Jun 5, 2017
Hi there - apologies for the detail in this post.

I just started my semester (sophomore year) and I am realizing I am in over my head in calc 1. I have never taken a calculus class before and have had a year in between when I last took pre calc. Math has just never clicked for me. It is not a requirement for my major and I am only taking it as
1. A prerequisite for calculus based physics next year, which my pre med advisor suggested I take instead of algebra based physics
2. A box to check off for medical school requirements (Many schools recommend or highly suggest it)

This semester, I am also taking Orgo 1, Anatomy and physiology 1, and nutrition, as well as doing an internship at a renowned hospital this semester for academic credit, and I am also tutoring gen chem, so I already have quite a full plate. I want to give calculus the attention it deserves (and requires) and I just don't have time to do it this semester. I also do not want to ruin my GPA.

I do not have the room in my schedule to take it next semester, as I go to a liberal arts school and I will have to take a required course sequence which takes a whopping 8 credits and I will already be petitioning to take more credits than is allowed for A&P 2, Orgo 2, and exercise physiology (a requirement for my major). I want to take calc 1 over the summer, however my school does not offer it over the summer. If I took it at a state school or community college (more likely state school), do you think that would look alright for medical schools? At my school, when you take a summer course at a different school, as long as you pass, it does not affect your GPA positively or negatively. My only other plans this summer involve volunteering and working, so I would be able to take the time to actually do well in a calculus course. I just don't want med schools to think I am taking the "easy way out," when really I just want to give all my courses and other commitments the attention they deserve in order to do well.

Any insight appreciated!
tl;dr: can I take calc 1 at an institution other than my own over the summer and have it look okay for med schools?


Lifetime Donor
2+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2016
Rio Grande Valley, Texas
Attending Physician
If math isn't your strong suit, don't take calculus-based physics! No med school requires this, regular algebra-based physics is sufficient. Also, few if any med schools require Calculus, but many want you to take a statistics course. The pre-req is a year of college-level math. Check out this post: Most med schools don't require calculus anymore, right?

So, drop the calc and don't feel bad about it!
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