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Is a strong Biology background a pre-requisite for O Chem/O Chem II?

LanaHereLanaHere Registered User Posts: 638 Member
My D is a first year Chem E major with BioE concentration and premed track. She has a full schedule this past semester (fall 2014) and this semester (spring 2015), so she's putting off taking College Biology, a premed required class. Unfortunately, next semester (fall 2015- her sophomore year), her schedule will be full with Engineering classes PLUS Organic Chemistry, so taking Bio is out of the question, unless she drops a class or take 21 credit hours. I think for a STEM major 21 credit hours per semester is too heavy of a course load.

Her other options: Take Bio over the summer at a Community College (which is not recommended by premed advisor) or take Bio in Spring 2016 (her Sophomore year). The only thing is, Spring 2016, she'll be in Organic Chemistry II.

My question: How much Biology should she have prior to enrolling in O Chem II? Does O Chem I & O Chem II require a strong background in Biology?

Please note: She took AP Biology in high school in 11th grade, but no Biol lectures since then. However, she has 3 summers of Research Lab (working with cells) work experience under her belt. But we all know Lab is lab and not actual Biology classes.

Thank you.
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Replies to: Is a strong Biology background a pre-requisite for O Chem/O Chem II?

  • JustOneDadJustOneDad Registered User Posts: 5,845 Senior Member
    No Biology required for OChem.
    Isn't Biology a full year?
  • LanaHereLanaHere Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    Premed's requirements: Two Biology classes, Organic Chemistry I & II, 1 Biochem and a total of 3 labs.
    These are the classes:
    Biology (Genes, Evolution & Ecology) is a 1 semester course.
    Cells and Proteins- One semester.
    Biochem - One semester.
    O Chem I- One semester
    O Chem II- One semester.
    O chem labs I & II - Two semester.
    1 Biology lab- One semester.


  • JustOneDadJustOneDad Registered User Posts: 5,845 Senior Member
    It appears that "Cells and Proteins" is just the last half of the Biology sequence. Any time you get off normal sequence you need to make sure the followup courses are offered when you expect to be taking them.
  • LanaHereLanaHere Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    Yes, I forgot to put Biology in front of Cells and Proteins.
    The school has it in this order: Biology (Genes, Evolution and Ecology) - Fall 2014.
    Biology (Cells and Proteins): Junior Fall (which will be Fall 2017 for my D).

    I was wondering if you and other CC folks can give your opinion on this:

    Premed advisor had said DO NOT take premed classes at a community college. But given that Biology is a lower level premed required class, and not O Chem I, II or Biochem, do you think Medical School's Admin won't be to hard on her application if she'll take Biology (Genes & Evolution) at a community college?

    I know other criteria go into her application: GPA, MCAT etc.. and not just where did you take your first Biology class.

    Thanks.
  • JustOneDadJustOneDad Registered User Posts: 5,845 Senior Member
    edited January 2015
    I wouldn't risk it (CC) unless it is the only feasible option.
    Biology is a cakewalk. If she's had AP Biology she should be in good shape.
    What does she do in the laboratory with cells?
  • LanaHereLanaHere Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    Amy time you get off normal sequence you need to make sure the followup courses are offered when you expect to be taking them.


    Thank You for that JustOneDad.
    I checked and Biology (Genes and Evolution) are offered both semesters, fall and spring. I guess because this is a research school so there are a lot of Bio majors.


  • JustOneDadJustOneDad Registered User Posts: 5,845 Senior Member
    Will she have taken Cells and Proteins by the time of the MCAT?
  • LanaHereLanaHere Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    What does she do in the laboratory with cells?

    She assisted MSTP students with their research..
    She set up their experiments and did things that required her to use SDS-PAGE, Western Blots, Imuno-Cyto-Chemistry Methods, splitting cells and more things that are over my head.

    I am not a Biology person so I am just going by what I was told. If I said something that didn't make sense, please forgive me.

    Thanks
  • LanaHereLanaHere Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    Will he have taken Cells & Proteins by the time of the MCAT?

    Yes, Cells and Proteins is Fall Junior year, which is 2016... I wrote the wrong year earlier.
    She is from the class of 2018. So MCAT test will be during spring 2017 for her.
  • JustOneDadJustOneDad Registered User Posts: 5,845 Senior Member
    Oh yeah, you got it right.
  • LanaHereLanaHere Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    Thanks!
  • plumazulplumazul Registered User Posts: 1,744 Senior Member
    @LanaHere
    Please note: She took AP Biology in high school in 11th grade,...

    So what happened? Did she take the exam? Did she get a 5? If so, why take high school bio again? Take something more interesting, e.g. immunology, cell, genetics, physio, anatomy, etc.
  • LanaHereLanaHere Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    edited January 2015
    She didn't take the College Board's AP exam. We were told that medical schools do not want you to use AP credits for premed classes.

    @plumazul‌
  • plumazulplumazul Registered User Posts: 1,744 Senior Member
    That's too bad. You were told wrong. :-w
  • baktraxbaktrax Registered User Posts: 2,563 Senior Member
    How much Biology should she have prior to enrolling in O Chem II? Does O Chem I & O Chem II require a strong background in Biology?

    You don't need any biology for organic chemistry, unless your daughter's school lists lists it as a prerequisite for some reason.
    Premed advisor had said DO NOT take premed classes at a community college. But given that Biology is a lower level premed required class, and not O Chem I, II or Biochem, do you think Medical School's Admin won't be to hard on her application if she'll take Biology (Genes & Evolution) at a community college?

    It's generally recommend not to take premed courses at a community college because it's often seen as an easier course than taking it at a 4-year university, regardless of if that's actually true or not. It's safer to take it at her 4-year university if she is able to just to take that worry off the table. If she chooses the take intro bio at the community college, I'd recommend she take more advanced bio classes at her university to demonstrate that she is able to do well in more difficult biology classes at her university and to counteract any possible negative perceptions. Since medical school admissions are already so hyper competitive, the thinking is often that it's just not a risk worth taking if she can avoid it.
    She didn't take the College Board's AP exam. We were told that medical schools do not want you to use AP credits for premed classes.

    While many medical schools have restrictions on what AP credits you can use (if you can use any at all), more advanced courses are accepted in place of the intro versions. Many premed students take more advanced biology courses regardless because of their major or just out of interest, so in the case of AP Biology, this is often not a cause of concern for most premed majors. She could have taken the AP test and then taken more advanced biology classes at her school. There's nothing you can do about it now, but it's always good to know things.
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