SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

non calc physics or calc physics?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by premedinpa, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. premedinpa

    premedinpa 2+ Year Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    Hi! I'm pre-med and decided this the beginning of my sophomore year so I'm a little behing on some of my pre-reqs so I'm taking physics over the summer so I have room for all my other science classes junior year. I'm taking it at another 4 year college near my house and they offer a calc based physics class and a non calc based physics class. Which do med schools require or prefer? I took calc 1 and 2, and got an A and B. So I'm wondering which would be better to take and if the calc class is alot harder. Thanks!

  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. patrickd223

    patrickd223 5+ Year Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    With your background in calculus, go for the calc based.
  4. mongrel

    mongrel Assoc. Prof. Dogsuit 5+ Year Member

    I know most here will probably disagree with me, but I think you'll find the calc-based physics easier. For me it was. You can get into some really tricky, longwinded algebra on even a simple physics problem; but using calculus as a tool just cuts right through it with marginal algebra needed. Your grades in calc I and II indicate to me that you'll most likely have no problem doing the calculus required in undergrad physics.

    Plus, I would think that of the two (algebra-based and calc-based) medical schools would view the latter in higher regard.
  5. SiR99

    SiR99 10+ Year Member

    Mar 4, 2007
    why would you want to compete with engineers and other majors who are better and more interested in physics then you are? Just stick with non-calculus based. Why learn physics AND have to touch up on your calculus skills.
  6. dasacohen

    dasacohen S.D.N=addicting 2+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2006
    Berkeley, CA
    either class would fulfill the requirement. Personally I'd choose non-calc physics (because I thought it was a joke) and the above poster is right in that generally calc-physics classes are primarily for engineers, math, etc.
  7. BlackSails

    BlackSails 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    Take calc-based physics. Non-calc based physics is a waste of your time.
  8. colliea21

    colliea21 2+ Year Member

    Nov 19, 2006

    I agree. As others have said calc-based is easier because calc tools allow you to resolve problems more efficiently. You already took calI and II and got an A & B, don't be scared!
  9. BlackSails

    BlackSails 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    The calc in calc based physics (at least intro calc based physics), wont be bad at all. At worst, its some derivatives and integrals, and an occasional differential equation (seperable and univariate). Of course, in upper level classes, you will be dealing with bessel functions, and PDEs and all manner of evil, evil things.
  10. mongrel

    mongrel Assoc. Prof. Dogsuit 5+ Year Member

    :scared: ***shudders at the thought*** :scared:
  11. QuakerPreMed

    QuakerPreMed 2+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2007
    At my school, general physics (non-calc) was sort of the "slacker physics" class and as a result I didn't learn a whole lot despite my A+ in both semesters. I felt like if I had taken calc-based physics, which was, you know, hard, I would have engaged better and learned more and done better on the physics portion of the MCAT. However, your results may vary.
  12. minah86

    minah86 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 21, 2005
    Depends on your school.

    At my school...non-calc based is MUCH harder than with calculus, believe it if you want. Just ask around your school or look up old exams and compare.
  13. BlackSails

    BlackSails 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    Its harder because algebra grinding is not something that is taught anymore in the American schoolsystem, must to the lament of my professors. Yes, its boring, but there is something to be said of the ability to work though a long tedious problem, like converting the laplacian operator into spherical coordinates, and things like that. Students are not taught how to slog though a morass of algebra anymore.
  14. 134317

    134317 Guest

    Jan 27, 2007
    Calc-based physics will make you understand physics a lot better. And it's actually easier for certain people because there are less equations to memorize (a lot of them are just derivatives or integrals of basic equations, e.g. the mechanics equations).
  15. lina123321

    lina123321 ralph: im a unitard 5+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    over the rainbow
    exactly..but just to fill requirement, noncalc should be fine...check w/ur premed adviser if anything

Share This Page