chewydog

2+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2015
53
37
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
My pre-health advisor has not responded to my attempts to ask him, which is why I'm panicking a bit and asking on here. I have attempted to search through the forum for a similar thread but might have missed it.

In short, my school is on the quarter system, and most of our courses are 9-unit or 12-unit classes (besides some 3/4/6-unit labs/etc.). For us, units are credit hours. After AMCAS verification, I found out that they converted 9 units to 2 semester hours, making it seem like I took next to no courses even though I was taking heavy loads most terms. Am I being paranoid? Can this be petitioned?
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
23,148
32,698
Status
Academic Administration
Typically a semester is 15 weeks and 3 credits consists of 3 classroom hours meaning that 3 credits = 45 contact hours. Thus an academic year of calculus would be 90 contact hours and 6 credits.
Now with quarters or trimesters, the term is 10 weeks in duration so if a quarter of calculus = 9 units and 3 hours per week for 10 weeks (30 contact hours) then an academic year of calculus would be 90 contact hours and 9(3)= 27 units.
27 units = 6 credits
9 units = 2 credits
 

Eleithyia

2+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2015
299
543
Status
Medical Student
I think our idea of looking like you took "next to no courses" is colored by your conception of courses have numbers like 9 and 12 attached to them, when AMCAS usually sees 2-5 credit hours per course, which naturally results in a lower number of total credit hours.

At my institution (avg. course is 3 credits), anything above 15 credit hours (~5 classes) per semester is considered a heavy course load. My understanding is that this is a rule of thumb for many institutions. If AMCAS has you taking >10 credit hrs/quarter, I'd imagine it is a similar amount of work. Adcoms will understand what kind of course load you were taking on.

tl;dr: The AMCAS calculation is fine, and using your original numbers would make it seem like you spent 9-12 hours a week in a classroom for each class!
 
OP
chewydog

chewydog

2+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2015
53
37
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Thank you everyone for your helpful responses! They made a lot of sense, and I feel a little calmer now while churning out secondaries until Labor Day.