January 6, 2009 1:14 AM

How to do Molecular Toxicology in Three Years

This is an explanation of how I did Molecular Toxicology and completed my pre-med reqs in basically three years. I spent 4 years at Berkeley, but one of those years was abroad in Japan where I did nothing related to Molecular Toxicology. And, I did not use those years in Japan to fulfill my breadths, because I had already completed those.

There were certain things that helped me finish in at the pace I did. I completed the math requirements and breadth requirements before I entered college by taking those through community college. Instead of taking AP calculus in high school, I took it at the junior colleges. I passed my UC Entry Level Writing, American History, and American Institution requirements during high school, which is common with most students. The American Cultures was fulfilled through music in multicultural America which I took during the summer as an online course though Foothill Community College while doing research in Taiwan.

1) TAKE MCB 32 during your Fall frosh year. It's a fall only class.
2) MCB 32 is considered a biology class by many medical schools, so you won't need the other semester. I also took Bio AP and got a 5 so that counts as a second semester bio class by some med schools. It didn't bother me that I could not apply to some specific med schools.
3) I'm taking second semester physics my senior year because physics is not my strong point and that way I will have gotten into med school by that time. It's also not a required class for moltox so I wasn't taking a extra class that I disliked if I had changed career plans by then. Sure... I wasn't as prepared for the physics part of the MCAT, but I was still a bit above average on the MCAT on the physics portion... so I guess it didn't make that much of a difference. If you're an ultra-gung ho person who's only goal in life is to get into an extremely competitive med school and become a dermatologist.. this advice is not for you. I was sure.. but still shaky on my plans for life.
4) Going abroad is a good GPA booster... unfort... that's only if you're good at languages and if your grades come in time by the time you apply. Note.. they probably won't.
5) If I could have done things differently: It's nice to study abroad. Apply during your freshman year to go abroad in your sophomore year. =)
6) Choosing a different major?: No. I love this stuff and I'm staying with it. I came in as a MolTox. yay MolTox power!
7) Other advice: I heard that NST 171 won't be offered to all students. You'll be able to use research NST 199 (6 units) to fulfill the same req. So.. do research NOW!. And remember, you can always get units for research as long as you aren't paid. Even if you aren't sure that you'll use it to fulfill the req, you should still get the units anyways. They'll come in handy if you're short a few upperdiv units at the end.

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

Senior Year Fall


Senior Year Spring


Year Abroad


K. Lee | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (1)

Comments (1)

sorry, i'm a little confused. just to clarify, you weren't able to apply to some specific medical schools because you took mcb 32 instead of bio 1b? also, if that is the case, can you give some examples of which medical schools will not take mcb 32. thanks!

Posted by | 2009-04-08

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