Cell Biology and Gentics, same semester...advisable?

Sep 5, 2010
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My adviser screwed me by not putting me in a BIO prereq. for this past fall semester of my freshman year. (partly my fault; I shouldn't have relied on him)

Now I'm one prereq. behind, approaching my spring semester.

I've worked out a schedule that has me taking Cell Biology and Genetics the fall of my sophomore year, and after that I should be caught up.

My question is, how demanding would this be? Others have told me genetics was a nightmare, and ever since I was a kid all that XY nonsense made me nauseous.

Thanks in advance
 
Jun 8, 2010
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Cell bio covers genetics and actually makes the course easier. So doing it at the same time you will see quite a bit of overlap.
 

ktruon2

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I don't think it'll be a problem. I wouldn't say cell bio covers genetics but there are a few overlapping topics. Besides, you're going to have to get used to taking a lot of tough classes together right? :D
 

Emerica

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It is advisable if you are self-disciplined enough to handle the workload and amount of studying required to succeed in those classes. If you are one who would rather take it easy then don't take both at the same time.

As a sidenote, always verify any advice (even from an advisor). Also, you should be aware of what your specific degree requirements are seeing as they are available at most undergrad websites, if not, definitely in literature handed out at advising. If you plan your schedule you can always have an advisor check it.
 
OP
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I don't think it'll be a problem. I wouldn't say cell bio covers genetics but there are a few overlapping topics. Besides, you're going to have to get used to taking a lot of tough classes together right? :D
I know, I know, things will only get tougher. But in this case, it didn't have to be tough, if not for a mistake in my fall schedule.
Regardless, I don't have a choice. I can't figure out a schedule that avoids taking these classes simultaneously; it seems to be my only option now. I guess I'll just have to bite my tongue and work through it.
 
Nov 1, 2010
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I took them at the same time. At my school, is was rote memorization for 80% of both classes. Neither were difficult, and certainly not difficult to do at the same time.
 
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I'm a senior currently taking genetics, microbiology (which is kind of like cell bio with bacteria fun facts thrown in), and biochemistry I. The three have overlapped so much that I will actually use notes from one class to reinforce my studying for the others. It has been a lot of work though.
 

apumic

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At some schools one is a prereq for the other, so check on that first. Otherwise, neither is particularly difficult if you "get" that stuff. If not, it might be challenging. It's really not possible to say. I'd suggest talking w some upperclassmen at your own school as this will yield much better/more reliable answers.
 

Envix

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When do you take organic chemistry, if not sophomore year? Also, do both of those have labs? three science + 3 labs would be insane, but 2 science + 0 labs sounds like a cakewalk.
 
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When do you take organic chemistry, if not sophomore year? Also, do both of those have labs? three science + 3 labs would be insane, but 2 science + 0 labs sounds like a cakewalk.
I will be taking Organic at the same time, with lab. So really I'll be taking Organic chem, Cell bio, and Genetics in the same semester. Also, my Cell Biology and Genetics classes each have 3 hours lab.

So yes, 3 sciences, 3 labs.

Along with my other classes, my fall semester is looking to be about 20 hours. It could have been less, but as stated, there was a mistake in making my fall schedule.

I've tried to work out other schedules, but it seems like every class has a prerequisite.
 

apumic

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I will be taking Organic at the same time, with lab. So really I'll be taking Organic chem, Cell bio, and Genetics in the same semester. Also, my Cell Biology and Genetics classes each have 3 hours lab.

So yes, 3 sciences, 3 labs.

Along with my other classes, my fall semester is looking to be about 20 hours. It could have been less, but as stated, there was a mistake in making my fall schedule.

I've tried to work out other schedules, but it seems like every class has a prerequisite.

My adviser screwed me by not putting me in a BIO prereq. for this past fall semester of my freshman year. (partly my fault; I shouldn't have relied on him)
Dude, seriously? You're an adult. Your advisor didn't "screw you." Your advisor may have made a mistake but you were the one who signed up for those classes/didn't sign up for a bio prereq.

/Sermon




Anyway, yeah that would suck. If possible take only 2 classes w/ labs, but if not...well, it'll be tough but definitely not impossible. Good luck!
 
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Dude, seriously? You're an adult. Your advisor didn't "screw you." Your advisor may have made a mistake but you were the one who signed up for those classes/didn't sign up for a bio prereq.

/Sermon




Anyway, yeah that would suck. If possible take only 2 classes w/ labs, but if not...well, it'll be tough but definitely not impossible. Good luck!
hmm.. Didn't mean to upset. That's why I said it was partly my fault... In fact, I'm still not up to speed with other pre-med gunners in terms of what to take and when. This whole thing seems like a big jigsaw puzzle of courses to me, and I'm just trying to fit an extra piece into it.
 

Astarael

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My adviser screwed me by not putting me in a BIO prereq. for this past fall semester of my freshman year. (partly my fault; I shouldn't have relied on him)

Now I'm one prereq. behind, approaching my spring semester.

I've worked out a schedule that has me taking Cell Biology and Genetics the fall of my sophomore year, and after that I should be caught up.

My question is, how demanding would this be? Others have told me genetics was a nightmare, and ever since I was a kid all that XY nonsense made me nauseous.

Thanks in advance
Unless your school is wildly different than mine, you shouldn't even be taking cell biology or genetics during freshman year. Freshman usually take general biology for two semesters and cell bio and genetics come later. Anyway, if you could give more specifics about the pre-requisites for these classes or your reasoning for needing to take those classes concurrently and so early in your college career, we all might be able to give you better advice.

Also, taking the two together is not that bad, as long as you don't overload the rest of your semester. Good luck!

Cell bio covers genetics and actually makes the course easier. So doing it at the same time you will see quite a bit of overlap.
I don't think that cell bio really covers genetics. Cell bio and genetics both cover the central dogma of molecular biology, but cell bio does not cover all of genetics. I do agree that taking them concurrently will have a fair amount of overlap in their topics and make them a little easier.
 
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These classes I'm talking about are regarding the fall of my Sophomore year. Sorry for any confusion
 

Astarael

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These classes I'm talking about are regarding the fall of my Sophomore year. Sorry for any confusion
Yeah, I caught that. I just assumed that since you got a 'late' start on your pre-reqs, you had initially intended to take one or the other class earlier than fall of your sophomore year. If that wasn't the case, then I misunderstood. But why are you trying to get them done so quickly? Is there something else to go on to afterward? At my school, cell biology capped off the biochem-genetics-cell bio pathway, and once you had finished that, there really wasn't anywhere else to go. So unless you're a cell biology or genetics major, I guess I'm not seeing why you're under so much pressure to get them done early.
 
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I just figured out that I could possibly avoid taking Organic Chemistry I and II my sophomore year, pushing it back to my junior year.

This would lessen the load my sophomore year, and my junior year sciences would be; Physics I, O-chem I, (fall), Physics II, O-chem II, (spring).

I did a search on here, and taking Organic chemistry during your junior year seems to be unheard of.. I wonder why that is? Something to do with the MCAT?
 

Astarael

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I just figured out that I could possibly avoid taking Organic Chemistry I and II my sophomore year, pushing it back to my junior year.

This would lessen the load my sophomore year, and my junior year sciences would be; Physics I, O-chem I, (fall), Physics II, O-chem II, (spring).

I did a search on here, and taking Organic chemistry during your junior year seems to be unheard of.. I wonder why that is? Something to do with the MCAT?
I would guess that it has to do with one of two things:

1) Many people start chemistry their first semester in college, so if you just keep going with it, you would do o chem during your second year.

2) Many schools require o chem as a pre-requisite to advanced biology classes. For instance, my undergrad required o chem to get into biochem, which in turn was a pre-req for genetics. So you can see how in a system like that it helps to get it done early.

On the other hand, if you don't need it for pre-reqs for upper level classes, it is almost advantageous to take it later. Since you'll most likely take the MCAT after your junior year, any classes that you took as a junior will be fresher in your mind than earlier ones. I took O Chem spring semester of my sophomore year and fall semester of junior year, so I was able to remember it pretty well by the time I took the MCAT.

It seems like you've got a good plan going. I just wanted to get some more info about your decision making process, since a lot of younger students feel the need to pack everything into their first couple of semesters, when it is much easier to spread it out (as you seem to be planning).
 
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Thanks Astarael, this is really helpful.

In the course catalog, it says to take Chem I and II the summer before sophomore year, followed by O-chem I and II for fall and spring, respectively.

My major (exercise science) doesn't require me to take molecular biology or biochemistry, and replaces a lot of the tougher Biology classes with exercise science/nursing/respiratory therapy ones. Besides that one prereq I missed (Principles of Biology) I think I've got all my medical prereqs mapped out now.

With a major like exercise science, my advisors can't seem to help me out regarding the pre-med track. So advice from yourself and others is appreciated.

Thanks again
 

Astarael

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Thanks Astarael, this is really helpful.

In the course catalog, it says to take Chem I and II the summer before sophomore year, followed by O-chem I and II for fall and spring, respectively.

My major (exercise science) doesn't require me to take molecular biology or biochemistry, and replaces a lot of the tougher Biology classes with exercise science/nursing/respiratory therapy ones. Besides that one prereq I missed (Principles of Biology) I think I've got all my medical prereqs mapped out now.

With a major like exercise science, my advisors can't seem to help me out regarding the pre-med track. So advice from yourself and others is appreciated.

Thanks again
Yeah, no problem. I totally understand not being able to find an advisor who can help with pre-med stuff. If you come up with any other questions, feel free to pm me. And good luck!
 

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Did it a semester ago together with OChem II and Physics II. Quite manageable as I only had those 4 classes + 2 labs. Keep in mind though that those two (Cell Bio and Genetics) are heavy on memorization.
 
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The classes in themselves won't necessarily be a problem, it all falls on the professors you have, how well they teach, and how much they expect from you. The hardest classes I've had were simply the one's where the professors were either extremely demanding in how much work they assigned, and how much we were expected to know, or just flat out awful at teaching. What I mean to say is that before you take on a schedule like that, find out something about the professors teaching the classes you are going to take, and whether or not it would be reasonable to take all of those classes at once.
 

StephBee

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Weird. For me, BIO 1 and 2 are taken as a froshy. Genetics and Cell biology is one class that is offered over a school year (like, you cannot take them together. Ever.) Fall semester was Genetics and spring was Cell Bio. For me at least, genetics was by far the easiest bio class I took. I opted out of Bio 1 and 2 from AP credits (5 on the test and a bio major so I can supplement them with crazy 600 level grad classes if need be :p) and took genetics/cell bio as a freshman. I was taking 19 credit hours and being bored so it really is going to depend on how tough your school it. The professor who usualy taught Cell bio left so for my year (and only my year) we were taught by the head of the whole bio department. That was a rediculously hard class but it made taking grad level cellular physiology a lot of fun while everyon else in the class was failing. :D

Now, I would suggest avoid taking physic and orgo together. I did first semester of orgo and physics and both grades suffered. My professor in physics was horrible. The lectures were seriously 2 weeks behind recitations, homeworks and tests so I taught myself all of physics 1, which probably wouldn't be a big deal but I had never taken physics before. Since orgo was the same way, it was A LOT of teaching myself while still taking 19 credit hours. Rough year.
 

KTownGT

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Genetics was a blow off class for me; but in another biology class, all the seniors do is bitch about how hard Cell Biology is.
 
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....Now, I would suggest avoid taking physic and orgo together. I did first semester of orgo and physics and both grades suffered. My professor in physics was horrible. The lectures were seriously 2 weeks behind recitations, homeworks and tests so I taught myself all of physics 1, which probably wouldn't be a big deal but I had never taken physics before. Since orgo was the same way, it was A LOT of teaching myself while still taking 19 credit hours. Rough year.
Maybe I should have titled this thread; Taking physics and organic chemistry together...?, because that seems to be the harder combination. I'm just hoping for a decent professor; I can't imagine teaching myself physics and organic chemistry at the same time. Anyways, It's either that or take 3 sciences together my *sophomore* year.
 
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StephBee

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It's definantly doable but there's a reason they suggest taking orgo and genetics/cell bio as a sophomore and physics as a junior.

Case and point: when I say both grades suffered, I mean I got an A- in physics and a B in orgo (which reallly peeved me, B+ in orgo 2 and those are the only Bs on my transcript).

My suggestion: don't take 19 credit hours and you should be fine taking orgo and physics together. Good luck!