Associates Degree while in High School

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Associates Degree while in High School

Postby touketsu » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:32 pm

I'm planning on doing duel enrollment to cut some time off of my college years, and was wondering which classes I would need to get my associates degree while I'm still in high school. I plan on being a psychiatrist, though I'm not sure as of yet which area of it I'm focusing on. So, any advice on which classes to take to get my associates degree before I graduate high school? And yes, I am ambitious, possibly too much so. X3
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Re: Associates Degree while in High School

Postby DrDave » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:32 am

When you say dual enrollment, I assume you mean a combined BA/MD program? If so, there is no reason to get an associates degree before entering the program. I don't know that it would save you any time. I also am not familiar with programs that would allow you to complete an associates degree while in high school. You may be able to take some courses at a junior college before you finish high school, but I don't see how you could take enough to earn a degree before you finish high school. You could also take AP courses in high school that would reduce the credits you need to take in college to graduate, but I'm not sure how that would change a combined BA/MD program.
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Re: Associates Degree while in High School

Postby touketsu » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:24 pm

No, that's not what I mean. Duel enrolling is going to a college and taking college classes like you would when you are graduated from high school, but while you are still in high school. The high school pays for the college classes that you take. Therefore, it's exactly like you are in college, alone, you just have to do some high school work as well. Doing that, I would be able to earn an associates degree before I graduate, and have two years of college done, before I graduate college. So, which classes would be recommended so I can get the requirements for med school met, and possibly get an associates degree that would lead up to psychiatry?
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Re: Associates Degree while in High School

Postby DrDave » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:08 am

After looking around a little, I see that there was a thread on a related topic about a year ago on Dual Enrollment in High School and going to medical school.

The main issue with taking the required pre-med classes at a community college is that medical schools generally look down on them in comparison to the pre-med (science) courses taken at a 4 year college. The problem with waiting until the 4 year college to take all of your required pre-med coursework is that you won't be ready to take the MCAT until you have finished those classes.

There are a few ways to look at this. You can do what the poster from the above linked thead did - take some of the required pre-med coursework at the community college but then take a higher level science course in each of those fields at the 4 year college. Some medical schools will accept that approach. If you are considering this, I'd highly suggest you contact some of the medical schools in which you are interested to see if they will accept pre-med courses from a community college. This may be the preferable route, assuming the medical schools will accept your coursework.

A more conservative approach would be to take as many non-science courses at the community college and save the required pre-med courses for a 4 year college. This would mean that you'd need to wait until near the end of your college coursework to take the MCAT. It may mean not being able to get accepted for the year right after you graduate, which may not be as desirable. However, if you consider doing 3 years of college work at a university (and do well), then you will be in a very good position. You would still graduate college 1 year ahead of most and also demonstrate your ambition.
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Re: Associates Degree while in High School

Postby touketsu » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:31 pm

Ok. I'll have to do some research, but I believe I live in an area where I would be able to duel enroll at a university, and not a community college, would that fix that problem, or would I still have to contact a Med school and ask about it?
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Re: Associates Degree while in High School

Postby DrDave » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:16 am

If you are able to take the pre-med level science classes at a 4 year college, then that would mostly solve your problem. Make sure it is the correct level science class as often colleges offer science classes for non-science majors in addition to the coursework for science majors. You would want to take the science classes that are for someone majoring in that field. For example, you want to take first year biology for biology majors and first year chemistry for chemistry majors.

The only possible downside I can imagine is if you are interested in a top tier medical school, it is possible that they would consider the quality of the college where you took those pre-med courses. On the positive side though, if you have good grades and test scores, the fact that you took college coursework while in high school would likely be viewed as a plus.
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Re: Associates Degree while in High School

Postby touketsu » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:31 am

Thank you very much for that. :) It solved a lot of problems, and made things much easier for me.
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