DavidP

2+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2017
19
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  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
My university has a list of required courses for the MCAT which include:
  • Bio 1&2
  • Chem 1&2
  • Organic Chem 1&2
  • Physics 1&2
  • Math 2 semesters
  • Biochemistry
Then, they have a list of recommended courses for the MCAT which include: genetics, cell bio, physiology and a slew of psychology and social psychology courses. My question is, do I have to take the recommended courses to do well on the MCAT or could I get away with just taking the required courses?

If I can avoid taking the recommended courses, I can take the MCAT in April and avoid missing the application cycle for med schools. Essentially, it would save me a year of waiting, and because I'm an older, non-traditional applicant, that year is very precious to me. With that said, I would be finishing my degree after I submit my application. Would that hurt my chances of getting in at all? Does that look bad in any way to an admission board?
 
Jul 11, 2020
41
37
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
My university has a list of required courses for the MCAT which include:
  • Bio 1&2
  • Chem 1&2
  • Organic Chem 1&2
  • Physics 1&2
  • Math 2 semesters
  • Biochemistry
Then, they have a list of recommended courses for the MCAT which include: genetics, cell bio, physiology and a slew of psychology and social psychology courses. My question is, do I have to take the recommended courses to do well on the MCAT or could I get away with just taking the required courses?

If I can avoid taking the recommended courses, I can take the MCAT in April and avoid missing the application cycle for med schools. Essentially, it would save me a year of waiting, and because I'm an older, non-traditional applicant, that year is very precious to me. With that said, I would be finishing my degree after I submit my application. Would that hurt my chances of getting in at all? Does that look bad in any way to an admission board?
No you don't need them if you study well. Out of all those courses, I would say cell bio is helpful and so is intro to psych. Most of the mcat prep materials will help you learn them though. Get some Kaplan books, go through them, do Uworld, and then the AAMC content and you won't need those courses.
 

GreenDuck12

7+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
1,974
2,045
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  1. Medical Student
I would be more concerned about studying for the mcat while taking classes and preparing a polished application. All three of those things take time. Genetics and cell bio are helpful but certainly not required to take the mcat. Biology and biochemistry should suffice.
 
Feb 5, 2020
552
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  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
I found taking psychology and sociology fairly high yield. They both need certain way of thinking that is different from chemistry or biology. Some professors in my school already know this and make MCAT style questions on their psych exams.
 
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