Parent Question: Can you advise me on science courses for 9th grade girl who would like to become a medical doctor?

Sure, great question! High school science should prepare her for college science that she’ll need. Her college science sequence will be: General Biology 1 & 2 with Lab, General Chemistry 1 & 2 with Lab, General Physics 1 & 2 with Lab, and Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry – 2 semesters- with Lab. This set is commonly called “premed” and is not going to be easy.

I would suggest she take high school science classes in 9th and 10th that are thorough and include the practice of writing lab reports. For 11th and 12th grades, I do not recommend she start this sequence in high school at the community college, but what she CAN do at the community college is to take the Intro level Biology with Lab and Intro level Chemistry with Lab. These won’t count towards her degree but that’s ok- use them because they give her access to a smart professor and expensive lab equipment. When she takes them for “real” in her bachelor’s degree, she will have a solid foundation and hopefully earn high A’s and great prep for her MCATs.

One last thing, most physics courses for science majors are calculus based (not algebra based which is what she’d get in an intro to physics class) so beyond the sciences, she should be making good progress in the maths and plan to hit Calculus 1 in 12th grade. THAT can be done for college credit if you like, but her college credit in sciences should wait until she’s at her university.

Though I do not generally recommend specific brands of homeschool curriculum, I am going to give you a link to a wonderful curriculum comparison/review site that allows you to dive in and look for brands you might like.

  • include target words like “college prep” or “advanced placement” for 9th & 10th grade science
  • stick to traditional subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics based on her goals
  • choose brands that allow her to perform labs at home
  • choose brands with a lot of opportunity to take tests and quizzes
  • Website

If you’re looking for an online course, my highest recommendation is to use Khan Academy. Theirs is going to teach college level topics from EXPERTS in the field. Kahn Academy is free to use.


Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit

2 thoughts on “Parent Question: Can you advise me on science courses for 9th grade girl who would like to become a medical doctor?

  1. I have a parent question! I have a unique situation with my 7th grader. She is wanting to be an actor/filmmaker/filmwriter. My husband is in the industry and has a BA degree in digital cinematography. He didn’t need it, but at the time he used it to leverage his knowledge and experience to get work. Since then, there’s far less of formal education required to succeed, and it’s a lot more of actual experience and building your network.

    So my daughter isn’t very driven to get a college degree at all, and would rather save the money and put more time into building her experience. I see a value in having a degree and have considered encouraging her to get a liberal arts degree in one of the big 3. But I’d love to hear the thoughts of what others do with creative industry kids where degrees really don’t influence success like other industries.

    1. I think your husband is 100% more qualified to advise her than I am!! There is certainly a lot of peer pressure for parents to make sure their kids get a college degree at all costs. So, with that, and with full acknowledgment that I have zero expertise in her target occupation, I have 3 bits of advice. (1) Follow your husband’s career advice. Someone in the industry advising young people about how to get into the industry is GOLD and that it’s one of the 2 people who care about her more than anything in the world??? Jackpot!!! (2) Tuck away $8,000 for her. If in a few years she DOES need a degree, she can earn one from any of the big 3 in about a year and you can pay for it if you want. I earned mine at age 38 at the mid-point of my career! Had I spent my youth working on a degree I would have missed a huge career opportunity, so you have to consider opportunity lost in the cost as well. (3) fill her homeschool curriculum with low-cost college credit that lines up with your high school plan for her. If/when the time comes that she needs or wants a degree, she’ll have a big head start! -Jennifer

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