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Pre-req classes (online classes vs Community College vs 4 years college)


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Hi there, I am very new to the PA application process so i want to ask how people normally take for their pre-req?

Considering that I have already graduated from college and working, what would be the pros of cons of doing the pre-req at (online classes, community college, 4 year college)?

Also, i heard that some classes cannot be taken online? want to ascertain if that is correct or not.

Thanks,

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Most schools are fine with community college prereqs. It's the best way to do it if you have a job, which I did. You can take some classes online (probably more these days!) but, given your lack of any science background, I'd recommend taking at least some of them in person, especially those with labs.

I would also recommend that you get some patient care experience to be sure that this is the path you really want to take.

Good luck.

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5 hours ago, UGoLong said:

Most schools are fine with community college prereqs. It's the best way to do it if you have a job, which I did. You can take some classes online (probably more these days!) but, given your lack of any science background, I'd recommend taking at least some of them in person, especially those with labs.

I would also recommend that you get some patient care experience to be sure that this is the path you really want to take.

Good luck.

Thats good to know that i can just get rid of the pre-req at community college.

I am really thinking about taking a few online classes because with covid-19, i just dont know if school is going to be open for summer classes. 

As with lab classes, how do i know which pre-req classes include the lab component?

Thanks again

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Thats good to know that i can just get rid of the pre-req at community college.
I am really thinking about taking a few online classes because with covid-19, i just dont know if school is going to be open for summer classes. 
As with lab classes, how do i know which pre-req classes include the lab component?
Thanks again

Each PA program has its own list of prereqs, including whether or not a lab is required. The lists are similar, but not identical.

Clearly anyone in school now has to be taking online classes. I’m just saying to try to consider delaying for a term taking a class where a school of interest wants a lab too.


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I picked up quite a few of my out dated prerequisites at a community college and don't think it matters, but you need to make sure what you take is accepted by the schools you want to attend.

Here in Texas, some community college classes will transfer and are equal to those taught at four year schools, but at other community colleges they are not.  Texas has a sheet that we use to ensure a certain class, say microbiology, will transfer, so you can verify before you take it.  The PA schools you are applying too should also have a list of the prerequisites and from which schools they will accept it, and if its an in-state school, you should again be able to verify easily.  You don't want to take a genetics class and then find out that it's not transferable when you are applying.

Lastly, if you are taking classes from a community college, make good grades!  Schools want you to have the prerequisites because it shows you can do the work, but they may see community colleges as easier class work.  I made sure that I got a 4.0 on all my community college classes and was offered interviews at four of the five schools I applied too.  

Hope this helps.

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Agree with UGoLong that prerequisites are similar but not identical amongst PA programs. Do your homework on a list of 3-10 programs (sort of arbitrary range) and make sure that you know the prerequisites you are taking fulfill the requirements (i.e. does each program require a lab for a specific course? does the entire class have to be in-person vs. only the lab portion? are online courses accepted as prereq's (most schools are fine with this but some don't allow online for biochem, organic chem, genetics, or anatomy and physiology). There IS variability. So, make sure you know your plan for your specific programs you're applying to.

I thought I was going to apply after 1 year of taking prerequisites. It took me 2 years because there were prerequisites to my prerequisites I didn't know about!

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