Jul 8, 2013
New York City
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Right now, I am signed up for five classes. Four classes are lecture-based, and the fifth class is research. I am getting credit for being an intern/volunteer in the lab. Due to my class schedule and work, I have been unable to volunteer, intern, or do any other sorts of activities the past two semesters. I have always taken five classes.

I am considering taking only four next semester. I would drop one of my lecture-based classes. Instead, I would spend approximately 10-15 hours a week at an internship/volunteer opportunity. I have maintained a high GPA of 3.8 thus far. Also, I will not have trouble completing my graduation requirements.

Do medical schools or dental schools (I have not yet decided) look down upon students who take an easier load? It's only one class I'm dropping, but one class does make a big difference on how much time you have to sacrifice during the semester to study. Plus, I am already in a "easy" major--psychology.

What do you suggest? Should I take fewer classes and contribute my time elsewhere, or should I take a full load then use the summer to do something?

FYI, if I were to drop this class, I would only have 13 credits, which is just above being a part-time student. Additionally, I will only have one science class--physics. The rest are based on cognitive/neuroscience psychology and of course the lab. I also go to an easy state-school


SDN Bronze Donor
Bronze Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2011
Medical Student
Your overall GPA is the most important thing. Take as many classes as you need to challenge yourself but still do well. Schools don't scrutinize every class you have ever taken and they don't really care what your major is/was. Post your full schedule (names of classes and all) in the "How Does This Schedule Look" thread. You will get some answers there in terms of the difficulty or lack thereof.


Dyslexics, untie!
Jun 2, 2013
Medical Student
I took 12 credits per semester at college and was asked exactly 0 questions about this. I received a few compliments about my GPA, but that was the only thing that was mentioned about it. They will neither cut you slack for taking too much or look down on you for taking too little. They will, however, look down on a lack of significant EC's. If you're taking 19 credits and doing nothing else, that will be looked down upon just as much as if you were taking less.

ADCOMs give few breaks. Do not expect one. Ask yourself if someone else could be doing more than you with your obligations.