Pre-Med and Business


I was wondering if anyone knows anything about Swarthmore’s pre-med and business classes and how rigorous they is. I’ve heard that their organic chem class is extremely hard.

This might be tough to answer, since most folks wouldn’t be able to compare one college’s o-chem class with another’s but here are the ending enrollments for the most recent pre-med chemistry sequence at Swat (understanding that not everyone in the sequence is a pre-med):
Gen Chem 134
O chem I 94
O chem II 61
Bio-Chem 48

As comparison, here’s Pomona’s (another med-school feeder):
Gen Chem 123
O Chem I 84
O Chem II 54
Bio-Chem 43

Frighteningly similar, eh? Looks like there’s about a 1/3 drop between o-chem I and II at both schools, but the only conclusion I can draw is that o-chem is the great weeder no matter where you go. (I’ve got similar stats for Berkeley somewhere, but I believe that the drop is similar, if not greater).

Interesting and certainly ochem is one of the weeders, but so is gen chem. The devil is in the details…certain majors e.g. engineering, chem, etc. might only require O Chem I and not II (which could partially explain the dropoff)…would have to look in the various academic handbooks/course catalogs.

Exactly. One of my kids (at a similar college) only needed to endure orgo I for their major. On the other hand… Yeah, gen chem is all it took to chase me from pre-med to police-sci.

Note that engineering majors other than chemical and biomedical are unlikely to need chemistry beyond general chemistry. For the most part, organic chemistry is mainly for biology, chemistry, biomedical engineering, and chemical engineering majors, and pre-meds of any major.

Question (I applied to Swarthmore for Pre-med)- I received an invitation to apply to Swat in August, and completed the common app in early September. The “next step” is to await an email to set up an account, in order to monitor the app process. I have not even received that email yet- does anyone know if this is typical?