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Hi! Could someone answer a question about PA school prerequisites? I'm an undergrad at the University of Florida, and I'm not sure whether to:
1) take organic chemistry 1 & 2 and then biochemistry
2) take "fundamentals of organic chemistry" and then "fundamentals of biochemistry"
3) just take organic chemistry 1
The "fundamentals" classes are not pre-med science classes, but I know most PA schools don't even require organic chemistry and biochemistry, and many only ask for "1 semester of organic chemistry or biochemistry". Does anyone know which of these options would be the best idea? I have registration tomorrow and I'm a bit desperate. Thank you!

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Hi! Could someone answer a question about PA school prerequisites? I'm an undergrad at the University of Florida, and I'm not sure whether to:

1) take organic chemistry 1 & 2 and then biochemistry

2) take "fundamentals of organic chemistry" and then "fundamentals of biochemistry"

3) just take organic chemistry 1

The "fundamentals" classes are not pre-med science classes, but I know most PA schools don't even require organic chemistry and biochemistry, and many only ask for "1 semester of organic chemistry or biochemistry". Does anyone know which of these options would be the best idea? I have registration tomorrow and I'm a bit desperate. Thank you!

IMHO, take orgo 1 and then biochem. I do not think many schools want both orgo 1 and 2, but i have come across a number of schools who want microbio and biochem. And frankly speaking I am not even sure why biochem is such a huge deal, it is absolutely is of NO help in my didactic year.

Oh, well...

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Option #1 will quality you to apply to the most PA programs and make you the most competitive applicant. Option #2 is probably for nurses and probably will not be accepted at most PA programs. Unfortunately a number of PA programs do require biochemistry and/or two semesters or organic chemistry. I suggest getting started on Option #3 for now.

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IMHO, take orgo 1 and then biochem. I do not think many schools want both orgo 1 and 2, but i have come across a number of schools who want microbio and biochem. And frankly speaking I am not even sure why biochem is such a huge deal, it is absolutely is of NO help in my didactic year.

Oh, well...

 

 

Option #1 will quality you to apply to the most PA programs and make you the most competitive applicant. Option #2 is probably for nurses and probably will not be accepted at most PA programs. Unfortunately a number of PA programs do require biochemistry and/or two semesters or organic chemistry. I suggest getting started on Option #3 for now.

Thank you so so much! So you both think doing the two pre-med organic chemistries and then pre-med biochemistry is the best option, even if it might mean a slightly lower GPA since it's the hardest option? Unfortunately both are a pre-requisite to take biochemistry, so I can't just take organic 1 and then biochem.

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option #4 take none of the above and concentrate on places requiring neither. some excellent programs out there don't require them at all.

this is likely a minority opinion around here, but I feel like NOT taking these is one advantage to applying  PA vs MD. if you take them you might as well just take the mcat and apply to med school.

if I had to take ochem/biochem back in the day I would not have bothered applying to pa school at all and would have concentrated on medschool. when I applied to pa school I don't think any program required either. of course there were 52 programs then and only 2 were ms level.

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option #4 take none of the above and concentrate on places requiring neither. some excellent programs out there don't require them at all.

 

...like UF :)

 

When I made this decision a few years ago, I figured out what the schools I liked required and did that. I didn't have the time or money to take Orgo I and II, plus biochem, so I went the O Chem I route (option #3) and added a few other extras. It limited my schools, but that was a conscious decision and I'm very happy where I ended up.

 

If you still have a ton of time before you graduate, then balance the difficulty against your GPA. There are many other bio and health science courses you can take that will enrich your knowledge and make you a better candidate.

 

At the end of the day, it's all about where you want to go to PA school. I would work on that list before jumping into the hole that is O Chem. If your dream school doesn't require it and doesn't intend on adding it as a requirement (email them), why risk your GPA?

 

Honestly, if you have time to burn, find some good paid HCE or pick up some extra shifts if you're already working. You'll get to save money and probably do more to strengthen your application then a few classes would, all else being equal.

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The UF school of PA studies does not require either organic chemistry or biochemistry. HOWEVER, unless I am mistaken, the University of Florida undergraduate program does require organic 1 before taking microbiology. And the UF SPAS definitely requires microbiology. So, orgo is a means to an end unless you take microbiology somewhere else. If you are going to spend your time taking science classes (which is a good idea), always attempt to take upper division/advanced sciences. They carry more weight than intro classes.

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Instead of just thinking pre-req vs. non-pre-req, consider your whole application packet.

 

You certainly have to take the pre-reqs for the schools you intend to apply to - that is a no-brainer. I can only speak for myself, but I can tell you that when I review an application jacket, I look at a person's total science courseload whether pre-req or not. I like it when an applicant can show that they can fairly consistently carry a heavy courseload and do well. If you can carry things like physical chem, analytical chem, and nuclear physics and do well, I am pretty sure your brainpan is deep enough for PA school. (Your personality might be another issue, but that's what the interview is for!)

 

So I guess what I am getting at is even though a course like orgo is not a pre-req at some places (like here) admissions committees know it is generally a tough class and it can be a deciding factor among otherwise evenly matched applicants.

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Doing just O chem 1 opens up a huge number of programs.   Ochem2/biochem only give you a couple more options.  Those non-science major ochems will not count at most if not all schools.

 

I agree with EMPA in that ochem is not helpful in the practice of medicine or PA school.   That said, if you come from a non science degree, acing it with a full load is a good way to show you can handle your stuff.

 

 

 

Also, ochem is fun and way more interesting the general chem imo.

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only take ochem and biochem if they interest you and you are pretty sure you will get an A.

I am more impressed with someone who got an A in A+P than someone who got a c+ in ochem just to prove they could pass it.

an A in ochem just means you wasted time on ochem that could have been better spent elsewhere....:)

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I guess it all depends where you geographically apply. I applied to five schools, and every single one reqiered either a Biochem or microbio, or both, plus organic chemistry.

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