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take W and change major?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by medicalmnt, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. medicalmnt

    medicalmnt 2+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2013
    I'm currently a junior (biochem major) taking 13cred.
    -gen ed (3)
    -gen ed(3)
    -achem (3)
    -biochem (4)

    I've never taken a W in a class before and from what I hear it's not the end of the world...
    However, i'm planning on taking a W on my biochem class which will leave me at 9cred (part time).

    I have no chance of getting into the B range, even a C+ looks dim... if I get any worse my GPA will be shot.
    I think the best thing for me to do is take the W and get a 4.0 this semester as a part-time student.

    my dilemma is whether I should continue as a biochem major or change to a bio-major and potentially increase my GPA from here or stay as a biochem with potentially lowering my gpa (currently a 3.4 with a huge upward trend)

    biochem isnt offered until fall semester so I would have to take two of my hardest classes in the same semester if I were to stay as a biochem but if I were to change to bio-major I would need 31cred to graduate in 4years which isn't unreasonable (planned to take some upperlev bio's anyway)

    1. should I stay and try to squeeze out with a 3.5 gpa (hopefully!) or do I take the W and aim for [email protected]?
    2. should I stay as a biochem major and have a rough senior year fall semester or change into bio-major?

    How does becoming part-time my junior year fall semester look like for adcoms when I plan to apply for 2015-2016 cycle?
    What are the disadvantages of being part-time other than losing 3credits worth of $ and not being on dean's list?
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  3. RxStudentatUB

    RxStudentatUB 2+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2014
    It's all a numbers game. Just take the W and move on.

    From what I hear, the bio-major is a LOT less rigorous than biochemistry, especially if the biochemistry department is within the chemistry department. So, if this means switching to the bio major and getting more credits worth of A's as opposed to a whole bunch of B's and C+'s, go do the bio major. I would not recommend biochemistry as a major to a pre-med unless there was serious motivation on your part to study the field. If you are looking at the major as a stepping stone to medical school, RUN and never look back.

    It's a shame that the professional school committees is making this whole applications process a numbers game, but in the end, that's what it comes down to due to the increasing number of candidates. In turn, this produces the most arrogant, narcissistic and me-first attitudes during this game. But that's just life. By the way, a high MCAT wouldn't hurt, either. ;)

    Good luck!
  4. baxt1412

    baxt1412 5+ Year Member

    Oct 29, 2012
    a single W won't affect anything
    major in whatever will help you get the best grades and allow you time for ECs and life
    if dropping to part time affects your housing, scholarships, etc then figure out the class and work on the grade
  5. medicalmnt

    medicalmnt 2+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2013
    If I were to take the W, I would lose my scholarship for this semester as I am not a full-time student anymore, idk about spring as I would be full-time.
    Is there anything you would consider doing while I am a part-time student?

    How does dropping biochem look on admissions when schools are starting to place more emphasis on biochem? (MSAR)
  6. baxt1412

    baxt1412 5+ Year Member

    Oct 29, 2012
    one W won't hurt your application. but idk if getting a C would be worth losing thousands of dollars in scholarship money.

    make up for it, ADCOMS know there are flukes sometimes. just don't make the C a habit
  7. raiderette

    raiderette 2+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2014
    Losing scholarships is no small matter. It would lso affect tax credits. I wouldn't do it.
  8. medicalmnt

    medicalmnt 2+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2013
    I'm leaning towards staying in biochem and getting a C (or hopefully better).
    Question I have now is should I stay as a biochem major and try to show that biochem1 was a fluke and do better biochem2 or is it better to just switch majors to biology with an option to minor in biochem?

    @Goro @LizzyM @gyngyn @Catalystik @hushcom

    this question has been really bugging me for a while.
    spoke with biochem prof and was told that there is a chance of receiving a passing grade but it would require alot more work on my part.
    spoke with biochem advisor and was told that it is possible to drop this current class and take biochem in senior year, but at the sake of losing a scholarship would not be a good idea.
  9. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection Physician Faculty SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    Inside the tesseract
    Are you allowed to convert the class to P/F and retain your scholarship? What would the result be if you Audit the class, if allowed to make the change this late in the term?
  10. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2005
    No one cares if you major in biochem or bio. Taking a single W is no big deal if you aren't doing it to protect a 4.0 GPA to date which you are not given that you've mentioned a strong upward trend.

    In the long run, a C vs an A in a 4 credit course is a difference of 8 quality points out of a possible total of 480 quality points (if you take 120 credits to graduate and can earn a maximum of 4 points for each unit of credit). That is a very small proportion of your final GPA. It almost seems worth it given the $$$$ on the line.
    Goro likes this.
  11. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Will losing the scholarship mean an undue hardship if you lose it? If so, stick with the scholarship. Even better, fix whatever it is that is hurting your learning and causing you to get a C.


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