What type of courseload would adcoms prefer?

premedi-kid

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    Let's say I took 14-16 credits and got straight As in all of them

    OR

    take 18-21 credits but got mixtures of As, Bs, and a C??

    I was just wondering which is more impressive, taking a harder course load and doing mediocre, or taking a light courseload but getting good grades?
     

    DrMom

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      I'd go for the grades, but avoid a really light schedule. No need to constantly take 18 hrs + if you don't have to to get done in time, but don't spread it out just so you can take 14 hrs all the time.

      *edit* If you have to take a really light course load in order to do well, you're likely to have trouble when you start med school and encounter the flood you're expected to know.
       

      DALABROKA

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        I had one semester of 15 hours, one semester of 14 hours, and 7 semesters of 12 hours. I also had to do some summer classes to get enough credits to graduate, but that wasn't too bad. I was accepted at 4 out of the 5 schools I applied to. However, I was working full time or nearly full time all along, so that probably accounted for something.

        In my opinion, you would be much better served to only take 14 hours a semester and graduate with a 4.0 than take 20 hours a semester and wind up with a 3.4.......especially if you used your extra time to do some healthcare work or community service. Basically the whole issue of course load revolves around time management skills, so if you can show that you didn't need to spend 60 hours a week studying in order to do well in only 12 hours worth of courses, you will be fine.


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        carrigallen

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          I agree with Dr Mom. *Start* with a light courseload, and work your way up slowly each semester. Remember, classes are much more time-consuming at the end than at the beginning. Plan out your tests ahead of time, so you know when you might have 3-4 tests the same week.
           

          premedi-kid

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            Thanks for the reply.

            I guess I'll see if I can take 17 credits because I've been averaging 14-15 credits for the past few semesters. It's just that most of the classes that I've taken in the past were hardcore sciences and I felt overwhelmed each semester. Thanks for the advice, I'll see what I can do.
             

            Peterock

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              Go for the grades. Just watching how my friends and I have been treated by gpa, major, class load etc. It's a stupid and unfair process. I'd recommend always taking an easy class load and doing the bare minimum for premed pre-reqs except adding 2 additional classes like anatomy and biochemistry.

              The 3.9 easy major/class load beats the 3.5 hard major/class load every time. It's a system that produces great docs.
               

              DrMom

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                Each school counts things differently, but I'll give you my credit hours (does not necesarily match hrs in class and/or lab):

                MS1 Fall: anatomy (10 hrs), histology (5 hrs), biochemistry (5 hrs), OMM (3 hrs)

                MS1 Spring: physiology (7 hrs), micro (6 hrs), neuro (3 hrs), clinical skills (3 hrs), OMM (3 hrs), epidemiology (1 hr)

                MS2: pathology (5 hrs), clinical problem solving (9 hrs), phychiatry (1 hr), pharmacology (3 hrs), health promotion/disease prevention (2 hrs), clinical skills (2 hrs), OMM (2 hrs) (and in the Fall we also had a 1 hr multicultural health class)


                In general, we spend somewhere around 26 hrs/week in class and labs.


                As far as how it compares to undergrad, my general statement is that many classes cover in 4 weeks the amount of info that you'd have in a semester undergrad course. This varies a bit from class to class, but it isn't a bad estimate. Do note, though, that none of these classes are tough to comprehend & learn. The challenge of med school is the volume.
                 

                DrMom

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                  Originally posted by premedi-kid
                  Thanks for the reply.

                  I guess I'll see if I can take 17 credits because I've been averaging 14-15 credits for the past few semesters. It's just that most of the classes that I've taken in the past were hardcore sciences and I felt overwhelmed each semester. Thanks for the advice, I'll see what I can do.


                  I want to make one additional note on this. Having semesters with fewer hours and great grades is good, but some schools do like to see that you can handle a heavier load. Your idea of taking 17 hrs for a semester (even if it is just one) isn't bad.

                  Peterrock is right that overall, grades are critical, but some schools do note your courseload. Not to say that they'd discount a high GPA, but that (as I said above) they like to see that you can handle a heavier load. Now if you're working a number of hours or something else like that while you're taking the 14 hrs, then that is something that I would make sure they know.

                  It's not an easy question, but if I were you I'd have one semester with more credits...and carefully choose the classes.
                   
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