Accelerated Bachelor's, timeline question.

I am in the process of planning my classes for the first semester of my B.S. Biology program to commence in spring '09. I will be taking a full course load in the summers as well as the rest of the year which will allow me to complete my B.S. in 2 years + 1 semester. This will include opportunities for research, hospital and volunteer internships that I plan to pursue vigorously.

My understanding is that the MCAT is traditionally taken in the spring of one’s junior year and that medical school is applied to in the fall of one’s senior year. I will be obtaining my B.S. at an accelerated rate, outside of the traditional 4 year curriculum, so if I’m finishing my B.S. in 2.5 years, when should I plan take my MCAT and when should I plan to apply to medical school? Thanks in advance for your input!

Well… what you need to do is just sketch it as a timeline going backwards.

Say you want to start medical school in August of 20xx.

You apply a full year before that, say June of 20xx - 1.

You take the MCAT at least a few months before you submit your application; it would still be the same calendar year, just earlier in the year.

For your accelerated schedule, the trick is going to be to figure out how you can dovetail this timeline with your school timeline. You really shouldn’t take the MCAT until you have completed (or nearly finished) all your prerequisites. On an accelerated timeline, if you aren’t getting all the prereqs done until the last semester or two of your program, you won’t be able to apply until you are close to finished with undergrad. That’s OK, it just means that you’re going to have an application year where you’ll be looking for something else to do besides apply, go to interviews, and check your e-mail constantly.

This does raise the question: is doing the bachelor’s degree in an accelerated fashion worth it? If your completion of prerequisites will be timed in such a way that it is another year before you can start school anyway, it may be in your interest to go a little slower. You’ll have to put these two timelines alongside each other to figure that out.


That’s a great point, thanks for the advice Dr. Renard. I hadn’t thought about it that way and I’ll have to think about spreading the schedule out a little more so that I can matriculate to medical school seamlessly (assuming an acceptance).