Dec 31, 2020
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I am currently a senior taking a full course load + intro physics 2, which for various reasons I could not take earlier (primarily because I am a nonscience major and had trouble fitting in my premed prereqs in these 4 years w/o any AP credits). I will be taking 2 years off doing research before med school. Intro physics 2 is pretty hard this semester...exams are open book so questions are tricky whereas pre-covid it was closed book. I am wondering if it is alright if I drop intro physics 2 and take it after graduating at a 4-year institution sometime during the next two years or over the summer? My sGPA otherwise is between 3.85-3.9 at an ivy. I have taken a stats course before over the summer, but otherwise no other summer courses outside of my 4 years here. I am aiming for a top med school, and don't know if this will be seen negatively. Appreciate your thoughts!
 

KnightDoc

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One course at an outside institution should be fine.
On the other hand, OP is aiming for a "top med school." Withdrawing from the entire semester due to some personal or health issue is one thing, but withdrawing from one class is going to look like exactly what it is, GPA protection.

Will it be fatal? No, but neither will a C in Physics 2 at an Ivy for someone with a 3.9 GPA. So, what exactly would OP gain, other than having to retake the class in the future, and salvaging the GPA at the cost of having top schools see exactly what OP did and why?

Sure, if OP is cruising for an F, there is no reason to have that on a transcript when the class is going to have to be retaken anyway. Otherwise, why not just get the class over with? Doing what OP is contemplating is not going to fool anyone, and is only going to create more work and expense in the future.
 
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Dec 31, 2020
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On the other hand, OP is aiming for a "top med school." Withdrawing from the entire semester due to some personal or health issue is one thing, but withdrawing from one class is going to look like exactly what it is, GPA protection.

Will it be fatal? No, but neither will a C in Physics 2 at an Ivy for someone with a 3.9 GPA. So, what exactly would OP gain, other than having to retake the class in the future, and salvaging the GPA at the cost of having top schools see exactly what OP did and why?

Sure, if OP is cruising for an F, there is no reason to have that on a transcript when the class is going to have to be retaken anyway. Otherwise, why not just get the class over with? Doing what OP is contemplating is not going to fool anyone, and is only going to create more work and expense in the future.
Thanks for your advice. Actually it won't show up on my transcript if I drop in the next couple of weeks. Do you still think its a bad idea to drop?
 
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KnightDoc

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Thanks for your advice. Actually it won't show up on my transcript if I drop in the next couple of weeks. Do you still think its a bad idea to drop?
Absolutely not! If you are not doing as well as you would like and there will be no trace of it, then it is totally your call.

If you are willing to spend the extra money and put in the extra work to retake after graduation, it will definitely look better. On the other hand, a 3.85-3.9 sGPA from an Ivy really could withstand a B or a C without hurting you. I understand the desire to avoid it (I would too!), but I'm also a little on the lazy side, so I'm not sure I'd want to spend money and deal with retaking a class after graduation just to avoid the optics of a single C. If we're talking about a B here, this is totally a no-brainer! :)
 
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