Pre-Med Q&ACategory: Scheduling and ClassesRecommended Freshman First Semester Classes
AvatarJames Rendleman asked 3 years ago

Hello!  I am an incoming Freshman to the University of Michigan, LSA Honors College, who is planning to be a Pre-medical student during his time here. I just have a question about classes.  For context, I am already doing UROP (so I am already about to participate in their seminar, which will get me at least 1 credit hour).  Also, as part of the LSA Honors College, I am required to take on average 14 credit hours/semester, and I am required to take a First Year Writing Requirement Honors Core class (I also need to do another Honors Core class in addition, but I am pretty sure if worst comes to worst I can do it next year).  With all this being said, from your guys’ perspective, what are some recommended courses that you would personally recommend I take during my first semester at Michigan?
Thank you for running this website, and answering questions!  It really helps a lot!

2 Answers
AvatarLeen answered 3 years ago

Hi James!
Welcome to the University of Michigan! We are happy to have you.
In terms of good first semester classes, we recommend that you get started on your chemistry and/or biology courses. If you have already received AP credit or tested out of these intro classes, great! You may want to consider taking CHEM 210/211 (Orgo 1) in your fall or winter semester (tip: Dr. Nolta, a highly recommended Orgo 1 professor, teaches in the winter semester!).
If not, these are the courses we suggest you take: 

  • CHEM 130 and CHEM 125/126 (lab)
  • BIOLOGY 171 and 172 and BIOLOGY 173 (lab)

Taking the above classes will prepare you for upper-level classes during your sophomore year, such as Orgo 1 and 2, and, logistically speaking, are prerequisites to most upper-level classes.
While it is tempting to load up on STEM classes, I would highly suggest that you limit them to 1 or 2 (max) during your first semester so you can explore your interests. Here are a few ideas of other classes for you to consider (in order of importance):

  • If you are looking to start your language requirement, your first semester would be a good time to begin! Language classes are very manageable for freshmen in terms of workload (and are smaller, which makes it easy to meet new people!).
  • If you have any majors you might like to pursue, look at their prereqs and see if there are any introductory classes that interest you. If the prereqs are STEM classes, maybe hold off if you plan on taking the intro STEM classes I mentioned above.
  • If you are looking to take classes for your LSA distribution, look at the LSA course guide and filter out humanities, social science classes, or race and ethnicity classes. There are so many possibilities to choose from! Some common examples are SOC 100 or 102, ANTHRCUL 101, PSYCH 111, and PHIL 183. There are also a lot of first-year seminars that can fulfill distribution classes (here is a link to the distribution requirements:
  • Another suggestion may be to look at a specific subject of interest and find a course that sounds interesting to you! Those classes may lead you to new passions/interests you never would have known otherwise. In addition, there are many mini-courses offered (1 credit classes) that can simply be fun learning experiences.
  • If you are interested in seeing what other pre-meds took freshmen year, feel free to look at the exit tickets from past students (which can be found here:

Overall, I would suggest creating a schedule that is manageable and leaves you with enough free time to go to office hours, join clubs, meet new people, etc. Although these upcoming fall/winter semesters are a bit out of the ordinary, I hope your first year will nonetheless go on smoothly. Let us know if you have any other questions!
Best of luck!
Leen, PMH Advisor

AvatarJames Rendleman answered 3 years ago

Hello Leen, thank you for the information.  This will undoubtedly help me out in choosing classes, and creating my schedule for my first semester at the University of Michigan.  I hope you have a nice rest of your day, stay safe, and have a good fall/winter semesters as well.
Thank you,
James Rendleman

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