Physiology vs. Microbiology for MCAT 2015

  • Physiology

    Votes: 7 100.0%
  • Microbiology & Immunology

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
Jul 30, 2016
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Going into second year at Ontario university, which electives would be more relevant for the mcat

1. full year physiology (no lab), half year reasoning and critical thinking (philosophy)
2. half year microbiology and immunology, full year reasoning and critical thinking (philosophy)

both science courses are at the 2nd year level, philosophy courses are 1st year courses.


2+ Year Member
Aug 3, 2016
I'd have to disagree. My opinion is that I think you should do physiology, if you look at the MCAT Kaplan biology book 9 out of 12 chapters address human physiology. The first chapter discusses the cell and other microorganisms, and its sufficient enough. Don't do "General Physiology" which also includes the study of plants and animals, do Human physiology


5+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2013
Take micro so you can take a full year of philosophy.
The subject matter of both physiology and micro contribute very little to the MCAT.
Reasoning and critical thinking is much more important that either of those classes (although not nearly as fun or interesting)


2+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2016
I'd say go with what interests you the most. You'll have to end up studying one of them by yourself anyway, so I'd focus on your GPA and take the one you like so you can do well in the course. I actually had to make the same decision and went with physiology and yes it was helpful, but I still had to learn microbology so in the end it wouldn't have made a difference.


2+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2015
Medical Student (Accepted)
Took the MCAT in July ended up with a 521 (130/132/128/131). As you can see Biology was my lowest score. If I could do anything different, I would have taken a physiology course as the material covered in Bio 1 and 2 simply does not suffice.

You don't have to take my word for it. Open up any review book from Berkeley Review, Kaplan, Princeton, or Examkrackers and you will see how heavily emphasized physiology is.

This is strictly from the content list published by AAMC:

As long as you know the fundamental characteristics and particularly the differences between viruses and bacteria you should be okay. The immunology material you need to know you will most likely be covered in more than enough depth during your physiology class. I honestly believe that a semester of physiology will save you quite a bit of review time and of the options you listed your best bet. I know you didn't list it, but if you have not taken Cell Biology, it is a better option than any of those you have listed. People like to say the MCAT is a critical thinking exam, and they're not wrong. The only problem is that you have to have reasonable content base and a good chunk of the passages assume you have decent exposure to physiology.

Don't just take people's advice like this. I highly suggest you open up any MCAT Biology review book and see how many chapters are dedicated to what. That should make your decision pretty clear.
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