Is a strong Biology background a pre-requisite for O Chem/O Chem II?

It appears that “Cells and Proteins” is just the last half of the Biology sequence. Any time you get off normal sequence you need to make sure the followup courses are offered when you expect to be taking them.

Yes, I forgot to put Biology in front of Cells and Proteins.
The school has it in this order: Biology (Genes, Evolution and Ecology) - Fall 2014.
Biology (Cells and Proteins): Junior Fall (which will be Fall 2017 for my D).

I was wondering if you and other CC folks can give your opinion on this:

Premed advisor had said DO NOT take premed classes at a community college. But given that Biology is a lower level premed required class, and not O Chem I, II or Biochem, do you think Medical School’s Admin won’t be to hard on her application if she’ll take Biology (Genes & Evolution) at a community college?

I know other criteria go into her application: GPA, MCAT etc… and not just where did you take your first Biology class.


I wouldn’t risk it (CC) unless it is the only feasible option.
Biology is a cakewalk. If she’s had AP Biology she should be in good shape.
What does she do in the laboratory with cells?

Amy time you get off normal sequence you need to make sure the followup courses are offered when you expect to be taking them.

Thank You for that JustOneDad.
I checked and Biology (Genes and Evolution) are offered both semesters, fall and spring. I guess because this is a research school so there are a lot of Bio majors.

Will she have taken Cells and Proteins by the time of the MCAT?

What does she do in the laboratory with cells?

She assisted MSTP students with their research…
She set up their experiments and did things that required her to use SDS-PAGE, Western Blots, Imuno-Cyto-Chemistry Methods, splitting cells and more things that are over my head.

I am not a Biology person so I am just going by what I was told. If I said something that didn’t make sense, please forgive me.


Will he have taken Cells & Proteins by the time of the MCAT?

Yes, Cells and Proteins is Fall Junior year, which is 2016… I wrote the wrong year earlier.
She is from the class of 2018. So MCAT test will be during spring 2017 for her.

Oh yeah, you got it right.



So what happened? Did she take the exam? Did she get a 5? If so, why take high school bio again? Take something more interesting, e.g. immunology, cell, genetics, physio, anatomy, etc.

She didn’t take the College Board’s AP exam. We were told that medical schools do not want you to use AP credits for premed classes.


That’s too bad. You were told wrong. :-w

You don’t need any biology for organic chemistry, unless your daughter’s school lists lists it as a prerequisite for some reason.

It’s generally recommend not to take premed courses at a community college because it’s often seen as an easier course than taking it at a 4-year university, regardless of if that’s actually true or not. It’s safer to take it at her 4-year university if she is able to just to take that worry off the table. If she chooses the take intro bio at the community college, I’d recommend she take more advanced bio classes at her university to demonstrate that she is able to do well in more difficult biology classes at her university and to counteract any possible negative perceptions. Since medical school admissions are already so hyper competitive, the thinking is often that it’s just not a risk worth taking if she can avoid it.

While many medical schools have restrictions on what AP credits you can use (if you can use any at all), more advanced courses are accepted in place of the intro versions. Many premed students take more advanced biology courses regardless because of their major or just out of interest, so in the case of AP Biology, this is often not a cause of concern for most premed majors. She could have taken the AP test and then taken more advanced biology classes at her school. There’s nothing you can do about it now, but it’s always good to know things.

Thank You @baktrax

“”“She didn’t take the College Board’s AP exam. We were told that medical schools do not want you to use AP credits for premed classes. “””

Oh good heavens. I wish that people who gave such stupid advice understood what med schools want and don’t want.

For non-premeds, do you really need Biology (Genes, Evolution & Ecology) to understand Cells & Proteins?

My D is doing BME and to meet her Natural Science requirements, she must take a Biology class (any class from 100 level to 400 level). Since BME courses have a lot of biology and medical applications, is it wise just to skip Genes and Evolution & Ecology, and go straight to Cells & Proteins?

One less class to take.

By the way, she has decided to drop pre-med for now and concentrate on BME.

Without knowing the actual content of these classes no one can give you a real answer. Certainly genes and evolution are important for cells and proteins if we’re just talking in generalities…

Most courses in Organic Chemistry II will spend a little time talking about the chemistry of structure and bonding for the macromolecules (fats, proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids) at the end of the class (some classes skip the topic all together since there are more important concepts to cover that take up most of the time). But honestly, the amount of background information you’ll need is probably referenced in the opening paragraphs of the chapter or can be found on Wikipedia in five minutes. I have yet to see a school require biology to complete an organic chemistry course.

Regarding @LanaHere question. Schools are typically very good at listing and enforcing prerequisites to protect students. If there’s no prereq then I would say it really comes down to your daughter’s familiarity with the content. Has she taken a biology course in high school? That would cover most, if not all, of the concepts being covered and beyond that, the specifics can always be reviewed/learned. If your D is a go-getter then there is no reason why any gaps she encounters during the class can’t be filled in with information she finds online, in her textbook and from classmates. Introductory biology content really has not changed in the last 20 years - everything covered in a typical intro bio course has study materials and concept review littered across the internet.