The competition isn’t nearly as tough as at a university. Even if your CC is an exception, do you really think medical schools are going to know or care? </p>

<p>Look, you can take your prereq’s at your CC. That’s fine. I understand that for many 4-year colleges in California, you must have taken a substantial number of science courses before you can transfer. But, you really should be taking upper div science courses at the 4-year college after you transfer. It’s fine if you take gen chem at a CC. Take an analytical chem class at the university after you transfer. It’s fine if you take intro bio at a CC. Take 2-3 bio courses at the university after you transfer. </p>

<p>It’s less about proving that you’ve had a good education and more about proving that you are better than the competition. Unfortunately, the competition just isn’t as great at a CC.</p>


<p>If you ever matriculate to grad school, you’ll quickly understand how prestige-conscious academics are…sure, Cal State xx may use the same physics text as Harvard (and MIT), but no grad school cares; they much prefer a UC degree over a Cal State. (btw: our HS uses the same text in AP Physics.)</p>

<p>I do not see the relevance of your high school physics text or grad school admissions with regard to whether or not someone should take some/all med school pre-reqs at cc. </p>

<p>I’m married to an MD/Phd and reasonably familiar with the finer points of academia and the associated culture. The UCs are safety schools for California cc students, at worst I’ll be applying from Berkeley or UCLA. If a UC student has an advantage over a CSU student when applying to grad school, it will have far more to do with the access they’ve had to undergrad research and opportunity to establish a relationship with a prof/profs rather than the perception of the brand name on their degree.</p>

<p>FL. You may be a 38 year old California CC student and may be married to an MD/PhD. but you still have a lot to learn about transfers to schools like MIT from a Calfornia community college and, more to the point of this forum, med school admissions.</p>

<p>I do understand your need to validate your own situation (non-trad and a CC student looking to transfer to MIT and then attend med school). It’s a natural response. Fight it. It’s not serving you very well. </p>

<p>But you’re wrong. Which is a problem. But the bigger problem may be the defensive attitude you are copping here. </p>


:confused: Yeah, right. MIT just takes bunches of them. I am aware you can get to a UC from a California CC. I’d do that. But other top or “elite” schools are still a very high reach for any CC student. To say otherwise is just…silly. </p>

<p>For med school admissions: </p>

<p>Your age is not an advantage. (It may not be a disadvantage at some schools.)
You are from California. (Even in-state med schools are tough for Cali applicants.)
You went to CC. (Prove yourself in a good 4-year.) </p>

<p>These simply cannot be viewed as “positives” in med school admissions. </p>

<p>Are your negatives (or non-positives) insurmountable? I don’t think they have to be. But you need to get a firmer grip on the reality of your situation. You are in a hole and telling yourself you are not , well…it’s just not helpful. </p>

<p>And as far as the general quality of advice given here compared to the general quality of advice given on sdn? I would agree that there is no comparison. And we are better-looking, too. :wink: </p>

<p>I do wish you good luck in your journey and applaud your initiative. </p>

<p>1) Jettison the defensive 'tude.
2) Go to a good 4-year. I’d go to the best one I could afford (and that met my family situation) as UG rep is an admissions factor.<br>
3) Get involved immediately with your EC’s and prof’s at your 4 year.
4) Kill the MCAT.
5) Apply very broadly to allo and DO schools.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>I’m not defensive at all. My interest in MIT is/was speculative, for a variety of reasons it would not be a practical school for me at this point for undergrad even were I to gain admission and MIT is a bit of a singular case. Elite schools are very accepting of qualified non-trad and cc transfers and given the the unparalleled financial aid and access to resources at those schools, qualified non-trads and cc students should not be discouraged from applying based upon internet snobbery. In particular students from California, who have nothing to lose given that they already have guaranteed admission to excellent universities. </p>

<p>I did not imply that my husband’s profession reflects on my performance, it does however, give me relevant insight as well as exposure and access to the environment and people in it. As it pertains to admissions, this has been exceptionally helpful in how I’ve determined where to apply, what to present and how to present it and my subsequent chances. It is also helpful in filtering information on the interwebz where personal opinions and beliefs are presented as unequivocal truths.</p>

<p>Your age is not an advantage. (It may not be a disadvantage at some schools.)</p>

<p>Again, med school, and elite schools for that most part approach admissions holistically. Your belief, and it’s a popular one, that being non-trad is any kind of disadvantage in admissions is unsupported. I’m not suggesting that non-trad status itself is an advantage, however combined with great stats, ECs, recs, and relevant work experience it has it has only helped to garner interest. Students applying to a competitive ug without these will be at a disadvantage regardless of age. Students of any age applying to med school without them are delusional.</p>

<p>You are from California. (Even in-state med schools are tough for Cali applicants.)</p>

<p>Med school admissions are tough period. Residency is an advantage in a few states which does not equate to a disadvantage in others. The vast majority of med students will not be dumb enough to apply exclusively to schools in their state of residency given the unpredictable and competitive nature of admissions.</p>

<p>You went to CC. (Prove yourself in a good 4-year.) </p>

<p>I’ve attended both. There are pros and cons at both, my stats speak for themselves. On the average, about 20k cc students transfer into the UC system annually where they statistically perform on par with or above their counterparts who took the traditional route. Of the handful of transfers accepted to Stanford each year, typically half are cc transfers.</p>



<p>And what is your basis for making this statement? The fact some elite schools don’t accept transfers at all or the fact most elite schools have minuscule transfer acceptance rates?</p>



<p>And how many of your husbands MD/PhD buddies or co-workers have attended community college?</p>



<p>Med schools love students who have a few years of post-college experience. Not students who are 38. Unfortunately, it’s a biological fact that when you get up there in age, you will have significant difficulty learning new things. No medical school is going to come out and tell you that you were rejected because you’re 38. But, you can bet that some medical schools will question your ability to get through the coursework given your age and your external responsibilities. </p>



<p>You’d be surprised. Being from California is a double-edged sword. The medical schools in California are difficult to get into and the out-of-state medical schools assume you’ll just go back to California for med school. Hence, no-win situation. You have to spend significant effort convincing out-of-state schools that you’d actually be willing to go out-of-state. I know this because I was asked many times during my med school interviews why I would give up the beautiful weather in CA to go to [insert colder state here].</p>



<p>Do you have proof for this? I attended a college that took in a significant amount of transfers each year and according to someone in the admissions office, the transfers did not perform as well as the traditional students. I would be interested to see data confirming your statements.</p>



<p>If Stanford accepts 20 students out of 1500 applicants (which is true by the way) and 10 of them are from a community college, do you really think your chances for Stanford are good? If this is how you interpret data, this might explain some of your other views.</p>

<p>No one is trying to be mean here. Everyone is trying to be realistic. Yes, your age will be a problem. Yes, racking up coursework at a community college is a problem. You will need to take many science courses at a 4-year university to prove that your CC GPA wasn’t a fluke. That’s just the reality of medical school admissions. If you are thinking that you won’t be at a disadvantage, you are really going to be in a shock come application time.</p>


<p>One med program that loves, loves non-trads is the Berkeley-UCSF program. It was designed for non-trads from the get-go. But like the others, I highly recommend taking upper division science courses at your four-year school to validate your juco grades.</p>

<p>In general, all med schools love applicants who are not a college senior, i.e., a couple of years or living in the real world. But professional schools have been age-biased, forever. As a 38 year-old, you might enter med school at what, 40/41? Add in four years of med, several years of residency, several years of specialty (if not FP), and you actually start to practice at age xx. Adcoms have to think long and hard about spending their training dollars for someone with such a short work span. It is only their human nature. </p>

<p>And, yes, UC does boast that juco transfers do as well, if not better, gpa-wise, than those who enrolled as Frosh. But the trouble with that comparison, any AP Stats student can figure out. (Hint: average gpa for ALL third and fourth years is higher than Frosh-Soph gpa. Hint 2: UC is comparing two years of grades for transfers, which are primarily self-selected major courses, and four years for those who enrolled as Frosh…)</p>



<p>We’ll have to agree to disagree. IMO, a Cal State degree that accepts anyone with a C+ average who is breathing is not viewed the same as a UC that rejects 4.0’s each and every year.</p>

<p>btw: don’t forget that some of those juco transfers to Stanford may be hooked candidates, including an athlete or two. :)</p>