Dec 29, 2009
173
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
how bad does it *really* look

I am definitely a non-trad and have changed my major once in the past.

Was wondering if anyone else had made the switch, esp people who have had interviews/acceptances. If possible I'd like some tips on how you handled it/explained it, etc
 

SweetRain

5+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2009
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Pre-Medical
I don't see any reason for it to look bad. I've changed my major twice from bio, biochem, to chem.
You're just figuring out what you really want to do and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
 

ucladoc2b

10+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2008
349
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Major doesn't really matter to med schools. You can change it a billion times and likely they won't care that much. All you have to do is show good academic performance and take the prerequisits.

Just to clarify, are you changing careers or have you been out of school for a while (a non trad)? Or are you talking about going to medical school and not having a traditional pre-med degree (bio, chem, etc)?

The explanations are very different.
 
Mar 16, 2010
60
0
0
Virginia
Status
Pre-Medical
how bad does it *really* look

I am definitely a non-trad and have changed my major once in the past.

Was wondering if anyone else had made the switch, esp people who have had interviews/acceptances. If possible I'd like some tips on how you handled it/explained it, etc
I changed my major and no one has cared. I've gotten accepted to all the research projects I want anyway.
 
Dec 29, 2009
173
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Major doesn't really matter to med schools. You can change it a billion times and likely they won't care that much. All you have to do is show good academic performance and take the prerequisits.

Just to clarify, are you changing careers or have you been out of school for a while (a non trad)? Or are you talking about going to medical school and not having a traditional pre-med degree (bio, chem, etc)?

The explanations are very different.
I define myself as a non-trad because I have been going to college since 2005. I worked 50 hrs/week during my first 2.5 years at a community college so I never went full time. At that point I was an English major. I switched to Anthropology during my last semester at CC. I was about to move across the state and go to my dream university but my financing (IE my dad) fell through. So I just transferred to a local state university. I have been taking 15+ units per semester since I got here. I recently began my pre-med reqs so I have another 2 years to go due to all of the chemistry requirements.

Thus I am a non-trad. I worry about my major change counting against me since I have already taken so many years to obtain my undergrad degree. I do have a 3.8 GPA however.

But thanks for all the insight. Apparently its not as big of a deal as I thought.
 

ucladoc2b

10+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2008
349
4
241
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Medical Student
I define myself as a non-trad because I have been going to college since 2005. I worked 50 hrs/week during my first 2.5 years at a community college so I never went full time. At that point I was an English major. I switched to Anthropology during my last semester at CC. I was about to move across the state and go to my dream university but my financing (IE my dad) fell through. So I just transferred to a local state university. I have been taking 15+ units per semester since I got here. I recently began my pre-med reqs so I have another 2 years to go due to all of the chemistry requirements.

Thus I am a non-trad. I worry about my major change counting against me since I have already taken so many years to obtain my undergrad degree. I do have a 3.8 GPA however.

But thanks for all the insight. Apparently its not as big of a deal as I thought.
Your GPA is great. Switching your major is no big deal if you keep your grades up.

Also, you really wouln't be considered non traditional by the classical definition. Most non trads are career changers, significantly older, or have been out of school for a while (multiple years). Since you have been in college since '05, I would consider you traditional. However, your experience may give your application more "depth," which med schools view favorably.
 

Hamiltonian

7+ Year Member
Feb 6, 2010
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I define myself as a non-trad because I have been going to college since 2005. I worked 50 hrs/week during my first 2.5 years at a community college so I never went full time. At that point I was an English major. I switched to Anthropology during my last semester at CC. I was about to move across the state and go to my dream university but my financing (IE my dad) fell through. So I just transferred to a local state university. I have been taking 15+ units per semester since I got here. I recently began my pre-med reqs so I have another 2 years to go due to all of the chemistry requirements.

Thus I am a non-trad. I worry about my major change counting against me since I have already taken so many years to obtain my undergrad degree. I do have a 3.8 GPA however.

But thanks for all the insight. Apparently its not as big of a deal as I thought.
I would assume as long as what you were doing made sense (working during school therefore not taking as many hours, transferring schools) you would be fine. I've been in college since 2005 as well. I'll graduate in the fall of 2011 with 2 degrees, and everything I did has a rational explanation behind it.

As long as you didn't take a semester off to use/deal cocaine or something equally crazy, I think people like us would be slightly better candidates than some younger bright eyed, bushy tailed kids. You've had the responsibilities of having a job, you poked around for awhile trying to figure out what you wanted to do. You got older and wiser, realized you wanted to do something that mattered.
 

Sammich117

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They won't even see if you changed majors will they? I switched after about 3 years and there's no indication anywhere what I used to be
 
Dec 29, 2009
173
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
They won't even see if you changed majors will they? I switched after about 3 years and there's no indication anywhere what I used to be
My transcript shows above every semester what my major was at that time. Like the first semester it says "undeclared".
 

snorlax

10+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2009
271
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
My transcript shows above every semester what my major was at that time. Like the first semester it says "undeclared".
wow thats intense. im glad my transcript doesnt show all my major changes! especially since i might be changing it for a 3rd time back to what it was originally lol
 

Tots

c/o 2018
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They won't even see if you changed majors will they? I switched after about 3 years and there's no indication anywhere what I used to be
My major change is also listed on my transcript though unless your familiar with my school it will probably make no sense. They use some of the weirdest abbreviations known to man.
 
Dec 29, 2009
173
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
My community college has this obnoxious practice of making you designate your "objective". So on those transcripts it lists ridiculous things like "English Major seeking AA with transfer to 4 year college"
 

traderjoe

old and old school
Jan 28, 2010
100
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41
the Heartland
Status
Medical Student
Your GPA is great. Switching your major is no big deal if you keep your grades up.

Also, you really wouln't be considered non traditional by the classical definition. Most non trads are career changers, significantly older, or have been out of school for a while (multiple years). Since you have been in college since '05, I would consider you traditional. However, your experience may give your application more "depth," which med schools view favorably.
Agreed. Med schools like people with depth of character and breadth of experience vs single, laser focus and sheltered life. At least I think they accept more people like this. They also accept incredibly focused people who are brilliant, especially for research.
So plan to play up your experiences as a bonus and your coursework and real work as self-supporting intellectual curiosity. supporting your own education is impressive. let them know it. Do it baby!
 
Dec 29, 2009
173
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I am really uplifted by all these comments. I felt my "experience" was a detriment. I've never wanted to be a cookie cutter 4 year pre-med but I've always felt like my major change would demonstrate indecisiveness. But basically I became a pre-med after one year of working in a health care related agency so its pretty easy for me to explain why I had a change of heart.

Anyhow thanks for the boost of confidence in my academic record haha
 

traderjoe

old and old school
Jan 28, 2010
100
0
41
the Heartland
Status
Medical Student
I am really uplifted by all these comments. I felt my "experience" was a detriment. I've never wanted to be a cookie cutter 4 year pre-med but I've always felt like my major change would demonstrate indecisiveness. But basically I became a pre-med after one year of working in a health care related agency so its pretty easy for me to explain why I had a change of heart.

Anyhow thanks for the boost of confidence in my academic record haha
i was premed in college and then flew airplanes for 10 years. no trouble explaining it when you wrap a good life story around it.