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Does the # of Credits per Semester matter?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ZeroHeroL, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. ZeroHeroL

    2+ Year Member

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    Hi,

    Does it matter if I take less than 15 credits for some of my semesters. I am going into my 2nd year and my current schedule is O-Chem , Biology , Diffy-Q, and an elective for a total of 13 credits and they all meet on the same three days. I always hear that medical schools want to see heavy course loads in their applicants, but I tried that last semester and gotten a 3.85 with 18 credits compared to 4.0 with 13 credits. I can try to take an social science class to push my semester to 16 credits but I don't want to appear to be fluffing my gpa.

    Any suggestions? I am all open :)
     
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  3. J Senpai

    J Senpai Grab my arm. Other arm. MY other arm.
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    Not really. If you have a trend of "light" semesters, maybe...but I don't think anyone will care. A 3.85, heavy semester is excellent work, btw.
     
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  4. You're My Boy Blue

    You're My Boy Blue Second Time's a Charm
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    As long as you keep it above the minimum for a full-time student you will be fine
     
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  5. Pastamahn

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    A lot of people I know took a light freshman year, loaded up and took heavier course loads sophomore year to get in the necessary prereqs, then coasted with about 15 credits (or less for studying for the MCAT) through junior and senior year.
     
  6. Nymphicus

    Nymphicus kane o ke kai
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    It matters if it appears that you are not able to handle a full curricular load. In medical school it's not really possible to "space out the hard classes" like you can in undergrad.

    As long as you stay above full time course load it generally isn't an issue.
     
    #5 Nymphicus, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  7. ac62994

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    I hope not! My last four semesters will only be ~13hrs each...:lame:
     
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  8. Pastamahn

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    Haha I only have 20 credits left between this fall and spring semester, so I'll be coasting with about 13 as well.
     
  9. GrapesofRath

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    Consistently having schedules that are very light is not a good thing. ADCOMs don't care how long it takes you to graduate but if you need extra time because you can only handle 9-10 credits a semester that is a problem.

    OP isn't close to that and keep in mind the whole worrying about "light schedules" isn't nearly as big a thing when it's someone who has consistent academic excellence of 15+credit work a semester who then towards the end of college goes lighter for either the MCAT or because they simply don't have many classes left to take to graduate. It's a much bigger thing when its for those who haven't proven their academic worth and are only getting good grades when they have very very light schedules.
     
  10. efle

    efle not an elf
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    A higher GPA is a bigger plus than a few more credit hours

    Doesn't everyone "space out the hard classes?" At least here it's normal to only have 2 prereqs overlapping at a time
     
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  11. ZeroHeroL

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    So would you guys think my current schedule is "light" now? Should I add one more class like psychology? I do know that my spring semester will be o-chem 2, physics 1, microbiology, and another elective (total 16 credits) regardless if my fall schedule changes.
     
  12. You're My Boy Blue

    You're My Boy Blue Second Time's a Charm
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    You have a hard schedule. Give yourself a break. 13 credits is fine. Grades are more important than course load anyways.

    I've never seen it spelled this way but I kinda like it lol
     
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  13. efle

    efle not an elf
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    Yeah DifEq makes a lot more sense, but I can't talk because OChem here is called "Orgo"
     
  14. cloudmurder1

    cloudmurder1 Average Student

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    Heavy loads are one of the main causes of gpa drops. Keel yourself at full time student always (except for last semester if need be) and you'll be good.
     
  15. efle

    efle not an elf
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    No OP! Don't keel yourself!
     
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  16. cloudmurder1

    cloudmurder1 Average Student

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    I chuckle.
     
  17. efle

    efle not an elf
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    Here on the internet we say "lol" ;)
     
  18. cloudmurder1

    cloudmurder1 Average Student

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    I didn't laugh out loud though.
     
  19. efle

    efle not an elf
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    I think its hyperbole unless people have actually laughed their asses off or rolled around on the floor
     
  20. cloudmurder1

    cloudmurder1 Average Student

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    Thx for the heads up ;)
     
  21. mikil100

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    I think it also depends on circumstances.

    For example, my coursework has consistently been at 11-13 credits per semester for the last 3 years. I also work and volunteer every week. I'm complemented this by taking summer classes, instead of having the summer off of school.

    I managed to pull a 4.0 semester while studying for the MCAT, volunteering, taking 11 credits (Orgo, a language, and Biochem), and working a very stressful job every weekend (12 hr shifts). It's not ideal and it was certainly getting stressful towards the end, I wouldn't recommend stretching yourself thin.
     
  22. ZeroHeroL

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    Thanks everyone. I will stay with my current schedule for this semester. :)
     
  23. InsertMemberNameHere

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    In my experience, no. When it comes to this topic, I think all schools really look at is your cumulative and science GPA.

    They don't care as much how you got there, they just care that you finished the pre-reqs and have a good GPA. Most of the time they have too many applicants to invest too much time into matters such as credits per semester. That's my take, at least.
     
  24. normapuglie

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    I know took a light freshman year, loaded up and took heavier course loads sophomore year to get in the necessary prereqs[​IMG]
     
  25. Allen18328

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    I wonder how this is going to look. I've got 185 credits total. They put something like 111 of them in my senior year.
     
  26. breezy16

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    To add in my two cents:
    I graduated my 4 year degree which has much more credits necessary for graduation than a traditional degree @ 145~ (only came in with one AP, no other credits) My average semester was 16 credits, I'd guess. I had a lot more semesters where I was >16 versus <16.
    I did a post bacc immediately after and was between 200-205 credits total.
    Translates to approximately 17 credits/sem on average for me.
    Note, I am on a gap year. I don't think interview season would be very feasible while in school, let alone at the loads I placed myself on.
     

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