Difficulty of courses

<p>Hey guys, I have a few questions for current undergraduates,preferably biology, chemistry and biochemistry students.
I am a minority with a 3.8 GPA from a private 2 year college in New York City, I hope to be a good candidate for Geneseo's biochemistry program. I am currently a legal studies major and hope to be granted admissions into the prestigious biochemistry program I have heard so much about. I had never taken physics or chemistry courses and while my proficiency in math is satisfactory, it does require some tuning up. I'm not expecting for any credits to transfer but I'm fairly comfortable with starting out as a freshman. My motivation to pursue science is driven by motivation and curiosity.</p>

<p>What courses are offered to students to improve their proficiency in these matters before taking on the required general education and major courses?.</p>

<p>Courses for example as precalculus and intro to physics that will not fulfill course requirements but improve skill. </p>

<p>Thank you for your time.</p>

<p>A biochem major would be taking analytical [calc-based] physics co-currently with calculus. You don't need precalculus to take calculus, they're kind of unrelated. I skipped precal in high school and went straight to calc.</p>

<p>There is general (non-calc based) physics, but it's pretty much the same class as analytical. Precalc is also offered, but then you'd have to wait until sophomore year to take analytical physics.</p>

<p>Two of my friends are biochem majors and a third is a bio major - I know pretty much how their schedules look/will look like for the next three years.</p>

<p>Thanks for replying bioblade. I hadn't notice a reply to my thread since this site failed to notify me of so.</p>

<p>So would you say that with the proper integrity and support from services offered by Geneseo, the analytical physics and calculus courses can be handled?. Or will previous knowledge in these topics be a must?.</p>

<p>Honestly speaking, I have minimal to no skills whatsoever when it comes to physics or calculus. That is why I was asking about any available courses that would help me develop these skills rather than count as credits. I seriously wouldn't mind staying over the summer sessions to catch up with classes.</p>

<p>Again, thanks for your time. I just sent in my transcripts yesterday and I'm anxiously awaiting a response.</p>

<p>Calculus honestly isn't that difficult. I think calculus was probably some of the easiest math I took. You have to know other things because it builds, but it's not too hard to learn. A working knowledge of trig is required for calc, however. You might be at a slight disadvantage if you didn't take precal because you won't know stuff like partial fractions but really, the difference is minimal. If you're really concerned, I would take precal over the summer at a community college, but don't bother with physics. Analytical physics is offered as an intro level class and is taught as if someone had never learned physics. People who had taken physics before weren't at too much an advantage because the class is fast paced and goes above what most people would have done in high school. I would not recommend taking general physics or precal in your first year mainly because then you would have to take calc and analyt physics your second year and the problem with this is that you would be taking the classes together with organic chemistry, which is much harder than general chemistry, your first year sequence. Overwhelming yourself with too many difficult courses is never a good idea.
The physics professors are very good with office hours whenever you need help and the physics learning center is always open if you want help from junior/senior physics majors.</p>

<p>The only major difference between general and analyt physics is that the professors use calculus in proving that the equations work and the problems are slightly harder. I think I used calculus to actually SOLVE a problem maybe three times this semester and it was very basic stuff (ie. area under a curve in boxes - which uses calculus principles but you can just as readily solve by using methods you learned in 5th or 6th grade).
Taking both would be pretty redundant and I don't recommend it. The average for analytical physics is around a B or B- and the averages on tests for my class were 87, 61 and 80. I'm not sure what the final average was, but I thought it was easier than the last two midterms, but harder than the first (mainly because the first exam is like measurements and 1D motion - very easy stuff). I had a 93.9ish average before the final, likely got a 100 on the final (large portions of all the exams are online and you know your grade) and got an A in the class. You have homework to boost your grade and its curved a bit at the end.
You're not a physics major and don't have to be amazing at it. You just have to get through the class. Calc on the other hand will be used in chem later and you should know it well. If you're really concerned, open a precal textbook over the summer. If you want to get a headstart or want to know what to expect I'll give you some links to calc 1 and analytical physics classes whose lectures are online. They're from MIT and extremely good. You can expect the coursework to be very similar. If you do this, you'll be prepared and probably do better in your classes since you'll know most of the content already (or at least have been exposed to it). The lectures don't take very long. If you watch them a couple hours a day, you'll be done in a week or two.</p>

<p>MIT</a> OpenCourseWare | Physics | 8.01 Physics I: Classical Mechanics, Fall 1999 | Home

<p>MIT</a> OpenCourseWare | Mathematics | 18.01 Single Variable Calculus, Fall 2006 | Home
calc 1</p>

<p>Again, thanks so much for taking your time and writing thorough answers to my questions. </p>

<p>I just finished watching the fist lecture corresponding to the rate of change.Honestly, it was quite confusing, then again it is a calculus course from MIT. I understood the terms and what equation will lead to the answer, but got lost when the whole plugging in, canceling phase started. I will try and follow your suggestion on taking a calculus math course; if I can't, well when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Exploiting campus resources and seniors/juniors can be an option but I hope integrity and study to be my first plan .</p>

<p>In terms of the physics lecture I was able to cope with it much better than the calculus one. Has a more definite, straight forward feeling to it. Thanks so much for these resources and suggestions. I see online, by checking the master schedule, that some courses that fulfill general education requirements are offered in the summer frequently year to year, even some chemistry. I have no social life outside academics, school is my first priority and I'm fairly comfortable with staying over the summer.</p>

<p>I have another question if you don't mind. How is the course load for biochemistry students on a pre-med track?. I guess the only addition will be inorganic chemistry?.</p>

<p>I'm really excited about Geneseo and have utterly exploited their website to gain every bit of information I can. I have researched the professors and classes themselves. During orientation, can I somehow choose which specific professors I want to have my required classes with when I'm sitting down with a faculty advisor ?. Or will I be able to switch online after orientation and reserve the classes I want before classes start?, hoping they are not filled yet.</p>

<p>Pre-med is kind of a myth as a track. They can tell you what might be useful on the MCATs but at the end its on your head to do well. The only reason geneseo has such high placement in med schools is because a ton of students are weeded out in intro bio. I don't know of any bio majors who want to study medicine that are planning on doing inorganic chem. It doesn't seem that useful to me, but I'm a math major and I'm not planning on going into medicine. From what I can gather, all you need is intro to bio/chem, some orgo and a lot of bio for the MCATs, but like I said, I'm no expert in this matter.</p>

<p>The advising during orientation is more for those who have no idea what they want to take. During my orientation, my adviser kind of just said hi and watched me sign up for the classes I knew I wanted to take. When we were going through what I should take and we landed on physics, we looked up the two analyt physics classes. He said, oh you should sign up for that one it has a lot less people. I knew exactly why it had less people and told him I'd heard better things about the other professor and went ahead and registered for the class I wanted.</p>

<p>If you don't get what you want, there's an add/drop during august and the first week of classes so you can (try) to get what you want. If even any of your credits transfer you'll be ahead for the spring semester because registration is done with those with the most credits going first, those with least going last.</p>

<p>They also want you to take only 4 classes your first semester, which is partly to "relieve stress", but mostly to cut costs. The adviser wouldn't let me sign up for the fifth class I wanted and I just utilized the add/drop period quite a bit in exchange. A lot of the classes I wanted originally I couldn't get into, but I eventually got into everything through overrides, etc. One of the professors (for a writing seminar capped at 21, already had 22 students) didn't want to let me in, but I just sweet talked him and didn't give in and he eventually let me in. He's now easily my favorite professor and I think I was probably his favorite student for the semester, too. He gave me a letter of rec and I spent loads of time in his office just talking about random things - we got quite close.</p>

<p>I misunderstood the medical school prerequisites. I noticed that Biochemistry majors are able to take all required courses within their normal curriculum; I had thought inorganic chemistry was a must.</p>

<p>I seriously thank you for all your time. These were questions that were floating around my mind but felt to embarrassed to call admissions, knowing that I'm not actually an admitted student rather just a hoping,curious one. I look forward to sending my final credentials, my essay and two letters of recommendation. Minority with a 3.75 GPA, well structured 1,000 word essay, with a Geneseo Alumni and a lawyer by my side; lord help me!.</p>

<p>bioblade, can you recommand me some math/physics calculus where you can get easy A/Bs, plus for the 3-2 engineering course?</p>

<p>Err, good luck finding more than 1-2 (if any) easy A's in any math/physics classes.</p>