Pre-Med Q&ACategory: Scheduling and ClassesLots of Questions about different classes
Avatarhelp! asked 2 years ago

I’m planning on scheduling for classes next semester, and I’m struggling to choose: 

  1. I took Psych 111, and I wasn’t sure if I should take another Psych class. I heard that Psych 280 might be good, but I wasn’t sure if it’s really recommended or worth it (if I’m not planning to major in it, is it required for medical schools? is it really worth it for the MCAT or should I use that time for another course?)
  2. I know that some med schools require writing courses, but I was wondering if these writing courses could be satisfied with courses that satisfy the upper level and first year writing requirements. 
  3. Do we have to complete a biochemistry lab? 
  4. If I got AP/IB credit for inorganic chemistry, should I do another semester of inorganic chemistry? Do I need to do another lab course too? (what’s recommended?)
  5. Can I do a chemistry major/minor even if I do Chem 230 instead of 260 (pchem)? 
  6. I was thinking about doing pchem (230 or 260, I’m not sure) with Physics 235/236 for my classes next semester, but I was wondering if this was a good idea….


1 Answers
AvatarIsabel Murray answered 2 years ago

Hi! Thank you so much for your questions!
I answered all of them below, but feel free to come to our office hours if you want to discuss these decisions more in depth! Everyone’s path is slightly different, so I want to make sure you have advice tailored to your needs. We have office hours tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday from 6-10pm on Zoom (link on our website).
1.) Psych 111 is highly recommended (but not required) for applying to medical school and for the MCAT. Beyond that, Psych 230, 240 and 280 are all great classes for MCAT. Taking one of these classes may make content review easier when it comes to taking the MCAT, but a lot of U of M students only take psych 111 and do just fine on the MCAT by self-studying the remaining material. Whether or not it is “worth it” for you might depend on your course load, schedule preferences, and willingness to self-study some content, as well as other factors!
2.) Most medical schools require two semesters of English/writing classes. Your freshmen year writing course will satisfy one semester. For the majority of medical schools, any U of M Upper Level Writing Course (labelled “ULWR” on LSA Course Guide) should satisfy the second semester. I asked a pre-health advisor this question last week and they said they did not know of any medial school that would not accept an ULWR class as writing. Therefore, it is pretty safe to assume any ULWR class will satisfy writing requirements. However, if there are specific medical schools you are considering applying to, I would look other website to double check.
3.) Not necessarily! Medical schools typically (but not always) require one year of biology lab, one year of chemistry lab, and one year physics lab. It is safest to take one year of lab work in each of these subjects if you are unsure where you want to apply. However, every school has different requirements! If you are interested in taking a biochem lab to fulfill lab requirements, you can but do not need to!
4.) Yes, you definitely should! Most medical schools require one year of inorganic chemistry. AP/IB credit counts for one semester, so you can take CHEM 230 or 260 to fulfill the second semester. As far as taking a semester of inorganic chem lab at U of M, most schools do not require this. However, a couple Ivy League schools and New York State schools do.
5.) CHEM 260 or CHEM 370 is required for a chemistry major, so plan to take CHEM 260 instead of CHEM 230 if you are interested in majoring in chemistry. For a minor, I believe you can reach the 18 credits of chemistry classes required without taking CHEM 260, but a lot of students recommend CHEM 260 to help with other upper level chem courses. In addition, a biochem minor require CHEM 260 if that is something you are interested in pursuing. I would meet with a chemistry advisor to make the best decision for you! You can make appointments online.
6.) We typically recommend limiting pre-req stem courses to 2 per semester, so this may work for you! However, I would recommend splitting these courses up if possible. CHEM 230 is very work intensive (probably 4-5 credits worth of studying each week even though it is only a 3 credit course). If you decide to take them together, I would recommend opting for other classes with very light course work!
Hopefully that answers all of your questions! Again, please stop into our office hours if you want to talk through your options more in depth with one of our advisors 🙂 
Isabel, PMH Advisor 

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