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Boosting GPA

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BDNF

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Is it frowned upon to take an easy science class over the summer to boost your gpa? AMCAS says that astronomy counts as a science course. It would be great if I could take it over the summer. But i'm afraid they will notice it and look negatively upon it.

Part of me tells me that they care, and part of me tells me they don't. Isn't that the same thing as someone who is a psychology major rather than a biochemistry major? I mean biochem is probably a lot harder than some of the early psych classes.

Comments?
 

sunnyjohn

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As long as you don't get an F, no one will care.
 

armybound

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you might have to explain why you chose to take a seemingly unnecessary science course. they might see it as padding. you also might be able to spin it as broadening your interests, exploring a field you're interested in, etc.
 

Law2Doc

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you might have to explain why you chose to take a seemingly unnecessary science course. they might see it as padding. you also might be able to spin it as broadening your interests, exploring a field you're interested in, etc.

There is no such thing as an unnecessary course in your quest to become well rounded. It is not forbidden to have a side interest in astronomy. The folks who seem to think you can only do bio/biochem majors and the prereqs to look good for med school are missing the boat. But I have to caution, more than a few people have gotten burned taking supposedly "gut" courses. So if you take it, take it seriously.
 

armybound

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There is no such thing as an unnecessary course in your quest to become well rounded. It is not forbidden to have a side interest in astronomy. The folks who seem to think you can only do bio/biochem majors and the prereqs to look good for med school are missing the boat. But I have to caution, more than a few people have gotten burned taking supposedly "gut" courses. So if you take it, take it seriously.
exactly, if you want to be well-rounded, it's not unnecessary.

but if your plan is, as the OP suggests, simply to boost your GPA with an easy science course, then your goal isn't really to be "well-rounded."
 

Law2Doc

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but if your plan is, as the OP suggests, simply to boost your GPA with an easy science course, then your goal isn't really to be "well-rounded."

True. But if you don't advertise this fact, no one is going to assume it from one astronomy class.
 

Cirrus83

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Take something that's both relatively easy and something you're actually interested in. If your science GPA is really bad, then yeah make it a science class. Otherwise it could be anything.

If I had to do it all over? I'd probably have taken more leniently graded courses early on-some of the courses I took kinda shredded my GPA, and if I had a 3.6+ I'd probably have had an easier time going to med school.

As it went, I had to overload like crazy junior/senior year in order to pull my GPA up, and I ended up having to take quite a few "easy" courses anyway.

Oh, and if you haven't finished all your prereqs you could always take those during the summer and do well, then take an easier science course during the regular year.
 

EBI831

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i hear astronomy isn't that easy. also from my experience with geology, it wasn't easy either. because you basically don't have the background knowledge for either that you'd have with other biology classes and b/c quite frankly they are boring especially if you take the labs too. take evolution or something, it's easy.
 
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take it if it interests you. med schools don't look down upon that since every person has different interests. now if it's obvious you only took it for a grade boost then that's another story.
 
C

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I doubt that they have time to look that closely at the grade of a non-prereq unless the class stands out (i.e. having a disparate grade associated with it). If you like astronomy, go for it.
 

BDNF

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Thanks for the comments.

I do want to broaden my horizons, but at the same time, I still have to think about the boosting the gpa part.

How am I supposed to "let them know" that I'm not doing it purely for a grade boost?
 

DaiCa86

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Thanks for the comments.

I do want to broaden my horizons, but at the same time, I still have to think about the boosting the gpa part.

How am I supposed to "let them know" that I'm not doing it purely for a grade boost?


Just take the course, you know you want to.
 

armybound

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Thanks for the comments.

I do want to broaden my horizons, but at the same time, I still have to think about the boosting the gpa part.

How am I supposed to "let them know" that I'm not doing it purely for a grade boost?
they might not ever mention it. i was just using a "what if"

tell them that you're interested in astronomy and you wanted to broaden your horizons. i doubt they'll really give you a hard time about it
 

ssquared

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Be careful what astronomy class you take! If it's not intended for people unfamiliar with physics, it very well may kick you in the rear.

My first day in astronomy I had to derive the equation for luminosity for homework. The class was brutal. It didn't help that the prof was a research scientist that spent way too much time on top of a mountain in Hawaii with his telescope and not enough time interacting with other humans.
 
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