This week on the OldPreMeds Podcast, we discuss course timing and coursework expiration dates. How recent do your prerequisite courses need to be when you’re applying to medical school? Do you need to retake prereqs from more than 5 years ago? What about more than 10 or 20 years ago?
Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.
OldPreMeds Question of the Week
As usual on the OldPreMeds Podcast, our question is taken from the Nontrad Premed Forum.
Our poster this week took coursework 30 years ago and wasn’t premed at that time. She retook most of the lower division coursework 7-9 years ago. During the intervening years, she was doing some upper-division stuff, studying for the MCAT and taking care of life.
Our poster’s advisor suggested that the prereqs should be taken within five years of applying to medical school. Is there an expiration date for your medical school prereqs?Is there an expiration date for your medical school prereqs?Click To Tweet
How Long Do Medical School Prerequisites Last?
For most medical school schools, there is no strict expiration date for your prereqs.
In the last couple of years, some medical schools have started to say that they would like to see the coursework within the last 5 years. But even then, they are also open to other evidence of academic achievement during the past 5 years.
Let’s say you did your prereqs long ago. These schools might just want you to add some upper-level classes before applying, so they have something recent to judge from.For most medical school schools, there is no strict expiration date for your prereqs.Click To Tweet
Changing Course Content in the Med School Prerequisites
This is becoming a more complex question since the AAMC changed the MCAT in 2015. If you took your prereqs before then, it’s possible that the classes have started to change.
For prereqs approaching 10 years, consider retaking some of the courses or continue taking more advanced classes. Basic or introductory classes change rapidly. Just think about the information in your biology classes about genetic sequencing, gene therapy, and recombinant DNA. That information is changing rapidly.
It Depends on the School
So in general, there’s no specific requirement for the timing of your prereqs. It depends on the school you’re applying to. You may want to add some new courses if your classes are approaching 10 years old or older. But ask the schools.If your med school prereqs are approaching 10 years old or older, you may want to add some newer classes. But different medical schools vary on what they require.Click To Tweet
Major Takeaway from this Episode
Get the definitive answer by going to the medical school that you’re interested in applying to and asking them directly.
Links and Other Resources
- Check out our Nontrad Premed Forum, and ask a question of your own!
- Related episode: Should I Retake Core Classes from 10 Years Ago with C’s?
- Related episode: Should I Retake the MCAT?
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