I’m contemplating applying to medical or pharmacy school in the near future. I’ve completed a quarter of my science/math prerequisites, already hold multiple degrees, am licensed as a Registered Nurse, and have a high GPA, graduated with honors, etc. I’d like you to help me with something. Here’s a scenario I want you to consider. You’re on the board of admissions of a medical/pharmacy school and you’re looking at two applicants’ prerequisites.
Majors Biology 1, 2
G-Chem 1, 2
O-Chem 1, 2
Advanced Cell Biology
A&P 1, 2
Calculus 1, 2
Physics with Calculus 1, 2
* This applicant has taken the exact same prerequisites as Applicant A, but he completed most of them online. A lot of colleges now offer accredited online science courses (i.e., chemistry, physics, A&P, majors bio, etc.) with an online lab component as well.
One of the benefits of an online science course is fulfilling the lab requirement at home (I’m a tactile learner and benefit from completing the lab by myself without lab partners, no matter how difficult the concept). The lab kits are outrageously expensive; I paid over $300.00 for my micro lab kit which included a microscope. But I learned the material more thoroughly and faster than I would if I were sharing space with lab partners.
So, would an admissions committee at a medical or pharmacy program place more value on Applicant A’s transcript (because he completed his prerequisites in a traditional classroom)? Or does that really matter? Would an admissions committee potentially turn their noses up at an applicant who completed most of his prerequisites online? What if B’s GPA, life experience, and MCAT scores were competitive with those of the top students applying to the program?