Do P/NP grades in unrelated science coursework look bad (econ and data science specifically)?

hyperbolicinjuries

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I'm in college studying econ and DS and might go to med school years after college (like after 3-4 years into my first job).

I'm considering P/NP-ing some of my economics classes and maybe some DS ones also and am wondering how that would look to medical schools especially since it's not science coursework and because my cumulative GPA is a 3.8 and my sGPA is a 3.6.

Like, would they care at all? Or would they just think "wow she was a lazy undergrad." Berkeley, my undergraduate institution, is frowning upon P/NP this semester really heavily so just wanted to know.

Since medical school is so GPA dependent my logic is that wouldn't a P be better than a B especially if it's econ or data science and NOT a science pre-req?
 
May 27, 2020
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I dont think anyone will notice or care if its a handful of courses that aren't prereqs.
 
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coolsands155

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I dont think anyone will notice or care if its a handful of courses that aren't prereqs.
The advice I've received from several adcoms at various medical schools (my SMP school included) is that P/NP was intended for the winter semester where everyone was unexpectedly thrown into online-learning. However, everyone going into this fall semester knew what they were getting into. While there are always things that come out of the blue, it is a bad idea to P/NP this semester and moving forward (unless COVID blows up again - yes cases are going up but that's also due to more testing) will be frowned upon by a larger number of schools. - This is just the advice I've received from adcoms so take it as you will.

Med schools do value people who are more than just science nerds with As in gen chem and bio. We all know that an B or an A in economics or women's studies might not mean much, but striving to get good grades in those classes will give you something to talk about because everyone else already has an A in the sciences. My school particularly prefers non-science majors (high MCAT and high GPA in pre reqs still required obviously) because they have other things to talk about. Lots of schools now have non-science related mandatory lectures about social justice, environmental justice, wellness, financial literacy, you name it.
 
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May 27, 2020
139
133
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
The advice I've received from several adcoms at various medical schools (my SMP school included) is that P/NP was intended for the winter semester where everyone was unexpectedly thrown into online-learning. However, everyone going into this fall semester knew what they were getting into. While there are always things that come out of the blue, it is a bad idea to P/NP this semester and moving forward (unless COVID blows up again - yes cases are going up but that's also due to more testing) will be frowned upon by a larger number of schools. - This is just the advice I've received from adcoms so take it as you will.

Med schools do value people who are more than just science nerds with As in gen chem and bio. We all know that an B or an A in economics or women's studies might not mean much, but striving to get good grades in those classes will give you something to talk about because everyone else already has an A in the sciences. My school particularly prefers non-science majors (high MCAT and high GPA in pre reqs still required obviously) because they have other things to talk about. Lots of schools now have non-science related mandatory lectures about social justice, environmental justice, wellness, financial literacy, you name it.

If OP P/NPs their entire semester that would definitely raise a couple eyebrows and they should have some explaination.

I really doubt the difference in getting a B/P vs an A in a handful handful of econ or data science courses are going to have much to add to the OPs story or provide much interview fodder especially since he's already an econ major.
 

coolsands155

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If OP P/NPs their entire semester that would definitely raise a couple eyebrows and they should have some explaination.

I really doubt the difference in getting a B/P vs an A in a handful handful of econ or data science courses are going to have much to add to the OPs story or provide much interview fodder especially since he's already an econ major.
Non-science classes are usually much easier to 4.0 than science classes - even pre-covid (at most schools, a few here and there might be an exception). The average GPA will be up for the next 2-3 cycles since online classes are easier to 4.0 for thousands of applicants (remember, there 2.5x applicants for each MD seats - more than enough to cherry-pick the best fit).

P/NP those classes during this semester may not hurt OP but 5-6 years when OP applies and you have tons of people without P/NP it will not look favorable. I literally have attended a conference with multiple med schools present and they all said the same thing - that this semester and going forward everyone knows what to expect and MAYBE you P/F one class because your grandma passed from COVID suddenly and you failed one exam, but not a handful of classes because you just cruised with a D so you can focus on your 1-2 science classes . It doesn't help that OP is from California and already at a disadvantage so a 3.6 sGPA isn't so impressive coming from there - and no telling what MCAT they can pull off a few years from now.
 

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