View Full Version : How to apply with a non-science undergrad?
07-11-2006, 05:32 PM
I have, and did great in, grade 12 bio, chem, and physics, but am currently pursuing a business degree. My question is, is an MD still possible/plausible? What would you recommend for preparing for the MCAT, considering I haven't taken any university science courses? (e.g. some type of tutorial package, booklet, etc.)
07-11-2006, 05:54 PM
A science degree is not required as a prerequisite for medical school. Medical school classes will be composed of students who took any type of major in their undergrad - history, computing science, English, and even business. In fact, it's becoming more and more common to see Biology / Business double majors, or even Business majors applying to med schools, because running a family practice is, in many ways, like running a small business.
That being said, this is where you have to look up the individual requirements for each medical school you want to apply to. This is because most of them have specific courses that you have to take in order to be considered; these sometimes include a year of biology, English, chemistry, and biochemistry. These courses, however, vary from one school to the next, so you'll have to do a bit of research; fortunately, all of this information is complied in a booklet published by the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, and is available online at www.afmc.ca/docs/2006_adm...s_book.pdf (http://www.afmc.ca/docs/2006_admissions_book.pdf) .
In terms of studying for the MCAT, there are a number of preparation techniques. Some students prefer to study on their own, using the information available on the AAMC website and purchasing their practice questions. Others prefer to get a study guide or book; these are available at Chapters bookstores and online - the most common would likely be Kaplan and Princeton Review, and runners-up include Examkrackers and Gold Standard. Still others choose to take a course. Kaplan and Princeton Review offer courses; check out their respective websites.
07-11-2006, 06:39 PM
Thank you. Just curious, though. Do these study guides and courses start from a the basics? (i.e. assume the reader/student to have no more than high school knowledge) Or are they overcomplicated and assume that the reader/student has taken university science courses?
Also, in your link provided in the previous post, the page was not found. May you please kindly re-post it?
Finally, can anyone approximate a ratio of how many science students vs. non-science students get into med school? I know there is no science requirement, but do many non-science majors apply and get in as well?
Thank you very much.
07-11-2006, 08:41 PM
You'll have to take a few science courses anyway, due to pre-reqs. The stuff schools want you to take as pre-reqs is pretty much all covered on the MCAT.
And yes, study guides start from zero, but they are rather compressed, so they can be hard if you haven't taken ANY science courses prior to taking the MCAT.
07-11-2006, 10:41 PM
The link has been fixed.
07-11-2006, 11:20 PM
I believe MSAR (med school adm requirements) gives you a break down of undergrad majors for those who got in. Also, it seems that most schools will give you a breakdown by the nature of degrees that the admitted students held - there is definitely a good amount of B.A.s at most schools.
07-12-2006, 07:25 AM
The princeton review or kaplan course would be a great option for you. In these courses you have classes where the tutor teaches everything from scratch, although like Jochi said they go fairly fast so you might need to read before class so you have some background knowledge. These courses are however expensive and time consuming but in your case I would highly reccommend them!
07-12-2006, 07:57 AM
Intro courses to the various subjects are definately a huge help when it comes to studying, you still need to do a fair amount with the MCAT specific books. I'll second, or third the point about some courses being prereqs for applying (I got screwed over Physics, i just studied from Kaplan but some schools wanted an Intro course). You might want to look to see if your school offers a minor type thing that includes all of those classes. Doing them will probably tack on an extra year to undergrad so it is nice to have a few more letters on your degree for the time :)
That being said, if the schools you are planning on applying to do not require a first year course in a specific class that is on the MCAT then an option, provided you are at a big uni is to unofficially audit a class... Basically go to all the classes and buy the book and a lot of science classes have their old exams available to students... This way you get the class but don't risk hurting your gpa if you don't get a "good mark". Obviously they will notice an extra person in the labs but not in lectures.
07-31-2006, 08:23 PM
Thanks a lot everyone. I just finished my first year at the Schulich School of Business at York with an 8.1 GPA, but I feel I can definitely boost that in the coming years. I plan to take some bio and chem first-year courses, an intro "Intro to Health". Hopefully these courses give me a good scope on what I should be prepared for when I apply to Med School. One other question - I won many academic awards in my High school graduating class, most of which relate to science and overall academic acheivement. Can this be used to my advantage when applying to med school?
Thanks a lot.
07-31-2006, 08:53 PM
One other question - I won many academic awards in my High school graduating class, most of which relate to science and overall academic acheivement. Can this be used to my advantage when applying to med school?If you search through the past threads in the forum, there are several that deal with the issue of putting high school achievements on your medical school application. The short answer is that yes, you can include them, but they probably won't have much of an effect on whether you get in or not. Your more recent achievements are far more important.
08-01-2006, 08:03 PM
Thanks. Also, I got into Health Sci at McMaster after high school, but rejected it chose to go to Schulich instead. This may sound dumb, but if I were to apply to McMaster med after my BBA, would/could they use my rejection of their health sci program in the past against me?
08-02-2006, 08:50 AM
Also, I got into Health Sci at McMaster after high school, but rejected it chose to go to Schulich instead. This may sound dumb, but if I were to apply to McMaster med after my BBA, would/could they use my rejection of their health sci program in the past against me?
They wouldn't even know... unless you told you them (and I'm not sure why you'd choose tell them).
08-02-2006, 02:32 PM
I would highly recommend taking prereqs for undergrad prior to taking the MCAT. You would need to do the prereq science courses anyway for med apps, so you might as well take them since they (the undergrad sci courses) do prep you for the MCAT.
curious...why'd you go into business then all of a sudden decide to do medicine?
Left and Leaving
08-02-2006, 04:54 PM
Hey, I was also offered admission to Mac back in the day for Science but turned them down...and they accepted me for meds this year. So no, definately not a factor. Good luck!
08-22-2006, 03:09 PM
According to site: http://www.afmc.ca/docs/2006_admissions_book.pdf the success rate for applicants for under 20 in 2005/2006 was 48%- that's one high success rate (this info is on page 9 on that link).
My question is how can you apply if you are under 20? I mean you require a mininum of 3 years of undergrad studies so most of the applicants will be atleast 21.
08-22-2006, 05:03 PM
A few people in our class entered university at 16, and thus would have been completing an undergraduate degree while applying to medical school.
I'll futher add that these statistics represent French Canadian applicants, who do not have to do not need to complete a minimum of three years of post secondary education, often just two years, before applying to medical school.
Don't worry, though, you still have many years left to be a physician. :rolleyes:
08-24-2006, 06:26 PM
I would disagree that having intro university science courses is really necessary for the MCAT. It would certainly be easier after having taken a bunch of science courses, but not really necessarily It would take you at least a year or two to take all your intro science courses - that's a lot of time. It's not really the most efficient way of studying for the MCAT. I would argue that you could learn all you needed for the MCAT on your own in a much shorter period of time if you were willing to work hard at it. For the most part, the knowledge required on the MCAT is high school stuff with the notable exception of organic chemistry. Having said that, the MCAT is much harder than high school sciences not because it has highly specific knowledge-based questions, but because it requires you to use that knowledge better, to be able to analyze information and draw analogies from the passages that they give you very quickly, and to use a little bit of logic/critical thinking to figure things out. Having done a degree already, you probably have the studying skills to be able to learn the extra information on your own. I would spend a couple months reviewing your high school sciences (physics, general chemistry, biology), and try to learn some basic organic chemistry on your own. After you've done some review, you could take a Princeton/Kaplan prep course full-time.
If you want to take science pre-reqs for the schools that require them, then that's an entirely different matter. Then it might be worthwhile to wait until after the pre-reqs before writing your MCAT.
08-27-2006, 01:13 PM
I've got a BA and am now in the process of doing a year post-bac in order to finish up my pre-med requirements. I've been reading more and more med school admissions pages (online), however, and I'm worried because I see phrases such as "degree courses" and things like that, making me think that taking my sciences right now, at a Canadian University, means that they won't "count" because they weren't part of my degree?!
Does anyone here know people who have managed to get into med school by taking their pre-requisites post-degree? Should I be worried about this?
08-28-2006, 06:01 PM
In the same boat here - got a BA, finished bio, english, 1/2 chem, and 1/2 physics while still working on my BA, and now working full-time and taking the rest of the pre-reqs part-time. Don't worry about it! The only issue you may run into is that sometimes the more advanced pre-req courses are reserved for the majors, which makes things complicated. For example, while I can take organic chem without any worries, I couldn't take biochemistry without being in the BS in Bchem program. Usually in that case just explain your situation - if you are adequately prepared for the course, and there is space, you should be able to get permission. In my case, the local university, which happens to be the only area school offering biochem, was not cooperative. I simply applied for admission into the BS in Bchem program and got in without any problems, so now I can take biochem and whatever other courses I please without running into problems. I don't intend on finishing the degree (don't really foresee any use for it; one bachelor's enough), so I do feel kinda bad that someone who really wanted my spot got rejected, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. But either way, the only problems you might face are administrative-related....as long as you took the courses and did well, it doesn't matter if you took them while in a BS program, BA program, or even post-grad.
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