Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Rigor of Course Loads

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MyGoalIsMD, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. MyGoalIsMD

    MyGoalIsMD one way to stand out...
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Here is my course schedule, I'm taking the summer after my sophomore year to study for/take the MCAT. I was wondering how competitive my course load is if I maintain a good GPA. I have all the required/recommended courses for my top choice (LSUS) plus more that I thought would be beneficial to prepare for medical school itself. I'm a biology major with a concentration in Cellular/Molecular biology.

    Freshman Year
    Fall Semester
    World Civilizations I - 3 credits - A
    College Algebra - 5 credits - A
    Principles of Biology I - 3 credits - A
    Biology I Lab - 1 credit A
    Introduction to Psychology 3 credits - A
    Winter Session:
    Beginning Statistics - 3 credits

    Spring Semester
    Trigonometry - 3 credits
    English Comp II (ACT credit for Comp I) - 3 credits
    Elementary Spanish 1
    Principles of Biology II - 3 Credits
    Biology II Lab - 1 credit
    General Chemistry I - 3 credits
    Chemistry I Lab - 1 credit

    Summer Session
    General Chemistry II - 3 credits
    Chemistry II Lab - 1 credit
    Elementary Spanish II - 3 credits


    SOPHOMORE YEAR
    Fall Semester
    Biological Sciences 222, 222L – General Zoology with Lab 4
    Physics 251, 251L – General Physics I 4
    Chemistry 265, 265L - Organic Chemistry I 4
    Math 221 - Analytic Geometry and Calculus I 4
    16

    Spring Semester
    Biology 363, 363L – Principles of Genetics with Lab 4
    Physics 252, 252L – General Physics II 4
    Math 222 – Analytic Geometry and Calculus II 4
    Chemistry 266, 266L – Organic Chemistry II 4
    16

    JUNIOR YEAR

    Fall Semester
    Biological Sciences 224, 224L – Botany 4
    Biochemistry 410, 410L – Biochemistry I 4
    Biology 320,320L – General Microbiology 4
    Biology 330, 330L – Cell Biology with Lab 4
    16

    Spring
    Biology 430, 430L - Molecular Biology 4
    Biology 387, 387L – General Physiology with Lab 4
    Biology 375, 375L – Vertebrae Embryology 4
    Biochemistry 412, 412L – Biochemistry II 4
    16

    Summer
    Biology 334, 334L – Histology 4
    Biology 321, 321L – Immunology with Lab 4
    8

    SENIOR YEAR

    Fall Semester
    English 215 – Introduction to Fiction 3
    English 325 – Technical Writing 3
    Biology 440, 440L - Principles of Ecology with Lab 4
    Spanish 201 3
    Comp 115 – Computer Literacy 3
    16

    Spring Semester
    Biology 495 – Senior Seminar 1
    Social Sciences 6
    Communications 135 3
    Humanities (Fine arts) 3
    Spanish 305 – Advanced Medical Spanish 3
    16
     
    #1 MyGoalIsMD, Jan 5, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2009
  2. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,931
    Likes Received:
    23
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    Its not your course load that needs to be competitive, its your GPA. As long as you take the pre reqs, no one cares what else you take. Keep up what you've done so far and get a good MCAT score and you'll have your pick of schools.

    After briefly looking at your future schedule, you have a **** load of biology/science courses. Way more than is necessary for a major and the pre reqs. I would take some humanities or something fun, but thats just me. Surely you have some other interest besides biology. College is awesome and youll have the opportunity to take classes that youll never have again. Youll get enough biology in med school to make your head explode.
     
  3. funkymunkytoes

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    What RySerr21 said.
     
  4. NeuroChaos

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Looks good to me!!

    Make sure you do something else in the summer after sophmore year besides MCAT such as volunteering or a paid job.

    Med schools are often intersted in what you do in ur time off. they may not be impressed if you tell them I studied 47.75 hrs/week and got a 40.


    If u are studying year round (including winter) what r u other intersets, or when do u have fun (apparently, it is necessary).
     
  5. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Try to throw in a class or two that interest you outside of the sciences. That way... you can talk about it and they will think you are well-balanced.
     
  6. MyGoalIsMD

    MyGoalIsMD one way to stand out...
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I have about five doctors that I am going to shadow (200 hours total), I have been working this year in a doctors office, (hardly any patient contact, but hey, it's money). I'm starting to volunteer with the Red Cross as a first aid/cpr/health instructor. Planning on 6-8 hours a week until I graduate (1,000+ hours). I'm also getting into competitive shooting (maybe that will offset the "cookie cutter" pre-med vibe? I absolutely love sciences, which is why I opted to take all the recommended courses, plus all the biology classes I have listed are my choices for my required biology electives for my concentration, it's the calculus and biochemistry that I added in. I think Spanish is very interesting, and I like *attempting* speaking it, so I wanted to take as much as I could. Also running for a senate office in SGA next year.

    These are my goals, but if I get even half of the ECs I'll be happy.
     
  7. MyGoalIsMD

    MyGoalIsMD one way to stand out...
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Doesn't the four semesters of Spanish count as humanities?
     
  8. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,931
    Likes Received:
    23
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    Yea. If you love spanish, then by all means take it. It just seemeed like an overwhelming amount of biology/chemistry/biochemistry. You'd probably like some history/religious studies/psychology type courses. It was just a suggestion, and I'm only looking at it based on what I would enjoy. If you truly love biochem and chem electives, then take them. Just dotn think its going to somehow give you an edge in the application process.
     
  9. erskine

    erskine hit it, H
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Taking ochem, bio, physics, and calc together isn't very fun. Do you think you can handle the courseload? Most people try to take only 2 science courses a semester so you're not swamped with labs, and since you're coming off a 12-credit hour semester with easy classes, you're going to find the work levels significantly pick up.

    If you don't actually need the summer courses for your major fulfillment, than I would suggest forgoing it. You need a chance to relax from classes, and summertime is a great opportunity to find research fellowships/grants and work extensively in hospitals.
     
  10. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Thank You for Smoking
    Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    16,592
    Likes Received:
    7,189
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I don't mean to sound like a jerk or anything, but dude... relax. You shouldn't be taking classes to make your schedule more competitive. You should be taking classes because 1) they interest you and/or 2) they are required to graduate. I highly doubt that Super Quantum Flux Physics X is going to help you get into medical school. What I think will help you, however, is demonstrating that you're genuinely interested in what you spent all your time and effort doing (if this is 100% science, then that's awesome).

    You shouldn't want to study humanities or do particular acitivites to shake off that "pre-med vibe." You should do them because you want to and that's what you want to spend your time doing. Any other reason is truly doing yourself an injustice.
     
  11. MyGoalIsMD

    MyGoalIsMD one way to stand out...
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Thanks everyone for your advice :) , I will probably try to lighten up on the tougher biology courses, and maybe add a psychology minor since I enjoyed my intro psych class. I would have a Spanish minor, but my school doesn't offer it. So having the recommended courses wouldn't help any at my school of choice?
     
  12. MyGoalIsMD

    MyGoalIsMD one way to stand out...
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    It's fine, I understand, I'm probably in over my head and overly ambitious right now. Most of my biology/chemistry classes listed are required to graduate. I had 20 hours of biology electives I had to have for my concentration apart from the basic courses. I love Spanish and Psychology, so I enjoy those classes. I love hunting with my beau and we have fun practicing shooting down coke cans in the yard, so why not do something that I enjoy and maybe earn some money from competitions? And I'm a girl by the way. :p

    Do my ECs sound okay?
     
  13. MyGoalIsMD

    MyGoalIsMD one way to stand out...
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    So I checked back over my course requirements and I have three extra classes which would be Embryology , Histology, and Biochem II. Other than that, they are all within my degree/electives/concentration. My electives are filled up with spanish and one calc class
     
  14. Turtle01

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Your enthusiasm is certainly good, the whole spanish thing should work well for you. shooting is also a great idea. You really don't need to shadow that many hours, but the volunteer hours are great. I'm assuming you are still a freshman, so correct me if I'm wrong but this is a planned schedule. Let me warn you that your sophmore year will kill you if you are planning on doing all those other things on top of that course load. Judging by your schedule it will be the first time you are introduced to upper level courses, and it might be better to ease into it. Also, physics is a bitch. You can do it I'm sure, but you certainly could also lighten it up a bit and still be very competitive. Like others said, really your grades matter most and as long as you take the minimum pre-reqs thats all they are looking for.
     
  15. vokey588

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    44
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Judas Priest, never seen someone plan out all 4 years of college like that. SDN never ceases to amaze me. I definitely agree with the other posters in saying that you should really decrease your load of bio courses. Obviously take stuff that's required for your major and for med school, but outside that you should only take bio classes that you REALLY want to take. Other than molec. bio, cell bio, biochemistry, and genetics, don't take classes that you think may help you IN medical school. Med schools will teach you what they want you to know, and no matter if you take the undergrad classes it's gonna be a buttload of work.

    Take more humanities classes, it'll show adcoms that you have diverse interests.
     
  16. redlight

    redlight Senior Member :D
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,780
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    when do you plan on applying? sounds like u want to apply between junior and senior year.
    you schedule looks kinda dry to me. dont you have any other academic interests outside of bcpm? even if you only want to do science/premed at least look into some other departments to see if anything sounds fun/interesting. id suggest what RySerr said (history, psych) but also add stuff like econ, philosophy/ethics, sociology, stats, maybe even some public health, engineering, fine arts etc. actually your senior year seems really diverse in terms of courses.. why not try some of those courses with your hard science ones to make a more balanced schedule?

    also ive heard that its not a great idea to take the mcat so soon. i too planned on taking at the end of my soph year but my advisor stressed that ppl who tend to take it later do better- hypothetically even if you break low 30s, he said, you are likely to have scored into mid to high 30s if you waited to take more upper levels to reinforce fundamentals or improve study habits, etc. i think its ok to prepare for it and if you are getting the scores you want on practice tests then go. however if you are looking to maximize your score id delay taking it until closer to application
     
  17. MarylandDude

    Removed

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    You seem to be saving all the easier classes for senior year. If I was you I would spread those easy classes around to lighten up the course load. Having a 3.8-4.0 is better than ending up with a 3.5 because you didnt have enough time to spend on the different subjects. The "rigor of your courses" will not be a strong enough excuse for a lower GPA.

    But hey, I like your ambition and your zeal. :)
     
    #17 MarylandDude, Jan 6, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  18. MyGoalIsMD

    MyGoalIsMD one way to stand out...
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    i cut back on my bio load and spread my humanities through the semesters. i have no more than 14 hours and two prerequisites a semester. thanks for all the advice, i will put up my revised plan when i get to a computer. i feel so much better about my sophomore year now.
     
  19. engineeredout

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    570
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    Word of warning. Despite how you attempt to plan out each and every semester for the next four years, its gonna get ****ed up. Classes will be dropped from the school, classes will be added that you wanna take, you'll find out that a prof for X class is horrible, you take other classes and realize hey I want to specialize in stats instead of spanish, etc...

    Be flexible. Know what you need to graduate, take the rest semester by semester and see what happens
     
  20. air bud

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes Received:
    287
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    yeah, all those hard bio classes junior year will do nothing for you on the MCAT and only increse your chances of messing up and having to explain yourself later. mix up senior and junior year classes
     
  21. MyGoalIsMD

    MyGoalIsMD one way to stand out...
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical

    Freshman Year
    Fall Semester
    H - World Civilizations I - 3 credits - A
    G - College Algebra - 5 credits - A
    M - Principles of Biology I - 3 credits - A
    M - Biology I Lab - 1 credit A
    H - Introduction to Psychology 3 credits - A

    Winter Session:
    E - Beginning Statistics - 3 credits

    Spring Semester
    E - Trigonometry - 3 credits
    G - English Comp II (ACT credit for Comp I) - 3 credits
    E - Elementary Spanish 1
    M - Principles of Biology II - 3 Credits
    M - Biology II Lab - 1 credit
    M - General Chemistry I - 3 credits
    M - Chemistry I Lab - 1 credit

    Summer Session
    M - General Chemistry II - 3 credits
    M - Chemistry II Lab - 1 credit
    E - Elementary Spanish II - 3 credits


    SOPHOMORE YEAR
    Fall Semester
    C - Biological Sciences 222, 222L – General Zoology with Lab 4
    E - Spanish 201 - Intermediate Spanish 3
    M - Chemistry 265, 265L - Organic Chemistry I 4
    G - English 215 – Introduction to Fiction 3
    14

    Spring Semester
    M - Biology 363, 363L – Principles of Genetics with Lab 4
    S - Chemistry 266, 266L – Organic Chemistry II 4
    E - Spanish 305 – Advanced Medical Spanish 3
    H - Political Science - 3
    14

    JUNIOR YEAR

    Fall Semester
    M - Physics 251, 251L – General Physics I 4
    C - Biology 330, 330L – Cell Biology with Lab 4
    G - Comp 115 – Computer Literacy 3
    M - Technical Writing - 3
    14

    Spring
    S - Physics 252, 252L – General Physics II 4
    C - Biology 387, 387L – General Physiology with Lab 4
    H - Sociology 101 - 3
    H - Fine arts 3
    14

    SENIOR YEAR

    Fall Semester
    M - Communications 135 - Public Speaking - 3
    M - Biology 440, 440L - Principles of Ecology with Lab 4
    M - Math 221 - Analytic Geometry and Calculus I 4
    C - Biology 375, 375L – Vertebrae Embryology 4
    15

    Spring Semester

    S - Biochemistry 410, 410L – Biochemistry I 4
    M - Biological Sciences 224, 224L – Botany 4
    M - Biology 495 – Senior Seminar 1
    C - Biology 430, 430L - Molecular Biology 4
    13

    M - major requirement
    S - science elective
    C - concentration choice
    G - general ed requirements
    H - humanities choice

    I know I probably won't get to take my electives/concentration classes in the exact order I have them, this is just my ideal schedule. I lightened up the advanced biology courses and mixed up the electives with humanities, etc. Also added a key so that you can see that the med school recommendations by LSUS are included in my choices for my concentration anyways, so I'm not taking anything I wouldn't take in my major anyway.

    Do my EC plans sound sufficient? I'm taking the summer after my junior year now to take the MCAT and do some shadowing/volunteering. The summer after my sophomore year I will be definitely volunteering and shadowing as well. The competitive shooting will be year round practically (for practice and competitions.)
     
  22. Turtle01

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    that schedule looks alot better. don't ever feel like you are not preparing yourself for med school with that schedule, all you need are foundations. the biochem I course your taking senior year will be covered in the first 10 minutes of lecture in medical school, so the real benefit will be getting yourself used to the terminology, I found that it was a help to know some of that in advance.
     
  23. engineeredout

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    570
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    Don't be afraid to take more than 14 credits a semester...
     
  24. MarylandDude

    Removed

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    yes!! I second what turtle said. This schedule looks very well balanced and promissing. Now I'm ready to put my money on you ;). Go get them :D
     
    #24 MarylandDude, Jan 6, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  25. MyGoalIsMD

    MyGoalIsMD one way to stand out...
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    awh. thanks. i will most likely pick up an extra interesting humanities class every other semester or so, something i see the name of and think would be fun
     
  26. IndianVercetti

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Wise words.
     
  27. redlight

    redlight Senior Member :D
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,780
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    id suggest checking with upperclassmen b4 you pick random classes tho. some professors in classes that may sound like fun are pure evil
     

Share This Page