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Money is the last thing to consider regardless of its importance. On a K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) basis, I would go for 5 courses. You may have a preference but don't have the slightest clue as where lightning will strike. I always balanced my courses with an easy elective and although far from being the brightest lightbulb in the class, being highly motived and working incredibly hard throughout undergrad, I became a straight A student. My ECs and volunteering became my only outlet for social interaction, and I was exhausted by the end of every term. However, I attained my goal of med school which was all that was important. There are no pros to taking 4 courses.

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I agree with Bambi. I think you should take a full course load. If you work hard you will be able to handle 5 courses just as well as you handle 4. Obviously you know yourself best, but for years students have been handling full course loads, and doing ECs, and getting good grades. You just need to work hard and stay motivated.

At this point in your academic career, the name of the game is to not only nail your grades, but to keep as many options open as possible for medical school applications. Taking actions realizing they will disadvantage you at certain schools wouldn't be wise until you literally have no other options available to you.

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To offer a counter argument:

I initially took 5 courses but soon found that I had little time for extracurriculars, work, volunteer, publishing, etc. Admittedly, I was pretty stressed trying to earn 90+ in the majority of my courses. 

Choosing to enroll in 4 courses between Sept - April and 1 course in the summer was a terrific fit for me. It provided me with more time to become involved in my school and community. Even had the chance to earn some cash, form relationships with vulnerable populations in the area (while volunteering), research & write a bit. I had to accept, however, that I was unable to apply to Western University. 

Hope I haven’t totally complicated your decision.

Edit- Options are undoubtedly important, but do consider how many schools you will be crossing off the list as a result of taking only 4 courses. Best of luck!

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Another option is to take 4.5 (or 4 full credit courses + 1 seminar/1credit course) courses in one semester and a 5 in another per year until your second year. In a 30 credit system, you will be getting 28~29 credits (which counts as a full course load for U of T weighting) and confers some flexibility in your schedule. In your 3rd and 4th years you should take full course loads b/c that opens doors for UWO and Queens. But by then, 3rd and 4th-year courses typically have high averages so all would work to your advantage.

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On 11/01/2018 at 1:14 PM, Olle said:

Another option is to take 4.5 (or 4 full credit courses + 1 seminar/1credit course) courses in one semester and a 5 in another per year until your second year. In a 30 credit system, you will be getting 28~29 credits (which counts as a full course load for U of T weighting) and confers some flexibility in your schedule. In your 3rd and 4th years you should take full course loads b/c that opens doors for UWO and Queens. But by then, 3rd and 4th-year courses typically have high averages so all would work to your advantage.

Seminar courses aren't counted as full courses? Most of the 4th year classes at my school are in seminar format :/

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