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Mar 3, 2021
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Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, first time poster. Thanks for all the words of wisdom I've taken from this site already. I've got a few questions about my academic background and some paths I can take moving forward. Any insights would be greatly appreciated!

I graduated from the Naval Academy a few years back (3.8 gpa/3.95 stem gpa) and then immediately did a masters in oceanography at MIT (3.5 gpa + masters thesis). After that, I worked on a submarine for a few years, and now I'm in a desk job waiting to get out of the navy. I have about three years left on that clock. Won't start applying until I'm about a year out from that.

Since getting off the submarine, I've taken bio 1/2 and organic chem 1/2 (4.0 so far), and I'm planning on taking biochem (bio dept) this summer.

My questions:

1) I have no actual physics classes on my undergrad transcript, thanks to some AP credit. I guarantee that I know the theory, but I also don't have lab credits. I do have lab credits for electrical engineering classes, which are somewhat similar. Should this be a cause for concern?

2) In a similar vein, I have only have AP credit on my undergrad transcript for gen chem 1/2. As a result, I'll only have three semesters of chem lab, if you count the bio dept biochem lab. However, I was the Chem and Radiological Assistant on the submarine, which involves the supervision of lab techs. Should I add another chem class?


3) I have a published thesis (low impact) from my MS. It's in oceanography, and nowhere near biology or chemistry. Does this count as independent research?

4) I have time in my life to take another class or two. Would I be best served doing something in the humanities (sociology or psychology), something in the vein of anatomy, or some upper level bio course?


Happy to provide any other information if it helps. Thanks in advance for the advice!
 

CricB4Tube

2+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2018
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  1. Pre-Medical
1) I have no actual physics classes on my undergrad transcript, thanks to some AP credit. I guarantee that I know the theory, but I also don't have lab credits. I do have lab credits for electrical engineering classes, which are somewhat similar. Should this be a cause for concern?
Pretty much every U.S. med school requires 1 year of physics with lab and the vast majority do not allow AP credits to replace this requirement. This should be a concern because it will make you absolutely ineligible for most medical schools if you don't go and take 2 semester of physics with lab.

2) In a similar vein, I have only have AP credit on my undergrad transcript for gen chem 1/2. As a result, I'll only have three semesters of chem lab, if you count the bio dept biochem lab. However, I was the Chem and Radiological Assistant on the submarine, which involves the supervision of lab techs. Should I add another chem class?
Again, almost every U.S. med school requires 1 year of general chemistry and does not accept AP credits for this, so you'll need to take a year of chemistry with labs as well. Your work experience will not satisfy this requirement either.

3) I have a published thesis (low impact) from my MS. It's in oceanography, and nowhere near biology or chemistry. Does this count as independent research?

This does count as research, and will actually be kind of unique and a cool talking point in interviews. Med schools want to see research mostly because they want to know you understand how to conduct research, so it doesn't really have to be in a medically-related science field.

4) I have time in my life to take another class or two. Would I be best served doing something in the humanities (sociology or psychology), something in the vein of anatomy, or some upper level bio course?

A lot of medical schools now are requiring classes in humanities (psych and soc) so it would be great to take those, as they're also MCAT topics (although I don't think you need the classes to do well on that portion of the MCAT). I think you need to focus on taking your gen chem with lab and physics with lab classes first though.
 
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