Pre-Med Q&ACategory: Scheduling and ClassesPhysics 2 at Community College?
AvatarJordan Chung asked 4 years ago

Do Med schools care if I get community college credit for physics? I heard some don’t accept it. Do you know any that don’t? Will it also hurt my application? I’m thinking about taking physics at my local cc for the summer because it is far more convenient/close/cheaper, but I don’t want to limit my med school choices in the future. I have no option to take the class at UM, so I’m just deciding between a cc or a 4 year college for summer.

2 Answers
AvatarLindsay answered 4 years ago

Hi Jordan,
In general, medical schools prefer that you take all of your pre-med courses at your 4-year institution. However, we’ve heard from several medical schools that if you need to take one of your pre-med courses at another university or community college, physics is the class they least mind you take elsewhere. As long as you’re taking all of your other pre-med classes here and doing well in them, it shouldn’t hurt your application to take physics elsewhere. Plus, medical schools aren’t so oblivious; they are aware that summer classes at a university can be very expensive, especially if you are an out of state student.
In terms of whether or not to take physics at a university or community college… It kind of depends. I think you should focus more on:

  1. Will the credit transfer? If so, as what? (UMICH Transfer Credit Equivalency Website)
  2. Does their syllabus cover the material you will need to know about physics for the MCAT and for the competencies some medical schools list as requirements?
  3. Does the community college or university have a reputation for teaching a quality physics course? (Again, an “easy” course might give you an A, but may fail to prepare you for the MCAT/medical school and actually be a waste of your time)

I assume the community college will be cheaper for you than your local university, but I would most likely recommend you take physics at your local 4-year institution since it is more likely to teach high quality physics and prepare you well for future ways you will need to present your mastery of the material. Northwestern’s website states, “Though coursework completed at a junior or community college would be considered, we strongly recommend that the required pre-med courses be completed at a regular 4-year college or university, as this should make your application more competitive.” However, it isn’t the end of the world if you have to take physics at your community college as long as the course prepares you well AND you have demonstrated an ability to do rigorous coursework at UMich through other classes (as seen through your grades in pre-med classes here).
Hope this helps!
Lindsay (Co-Pres)

AvatarLindsay answered 4 years ago

In contrast to Northwestern, UC Davis states that they want their prospective medical students to take “[t]he following prerequisite courses at a U.S. accredited college or university (including community colleges).” Thus, it might be helpful to choose a few schools you’re most interested in applying to and checking out their websites for specific for/against classes being taken at community colleges.
Good luck!

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