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How long does it REALLY take to finish undergrad?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by k12123, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. k12123

    7+ Year Member

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    I know that ideally, it takes about 4 years. However, with all the prereqs and classes required for major, it seems kinda hard to finish that early.
     
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  3. torshi

    torshi Squirrel
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    I'm already a year ahead. I'll be finishing total of 3 years.
     
  4. loveoforganic

    loveoforganic -Account Deactivated-
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    There's no time crunch with prereqs + major.
     
  5. ReptarBar

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    especially if your major pre-reqs coincide perfectly with med school pre-reqs.
     
  6. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    took 4 years, with two easy semesters and only one summer class and one winter break class
     
  7. aspiringOSTEO

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    #6 aspiringOSTEO, Jan 28, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  8. MedIsInMyBlood

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    If you're a science major, your major requirements will likely include all the pre-med prereqs. So 4 years shouldn't be too hard to finish in.

    If not, 5 years isn't too long I guess. According to my advisor, taking 5 years at my school is a pretty common thing...even though personally I only knew a few people who took 5 years at my school.
     
  9. TTigers70

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    Should be very doable. I'm double majoring in programs that have literally 0 overlap as far as courses are concerned and will finish a semester early. I had to take a summer class because I couldn't register for a course during the normal school year but it didn't change anything as far as when I will graduate. Interesting aside, after looking at science majors (most I've seen have been in the 80-90 credits range) most other majors (again just of what I have seen) are half that.
     
  10. the duck

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    SDN is full of over-achievers :p. The average person in the US takes 6 years to finish undergrad.

    As for medical school: They don't take how long it takes to finish your undergrad as long as you are working hard and juggling a hard load. For example, if you take 6 years, because your just taking the minimum credits per semester and partying a lot, thats gonna look bad, if your working full time to support yourself + a kid, as well as taking the minimum courses, thats acceptable. Basically what I'm saying is it doesn't just have to be a large academic load.


    On another note, it could be difficult if you decided on medicine later, but if you are majoring in something where the pre-reqs don't overlap, and you decided to go to MD school your freshman year, you should have time to take them all.
     
  11. Geneticist

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    I could finish in three but will most likely finish in three and a half. Finishing in four isn't hard. That's what she said.
     
  12. Silverfalcon

    Silverfalcon Do It
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    Everything done including English and Math in 2 years.
     
  13. the duck

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    Cool story bro :)

    Bragging about how amazingly fast you finished really isn't an adequate response to the OP. Just sayin'
     
  14. Geneticist

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    That's what she... um... never mind.

    Finishing in two really isn't that difficult though if you take summer and winter classes and begin college with lots of AP credits. It's doable.
     
  15. iqe2010

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    I plan on going to summer school every year, so it's I'll probably end up graduating a semester early. But, the average grad takes 5+ years..I read that in a magazine somewhere.
     
  16. the duck

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    lol :laugh: Agreed. "amazing" was sarcastic. But once again, that fails online :(
     
  17. Silverfalcon

    Silverfalcon Do It
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    Glad you liked ma story. :smuggrin:

    I'm a bit biased though since yes, AP credits took care of Math, first semester of English was required class for all first-year students, and I just doubled up on sciences every semester (Bio/Org first year and GChem/Physics second year).

    I'm Chem major so it's actually the way for a lot of people (unless they chose not to take Bio in the 1st year).
     
  18. Geneticist

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    So how did you take so many chemistry courses while taking bio/physics/english too?
     
  19. Silverfalcon

    Silverfalcon Do It
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    Basically for Chemistry, students at my school start with Organic Chemistry I/II, the "weed-out" course. Then, the survivals proceed to take Inorganic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry in the second year, along with Introductory Physics I/II. They must also finish Calculus I & II before the end of sophomore year.

    The junior year is dedicated to Physical Chemistry and Quantum Mechanics. Chemistry Seminar (capstone), Instrumentation or Synthesis, one elective, and additional coursework can be fulfilled in junior and senior year.

    I just took Biology along with Organic Chemistry, and last fall, I tripled up on sciences (p-chem, organic chemistry III, experimental neuroscience).
     
  20. SuperHiro

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    Plenty of people major in the sciences in which the premed courses will factor into the requirements for medical school and for their respective major. I can see how if you do not major in something like Psych, Biology, Chem, or Physics it will take up more time. However, unless your school has a crazy number of courses required for every single major it offers, it shouldn't be impossible to do it all within four years. And this is all assuming you take the normal 16 credit hours a semester.

    If you really do feel like 4 years is not enough, what's wrong with taking another year? Might as well enjoy college while you can right? Just don't be the 4th year senior still finishing up the pre-med reqs. :luck:
     
  21. k12123

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    I have a thread about this, but let me tell you anyway, uh i'm starting with college algebra, doesnt that hinder me from finishing in 4 years? thanks.
     
  22. SuperHiro

    SuperHiro Attending
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    Why would it? Most medical schools allow statistics to fulfill their math requirements. And, if you look through the MSAR, few schools require Calculus. If your concern turns to physics, it's pretty much a whole bunch of algebra and trig (just don't take physics with calculus).
     
  23. Lijia4

    Lijia4 MSUCOM c/o 2016
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    Most of the people I know completed in four, but I still know a significant number who finished in 5 (and are currently attending great med schools as well).

    With a Global health major and a Chinese language minor, I had minimal overlap with pre-reqs. I never took spring or summer courses, had to retake a couple classes that I didn't do as well in or withdrew (My soph year was a horrific time for me in my personal life) and even with the majority of my semesters being 16-18 credits (while working 50+ hr weeks!) it wasn't feasible for me to finish in 4. If I took classes in the spring and summer, that'd be a different story, but I like to travel. I wasn't thrilled to do it in 5, but in hindsight, it's really not that big a deal. At my alma mater it really is kind of difficult to finish in 4 unless you're a science major AND take spring/summer classes.

    Take the time you need to do as best you can and select a major that you love--don't worry so much about comparing yourself and your timeline to everyone else. Enjoy your undergrad. You'll be fine :)
     
  24. k12123

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    Thanks! :)
     
  25. Wolfman89

    Wolfman89 2 Legit 2 Quit
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    It will take me five years at this point, but that is only because I decided to double major in biology and psychology as well as decide to go into medicine halfway through my sophomore year.
     
  26. logjammer

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    for the average A student

    one year
     
  27. RedRobin

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    I came in with no AP credit, took no summer classes, and I'm done in four years.

    Most degree plans are designed to be finished in four years under the assumption that you come in without any AP credit. Unless you have a good reason (working full time, double majoring, etc) graduating in time should not be an issue.
     
  28. tomh98

    tomh98 Professional Runner-Up

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    If you are a science major, you can be done in 3 years, if you come in with AP credits and/or some college classes during high school, plus one or two summer classes.

    The real question is: is it worth it to graduate early? College may be the best years of one's life. Plus, you may want to broaden your education and explore some other fields. The benefit of graduating early? $$$$$$$$$

    I did three years on campus followed by a semester abroad then graduated in Jan, a semester early. Honestly, I wish I had stayed for the last semester. It would have helped me prep for med school better, since I would have been around a lot of people doing the same thing.
     
  29. UofM527

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    most of the posts on here have accurately addressed the original question...and like people have noted, it's totally dependent on some combination of incoming credits, your motivation, major(s), and time you decided upon major/pre-med etc...

    while not part of the question, I would keep in mind that there is so much more involved in becoming a good medical school applicant...make sure that no matter how long undergraduate takes, you have the time for meaningful experiences in clinical medicine, research, volunteering, work/life experiences etc...having been on an admissions board, I can say that graduating undergrad very fast and applying at 19 or 20 is of no benefit, and often times is viewed by some members as a negative, as such a person almost always has limited life experiences as well as other activities...and is generally viewed as less mature and ready for medicine than if they were a few years older...clearly exceptions exist - probably all of them are on SDN - but just something to keep in mind!
     
  30. Mithril

    Mithril Johnny Canuck
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    #29 Mithril, Jan 29, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
  31. mitchlucker

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    3.5 but I was an idiot for a couple of semesters taking classes I didnt nee

    With appropriate AP courses in high school, an efficient study system it could be done in 2.5 years at the minimum (a B.S. in bio).

    A B.A. in psych or something similar could be done in 1.5 to 2 years if you're smart about it.

    All depends on the person, the major, and how much time you want to have.
     
  32. SimplyMars9

    SimplyMars9 it all makes sense now
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    I could have finished in three years, but I took some classes just for fun (gasp). Nothing serious though, stuff like yoga, music and art. figured since my tuition is paid in full for 4 years, why not get the most out of all four years?
     
  33. jadealer

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    I finished in 4.5 years with two majors and minor and 175.5 credits. Part of my issue was transferring schools after 2 years and a few minor scheduling conflicts. I took 1-2 summer classes every summer except one. I came into college with 22 credits from AP and college in high school courses. If I had stuck to one major at my first school, I would've graduated within 2.5 years.
     
  34. Kgizzle

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    I'm so glad for this thread i thought i would look bad by taking 4-5 years to finish my B.Sc
     
  35. Lil Mick

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    Triple, non-overlapping majors + honors thesis (other area of concentration) + working + going abroad = about 12 semesters of classes for me

    That being said, none of the schools giving me an interview had an issue with how long it took me to finish (granted, I switched my career track near when I would have graduated). As long as you are taking a full load and participating outside of school, I wouldn't worry about taking >4 years to finish...
     
  36. NickNaylor

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    Unless people are imposing some pretty demanding academic goals on themselves, finishing in four years shouldn't be a problem. And for most people it isn't.
     
  37. mvenus929

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    I finished in 3 years, BS in Bio and minor in history.

    Granted, I had a ton of AP/IB credits (46). My largest course load was 18 credits, and that was 15 during regular semester and a three credit week-long class in January. Next largest course load was 17, 4 of which was an online psych course (do at your own pace!), and 1 of which was physics lab. Smallest courseload was 12 credits my first semester, followed by 13 the semester before my last.

    So I managed exactly 90 credits when I graduated (mostly because one of the schools I was applying to required 90 credits to be done in college, not as AP/IB credit). It wouldn't have been difficult to manage my core classes in 4 years had I not had AP/IB credit, though I probably wouldn't have been as inclined to add a history minor on (I did that because I already had 3 classes out of the way, and only needed 4 more).
     
  38. krispy

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    double majoring: 100000 years

    actually, im psych and pre-professional AND a transfer student, so im graduating a year and a half late. hooray cold snowy december graduations.
     
  39. Ursa

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    +1
     
  40. hmockingbird

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    Four years + one summer. One of those semesters was spent studying abroad so if I hadn't done that, I could've probably done 3.5 years (but it was DEFINITELY worth it). I also wasn't pre-med my first semester freshman year, so I ended up taking general chem over the summer to keep on track with everyone else. I could've done it without the summer, but would've involved taking med school pre-reqs abroad which I didn't want to do. I'll be graduating with an English major and history minor. It's a pain in the butt to schedule but it's possible. I also came in with a lot of AP credits which got a lot of my core out of the way. If not for that, I would not have had a minor... maybe would've had to stay an extra semester depending on how scheduling turned out. If I wasn't pre-med, I could've been out in 3 years. Honestly, it's not a big deal. We have tons of people who graduate in 4.5 or 5 years. It just depends on your program, whether you transferred, whether you studied abroad (I took classes that related to my major, but we have a limited course load we can take abroad, so less than I normally would), changing your major late, stuff like that.
     
  41. Cleavername

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    i live outside of school in an apartment, the people next door work 1 semester full time and do school for another, its going to take them 9 years in total they said. that ist uncommon at all.
     
  42. slatermd

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    True...my older sister did this^. I finished my undergrad in 4, and now have to spend 2 years in a post bacc program to take premed pre reqs I didn't even consider as an undergrad. So all in all, 6 years worth of classes, + 1 year to apply to med school.
     
  43. k12123

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    I applied for Biochemistry major, 84 units plus 36 units gen ed, plus pre-reqs, does it seem like it's possible to finish in 4 years?
     
  44. WeAreNotRobots

    WeAreNotRobots doctor of medicine
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    won't most of the prereq's be covered in a BIOCHEM major? you can do it, but you'd probably overload most semesters.
     
  45. MeowMeowCAT

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    Your prereqs will be fulfilled in the first two years of your biochem major, or less if you take advantage of summer semesters. Either way you will have them fulfilled just by following the requirements for biochem.
     
  46. 194342

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    No. :p

    Three years is very doable with summers. Many people take four-five years due to changes in major/retaking classes. I'd say half of the people from my high school class have taken five years to graduate, the other half 3 to 4 years (of those who went to college and did graduate, I mean).
     
  47. k12123

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    Oh okay, well since I have to overload, I should just take advantage of summer and winter classes instead of overloading right? In order to maintain a high GPA as possible?
     
  48. k12123

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    As that said, uh the univ. catalogue had "suggested classes" for prereqs. For example they recommendes physics 100 while my major, I have to take something else. Medical schools arent specific of which classes to take except orgo and gen. bio. Does that mean I have to follow what the univ. recommends or does the physics in my major just fine? Cuz if I have to take both, maybe I'll just swap my major for molecular biology since it has a lot of the prereqs that they recommend.
     

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