Some folks are wise and some are otherwise. -Tobias Smollett
Question #91497 posted on 07/17/2018 4:06 a.m.

Dear probably not experts on this and I should probably talk to the school counselors,

I've got this crazy plan.

I want to study Business Information Systems in the Marriott School and do the thing BYU's got so that I can get my masters with one extra year and then go into medical school to study cardiology.

I came into BYU with a LOT of credits from high credits I'm a junior, but I have only gone to one year of BYU and have yet to enter my program. Basically, I'm all ready to enter the program with pre-reqs and evertyhing. 95% I will get it's kind of hard to change direction now.

I also think it's super cool stuff and that there are a lot of potential applications in the medical field for information systems.

What I'm asking:
What is the viability of this? I know I have to get a bunch of medical/science/STEM classes taken care of to get into medical school and do really well on the MCAT. What is the chance that this will happen as a Junior in a non-sciencey major? Is this really a viable option?

Con sinceridad,


Dear Decision Maker,

It's awesome that you got so many college credits in high school! However, as Anathema points out below, high school credits, while valuable in giving you experience and possibly getting you out of a few classes, don't really affect how long you'll take to graduate. Most people still take at least 4 years to graduate, regardless of how many credits they come to BYU with, so the best way to determine your year in school is not by credits, but by how many years you've actually been studying at BYU (Thank heavens, because otherwise I would have been a senior for the past 3 years, instead of just the past 1 year, and that would be a little depressing considering I still don't graduate until April). So my point here is, don't make any decisions based off trying to graduate in just two more years, because while that might be possible, it's not necessarily plausible.

That said, though, studying Business Information Systems could be a viable option as long as you still take all the pre-med classes you need. According to a professor I know, he had some friends who studied history before going to med school, and the fact that they didn't do the traditional pre-med route actually made them stand out more--it showed that they had a variety of skill sets, not just the traditional "doctor-y" things, and could excel in multiple settings. So if that experience is indicative of the current market, doing something in the Marriott school could be a good option for you. It will probably take you longer to graduate, but if it's important to you, go for it!



Dear you,

Fun fact number 1: How well you do at BYU based just on high school data is most impacted by your high school GPA, not the number of AP credits you have (trust me--I have access to all the BYU admissions and Learning Suite data and have checked this (fun side note on this fun fact: you are included in this data set under the label "Beginning Freshman")). 

Fun fact number 2: Earlier today I worked with another person to write a program that essentially gives a viability measure of different BYU class schedules (we came up with a unique algorithm using networks that I'm really happy about). Right now it just gives a general difficulty measure based on historical data, but we're probably going to improve it to take into account an individual's history as well. Basically, I actually do have the power to build a model to specifically checks if you would be successful with this path. But I'm not going to because I don't think it would be ethical to use a data set I have special permission to work with for my job outside of that job. But BYU is probably going to add the program I'm developing as a feature for students signing up for classes in the near-ish future, so stick around and you'll get that mathematically computed viability measure.

Now I'll give you my two cents worth of advice. Just because you might be able to get into your program right now doesn't mean you have to or even should. Considering you're a brand new sophomore (credits don't actually matter when determining what year you are), you have plenty of time left at BYU to complete all the necessary medical school credits along with a major in Information Systems. I even think you could probably still graduate within four years of starting your degree. Besides, if you load up your schedule with classes for med school now, you always have the option of pulling out if things get too difficult. 

When I was just coming out my freshman year (note: I was also a credit Junior--many, many BYU students are, but that doesn't change their real year in school), I had already declared my major as Applied Mathematics. I thought it would be too hard to try and do anything outside of the bare minimum required to graduate in this major because it is possibly the most intense major on campus as is. However, now I'm regretting that I didn't decide to do a double major in economics, because I could have done so fairly easily (for a skewed definition of "easy"). The point of this story is that even hard things are more viable than perhaps we think when looking forward.

Good luck with planning what you want do to with your life!


posted on 07/27/2018 7:29 p.m.
Talk to counsellors in the respective schools! They're familiar with difficulty and time demands of different classes and are super helpful.