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should a pre med take the AP 5 bio track?

kparcellkparcell Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
edited June 2013 in University of Chicago
i plan on majoring in bio (and maybe econ, though im not sure if that would be good for my GPA) and im wondering if the AP 5 track satisfies most med school requirements?
Post edited by kparcell on

Replies to: should a pre med take the AP 5 bio track?

  • gravitas2gravitas2 Registered User Posts: 1,474 Senior Member
    You do not need to be a bio major or even a science major to get into medical school. All you have to fulfill are basic requirements like, 1 year of biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and English (your common core classes will suffice)...as a matter of fact, TOP medical schools look for students that majored in their "passion" whether it be philosophy, engineering, computer science, classics, or some other esoteric major. You just want to make sure those prerequisite classes prepare you well for the MCATs. So, have some fun in college by taking classes that you WANT not what you think med schools want...

    ...if you don't believe me google all the top medical schools and see what they are looking for
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,944 Senior Member
    1. gravitas2 is right, but lots of pre-meds major in biology anyway, because that's what interests them, and there are plenty of ex-biology majors in "TOP" medical schools.

    2. Of course the AP5 sequence satisfies medical school requirements. What were you thinking? You don't even have to take the whole sequence, just three quarters of it.

    3. Most medical schools have some sort of math requirement, too, but it is in flux many places (some want a year of calculus, some want some statistics), so pay attention to that.
  • gravitas2gravitas2 Registered User Posts: 1,474 Senior Member
    Having some experience with medical school admissions at a top school I can tell you that admissions will be very "holistic" and much like admissions to top colleges. They are looking for passionate scholars, athletes, musicians, computer geeks, engineers, artists, actors, writers to make up their class. Once again, most top medical schools are made up of lop-sided individuals who did things in college that truly interested them including extracurricular activities that are "consistent" with the applicant's interests...and as JHS noted, some are truly interested in biological sciences...nothing wrong with that.

    ...despite what you study or major in...your humanity MUST show through in your essays and application...because they don't want to produce doctors who ONLY want to become wealthy...

    ...if that is the case, I would strongly think twice about going to medical school...there are easier ways without getting heavily into debt...
  • kparcellkparcell Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    @gravitas i know i dont have to major in bio, but i want to. also, if i wanted to be rich i would go into investment banking
    @jhs i was on the course description website and there was a note at the bottom that said something like "students interested in health careers should be sure that these courses satisfy the requirements for admission" so i just wanted to be sure
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,944 Senior Member
    kparcell, when you get to Chicago in September, you will get to talk to an advisor and a CCHP pre-med advisor, and they will help you make certain that you understand what the requirements are (and also what the best path through them for you is). But they are generally pretty simple -- what gravitas2 said above, plus a year of math.

    Probably the only tricky thing is that, if you are going to be a Bio major, they invite you to substitute a specific bio-oriented stats course (required) for the third quarter of any of the basic calculus sequences. Will that work for medical school? Probably. All of them? Hmmmm . . . That's a question worth asking. But unless you completely place out of Core math, it's not a question you really need to have answered before your first quarter.

    All of that said, let me point out that if you "just want[] to be sure," an internet chat board is not the right place to go. The right place to go is your pre-med advisor, and doing your own research on the websites of a variety of medical schools, where their (current) requirements will be stated with some precision.
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,430 Senior Member
    The AP5 Bio is fast paced and very competitive. It is not easy to get all A's in the classes and that will hamper your chances at med school. My DD is a bio major and because she took all hard courses in bio, her GPA is not high enough to get into the top med school.

    My friend who is working at Stanford med school told us most accepted students have 4.0 GPA in their UG.
  • gravitas2gravitas2 Registered User Posts: 1,474 Senior Member
    ^^You seem to have some bad information from your "friend". If you get any official AMCAS publications that publish the statistics you will note that the "average" GPA of those accepted to Stanford, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Chicago, etc range from 3.7-3.75 from all colleges (remember these are averages-some may have lower GPAs and some may have perfect GPAs)...overall GPAs tend to be lower from schools like Chicago, Princeton, Caltech, MIT, Columbia than Stanford, Harvard, Yale but not by much...and most that apply from "state" schools have close to perfect GPAs. Whether it's fair or not... those who apply from state schools or lower ranked schools have to have almost a "perfect" GPA and MCAT scores compared to the highly ranked schools...that is true not only for med school, but for law school, business school, and even jobs after college graduation.
  • PoplicolaPoplicola Registered User Posts: 179 Junior Member
    My friend who is working at Stanford med school told us most accepted students have 4.0 GPA in their UG.

    Stanford University School of Medicine's mean GPA for accepted students is 3.78 with a median of 3.80. Please verify your information before posting.
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,430 Senior Member
    I stand on my statement. My friend is NOT a school spokesman nor she has ran statistics on ALL students, she just works there, she saw a few admitted students profile and base on what she saw, MOST students had a profile of 4.0 GPA. So if you want to split hairs, lets say she saw 10 profiles, and 7 of them has 4.0 and the others are not, based on that premises my previous statement is still valid.
  • PoplicolaPoplicola Registered User Posts: 179 Junior Member
    Stanford University School of Medicine's mean GPA for accepted students is 3.78 with a median of 3.80. Please verify your information before posting.

    Anecdotal evidence is irrelevant.
  • PoplicolaPoplicola Registered User Posts: 179 Junior Member
    To the OP: I took the AP 5 sequence. I did not get A's in the first two quarters, but I was still inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Don't worry too much about it. If you love being exposed to reading primary literature and scientific articles early on in your college career, AP 5 sequence is a perfect match. I have no regrets for taking that sequence. Please contact me should you have any questions.
  • gravitas2gravitas2 Registered User Posts: 1,474 Senior Member
    @Poplicola. Congratulations on your Phi Beta Kappa! At Chicago, that is truly an accomplishment.

    @artsloverplus. You still amaze me with your anecdotal "evidence". I may have been quoting a slightly lower average GPA range from 5 years ago. Now for top schools it is more like 3.72-3.87. I live in the Bay Area and I know several students who got into Stanford and UCSF without perfect GPAs...most of the students applying from tough undergraduate schools like Chicago, Princeton, MIT, Caltech, Stanford, Harvard, Yale tend to have lower GPAs which are "adjusted" up by most medical schools and those who apply from lesser schools with easy 4.0 GPAs get adjusted down. It is not unusual for many of the state school kids to have 4.0 and top MCAT scores...but it is rare for students from elite colleges to have 4.0 GPA as "premeds".

    Many many more students from state schools apply to medical schools than from elite schools and the average GPAs and MCAT scores are biased toward these students...but that doesn't mean they have an easier chance of getting into the top schools...

    ...as I have said before, the top medical schools are very holistic in their admission policies just like their respective undergraduate admissions are.

    Here is some evidence:
    US Medical Schools: MCAT Scores and GPA
  • momzhoodmomzhood Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    OP: My daughter is taking the AP5 bio sequence now (she wants to do research) and she has enjoyed it but it is very challenging. She'll do a research fellowship this summer. Here is a review of the class that she has said is pretty accurate, except that the last quarter is not an elective anymore. [url=http://snmamapschicago.****/2011/10/03/class-reviews-ap5-sequence/]Class Reviews: AP5 Sequence | The UChicago PreMed[/url]
    If it doesn't work, just google AP 5 biology at UChicago and it comes up easily.
  • kparcellkparcell Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    thanks momzhood that was actually very helpful, if not scary. im gonna dig a little deeper now and see how other pre-meds feel about this class. i hate not taking a hard class cause it would hurt my GPA but i feel like i might not have any other choice
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,430 Senior Member
    The sequence is almost a must for bio majors, not so for premeds.
This discussion has been closed.