Does it hurt your application to take non-calculus based physics classes?

exilio

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Perhaps it does not hurt, but I guess taking calc-based physics classes would help? Maybe?

The reason I ask is because I am trying to determine how high I should go with math.

Everyone keeps recommending to not take classes you will do poorly at..but how the hell are you supposed to know before you even take the class?

And what physics classes are typically acceptable?

For instance I am looking at xferring to UCLA..but they seem to offer only one non-calculus based physics class...which would mean I need two others (they are ont he quarter system). So what would qualify in lieu of taking the calc based physics classes?

Thanks in advance.
 

nrosigh

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You don't need calculus-based physics for med school or for the mcat. An A in non-calculus physics is much better than a B in calculus physics, even though the second might be a harder accomplishment.
 

funkless

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I truly can't imagine it making a difference in your app package.

I took non-calc physics, did well on the MCAT and got accepted to my two top choices.



--Funkless
 
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Alexander99

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Yup. Don't take calculus-based physics. I ended up making that mistake and got a few B's that would have been A's had I taken the easier variety. The problem with calc-based physics is your competition will be physics and engineer majors so it's gonna be really tough to do better than the rest of the class. The worst part is, I don't think you can tell from the transcript and class description what the difference is between the two types. That's one of the only mistakes I made in selecting my premed courses that I would change if I could.
 

exilio

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Well, I may not have a choice. Most UC schools only have calc-based physics...which basically means I am screwed.

Because if I suck at calc, the problem is only exacerbated by having to take a calc based physics class.

Plus if I don't take calc, it is going to limit the med schools I apply to. BUT, if I do take calc, and I get C's then I'll look even worse no matter where I apply.

So this is definitely a damned if you do and damned if you don't kind of situation.

:scared:
 

exilio

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Originally posted by quideam
Don't take it. You won't need it. It won't help you. And they won't care.
Don't take what? Calc based physics?

I don't think I have a choice. Most of the decent UC schools I am planning to transfer to, don't offer a non-calc based physics series.

UCLA for instance has ONE non-calc physics class...I would need to take two more...and besides they have a one year of college level math req..so if I go there it would be lame not to have the calc to apply to UCLA med school...

*sigh* :(
 

spaz

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Originally posted by exilio
Don't take what? Calc based physics?

I don't think I have a choice. Most of the decent UC schools I am planning to transfer to, don't offer a non-calc based physics series.

UCLA for instance has ONE non-calc physics class...I would need to take two more...and besides they have a one year of college level math req..so if I go there it would be lame not to have the calc to apply to UCLA med school...

*sigh* :(
are you talking about physics 10? aka "physics for poets" where gravity is -10 m/s^2. basically this is a course for humanities majors to fulfill GE requirements.

to fulfill the premed requirements, either take the physics 1 series (for physical science and engineering majors) or the physics 6 series (for life science majors). most premeds take the 6 series.
in terms of math, physics 1 requires math 31/32 series. physics 6 requires math 3 series.
 

exilio

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Thanks spaz.

But this, I know. And that is the dilemma. I want to take non-calc bases physics classes..but it would seem I am not going to have that luxury.

And what's wrong with physics for poets? ;)
 
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UCSBMed1

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Originally posted by exilio
Don't take what? Calc based physics?

I don't think I have a choice. Most of the decent UC schools I am planning to transfer to, don't offer a non-calc based physics series.

UCLA for instance has ONE non-calc physics class...I would need to take two more...and besides they have a one year of college level math req..so if I go there it would be lame not to have the calc to apply to UCLA med school...

*sigh* :(
Thats not true at all. I know at my alma mater, here at Davis, and as mentioned above at UCLA, all schools have a non-calculus based physics class.

Try to look at the catalog under the prereqs for Biology majors for these physics classes. Bio majors usually are req'd. to take Physics to graduate, but the course usually omits the Calculus.
 
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Blade28

Originally posted by exilio
I don't think I have a choice. Most of the decent UC schools I am planning to transfer to, don't offer a non-calc based physics series.
I know for a fact that UCSD (where I went to school) offers non-calculus-based physics classes, since I TAed a few of them!

There are 3 tracks: non-calculus, calculus-based, and physics-for-physics-majors.
 

UCLAstudent

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UCLA does NOT offer a non-calculus-based physics series. It would be very difficult to find three non-calculus classes at UCLA. Your best bet would be to take the Physics 6 series at UCLA. All of the engineers will be taking the 1 series. The 6 series is specifically for life science majors (MIMG, MCDB, physci). I am not exceptionally good at math, and I had the same fears as you. I found the 6 series to be very doable, if you are willing to put in the work. It is watered down; definitely not as tough as what the engineers take! To take the 6 series, you need to have calculus. You should take the math 3 series (like the physics 6 series, it was designed for life science majors).

I hope this helps. Feel free to PM me or respond here if you have additional questions. Good luck! :)
 

UCSBMed1

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I'm sure you need calcalus for UCLA's Physics 6 series as a prereq, but did you actually use it?

Were you integrating, and differentiating? In my Physics 6 series, we didn't, and it was very doable. I hated it, but it was manageable.
 

exilio

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UCLA has ONE physics class that is non-calc based and that is Physics 10.

The Physics 1 series is for engineering majors and the Physics 6 series is for life science majors. Both series are calc based.

And Davis does have a workaround for Physics. You take 1 qtr class, then a 2 qtr series. But they say it is not the course people typically take who are moving on to professional educations.

UCLAstudent,
Thank you very much for your words of encouragement. I probably will PM you because UCLA is where I would like to xfer to fro Fall 05. Or feel free to PM me with any pertinent details about all things UCLA. ;) Any info is very much appreciated.
 

gschl1234

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How would the adcom know whether your physics class was calc based or not based on your AMCAS?
 

exilio

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Originally posted by gschl1234
How would the adcom know whether your physics class was calc based or not based on your AMCAS?
One of two ways I would imagine.

1) They just happen to be familiar with that particular school's catalog..or

2) They actually look it up (unlikely)

But I think it is a moot point, since UCLA offers no alternatives for physics.
 

carrigallen

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Calc vs Non calc physics:

No one cares. No one can even tell the difference on your transcript.
 
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