Science course curriculum

Hello All,

What is the logical order to take the Science courses per year? And which sciences could be doubled in a semester?

For example:

1st year: Inorg Chem I, II

2nd yr: Organic Chem I, II, and BIO I, II

3rd yr: Biochem, Physics I, II, etc etc



Typical premed schedule of courses (by semesters):

First Semester = General Biology I, General Chemistry I, Calculus I, English I

Second Semester = General Biology II, General Chemistry II, Calculus II or Statistics, English II

Third Semester = Organic Chemistry I, Physics (Calculus or Algebra-based) I, advance-level biology

Fourth Semester = Organic Chemistry II, Physics II, advance-level biology

Fifth Semester = Biochemistry (not to be confused with the nursing/allied health biochemistry offered at IVC)

I would try and squeeze physics into the first two years - it’s a core subject for the MCAT. Under either of the above plans, you could take the MCAT at the end of the second year and take biochem, genetics, micro, etc during your application year. As for bio vs physics during the first year - it may depend on your school. The school where I did my pre-reqs (Ohio State) had the first quarter of chemistry as a pre-req for biology. I have heard of a few other schools with this requirement - it certainly does help to have a little bit of chemistry background when talking about the structure of DNA/RNA etc.

From what I remember…you need math for the basic chem and physics…how’s your math?

Organic chemistry has little to do with physical chem, although you need a bit of stoichiometry (sp?) for it - but that should have been covered in HS Chem.

I found organic chem to be a lot of memorization vs say chemistry which was more conceptual and about application. So if I were you I’d keep the organic chems on their own.

Biochemistry - there is a fair amount of memorization but there is some logic there too and concept building, nothing like organic chem.

Not sure if that helps. The one advice is though…make sure your basic math skills are up to par or chem and physics will be untold disasters (no calculus needed, just a basic grasp of algebra).

Why do you need calculus if you’re NOT going for a specific degree?

General Bio? Unless it helps show that you’re the man with the 4.0s probably a waste of time (maybe can help you with the MCAT).

Stats is probably not a bad idea unless you do badly on it, and medical schools incorporate stats in the curriculum.

I’d say stick to the basic essential requirements.

  • rmiranda Said:
Why do you need calculus if you're NOT going for a specific degree?

There are a few schools that require calculus or require stats. If you're pretty sure that none of the schools you are applying to require it, you don't need calculus.

  • In reply to:
General Bio? Unless it helps show that you're the man with the 4.0s probably a waste of time (maybe can help you with the MCAT).

I'm assuming that by general biology he is referring to the year of biology with labs that most schools require as a pre-req. If you don't already have a year of biology with labs, you need to take it. Most universities have a particular set of courses that they designate as the "pre-med" biology course. You should take whatever sequence your school designates as that. And yes, at least some of that material is core content for the MCAT.


Some of this will depend on whether you’re going for your first degree or whether you’re taking the classes post-bacc.

Let us know.

Dean is completing a degree in business. So it can go either way. I guess it depends upon what he has left to complete.

thanks for all the great comments!

Yes, i’m completing my degree in Business, but will begin taking the science pre-reqs beginning Fall 2010. I had college calculus over 20 yrs ago, but am currently self-studying college algebra to refine my math skills (every day w/ my book!).

I’m starting a BASIC chem class in Jan just to get a foundation for Inorganic Chemistry starting in Sept. I don’t have to take this basic class but thought it would be a good idea. So basically, i’m using the next 8 months to get a solid foundation on intro chemistry and college algebra BEFORE starting my science pre-req’s.

Having said all this, I’m trying to coordinate a logical schedule, and when it would be advisable to double up on a science. I know many of you work full-time, have families, mortgages, etc, and can provide some valuable insight here.

All your posts are great! thanks again.