english requirement question

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by simbalimba, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. simbalimba

    simbalimba Junior Member

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    At my school I am not required to take any english courses, coming in as a freshmen we take a writing proficiency exam and if we do well on it we pass out of the english requirement. I have attached a letter from my school stating this to my transcript sent to amcas, but I wanted to know if this is acceptable, has been done before, which schools are not ok with this, etc. I have taken courses that are writing intensive but they have been philosophy or sociology courses. Please advise.
     
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  3. chad5871

    Physician Moderator Emeritus

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    This might cause a problem, as most medical schools require you to have taken at least one English course. If no one here can offer further clarification, I would contact the schools specifically to find out their policies on this issue.
     
  4. bcat85

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    I think that a lot of schools do actually require a year of english, but sometimes they will substitute for other writing intensive courses. Look at schools in your area that you think you may be interested in applying to who have an english requirement and call them and ask the same question you're asking us. Good luck.
     
  5. simbalimba

    simbalimba Junior Member

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    One possibility is that I take the courses during this next year. The problem is that my university does not even offer english courses, so I will either have to take them at another university or community college. I could also list a few of my philosophy courses as english courses? Especially since they were very writing intensive, if I did this would I need a letter from my school stating this (would I send the letter to amcas or to each school individually)? Anyone else run into a similar problem?
     
  6. justapremed

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    But I also heard that some med schools were picky. This is why our pre health advisors advised us to take 2 classes from the English department, just so that it's clear to the med schools. I think I read a case of a person who wrote a big thesis, showing great and intensive writing skills, but it took many letters from the undergrad institution before this person could be considered as having "finished" his/her premed requirements before matriculation. I don't remember the exact circumstances, but personally, to avoid confusion and unnecessary frustration, I decided to just take 2 English classes though I was also exempt from my undergrad area req's.

    I think though, most med schools are pretty specific about what they want, whether they want 2 "writing intensive courses" or if they want "English courses" and how many...
     
  7. simbalimba

    simbalimba Junior Member

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    Do I need to have the english courses completed before the admission committee looks at my application or is it ok if I complete the courses before starting medical school?
     
  8. copingmethods

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    It's okay if you take them before starting med school I believe, as long as the schools know that you plan to take them. I imagine it would probably be okay to take them at a community college.
     
  9. aster

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    may I ask how you took an exam to pass out of a class that your university doesn't offer? expository writing courses at college are many times used to satisfy the english requirements...so does your school not have a writing program either?
     
  10. pianola

    pianola MS2

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    Honestly, I doubt schools will care a whole lot if you do well on your MCAT verbal/essay. Personal Statement can also help.

    I could be totally wrong about this, but I doubt ANYONE will throw an app in the trash because the applicant didn't take two English courses.

    Besides, you could take them over the summer or next year or something.
     
  11. simbalimba

    simbalimba Junior Member

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    My school requires students to take english courses ONLY if they do not pass the proficiency exam. Students who pass out of it are not even allowed to take the course, I know very weird but that is what I found out, basically the courses offered are for ESL (english as secondary language) students, my school has a lot of international students (Illinois Institute of Technology in case your curious).
    I have been emailing a few schools to find out what there policy is requiring english courses, some schools do not require it at all, others recommend it, and for others I must have it, they state that I must take it by December of the year I am applying so by the end of this year. I wanted to know if my application will be put on hold until I complete the courses or if as stated by others it is ok as long as I state that I will finish it in the future? Can someone who has faced/knows similar problems tell me if they know of universities where I MUST COMPLETE THE 6 HOURS OF ENGLISH BEFORE THEY WILL REVIEW MY APPLICATION?
     
  12. LucidSplash

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    You have to have a plan for taking the classes. While it is usually best, IMHO, to have completed the requirements before applying, there is a space on the application to note that you are in the process of taking specific classes. Whether schools will put your application "on hold" and wait to review it until after the english requirement is fulfilled will depend on the school. As you have noted, different schools have different requirements and so different schools will handle requirements which are "in progress" in different ways. You will have to check with each individual school you intend to apply to that has the english requirement.

    I looked at the school website and your school offers some classes under the heading of "literature" which will probably suffice for the "english" requirement - Lit 328 is an entry level course in poetry. Also look at some of the humanities courses. HUM 106 would work I think.
     
    #11 LucidSplash, Jun 3, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  13. simbalimba

    simbalimba Junior Member

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    thanks for the response. Unfortunately the literature and humanities courses will not work. I specifically asked a few schools about courses in these departments as well as sociology and philosophy, and they stated that it has to be under the ENGLISH category, so not even literature would suffice.
    I will probably end up taking them at a community college, this should not pose a problem right?
     
  14. aster

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    Perhaps you worded your question or weren't entirely clear in posing your question? There are many schools whose writing classes satisfy pre-med pre-reqs that are NOT in the English department. Some schools have separate writing departments so I find it hard to believe that a school would specifically say that the only classes that would satisfy are ENGLISH department classes. How did you present this question and what schools did you ask? On the top of my head, in case you end up asking, I believe Rutgers, MIT (if i remember correctly, it's under communications?) and BU are a few whose writing courses that aren't under english headings that satisfy med schools.

    Anyways, I'm not saying not to take CC courses, they are perfectly fine. I just don't think you have been completely straightforward in this and it seems you are already set on taking the courses at CC.

    I wouldn't suggest presenting your question in a way that you suggest you're trying to pass off a humanities course as an english requirement. You would need to tell them it is a writing course that revolves around the topic of humanities or something like that. Also, doesn't Literature fall under English category anyways, English Literature & Writing? That somewhat gives me the impression you presented your question wrong since they would have at least asked you to elaborate on the Literature courses.
     
  15. LucidSplash

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    I'm in agreement with aster. You can take the community college if you want and it will probably be fine. However I can tell you that there was probably some miscommunication between you and the schools regarding which classes you would take.

    What really matters is how they get classified on the AMCAS. There are three types of classes you can put under the "English Language & Literature (ENGL)" category when you enter them into AMCAS: English Composition & Rhetoric, English Creative Writing, and English Language & Literature. Both the poetry class and the humanities course (life stories - an interdisciplinary study of biographies) will work here. Additionally they simply do not fit anywhere else. Philosophy and sociology classes have their own categories and will not work but anything that has to do with reading and writing will. I myself used a course on chinese literature as one of my requirements when I applied (I'm at the end of MS2 now) and it was in the comparative literature department, not the "english" department.

    Go ahead with your plan for community college classes if that's what you want to do - you can get your requirements that way. But I definitely think it is important that you know that classes at your home school will actually fulfill the requirement and there is always the potential that you will be asked about it at some point. If you tell them that there were no classes which fulfilled the requirement, when that is clearly not the case to those of us that have already been through the application process, it might be an issue. Best of luck in the next year as apply!!:luck:
     
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  17. simbalimba

    simbalimba Junior Member

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    Thank you very much for the advice guys. I will ask the schools again about humanities and literature, I called one of the schools and they stated that literature will be fine but humanities will not work, I told them specifically what courses and my entire situation. The reason I will have to take at least one course at my community college is because my school does not offer the literature courses over the summer and I have a pretty packed schedule for next semester. I know this might be the wrong way to look at it but I don't place much emphasis on my english requirement and it seems that most people agree that you just have to get it done, and thus it isn't as bad to take these courses at a community college as opposed to taking science requirements. Right?
     

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