Math, genetics, and course level numbers? Please help :)


5+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2014
Medical Student (Accepted)
Hello! :)

These are a few questions that I have been wrestling with for a bit. If anyone has experience or insight, please do share! :)
  • Would taking Survey of Calculus rather than Calculus 1 be sufficient for medical schools? Or should I take Calculus 1? Survey was a requirement for my major (I got an A). Additionally, my school only allows students to receive credit for either Survey or Calc 1.
  • I got a C- for Genetics. Should I retake it (I'm considering in the summertime, possibly online, depending on my schedule)? Or is that unnecessary? This is also a lower-level course and I will be taking other (non-genetics) upper-level bio courses. What would med schools think if I retook Genetics after I applied (e.g. applying after junior year and retaking during my senior year). Should I notify them about my future course schedule?
  • I've already taken survey of calc, but I want to take College Algebra now for my personal education. Will this negatively impact my medical school application in any way?
  • I've read through several threads that discuss the in/significance of course level numbers (1000, 2000...etc...), and there has been no consensus. I am a bit concerned, however, because as an upper-classmen I am going to be taking numerous lower-level courses (sciences and non-sciences) because of how my school chose to number their course levels (which I disagree with because of the nature of difficulty of those courses). How might this appear to medical schools? I understand that it may depend on the individual who reads my application, but I would really appreciate experienced comments. :)
Thanks a bunch.
Last edited:
Jun 1, 2015
Genetics is only required by a very small number of schools. If you are applying to one where it is a requirement (e.g. OHSU), then you'll need to retake it since its below a C. if you are wanting to retake it just for GPA repair, just note that AMCAS wont do grade replacement.

I imagine Calc 1 would be the standard to fulfill whatever calc requirement there is but you'd have to ask the schools you are applying to.

you can take any class you want as an elective, it wont hurt your application

taking lower division classes as an upper classman isn't uncommon and will not be looked down upon. the only way i can imagine it having a negative effect is if you show an upward trend in GPA, it might be hard to sell that when in reality, you just took easier classes. im taking majority of my major requirements that are lower division courses during my senior year because it just works better that way for me.
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