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Requirements Completed by Application or Matriculation?

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by confusedchild, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. confusedchild

    5+ Year Member

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    Hey everyone,

    Haven't posted here in a while. I'm planning to apply in the upcoming cycle 09-10 and I'm trying to plan my classes out in a way that would benefit my application the most in terms of how med school perceives me. My main problem is that I'm not a life sci, bio, or chem major where in order to graduate or take upper division courses, I have to fulfill the basic requirements for med school anyways.

    I'm an engring major and although my major does cover physics, math, and stats requirements, I have to take extra courses in bio/org chem beyond my major requirements. As of right now, I've completed all requirements except for organic chemistry. Most schools require 1 year with lab. I go to a school that runs on a quarter system. I've taken 2 quarters of organic chemistry, and I still need to take one quarter of ochem and one quarter or ochem lab. At my school, regular course and lab are separated. I'm not taking any ochem classes this quarter and I don't plan on taking any next quarter as well due to my EE classes, which means I won't be taking them until next year after my application is out.

    Do we have to fulfill requirements before matriculation or before application? If it's the latter, I'm going to have to scramble for ochem classes to take. Also, would it look bad if I only took two ochem classes (2/3 yr)? I did okay in them, receiving a B in one and an A in the other.

    Some people tell me that the reason why med school enforces these requirements is to make sure that you know the material and also to judge if you can succeed with a schedule heavily loaded with science courses. If it's the latter I'm not too worried, since I hope a schedule loaded with EE classes shows them I can do science/math.
     
  2. Mobius1985

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    You need not complete the prerequisites until matriculation. Some schools let you substitute Biochem for the last Orgo course, but if you're not taking Biochem, you must complete a full year of Orgo plus lab to fulfill the majority of med schools' requirements.

    If you do well in an engineering major, I agree it proves you can carry a heavy load and succeed. As a point of curiosity, were you aware that AMCAS doesn't consider engineering as "science" and doesn't include those courses in the BCPM GPA.
     
  3. MediumDef

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    You'll be fine if you still need 1 quarter of OChem sometime in the year you are applying rather than the before your application is complete. As previously mentioned there are some places where biochem or some other class can substitute for second semester OChem while some schools only require 1 semester of lab. You'll be in a better spot overall though if you just do the OChem and don't end up having to scramble over the summer before you matriculate to meet a particular schools needs.
     
  4. confusedchild

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    I have actually taken biochemistry before (one quarter worth) so I think that can substitute for a quarter of ochem.

    I just looked over my courses and I have the remaining requirements left for most med schools.

    -1 qtr of English
    -1 qtr of Organic Chemistry
    -1 qtr of Organic Chemistry Lab

    I plan to fulfill these next Fall and Winter quarters (well after my application is out). Would it look better to fulfill before application or does it matter very little?

    I actually am aware that most engineering course don't count towards BCPM. I know I can get some to depending on what the course title is. For example, there's a EE course called "Probability" and another MAE course called "Intro to Thermo" that I can count towards math and gen chem respectively.
     
  5. flip26

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    It won't matter. On your AMCAS, you will make note of the classes you intend to take after submitting your app.

    Not to muddy the water, but I seem to recall a few schools who expect some pre-reqs be completed prior to the final semester of your senior year...seems like Harvard? Not sure, but beware that the "complete before matric" is the usual standard but not necessarily the rule for every single school...
     
  6. Mobius1985

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    When you enter all the courses you intend to take over the following year on the AMCAS form, you mark them as "future" courses. It's understood that some of these might change due to course unavailability. Sometimes this happens with courses you must have, leaving you scrambling to find another school or a summer class to get everything completed. After you are admitted, but before matriculation, you'll submit your final transcript that proves you completed the necessary prerequisites for that school.
     

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