Please help?

I have decided to pursue a medical school. This has been a hard decision for me because of various things I had going on in my life. I will be taking my prerequisite courses at a local state school. My first BA is in History.


General Bio with Lab

Conceptual Physics with Lab

General Chem with Lab


Summer I:

Physics 2 with Lab

General Chem 2 with Lab

Summer II:

Organic Chemistry with Lab

General Bio 2 with Lab

Fall 2013:


Organic Chem 2 with Lab

Biology Internship

I will also take Biochem and Genetics Spring 2014. I have noticed that Biochem is required at Duke along with calculus.

I have began to wonder after reading all the different forums - am I taking too many classes? I want to take the MCAT in September 2013. Does it seem possible?

Thanks for all the help and advice.

I would say your plan is ambitious, but not impossible. Are you taking non Calc-based physics? If you’re taking calc-based physics, it may be better to try to fit that in beforehand, especially if you have no previous calculus experience.

The first Physics course is non-Calculus based. The other Physics courses only require you to do well in the Pre-Calculus course.

Hi and welcome! Your plan looks really packed. Will you be working while taking classes or just focused on your studies? Are there any family (spouse/partner, kids) or professional demands (working over time) that may come up? Taking 3 labs in one semester can be very time consuming between pre-lab write up, lab reports, practicals, etc.

A common motto here is “this is a marathon, not a sprint”. We want to be successful on the first attempt and taking a little longer to achieve that is ok. I think that you would be taking too many classes. Taking the MCAT Fall 2013 while also taking organic 2 might be a problem. How would you feel about taking the MCAT early spring 2014 and if needed you (hopefully not) could take it again in April 2014 or so before the application cycle would open? Are you enrolled in a formal post-bacc or are you doing a DIY?

I’m not saying that you can’t do it. I just want you to do well. I would suggest dropping one of the science classes (maybe physics) for this spring and shifting your course load for that.

All the best!

Thanks for all of the advice so far. It is nice to have a forum with other people who understand the process.

I am a DYI post-bacc student. I am 25 years old, married, no children. I do not have any professional demands or financial concerns. My husband is very supportive of my dream to become a doctor.

For financial purposes, I want to be considered a full-time student. If I drop one of the science courses, I will fall below full-time status. The only course that I could drop would be the pre-calculus class. However, I feel that dropping the math course would push me off schedule. Also, I was planning to take the MCAT in August before classes start back. Additionally, I completed my BA in 2.5 years so I am used to more classes per semester and intense summer school classes.

After looking at my schedule, I am planning to leave it as it is for the Spring semester. Depending on how the classes go and any weaknesses I discover, I will revise the rest of my post-bacc schedule.

Great! Keep us updated with everything! I’m sure you’ll do well.

Double-check with your school. None of the schools in my area offer what you’re taking over the summer. They only offer the first sequence (Phy1, Chem1, Bio1) of a class in the first summer session and the second sequence during the second summer session. So I would just double check because based on the schools in my area MD/DC your schedule wouldn’t be possible.

It does seem OVER ambitious to me, particularly the summer sessions as ONE course with labs is pretty intense in summer semester - depending on how long the summer session is.

Also talking MCAT in even August 2013 has some problems:

  1. you will be doing it before Organic Chem 2 --missing some of the content for MCAT’s

  2. you have left no time in your schedule to STUDY for MCAT - it is NOT a test on the material you have just been taking the courses on. That would be doable. It is a test of your ability to critically think on questions which may incorporate some of the concepts you’ve been studying but needs to be studyed for with at least as much time as a full-time course.

  3. if you take it in August, your score will not make it to your application till September or October, when many of the schools have already picked a lot of their class. Thereby missing the opportunity to apply early.

    I’d suggest doing the precalc in another slot, halving the summer schedule even if that makes you not fulltime, and leaving time in spring 2014 to study, then take MCAT early in 2014. That’s my 2-cents.


I agree 1000% with Kate.

Summer semester lab coures are EXTREMELY punishing. I did O-Chem 1 lab and O-Chem 2 lab four hours a day three days a week for about two months, and I wasn’t even one of the folks who were contending with the lecture at the same time.