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echidna

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Hello all,

I apologize if this has been answered before, but a cursory glance at the archives doesn't address this issue specifically.

In short, I'll be graduating this Spring with a humanities degree (~3.9 GPA from UC) and have no science classes since high school, from which I graduated in 2002. I'm planning on a DIY basic sciences series beginning winter 2008 at local (cal state) university (Fall is impossible since I'll be abroad until mid-august and have a lot of math to catch up on). Through their concurrent enrollment/"Open University" program, I can take classes a la carte for around $700 per course plus $300 or so for labs, space permitting. However, I've heard that enrolling in a second bachelors gives one better priority for enrollment in classes and better access to financial aid, advising services, and other undergraduate benefits.

The question is this: if I were to enroll in a 2nd bacc, what major would I declare? The admissions department told me that for anything science-related I'd need the science prereq's before I transferred, rendering the whole issue moot. Do I declare in something like English Lit and take sciences for 2 years and then drop the degree (and would the registrar notice such an incongruent lineup)? Or is this only a possibility for those who have a science background already?

Thanks in advance for reading my post- this website is such a fantastic resource without which I'd be completely lost.
 

DrMidlife

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Couple things to consider before you jump into another 2nd bachelors:

1. Peace Corps! Great time in your life to do it! Makes you interesting among all the paint-by-numbers other applicants! Learn a 2nd language! If there's one thing I wish I could go back and do, that's the one.

2. Structured postbac. Look at Mills and Scripps. Some of the UCs have them too. You can get financial aid. You're a normal matriculated registerable student. This is another thing I wish I'd done instead of a 2nd bachelors.

2a. While you're applying to a structured postbac, take a year off. Sort of off. Take math either at a CC or through extension. Work in a clinic or a hospital doing whatever they'll let you do. Be close enough to patients that you can smell them. Get very strong firm confirmation of your desire to practice medicine before you go any further.

Regardless, you have about 3 years of work to do under BCPM (bio, chem, physics, math).

OK, so if you're really sure you want to do another bachelors degree, and you really just want to know which one, well, I'd look at ones that leverage all the BCPM you're taking, where you think the upper div science classes are really fun. Fun is up to you. Do you like neuro? Physio? Microscopes/path/hist? Ecology? Development? Psych? Read the course catalog for the upper div requirements and see what sounds like fun. The harder the major you choose, the less time you'll have for extra-curriculars and research. (But start doing ECs the second you get home this summer.)

I picked microbiology. Love growing stuff.

Best of luck to you.
 

sunlioness

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I declared cell & molecular bio just for the financial aid. When I finished my pre-med pre-reqs, I dropped out. That's weird that they won't let you declare a science major without the pre-reqs. I mean freshmen don't have them, why should you?
 
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echidna

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Thanks guys for taking time to respond.

DrMidlife- My original plan was to do a structured postbacc at SFSU beginning in 2008, but the cost of a second bacc or a la carte program at UC or Cal State is so much lower that it seems the cost benefit makes up for the lack of structure. Also, taking 2 courses per quarter/semester including summer should have me out in roughly 2 years according to my calculations, not 3. As for Peace Corps, I'm 23 already, and even if everything goes exactly as planned, I'll be 35 or 36 when I finish residency. As appealing as Peace Corps is, it would extend that by at least another two years, during which time I'd like to be starting a family, etc. I've had some really unbelievable clinical opportunities this year while studying abroad in Italy (scrubbing in and assisting on surgery, lots of ambulatory stuff too- long story) which got me interested in medicine in the first place.

sunlioness- I emailed UC's admissions dept and they told me:

"To be considered for a second baccalaureate at UCSC, you will need to have completed the lower division requirements for the major you wish to pursue. Because you apparently have none of the necessary courses for a major in the sciences, you would have to complete them first before you could be considered for admission. That means taking the prerequisite courses through Concurrent Enrollment, summer session, or at another institution."

I'm guessing because they're so heavily impacted they don't want 2nd bacc's taking potential spaces away from the 1st bacc's, which is why I thought of declaring another humanities major since I have all the prereqs. I'm just not sure if such an underhanded plan actually works, and I'm curious if anyone else has tried it.

Thanks again!
 

dia009

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y not cal state? they take a lots of 2nd bach.
eh.. i'm getting kicked out of my university with a BA cuz i'm hitting up the unit limit quickly.. oh sadness...
anways, this is from SFSU site
" Choosing a 2nd-Bac Major: 2nd-Bacs can choose any major except Nursing or Social Work (these have special admissions requirements). However, in large part, choosing a major as a 2nd-Bac is a formality because most 2nd-Bacs do not finish the degree. With this in mind, I suggest the following majors in that they reflect a strong biomedical focus: the Physiology, Cell & Molecular Biology and Microbiology concentrations within the Biology Department, and the Biochemistry and Chemistry concentrations within the Chemistry Department."
 

ilovescience

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Or you can just take all the classes you need as an unclassified postbac student at Cal State East Bay. Apply as a graduate student - select "undeclared" as you major and "pre-professional health" as your emphasis...and then you can take any undergrad or graduate course you want, provided that you have the prereq's...but since you don't have any bcpm classes, you'd start with the lower division science which has no pre-req's...You don't have to be working towards a degree.

I'm taking upper division science courses here to boost the gpa a bit before I start my smp in August. I would check with the school to see if you can enroll in lower division classes. Since I graduated with a biology major at a UC, I'm not taking any lower division classes so I don't know for sure. But as a unclassified postbac student here, I can sign up for anything upper division with the right pre-req's. The administration is unorganized, but classes aren't so bad. Maybe this is another option for you. Good luck!
 

echidna

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Thanks all- I checked out the site of SJSU a few days back and they do indeed seem to have exactly what I'm looking for. I just got discouraged from the UCs and assumed since the cal states too are impacted that they'd have a similar policy. Anyway, looks like I'm good to go for winter 2008-winter 2010! Thanks again!
 

Esteban

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I say go for a CSU! They are relatively cheap, and what you get out is what you put in! I am CSU Northridge now, and couldn't be happier. I am completing the Biology B.A. Good luck!
 
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