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Biochem at Community College

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Hey! I have read a few forums concerning my topic but have not found anything directly related, therefore I decided to start my own forum. So I went to community college my freshman year and transferred to a state school for my sophomore year (currently in first semester). The pre reqs I took at cc were general bio 1 and 2 with labs and inorganic chem 1 and 2 with labs.  I have researched a few PA programs around me and out of the 9 that I plan on applying to only 1 requires Orgo 1. Therefore I am taking that now with lab and working really hard to get an A to show an upward trend since I got C's in inorganic chem 1 and 2 at my cc. I struggle heavily with chemistry but am amazing at biology (all A's so far) so I'm trying to work on my chem courses. For the schools I am applying to a lot of them don't require either orgo like I said, but most do require biochem 1. I was planning on finishing orgo 1 this semester and taking biochem 1 either in the spring or next fall. The problem is my school requires orgo 2 as a pre req to take biochem 1. I emailed the chem chair explaining my situation and asking if the orgo 2 pre req could be waived and she completely refused saying orgo 2 is necessary to understand biochem. I already struggle with chemistry and do not want to have to take a course that is extremely difficult if none of my pa programs require it and I also don't need it to graduate and get my bachelor's. My chairperson told me to take biochem at a community college if I really did not want to take orgo 2. However, I am aware it looks bad to go from a CC to a 4 year and then take pre reqs at the cc during the summer. Also at the cc it would be a lower level biochem 2000 level and at my college it's 4000 level. So my question is do I let my GPA suffer even more and take orgo 2 just so i can take biochem 1 at my school, or do I take all my remaining pre reqs at my school and then take biochem at the cc and risk looking lazy and like I'm taking the easy way out on my applications to PA school?

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Take a breath man!! Biochem is biochem; no one is going to question why you took it at a cc vs. your U. I took anthropology at a cc because I was already at the max 21 units at my U for the semester and they denied my request to let me schedule in another 3. No one has questioned it thus far.

Lol when I made the post I had just been denied by the chairperson so I was a little stressed. But the thing is anthropology is not a pre req but biochem is.
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A lot of schools don't care where you took your prerequisites, if you went back to CC after university or otherwise. If your programs don't like CC credits, maybe check into the UC-Berkley extension biochemistry class...they don't require any organic as a prerequisite.


That said, if you've already struggled with chemistry, what makes you think that you'll be successful in biochem without the foundation from organic 2? if you're already struggling with chemistry, this seems like a recipe for disaster (I.e. a D or F).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not saying you NEED Orgo 2 for Biochem but it is certainly helpful in getting your mechanisms down fast and working with chair conformations of carbs and such. I was in the same boat as you and ended up really appreciating that I had to take Orgo 2. Bite the bullet and take orgo 2, its a pre req for biochem for a reason. 

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I took biochem at a CC, along with a lot of 4 year college students who came across town to take it from a native English speaker. None of the schools I applied to cared.


Many PA applicants take some of their prereqs at CC. For people with jobs, it's almost the only way to fill in what they may have missed.


Good luck!

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I completely maxed out the credits I could take at CC, I think around 64. A lot of them were pre reqs as well. I took gen bio 1&2, gen Chem 1&2, orgo, calc, and A&P. I can honestly say my science classes at CC were more challenging but also better as the class sizes were smaller and the professors were less busy with research and focussed more on their students. With that being said you should not worry about how CC credits look, the stigma that the classes are less valuable is slowly becoming extinct. My advice-take biochem at the CC I just completed it and it is definitely possible without orgo but you'll need to study hard and read your book.


Also for reference I received an early acceptance to my number one choice after the first interview date. I'm also still completing my bachelors now meaning the majority of my credits came from CC. Go for it and work hard!! Good luck!!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you for this thread. I have started my journey towards PA school, and I want to ask if anyone has done ALL their science pre reqs at a CC (and has been accepted into a PA program) if their previous bachelor's degree entailed next to no upper level science courses? I'm a bit worried that I won't look competitive enough if my sciences are about 200 level when universities are offering 300-400 level. 

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  • Administrator

Thank you for this thread. I have started my journey towards PA school, and I want to ask if anyone has done ALL their science pre reqs at a CC (and has been accepted into a PA program) if their previous bachelor's degree entailed next to no upper level science courses? I'm a bit worried that I won't look competitive enough if my sciences are about 200 level when universities are offering 300-400 level. 

I had virtually all my science classes done at community college, and the ones I had done at a university were 100 level and almost 20 years old at time of application.  I never failed to get an interview at any PA school to which I applied.

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