Jul 25, 2013
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Hey fellow people at SDN! As finals week is approaching fast I am starting to think more and more (obsessively) about my med school application this summer.

I'm scheduled to take the MCAT in April, and by next semester I will have finished all the pre-med requirements for my in-state school. However, I want to keep my prerequisites inline with other more prestigious schools' requirements as well. And I worry that by not having certain courses by the actual time I apply could weaken my application.

For example:
Mayo requires a full year of bio with lab. As of next semester (if my premed advisor didn't lie to be about mbio counting as bio for med apps) I should have the full year of bio coursework as well as one semester of lab, but I will be lacking the second semester of lab until after I apply. Which I plan to take the mbio lab my senior year. On the Mayo site it also says, " Please note that all prerequisite coursework must be completed by June 15th of the planned matriculation year." Which leads me to believe my situation would be okay.

This is where I come seeking advice. Would my application be significantly stronger if when I applied all of the required coursework was finished? (I will only be missing that one semester of bio lab).
Also I plan to take more upper-division bio my senior year like histo, and cell bio or mol bio. Would applying with all this UD coursework completed as well significantly affect my chances either way?

Thanks for your time!
 
Apr 23, 2013
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If your grades are good, then the extra classes are not going to mean much on your application.

If you need to show upward trend, then the classes will help.

If you use the extra time to beef up your ECs, that would definitely make your application stronger. But just classwork, no. Remember many people apply (and get in) to medical school without upper level science classwork.
 
Aug 8, 2013
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You application will almost always be stronger if you give yourself more time to become a more mature and accomplished applicant. The answer to your question was given by davi5468, but I wanted to plug a bit for taking time off after college. I have yet to meet anyone who has regretted taking a year or two off :)
 
OP
arrowpusher
Jul 25, 2013
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Thanks for the replies! Everyone keeps telling me to consider a year off. I know I probably wouldn't regret the time but I feel eager to push onwards. Something to keep mulling over I guess.
 

Doctor Strange

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You're asking if missing one semester of bio lab is going to hurt your application. It will not.

As far as taking upper division science courses, it may or may not affect your application, depending on how well you do in them (factors into GPA) and whether or not schools even bother to closely examine the type of courses you're taking.