a question of timing

I’m really confused on the timing of the application process because of my situation and wondering if anyone could throw in their two cents.

here’s my situation

Graduated in 04 with a bs in Biology (gpa 3.35)

I’m short on my prereq’s, org I-II, physics II which i’m taking this summer and next fall along with biochem and genetics

I’m taking the mcat mid-summer

I would really like to apply this summer for admission in 2010 but i’m wondering if missing those classes will hurt my application

Do they even give interviews to applicants that have classes listed as not yet taken?

anyone been in a similar situation and have some advice?

Your bigger concern should be taking part 2 of difficult classes you haven’t had in 5 years.

Personally, I’d retake part one of both classes and shoot for the class of 2011. This way you’re not rushed, you’re WELL prepared for the MCAT, and if need be you, can retake it and still apply in 2010.

Sounds to me that with your GPA being on the lower side (no offense, it’s still good but average for my local med school is 3.67) that you wouldn’t want to do anything to potentially mess up that MCAT score. You want high, not average or low. Which means probably following Pathdr2b’s advice. But, in the end it’s all up to you. You know how well you retain information, but your GPA can’t handle a mediocre grade. Best wishes.

Jonrobbins, Im actually in somewhat of the same situation the admissions timeline is so confusing to me…

I’m planning one step at a time… you’re lucky you get to start up over the summer. I’ll be traveling so I wont get anything done but I’ll take a solid load of classes in the fall, start on my research gig, and plan to start studying for mcats which I will want to take in the spring. I’m hoping to apply for Fall 2010 admission but again, the timeline confuses me. Does that even make sense? Take MCATS in spring '10 for fall '10 admission? … that doesnt seem right. I guess it depends on what I have left on my plate aside from that.

My course-load for Fall will be:

Orgo II, Calc I, Physics II, Genetics OR Cell Biology, and I’m retaking anatomy lab (got a “C” last time bc I was just lazy)

Path, I agree though, no need to rush oneself.

Jonrobbins, those courses you mentioned are important. I would take the time to do them and do them WELL. good luck.

In my case, I have a few courses from 5-6 years ago that I’m thinking I’ll need to retake (i.e. a “C” in gen bio!) - even though I’m just so anxious to apply everywhere even though I’m not yet at the top of my game with my GPA haha… I realize that fixing my mistakes will take some time, and I’m prepared for it.


If you take the MCAT next spring, then you will be applying next summer. . . for the incoming class of 2011. The only way to be in the class of 2010 would be to apply this summer. . . and you would need your MCAT before next spring.

But, remember (like has been said many times before), med school is a marathon not a sprint. So take your time and be sure you’re ready!


super, thank you for the clarification!!

  • pathdr2b Said:
Your bigger concern should be taking part 2 of difficult classes you haven't had in 5 years.

Personally, I'd retake part one of both classes and shoot for the class of 2011. This way you're not rushed, you're WELL prepared for the MCAT, and if need be you, can retake it and still apply in 2010.

That was my first thought!

OP, you are thinking of taking OChem and Physics in the summer? Are you nuts? Not to be disrespectful to you, but there is more to taking these prereqs than to just complete them. From the many accounts I've read, how you do in organic chemistry, specifically, can mean the difference of getting into med school and not getting into med school. Because of the difficulty of this class, doing well bodes well for the applicant. Also, by understanding what you are learning is going to pay off when you take the MCAT.

My suggestion first is to slow it down...if it takes you another year, so be it...it is easier to get into med school if you don't rush through the application process.

This summer, review, maybe even audit a general chemistry class and refresh your math - algebra/trig for general physics, calculus for calc-based physics. During the 2009/2010 year take the Organic Chemistry/Physics prereqs. See how you do in the first semester of Ochem/Physics...if you do well, you can still look to take the MCAT March/April to get the results before the application period starts. I believe it takes 30 days. But if you don't feel strong in it, there is no harm in waiting another year. Since the MCAT is the "great equalizer," you'll want to do the best you can on the first attempt.

I think one of the big problems of nontrads is that they are trying to play "beat the clock" and try to rush things...one year is not going to put you that far behind, especially if you don't have to use that time to clean up the mess from by rushing.

Just use your time wisely. If you haven't had medical exposure, you can use the time to get some. Show the adcoms that this is not a hasty decision but one that you have really thought about.

Good luck!