Summer School

<p>I'm having to take summer classes becuase I changed my major from finance to biology. Would it look better if I took summer classes at Harvard as opposed to my home university (Pace University in NYC)? This being that I'm planning to apply to Harvard, Yale, rest of ivies. I would still stay at Pace during the fall,spring semesters as usual, just take summer courses at Harvard.</p>

<p>I don't think it would matter much, since the bulk of your academic work will be from your home institution. If considering taking your premed requirements over the summer, I would advise against it regardless of the institution for two reasons:</p>

<p>1) summer courses are very condensed and you simply won't retain as much as you would taking it normally, which is important for MCAT purposes</p>

<p>2) The advising at my school has been against taking required premed classes over the summer because they are almost categorically easier, and med schools have picked up on this in making admissions decisions.</p>

<p>Furthermore, the top med schools (ivy or otherwise) care much more about your overall GPA and MCAT scores than they do about where you took a few summer classes, so get those in order first.</p>

<p>One note in support of the idea: if the classes you are taking over the summer are simply to make up ground after changing majors and are NOT your required premed courses, taking classes at a more presitgious insitution than your home school may appear as though you're challenging yourself, which can't look bad.</p>

<p>Well, the courses ARE required pre med courses. I have to do go to med school on time. I wasted an entire year doing finance.</p>

<p>you shouldn't have to worry about getting them in on time, as you can complete all of your required classes in two years (chem/bio one year, orgo/physics another or some combination thereof, and take your english and math requirements whenever; you also prbably had to take at least a semester of calc for finance). If you must take a couple over the summer, limit it to just physics or your math/english courses. If you take many of your requirements over the summer, regardless of where you take them, it will negatively impact your ability to get into med school</p>

<p>I switched to biology, so I have to take orgo in the summer to catch up and graduate on time. Am I screwed?</p>

<p>I wouldn't use 'screwed,' because if you do well you should still be able to get in somwhere; I've just always been told by my advisors (at a school where almost 90% of those who apply to med school get in) that orgo is the class that should never, ever be taken over the summer, above and beyond all the other premed requirements.</p>

<p>I'm still lost. Are you only one year behind? You should have no troubles and should not resort to summer school. If you're two years behind, then I think summer school for physics and maybe low-level biology would be appropriate.</p>

<p>Yes, Im a sophomore in bio 101 and chem 111 now, next semester Ill be in bio 102 and chem 112.</p>

<p>Then you should have no trouble taking orgo junior year and apply in June after your junior year. I'd recommend taking physics along with orgo in terms of looks, but in terms of load that could be potentially crippling; take physics over the summer if you must.</p>

<p>Im going to have to do orgo this summer man.</p>

<p>I don't understand why.</p>

<p>Have you considered sticking with your finance major? Finance is a reasonable fallback degree (better than biology), perhaps provides business savvy uncommon in doctors, and presents no handicap in terms of MCAT scores or med school admissions. Search the board for numerous posts on selecting a major.</p>

<p>That all being said (and at risk of agreeing with the Stanford "myth-buster" who cites anecdotes without support), why not take organic over the summer. It's been done by plenty of successful med school applicants. Harvard's summer organic course sounds rigorous:</p>

CHEM S-20ab Organic Chemistry (30609)
(Syllabus) (Print View)
Garry Procter
(8 units: UN) M-F 8:30-10:30 am, Science Center, Hall B. Required sections T,W,Th,F, alternating each day between 10:45 am-12:15 pm and 1-2:30 pm; one laboratory session 1-6 pm and one laboratory session 6-11 pm on different days (except Friday). Weekly review sessions F 2-4 pm. Tuition $4,400. Limited enrollment.
Harvard College students see additional information.</p>

<pre><code>This course is an intensive, comprehensive introduction to the chemistry of carbon and its importance to biological molecules. Topics include current ideas of bonding and structure, major reaction mechanisms and pathways, a discussion of the analytical tools used to determine the structure and stereochemistry of organic compounds (such as infrared and NMR spectroscopy), and some of the chemistry of amino acids, peptides, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids. This course fulfills the requirement of two semesters of organic chemistry for entrance to medical school. Prerequisite: Two semesters of general chemistry, or the equivalent, with satisfactory grades. Students without adequate background may not be able to keep up with the course. Not recommended for high school students.


<p>there's a solid reason not to take it over the summer at Harvard right in that description... $4,400...</p>

<p>1.) Tuition is extra over the summer.</p>

<p>2.) Summer school interferes with other priorities, like research and clinical experience.</p>

<p>3.) Rumors are floating around the board - I've never heard anything official, but it makes sense to me - that summer school is looked down upon by admissions committees.</p>

<p>4) ... you still have plenty of time.</p>

<p>My son is looking at orgo 2 at his institution for summer. His reasons are:
-had to drop this semester due to illness and got too far behind
-not offered next semester
-if waits until junior yr., can't take upper chem that is has orgo 2 has prereq
-would be so long between orgo 1 and 2</p>

<p>What about if I do bio over the summer then? Not orgo. I have to do bio over the summer becuase theyre pre req's for my other classes required for my major. THATS why I have to do summer school.</p>

<p>I think it will still hurt you, but is a better alternative that orgo. I'm interested as to why you've switched to bio. If it's because you want to go to med school, there's not need to change majors, just take the required classes and finish the one you've started already. YOUR MAJOR DOES NOT MATTER FOR MED SCHOOL. On the other hand, if you switched to bio because you decided you hate finance, then taking intro bio over the summer is your best option, because you'll also be taking a lot of upper level bio classes to offset the negative effect.</p>

<p>I'm still confused. You have six semesters left. Even assuming the worst-case scenario, that you have TWO classes which are prerequisites for everything else, that still leaves you over sixteen classes in which to put stuff, more if your school is more intense than my rather-laid-back (in terms of number of courses) school.</p>

<p>bluedevilmike, do you think son's reasons for taking orgo2 over summer are justifiable? Would that red flag or just be something to explain in interview?</p>

<p>The thing you have to remember is that we're still not sure how big a disadvantage summer school is - I was always told that it didn't matter, but PSAS's story sounds more reasonable to me.</p>

<p>With that said, I do think timing is a good reason to take summer classes. But I can't work out in my head why your son's timing works out that way. He needs two years of chem beyond orgo?</p>