Which biology classes to take?

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  • #51613
    mdhopefulmdhopeful
    Participant

    I am new to this site and am finding it to be very helpful and encouraging – thank you! I have been thinking of entering the field of medicine for the past two years and just recently have found myself in the position to actually do it. I thought I was too old to become a doctor (I’ll be 32 in April), but I’ve learned that I still may have a chance. I need all of my science pre-requisites except 4 hours of general chemistry. I am wondering which biology classes will help prepare me most for the MCAT. I would like to take a general microbiology class and human physiology and anatomy class offered by my local community college, but I am concerned they won’t help my on the MCAT. I need to enroll in the next couple days – any advice?

    #51615
    PremedRNPremedRN
    Participant

    I havent taken the MCAT yet, but they say there is some physiology on it. I am a nurse and have taken micro, anatomy physiology….but it was recommended to me to take Cell biology and Genetics…..so I did, I hear lots of stuff learned in those classes are on the MCAT, plus they count for that year of general biology that is required. They were pretty tough classes. Glad Im done with the undergrad bio. The advanced level courses arent as rigorous (at the university I attend, and at some of the other universities I am aware of). My problem starting back to school was being behind in math. My nursing degree didnt require much math…..I have one more semester of math before I can take physics, but at least Im getting other reqs out of the way at the same time.
    Goodluck,
    Dana

    #51617
    efex101efex101
    Participant

    guys make sure that the school you are applying to does not require one full year of the introduction general biology if i am not mistaken some schools will not let you substitute….

    #51619
    bekagainbekagain
    Participant

    I took the CLEP test for General Biology and the person that I talked to at my school sadi he would still recommend that I take the classes to get it on my transcript so that it isn’t an issue. I totally agree that you need to check with your schools. I had a friend that CLEP-ed out of Gen. Chem, took Organic I and II and got really good grades, applied to med schools and got told that he needed to take the classes to be accepted. SO he was in my Gen Chem II class. He also needed to have the labs. So, be sure to check. I am taking everything just to be safe. :rolleyes: I am one of those rule-followers at all costs. A pain sometimes. 😉

    I have heard also that Genetics and Physiology are very helpful on the MCAT. A resident alo said that anything in Immunology would be really good, as well as biochem.

    Just my :twocents: ! Good luck with your science classes!

    #51621
    MarilynMarilyn
    Participant

    I just finished taking Physiology w/lab and I really enjoyed that.

    I also plan on taking comparitive anatomy, microbiology and cell biology classes. Next semester I’m also taking a general Biology w/lab class since I have never had a basic biology class before (it looks easy though). I think Immunology would be interesting, genetics boring….lol

    Marilyn

    #51623
    asunshineasunshine
    Participant

    Ooooh…very enlightening. Here’s what I’ve taken so far:
    Honors Calc II
    Intro bio I and II
    Gen Chem I and II
    Microbiology
    Human A&P
    Organic I

    Still to take: Organic II
    Physics I and II

    Note: no genetics or cell bio or biochem. I would LOVE to take cell bio especially, but I have very little time or $$ to do it before I take the MCAT or apply. Is this something to reconsider?

    amy

    #51625
    PremedRNPremedRN
    Participant

    Okay here’s my list:
    chem 119 with lab (nursing) one semester
    Chem 111 and 112 with lab two semsters (nonbio majors)
    Chem 115 with lab-one semester with lab and am enrolled for 116 next semester.
    Human antomy one semster
    Physiology one semester
    Microbiolgoy with lab (and the above with lab too)
    Gross Human Anatomy (upper bio class with lab)
    Intro to cellur and molecular bio ( 1 sem/lab)
    Genetics and molecular bio (1sem/lab)
    Pharmacolgoy (1 semester, nursing)
    Pathophysiology (nursing/1 semester no lab)
    Ma 153 algebra/trig (one semester)
    soo far.

    #51627
    Amy BAmy B
    Participant

    I found that Cell Biology( molecular cellular Biology) and Physiology were one of the most helpful bio classes I took to aid in the bio section on the MCAT. I had also taken genetics and micro and did get a question or two in both of those subjects. I do recall something about the MCAT changing after I took it in 2001. Didn’t they add more genetics and take away some organic in the BS section?

    [santahat] [santahat]

    #51629
    PremedRNPremedRN
    Participant

    Efex,
    Okay I am posting under the appropriate topic now! 🙂 I know it would be best to ask the schools, I revisited the web site for the school that I will think will choose as my #1 school and they listed the prereque bio classes as “1 yr (8 credit hrs) of biological science”. I am assuming cell and genetics fall into this category?

    #51631
    mdhopefulmdhopeful
    Participant

    Thanks to all of you for responding. In the mean time, I have talked to a pre-med advisor. He told me that if you’re only going to take one year of bio, that general bio I and II are the best to take. However, he said that you really need more than that for the MCAT and said that you should really take physiology and cell biology. I also talked to the admissions director at my number 1 med school. She told me that microbiology and physiology would be accepted for the bio requirements, but that I’d really have to study a lot on my own to do well on the MCAT. Anyway, as I said, I am going on 32 and want to get these done as quickly as possible – I’m pregnant with my second child and my husband and I are small business owners, so time and money are not in abundance – so I am leaning towards taking general bio I and physiology, studying a lot on my own, and then seeing how I do on practice tests on the biological sciences section of the MCAT. Thank you for your help!

    #51633
    efex101efex101
    Participant

    PremedRN yeah, i guess that one year of any bio will suffice for *that* number one school but what about the others? unless you are only applying to one? just make sure they do not specifically want one year of intro-general bio..

    #51635
    PremedRNPremedRN
    Participant

    I get your point. I better start checking all the schools I will be applying. That would suck for me now….In the biology program at my school there are two years of “intro bio” they are BIO I, II, III, IV (3 and 4 being cell then genetics) then once those are completed bio majors are allowed to take the upper level bios, provided they have the chem reqs too. Guess that is how I got confused, I consider cell and genetics intro. Hmmmmmmm.

    #51637
    MarilynMarilyn
    Participant

    So does the General Biology class I am taking in the Spring not count really then since its so basic?

    I’m still going to take it cause I have no bio background (well except a clinical Micro class that is for nursing students only) and am hoping it will give me a good foundation for Microbiology, Cell Biology, etc in the fall.

    I printed out the med school I want to go to info online and it just says General Zoology/Biology (one semester), the Bio class I am taking is not for science majors, its for gen ed’s mainly.

    Marilyn

    #51639
    PremedRNPremedRN
    Participant

    Marilyn,
    I guess Im confused about what is meant by “General Bio”, biology of cells in general (cell bio, genetics) I thought were general as it wasnt specific to just microbes, or human anatomy. Guess I better start check’n.

    #51641
    MarilynMarilyn
    Participant

    PremedRN, I am confused now to! LOL

    Here is what my state med school requires, this is copy and pasted off their website:

    -General Zoology/Biology (including lab) – one semester
    -General Chemistry – two semesters
    -Organic Chemistry – two semesters
    -English – three semesters
    -Physics – two semesters
    -Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, Humanities and Foreign Languages (any combination) – three semesters
    -Histology, Genetics, Embryology, Cellular Biology or Comparative Anatomy (any of these) – one semester

    I guess I need to call them after Christmas break.

    Marilyn

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