I just dropped Chem 101 b/c the teacher sucked, basically. So, I will have a W on my transcript. I am wondering what would be bettef to the Adcoms: Taking it at Northwestern University or at a community college? NU is expensive, but might impress the Adcoms. I can use all the help, my undergrad gpa is terrible, so if it would help impress them by taking Chem 101 and 102 at NU, I’ll do it. Those would be the only classes I take there, though. Im taking the rest at my state university.
This is an easy question to answer!
Do NOT try to impress with the name. What impresses is the grade and the corresponding MCAT score. There is no reason whatsoever to go with Northwestern vs. a state school, especially for a handful of credits. While an entire degree earned at a “name school” may score a very few points (and that’s debatable), just a few credits can absolutely, positively be taken most anywhere.
Im a bit torn. I just called the school I’m interested in, and was told they prefer I take that 1 class it a 4-year university rather than a community college. I’m not sure why, especially since it’s just 1 class. I’m a bit fearful that even the 1 class at a CC will hurt me a little, since I’m applying as an out-of state resident where it will be hard enough to get admitted (They give preference to state residents).
Also, the class at Northwestern is offered in the evenings, from 6-9pm, once a week. Do you think it will be too intensive? That’s the last thing I need, as it was the very reason I withdrew from Chemistry this summer.
Check out the university course, if possible (NCSU has websites where students can go to get the down-low on profs and courses. Maybe your State school has a comparable source of info. Contact a student services office to see what’s available). The State (4-yr) school might provide better teachers & learning/tutor resources than the community college. The higher quality teaching & resources will likely increase your chances of doing well in the course. I found that to be the case here.
“We-e-e-e-ell, that’s a horse of a different color!” (think the guy at the door in The Wizard of Oz) If NWU is the 4-year school and the choice is between that and a CC, it’s not about the status, it’s about the squeamishness many medical schools have about CCs. So my answer changes a bit:
1. CC vs. 4-year: generally, 4-year is better. There can be exceptions, but if you are concerned about your overall “package” as an applicant, you want to strengthen your application wherever possible. If a med school you’re interested in has TOLD you that CC credits will hurt your application, you ignore that advice at your peril.
2. Once-weekly class vs. more conventional schedule: this is one that only you can determine. I did the first semester of gen-chem as a once-weekly class and found it was fine. But I had a strong math background which definitely helped. Certainly you can’t afford repeated Ws as you try to find the class that works best for you - definitely think this next step through thoroughly, even if that means postponing your schedule, because whatever you commit to, you need to see it through.
3. Out of state school: hopefully you are going to apply to a variety of schools, in-state and out-of-state, to maximize your chances. Your “dream school” may be one where you’re an out-of-state applicant at a distinct disadvantage, but be sure to put together an application that makes you a strong candidate for schools where you’ve got a better shot of getting in.
Which state do you want to go to medical school in? If you really want to go to an out-of-state school, is there any way you can move to that state to do your undergrad requirements?
I know Texas is really hard unless you live there. They only take 10% of non-Texans, which means you have to have an impressive app.
I would advise caution. To be succeed in a once a week course (especially tough one like Gen Chem) one must very discplined. I’d take Mary’s post to heart - note that she succeeded BUT she had a strong math backrground. I’m OK at math but think General Chem would have been a challenge had I not first taken a remedial “Intro to Chem” course. I doubt I could have done a once a week format and done well.
Surely one must have more choices that Northwestern and a CC in Chicagoland for Chem. Have you looked at all possibilities?