How hard is the premed track?

<p>Is there any way to make it through?</p>

<p>Can anyone also elaborate on the early chem courses and texts used?</p>

<p>again this is provided that I do a nonscience major</p>

<p>I haven't taken either course, but both Honors and Comprehensive general chemistry are reputed to be quite difficult; they use "Principles of Modern Chemistry," by Oxtoby, Gillis, and Campion. Also, try to take the AP Bio exam and get a 5 so you're eligible to take AP5 Bio. This sequence is only three quarters (as opposed to five for the regular sequence), so it'll save you a lot of time and effort.</p>

<p>IIRC the regular sequence is now only four quarters + biocalc (which replaces third quarter calc, and you were going to have to take that anyway). And while AP5 is a magnificent course--I enjoy it immensely--it's also significantly more difficult and very research-focused. It wasn't really designed with premeds in mind, although many premeds take it anyway.</p>

<p>Still, it's best to have options.</p>

<p>I searched the forums specifically looking for this question so I could answer it as follows:</p>

<p>You CAN be pre-med at the U of C, but EVERY DAY you will feel as though another part of your soul is being ripped asunder. It doesn't matter how hard you try, it doesn't matter what's fair, it really doesn't matter. The Chem dept. is notorious and almost ubiquitously hated on campus, the bio dept is not as horrible, but stay OUT of AP5 Bio unless you want to be talked at by bumbling researchers who (while they may be great scientists) don't know their asses from a hole in the ground when it comes to teaching, and who will set the tests purposefully above the level of material taught so they can isolate those choice few undergrads they consider "worthy" of working in their labs over the next 3-4 years. The requirements are manageable. But from the second you step into your advisor's office, he/she will start telling you how it's impossible to take the pre-med track and still be a functioning college student. "Oh premed? No study-abroad for you then." said mine. That was utter bull. I can easily get my courses done AND do study abroad. They just make it sound harder than it is, which creates this bubble of negativity (or, as we in the depressed premed circle call it, the bubble of "I'm-****ed-ness"). Which brings me to the advisors. From personal experience and the related experiences of those around me. When it comes to giving pre-med advice, they may as well be fully convinced that their asses ARE a hole in the ground. They will give you the same general, unspecific advice (probably taught at some prep seminar) regardless of your particular case. Learn to ignore them when you think what they're saying sounds downright silly. That being said, they're REALLY GOOD at helping you get through core classes, so don't dismiss them completely. </p>

<p>You will make it through, yes. But it will be painful and frustrating. The health professions advisory office will, instead of helping, give you vague statements like "do what feels right", and try to remind you every step of the way that it's very very difficult to be a doctor. While this is true, it's just harder to be one at the U of C than say, most actual LAC's, and definitely some pre-professional ones... </p>

<p>All that being said. If you really wanna go here, do it. It's an amazing place to be. The people are awesome and the classes (in humanities and social science in particular) are generally very well taught. If you wanna be pre-med but, say, a polisci major, you will have a world of fun. Also, if you can survive being pre-med here, you get serious academic badass points. Unfortunately, no med school values said badass points, but if you really belong here, you will.</p>

<p>So phatmomi, would you suggest majoring in a non-science field if I'm thinking about premed? My plans right now are biochemistry, but it sounds like that's going to be really tough.</p>

<p>How can anyone quantify how hard a certain major is? Yes, being a premed is hard. Some people graduate as a premed, others switch majors. I have friends in both camps. </p>

<p>If you want to be a premed, go for it and see how things go. You can always change majors.</p>