rcheech7

EM
7+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2010
1,171
94
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Well I was looking through some of the medical schools that I plan to apply to requirements. The problem I have no "behavioral" science credits at all, at least what they count as such (pretty much just Psychology and Anthropology).

Since this is my Junior year I was thinking about where my LOR's are going to come from. I have the 2 science down, and the non-science I planned to get from a intro philosophy teacher, which I also signed up for her upper division class next semester in order for her to get to know me more. But since I have no behavioral science credits I decided I need to take at least one of those classes next semester and get the non-science LOR from that.

My choices (most sections are full now so I'm kind of screwed on class choice):
1. Intro Psychology - 100 people class, which may be an issue, because I don't exactly see myself going in for "help" on psychology. Prof. is good from what I've heard. Not sure how much weight schools put on the non-science LOR so not sure if it matters if he knows me "that" well.

2. Cultural Anthropology - 30 people class, which obviously at least lets the Prof. see my face everyday. However I have not had and intro anthropology classes, and this is 300 level. Although it lists no pre-reqs for it, I am still cautious.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

oran berry

crevasse
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2009
129
0
Hilbert Space
Status
Pre-Medical
Ideally, you want to get an A in this course. The element of risk involved in taking an upper level class in an unfamiliar discipline is pretty high. I would ask the Anthro students about the Cultural Anthropology class and professor, and gauge for yourself if you can do well in it based on their opinions. If you're confident, then go for the 300-level Anthro class, but personally I would take the easier Intro Psych course and just fight my way for office hours.

Is there any way you can get a nonscience LOR from a different source?
 
OP
rcheech7

rcheech7

EM
7+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2010
1,171
94
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Yes, like I said I can get a LOR from a philosophy teacher (she doesn't really know me other than I was in her intro class) so I was signing up for her upper division class to get to know her a little more.

But I figured with only 3 semesters left in college, and wanting to keep my load small senior year, that I should take a "behavioral science" class now.
 

Fabio001

7+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2010
214
12
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
This probably doesn't help and is likely irrelevant, but intro to psych at my undergrad is one of the most time-consuming/difficult classes I have taken :(
 
OP
rcheech7

rcheech7

EM
7+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2010
1,171
94
Status
Resident [Any Field]
This probably doesn't help and is likely irrelevant, but intro to psych at my undergrad is one of the most time-consuming/difficult classes I have taken :(
Wow, thats the complete opposite of what I've always heard. Something to consider then.
 

tomh98

Professional Runner-Up
May 7, 2010
344
0
Status
intro to psych at my undergrad was indeed a breeze. Not because psych is inherently easy, but just EVERYONE seems to take it at some point so the topic seems to get a bit watered down, and the many professors that taught were comparably junior. So two reasons why I suggest anthro: fewer people take it in general so an adcom will find it a little more unique. Secondly, my feeling is that people who take psych 101 just take it as a filler class, where anthro requires a little more interest, and an adcom may or may not agree with me there. Of course, if you're genuinely interested in psych then taking that would make more sense.

I don't mean to bash psych-- I took some upper level psych classes in undergrad and I found the students and professors to be much more passionate and inspiring. I guess I really just see psych 101 as a "filler".
 
OP
rcheech7

rcheech7

EM
7+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2010
1,171
94
Status
Resident [Any Field]
intro to psych at my undergrad was indeed a breeze. Not because psych is inherently easy, but just EVERYONE seems to take it at some point so the topic seems to get a bit watered down, and the many professors that taught were comparably junior. So two reasons why I suggest anthro: fewer people take it in general so an adcom will find it a little more unique. Secondly, my feeling is that people who take psych 101 just take it as a filler class, where anthro requires a little more interest, and an adcom may or may not agree with me there. Of course, if you're genuinely interested in psych then taking that would make more sense.

I don't mean to bash psych-- I took some upper level psych classes in undergrad and I found the students and professors to be much more passionate and inspiring. I guess I really just see psych 101 as a "filler".
This is generally what I was thinking. My issue is I'm worried about the upper division class.

But I really do not see myself going out of my way to get "help" in office hours for an intro psychology class. To me thats like getting help on history.
 

tomh98

Professional Runner-Up
May 7, 2010
344
0
Status
This is generally what I was thinking. My issue is I'm worried about the upper division class.

But I really do not see myself going out of my way to get "help" in office hours for an intro psychology class. To me thats like getting help on history.
True, ask around and see how hard the class is. It sounds to me like an easy topic, but perhaps a LOT of hard work and dedication. I agree you'd probably get a more meaningful letter of recommendation from the anthro prof since you'd talk to them more and it's a smaller class. Even if you get a slightly lower grade in that class, it probably wouldn't kill your GPA and you could still end up with a very solid letter of recommendation. Especially if they see how hard you are working to get the grade you end up with.
 

ILikeDrugs

pre-attending
10+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2008
1,793
7
L.A.
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
If I hadn't majored in psych and if I had to pick another social science major, I would have chosen anthropology. Loved every class, which were all upper division. The only class that I didn't love was Intro to Anth. Why? Cause I never took it! I'm sure if I did I would have loved that too. What I'm trying to say is that you do not need to take the intro class in order to do well in the upper division courses. I took religion, cultural, archaeology, mesoamerica, Aztec, Mayan, and Inca and got an A in all of them. All of those courses were 300 and 400 level with 100 and 200 being lower division and 500 being graduate courses. Be not afraid. ;)
 
OP
rcheech7

rcheech7

EM
7+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2010
1,171
94
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Well from what I could gather the prof. for the anthro class is really good, but hard. That being said I'm pretty sure I'm just going to hold off on my decision for now.

I will sign up for the psych class if the amount of people does not exceed 60 (~40 now) when the semester gets closer to beginning. If it does I will take the anthro class.