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Counting Psychology Courses Towards AMCAS BCPM GPA

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by IDoIt4Love, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. IDoIt4Love

    IDoIt4Love Breathe...just believe.
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    I thought we should have a thread for all those pre-med psyc majors out there who want to know which psychology courses, specifically, have been, or would be, counted towards their BCPM GPA.

    The dilemma is this: many psyc majors have taken "PSYC" classes that were primarily biological in that they focused on brain anatomy, neurological bases of function, hormones and just the nervous and endocrine systems in general. We know the option is out there to count some of these science-y PSYC classes into our BCPM GPA, and we know that if they are counted, it could really help that GPA. The question is:

    Which specific psyc classes are counted? Does anyone have any personal experience as to which ones AMCAS let them designate as biology classes?

    I know there have been similar threads about these things in the past, but nothing as specific as this. I'm looking for input on specific psychology courses.

    Hopefully all of us pre-med psychology majors can learn a thing or two!
     
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  2. IDoIt4Love

    IDoIt4Love Breathe...just believe.
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    I know for me, I've taken the following psyc courses:

    -The Senses
    -Neurobiological Bases of Behavior
    -Physiological Psychology
    -Abnormal Psychology
    -Intro to Clinical Psychology

    and I'm anxious to know if these will actually count toward my BCPM! Anybody have experience with counting these?
     
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    #2 IDoIt4Love, Dec 18, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  3. aznb0y129

    aznb0y129 Oh hamburgers!
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    I was also a pre-med psych major, but never had any luck getting those grades counted towards BCPM. Abnormal didn't count for me, neither did my Cogneuro seminar on frontal lobe functions. I think you're going to have a similar problem trying to get those onto your sci GPA. Best of luck though.
     
  4. pazan

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    I was a psychobio major and understand your predicament. AMCAS counted 2 of my psych dept. classes as biology:

    --Biology and Behavioral Neuroscience of Aging
    --Behavioral Neuroscience

    Your middle 2 classes will definitely work, because they have the word "neurobiological" and "physiological" in them. My regret is not trying for more classes to count toward my BCPM (specifically, Sensation and Perception as a biology class and Research Methods in Psychology as a math class... though those are more dubious). I didn't include Abnormal Psych in BCPM because it's definitely not biology. It never hurts to try; the worst they do is re-classify the courses, which is where you'd be if you didn't try in the first place. Good luck.
     
  5. EP123

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    I took an "Introduction to Statistics" Psychology class. Has anyone had stats-psychology count for BCPM?
     
  6. IDoIt4Love

    IDoIt4Love Breathe...just believe.
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    oh, that's another great question; next semester I'm taking Research Design and Methods: Social Psychology, a 4-credit research methods class. Any idea on whether that would count as a math course? One of its prerequisites is intro to statistics.
     
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  7. pasdechat28

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    I was a psych major and I had my stats course counted towards BCPM...but that's it---none of the other biological psychology classes counted.
     
  8. aznb0y129

    aznb0y129 Oh hamburgers!
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    I took Intro to Stats but it didn't count as BCPM for me. I took a research class but they called it a lab at my undergrad, so no luck there either.
     
  9. pazan

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    I took a "Psychological Statistics" class that counted as BCPM, but the second quarter of that class, "Research Methods in Psychology" did not count as BCPM. So, who knows?
     
  10. pazan

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    Man, AMCAS had it out for you. There's no reason the same classes taken at different colleges should count different ways.
     
  11. SiR99

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    #11 SiR99, Dec 18, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  12. aznb0y129

    aznb0y129 Oh hamburgers!
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    Lol, I got an A in stats and an A- in the research course. I think that could have bumped my BCMP over 3.7 :) Oh well...
     
  13. I am the Stig

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    The general rule I follow is that if the Psychology Dept class can count towards biology credit in the biology major of my uni, then it will count for AMCAS as well.
     
  14. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
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    abnormal and clinical are definitely psych psych courses (as opposed to more bio related). I'm guessing the same for the senses, but its hard to tell from just those two words. I guess that class could be heavy bio/anatomy.
     
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  15. drcarter77

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    wow, I so wish my stats classes would have counted towards my science GPA. I don't think any of mine did at all.
     
  16. PremedIowa

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    Although they may be peripherally related to biology or have a fair amount of anatomy, most psych courses are not nearly as intense as a true neuroanatomy or neurophysiology course. I took a course called brain and behavior and the instructor laughed while talking about action potentials for two straight lectures. She put "ions" in quotations and skimmed over anything remotely difficult.

    It would be difficult for the AMCAS to take into account the different level of difficulty of psych courses at different institutions. At most places they just do not compare to true bio courses.

    I could definitely see upper level stat courses being included in BCPM, though.
     
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  17. IDoIt4Love

    IDoIt4Love Breathe...just believe.
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    Are you a psych major? Because if you've ever taken a graduate-level neurological psych course, they can be almost entirely biological. I've had biology majors take those same classes with me and say "I don't know why these aren't cross listed as biology courses; they pretty much are all biology." I guess it varies from school to school.
     
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  18. MILK07

    MILK07 Silence, I kill you!!
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    I wasn't a psych major, but I did take a "Biological Psychology" class through the psych department and it was counted toward my BCPM, if anyone was curious. It was a biology heavy class.
     
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  19. pazan

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    I took both psych and neuro courses and can vouch for what PremedIowa is saying. At my school, the upper div psych courses are intended for psych majors who are not required to take pre-requisites in the sciences. Most of the people in my "biology-heavy" psych classes had no idea what an action potential was and couldn't understand why a neuron would hyperpolarize or depolarize due to changes in membrane conductivity. Compared to my neuro classes, the depth of "biology" covered was very minimal. I think it's silly to count the upper div psych classes as BCPM, but I'll take advantage of the system if I can.

    As for graduate-level courses in biology... I don't think these would count toward BCPM? I mean, they're graduate courses, not undergrad ones. I'm not sure how this works. And I can definitely see them being bio-heavy, but that doesn't change the nature of the undergrad courses.
     
  20. RoyBasch

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    OP: It will only count if the course itself was through the biology department: example, if the class is BIOL 324- Evolutionary Basis of Behaviour (I made this course up) That would count. If its PSYCH 324- Evolutionary Basis of Behaviour it would not count.

    I hate to be a kill joy but the BCPM criteria is quite strict, I was not able to count any of my engineering courses or geology courses towards BCPM even though those are definitely "hard" sciences. If you are really unsure and think a class is on the edge call the AMCAS help line, I can't remember the number but its on the AMCAS page somewhere.

    -Roy
     
  21. flip26

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    Not completely true.

    What counts towards BCPM is course content, not the Department heading. Now how AMCAS makes that final call, I do not know, but my recommendation to anybody who thinks a class possibly could or should count is to submit it for BCPM consideration - AMCAS makes the final call anyway...nothing ventured, nothing gained...
     
  22. cbrons

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    Yeah this is all I'm expecting to get to count for BCPM.
     
  23. IDoIt4Love

    IDoIt4Love Breathe...just believe.
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    [bump]
     
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  24. manutdfan

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    what about Child Development?

    will that count?
     
  25. cubssox2000

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    This is what is written in the AMCAS handbook regarding which courses are BCPM.

    Biology :
    Anatomy
    Biology
    Biophysics
    Biotechnology
    Botany
    Cell Biology
    Ecology
    Entomology
    Genetics
    Histology
    Immunology
    Microbiology
    Molecular Biology
    Neuroscience
    Physiology

    Chemistry:
    Biochemistry
    Chemistry
    Physical Chemistry
    Thermodynamics

    Physics:
    Astronomy
    Physics

    Math:
    Applied Mathematics
    Mathematics
    Statistics

    In general, the only classes that will get counted towards BCPM are those that are listed by your school under BIOL/BSCI (depending on which one your school uses), CHEM, BCHM, PHYS, MATH and STAT/BIOM. Therefore, if your psychology class is listed as BIOL/BSCI, then it is counted, but if it is listed as PSYC, the it will not be counted in BCPM, as it is a Behavioral Science.
     
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  26. cubssox2000

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    Also, the handbook for filling out the AMCAS can be found on their website at this link: http://www.aamc.org/students/amcas/amcas2009.htm. Go to the AMCAS 2009 Instruction Book link. Class identification is on pages 52-58.

    This handbook is what was used for the last cycle. The new one will become available as it gets closer to when they open the application.
     
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  27. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    So is my Geography: Weather & Climate class w/ a lab count towards bCPM?
     
  28. 236116

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    no it's earth sci
     
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  29. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    xo
     
  30. Anatidae

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    It's a decent guideline, but unfortunately not true. I had a course listed under the Psychology department, Human Neuropsychology, count for BCPM since it covered a significant amount of neuroanatomy and clinical dysfunction. If the course content suggests that it's a behavioral and social science, then it'll be designated as such, but there's no hard and fast rule for what AMCAS will allow (see the discrepencies over Statistics in Psychology and Research Methods in Psychology).
     
  31. cubssox2000

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    What I posted is not a hard and fast rule. It is just to point out the rule of thumb so that people will stop asking if their earth science/hearing and speech science/political science classes will count. It has to fall into what the AMCAS will consider to be a "science" and not a "behavioral science".
     
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  32. IDoIt4Love

    IDoIt4Love Breathe...just believe.
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    Do you guys think they'll count the grad level psyc course titled Neuropharmacology: Biochemistry of Behavior in my BCPM?
     
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  33. itsallthesame

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    Short answer: If this deals with actual biochem and neuro, yes. Eg. Are we discussing things like the differential expression of receptor subunits in schizo's vs normal and how that affects neuronal development?

    I don't think the distinction is that difficult. If the class deals primarily at the cellular level or with phsyiology, and requires an introductory neuroscience class as background: its BIOL. If it deals primarily with behavior, and doesn't go beyond gross neuroanatomy and broad pharm, it's not.

    I majored in neuro and psych, with related classes in four departments (from neuro, cog sci, bio and psych). My rule for organizing classes was as follows (and AMCAS went with all my picks):
    neuro and bio dept classes all go BCPM (obvious, classification BIOL)
    stats class in psych dept went BCPM (classification MATH, as directed by amcas)
    cog sci and psych dept classes went according to content as follows:
    would the course have been appropriote in a neuroscience dept?
    fMRI lecture/lab on the physio basis of fMRI? yes
    a bunch of hormones/behavior, physiological psych, molecular neuroscience classes that foccused on molecular mechanisms of depression, memory, and control of basic behaviors? yes
    abnormal psych, personality, human cognition, developmental psych, human factors, etc? no, classify as BESS.
     
  34. Retsage

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    Nope.

    None of them counted for me.
     
  35. scottyT

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    All of my BCPM psych courses counted as such. My university has no undergraduate neuroscience department though, and all those courses are handled through the psychology dept. My list of psych courses are the following:

    Statistics and Research Methods
    Biological Psychology
    Behavioral Neuroscience
    Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

    I also had a course from the biology department that I counted as English (which they did not correct): Arguments in Scientific Writing.

    Just classify the courses as you think they should be classified (eg, could this course be taught in another department or does it count for credit in the other department?). AMCAS will correct them if they don't agree.
     
  36. IDoIt4Love

    IDoIt4Love Breathe...just believe.
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    All those classes counted for you? Nice.
     
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  37. MissIntrigued

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    So....if you list a class under psych, and it was taught by the psych department, but realistically it COULD be Bio-esque in nature, will they change it to a Bio class on AMCAS?

    For instance, I have an Advanced studies in psychobiology course that i got an A in, so i put that as a Bio course to bump my science GPA. it has biology in the title, so i thought it was evident enough, and it did focus on that.

    Now, there are two other advanced courses I took that I didnt do quite as well in and im not sure i want to add them in my BCPM gpa, and they are listed under the PSYC department, so if i leave them that way, will AMCAS change them? They are:

    Psychopharmacology (which i got like a B-ish in)
    Behavioral Endocrinology (which i got a C+ in and i wasnt thrilled with that grade)

    Technically they are listed as psych department courses. Will they be included in the BCPM average anyway?
     
  38. MissIntrigued

    MissIntrigued In the midst of my Quarte
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    Also, I took a Symbolic Logic course. My school considered this to fullfill the Math requriement for my degree, so I listed it as a MATH class....but it was listed under the Philosophy department heading, strangely enough.

    Think AMCAS will leave it as a math class?
     
  39. futile

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    So, from my premed advisors..

    If there is a class that I strongly believe should count for BCPM and AMCAS ignores it (like, say, Thermodynamics, which is a Mechanical Engineering class), I can get my advisors to call and argue with AMCAS to change it to BCPM.

    It might be by precedence, i.e. did anyone else at your school previously list these classes and have them changed to BCPM?

    I'm not really sure of the official stance, though.
     
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  40. bannie22

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    psych is not a BCPM.
    bcpm stands for bio chem physics math


    im a psy minor.
     
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  41. adeline

    adeline idk my bff ***?
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    if you are not sure that your neurobio, stats, math-ness, whatever, count, mark it as a BCMP and let AMCAS do the rest. If they don't agree, they'll switch it.
     
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  42. sustentacular

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    so do graduate level courses count towards BCPM ?
     
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  43. teenmachinery1

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    no. bcpm doesn't have to do with the level of classes you're taking (undergrad vs. graduate) but rather the content.
     
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  44. sustentacular

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    ... so you mean yes? I'm talking about graduate level biology courses.
     
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  45. teenmachinery1

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    oh.. right. yeah- that's what the b stands for in bcpm. By graduate level courses are they 500 level +?
     
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  46. sustentacular

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    yes, 500+, as part of an MS degree.
     
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  47. jmart

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    I hate to dig up an old thread, but I'm curious as to what other luck people had.

    I had a group studies course that is labeled nothing but group studies in the Psych department but a lot of that class I remember being very biological. I wonder how amcas would research this?

    The only other ones I thought might be able to pass as bio are
    -abnormal psych
    -Psych:memory and cognition

    Our childhood psych taught some psych theories but since there as no class on fetal development we covered heavy bio here too

    What have other people tried?

    I heard some were successful with psych research, I had a research methods class, wasn't really psych more research but idk how that could count as bio
     

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