My Thoughts/Questions/Plan

<p>I am going to be a college freshman, and I am a biology major. </p>

<p>This is my fall coursework:
CHEM 103

<p>Should I be taking more science courses? Am I falling behind? I want to finish my pre-med requirements early.</p>

<p>Also, I can choose to take Biology 101 and 102 or go into genetics. Bio 101 and 102 would probably boost my GPA more than genetics. also, my adviser told me that bio 101 and 102 are requirements for many schools. </p>

<p>The reason I want to take Genetics is because it's a "higher" level course (I know a A in Biology 101 and 102 is the same as an A in Genetics, but medical schools do seem to want higher courses such as Genetics, Physiology, Cell Biology, etc.)</p>

<p>What do you prefer I do? Skip Bio 101 and 102 or take them?</p>

<p>As for ECs, what do schools look for. Is leadership valued greatly as it is in undergrad admissions? Also, must the ECs be medicine or science related? What's a good number of ECs? I don't want to be under-involved.</p>

<p>Also, is research absolutely necessary? </p>

<p>What are big things are needed to gain admission to a great med school</p>

<p>Yes, you shoud take more science classes. Usually freshmen are taking at least Chem and Bio. As EC's go, do whatever is your interest and whatever is available at your school and hometown. It is nice to have some job, volunteering, shadowing, Med. Research Lab internship or job and hopefully some unrelated activity in your personal area of interest and some leadership positions (like minor(s) / Greek as an example, but it is not needed, only if you personally want to).<br>
In regard to Bio, you have to check with your pre-med advisor if it is possible to take genetics before lower level Bio. In general, most pre-meds are taking whole load of Bio classes which is very helpful for MCAT. Usually it includes first year Bio, cell Bio, physiology, genetics, Biochem and some related classes in personal are of interest like abnormal psych. and others (as an example if area of your interest is neuroscience),
All American Med. Schools are great. No big things are needed to get in. You need to have college GPA=3.6+, decent MCAT (32+ is nice), reasonable EC's and have human skills that could be developed only by spending time with your friends. So, do not be a hermit, studying in your room all the time. Enjoy your UG experience, check out something that you never tried before or pursue you life long dream, work hard and you will be fine.</p>

Usually freshmen are taking at least Chem and Bio.


<p>There are quite a few colleges (including Northwestern and Stanford) for which Chem is a prereq for Bio. Thus taking both concurrently is not an option.</p>

I want to finish my pre-med requirements early.


<p>Then you should take Bio if your college permits it. Drop Speech, unless it is required for your major. Every med school is different on what they will accept in lieu of Bio. Genetics may fulfill the Bio requirement at some/many/most, but perhaps not all. Colleges usually require Bio prior to Genetics, unless you AP out of Bio.</p>

<p>Well I can't take Bio and Chem this fall semester because I already have 16 credits, which is a lot. Also, every class I have is required for graduation or the program I am in.</p>

<p>The reason I could get out of Biology 101 and 102 is because I got a 5 on my AP exam. I talked to an upperclassman, and she mentioned that Biology 101 and 102 are extremely hard to get A's in anyways at our school. Therefore, I'm thinking of just going straight into Genetics. My only worry is that a future med school I may want to apply to may require Bio 101 and 102. Bleh =/ </p>

<p>In what year do students usually start working/volunteering/interning at hospitals, labs, etc.?</p>

<p>Pre-Med/Pre-Health</a> Profession Courses</p>

<p>Well, 16 is actually on a low side. People take 16 when they prep. for MCAT and go to Med. School interviews (junior and senior year). But you are only one to decide. Having 5 on exam may or may not mean much, it depends again on your UG, as people have different experiences at different UG's. At my D's UG it meant nothing at all as they all took first year Bio that went thru AP material in first couple weeks to re-fresh it a bit, then they moved on. Again, cannot decide anything before you consult with your pre-med advisor, unless you have done it. Then you know your answers.</p>

<p>does general bio mean intro bio such as 101 and 102 or does general bio include genetics.</p>

Well, 16 is actually on a low side.


<p>Uh, I disagree. IMO, "low" would be anything below normal progress towards graduation.</p>

<p>120 units are typically required for graduation from a semester college. 120/4 = 30 units per year. 30/2 = 15 units per semester. Thus, 15 is not 'low' but average/required to graduate on time. </p>

<p>Of course, at Miami of O, the graduation requirement is 128 units, so 128/8 = 16 to graduate on time. Average/typical, but not 'low', IMO.</p>

<p>^Depends on particular UG. At D's UG, it was not even callled Bio, the name was BMZ - Botany, Molecular Bio, Zoology and it was taught by 3 profs in a class at the same time at every lecture. So, again, find what it is at your UG.<br>
Generally, it is advisable to take Genetics and Physiology as they are very hepful for MCAT. First Bio is not on MCAT at all. However, again, you might not be able to take Gen. and Physiology without first Bio. Got to find out!!!</p>

does general bio mean intro bio such as 101 and 102 or does general bio include genetics


<p>Many colleges are currently re-vamping their Bio curriculum, and each college is different in what they offer and in what sequence.</p>

<p>Well, most pre-med at D's school had minor(s) and/or double/ triple majors. As far as I know, D. started taking 16 hrs in junior year because of MCAT prep. and then Interviews in Senior year (which was so easy that she had a bit of hard time adjusting back to studying hard at Med. School). So, do not have it easy, I suppose it can backfire later on...just another side of it. But if you have unrelated minors, other majors you would end up taking more than 16 any way. D. also started with bunch of AP credits as most pre-meds.</p>

<p>I asked and 16 is on the high side at my school. </p>

I can take Genetics because I can use my AP Credits for Bio 101 and 102.</p>

<p>My dilemma is: Do I just go straight into Genetics or do I take Biology 101 and 102?
The reasons for taking Biology 101 and 102 are that they can be a GPA booster, and many medical schools seem to require general biology.</p>

<p>Genetics, however, is a higher level course and many med school pages state that I should take higher level courses if I can use my AP credits.</p>

<p>Also, how is biology not on the MCAT?</p>

Again, is general biology biology 101 and 102 or does genetics,physiology,etc. fall under general biology as well?</p>

<p>Don't count on BIO 101 and 102 being a GPA booster. They are often weed-out classes with very strict grading curves and can easily end up being a B when you were counting on an A.</p>

<p>The science courses have lab sessions. A course load of 16 credit hours would not be light if the student has to spend extra 10-12 hours/week on research.</p>

<p>Also, many students have 15-20 credits (not counting Bio and Chem) going into UG.
15 + 16 X 8 = 143</p>

<p>I think 16 credits is fine for a first semester frosh. Too many kids overwhelm themselves the first semester and do more poorly than they normally would have.</p>

<p>At my kids' school, an advisor would NOT sign off on a pre-med schedule for a first semester frosh of more than 16 credits. 120 credits are needed to graduate in nearly all majors (except for Engineering and maybe a couple of others), therefore there's no need to take more than 16 credits the first semester.</p>

<p>There is often an adjustment period the first semester of college....first time away from home, distractions that don't exist at home, excited roomies that stay up to all hours, learning to best manage your time, etc.</p>

Well, bmost pre-med at D's school had minor(s) and/or double/ triple majors.


<p>I'm wiling to bet the house that that statement is a gross exaggeration, and flat out incorrect. Perhaps double/triple majors among your D's cohort -- full-ride merit scholars, so by definition rock stars on campus -- but "most" premeds are barely scraping by with B's in one major, much less two, particularly at a public school.</p>

<p>"Most" premeds are gonna tend to the average/mean/median and I hardly think any college has the average/median student completing a double/triple major. Plus there is no need, unless the student has direct interest, bcos med schools don't care about double majors. Perhaps an Honors Thesis is a better option than a double -- go deep instead of wide.</p>

<p>fwiw: according to an article in the college newspaper, <10% of Miami grads double major. Are they all premeds? :rolleyes:</p>

started taking 16 hrs in junior year because of MCAT prep. and then Interviews in Senior year (which was so easy that she had a bit of hard time adjusting back to studying hard at Med. School.


Just a speculation here...This may point to one downside of having a gap year doing research in addition to the more relaxed senior year (for many college students, idk) In a gap year, you usually works along side with graduate students or career postdocs if your "work" is in an academic environment. Arguably speaking, these students (who rarely have any summer vacation so they do not slack off or anything like that, unless they have given up their tenure-track dream.) do not "study" in the same way as the undergraduate premeds do in terms of breadth or problem set/test-centric -- They zoom into a very narrow area and specialize in it. They DO things in the lab much more than they read/memorize by going over books/problem sets. (I guess this is one reason why the grades of graduate classes are not valued in the same way as the grades of typical UG premed classes. Both graduate students and their students pay more attention to the research work than anything else.) I guess this is also not what MS1/2 usually do.</p>

<p>BTW, I heard some colleges will allow their junior/senior premed students to take semi-medical-school-like classes (likely at much slower pace) in those years, instead of the graduate-school-track preparation classes taught by the academia. But most higher-ranked schools will not allow their science students to do something like this. -- Well, I probably should take this back. A year or so ago, a physician/parent who used to study in JHU university said JHU also has a major/track for "semi-science-major" students (like Stanford's "human biology" major?) who are so much interested in academics but still want to go to a medical school.</p>

<p>Thank you all.</p>

<p>I think I have made my decision about which Biology I will take. Because many/most medical schools I have researched require GENERAL biology, I will take Biology 101 and 102 which are like intro bio/foundation courses. </p>

<p>Too bad I have to sit through the same material a third time and can't start with Genetics :/
I wish Genetics would be considered general bio:/ Plus, I don't think there's even a lab for Genetics, not that I really want a lab but 1-2 years of lab are required</p>

<p>i don't think ill be able to skip bio 102 anyways because most medical schools need a whole year of general bio</p>

<p>I'm pretty sure you're reading it wrong and that most med schools require a year of bio, regardless of what bio it is. My undergrad (Brown) doesn't even have a year long "general bio" class.</p>

<p>Yeah, I did read wrong. Sorry. I took a look at a few top schools again and Yale seems to be the only one that requires general bio.</p>

<p>Pre-Medical</a> Requirements > Admissions | Medical Education | Yale School of Medicine</p>

<p>Now, the problem is that most schools require Bio with lab. Bio 101 and 102 are the only ones with lab (according to my school's site) unless labs are not listed for other courses. blehhhh</p>