My name is Frank George. I am writing on behalf of my son, Luke. He has been accepted to LSA intending to major in Chemistry as a pre med. We are really struggling with this decision to attend driven by concerns of tough grading in regards to some of the so-called “weeder” classes. Is it possible, we can talk to a pre-med student (perhaps a junior or senior) who has been through this and willing to give us some perspective.
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I’m sorry for our late response. I answer a similar question asked by Sharon Shaw, so please have a look at my response to her. Since I didn’t talk about “weeder” classes in my response to her, I’ll talk a little about them now. However, please feel free to email us to set an in-person appointment or call as mentioned in our first response.
There are some harder introductory science courses that students in the pre-med track take here, at UMich. Although it is possible that some UMich introductory courses are harder than their equivalents at other universities, I think it is important to consider the following two things.
- Medical schools are aware of the relative difficulty of organic chemistry taught at UMich, for example, compared to a community college or other 4-year institution.
- Pre-med classes at UMich, even the few that are considered “weeder” classes, do a solid job at preparing students for the MCAT, an important and required standardized exam for applying to medical schools. That being said, UMich is not the only university that prepares student well for the MCAT, but it is important to know that if one is to get all A’s in their classes at a less rigorous school, such a person may be less prepared for the MCAT and the fast-pace of medical school in the eventual future.
With that being said, I think it is important for your son to consider his personal preference for his college experience aside from being pre-med. Things like proximity to home, class size, weather, student organizations your son may be interested, and general school size are thing I encourage your son to consider in his decision about which school to attend. Wherever he goes, the resources at the school will matter in his success, but his own effort and comfort in the school environment will have a role as well. I am confident that UMich has plentiful resources to help students get through “weeder” classes if students seek these resources and are persistent, but I would imagine other schools have such resources as well. Thus, I do suggest thinking outside the scope of class difficulty, although I do think it is important to consider.
I hope this answer helped! Again, if you need further assistance, feel free to give us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.