few classes or huge class load?

First off, thank you to all the helpful people on this site that has helped me so far. In my current DIY postbacc I have completed 4 semesters with a 4.0, but I am only taking 2 classes a semester because that is what I can afford out of pocket. I am afraid that it is going to look like I am shying away from a large class load. I plan on applying to the NEOMED postbacc this October, but I was going to take 2 courses in the fall and spring semesters anyways. Has anyone been advised to try to take larger class loads because it is closer to reality in med school? After this fall,I will also be 3 classes away from a 2nd bachelors in biology, 1st in chemistry.

My wife asked me this weekend if I have looked at medical schools in Europe.

Seems to me you have a good reason, so I would not sweat it too much. It’s true, that is probably a factor they consider, but you can drive yourself crazy playing the “will they think this if I do that” game.

It would not hurt to have one more rigorous semester but truly good grades are the most important factor. Many folks are working and can’t carry full course loads due to the many other time obligations in their lives. Non-trads are not generally full-time undergrads, so don’t compare yourself to a “regular” college student taking “light” course loads.

Congrats on the 4.0 so far. That’s awesome!


Wish I would’ve have done this…compromised my GPA by overloading…making up for time and thinking it’s what they want to see…now I won’t get a look unless I increase the GPA by taking a lower workload. thanks for posting and the answer.

My DIY post bacc to complete 4 prereqs spanned 6 years and I only took one class at a time due to all the other stuff I had going on. I explained my path on my app, it made sense to the ADCOMs, and I received multiple interviews. The scheduling of my classes was never questioned at the interviews. They were just happy I had some academic recency when I applied. (I did have a strong undergrad record, albeit somewhat dated).

Bottom line is do what you can, when you can. ADCOMs at many(?) schools understand that not everyone can have the traditional premed “upbringing” and will have different paths. Being able to explain why you did what you did is just as important as how well you did along your journey. I would just try not to have the explanation be something like “I took one class at a time so I could get good grades.” Even if that’s true, I would try to make it sound like you did what you could handle based on your situation in life. Let the ADCOM decide if it was enough for their specific school (apply broadly).

Given that I made the mistake of taking too many courses and not doing well in them (while volunteering outside the U.S. at the same time), I would say that “slow is the way to go.” I know of several OPMs who took just one or two courses at a time and it did not hinder their chances at medical school. Both are now physicians, one with an appointment at Harvard.

Rule 4: Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew – Logistics of Life

Rule 5: Do Not Risk Bad Grades By Taking Too Much – Good Grades Get You In

While it’s important to show that you can handle a full course load in the medical school, you must first maintain good grades. Having said that, you should consider taking at least one semester of the full course load but that wouldn’t overwhelm yourself with nothing but hearts sciences. However, if the choice is maintaining a high GPA or having a full course load the high GPA should always come first.

Totally agree with what was said. Keep doing what you are doing. If ultimately you do well on the MCAT, and normally you should with proper preparation, it won’t matter at all.

A question may come up during the interview but it sounds like you can justify your actions. You are acting reasonably. Keep it up and good luck.