Spring Semester Class Load?


Looking for advice on best spring schedule. I currently have an undergrad BCMP of a 2.94. I do have a solid upward trend and a 3.8postbac (40cr). I am planning on taking the MCAT at the end of April 2012. The only pre-med courses I have left are Org Chem II and lab. I was debating taking at least 12 total credits filling it out with high level science classes to continue to show ability of handling the class load. Its also possible if I get A’s all semester I can get my total BCPM to crack a 3.0.

The other option is to take the 5 credits I need and pour myself into studying for the MCAT. I know a top MCAT score could go a long way towards saving my application from its two very big red marks (low science GPA and will be a Neuroscience PhD drop-out at the end of this semester-by choice not forced out). I also volunteer 4hrs/week, work 20hrs/week (as a paramedic so flexible), and will be volunteering in a research lab (to try to get at least 1 research LOR after doing research 3years!! All the rest are not happy about leaving PhD so won’t write letters). Know it sounds like alot but currently do most of those things plus 50+hrs/week research and 9cr grad/med school classes.

Would obviously prefer the 5credits and extra study time but wasn’t sure if the show of academic balance and cracking a 3.0 might be more valuable.

Would taking Org II and another upper science class possibly bring you up to a 3.0? If not, I’d say just the chem and study for MCAT, personally, although I have no idea how much of a bearing this would have on adcoms since I’m a newbie :slight_smile:

I’m a couple years away from taking the MCAT or applying, so consider this just an opinion - I’d vote for MCAT prep. You could even split the difference and take 8 credits and MCAT prep. OChem II and perhaps Biochem since it appears that Biochem helps on the MCAT and during MS-1. Don’t know if OChem II is a pre-req for Biochem though.

It would take another 12cr exactly of straight A’s to crack a 3.0 unfortunately. Just wondering how all important that 3.0 cut-off is.

I am currently taking a med school Biochem class right now (my Neuroscience program is through a med school).

While I believe having less than 3.0 in the core pre-reqs is not stellar I’m not an adcom. You can take a light load and study for the MCAT, but it is a gamble. At the same time, taking 12 credits may be too much and get you less than all As, another gamble.

I’d suggest you call a few schools you’re interested in and find out what kind of MCAT score you’d have to get to “make up” for the low BCPM. Then once you start taking practice tests you’ll know whether or not summer school is necessary.

I second Pixie’s suggestion. Call a few schools and get their take. They may be able to guide you toward the path that is more valuable. Then you’ll know where to focus your time/effort.

Stupid question, but who/what department do you call? Several school websites I looked at specifically ask you not to call them and recommend talking to your pre-med adviser instead (I don’t have one where I’m currently in school and the one at my undergrad institute is…um, difficult and not helpful at all).

Thanks for all the helpful advice! And I think I might take a winter interim class (genetics) and then Org II and lab plus maybe Physics?? (got a C+ when I took it 8years ago as a less “serious” student) in the spring so I’m better set for the MCAT course-wise as well as having time to study.