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Second semester trainwreck


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Hey all, just throwing this out there for some feedback. I'm in a smaller university and am starting my second year. It's a fairly long and complicated story but to put it shortly, because of waitlists and classes not being offered, I can only take one course in the spring term that I actually need to. I spoke with a course advisor and they said not to worry, just take four (4!) electives plus my required course(chem) in the spring term and worry about my core courses next year.

 

I'm concerned that to adcoms it's going to look like I'm seriously padding my schedule by messing around with four electives in a term. Not only this, it seems like a huge waste of time to do a whole semester only to knock off only one course I need for my degree. I suggested to this course advisor that I shouldn't bother with the second semester, but she was convinced that I should just take all of these bird electives. I wouldn't mind doing a term of easy courses to bag a few more A+'s but I don't want it to negatively affect my med application in a few years.

 

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

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Listen to your academic advisor and you wil be fine. You are broadening your interests with outside electives and this is also important for your education.

Amongst the electives, you should take courses of potential interest to you as you will do even better. It will not negatively affect your chances, adcoms are not interested in wat courses you take, rather your grades in these courses, so chill and enoy the journey. This may give you the opportunity to do more volunteering and ECs, so it becomes win-win for you. In summary, I suggest you go with the flow.

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If they are courses that are required for your major and you're not trying to take them earlier than normal, try talking to the department chair. Sometimes departments have policies of making sure that you can get into the courses you need, even if it requires increasing the class size or adding extra sections. That might not be the case where you are, but it doesn't hurt to find out, and if there are other people in your situation, go as a group to complain. If nothing else, it will make them aware that they are causing problems for people. But even if you do end up taking 4 electives, I don't think that will hurt your med school applications.

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Building on astrogirl's sage advice, I have seen situations where a student has made oral representations successfully to the Dean of Arts and Sciences ecplaining that he is a university to receive a good education and to prepared himself for an intersting, financially sutainable future; and taking certain bozo courses would be a waste of time and obstruvt the true purpose of eduation at this university. He pointed out that he was asking permission to take harder courses, etc. and ermission was granted.

 

The squeaky wheels gets the oil. So, go to the top, have a simple and compelling story/representations to make in less than 120 seconds and you should have some success. Good luck!

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If they are courses that are required for your major and you're not trying to take them earlier than normal, try talking to the department chair. Sometimes departments have policies of making sure that you can get into the courses you need, even if it requires increasing the class size or adding extra sections. That might not be the case where you are, but it doesn't hurt to find out, and if there are other people in your situation, go as a group to complain. If nothing else, it will make them aware that they are causing problems for people. But even if you do end up taking 4 electives, I don't think that will hurt your med school applications.
+1

 

Then again, I don't know if you're planning on UofT or UWO (depending on where you're from) but you have to make sure that if you take the core classes in your 3rd year that you still have 60% of your courses at your year level. Just something to consider, since most advisors I've encountered aren't aware of this requirement.

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Hey all, just throwing this out there for some feedback. I'm in a smaller university and am starting my second year. It's a fairly long and complicated story but to put it shortly, because of waitlists and classes not being offered, I can only take one course in the spring term that I actually need to. I spoke with a course advisor and they said not to worry, just take four (4!) electives plus my required course(chem) in the spring term and worry about my core courses next year.

 

I'm concerned that to adcoms it's going to look like I'm seriously padding my schedule by messing around with four electives in a term. Not only this, it seems like a huge waste of time to do a whole semester only to knock off only one course I need for my degree. I suggested to this course advisor that I shouldn't bother with the second semester, but she was convinced that I should just take all of these bird electives. I wouldn't mind doing a term of easy courses to bag a few more A+'s but I don't want it to negatively affect my med application in a few years.

 

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

 

The electives count for something - otherwise the advisor wouldn't tell you to do it. If you're doing the 4 electives now, its the same as spanning them over the course of your undergrad. The only difference is they are all concurrent in this one semester.

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The electives count for something - otherwise the advisor wouldn't tell you to do it. If you're doing the 4 electives now, its the same as spanning them over the course of your undergrad. The only difference is they are all concurrent in this one semester.

 

Does the advisor know/care about the typical premed?

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I'm taking some "electives" this term, but I'm trying to take most at upper levels. At UVIC, I'm registered in EPHE 351, BIOL 355, and Microbiology 200. They are all courses that will contribute to my career (except biol), aren't too hard, and are interesting.

 

I thought about ANTH 355 (a course on AIDS), Women's studies, and Indigenous studies too. I would have taken Spanish or Russian had it fit into my schedule.

 

Look outside the box at things that might be good choices! Sometimes small universities have specialties, too. This might be your last chance to study under that world-famous prof of health policy and management.

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As for speaking to the department chair to open more sections, this has already been done by a few students and professors. The final answer is that it won't be happening. There is also the issue of certain classes being offered only in certain terms compounding the problem.

 

It looks like the situation that I'm in is fairly set but I'm feeling much more optimistic about it now. As long as this next semester doesn't reflect negatively on my applications, then, like some of you said, it's a good opportunity to broaden EC's, etc.

 

Thanks again for the help, much appreciated.

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