Can I get into med school with a c in chemistry?

In this post we are going to answer the question ‘’Can I get into med school with a c in chemistry?’’ We will explain to you the importance of chemistry in medicine, how they are related and how a ” C ” in chemistry can affect you in your application to medical school.

Can I get into med school with a c in chemistry?

Yes, you can get into med school with a c in chemistry. A c in a class is not going to ruin your application, but you must have better grades and a good GPA to get into medical school.

For many years, since the first School of Medicine was opened, Chemistry, in its different divisions, has been included in their study plans; the knowledge of substances of mineral origin that serve to cure the ailments of humanity, absolute knowledge, ranging from its appearance to its multiple transformations in the body and outside it, is, without a doubt, of enormous importance for the doctor.

It could well happen that it was believed that Chemical Philosophy, atomic theory, the classification and arrangement of Chemical Elements with the simple and evolutionary study of each of these, had nothing to do with those who practice medicine:

They are, it would seem, knowledge Theorists who had impressed the student, because of their aridity, will be of no use to those who left the classroom with a degree.

Dangerous mistake, if we could call it that: the American doctor is almost always a graduate of the Faculties of Pharmacy: he has a deep knowledge of Chemistry, which gives him greater capacities for the exercise of his profession: we are not talking about Biological or Chemical Chemistry of the Doctor’s Laboratory, which he must delve into: we are talking about Medical, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry, and even General Chemistry.

It cannot be a favorable practice, to prescribe a substance or compound, empirically, because others have used it, and he gave them good results, without knowing it and without knowing how to foresee its incompatibilities in their different associations.

How is chemistry related to medicine?

Chemistry and medicine are extremely interrelated! Life itself is a conglomerate of biochemistry and physics, where physics governs the movement of molecules (biophysics, biophysical chemistry) and biochemistry is the study of chemistry within living beings; explains how we see things, how we feel things, etc.

Other disciplines related to medicine (such as neuroscience or biology) rely on biochemistry and physics to work.

For example, I’ll briefly talk about sight. From physics we understand how our eye lenses work to refract light and focus it on our retina.

From biochemistry we understand that this light activates a specific receptor, and there is a cascade path of cellular signals that continues to be the beginning of an action potential, which ends up activating a specific part of our brain and through chemical interactions we produce an image that we see.

This whole process is incomprehensibly quick and a true testament to the complexity of life.

Now in medicine. In a grand simplification, medicine works to exploit biochemistry or alter it to produce the desired effect. So, let’s look at the class of antidepressants called SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

The biochemistry behind this is this: There is a small gap between our nerve cells called a synapse. To communicate with each other or transmit a signal, nerve cells (neurons) release neurotransmitters.

These molecules are released at the synapse, where some bind to receptors on the adjacent neuron (to transmit a signal) and others are broken down or transported back to the neuron that originally released them, in a process called reuptake.

This is where medicine comes in. Medications like SSRIs target this process and stop it. This allows more neurotransmitters, in this case serotonin, to remain in the synapse and become available to bind to receptors on the adjacent neuron. Serotonin elicits responses associated with happiness.

By preventing reuptake, there is more serotonin to elicit these responses and therefore we feel happier.

Now there is another part of the chemistry in this: the drug itself. The manufacture of medicines is done through a process called synthetic chemistry. The drug must be able to bind to a protein, vesicle, or receptor to prevent reuptake, so the drug must be designed and synthesized accordingly.

This is the kind of work I do as a synthetic medical chemist, although my job is to create newer, safer, and more effective cancer chemotherapies, as opposed to drugs like antidepressants.

This is just one of many ways that chemistry and medicine overlap. In short, medicine relies heavily on chemistry and biochemistry; because after all, we treat illnesses and injuries primarily with chemicals (pain relievers, sedatives, sleeping pills, chemotherapy, even Neosporin and aloe gel, to name a few).

Can I get into med school with a c?

You can get into medical school with a C in maybe some course, but not all of them, as that lowers your GPA.

The Medicine career has the reputation of being long and especially difficult. A decade dedicated to the study of health is no small thing: it is advisable to be well convinced before taking the step.

However, despite the drawbacks, more and more students want to focus their professional careers towards this area. In fact, today, there is a great contrast between the places offered by universities and the number of students who mark their career as their first option.

Although the easiest solution is to change careers, there is some room for maneuver. In other words, if your vocation is Medicine, exhaust all avenues before giving up.

College is a tough and delicate juggle of many balls, particularly for pre-meds; we have to balance classes, extracurricular activities, and try to maintain a healthy social life, just to name a few. Inevitably, when it all becomes too much to manage, there are semesters, and it is easy to drop a ball in the midst of craziness.

A course that at the beginning of the year looked difficult and manageable can become an insuperable liability to one’s beloved GPA. There is nothing worse than teetering at, or just above, the dreaded ‘C’ range with no confident understanding of how at the end of the semester the grade will work out.

”C” on chemistry

Pre-medical students are usually encouraged to retake courses in which they have received a ‘C.’ In fact, one or three ‘C’s, particularly for otherwise strong students, would not cancel out medical school for anybody.

The secret is an opportunity to concentrate on how the experience prompted you to be better, which can be conveyed in a personal statement and interviews. Do not worry if you already have a ‘C,’ or two. Analyze your learning habits and train yourself in more successful ways to discuss your remaining classes.

If you want to retake the exam, all scores can probably be seen by medical schools; if you can get an ‘A’ on the second try, the score will average to a ‘B.’

Medical schools measure your AMCAS GPA depending on any specific course you have completed, including unfinished, withdrawn and study abroad classes, high school college-level courses, and even expunged courses.

The AMCAS GPA is used to determine the ability of a candidate to finish medical school and is a deciding factor in extending applicants’ interviews.

What makes chemistry difficult?

Chemistry, based on its reactions and transformations, is a science that explores the composition, structure and properties of matter. It is important that matter is all that affects us and chemistry helps us to know a significant part of that world.

All that we experience through our senses is made up of matter, i.e. it consists of molecules and atoms capable of responding to or in response to energy through various chemical behavior.

But what makes it so difficult?

Chemistry has a reputation as a tough class. Let’s see why:

Chemistry uses math

To understand chemistry, you must have a decent knowledge of mathematics, computation is important. Often, geometry comes into effect. This is one of the key reasons why it is considered complicated for chemistry. Practically, when you study chemistry itself, chemistry students need to re-learn algebra.

Chemistry is not just in the class

Chemistry is not only the theory, it is also practice. You’re going to have to hold seminars, not to mention the labs you’re going to have to take. You might find yourself doing laboratory exams, pre-practices or extra courses. This leads many learners to burn out early, when you do not even have free time to process your own knowledge.

Chemistry has its own language

A special vocabulary on the basis of symbols, chemical symbols, chemical formulas and chemical equations is used in chemistry.

118 chemical elements are found in the periodic table. Chemistry is often not only about principles of learning. These principles must be grasped, translated and expressed in their unique language by you.


Another challenge is that various levels of matter representation exist. There is a lot to understand, and it can feel like a short time, and these definitions may annoy you or make you navigate a pool of ideas. Many definitions would need to be memorized, but you’ll also truly understand them.

Tips that may be useful to you

1. Memorize the selected material

For example, memorize chemical symbols and names of the most commonly used elements. Also memorize the diatomic molecules from the periodic table like H2, N2, O2, F2, Cl2, Br2, I2, At2.

2. Make problem solving a part of every study session

Solve 10 problems per study session and review five problems from previous study sessions. Your proficiency in problem solving will increase with practice.

3. Study chemistry every day if possible or at least 5 days a week

4. Understand the difference between an abbreviation and a symbol

An abbreviation is just the shortened form of a word, but a symbol can have many meanings. It is important to know the different meanings of a chemical symbol.

It is important to understand that a formula or a molecule is more than a combination of symbols. 

These symbols keep their individual meanings in the formula; therefore, if you know the meaning of the symbol and the meaning of the formula is known, then you will be able to do stoichiometry problems.

5. The periodic table is your friend

Learn to use it. I assure you that knowing the periodic table will help you understand and correlate chemical and physical properties of the elements.

6. Initially you will have to accept a number of things in chemistry without understanding or asking why

7. Keep your interest in chemistry by relating what you learn and occurrences from daily life 

Look on the bottles of different compounds for the names of chemical compounds and if you can recognize the common name and the formal name (I.U.P.A.C.).

8. Learn the distinctions between related elements, such as the distinction between an electron and a proton

Similarly, learn to correlate related terms. Facts, concepts, and generalizations can be more easily understood and recalled when they are associated or related to each other as part of a meaningful whole.

9. Study the text before attending classes. Read it at least 3 times

First, a quick read. In your second reading, read in detail, then you should understand all the concepts, terms and formulas. Underline or take notes in the margin, read difficult to understand sections. In the third reading, take notes of all the important concepts, symbols, terms, formulas.

10. Use at least two different chemistry books when studying (if possible)

So, don’t worry, you can get into med school with a c in chemistry.

FAQS: Can I get into med school with a c in chemistry?

Can I get into medical school with AC in general chemistry?

Yes. But, from here on, you’d have to get all the A’s, because if Gen Chem is a battle for you, the other classes are likely to be as well.

Is AC bad for med school?

Pre-medical candidates are usually recommended to repeat classes on which they have received a ‘C. ‘In fact, one or two’ C’s, especially for otherwise high-achieving students, would not rule out medical school for everyone.

Can I go to med school with a chemistry degree?

Yes, you can go to med school with a chemistry degree. 

Can I be a doctor if I’m bad at chemistry?

If you really feel that you want to study medicine, then you should prepare for chemistry since you will take different classes.

Is AC in general chemistry bad?

A little too bad though, if your other snotas are great it shouldn’t be that big of a problem.

In this post we answered the question ‘’Can I get into med school with a c in chemistry?’’ We explained to you the importance of chemistry in medicine, how they are related and how a ” C ” in chemistry can affect you in your application to medical school.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know!


The 10 Biggest Myths About Getting into Medical School (Part 1). (2016). Retrieved February 6, 2021, from website:

‌Theodore William Richards. (1909). Modern Chemistry and Medicine. Retrieved February 6, 2021, from The Atlantic website:,in%20part%2C%20upon%20chemical%20reactions.

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