help with course-load

I’m hoping some of you might have some suggestions for me on how to schedule my coursework. Here’s my situation:
I have four more required pre-med classes: Organic Chem 1 & 2 and Physics 1 & 2. I am deathly scared of orgnic, but fairly confident in physics (as it was the basics for my previous engineering training). I’m hoping to complete all four within the next year - that is, within the next three semesters (spring 06, summer 06 and fall 06). What would be your preferences in how to schedule these? I’m a little concerned about taking either organic during the summer - but would it be wise to take org1 in spring - then tak off the summer and take org2 in the fall??? Hummmm… I just don’t know what’s more do-able for a full time employee/part-time student.

I loved organic in the summer. but it was the only thing I cared about - no job, no other responsibilities. Only organic! It worked for me, I did good, and I loved the class. But I don’t think how it fit in my schedule if I had had to work full time! (especially that organic two is much harder than orgnaic I).
Since you feel more comfortable with physics, why don’t you take this over the summer instead?

So, thinking that Organic 2 is so much more more difficult … what do you think of taking Org1 and Physics1 in the spring, Physics 2 in the summer (maybe even throw in an easy science - like biology 2), then Organic 2 in the fall? Does that sound “do-able”? I should mention that my weakness is chemistry … but I’m trying to take your attitute and think of it as something that could be fun. The (horrible) professor I currently have for Chem keeps saying how much fun Organo is — so his positive attitude might help…

See how the spring goes. If it were me, I would go for finishing in Spring of 06–there’s no big advantage in terms of application cycle to finishing in December–and split off either the Physis or O-chem lab to take in summer.
Organic chemistry requires almost a completely different mind set from general chemistry, so don’t let your gen chem woes get you down. If you have a good grasp of electronegativity, acids and bases (Lewis and Bronstead-Lowry), can draw Lewis structures in your sleep, and one more thing I’m forgetting, you’re prepared to do well in o-chem.
O-chem is all about moving atoms and electrons around and making shapes. Think of it that way and you’ll be much less apprehensive. I spent a lot more time worrying about o-chem than studying, and I wish I had those hours back!

Thanks for your insight …


O-chem is all about moving atoms and electrons around and making shapes. Think of it that way and you’ll be much less apprehensive

And I’ll try to remember this. Oh, and the only reason I was wanting to complete by Dec 06 was so that I could spend the next 3 months solely studying for an April 07 MCAT …
I just spoke to my current chem professor and he said that our CC usually doesn’t get enough students to have a typical Organic 2 course and that he’d have me do it as independent study. Moreover, the only Organic 1 course is a 6-wk summer class. OMG. Me thinks it’s time to look at another school.

Just thought I’d chime in,
If by “CC” you mean “Community College”, then you should not be taking your organics, or probably physics, there.
I heard this advice directly from 5 different ADCOM directors of california medical schools. Organic at community college is frowned upon. In the UCSD director’s words, "We’d want to see MCAT scores well into the double digits if you did your sciences at a Community College, especially the Organic."
There ya have it.
Sam G.

If you search for discussions on community college coursework, you’ll find lots of other opinions and insights offered there. It is absolutely true that CC credits will give some AdComs pause. It’s also true that CC credits just flat out aren’t accepted at some schools. But it’s also true that for some schools, CC credits are NOT the kiss of death and can be a perfectly acceptable part of a strong application. Be careful about generalizations based on limited experience.

I had just the opposite response from DO schools. They didnt care, for the most part, where you did your pre reqs (and really why should they?) as long as you did well. In fact, they stated that it would be much better to get an A at a CC than a C or B at a university. Honestly, you will learn more in a smaller class size at a CC anyway and they are often more accessible to non trads who work.
The admissions people i chatted with didnt care as long as you already had a degree, which is probably the case for most people here. Doing pre reqs is simply jumping through the hoops and checking off the boxes. As long as your GPA is acceptable and you make average MCAT scores it wont matter where your pre reqs are done at 90% of DO schools.
If your concerned, call the schools your interested in, thats what i did. Believe me, a 26 MCAT and all CC pre reqs with a 3.5 GPA will look MUCH better than a 26 MCAT with a 3.0 GPA from university, its a numbers game.
I do agree some schools will frown upon CC classes, however i will state it has been my experience this is MD schools with hold overs (and IMHO non trad friendly). For the same reason DO schools replace old grades with new ones (in retaken classes) and MD schools average them all in.
Anyway, thats been my experience talking to admissions people at DO schools (10) and MD schools (4). Hope its helpful

Actually, Organic 1/2 will be the only courses that I’ve taken “exclusively” at a CC. I already had physics & gen chem at a 4-yr university ---- back when I obtained my BS in Mechanical Engineering. But, it’s been so long that I figured I’d improve my “recall” in preps for MCAT (and GPA) by re-taking several courses at my Community College. So, my transcripts will reflect both university and CC credits.
Honestly, when I found that the schedule for Organic was so unstable at the CC, I began checking into the schedule at UCF. I jotted down the professors and looked them up on that ratemyprofessor website. Just seeing the comments about each professor being foreign and difficult to understand, the large class sizes, the poor professor attitude, etc., it really reinforced my thought on taking it at another CC. I think I’d rather LEARN the material and make an better impact on the MCAT than worry about it being taken at a CC. I still need to address the CC stuff by contacting my schools of interest, but I’m hoping my previous coursework at the University will be my “safety-net”.
Thanks for all your comments! I appreciate the help.