Dec 26, 2013
79
5
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi All,

So I'm planning to "do it myself" instead of going to a formal postbac. I'm in Houston and will be taking classes at University of Houston (main campus). I decided to take my time and do it in about 18 months, leaving the last 4 months leading up to the 2016 MCAT for MCAT study time and more volunteer work.

Summer Session 1, 2014: Gen Chem 1 with lab
Summer Session 2, 2014: Gen Chem 2 with lab

Fall semester 2014:
Biology 1 with lab
Pre-Cal
O-Chem 1 with lab

Spring semester 2015:
Biology 2 with lab
Calculus 1
O-chem 2 with lab

Summer 2015 Session 1: Physics 1 with lab
Summer 2015 Session 2: Physics 2 with lab

Fall 2015:
Biochem
English Comp
Bio Elective or Psychology

Spring 2016:
Study for April MCAT
Volunteer/Research


What do you guys think? Any other suggestions? Is it bad to be taking gen chem and physics over the summers? I've heard sometimes that looks bad to med school admissions, but I am a post bac...thanks for the feedback!!
 

GLaDOS

She has a medical degree. In fashion! From France!
Dec 31, 2012
40
4
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
We have almost the exact same plan. Mine is a little less comprehensive than yours. I'm a bit nervous about doing gen chem & physics over the summers, but I've already decided to do nothing other than coursework during those few months.

Summer: Gen Chem 1 & 2
Fall: Bio 1 & O-Chem 1
Spring: Bio 2 & Biochem
Summer: Physics 1 & 2

May I ask why you decided to take pre-calc & calc 1?
 
OP
R
Dec 26, 2013
79
5
Status
Pre-Medical
Nice to see we're on the same page so to speak. Need to re-take the math classes that I did poorly on in undergrad. For DO schools, I'm doing it for the grade replacement.
 
Sep 26, 2013
328
188
Status
Medical Student
I think your plan looks good. I spent about 18 months on my DIY post-bac. Calculus and Organic Chemistry 2 during the same semester may be a bit difficult, but you can do it! For the TMDSAS here in Texas, grade replacement is not possible, but don't worry too much. Just get A's in your DIY post-bac classes. I still got into TCOM in Forth Worth with what TMDSAS calculated as a 3.28 science GPA. It was 3.47 on the AACOMAS (DO school app service). Hopefully, your science GPA will be a lot higher than mine :)

BTW, I took most my classes at a community college to save money. You might consider that. Only the uppity schools dislike the community colleges. I also took physics during the summer, and it was just fine (fast-paced but doable).
 

DOctored

Student of Life.
Jul 6, 2013
71
8
CA
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi All,

So I'm planning to "do it myself" instead of going to a formal postbac. I'm in Houston and will be taking classes at University of Houston (main campus). I decided to take my time and do it in about 18 months, leaving the last 4 months leading up to the 2016 MCAT for MCAT study time and more volunteer work.

Summer Session 1, 2014: Gen Chem 1 with lab
Summer Session 2, 2014: Gen Chem 2 with lab

Fall semester 2014:
Biology 1 with lab
Pre-Cal
O-Chem 1 with lab

Spring semester 2015:
Biology 2 with lab
Calculus 1
O-chem 2 with lab

Summer 2015 Session 1: Physics 1 with lab
Summer 2015 Session 2: Physics 2 with lab

Fall 2015:
Biochem
English Comp
Bio Elective or Psychology

Spring 2016:
Study for April MCAT
Volunteer/Research


What do you guys think? Any other suggestions? Is it bad to be taking gen chem and physics over the summers? I've heard sometimes that looks bad to med school admissions, but I am a post bac...thanks for the feedback!!


Is Dr. Bott still teaching chem at UH?? If so I definitely recommend him .. He's awesome
I think he teaches the summer class as well.
Dr. Bean for Ochem is great,
And I took CAL 1 and 2 both with bio and Chem and did great in them but I like Math so it depends how you are with Math but I say it's doable

Good luck!!!
 

Pietrantonio

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 6, 2007
165
1
North Carolina
I'm going to take calc as well at some point. Most schools have done away with it, and from what I read there's no calc on the MCAT. But, it's a way to improve GPA and maximize your chances with schools. Not all have done away with it, and all that's listed is the minimum reqs to gain admission. Nothing wrong with gaining more knowledge and experience with advanced courses. Best of luck. Anything is doable when your mind is in it!
 

StBernardsRule

5+ Year Member
Mar 17, 2011
191
113
Status
Medical Student
Just be sure you're volunteering and researching over all two years (or at least volunteering). You can't really fit in volunteering or researching in a few months as it often takes months to even get started and the admission committee wants to see length of commitment.
 
OP
R
Dec 26, 2013
79
5
Status
Pre-Medical
Yeah, I know volunteering is important. If I volunteered at a local level 1 Trauma Hospital for a few hours each week over a period of 2 years, in addition to 1-2 days each of shadowing a bunch of different specialties, would that be enough for most adcoms?
 

StBernardsRule

5+ Year Member
Mar 17, 2011
191
113
Status
Medical Student
Yeah, I know volunteering is important. If I volunteered at a local level 1 Trauma Hospital for a few hours each week over a period of 2 years, in addition to 1-2 days each of shadowing a bunch of different specialties, would that be enough for most adcoms?
Yup.
 
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
Looks very reasonable.

It doesn't look bad to take the prereqs during the summers as a nontrad. Adcoms know our schedules are going to be different out of necessity.
 
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OP
R
Dec 26, 2013
79
5
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for the feedback guys. I was thinking of an alternate schedule as well:

Summer (2 month period) 2014: Gen Chem 1 with lab and Physics 1 with lab

Fall semester 2014:
Biology 1 with lab
English
O-Chem 1 with lab

Spring semester 2015:
Biology 2 with lab
Pre-Cal
O-chem 2 with lab

Summer 2015 (2 month period): Calculus 1 and Physics 2 with lab

Fall 2015:
Biochem
Bio Elective and/or Psychology

Spring 2016:
Study for April MCAT


This way I won't be doing chem and physics classes each in 4 week condensed blocks..that seems a bit intense.
I was thinking for someone with no science background it might better to do it this way and have 2 full summer months to devote to both pre-reqs rather than 4 weeks per pre-req. Thoughts?
 
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
Thanks for the feedback guys. I was thinking of an alternate schedule as well:

Summer (2 month period) 2014: Gen Chem 1 with lab and Physics 1 with lab

Fall semester 2014:
Biology 1 with lab
English
O-Chem 1 with lab

Spring semester 2015:
Biology 2 with lab
Pre-Cal
O-chem 2 with lab

Summer 2015 (2 month period): Calculus 1 and Physics 2 with lab

Fall 2015:
Biochem
Bio Elective and/or Psychology

Spring 2016:
Study for April MCAT


This way I won't be doing chem and physics classes each in 4 week condensed blocks..that seems a bit intense.
I was thinking for someone with no science background it might better to do it this way and have 2 full summer months to devote to both pre-reqs rather than 4 weeks per pre-req. Thoughts?
Am I missing something or did Gen Chem 2 disappear?
 
OP
R
Dec 26, 2013
79
5
Status
Pre-Medical
Am I missing something or did Gen Chem 2 disappear?
Oops :) Yeah, put Gen Chem 2 in Summer 2015, and take out Calculus. I could take Calculus in Fall 2015.

So basically both my summers would be chemistry and physics, over the course of 2 months.

Which schedule do you think would be a bit easier to manage for someone with no science background? Or can you call it a wash?
 
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
Oops :) Yeah, put Gen Chem 2 in Summer 2015, and take out Calculus. I could take Calculus in Fall 2015.

So basically both my summers would be chemistry and physics, over the course of 2 months.

Which schedule do you think would be a bit easier to manage for someone with no science background? Or can you call it a wash?
Honestly, a wash. Physics 1 and 2 are sometimes more separate but Gen Chem 2 builds on Gen Chem 1. It's likely whatever you gain by spreading things out a bit more will be equalized by losing the continuity.

I'd try to talk to people who have taken the courses at your institution specifically and find out if there is a prof who is particularly good, or one who should be avoided, or just in general what the courses are like during the summers, and make your decision based on that school-specific information.
 
OP
R
Dec 26, 2013
79
5
Status
Pre-Medical
I have some free time between now and when gen chem classes start this summer...any recommendations for what to get started on? Should I just start teaching myself gen chem and learning the basics?
 
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
I have some free time between now and when gen chem classes start this summer...any recommendations for what to get started on? Should I just start teaching myself gen chem and learning the basics?
Brush up on your algebra and basic math skills. Solving for variables in equations, exponents and logs, etc. It will be very helpful.

In general I'm not a big proponent of pre-studying a specific class's material because it's a fairly low-yield activity. You still have to do the assignments for the class anyway. But de-rusting your math skills will pay dividends in both chem and physics and then later on the MCAT. You don't want to have to be reteaching yourself math when you should be just trying to learn chem and physics.
 

cbarne01

5+ Year Member
Nov 20, 2012
98
14
Guelph, Ontario
Status
Veterinary Student
I would consider NOT breaking phys up by a whole year, but my school had a very strange physics assessment strategy.

Thanks for the feedback guys. I was thinking of an alternate schedule as well:
Summer (2 month period) 2014: Gen Chem 1 with lab and Physics 1 with lab

Fall semester 2014:
Biology 1 with lab
English
O-Chem 1 with lab

Spring semester 2015:
Biology 2 with lab
Pre-Cal
O-chem 2 with lab

Summer 2015 (2 month period): Calculus 1 and Physics 2 with lab
 
OP
R
Dec 26, 2013
79
5
Status
Pre-Medical
Already took sociology as a freshman and got an A, though I forgot most of what I learned since then. Probably just pick up a good sociology textbook and use that without taking a formal class. And I think I'm gonna go with the first schedule, which is back to back gen chem summer 2014 and then back to back physics summer 2015.
 

Mad Jack

Critically Caring
5+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2013
35,486
64,968
4th Dimension
Go with your initial plan. You really want to finish gen chem II before you start ochem if you want it to make a lot of sense.
 
OP
R
Dec 26, 2013
79
5
Status
Pre-Medical
Sorry to bump the thread but I was just wondering, would MD schools look down on my application if I only took 2 science courses (with labs) each semester? Though I would have very full summers, knocking out gen chem and physics completely. I'm actually taking english and calculus now, so I can finish out the science pre-reqs just doing 2 per semester. Plus I work part-time so it would make life easier. Thoughts?

New schedule:
Summer Session 1, 2014: Gen Chem 1 with lab
Summer Session 2, 2014: Gen Chem 2 with lab

Fall semester 2014:
Biology 1 with lab
O-Chem 1 with lab

Spring semester 2015:
Biology 2 with lab
O-chem 2 with lab

Summer 2015 Session 1: Physics 1 with lab
Summer 2015 Session 2: Physics 2 with lab

Fall 2015:
Biochem
Psychology
Bio Elective (maybe)

 

doit4humanity

It's Morphin' Time!
2+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2014
63
15
Status
Pre-Medical
How are you guys taking gen chem 1 and 2 together? There is no prerequisite for them? My school require us to take chem 1 first before we can jump to Chem 2
 
Jul 10, 2014
2
2
Status
Pre-Medical
Looking good! Remember to take a look at schools you're potentially interested in and see what specific classes they might require that aren't on your list - you've already accounted for Biochem (which is required for quite a few places and "strongly recommended" for nearly all of them), but you might want to see if you need Intro to Sociology (I've seen 3-4 credits of sociology on requirement lists) and/or perhaps an anthropology class (some places require between 8 and 12 psych/socio/anthro credits).
 
Sep 8, 2014
48
7
Status
Pre-Medical
I think it looks good! I need some help planning my curriculum out as well. Congrats on going back to school!