Jul 17, 2015
25
6
Status
Pre-Dental
I'm currently attending CC and have one more last semester before I transfer to a 4 year university. My CC has a transfer agreement with the 4 year university I'm going to attend, where they will waive all General Education requirements if I graduate with an A.S. degree from my CC.

I'm going to major in Biology but my projected semester course load seems really low since I won't have any general education courses to pad out the credit load. Most of the suggested semester schedules have 2-3 science/math courses + 2 gen ed. courses which equals out to about 15-17 credits. Without taking the gen ed courses, the credit load is only 9-10 each semester which seems low to me. Will dental schools care if I only take 9-10 credits of the required science/math courses for my major, without taking the general education courses?

The only reason I went to CC was to save money on the gen ed courses. I didn't plan on going to dental school at the time though so I didn't think about how a low credit course load would look to adcoms. Should I just take those gen ed courses anyway even though I don't have to, to artificially pad out the credit load for each semester? I'd prefer to save money/keep my loans as low as possible but if that hampers my chances of getting into dental school, then I will definitely take out more money for gen ed courses.

Obviously, I could replace those 2 gen ed courses per semester with more science courses but I'm worried that will affect my GPA negatively and ruin my chances at dental schools. The school I'm going to is notorious for it's tough Science department. RateMyProfessor and various department reviews online also don't look good, alot of "unfair" graders/no exam curves/disorganized/bad teachers and such, which worries me about overwhelming myself and screwing up my GPA if I take 5 tough science/math courses at once.
 
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OP
Skyrising
Jul 17, 2015
25
6
Status
Pre-Dental
I agree with you, on challenging myself.

It's just I called the academic office and spoke to one of the advisers and she straight up told me that it's not recommended to take more than I have to, just to impress adcoms, especially during semesters where I take Bio 1 and Chem 1/2 because they're weeder courses. She basically said it's better to have a 4.0 GPA with 9-10 credits than a 3.4 GPA with 15-17 credit loads, but I've learned to take things advisers say with a grain of salt.

I also recall a horrific math course where I studied for 2 weeks for the final exam only to receive a C- because the professor didn't curve the test despite most students failing and half of the test questions weren't in any hw/practice problems/lecture/study guide.. before that, I definitely believed that most "bad teacher" reviews were due to lazy students but I've definitely learned to be wary of such professors. Most students in those courses only cared if they passed or not but I needed a 4.0, this is my life they're playing with here haha! I genuinely had nightmares about that class afterwards lol.
 

hellofuturedentists

2+ Year Member
Jun 21, 2015
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For what it's worth, I haven't taken more than 15 credits at a time (last semester and this coming semester I am taking 12) and I have 2 interviews so far. I don't think course load is a deciding factor if you are doing well and have other activities, too!
 
Aug 4, 2015
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At my school they only cared that you took a full course for a semester or two with all upper level science courses. You still have time to do that.
 

SenoritaKorea

2+ Year Member
Jun 9, 2015
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I agree with @hellofuturedentists , course load is an element they will look at, but know yourself. If you would prefer to lighten your load a bit to ease a little bit into university life, take that time and perhaps do more extracurriculars. There's usually positions on campus that are relatively less competitive than RA/orientation leader/ambassadors, though definitely try them out! Or even get involved in Greek life--I was in a more academic-focused sorority and met some great study partners which surprised me since at my school not many Bio/chem majors were involved with sororities.

Don't worry too much about ratemyprofessor. I never took a course that curved. I think it helped me because even if my GPA wasn't a 4.0, I know that I learned my courses really well with the grades I made--it'll come out in the wash with your DAT score.
 
Nov 22, 2014
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I'd say your adviser is wrong, it's best to get a 4.0 and take 15-17 credits. Why would you need to retake gen eds to take 15 credits or so each semester? You can take Ochem, Physics, a Sociology class and 2 labs for 15 credits (assuming your school gives 1 credit for labs and the other classes are 3 credits each). That takes care of this year. Then next year take several upper level bio/chem classes, anatomy/physiology, etc. Also, if you only take 9 credits/semester, you won't have enough credits to graduate or to apply for dental school. You need 90 credits minimum, with only 60 of those being from CC max.
 
OP
Skyrising
Jul 17, 2015
25
6
Status
Pre-Dental
I'd say your adviser is wrong, it's best to get a 4.0 and take 15-17 credits. Why would you need to retake gen eds to take 15 credits or so each semester? You can take Ochem, Physics, a Sociology class and 2 labs for 15 credits (assuming your school gives 1 credit for labs and the other classes are 3 credits each). That takes care of this year. Then next year take several upper level bio/chem classes, anatomy/physiology, etc. Also, if you only take 9 credits/semester, you won't have enough credits to graduate or to apply for dental school. You need 90 credits minimum, with only 60 of those being from CC max.
Ochem + Physics + Sociology (already took it at CC anyway) + 2 labs is only 13 credits. Also, I can't take Ochem and Physics the first year because Gen. Bio, Gen. Chem 1/2, and Calculus are all pre-reqs for those courses and I haven't taken them yet, which I plan to the first year. My adviser told me that I should take 2-3 science courses per semester + 2 electives after the first year, to balance it out and get a well rounded semester going towards senior year. She said that she's seen a lot of pre-meds try to load up a 15-18 credit semester with only science courses, trying to rush it and impress adcoms, only to then wreck their GPA. I don't want to be one of those people. I was going to apply to dental schools after my 3rd year at the university.
 
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Nov 22, 2014
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Ochem + Physics + Sociology (already took it at CC anyway) + 2 labs is only 13 credits. Also, I can't take Ochem and Physics the first year because Gen. Bio, Gen. Chem 1/2, and Calculus are all pre-reqs for those courses and I haven't taken them yet, which I plan to the first year. My adviser told me that I should take 2-3 science courses per semester + 2 electives after the first year, to balance it out and get a well rounded semester going towards senior year. She said that she's seen a lot of pre-meds try to load up a 15-18 credit semester with only science courses, trying to rush it and impress adcoms, only to then wreck their GPA. I don't want to be one of those people. I was going to apply to dental schools after my 3rd year at the university.
oh, bad math----way too early in the morning to post that!!! I guess I don't see anything wrong with taking 15+ credits, even if 3 of them are science classes. Just because they are science classes doesn't mean they are hard classes. You have to talk to upperclassmen with bio or chem majors and ask. Just about every science major I know took gen bio, gen chem and calc freshman year along with whatever electives they took and our freshman seminar class. I had 18 credits both semesters freshman year with labs but my elective and freshman seminar were easy, basically no homework, but I had to take them. My GPA was fine. You have to know yourself but honestly, taking 9 credits just isn't going to look good when everyone else is taking 15-18....
 
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Skyrising
Jul 17, 2015
25
6
Status
Pre-Dental
oh, bad math----way too early in the morning to post that!!! I guess I don't see anything wrong with taking 15+ credits, even if 3 of them are science classes. Just because they are science classes doesn't mean they are hard classes. You have to talk to upperclassmen with bio or chem majors and ask. Just about every science major I know took gen bio, gen chem and calc freshman year along with whatever electives they took and our freshman seminar class. I had 18 credits both semesters freshman year with labs but my elective and freshman seminar were easy, basically no homework, but I had to take them. My GPA was fine. You have to know yourself but honestly, taking 9 credits just isn't going to look good when everyone else is taking 15-18....
Yeah, you're probably right. Thanks for the advice! I guess I'm just miffed that I wasted a lot of time at CC to get rid of my gen. eds and save money, only to have to take electives anyway for adcoms lol. I didn't plan on going to dental school at the time so it didn't matter what my future course load looked like. Oh well, that's life lol.
 

Glimmer1991

5+ Year Member
May 5, 2012
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I haven't read all the comments, so I'm sorry if this isn't particularly enlightening...

I came into undergrad with 30+ credits from AP classes. I had MULTIPLE semesters with only 12-13 credit hours, and I also graduated a semester early. This wasn't brought up a SINGLE TIME. :)

That being said, maybe you should try to at least stay a "full time" student, which is likely somewhere around 12 credits or so a semester. I wouldn't retake anything that you have already successfully completed--just take something else! I'd try to have 2-3 science classes each semester, and if that still leaves you needing some credit hours, take a random gen ed to "round out" your education.
 
Nov 22, 2014
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I haven't read all the comments, so I'm sorry if this isn't particularly enlightening...

I came into undergrad with 30+ credits from AP classes. I had MULTIPLE semesters with only 12-13 credit hours, and I also graduated a semester early. This wasn't brought up a SINGLE TIME. :)

That being said, maybe you should try to at least stay a "full time" student, which is likely somewhere around 12 credits or so a semester. I wouldn't retake anything that you have already successfully completed--just take something else! I'd try to have 2-3 science classes each semester, and if that still leaves you needing some credit hours, take a random gen ed to "round out" your education.
9-10 credits is still a full class short of your 12-13 credits though. Technically I could graduate a year early with my AP credits, but I am just doing 2 majors to fill out the 4 years, leaving one required class for second semester senior year :). I'm still taking 17 credits/semester, except for first semester last year I had 15.