How Competitive Am I Academically + Senior Year Schedule

I am a first generation female student enrolled at a competitive high school. I am class of 2021. So far, I have taken 5 AP Courses and received scores of 3-5 with mostly 4’s. I have also taken other rigorous advanced courses and have a 4.59/5.00 W-GPA and 3.91/4.00 UW-GPA. I don’t have a million EC’s but the ones I do have, I have leadership roles in and I have over 100 community service hours. Due to COVID, I was unable to get a face to face medical internship or hospital volunteer opportunity, but I have an interest in medicine.

I plan on applying to schools like Brown PLME, Boston University 7Year Med Scholarship, Wayne State Med-Direct, Duke Robertson Scholars, Howard University BS/MD, etc. (These are the most competitive programs) I am wondering what advice anyone can offer me about these schools and programs and other scholarships?

Also, is my schedule for next year competitive?

  • English Literature and Composition AP
  • Statistics AP
  • JROTC (I am one of the three top cadets in my program)
  • Environmental Science AP
  • Comparative Government and Pol. AP
  • Mentorship program at my school that helps to place students with professionals and allows them to conduct a research paper
  • French Language and Culture AP (I have been taking French since middle school)

I am not the strongest in math, so I am avoiding calculus, but I took advanced Precalculus last year. I also am avoiding AP Biology because it is notoriously bad at my school and so is the entire Physics department. I took AP Chemistry last year and received an A. This is my last year of highschool so I do not want to mess up my GPA and I also want to just BREATHE. However, I am worried that maybe universities will not be impressed with my schedule because I have only taken Chemistry and Biology in high school and I have not taken Calculus or Physics. Please help!

I think not having Physics is going to be a problem for most of the BSMD programs, as is the lack of Calculus.

Can you take AP calc this year instead of AP stats, and physics instead of APES?

Also, I believe many, maybe most, BS/MD programs still require a test score this year…are you scheduled to take an ACT or SAT? Check the websites of these programs to confirm requirements.

What is your affordable safety school? Budget? Home state? Continuing ROTC in college?

BS/MD programs are extremely competitive. I agree that you need some level of physics and calc.

It’s one thing if the courses aren’t offered at your school, but it will be a red flag that you were on track to take them and you didn’t.

BS/MD programs are rigorous and you will need to keep your grades up. Adcoms want to see proof you can manage based on how you challenged yourself in high school. I think not taking AP bio as a potential premed was a mistake too.

Be sure you have a balanced list with regular BS programs.

Basically you can’t write on your application that calculus or physics were not offered nor can you say you chose not to take them because they are bad. Avoiding both will most likely hinder your chances of acceptance into competitive programs.

I second make sure you also think about safety and match schools as well. Another thing to think about is fit Do you want a city school, gated suburban campus, small size, big sizes etc.

The unfortunate reality is that taking an easy schedule to relax and avoid “messing” up a GPA Is not the path selective colleges are looking for. There will be thousands of other applicants that have challenged themselves through their senior year.

Calculus and Physics would be quite beneficial.

You need physics and Calculus. Without it, you will not be as viable as a candidate. Stats is a known easy math.

Another thing to think about…you WOULD have to take calculus in college, and college classes move at a faster pace, with less hand-holding. You would not want your first exposure to calculus be within a demanding college schedule, in a class full of students who have already taken it.

Despite the responses to my question, I do not think taking Physics is the best option for me at this time, and I’d chance taking it in college. Out of the AP Sciences though, I think it would be best for me to take AP Bio instead of APES and see if I can push through. My counselor recently said that taking Calculus Honors would not fit in with my schedule if I replaced Stats, so I may try to take AP Calc and see how that goes, although my teacher did not recommend me for that level. I will be applying to colleges with my junior year GPA anyways, so perhaps it will only be a big deal when schools request mid year transcripts? Another thing, my school year is completely online until mid-January, so I will just see how things go.

I would first like to say thank you for your response on my post. Although I’m concerned about my classes here, I do not think it’s entirely fair to say I would not be a viable candidate just based on not taking one or two courses yet, as I have not given every last detail about me on this post or where else I will be applying, which includes a broad range of safety and match universities and independent scholarships.

Again, thank you, and I will put everything into consideration! I am leaning towards AP Biology and switching to AP Calc and seeing how it goes.

You asked about those classes and applying to BSMD programs. Your story doesn’t matter- the answer is no. What isn’t a good response is to then get defensive. Just because you dont like the answer doesn’t invalidate it. Most BSMD programs want to see those classes. You are applying against a very very competitive applicant pool (to include my own kid who also had to make these enrollment choices). Your story wont be enough to catapult you over the missing requirements or preferred courses.

Agree. I wish you all the best. I really do. I’d just never tell someone to go for the easy courses and you’ll be fine applying to the most prestigious programs. I think those programs are really competitive and competitive kids do certain courses.

I think you should try taking Physics and Calculus online and talk to people at your school who have already taken it. Also consider dual enrollment.

For BSMD: Find a way to take AP Bio, some physics and honors calculus - perhaps online since you wouldnt have scheduling issues . These are must-haves for BSMD. No shortcuts. Those are niche programs.

If you want to be premed, you need the strongest level in bio&chem you can handle + some calculus (honors calc is okay).

For premed, costs are very important. Run the NPC on St Lawrence, St Olaf, Muhlenberg, Beloit (all have good financial aid and merit scholarships).