While some students apply to medical school in the summer after their junior year, others wait for a year to apply which allows them the opportunity to spread out their coursework and to take a ‘gap year' between college and medical/professional school.
You will have the opportunity to discuss your timeline, goals, and specific course plan by year with the program director during individual meetings. Here are some general recommendations for reference.
- Take your chemistry courses as early as possible, especially if you are considering a semester abroad. If you took AP Chemistry in your junior/senior year in high school and made a 4 or 5 on your AP Chemistry exam, you may opt out of CHE 115, but this must be coordinated in consultation with the Chemistry Department.
- Plan a course load as light as possible for the spring semester when you study for the MCAT/DAT. Students ahead of normal progress may opt to take one semester of three classes during the second semester of their junior or one semester of their senior year. MCAT/DAT preparation traditionally is done during the spring semester of the junior year so this would be a good time to opt to take three courses if you are eligible.
- While that spring semester of junior year is a good time to lighten your course load, you may not take a reduced course load more than once. You also need to demonstrate to medical/dental schools that you can handle more than one challenging science course per semester.
Summer Courses/Credit Transfers
You must take 75 percent of the science prerequisite courses at Davidson in order to receive Premedical/Prehealth Advisory Committee (PAC) endorsement. That said, if a course is not offered at Davidson, or if you wish to take a course over the summer, you may transfer credits for those courses from another institution, provided you receive pre-approval from the Davidson College Registrar's Office. If you opt to take a course elsewhere, be sure to take it at an institution with a solid reputation for preprofessional training.
The program director and the Registrar's Office can advise you in choosing schools.