Questions about Physics requirements
- I have 2 credits of AP in Physics. I know you recommend one advanced course for premed requirements. Is PHY 108 acceptable even though it isn't advanced?
Many medical schools are either moving away from prerequisites altogether (like Penn, USC, and UVA). Others will accept AP credit in Physics without any supplementary courses (including Stanford, UCSF, Emory, Johns Hopkins, Wash U, Mount Sinai, NYU, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson, Cornell, Case Western, and Pitt). We emailed a few schools that require supplementary courses or who state that they do not accept AP credit - we heard back from Dartmouth, UCLA, and Vanderbilt, all of whom were satisfied that PHY 108 would satisfy their requirements.
In general, if you have AP credit, this should be an excellent course if you’d like additional preparation for medical school and the Physics portion of the MCAT. It may preclude you from applying to a couple of schools, but you’ll still be able to craft a strong school list. We do encourage you to double-check the AP policies for your public state schools, as we do for every course prerequisite issue.
For students who don’t have AP credit, most medical schools require two semesters of physics with lab. Starting in 2016, PHY 108 was offered with a lab, so you can take PHY 101/108 or PHY 103/108. If you have one credit of AP, now that PHY 108 has a lab, it's fine to take the course to supplement the single credit.
- Does it look better to medical schools if I take PHY 103/104 instead of PHY 101/102?
There are a couple of niche, engineering-focused medical school programs that may prefer the calculus-based sequence, but if you're not that interested in the engineering perspective, then you're fine taking PHY 101/102 (and if you're interested in engineering, then you're probably taking PHY 103/104 as a BSE student). We'd recommend talking with students who have taken the courses and reading course reviews and Princepedia to learn more about both options and choose what you think you'll prefer.
- I need to take PHY 108 for MOL. Does it matter whether I take it before or after PHY 101? Should I wait until after PHY 101 to take MCAT if I take PHY 108?
Since PHY 108 stands alone, there is no need to take PHY 101 beforehand. Either order is fine. As for MCAT prep, none of the Princeton PHY courses lines up exactly to the MCAT, so you'll need to do some self-study. Use the MCAT content guide and talk to older students for their perspective on how much MCAT Physics content is covered by each course.
- I’m BSE and I’m thinking about taking PHY 109 and PHY 110 and PDF’ing PHY 103. Will this be okay for premed?
We cannot promise that every medical school in the country will accept this combination since, even though you'll have two semesters of graded Physics, you will ultimately have only one semester of Physics with lab taken for a grade. But, we would share information about the sequence with medical schools, explaining that you have completed the equivalent of our PHY 103/104 sequence in a manner that satisfies your major requirements and we expect that most medical schools will be willing to accept this. You are encouraged to investigate the physics prerequisites on the websites at schools of interest – if you aren’t sure if the courses would meet their prerequisites, send us a URL and we can look into it. If we aren’t sure, we’ll work with you to contact the school directly to ask about their policies.
- Can I take an EGR sequence for the med school Physics prerequisite?
Any sequence that is considered equivalent to PHY 101/102 or 103/104 will be appropriate. This includes EGR 191-194, EGR 151-154, ISC 231-234.