Jul 8, 2013
New York City
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Right now, I am signed up for five classes. Four classes are lecture-based, and the fifth class is research. I am getting credit for being an intern/volunteer in the lab. Due to my class schedule and work, I have been unable to volunteer, intern, or do any other sorts of activities the past two semesters. I have always taken five classes.

I am considering taking only four next semester. I would drop one of my lecture-based classes. Instead, I would spend approximately 10-15 hours a week at an internship/volunteer opportunity. I have maintained a high GPA of 3.8 thus far. Also, I will not have trouble completing my graduation requirements.

Do medical schools or dental schools (I have not yet decided) look down upon students who take an easier load? It's only one class I'm dropping, but one class does make a big difference on how much time you have to sacrifice during the semester to study. Plus, I am already in a "easy" major--psychology.

What do you suggest? Should I take fewer classes and contribute my time elsewhere, or should I take a full load then use the summer to do something?

FYI, if I were to drop this class, I would only have 13 credits, which is just above being a part-time student. Additionally, I will only have one science class--physics. The rest are based on cognitive/neuroscience psychology and of course the lab. I also go to an easy state-school
Aug 7, 2011
You'll be fine. Dental schools don't necessarily seem to care if your school is "hard" or "easy". There are many quarters where I've taken 11 actual class units and 2 research units putting me at 13 units (12 being min for full time). In this cycle I was given 5 pre-dec invites and 5 acceptances on dec 2nd. Just make sure you take more upper div biology courses than are required for prereqs. Maybe 4-5 additional upper level biology classes will be sufficient. GPA>course load any day