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taking only 14 units a quarter

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by ooscubaoo, Apr 2, 2004.

  1. ooscubaoo

    ooscubaoo Member
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    Can i get some feedback on the number of units we should take a quarter. Do you think taking 14 units a quarter for 3 quarters is a wise idea? or do pharmacy schools want us to take 18-20 units to show that we can handle the work load when they do accept us. I'm asking this because my first year @ UCI i took only 14 units per quarter. Now that i'm in my second year, I've still taken only 14 units per quarter except fall quarter when i took 19, but i thought it was hell taking o chem, biochemistry, multivarible calculus, and anthropology. Should i continue to take 18-20 units? when i could take 14 and do acceptionally better.? a


    any advices??
     
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  3. Sukie

    Sukie Member
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    It depends whether you're talking quarter or semester units. I think 18-20 quarter units is a lot, but 18-20 semester units is doable. In pharmacy school (at least at USC), you take 18 units per semester. I honestly don't think taking 20 units a quarter is a good idea... I mean, if you can do it... that's great. But I think it's more important that you do well in the classes that you are taking and that you leave some time to get involved in other things besides school work. The more units you carry, the less time you'll have to devote to working, volunteering, extracurriculars. My units throughout undergrad ranged from 10 to 18 quarter units.
     
  4. Spyris

    Spyris Member
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    I went to UCLA and only took 12-16 units a quarter. My overall gpa was 3.5. I did a lot of extracurricular activity though. I volunteered at a pharmacy for a couple of years, I did research for all four years (and got published 2x), volunteered at UCLA hospital, and I play paintball (as my recreational sport- I included this sport in my essays) and I got into all the schools I applied to, USC, UCSD, and UCSF. Having a heavier work load does not mean you are a better student IMHO. Plus when I look at my transcript, it's all jumbled up anyways, I doubt they're going to look and see you took 18 units instead of 16. It's all about your experience, your essay, grades, and interview.
     
  5. 28657

    28657 Smile like you mean it
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    I think I have to disagree. A student who takes a heavy course load and does well is much more qualified for pharmacy school than one who takes one class each semester at a JC for 5 years but ends up getting a 4.0.

    To the OP - I took between 12 and 17 credit hours each semester. I really don't know if there's much of a difference though between 14 hours and 18 in the adcom's opinion....especially if taking 18 c.h. brings your gpa down. I think your number one priority should be getting great grades going full time.
     
  6. ooscubaoo

    ooscubaoo Member
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    It's a Quarter system. 3 quarters a year excluding summer.
     
  7. Spyris

    Spyris Member
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    I agree with AmandaRxs, what I meant to say was just because you take more units it doesn't make you a better student unless you can get the grades with it. Since I went to a UC system, 12 is considered full time, well it's 13 units now. I used my extra time to do extracurricular activites which they looked heavily upon, ie volunteer work. When I applied to UCSF, there's a whole section just to talk about your volunteer experience, also in your essay too. In addition, when you go to your interview, they'll ask you about extracurricular activities. At the USC interview, the interviewer doesn't even know your grades or the classes you took, they ask you to describe yourself to them and what you did in college that makes YOU stand out from someone else. Saying I got straight A's when I took 18units is not very impressive. At the UCSD and UCSF they both asked me about my extracurricular activity. Remember, you want to be able to talk about something you did in college, not just the amount of units you took or the grades you got. If you get an appointment to an interview session, it means that you have the grades. But once you get to the interview, be prepared for making yourself stand out from another pharmacy student. One more thing, a few of my friends went to a JC for two years, got straight A's and got into USC school of pharm, so on that note, I disagree with AmandaRxs. They didn't even get their BS degree. It is getting more competitive, to get in, especially four years from now, but don't think grades is the only way to get into pharm school. It's the essay, the experience, letter of recs, and grades. Grades alone won't get you into the school you want to go to.
     
  8. pharmdgrl

    pharmdgrl Member
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    I suggest taking the maximum number of classes you can actually handle and do well in. It's important to do well in your classes and if taking 18 units is affecting you academically then don't do it. I think 14 units is not bad. I would participate in additional extracurricular activities just to show that you are also getting involved with the extra time.
     
  9. I agree with everybody that has said to take as many as you can handle without it hurting your grades. Also be sure to get save time for extracurricular activities and that kinda thing because some adcoms put alot of weight on things other than just gpa and pcat.
     
  10. Motiv8

    Motiv8 Pharm.D., RPH
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    I think you should take 17-18 semester/quarter units every time. By taking less units, it is not guaranteed that one will still do well. Having more credits ensures better management of time and if you do well, it gives pharmacy schools a good reason to pick you...Also, for those people that are attending JC's, it is important that you take 18-20 units, and do well in each class...This will keep you separated from the University students, and not let attending a JC be the reason for not getting in.
     
  11. pharmel

    pharmel Senior Member
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    If you can't handle 18 hours undergrad, how are you going to handle full time pharmacy school? I think you need to take at least 16-18 semester hours each semester to show ad coms you can do it, especially if you do not have a BS. But if nothing else, take a heavy load for practice. Pharmacy school undoubtedly is similar to 18 hours undergrad. Any one in pharm school have a comment?
     
  12. ooscubaoo

    ooscubaoo Member
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    i did take 19 units, it's just that i got straight B's. BUt i think i'll just take 16 since most of you recommend it. thanks for the input everyone
     

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