My prereq plan for the next year

Hola. So I’m finally taking these prereqs. Last semester was my first official premed semester and I did pretty well. Unfortunately I don’t have the cash to pay out of pocket for a lot of classes so I had to declare a biology major for financial aid purposes. You can only get so much once you have a degree.

This is ok, but of course I have to take a few biology classes that I wouldn’t normally take (don’t want to tell my advisor my plan).

Next semester I have to take ecology (bio 301), physics 2, and chem 111.

My question is this. After next semester out of BPCM the only thing I will have left is C (chemistry). I’ve already taken a year of college math so the calculus honestly isn’t necessary except for a few schools.

Should I stick with this plan or just try to take the chemistry classes by themselves?

If I stick with this one here is my schedule for the next year:

fall '10: Bio 301 (ecology), physics 2, chem 111

spring '11: bio 302 (molecular bio), chem 112, calculus I

summer '11: chem 331 (orgo) (I don’t want a heavy load in the summer, maybe ill just pay out of pocket and take this class solo)

fall '11: chem 332 (org 2), bio 303 (genetics), calculus II

Jan '12 - April '12 MCAT study

April '12 MCAT -> Apply to med school June 1 if my MCAT score is good.

At this point I have a 3.9 sGPA… As you can see there are a lot of classes here that aren’t necessary, but may help me in the application process.

I’m not sure regarding the strategy. I do know that chemistry is required for a lot of majors and my own experience in my area was that without being a curricular student, I had to register later, and I could never get into any chemistry classes with lab. I’d check whether it tends to fill up at your school.

Regarding the other courses, having had genetics will probably be a help, and embryology (rather than ecology) is the other bio often recommended for premeds, because it flies past in med school and is a lot of stuff to learn.

That’s just my two cents!

This is true. chemistry fills up incredibly fast at USC (south carolina)… I think I’m going to go through this semester at least with my bio student status… but after that I may make a new game plan and just finish up these chemistry classes and the 2 bio classes.

Just to “gloat” here for a second, when I was a student at a SUNY College, their silly computer system at this particular campus never was coded correctly for non-matriculating students. While every other student needed to get a registration code form their advisor, it let me sign up for classes the day registration opened up.

You know… that’s interesting! Because there are no registration codes here. The adviser gives you a sheet of paper that says “any deviation must be presented to adviser”, but you can still register for any class you want. I just stuck physics 1 in my schedule last semester and there was no problem

The only bad part is that at the beginning of next semester when you meet up again you would probably have to explain why you took said class[es] in question…

Fall '10: Bio 301 (ecology), physics 2, chem. 111

The fall schedule is a little aggressive … With the labs you will have, in essence, five classes (If there is a lab with Bio 301 then six). If you are going to school fulltime then you should be good but busy. If you are working, then I would drop BIO 301.

I took Gen Chem1 and Bio 1 with labs (four classes) and working 30 hours and just made a 3.5 GPA in both classes (A in Bio and B in Chem.). I would not do that again … it was very tough and I just barely pulled an A in Bio.

Going forward for me: I had to quit my job so I could take Gen Chem 2 and Bio 2 over the summer (Five week class). If I did not do that, it would have been another year before I applied to medical school. In the long run it will pay off salary wise … $50K compared to approx. $175K … Net $125K

Thomas that is exactly what I want to do, believe me. For me to get financial aid I have to be full-time… and with only Chem and Physics + labs I will only have 8 hours.

I have 3 months left before fall, I may make a new game plan and see if the school has a payment plan. At $400 per hr 8 hours would add up, and my current job isn’t too great (stay away from wal-mart).

My last resort is if things get a bit too hairy I will just move back home with the parents and go to the local university there. It isn’t good as USC, but it’s better than a community college and it will get the job done.

Thanks for the insight everyone :slight_smile:

I am facing the same problem in terms of whether I should quit to take postbacc classes or continue working and take two postbacc courses per term.

If you don’t mind, how did you take care of yourself or family if you have one when you quit your job? I heard that financial aid can only pay for few of the classes. How were you able to pay for your remaining classes and money for living expenses?

I am the only working family members with three kids. Leaving the job for postbacc will make my family struggle financially. Do I have any chance to pursue this dream with my family size and being the only working person? Any helpful suggestions will be appreciated.

Well, for my situation I can survive off of relatively little because I do not have much responsibility (i.e. family, credit card debt, mortgage / car payments)

If you already have a degree you can only get $12,500/year in Fin. Aid. Tuition at my school is around $4800/semester so after deductions I was left with about $1500 each semester (spring/fall).

With this I could work part time (20 hrs), and whenever I came up short on rent / food expenses I used some of the refund.

For your situation I’m not sure if you should quit your job - working and taking 2 classes per semester will put you in a better situation. Some people take out private loans but I would prefer to stay away from them.

:slight_smile: Good luck and Regards

I worked full-time and went to school part time and paid tuition out of pocket. It was what was best for me. There are lots of ways to skin this cat.

i took orgo lab over the summer and it was brutal…my ugrad did a separate lab.

i would be cautious about physics and gchem together. first semester gchem is very calculation intensive (from what i remember) and 2nd semester physics is a bit time consuming as well. depending on how these are run where you are attending schoo, you may end up woth a lot of quality time spent with your calulator doing homework or pratice problems for your test.