Going part-time in college next semester in order to study for MCAT?

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Jan 24, 2021
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Hey everyone,

I'm planning on applying to medical school this upcoming cycle. I've been doing my due-diligence and have a good GPA, will apply with good ECs, been working on getting my LORs, etc.

This really leaves me with one last major hurdle besides actually applying to medical school and preparing my PS, school list, etc. and that is the MCAT.
I initially had planned to take the MCAT at the end of this summer but sort of burnt out and felt I was rushing things. I also hadn't done my biochem class (finishing it will pretty much be my last major pre req). I then was planning on taking a lighter course load this semester compared to previous semesters, which I did, but since I also added two volunteering commitments I still feel strapped on time. For this reason I've been seriously contemplating going part time (7 credits) this upcoming Winter semester and just taking two non-science blowoff-ish courses and then an additional 8-9 credits during the full summer semester. I feel like this will significantly reduce my course load and give me time to really focus on preparing for the MCAT without stretching myself too thin. During the summer, writing up secondaries and my main app while also taking part-time + whatever ECs I'm doing doesn't sound too bad either.

I guess this just leads me to wanting to ask the question as to whether or not any of you recommend it. Whether I go full-time next semester or part time in Winter and Summer will not affect tuition costs at all so that is not an issue. The only two issues I can see arising from this are

1) Medical schools will look at me going part-time somewhat unfavorably. However, last year I took 17 and 18 credit semesters with 3 science/math classes while also doing research while still getting solid grades so I feel like that should sort of show that I am capable of handling a heavy course load.

2) Another far more minor issue I can see arising is that I might not be able to get into the bio class that I want (I do have options though, but this professor is easier and the class itself is more interesting than the alternative) because taking 7 instead of at least 11 credits this upcoming winter semester would make me an upper-level Junior instead of a lower-level senior (class fills up very quickly). Ofc, I could just ask that professor if she would let me into her class from the waitlist anyways and she may or may not do so. This isn't a huge issue though.

So, thoughts, advice, and any experience? I feel like the edge and potentially much better preparation for MCAT definitely would outweigh any potential stigma from medical schools or not being able to get into the class I want but if you feel otherwise please let me know and why.

Thank you for your time and help!