Would a Associate in Science in Physics degree from my community college benefit me for medical school? How so?

Good morning, everyone

After my Spring 2021 semester is over, I’m going into the Physics program for AS.

Most of my old courses from my General Studies degree can transfer to my current new degree, I won’t have to retake those courses again.

That will leave me 10 courses to finish in 1 year or more since I’m a full-time student and have lots of free time.

How would these courses for a Physics in AS benefit a student who is thinking of maybe pursuing an Anesthesiologist path?

Calculus & Analytic Geometry 1
Calculus & Analytic Geometry 2
Calculus & Analytic Geometry 3
Differential Equations
Linear Algebra
Physics I: Mechanics & Wave Motion
Physics II: Electricity & Magnetism
Physics III: Heat light & Modern Physics
General Zoology
Introduction To Literature

For literature and zoology are mandatory to take because they fall under humanities and life sciences requirements.

What are you’re opinion?


You are putting the cart before the horse. You need to get accepted to medical school first…then complete that, along with all the STEP tests required. Then you apply for residencies. Right now, you don’t even know if you will get accepted to medical school…Nevermind match to a residency in anesthesiology.

@WayOutWestMom are these courses on the right track for a prospective medical school student!

Confused. Are you on track for a Bachelor’s degree? If not, that’s what you need to do. Does your community college have an academic advisor who can sit with your transcript and help you get a BS in the quickest amount of time?

If you are just now finishing an Associates degree- you STILL need to sit with an advisor and figure out how to cover off the requirements to transfer into a Bachelor’s program.

The math and physics courses will count toward typical pre-med course requirements in those areas, although some medical schools will look down on them because they were taken at a community college. Of course, all courses and grades count toward pre-med GPA calculation, and all math and science courses and grades count toward pre-med science GPA calculation.

It is way too early to think of medical specialties. You first have to get into a medical school, which is very difficult.

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People don’t go from community college to medical school. If money is the issue, finish your gen eds and AS in anything, transfer to your flagship state U (assuming you got straight A’s in community college), or another 4 year college, and take your premed classes, along with whatever major you think you can do best in. You’re probably going to have to retake at the U your first year Bio, Gen Chem, and Physics, with labs, if you did them at the community college. Also do some kind of extracurricular work or activity that exposes you to clinical medicine. And study as hard as you can for the MCAT.

That’s the path into med school. It’s tough. An alternative path to doing anesthesia “Lite” is to switch into nursing, and then become a nurse anesthetist.

From what I understand, repeating college courses is frowned upon by medical schools; taking upper level courses in those subject areas at a four year school is likely a better idea to “validate” performance in community college course work.

Some medical schools accept prerequisite courses taken at community colleges.

Re-taking a course is not generally viewed well by medical schools. The student would need to take higher level courses…but might be taking those as part of his major anyway.

I’m sure @WayOutWestMom will chime in at some point to clarify some of this.

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That’s true. For now, I have my mindset on another Associate degree in Science. If I remember correctly a student needs to take an entrance exam and pursue the required courses for Pre/Med school.

I’m thinking of going into a Bachelor’s soon right after I’m done with community college.

Thanks for the information.

I’ll think about it. I wasn’t saying I want to jump from community college to med school, a student least needs to have a bachelor’s.

To apply to medical school, you will be required to take the MCAT. I wouldn’t exactly call it an “entrance exam”. It’s more like a SAT subject test on steroids with content related to what you need to know to be successful in medical school.

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Same for nursing a student needs to take the TEAS in order to enter nursing. These medical healthcare fields are very competitive and tough. But worth it :slight_smile:

I don’t know what you have taken already. But a degree at a community college is not a stepping stone into medical school. And if it’s not in an RN program at the community college, it’s not a step into nursing, either. Becoming a nurse anesthetist is challenging, but nowhere near as challenging as becoming a physician. If you are intent upon medical school, I suggest that you do nothing more than your “gen eds” at the community college, if even that. The difference between the science classes with labs that are required for med school when taken at a good 4 yr college vs a community college is immense, and the med schools know it. You don’t need upper level science classes for med school, although if you want them, sure, go ahead and take them. You need a year of Bio, Physics, Gen Chem, and Org Chem, all with lab. You need English comp or its equivalent, and you might need Calc or Stat. You need a bachelor’s degree in anything you want. You need a very high GPA. You need a stellar score on the MCAT. And you need some kind of clinical experience, either paid or volunteer, that demonstrates true interest and commitment.

If you are intent upon medicine or nursing, spending an extra year at the community college in order to get an AS in Physics will NOT help you toward your goal. You should apply to transfer to a 4 yr school - best would be your flagship state U, if they will take you, and next best is a 4 year college, probably one of your state’s public 4 yr colleges, because these are the schools most likely to accept the gen ed classes you’ve done at community college.

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Sorry for the late response. One of my daughters earned a BS physics & BS mathematics (double major) and later went to med school. A physics degree will NOT help you get into med school nor will it give you a leg up on becoming an anesthesiologist.

Med schools may or may not accept community college courses as meeting entrance requirements. (Policies vary.) But nearly all med school strongly recommend /require that students take additional upper level coursework in the same department to supplement CC coursework. This mean you’ll be taking engineering physics (calc based classical physics)or UL physics major physics classes when you get to your 4 year. If you plan on majoring in physics–that’s fine, but if you’re not, then that’s 2 class slots you won’t have to take other classes that may be more relevant toward a med school application.

And re-taking classes you’ve already taken–that’s not a good look for a med school applicants. Plus if you earn less than an A in the retake–that will hurt your chances for a med school admission.


Thanks for the information this forum is very helpful :slight_smile:

What if I decided I want to pursue a bachelor’s in pre-dentistry and most courses from the AS degree can transfer to the Pre-Dentistry degree at UIC.

One example is I finished English 101 and 102 which can transfer to a Pre-Dentistry degree but I would be required to take Biochemistry.

There is such thing as a “pre-dentistry” degree at UIC.

Pre-dent students, like re-meds, can major in any field so long as they complete the required pre-requisite classes for admission.


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First things first: you cannot complete all these courses in a year because they’re sequential. You must take calculus 1 before you can take calculus 2 and physics I before you can take Physics II, so those are the only 2 courses you could take each semester in CC along with General Zoology and Introduction to Literature.
Second: are you in CC right now? As a college student or as a dual enrolled HS student?
If so, what classes have you already taken?
What’s your GPA?

I’d love to talk about this :slight_smile:

My community college has sequenced rules as well.

These sequences can go many ways there are multiple options.

If a student wants to take Calc 1 they need at least Pre-Calc
or you can take two courses in separate semesters College Algebra than Plane Trigonometry

Which I took in summer 2020 Introductory Statistics and College Algebra.

For Fall 2020 Plane Trigonometry but now spring 2021 I’m taking Calc 1 and Pre-Calc

For Physics 1, you can take Calc 1 together with it but you need to pass Pre-Calc or College Algebra and Plane Trigonometry.

For Calc 2 you need to pass Calc 1.

For to take Calc 3, Linear Algebra, and Differential Equations you need to pass Calc 2 which’s the prerequisite for those courses. You can take 3 of them at the same semester if a student can handle those. I’ve spoken to some professors most of them only have 10 questions for each course and less work.

General Chemistry 1 you need Basic Chemistry 1 which I passed in Fall 2020.

Chemistry has strict sequence rules. Basic Chem 1, Gen Chem 1, Gen Chem 2, Organic Chem 1, and Organic Chem 2 there’s no skipping between those courses those must be taken in that order.

To take Physics 2 you need to have passed Physics 1 and Calc 1.

To take Physics 3 all you need is Physics 1 or you can take Physics 2 and 3 together if you wanted.

All higher courses at my community college require a pass in English 101 or else no student can go up in any courses I had to take General Math and English 101 in order to finish Basic Chemistry 1. Such harsh restriction they have, it’s all colleges, but oh well :slight_smile:

Most courses I am eligible now due to 5 semesters I’ve done for my general studies degree :slight_smile:

Go back to my other thread I listed the college courses I have taken.


Here is my course plan; I know what I’m getting into, this plan is very extreme and tiring. Summer is very fast-paced and 8 weeks.

Course College Plan

Physics, Associate in Science

Summer 2021

Physics 235 Engineering Physics I: Mechanics & Wave Motion - 5 CH

Math 208 Calculus & Analytic Geometry II - 5 CH

CHEM 201 General Chemistry I - 5 CH

Fall 2021

Math 209 Calculus & Analytic Geometry III - 5 CH

Math 210 Differential Equations - 3 CH

Math 212 Linear Algebra - 3 CH

Physics 236 Engineering Physics II: Electricity & Magnetism - 5 CH

Spring 2022

Physics 237 Engineering Physics III: Heat light & Modern Physics - 5 CH

Summer 2022

Zoology 211 General Zoology – 4 CH

Literature 110 Introduction To Literature - 3 CH

[quote=“WayOutWestMom, post:20, topic:3504043, full:true”]
For to take Calc 3, Linear Algebra, and Differential Equations you need to pass Calc 2 which’s the prerequisite for those courses. You can take 3 of them at the same semester if a student can handle those. I’ve spoken to some professors most of them only have 10 questions for each course and less work.[/quote]

I wouldn’t count on the number of problems for a class as an indicator of the difficulty of the material or class. My SIL is a mathematician and there are some math problems that can take years (or a lifetime) to solve.

Looking at your other thread, it appears you really haven’t taken many college level courses. Most of your classes appear to be pre-college level classes (like basic chemistry, college algebra, trig, etc) It appears to me that only Calc 1 and your English classes (and maybe psych and soc) will transfer credit toward a BS science degree at a 4 year college.

You need to consult with the transfer specialist at your CC to see which courses will transfer to a 4 year college.