Good planner or just unwilling to challenge myself?

stifler

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2004
338
0
Status
This summer I'm taking Physics I, II, and Calculus II at UMass Boston. No way am I bashing UMass Boston, but coming from a top 10 ranked undergraduate institution (at least according to US NEWS) is a step down. I am doing so mainly because I don't want to take Orgo, In-organic, and Physics in the same semester and also because I can take a reduced course load (3 courses instead of 4) I take Orgo II spring semester of my sophomore year and Physical Chemistry fall sem of junior year because I know they are really hard.

You might not believe this but I might be a dance minor in addition to my Biochemistry major, so that means I would be taking a lot of classes credit/fail not by choice aka around 3 or 4. I definately know I would be taking 3/4 courses pass fail because I am allowed to. So in summary, I will be taking only 29 classes at my college and 6-8 of them would be pass/fail.

would admissions office look critically at it? i mean i think ill pull out a good gpa given my reduced course load
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,981
9,891
Status
Attending Physician
stifler said:
This summer I'm taking Physics I, II, and Calculus II at UMass Boston. No way am I bashing UMass Boston, but coming from a top 10 ranked undergraduate institution (at least according to US NEWS) is a step down. I am doing so mainly because I don't want to take Orgo, In-organic, and Physics in the same semester and also because I can take a reduced course load (3 courses instead of 4) I take Orgo II spring semester of my sophomore year and Physical Chemistry fall sem of junior year because I know they are really hard.

You might not believe this but I might be a dance minor in addition to my Biochemistry major, so that means I would be taking a lot of classes credit/fail not by choice aka around 3 or 4. I definately know I would be taking 3/4 courses pass fail because I am allowed to. So in summary, I will be taking only 29 classes at my college and 6-8 of them would be pass/fail.

would admissions office look critically at it? i mean i think ill pull out a good gpa given my reduced course load
You always want to limit the number of P/F courses to just a few, and never take them in the prereqs. I suspect that if you are going outside of your school to take the prereqs, the adcoms are going to pay very close attention to the MCAT to see if the score is reflective of your GPA, but if both the GPA and MCAT are good, you are probably fine. I'm not sure how realistic it is to take three semester-long classes in one summer, though.
 

liverotcod

Lieutenant Crunch
15+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2003
2,336
6
Status
Attending Physician
In general it's not a good idea to take your pre-reqs away from your home school. It makes it look like you are avoiding the (theoretically) more rigorous courses at your top-ten school. Take your dance classes at UMass (or whatever).
 
OP
S

stifler

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2004
338
0
Status
liverotcod said:
In general it's not a good idea to take your pre-reqs away from your home school. It makes it look like you are avoiding the (theoretically) more rigorous courses at your top-ten school. Take your dance classes at UMass (or whatever).
Would Admissions see it as avoiding more rigorous courses? I mean if I dont take these prereqs this summer I would have to take Orgo, Inorganic Chemistry, Physics I, and Calc II (at my school calc has lab too so that woulud be 4 labs next semester). If I chose that path I am royally screwd.

3 summer courses at UMass Boston is pretty realistic, a Bio major did it 2 years ago and got A+'s in physics I and physics II with supposedly not much effort.
 

liverotcod

Lieutenant Crunch
15+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2003
2,336
6
Status
Attending Physician
stifler said:
Would Admissions see it as avoiding more rigorous courses? I mean if I dont take these prereqs this summer I would have to take Orgo, Inorganic Chemistry, Physics I, and Calc II (at my school calc has lab too so that woulud be 4 labs next semester). If I chose that path I am royally screwd.

3 summer courses at UMass Boston is pretty realistic, a Bio major did it 2 years ago and got A+'s in physics I and physics II with supposedly not much effort.
Take Calculus this summer - it's not really one of the core pre-reqs. Then take Physics I and Gen Chem I next fall, the the IIs in the spring. Organic should not be taken concurrently with Gen Chem. That is, unless you really mean Inorganic Chem (the upper-division course). Organic can wait another year.

I'm not concerned about your ability to handle the summer courseload. More about how it looks to adcoms. Can you take the summer courses at your home school?
 
OP
S

stifler

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2004
338
0
Status
liverotcod said:
Take Calculus this summer - it's not really one of the core pre-reqs. Then take Physics I and Gen Chem I next fall, the the IIs in the spring. Organic should not be taken concurrently with Gen Chem. That is, unless you really mean Inorganic Chem (the upper-division course). Organic can wait another year.

I'm not concerned about your ability to handle the summer courseload. More about how it looks to adcoms. Can you take the summer courses at your home school?
I mean upper level Inorganic Chem not gen chem. I'll be done with those at the end of the year. I can't take summer courses at my home school. I'll take Multivariable back at my home school to prove that I know my stuff. I mean its really a not of matter of getting around things, rather it is to give myself a chance to breathe next semester. I think I can do decently in Physical Chem junior year to prove that I learned my stuff.

I've basically made my decision, but if I would screw myself over with top schools I would obviously rethink it. I really don't think I can handle 4 labs, I'm drowning in 3 right now.
 

liverotcod

Lieutenant Crunch
15+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2003
2,336
6
Status
Attending Physician
stifler said:
I've basically made my decision, but if I would screw myself over with top schools I would obviously rethink it.
It's not that big of a deal. You'll be fine. I don't know that I would call it good planning, though! :D
 

Scarletbegonias

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2005
224
0
37
Oklahoma
Status
stifler said:
This summer I'm taking Physics I, II, and Calculus II at UMass Boston. No way am I bashing UMass Boston, but coming from a top 10 ranked undergraduate institution (at least according to US NEWS) is a step down. I am doing so mainly because I don't want to take Orgo, In-organic, and Physics in the same semester and also because I can take a reduced course load (3 courses instead of 4) I take Orgo II spring semester of my sophomore year and Physical Chemistry fall sem of junior year because I know they are really hard.

You might not believe this but I might be a dance minor in addition to my Biochemistry major, so that means I would be taking a lot of classes credit/fail not by choice aka around 3 or 4. I definately know I would be taking 3/4 courses pass fail because I am allowed to. So in summary, I will be taking only 29 classes at my college and 6-8 of them would be pass/fail.

would admissions office look critically at it? i mean i think ill pull out a good gpa given my reduced course load
Can you take organic chem before you have completed in-organic chem?
Also, adcoms look at course load....just something to think about.
And forget about all that top ten ranking bs and concentrate on doing well in your classes where ever you take them.
 

alec689

alec689
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2005
54
1
New York, NY
Status
stifler said:
I mean upper level Inorganic Chem not gen chem. I'll be done with those at the end of the year. I can't take summer courses at my home school. I'll take Multivariable back at my home school to prove that I know my stuff. I mean its really a not of matter of getting around things, rather it is to give myself a chance to breathe next semester. I think I can do decently in Physical Chem junior year to prove that I learned my stuff.

I've basically made my decision, but if I would screw myself over with top schools I would obviously rethink it. I really don't think I can handle 4 labs, I'm drowning in 3 right now.
I was in a similar situation to yours. I took about 6 credits/classes worth of music performance that was pass/fail by designation (not by my choice). I also studied abroad in Costa Rica, so I also have classes from an outside institution. I also never took more than two lab science courses in a single semester, so I can't say that my schedule looked extremely rigorous, although I did take a number of challenging humanities/social science credits.

I would say that if your MCATs are decent and you do well in your home-institution's science classes you’d be fine. I wouldn't take too many classes at UMass Boston, but one summer's worth shouldn't hurt your application.

I have done well enough in the app process to be happy so far, although by no means did I get in everywhere. I would do what you would enjoy most - Medical schools want to see that you challenge yourself and that you really enjoy and are committed to what you do. If dance is your thing, go for it!