So many choices w/ little advisor feedback--help

I am getting ready to schedule my classes for next semester. I am a pre-med major at a local university and am now taking Principals of Bio and Principals of Chem, both inro classes for science majors.
I will take Principals of Chem 2 next semester and then organic 1 and 2 after that. The question is–what Bio classes would help me the most?
I have a choice next semester of Microbiology, Zoology, Botany or Genetics. If none of these will fit I will take one of the two required Physics classes.
I LOVE my current bio class and am somewhat less enthusastic about my chem class. I am up at 5:30, on the road at 7, in class at 7:45, have class until 9:30, back to home by 10:15, working until 2, study group from 3 to 5 and then Chem class at 5pm until 6pm. Lab day is Tues and I have a lab from 8am until 11 am and then 6pm to 10pm.
Next semester I will have access to priority scheduling and can pick classes at better times.
E Lynne

I would pick either Micro or Genetics… but what do I know…

I agree. They say the three most helpful non-required classes are Genetics, Biochemistry, and Cell Biology. I’ve heard that Biochem in particular is very helpful.

I also vote for micro and genetics. If you have only one choice of the four, I would say genetics. Biochem is useful (but usually has organic as a pre-req), and anatomy and physiology would be good. Botany and zoology might be interesting, but I’d have to say that they would be last on the list of utility for medical school.
I’m in micro right now, and love it. I don’t know how much it will help in med school, but its been very interesting learning about the different types of bacteria, their growth, antibiotic effect, etc. I chose to take micro because I was really bad at anything in Bio I and II that require microscope work and decided that more microscope practice would be a good thing.
I’m also in Biochemistry. Unfortunately, the professor is very set in his ways, so I don’t really feel that I’m getting as much out of the class as I could be. We did quite a bit of biochem during organic, and I thought it was interesting. Its a lot of memorization, though!!
Finishing up this tangent - I’ve seen far more schools list micro, genetics, A&P and biochem as requirements or “highly recommended” than list zoology or botany. I do remember seeing zoology listed on maybe one school’s website.

I had to do 2 bio prereqs because I hadn’t had bio since high school (1980!). I chose intro cell biology and intro genetics, both freshman/sophomore-level courses.
These turned out to be two great choices, both for the MCAT and for first year med school. I would have been in deep trouble without the genetics, because our first-year instructors assume things like you know how to read a pedigree, etc… They also assume great familiarity with basic cell bio. Anything you can do to make those first couple of months of med school less stressful is helpful.
As far as prereqs, some of the schools that require first-year bio + genetics will not accept the genetics as one of the bio courses. This was a problem for me at a couple of schools. You should look at prereqs for a few schools you are interested in, and figure out how to meet those.
Definitely no botany, unless you have a lot of extra time and money.

Thanks for the deedback…I am leaning towards the Genetics or the Micro next semester. I am currently in a Chem class in which the prof is very cranky and am struggling with approaching him–I tend to go to the library tutor to get answers on things that I do not understand. I wanted to avoid him like the plague but there are only two sections of Chem 2 next semester. If I take his I will be able to take the other classes that I want. If I take the prof that is very conscientious and teaches well, I will limit myself and not have access to the bio classes that I want. Nuts!! lol
I did finally meet with the Genetics prof and he gave me some better advice than my goofy advisor did. The school at which I will be applying just said that I needed 2 Bios, 2 Chems, 2 Organic Chems and 2 Physics. No more direction than that.
E Lynne

I literally post the same answer to this question whenever asks–it’s a religion with me–I think you should take the class you’d enjoy the most.
good luck

Seeing that we as pre-meds don’t always get a choice when it comes to course selection because we are trying to get all of the pre-reqs in, when you do get a choice, take what interests you the most!!! Take care!!!

I’m of the same mantra as Joe…take what makes you happy.

This is what the school suggests in terms of pre-requ classes:
Biology: A minimum of eight semester hours, of which a minimum of two hours of laboratory work must be completed. These eight hours may consist of general biology or zoology, or a combination of biology, zoology and botany.
Inorganic Chemistry: A minimum of eight semester hours, including two semester hours of laboratory work.
Organic Chemistry: A minimum of eight semester hours, including two semester hours of laboratory work.
Physics: A minimum of eight semester hours, including two hours of laboratory work.
English: A minimum of six semester hours of composition and literature.
Behavioral Sciences: A minimum of six semester hours of courses in the behavioral sciences; i.e., psychology, sociology, anthropology, medical ethics, or philosophy.
Also recommends that prospective students consider taking advanced coursework,such as biochemistry, physiology, microbiology and/or anatomy, if at all possible.
I plan on taking A and P this spring, as well as my second Chem with lab…I will shoot for Micro this summer.
unfortunately the school that I attend has a notoriously poor Chem Dept–lots of dinosaurs putting in time until retirement… I am considering taking Organic Chem somewhere else but not sure if that will look goofy…
E Lynne


I am considering taking Organic Chem somewhere else but not sure if that will look goofy…

I wouldn’t hesitate to take the organic somewhere else if you think you can get a better education. I took my organic this summer at a “Summer Science Institute” where they offer the opportunity to take two semesters worth of several science and math courses. I actually got the info on this from a pre-med advisor at my university.
If your school has a widely known bad rep, it might reflect positively on you to have taken it somewhere with a better rep.
If you do decide to take it elsewhere, and don’t need the credit for a degree, I wouldn’t even worry about transferring it back to your college. When you submit applications, just send in the transcript from that one as well. (I think I had six different transcripts)