Just wondering if anyone knows if many schools look down at taking courses in the summer term? My premed advisor does not recommend it, but I haven’t seen anything in my preferred med schools advising against it. Anyone know anything about this?
Unless you’re retaking courses you’ve had before, I wouldn’t advise taking them in the summer either. The semester moves very fast and I think your chances of acing the courses (A grades) is decreased because of it.
I took Chem 102 with lab as well as genetics during summer sessions. My advisor helps me plan out my schedule each semester, so I took these courses under her advisement based upon my particular life schedule. I have heard arguments for both sides - some say it’s not ideal but others say it shows you can handle a large amount of information in a short period of time (assuming you do well). I enjoyed both summers because I was able to focus on just one topic and learn it well. As with most things, if it fits in with the rest of your story, I don’t see how it can negatively impact you.
- marianne Said:
With 3 Science degrees, I can assure you that I've done just about everything under the sun as far as class schedules are concerned. What it all boils down to IMHO are those things which are smart to do, and those which are smarter.
If the OP gets "B's" or lower, I seriously doubt the fact thats she took them in the summer is going to mean much to an Adcom.
I just personally think nontrads should maximize their chances of getting ONLY A's which a full semester does, all things being equal.
I think it depends as much on the summer program as not. Do your homework/research and if the best way to make your schedule work includes summer course work, then do it, and nail it.
My post-bacc spanned two summers, and I took one course each summer. The first was Gen Chem 2 with lab, and Biochem the next summer. I had already taken the MCAT prior to the second summer, so could concentrate on the class. I also continued to work full-time through both summers. As far as how summer work is viewed by adcoms, it probably doesn’t matter as long as you do well.
jmdmd - If you do not mind, could you tell how many weeks was your summer semester?
- jcolwell Said:
I think the primary factor is is TIME MANAGEMENT and DEPENDENCIES thereof.
As mentioned by previous posters, no matter what course you decide (assuming a short 5 or 6 week term), it will be fast paced and will require most of your time, typically 4 or 5 days a week for 3 or 4 hours a day. In addition, if you take a course with a lab component, that will likely require and additional, 3 or 4 meetings week. Combined, that will mean basically full time in class. Add study time and lab reports, and it is literally more than full time.
On the upside, as has been mentioned, you are completely focused on that single course
A particular note should be made to organic chem, which I took during the summer. We had 3 exams and a comprehensive final in 5 weeks. That is 2 or 3 chapters a week. It was difficult to digest and be prepped for an exam. (I got 15 weeks of schoolin' but I'm doing it in 5!)
My stern warning on dependencies is for taking summer course, often Organic Chem, and then taking an late August MCAT and/or are trying to apply in the current cycle. Students who optimistically plan that have no time to prep for MCAT or completing application. Trying to do all that presents a high risk of weak organic grade, poor MCAT score, less than perfect application, and way behind the rolling admissions curve, and severely reduces chances for admissions.
BTW, some of the really fast paced Post-Baccs that do all prereqs in a single calendar year along with Organics, MCAT, and applications in the summer.
I did Bio 1 over the summer in a 5-week semester. It was rough. There were people doing Organic 1 at the same time. Maybe for a repeat class, but that would be a tough one. The Bio 1 was rough as it was. We were basically hitting a chapter a day.
To be honest, I wish I had just hammered out Bio 2 right after it over the summer. Taking it the long way over this semester has sucked, and taken time away from other classes.
ChicBrownie, the summer semester was 5 weeks, at Univ of GA in Athens. The class met every day for 2 hours, and then lab twice a week (scheduled for 4 hrs but usually completed in 2 hrs). I did not need the biochem lab for med school application, so skipped that. It was intense, but not impossible.
Aha … we have 8 weeks over here, so it should not be as bad for taking a class in summer. Perfect, thanks.
As you’ve probably gotten the idea from the previous posters, the reason your premed advisor doesn’t recommend it probably has more to do with increased difficulty in a compressed time frame. Med schools, as far as I know, have no preferences regarding what semester you take a particular class in, or problem with summer session classes. It just IS important to do well.
Last summer I took Physics 2 + lab in the first summer session and Chem 2 + lab in the second summer session. Both sessions were 5 weeks each. I was also working 50 hours a week. I earned A’s, but just barely in Chem 2. I was pretty much a zombie the whole summer, and my weekends were spent entirely in the books. It is certainly possible to succeed in the fast-paced summer courses, but expect to be singularly focused the entire time.