Feb 25, 2014
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I took physics 2 without taking physics 1 (AP Credit) so I am now wondering: should I take an upper level physics class to satisfy the 2 physics class requirements for many medical schools? If it matters (not sure if it does), I have greater than or equal to 13 on the PS section of the MCAT and have taken physical chemistry which is a class that deals with physics-heavy subjects. Any opinions/advice appreciated!
 
Oct 9, 2014
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You're probably fine. Did you take calculus-based physics or algebra-based? Most schools don't offer an algebra-based modern physics course, so if you're not comfortable with calculus, it might not be a great idea to take any physics courses past the intro.
 
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Silverflash

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My guess is that you'd be fine taking an upper-level course, but I'm not an adcom and I can't say for sure. I'd strongly recommend you call some medical schools and see what they say on the subject; better to get it from the horse's mouth. You will need to complete your pre-reqs, though, and since for many schools that includes two physics courses, you'll probably need to take another.
 

allantois

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If you took algebra based physics 2, that's really a dead end.
Look up which schools do not accept AP credit for Physics.
 
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OP
PhysicianScientist
Feb 25, 2014
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Thanks for the advice all. I took calculus based physics 2. It seems like it will just be easier for me to take another upper level physics class instead of limiting my options from not having a pre-req completed.
 

PlaqueBuster

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Most places accept AP credits. But taking an upper level physics will not hurt you. Thats what I did since I skipped out of Bio 1 and 2, Chem 1, Calculus 1 and 2. I took genetics, biochem, microbiology (my major), statistics.
 
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ithd

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You should be fine for most places - a lot of schools accept AP credit for PHYSICS (less so for the other sciences). I'm in the same exact situation as you (AP'd out of Physics 1 and took Physics 2 + lab in college). I applied to schools that require 1 year of physics and say "NO AP CREDIT ACCEPTED", e.g. Vanderbilt and UCLA, yet I got interviews to both schools. They actually said that it was fine.
 
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Oct 9, 2014
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I find that the AP requirements etc. aren't really firm. A school's not going to not consider an applicant who APed out of Physics 1 if they're a BAMF in every other aspect. The AP requirements are more there to make sure that everyone takes at least a courseload with a minimum level of rigor. So if you've taken a lot of other challenging science courses and aced them, then the schools aren't going to be as concerned about your academic/intellectual ability because you happen to AP out of one intro course.
I APed out of intro gen chem lab, and I was worried for a long time that schools may stop considering me (some schools have an ambiguously worded AP policy), but I guess the fact that I aced the lectures, the ochem lectures, 2 semesters of ochem lab, and a biochem course (along with several upper level lab and lecture courses), they probably didn't care.
 
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OP
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It turns out that none of the upper physics level classes offered at my university fit conveniently into my schedule. Would it be frowned upon if I took a extremely low level physics class that is for non-science majors ("physics and society")?
 

PlaqueBuster

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No do not take physics and society. its going to be useless. I suggest you take a class in the summer or just go without a upper level physics course. Does physical chemistry actually count a physics elective? or is it chemistry elective?
 
OP
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No do not take physics and society. its going to be useless. I suggest you take a class in the summer or just go without a upper level physics course. Does physical chemistry actually count a physics elective? or is it chemistry elective?
It's a chemistry elective but it felt more like a physics class. It also can be used to replace a chemical engineering physical chemistry class. ugh.. I'm so stuck right now :(
 
OP
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Another option I have it teaching physics 1 or 2 in the physics department and getting credit for it by enrolling in a class "Teaching Assistant" in the physics department. Would this count as an additional physics class? I can get 2 or 3 credits for it depending on whether I choose to grade lab reports or not.
 

ithd

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Another option I have it teaching physics 1 or 2 in the physics department and getting credit for it by enrolling in a class "Teaching Assistant" in the physics department. Would this count as an additional physics class? I can get 2 or 3 credits for it depending on whether I choose to grade lab reports or not.
Probably not? Like I said before... you wont run into much trouble in your situation. I wouldn't even take another physics course if I were you. And if you really, really wanted to, just replace your AP Credit with Physics I.
 
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Porkloins

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Another option I have it teaching physics 1 or 2 in the physics department and getting credit for it by enrolling in a class "Teaching Assistant" in the physics department. Would this count as an additional physics class? I can get 2 or 3 credits for it depending on whether I choose to grade lab reports or not.
I think you need to actually be doing labwork for it to count towards the pre-req
 
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PlaqueBuster

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forget about a higher level physics class if you cannot fit one in your schedule cause none of the suggestions you have so far can substitute for it. Its either a higher level class or not.
 
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OP
PhysicianScientist
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Thanks guys! I did some research and see what you guys mean now - a large amount of medical schools allow AP credits to be used for physics. There are some medical schools that say they do not accept AP credits for physics though (Yale and UCLA from the ones I've seen to far). I did want to apply to Yale and UCLA but I can't decide if its worth taking an extra physics course just to apply..
 

656844

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From what I've read and communicated via e-mail to two medical schools, AP credits are good for 10 years (treated like most science courses you take during undergrad, provided that the med schools you're looking at accept AP physics credits to begin with). Any science courses that are 10 years old or more are most likely not going to be counted towards admissions.

A further note about physics: it's a waste taking calculus-based physics courses. Calculus is not tested on the MCAT, and secondly, the new 2015 MCAT outline specifically states "Introductory Physics" (which makes up 25% of the Physical and Chemical Foundations section). By "introductory," that's not calculus-based physics. Algebra-based is all you need.

Now, some med schools require a full year of physics, and some only 1 semester. Go with General Physics I and II (or College Physics 1 and 2....practically the same thing, as long as it's algebra-based). Even if some med schools require 1 semester of physics, I highly recommend taking Physics 2. In the second half, you're taught electricity and optics. These topics can be clinically correlated to medical or biological situations (i.e. action potential in neurons, the eye, etc.).
 
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Lannister

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I emailed a handful of schools about this exact same situation. The majority said they either won't accept the AP credit, or they'll accept it but expect to see upper-level physics courses to make up for it. There was no way I was taking modern physics, so I just went backwards and took algebra-based mechanics after taking calc-based E&M. Might look kind of sketchy but whatever, better safe than sorry.

EDIT: Sorry, didn't realize this thread was from last October, hope OP has figured this out by now!
 
OP
PhysicianScientist
Feb 25, 2014
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I emailed a handful of schools about this exact same situation. The majority said they either won't accept the AP credit, or they'll accept it but expect to see upper-level physics courses to make up for it. There was no way I was taking modern physics, so I just went backwards and took algebra-based mechanics after taking calc-based E&M. Might look kind of sketchy but whatever, better safe than sorry.

EDIT: Sorry, didn't realize this thread was from last October, hope OP has figured this out by now!
Interesting, from what I observed most said that they will indeed accept AP credits... I hope I am right lol!
 

RedPhys

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Thanks for the advice all. I took calculus based physics 2. It seems like it will just be easier for me to take another upper level physics class instead of limiting my options from not having a pre-req completed.
If you took Calculus-based physics 2 (Electricity and Magnetism, as far as I know), why not just go ahead and take Calculus-based physics 3 (I assume this exists, and if it does, it will just be an introduction to wave phenomena of all sorts - beats, vibrations on a string (exploring different boundary conditions, or in simpler terms - tube with one open end or both ends open, wave equation, very elementary quantum mechanics)? It would be a nice way to wrap up the introductory calculus-based physics sequence.