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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by pmahesh107, Jun 14, 2008.
Computer Engineering is a great major. If you're interested in that, go for it. Majoring in biochemistry won't put you at an advantage for MCAT's just because it's a natural science major. The upper level courses for that major won't be tested on the MCAT, so just the pre-med pre-reqs will be needed, as well as a good review book (Kaplan, Examkrackers, etc.) and you'll be set. There are plenty of 35+ scorers on the MCAT that are not science major which attests to the fact that you don't have to major in a science to succeed.
However, if you choose Computer Engineering, you should not take those AP credits, heck, unless you scored a 5 and think you know everything about those subjects, I would suggest dropping the AP credit and actually taking those courses at a college level. Since you've already taken the AP version of them, it'll be easier to transition into those classes, as well as adapt to college classes and make it easier to get an A to have a strong GPA at the start.
Bottom line, if you like computer engineering, major in that. It gives great prospects for a backup in case med school turns out not to be for you. Drop the AP credits, and take the classes at a real college level with real college labs. Your GPA will most likely thank you, as well as building greater proficiency in the core sciences for pre-med.
But...if biochem is your favorite, go for that instead. Just don't go because you think there will be some kind of advantage, since the physical chemistries and upper level courses will not be tested on MCAT. Firm foundation in the pre-reqs (bio, chem, physics) and a good review book, and you'll be golden for the MCAT.
You seem very concerned about the MCAT so early, in which case, taking chemistry again can't hurt right? You seem to know it well, so you can probably pull of an A in that class to get a strong science gpa to start. Plus, my comment regarding it easing your transition into college level coursework still stands for that.
If you scored a 5 on the bio, however, and you're considering taking an upper level bio such as physiology, I'd say go for it, especially if the AP bio dealt a lot with evolution and botany. Physiology will be of help for the MCAT, and whatever you didn't really grasp during biology, you can easily review for using the MCAT review books.
Chem on the other hand, I'd suggest you take at a college level. You can certainly take the credit and take upper level chemistry, but that'd be a rough way to begin your freshman year, and upper level chemistry will not be necessary for the MCAT.
Bottom line #2: I'd suggest taking Chem in college with a lab component, and only use the AP bio if you are going to take upper level bio's such as physiology, especially since many med schools will not take AP credit so you're pretty obligated to take college biology classes, whether it be bio, or physiology.
Computer engineering! Is that like computer science? Computers are the future, they are so interesting. Then again, you're out of school for a year and you're already behind on technology, right? Meh...
Electrical Engineering + Computer Science - Upper Level Computer Science Theory = Computer Engineering (basically). So basically, more of the applied Computer Science plus Electrical Engineering and you usually take classes specifically for Software Engineering where you learn the process and development of softwares in a more structured manner.
Computer Science is usually better for those who don't mind theory or don't mind becoming computer scientists who work on new algorithms and such, more behind the scenes kind of work as opposed to applied, although their programming background can allow for a lot of applied; Computer Engineering usually targets applied and skips theory in terms of programming. They do deal with theory in terms of hardware and the engineering courses like electrical circuits and mechanics.
This is my advice!
1. No need to bother with AP credits for bio and chem. There are several schools that don't accept AP credits for prerequisite classes, so you'd end up having to retake them in college. I know a lot of people who came into college with AP credits for bio and chem and realized their senior year that they had to retake the classes.
2. Major in whatever you want, don't worry about how it will affect your MCAT. In fact, if anything, I think it'd be more of an advantage to have a degree in engineering. The coursework is known to be generally more rigorous and require more work ethic and problem solving ability, which will also help you when it comes to the MCAT. If you're an overachiever, perhaps you could consider double majoring, or minoring in biochem... or you can do what I did and major in biomedical engineering
i would suggest comp engr. the mcat is based on basic sciences so the pre-medical courses take care of those, even if u do have AP credits some skools dont take them and u'd have to take it again (might even be an easy A for you since u already know the stuff). i retook gen chem even when i got a 5 on the AP test. as an engr major, i am all for engr as i believe it gives u a different perspective and also makes u more unique compared to everyone else (what % of the applicant pool is computer engr major, i say fewer than 5%, prolly fewer than 1% but giving myself some leeway for mistakes). i actually find engr easier than studyin biology courses since i am a very conceptual person, memorization is fine but takes way too much time, comp engr also open doors to other opportunities, i know u r goin into medicine, but many of my engr friends r goin into law, consulting, medicine, engr, business, etc so i think the opportunities are more
like aster said, it's a great backup, i have friends working at yahoo with a BS and makin 80k, friends at google/ usoft 80k, etc even though i know money probably isnt of the concern here but it's a great backup
what course does the bio AP pass you out of (what's the title of the biology course at the university?)
Didn't AP Biology cover a good amount of botany, evolution, a bunch of insects stuff and other things like that? Those classes that your AP Bio credit passes you out of don't seem to match up well with AP Bio; they seem to deal a lot more with physiology and genetics, in which case, taking one of them wouldn't be a bad idea. But if I'm wrong, go take Physiology, can't go wrong with that.
There are some basic Physiology questions on the MCAT and so having that class under your belt wouldn't hurt. A lot of Bio I and II classes at different universities tend to focus on different things (some focus a lot on evolution, some on physiology like yourself, etc.) and people end up doing fine on the bio section of MCAT. You can pretty much learn the bio section for the MCAT from the Kaplan and other review books, it's just important to get the Bio classes to build a foundation, and most importantly, fulfill your pre-req requirements of 2 semesters biology w/lab.
I'll just wait for more people to input, since I kind of feel alone in this thread.