premed schedulings


<pre><code> I would like to learn a little bit from current MIT pre-med track students about their course schedules. I was sort of looking through the classes and stuff, and out of curiosity started to do a kind of a list of the classes i might take my freshmen year.

<p>if possible, could you do something like this format:
-assuming you don't test out any class but 18.01.</p>



<p>What were yours? and any explanation on your choices? if you could change, what would you do now?</p>


<p>Go MIT!!</p>

<p>8.01 is not offered in the spring, only 8.011 is. You should check to see if you're allowed to take 8.011 without having failed 8.01 in the fall; I don't think you are.</p>

<p>Yea, and it won't be bad to postpone either 5.12 or until sophomore year, you still have a lot of time.</p>

<p>I'm not pre-med, but most of my friends who are did 5.111/5.112 in the fall, and are doing 7.013 and 5.12 in the spring, I think that's pretty standard.</p>

<p>I think you can take 8.011 without taking 8.01, but it's not recommended. 8.011 is specifically for people trying to take it a second time.</p>

<p>I highly suggest taking 5.11x instead of 7.01x if you have to choose between the two. The requirements seem much more dependent on chemistry than intro biology.</p>

<p>What major are you planning on, if any? (Realize that premed is a track - you still need to have an actual major.)</p>

<p>You need to think about this in terms of MCAT prep.</p>

<p>Depending on when you want to take the MCAT, it can be advantageous to take 5.12 freshman spring in order to take 5.13 sophomore fall (because 5.13 is only offered in the fall). If you want to take the MCAT during the summer after sophomore year, it's necessary to take 5.13 sophomore fall.</p>

<p>I would advise taking 5.11x/8.01/18.02 in the fall, then 7.013/5.12/8.02 in the spring (doesn't the physics on the MCAT go through E&M?). There's no need to take 7.03 or 7.05 freshman spring if you're planning to be course 7, as 7 is not a particularly requirement-heavy major and it's typical for people to take 7.03 sophomore spring.</p>

<p>Thank you so much y'all for giving the time. one prime example why i choose MIT.</p>

<p>As of now, I am mostly certain to major in Course 7. Since 7 is not that requirement-heavy (according most people i spoke to), I am still thinking of double majoring(not likely) or minoring (more likely). In addition, I want to learn a foreign language. But, the thing is that I came to US less than 18 months ago and I did not learn a foregin language. I used my country's language as foreign language credit in HS. and that language is not offered @ MIT. So, if I start from Level 1, how will it affect my schedule? the HASS, CI and everything else? the language would most likely be Spanish. </p>

<p>As of now, I am thinking of doing Spanish I during IAP.</p>

<p>The reason I like to do 7.012 freshmen fall is that I want to have Lander.</p>

<p>My projected MCAT testing is the summer between Sophomore and Junior year. or do you think taking after Junior year is better? or maybe take both times?</p>

CAN'T WAIT FOR CPW!!! April needs to come faster!!!!</p>

<p>Contrary to Mollie's sage advice, I really don't think you need 5.13 to take the MCAT. The MCAT has heavily de-emphasized orgo in recent years and the only real things you need for the MCAT that isn't covered on 5.12 are more alcohol+ketone reactions and spectroscopy (this is a big omission from 5.12 that you must know for MCAT). You can easily cover this missing material through your prep books.</p>

<p>So I'm also course 7, I double majored, and I took a lot of foreign language classes here so I hope what I put here will be relevant.</p>

<p>In terms of frosh schedule for a course 7 premed, I would recommend the following:</p>

<p>FALL: 8.01, 5.111/2, 18.02, HASS (with CI-H), (optional seminar)
SPRING: 8.02, 7.013, 5.12, HASS, (optional seminar) OR 8.02, 7.013, 5.12, 7.02 (if you can handle it)</p>

<p>The rationale is below:
-You need every bit of 8.01 and 8.02 for the MCAT, and you also need it to graduate, so do it ASAP.
-Piper's advice about chem before bio is a wise one. If you have a solid grounding in chem MIT's intro bio will be a lot easier. The only exception though is that if you're really interested in cancer biology - Weinberg (discoverer of the Ras oncogene) is a lecturer for the course, and Lander (the other prof) is one of the most engaging profs here. Also, (and this is more circumstantial evidence - changes every year), 7.013 tends to be bigger than 7.012 (with one exception though, i think last year), and this means better curves on your exams. :P
-Get 18.02 out of the way. Many med schools want 2 sems of math anyway.
-Doing a HASS with CI-H (the ones with more writing involved) on P/NR will give you a taste of MIT's HASS classes and you'll have the Pass safety net if you don't do well or get a bad surprise of what the writing classes are like (I know people that consistently get Bs and Cs in HASSes here...)</p>

<p>Alright, so that's the easy stuff. Let's talk about 5.12 and 7.02.</p>

<p>-You really should take 5.12 your frosh spring because it is probably going to be the hardest class you have yet taken ever. I didn't believe this when people told me, and I ended up taking the course, dropping it, and then taking it again, eventually finishing 5.12 all the way in sophomore spring (which is pretty late). Getting 5.12 out of the way while you're still not bogged down by your other, more difficult major classes would be a good idea. I realized this in retrospect but actually orgo requires some time to simmer in the back of your mind. It's amazing how I was really confused when I was taking the class (getting a D on one of the exams =/ blergh, but don't worry, it was all fine in the end) but now I look at orgo again on the MCAT and it somehow just makes sense now. Also, getting early exposure to 5.12 will set you up well for 7.05.</p>

<p>-Okay, the other thing, 7.02. I've been recommending bio frosh to take 7.02 ASAP as early in their frosh spring because 7.02 is a very time-heavy class. You need to dedicate two and a half afternoons per week to lab and a required recitation where they teach you how to write a research paper. The longer you put it off, the more challenging it is for you to schedule classes like HASS classes that meet only in the afternoons, for example, later on in your academic career. While you're still a freshman, you have the flexibility of classes like 8.02, 7.013, and 5.12 that have close to ten recitations that you can choose from, so it makes scheduling a lot easier for you if you do 7.02 early. Also, the other benefit is that bio labs look very favorably upon completing 7.02 if you want to look for a bio UROP during the summer. Granted, you don't have to have 7.02 to work in the labs at all (I did my frosh summer even though I didn't take 7.02 until sophomore spring), but I think it just makes the process easier and PIs are more willing to take you on under their wing (and you don't have to ask stupid questions, like how to use a pipet >___< haha)</p>

<p>DISCLAIMER DING DING DING: ok but I must mention to you here that 8.02, 7.013, 5.12, and 7.02 will be a BIG time commitment. You'll have to be working pretty hard under this schedule. Personally, I thought 8.02 and 7.01x weren't so bad (the big GIRs have bigger flexibilities in grading because of the large class sizes), but 5.12 and 7.02 will eat up a lot of your time - 5.12 for understanding the material and 7.02 for the time you spend in lab and drafting up your research paper.</p>

<p>I took 5.12, 7.02, 7.05, HASS, and a UROP my sophomore spring, and I had an intense semester, although I didn't die or stay up too many long nights. But I was a sophomore at that time and was better acquainted with how MIT works so maybe that worked in my favor, but I don't know - test out 5.12 and 7.02 if you like. I know a couple of other bio froshies taking 5.12 and 7.02 concurrently right now (actually I know a frosh that's taking exactly the same schedule I proposed) and they're surviving ok, so up to you. You'll know how much you can handle after you try out the classes coming here. : D</p>

<p>Okay, so if you complete frosh year this way, you'll have 5.12, 7.01x, 8.01, 8.02, and 5.11x under your belt. Believe it or not, this is sufficient for the MCAT. I know two premeds that took their MCAT during their frosh summer and now they're both headed for top 5 med schools, so it is definitely possible. HOWEVER, I would strongly recommend you to take 7.05 before attempting the MCAT though. 7.05, IMO, helps you A LOT with the Biological Sciences section because having a good molecular background on proteins, carbohydrates, DNA...etc. will help you not only with the biology part of the MCAT, but also a lot with the orgo part (I personally think this is the orgo shift that I was talking about earlier - I think orgo focus on the MCAT is moving from more 5.13-related orgo to 7.05-related orgo).</p>

<p>So in terms of your sophomore year, you can then start pretty much taking whatever classes you want. In terms of the bio sequence, it's pretty much going to be 7.03 -> 7.05 -> 7.06 and/or electives since 7.03 and 7.05 opens up the electives. Although some bio electives require 7.06, you'll still be able to enroll in the classes without taking 7.06 (which is what I'm doing right now :$ but it's ok, so far, so good). Try to finish 7.03 and 7.05 by the end of your sophomore year, and do the Project Lab (30 credits!! DING DING DING) sometime your junior year.</p>

<p>As a bio major, you'll have plenty of time to explore other majors (and get a major/minor) or just take eclectic classes. A dormmate of mine who's a senior premed in course 7 took an entire semester off to work in international development in India and this last semester she's taking a full load of "fun" classes, including toy design, photography, and international development economics. (she didn't double major or minor in this case, but you see she very well could have if she wanted to)</p>

<p>So your language classes wouldn't be a problem. College is a great time to learn a language, and MIT has an excellent language program (although we only have 5 languages - Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, German, and French (Portuguese is slowly being introduced and you can take Italian during IAP)). If you're not content with our course offering, you can always jump on the T or the No. 1 bus and take the dozens and dozens of languages offered at Harvard. I took 3 semesters of Spanish (Spanish 2, 3, 4) and 1 semester of Japanese (Japanese 3) here at MIT and I was really satisfied. You can opt for your language to be counted as your HASS concentration actually, killing two birds with one stone (you'll need a HASS concentration to fulfill your graduation requirements - basically, you'll need to take a set of (usually 3) classes in a specific area of HASS within the 8 HASS classes you need for graduation. Language is one of the choices, and you usually can take level 1-4 or 2-4 for the concentration to count (there are also a couple of other options within concentrating in language, but levels 1/2-4 is the most common - as you can see I concentrated in Spanish).</p>

<p>So yeah, sorry for this long discourse on course selections. In a word, you'll have plenty of time to explore everything as a biology major at MIT, so you don't need to specifically be too worried about not finishing your HASS-Ds or CI-Hs. Just make sure you complete the core of the premed requirements before you take your MCAT (sophomore summer is a good idea and what I recommend), finish your GIRs early (so you can take your MCAT and also avoid annoyance - junior summer is too late as you'll be applying your junior summer unless you're taking a gap year - also you should aim to take the test just once. it's not like the SAT where you can mix and match scores - usually if you can't do significantly better people actually advise against retakes as med schools do note the number of times you take the MCAT), and start volunteering/working in a lab as early as you can, and you'll be all set. If you want to double major, you'll have to structure your schedule a bit around your junior year to make sure you can fit all the courses in, but that's really not anything you need to worry about this early (and most definitely not your freshman year). MIT is very different on paper and in reality, and you'll have a much better handle on what you can achieve and what you can't handle after you go through ~2 or 3 semesters here.</p>

<p>: D</p>

Contrary to Mollie's sage advice, I really don't think you need 5.13 to take the MCAT. The MCAT has heavily de-emphasized orgo in recent years and the only real things you need for the MCAT that isn't covered on 5.12 are more alcohol+ketone reactions and spectroscopy (this is a big omission from 5.12 that you must know for MCAT). You can easily cover this missing material through your prep books.


I am happy to defer on this point -- I was not myself premed, and my cohort of premeds applied when orgo was apparently a larger part of the MCAT material.</p>

<p>I agree with everything Chris says above.</p>

Since 7 is not that requirement-heavy (according most people i spoke to), I am still thinking of double majoring(not likely) or minoring (more likely).


Remember, also, that it's not necessary to either double-major or minor to take courses in other departments. I was a double-major myself, and I'm glad I did it, but I think the double would have been just as useful if I'd taken all the classes and forgotten to turn in the paperwork to make it official. I guess I would just advise not letting the idea of pursuing a minor get in the way of taking the classes you want to take.</p>

Piper's advice about chem before bio is a wise one. If you have a solid grounding in chem MIT's intro bio will be a lot easier. The only exception though is that if you're really interested in cancer biology - Weinberg (discoverer of the Ras oncogene) is a lecturer for the course, and Lander (the other prof) is one of the most engaging profs here.


<p>I highly, highly recommend taking 5.111 and 5.12 freshman year and 7.012 fall of sophomore year. You get a good start on chemistry, AND you get to take Lander's course. I took 7.012 and loved it. I just wish I had put it off for later :)</p>

<p>Thank you so much for the responses.</p>

<p>How does this look? as for the back-bone of MCAT-prep. (i don't know what to put in those empty slots though) Do you have to HASS every term?
Will this be enough prep for MCAT summer between sophomore and junior year? how about the sequence? anything i need to add?</p>

<p>Freshman Fall=FF Freshman Spring=FS Sophomore Fall=SF Sophomore Spring=SS
(FF)8.01 (FS) 8.02<br>
(FF)18.02 (FS)5.111/2 (SF)5.12<br>
(FF)7.012 (FS)7.02 (SF)7.03 (SS)7.05
(FF)Seminar (FS)Seminar</p>

<p>I think this will allow me to take Lander's course (out of curiosity, is he teaching this next year? b/c things are going to be different with that). And since 7.01x is technically the gateway for most classes, I wanted to do it early so that I could take 7.02, 7.03 and 7.05. (i d k my reasoning behind this though). Plus, the chemistry part will be covered since Oasis said Orgo 2 is not much in MCAT now. But i might have to take orgo 2 in junior fall?</p>

<p>For the 7.012 and 5.111/2, I am planning on attending Interphase (hopefully if i get chosen). so, do you think the chemistry i will learn from that will be enough to do 7.012? If not, I can also self-study a little bit of chem to get prepared for 7.012. I got 5's in both AP Chem and AP Bio last year (i don't want to ASE). Will they be enough to prepare me for 7.012 though after some revisions?</p>

<p>Thanks guys!</p>

<p>MIT</a> Course Catalog: Course 7</p>

<p>Take a look at that page - map out everything if you'd like. The earlier stuff is more dependent on chemistry. I still suggest 5.111 in the fall, 5.12 in the spring, and 7.012 the next fall.</p>

<p>For example, you'll eventually have to take 7.06. Which means taking 7.03, and 7.012 before that. But it means taking 5.07, which means taking 5.12, which means taking 5.111. The chemistry chain is longer - get started on it sooner.</p>

Do you have to HASS every term?


You don't have to, but
1) there are eight HASSes required and eight semesters, so it is sensible
2) many people feel they need a HASS to balance their technical classes (a four science class semester is tougher on you than a 3 science class + 1 HASS semester)
3) you need to take at least one CI-H during your freshman year</p>

<p>I and many others would not recommend taking 5.111 in the spring -- the fall course is better-taught, and more of your friends and dormmates will be taking it during the fall, so more people will be available to do psets with. If you are dead-set on taking 7.012 (and in my opinion, you shouldn't be -- 7.012 is great, but if you want to attend a lecture here and there during the course for fun and actually take 7.013 for credit, nobody is going to stop you), you could take it during sophomore fall concurrently with 7.03. That would mean you couldn't take 7.02 as a freshman, but that's not always a possibility anyway -- 7.02 is a lotteried class, and freshmen have lowest priority.</p>

<p>How about no HASS for the first term? and do a CI-H in the spring?
the freshman fall schedule being

<p>I kind of have a good "high school" backgroud on Chem and Bio. Would that be too much stress? is it doable though?
I'll just fill in the HASS sometime later.
If this is possible, i think stuffs are going to be easier to schedule. i guess</p>

<p>Yeah you can do 18.02, 5.111/2, 7.012, and 8.01 in the fall.</p>

<p>Then your spring semester schedule will be 8.02, HASS (with CI-H), 5.12 (or HASS, whatever you want), and 7.02. This may actually be an easier schedule alternative to what I proposed previously.</p>

<p>I still heavily recommend taking 7.02 and 5.12 your frosh spring if you can handle it, just because it would be easier for you later on as a Course 7 major. If you had to decide between the two, I'd pick 5.12 over 7.02 though. (just a side note, 7.02 is 18 units so you will only be able to take 4 classes spring term)</p>

<p>Yeah you don't have to worry too much about HASS classes. I took 4 HASS classes in one term and that's like half of my HASS requirements in one semester =p As a bio major, you will have quite a bit of flexibility as you plan your classes for graduation, so don't worry too much about HASSes. I would say though that your science sequence will be pretty important though just because you should get through 7.05 ideally before your MCAT, and you should aim to have these classes completed by sophomore spring.</p>

<p>Also, I wouldn't worry too much about not getting into 7.02. That class has actually been undersubscribed for some time and I think the "lottery" aspect is just to discourage too many freshmen from signing up, and I haven't heard of a freshman not getting into 7.02 since probably 2006 (before I even came to MIT!).</p>

<p>Chris, why do you promote 7.02 heavily? Because then it's easier to get a UROP, or it's hard to fit in a schedule, or...? (Curious because it's only a prereq for one class that you don't actually have to take :D)</p>

<p>I consider the first to be a good reason, but have also found many labs willing to train n00bs - including my WI lab :D</p>

freshman fall
7.012, 5.111/2, 8.01, 18.02</p>

<p>freshman spring
7.02 , 5.12 , 8.02 , HASS</p>

<p>sophomore fall
7.03 , 5.13 , _____, HASS</p>

<p>sophomore spring
7.05 , _____ , ______, HASS</p>

<p>is this schedule doable though? i think freshman spring is going to be tough. but i am up for the challenge if it's doable.</p>

<p>In addition, do we need 7.06 for MCAT? i think i will fill sophomore spring will HASS'es that will help me prepare for the verbal and writing sections. </p>

<p>Most importantly, is this a good approach towards MCAT and Course 7?</p>

<p>Don't know if this applies to you, but if you want to get sophomore standing spring semester, then you'll need a CI-H or CI-HW, and that might let you take more classes if that's something you want.</p>

<p>that might be a good idea. but i don't want to lose the ABC no record thing. :) </p>

<p>will the above schedule exceed the freshman limit if i want to take a seminar both of my freshman terms. do you know which seminar/ learning community will best help me given that i take the courses according to the above schedule?</p>

<p>With the above schedule, you could do a seminar in the fall (48 units + 6 seminar units = 54, which is the limit). You wouldn't be able to take anything additional in the spring, because the limit is 57 units, and that schedule is 54 units.</p>

<p>The new seminars for next year won't be announced until sometime in late spring or early summer. You can find last year's listings [url=<a href=""&gt;]here[/url&lt;/a&gt;].&lt;/p>

Chris, why do you promote 7.02 heavily?


<p>Three major reasons:</p>

<p>1) You need it for med school, so get it out of the way.</p>

<p>2) 7.02 is an annoying class in the sense that you have "SciComm," which is an extra 2 hour recitation thingy that you have to go to every Monday afternoon, in addition to 1-5 on either WF or TR for your lab, in addition to an one-hour lecture twice a week. This makes scheduling things around 7.02 quite frustrating, especially if you're wanting to take HASS classes that are only offered once a day. You have the biggest scheduling flexibility during your frosh year, due to all the GIRs that you're taking, so I advise finishing 7.02 then. Also, you need to write up a ~30 page research paper for 7.02, and that will eat up a chunk of your time, so it's a good idea to do it when you don't have to be harassed with other classes that may potentially be big time commitments as well. </p>

<p>3) Regarding UROPs - yes, of course it's true that you won't need intense knowledge to UROP at MIT, but I found that 7.02 does aid a lot with understanding exactly what you're doing, since 7.02 goes through a lot of the "fundamentals" of biology research. I started my UROP without 7.02, but after going through 7.02, I realized a lot of the tasks that I was doing every day started making a lot more sense, which is great. Also, I feel like although you'll be able to have opportunities without 7.02, 7.02 may still open more doors for you. (one interviewer at WI declined to take me as a UROP because I haven't yet taken 7.06 at the time and didn't know the ubiquitin protein degradation mechanism, for example)</p>

is this schedule doable though?


<p>Your schedule is doable, except I would advise switching 7.03 and 7.05. Two reasons:</p>

<p>1) 7.05 actually is fall-only, rather than both semesters. In the spring you have 5.07, which is the "chem-flavored" biochem. IMO, 5.07 focuses more on understanding biochem mechanisms (which is great if you end up liking orgo), but 7.05 is more big-picture-y and less small-mechanism-y, which suited me better. FYI, the only prereq for 7.05 is 5.12, so you'll be set to take 7.05 anytime after 5.12.</p>

<p>2) 7.03 is better taught in the spring (my personal opinion). You'll get a really boring lecturer and a really great lecturer for 7.03 in the fall, but I don't think the boring lecturer is worth it.</p>

<p>You do not need 7.06 for the MCAT. At all.</p>

<p>Your schedule is great as it is. This will set you up well to finish the core of Course 7 and make you adequately prepared for the MCAT come sophomore summer. Everything you choose to do from this schedule on out will completely be up to you. (if you really want to learn a language at MIT I would recommend beginning latest sophomore spring, because you cannot take Spanish 1 and 2 and 3 all in the same semester. ; ) just FYI - to be conversationally fluent, you need to progress to at least Spanish 4, and ideally take a Spanish conversation class after that)</p>

<p>You should check whether Lander is still teaching 7.012 though when it's closer to the fall, since there are rumors that he might be retiring from teaching 7.012 soon.</p>

<p>Also, re: sophomore standing -</p>

<p>Sophomore standing isn't really different from ABC/NR, since it's just ABCDF. You're going to get a GPA either way, and it really only matters if you think you'll be in danger of getting a D or F.</p>

<p>The two major advantages of taking sophomore standing (if you're offered - you need to have 96 units after the end of your frosh fall. if you're taking 54 units your frosh fall, then you need 42 units to come from somewhere (like high school AP transfer unrestricted elective credit and 12 units for waiving 18.01))</p>

<p>-You can take 5 full classes during frosh spring, which is often advantageous. I took soph standing just because I thought the 57 credit cap was really awkward, and if I'm already doing 57 (4 full classes + 9-unit seminar) I might as well be doing 60.</p>

<p>-You get to enter your department a semester earlier. Although this "advantage" is not that significant, it is kind of cool to be establishing a relationship with your future major adviser a semester early. This also gives you one semester to be "in the department," which may help you further define whether the department for you. Granted, you can do this even without declaring sophomore standing, but I think you'll have to be more motivated as an undeclared frosh, haha : P</p>

<p>But to do this, you must take a CI-H HASS during your first semester. So pay attention to this requirement. No exceptions.</p>

<p>Re: learning communities</p>

<p>I found out in retrospect that ESG and Concourse are really awesome programs that provide freshmen GIRs in a very intimate class setting, and the community persists even after you have left ESG or Concourse to join your major. I personally would have joined either ESG or Concourse if given the opportunity to do MIT over again, so I would recommend you look into these two learning communities. However, this would change your GIR scheduling a bit though, and you'll have to ask someone more informed in these matters what your options are.</p>

<p>(ESG and Concourse are different from "seminar-based" advising. In a seminar-based advising, you take an extra seminar in addition to your 4 classes with your advising group. People in ESG and Concourse have "ESG- or Concourse-flavored versions" of the GIRs. Therefore, you take your GIRs solely with other ESG or Concourse people in a small community (usually less than 20 people). I think you can opt to take certain GIRs outside of ESG/Concourse (the "mainstream") if you want, but I don't know what the rule is for that)</p>


<p>Everything aside, you'll have to take all the things we say here with a grain of salt, because I am only giving you the advice that I personally feel best in retrospect. However, MIT is unlike high school in that the difficulty of courses here can vary quite significantly from person to person. I know individuals that never studied for 5.12 and breezed through the course with an A+, but I also studied with friends that would spend well over 30 hours poring over pages of practice exams before each test and never break a B+.</p>

<p>Therefore, your MIT experience will also be unique to yourself, and you'll have a much better sense of what to expect after you start taking classes (first semester GIRs I often feel to be on the "easy side" of MIT courses, but I think it's a good way to "ease" you in to actual MIT major classes). In either case, after you're in 5.12, 7.02, 7.03, or 7.05, you'll have a good idea of what being a bio major at MIT is like.</p>

<p>Planning early is good, but also don't be reluctant to change your plans if things aren't working out for you or you'd rather be doing something else. You'll only go through the Institvte once, so in the words of Ben and Jerry: "if it's not fun, why do it?"</p>