What's up everyone...so I decided to check in with the blog site and I see that Phyllis put up a post about Pharmacy FAQs...so I decided to do one of my own.
Do I have to major in Biology to do Pre-Med?
No you don't! In fact, medical schools probably deal with enough applicants that are bio majors, and they love diversity. But the reason most pre-meds major in Bio is because by completing the requirements for your major, you're also completing the requirements for med school. Two birds and one stone - win!
What are the requirements for Bio majors?
You're going to have to take Bio 101 and 102 (both come with 3 hour labs). You're also looking at Chemistry 1 and 2 (only one lab, though). Also, you're going to have to deal with Organic Chemistry 1 and 2 (aka "Death". And its lab). Somewhere along the line, you'll have to take Calc 1, and either Calc 2, Statistics 379, or Stats 401 (apparently, 401 is easiest. I've seen grown men cry over Calc 2 haha). On top of that, you'll need to take Extended General Physics 1 and 2, with their labs, Genetics, and 24 credits worth electives (18 of those credits being 300 or 400 level classes). In those 24 credits, you're going to have to include 3 labs, and one class related to Cell Biology / Neuroscience (146), Genetics / Microbiology [447, not couting Genetics (447:380)], Molecular Bio / Biochem (694), and Natural Resource Management (704). SO MUCH FUN. If you AP'd out any of these classes, your life will be significantly easier. However, even if you AP out of Chem, you'll probably want to check it out to prepare for Orgo.
I'm enrolled in the School Of Arts and Sciences (SAS). What are the requirements for this?
SAS Students (like me!) have to take two writing classes (most likely Expos 1, with another "Writing Intensive" course), two math classes (Math 115 and higher), two "Natural Science" classes (i.e. Bio 1 and 2), four Social Science / Humanities / Interdisciplinary Courses (i.e. Psych, Death & Afterlife, or the notoriously easy Dance Appreciation), and Diversity / Global Awareness classes (i.e. something in the Religion department, or something dealing with the world's culture). My suggestion would be to take what interests you - or at least take something you've heard is an easy A.
If I take Expos, do I have to take Expos 2?
I understand that you'll never want to take that class ever again. So take heart friends, there are plenty of other writing classes you can take that have nothing to do with Expos. You can search for a less tedious Writing Intensive class, but it may be smart of you to take Expos 2 for Medicine, Writing In The Professions (Pre-Med), or Scientific Technical Writing.
Where should I live?
If you're an incoming Freshman, my advice is to look into Discovery Housing on Livingston (Quad 2). I was in the Health & Medince House, so I was guaranteed a spot in Bio 1 and 2, Expos 1, and a FIG course dealing with Medicine. After freshman year, housing isn't guaranteed, and you're gonna be on your own when it comes to deciding where to live (if you get a decent lottery number, I mean). My suggestion would be to live somewhere you think you can study, because you're going to be doing a lot of that.
What if I kind of mess up my first semester / year at RU?
You're only human. While it's totally possible to ace everything from the get-go, it's also very common to get smacked around by the academics at Rutgers at first - no matter what educational background you're from. However, medical schools really are impressed by improvement - if you can get your act together before it's too late, then that will be only a slight bump in the road for you. But keep in mind that if you even want a medical school to even READ your application, you're gonna need a 3.6 cumulative GPA.
Doesn't being a Pre-Med mean you have no social life?
Hell no, and slap whoever told you that. It's true that you won't be able to party as much as your friend who's an English major, or do as many extracurriculars as your other friend who's a Basket Weaving major. But college is about discovery. No one's gonna stop you from locking yourself somewhere 24/7 to study, but feel free to have some "you" time, especially right after exams. ;-) (Partaaayyyy!) If you've read my previous posts, you see that I have a lot of interests outside of school. I'm currently a part of Verse|One Dance Troupe, and I'm still planning on auditioning for RAPS Dance Troupe. Dancing is just something I love. But don't get me wrong - I will 100% NOT go to practice if I have an exam coming up in a week or two. That is study time.
Are there any organizations designated for Pre-Med students?
YES. I would personally suggest AMSA and Phi Delta Epsilon. If you choose not to do these, at least hang out with a lot of Pre-Med students and Bio Majors. Having people around with similar career goals ensures that you watch out for each other and study together. That person that bothers you to study should be your BFF. Also, it's VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT that you create a profile with the HEALTH PROFESSIONS OFFICE during your FIRST WEEK of classes. They are a supreme asset for you in terms of getting into med school. Also, feel free to make appointments with them every now and then.
Who should I get recommendation letters from?
Ah, letters of rec. Well, your professors, or at least their TAs, should know how to write a recommendation letter. My suggestion is to ace the first exam of that class, then go up to the professor / TA to explain your career goals and you would like them to write a letter on your behalf. You should probably stick with letters from classes that are Bio requirements. All in all, you'll need 5 (at least I think it's 5) letters to apply to med school. When you get your letter, make sure it gets to the HPO so they can hold onto it. Make sure you don't slack off, because it is possible to have a letter written about you that explains how much of an epic fail you became. Be careful!!
What are the worst parts about being Pre-Med?
Definitely catching up if your grades slip. You don't want to have to dig yourself out if you're 6 feet under, unless you're Uma Thurman. Also, I've heard that Organic Chemistry is the hardest required class, and if you can't pass with a C you're basically not "Doctor" material. (Whether that's true or not, I'm not sure, but I'm scared lol)
How should I do my schedule?
Definitely knock your Writing requirements out within the first year. Also, get Bio out of the way. If you choose to take Bio and Chem at the same time, more power to you, but I would do Chem over the summer. If you are taking Bio and Chem at the same time, and you end up not doing so well midway, DROP CHEM. You can only take Bio 1 in the Fall, while you can do Chem off-season. So not a big loss. Use the Degree Navigator website to keep up with your requirements, and definitely make those your priority. However, it is acceptable to sprinkle in a couple of BS classes every now and then to bring up your GPA. You're going to want to take AT LEAST 15 credits per semester, especially if you're not working. Also, while it's not required, consider doing research with a faculty member.
What's this I'm hearing about ODASIS?
The Office of Diversity And Success In Sciences is a program built for minority science majors. While it's an amazing program that provides an edge in the classroom that's hard to find, be warned that you have to have a decent amount of maturity to work with them, since they're pretty intense (all for your own good, though). While it's totally possible to get into med school without stepping foot into ODASIS, if you qualify, you might as well go for it.
What classes should I look into?
Alright...BIG LIST alert (courtesy of Jane Miller and Justine Levine)...you don't have to take all of the following classes. Just depends on your interests. To be extra nice, I have included the course codes, so you're welcome. Also, make sure you use up Rate My Professors! It's a complete life saver.
CURRENT MORAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES (730:105)
MEDICAL ETHICS (730:249)
PUBLIC HEALTH LAW / ETHICS (832:356)
GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY (830:101) - Prerequisite for EVERY other Psych class. (Except for Quantative Methods, which suggests you take at least PreCalc 1 & 2 or PreCalc 115 first.)
HEALTH PSYCH (830:377)
SOCIOLOGY OF MEDICINE (920:210)
SOCIOLOGY OF MENTAL ILLNESS (920:307)
EXERCISE / HEALTH (377:218)
NUTRITION / HEALTH (307:255)
PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC HEALTH (832:232)
HEALTH ISSUES IN THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY (014:347)
DRUGS, MEDICINE, SOCIETY (512:322)
HEALTH PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT (832:345)
HEALTH PROGRAM EVALUATION (832:346)
HEALTH LITERACY (374:436)
Pediatrics / Adolescent Medicine
INFANT / CHILD DEVELOPMENT (830:331)
NUTRITION FOR THE DEVELOPING CHILD (709:226)
ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT (830:333) - Also covers Obsetrics / Gynecology
HUMAN SEXUALITY (119:182) - OBGYN
SEXUALITY / SOCIETY (920:440) - OBGYN
SEXUAL HEALTH ADVOCACY (832:301) - OBGYN
DRUGS / CULTURE / SOCIETY (832:350)
SOCIOLOGY OF DRUG USE (932:361)
SOCIOLOGY OF ALCOHOL PROBLEMS (932:410)
Geriatrics / Internal Medicine
ADULT DEVELOPMENT / AGING (830:335)
SOCIAL GERONTOLOGY (920:303)
EXERCISE / AGING (377:304)
Psychology / -iatry
SOCIOLOGY OF DEVIANT BEHAVIOR (920:304)
Infectious Epidemiology / Disease
MICROBES AND PEOPLE (119:197)
HUMAN PARASITOLOGY (146:397)
NEW AND RE-EMERGING DISEASES (374:431)
SOCIAL AND ECOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF HEALTH (374:341)
CULTURE / HEALTH (374:437)
RESEARCH METHODS (762:395) or SOCIAL RESEARCH (920:311)
POPULATION TOOLS AND POLICY (832:417)
HEALTH / PUBLIC POLICY (832:338)
PUBLIC HEALTH ECONOMICS (832:332)
PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC POLICY (762:305)
PUBLIC POLICY FORMATION (790:305)
CIVIC COMMUNITY (HIV / PUBLIC POLICY) (790:220)
COMPARATIVE PUBLIC POLICY (790:318)
PRINCIPLES OF H.A. (832:334)
FINANCIAL ASPECTS OF PUBLIC HEALTH (832:333)
Environmental / Occupational Health
ENVIRONMENT / HEALTH IN SOCIETY (374:225)
ENVIRONMENTAL / OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH (832:437)
PROTECTING PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT (832:483)
TOPICS IN RISK / HEALTH / SAFETY (374:430)
Good luck and God Bless! <3