Mechanical Engineering at OSU + Medical school

I’m an upcoming junior in high school who’s stressing out a lot about college, so this may be a long description.

My current plans are to attend OSU and major in mechanical engineering, while also completing the pre med requirements for medical school. With Ohio’s CCP (college credit plus) program, I would’ve been able to take a few courses that would transfer as college credit. The classes that I am taking in these next two years or have taken already are:

Ap Chemistry, Ap Bio, Ap Physics C, Ap Physics 2, Anatomy and Physiology (CCP)
Ap Lang, Ap Lit
Fundamentals of Engineering 1 and 2 (CCP)
Ap Statistics (3 on the exam), Ap Calculus BC, Multivariable calculus (CCP)
APUSH (4 on the exam)

  • orchestra

My current gpa is a 5.1 (weighted), 3.71 (unweighted)

Assuming that I pass all of these classes and gain credits from these classes, I have a few questions in mind.

  1. Is it possible for me to have a college experience/ decent social life if I’m a mechanical engineering major looking into medical school?

  2. Is it possible to enter OSU at a “sophomore” level if I have the majority of freshman courses done? In other words, could I graduate early or have an extra year/ semester/ time for my premed reqs and research and clinical experience?

  3. I know Medical school admission is very gpa and MCAT heavy, and engineering is notorious for being a gpa killer, how difficult is it to maintain a gpa of 3.5+ in MechE?

  4. Would I have enough time to add a minor in Psychology?

  5. Would I have time for extracurriculars like sports and orchestras?

  6. When do you apply for medical school during undergrad? And when do you take the MCAT? Do you have time to retake the MCAT if your first score wasn’t what you hoped?

Here is the curriculum sheet for ME at tOSU:

Start with it, adjust for any applicable AP or transfer credit, and see how much space you have for the added pre-med courses:

  • General chemistry (or substitute upper level non-organic chemistry if you use AP credit).
  • Organic chemistry
  • General biology (or substitute upper level biology if you use AP credit)
  • Calculus (included in your major) and statistics (included in your major)
  • Physics (or substitute upper level physics if you use AP credit)
  • English composition (or substitute upper level writing, literature, rhetoric if you use AP credit)
  • Psychology and sociology (choose for your general education courses)
  • Biochemistry and other recommended upper level pre-med courses

My S20 is about to be a freshmen in ChemE at OSU, and he chose his classes a couple of weeks ago, so he took a hard look at what his 4 years would look like.

  1. The MechE curriculum doesn’t overlap much with the pre-med requirements. You will be working very hard.
  2. My son will enter as a sophomore, but with the Gen Ed requirements and his engineering requirements, still impossible to graduate early. He was able to leapfrog inorganic chemistry, physics and calculus, but all that does is give him a little wiggle room. He may be able to have a light semester at some point, but that’s it.
  3. Perhaps the average GPAs by the various engineering majors are published? OSU publishes their dean’s list and I don’t see a lot of the engineering majors from our HS on there very often, and they tend to be the stronger students from our HS.
  4. My son wanted to do a minor in CS. Almost impossible with ChemE without extending his time there. I don’t see how you could do that and the pre-med curriculum.
  5. OSU has many different opportunities for musicians to participate at various time commitments. Same thing for intramural sports.
  6. I think the MCAT is taken spring of junior year. You will apply to med school the fall of your senior year.

My older son had a frat brother friend who was an engineering major and pre-med. He survived and is now a Surgical resident in Chicago. It can be done of course, but it’s a tough road. The good news is if med school doesn’t pan out, you will have a fantastic degree in hand. OSU is currently the 8th largest producer of BS prepared engineers. You won’t be hurting for opportunity and the network of fellow OSU engineers is enormous.

You might want to check out the Engineering Physics major with the MechE concentration (or one of the other emphases should your interests shift), and see whether it would offer you any more flexibility than the straight MechE major. Worth a look, anyway.