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BA or BS?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Pomfii, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. Pomfii

    Pomfii Some say I'm "Special"
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    Hi Everyone,

    I realize this thread has already been discussed, but I am needing some advice. At my school, in order to get a BS in biology, I will have to take Calc I and II , as well as calc-based physics :scared: . That's the only difference between the BS and BA, with the exception of an extra bio lab or two. The BA still includes Biochem I & II, Genetics, Cell bio, and all of the classes that would constitute a BS at most other schools.

    My question is, would it be worth it to suffer through an extra calc class, plus calc-based physics (instead of algebra based), just to get a BS? I know it doesn't matter for med school, but what about graduate school? If I decided to do graduate work in bio, would having a BA be sufficient? Normally I wouldn't mind a couple of extra classes, except I'm not exactly a math whiz, and physics is a major weakness for me :oops: . I'm just worried about my GPA.

    Thanks for any advice! :)
     
  2. LucidSplash

    LucidSplash Bloody Plumber
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    I don't know your exact situation, but I can tell you that I have a BA in biochem. None of my friends in the major seemed to be a disadvantage, several are in grad school - both at the MA and PhD level. The only difference is that I went to a small liberal arts college and no BS was offered - also calc I and II and calc-based physics were still requirements for the major. But if all you are worried about is the letters, an A or an S, I can say that I haven't seen it restrict anyone.

    But again, a BS wasn't offered at my school, so I suppose that there might be a problem if grad schools knew there was a difference at your school and you took the road with the less "dangerous" courseload.
     
  3. It will be a good learning experience to do the BS and the requirements thereof. Literally.

    Don't start avoiding things because they are difficult -- you are too young to throw your life away.
     
  4. Will Ferrell

    Will Ferrell Senior Member
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    I don't think anyone is going to care whether you have a BA or BS.
     
  5. jon0013

    jon0013 Senior Member
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    i have a BA in biology and took calc based physics....a lot of people at my school are BA if they are goin into medicine or dental school and stuff like that...in fact i think they encouraged us to do BA and said BS was for people interested in grad school...

    think about it this way...many people come from business, liberal arts, engineering...they dont have BS...it doesnt matter what you major in..just have fun and maintain baller status with great grades in your pre-med classes...
     
  6. dreamcrusher

    dreamcrusher Member
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    Think about it this way-Calc based physics is offered to HIGH school students in AP physics. If high school kids can do calc based physics, it shouldn't be all that much more difficult to do it as a college student.
     
  7. tacrum43

    tacrum43 Behold the mighty echidna
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    Does the word hyperbole mean anything to you?
     
  8. tigress

    tigress queen of the jungle
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    I have a BA in biology and it hasn't made a difference. My school didn't offer a BS. I think if you don't want to take those courses you should just go with the BA. Because in the long run in really doesn't matter at all.
     
  9. MattD

    MattD Curmudgeon
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    I would think that the only time you'd be at a disadvantage would be if you went for a MS later, they may not like the BA. I'm sure an MA program wouldn't discriminate though. I guess it just depends on your interests, do you want to go the arts route to save those hours for some classes you're interested in, or are you just 'wussing out'? Are there additional requirements for the BA that the BS doesn't require? I would just pursue the course of study you're most interested in, it may be your last chance to devote yourself to studying something purely for the pleasure of it. But FWIW, calc and calc based physics aren't that tough, if you've got the brains to go to medschool, you really can handle calculus.

    And BTW, engineering degrees are often BS degrees, mine is a BSME, a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. But I don't doubt that some schools do something different :)
     
  10. dr.z

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Same here. I went to liberal arts college so they only offered BA degree. I have BA in biology, but I had to take the CalcI & II and calcbased Physics.

    I had no problem getting into Ph.D program.
     
  11. TX515

    TX515 Senior Member
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    GPAs and GREs most certainly can.
     
    #11 TX515, Dec 14, 2005
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
  12. Pomfii

    Pomfii Some say I'm "Special"
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    Thanks for all the responses everyone. Although I'm still debating which I should choose, I thought I should add that time is also a factor. I'm not exactly the traditional student. I have been working on my undergrad for a little over 3 years now, due to many factors. It took me quite a while to decide on a career, and in the mean time, I wasted a bunch of time on classes that don't apply towards any specific degree. My parents were paying for my school, and they didn't want me to take time off. So, I'm not exactly 'wussing out' on the harder classes, because I know with a little effort I could do well in them. I must also consider whether the BA or BS would be a little quicker. I'm sure it won't matter in the end, so it's quite tempting to go with the shorter route. Plus, I get more upper level electives outside biology this way. I was just worried a BA wouldn't get me as far. Apparently, that doesn't seem to be a problem for most.

    Thanks again guys. ;)
     
  13. tigress

    tigress queen of the jungle
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    I was in a PhD (biomedical) program at Penn before I left to pursue med school. So obviously my BA didn't matter to them. :) Really, I can't think of any situation it would really affect you in. For harder sciences like physics, engineering degrees, etc., it is probably necessary. But not the biological sciences.
     
  14. werd

    werd Senior Member
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    it probably makes little difference post-college. but all science majors should boast calc skillz if you ask me :) .
     

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