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Have I fulfilled the physics requirement for med school?

TorchwoodTorchwood Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
edited June 2013 in Pre-Med Topics
I took AP Physics C in high school, and got a 5. I took the credit and skipped college mechanics and went right to E&M. I did this because I was a physics major, and I assumed that I would be taking higher-level physics classes after E&M, thereby fulfilling my 1 year physics requirement for medical school.
Well, it took about 2 weeks of E&M to realize that physics was not for me. So I've switched majors. At this point, do I need to take another semester of physics to fulfill the requirement? Or, because I took E&M, which is technically a higher level class, is my AP credit for mechanics acceptable, assuming that I obviously have to be comfortable with mechanics to do E&M?
My advisor contacted a dean at Case Med (I go to Case Western for undergrad), and he said that I would not have to take another semester. But I'm just afraid that because I didn't communicate with him directly, he might have misunderstood the situation, or maybe other med schools feel differently about this situation? Would it be weird if I emailed some med school admissions deans and asked them this?
Post edited by Torchwood on

Replies to: Have I fulfilled the physics requirement for med school?

  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 8,851 Senior Member
    It wouldn't be weird to email the Dean of Admissions at several med schools to ask. It's the best way to get definitve answers. Especially get in contact with your state med schools to get a read for their policies.
  • PsychoDad10PsychoDad10 Registered User Posts: 1,190 Senior Member
    Agree wit above post. Each medical school may have its own policy regarding skipping general physics because of AP credit. Best thing you can do is to either look up each med school's requirements or call their offices to find out.
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Registered User Posts: 7,836 Senior Member
    how does case handle AP credit? Do you get actual credit on your transcript for the mechanics class? If so, then that will be accepted at every med school.

    If you were basically just given the freedom to skip it but it's not on your transcript then e-mail around or search through CC as I believe a user named plumazul has posted a link from Rice University with a table that lists every med school's AP policy.
  • kal123kal123 Registered User Posts: 507 Member
    I did extensive research into AP credit policies of various medical schools, because my son took AP credit for Phisics I, Gen Chem I and Gen Chem II. He followed his pre-health advisors guidance religiously (they advised him to take Physics II with lab and Biochem with lab), but I still wanted to make sure that he is not at a disadvantage.

    I got hold of a spread sheet prepared by UMD pre-health and verified the AP credit policy of each school my son is applying to, on their web sites. Based on my research, most schools accept AP credit, if they are on the UG transcript. Some schools don't allow AP credits for certain subjects. Some schools want you to take upper level science courses either in the same area or otherwise. Very few schools (CA publics, Vanderbilt and BU come to mind), are really hard-nosed about AP credits. Even Vanderbilt changed it's policy and now allow upper level courses as substitutions.

    Here is the link to the spread sheet: http://www.prehealth.umd.edu/files/prehealth/medical/Medical%20School%20Requirements.xlsx
  • TorchwoodTorchwood Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    The AP credit for mechanics does show up on my transcript. I contacted Case's pre-med advisor and he said that the vast majority of med schools would accept one semester of AP credit and one semester of class. Hopefully he's right.
    Thanks everyone, and thanks for the link Kal123, I will check that out!
  • TorchwoodTorchwood Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    I also e-mailed ten admissions offices (I e-mailed some of the most selective ones, because I thought that the more selective the school, the more picky they will be with their requirements). I contacted Columbia, Yale, Johns Hopkins, WUSTL, University of Chicago, Northwestern, University of Washington, University of Michigan, Stanford, and Georgetown. We'll see what they all say! :)
  • nyumom2nyumom2 Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    I noticed you are a Case undergrad- my D graduated from Case and will start med school in august. She had 5s on AP Physics C and for some med schools she had to take intro to physics with the lab as a senior because some of the med schools would not accept AP to fulfill their requirement and since there aren't higher level physics classes with labs she did a freshman class- very few will not accept the Physics AP credit but there was one or two so it was just easier to get it out of the way- didn't make sense but you don't want to get caught with missing something they want
  • TorchwoodTorchwood Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    Oh man I didn't even think of the fact that modern physics doesn't have a lab portion! Maybe I will have to go back and take intro physics...That might be easier, but a lot less interesting. I hope it doesn't look weird that I will have taken intro E&M before intro Mechanics.
    Congrats to you and your daughter for graduating and getting into med school!
  • limabeanslimabeans Registered User Posts: 4,751 Senior Member
    Yikes! I just took a look and noticed a significant hole in my son's coursework. My DS will need to take BioChem before he graduates. The chart doesn't list PChem. I guess that wasn't necessary.

    I have a question about how to read the chart: should I assume that each "requirement" is for a full year? That is, does DS also need to take 2 semesters of English? And does "Behav" represent classes in Psychology, (assuming behav means behavior)?
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Registered User Posts: 7,836 Senior Member

    No one will care about the order of your physics classes
  • TorchwoodTorchwood Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    The requirements depend on the course.
    1 year of biology
    2 years of chemistry (1 year inorganic, 1 year organic)
    1 year of math (calc or stats, although I took calc I-III and am still being told to take stats)
    1 year of physics
    1 semester of biochemistry
    1 semester of behavioural sciences (psych or sociology, although I have been told to take both)
    1 year of English
    Pchem isn't necessary.

    And good to know that the order doesn't matter! Thanks!
  • nyumom2nyumom2 Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    that's exactly how she felt- an easy A which helped the gpa but it was just taken to get the lab requirement taken care of - as you found the higher physics courses don't have labs
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 8,851 Senior Member

    The new 2015 MCAT has a human behavior section that includes material from both psychology and sociology. Although the section is still being tweaked, the previews suggests it's 70% psych and 30% sociology.

    Also biochem will be included on the 2015 MCAT. So if he will taking his MCAT after Jan 2015, he'll need to complete biochem before he attempts the MCAT.

    RE: English requirement. Most medical schools requires 2 semesters of English or 'writing intensive' classes. What courses earn the writing intensive designation will vary from college to college. Your son needs to consult with his college catalog or health professions advisor to find out which courses at his school qualify. Some schools place a special denotation on the transcript for classes considered writing intensive/fulfilling college writing requirements.
This discussion has been closed.