Summer and winter are excellent opportunities for pre-health students to move ahead, whether it be gaining health-related experience, doing research, or taking relevant coursework. You should consult with a pre-health advisor before you choose your summer or winter courses because there are many different health professions. Even though no two prehealth students are exactly alike, there are some rules of thumb that students should follow as they make plans for taking summer or winter courses.
1. Find out the average cumulative grade point average and science grade point average for applicants to your chosen profession. Many admissions service websites have this data, and we can help you find this information if you are having difficulty.
2. If you need to boost your overall grade point average, summer or winter courses may help you. Math and science courses can boost your GPA, too. However, if your math and science performance in the fall and spring is below average many health professions programs will still worry about how strong a student you are. It is reasonable to take some but not all of your science prerequisites in the summer or winter. You must take a good number of science courses in the academic year and build a credible track record of academic excellence.
3. Remember that no matter what courses you are taking in the summer or the academic year you still need to gain relevant health-related experience and, for some professions, research experience.
4. The course requirements are increasing for some professions. For pre-medical students, some of these new required courses such as psychology, sociology, and statistics could be excellent choices for summer or winter courses.
5. Take your summer or winter courses here. Stony Brook is your most reasonable choice because you are already a student here and the tuition is very affordable. To take a course of comparable strength in the greater New York area, you might have to go to a private school and pay much higher tuition. More important, with Stony Brook's medical center and many laboratories you have opportunities to gain health-related and research experience while takingclasses. A final point: a number of competitive health professions programs frown on undergraduates going back to community colleges to take science courses.