BDNF

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2006
248
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hey guys,

i'm debating between majoring in biology and minoring in psychology OR majoring in neuroscience and minoring in something else.

from a purely pragmatic point of view, it seems the latter would be better for medical school since I will be taking a variety of classes (gerontology, sociology, psychology, and biology) as opposed to the massive amounts of pure biology courses. This would probably enable me to get a higher GPA.

But, biology also has more opportunities to raise my science GPA

Neuroscience also seems good because I like bio and psych, and by doing neuro, i would be able to minor in something else I liked as well.

I know a lot of you will probably say, "don't think about pleasing the admissions committee and do something you like"

But i'd also like some commentary on the pragmatic part.

Thanks
 
6

63768

you're right. majoring in neuroscience will help you in med school but only when it comes to neuro. i don't think majoring in biology is a good idea either because it is so broad, and you study everything, plants, animals, humans.

personally, i think a good major would be biochemistry because this is something that serves as the basis for literally everything you will learn in med school. from the way metabolism works to the way a drug acts on a certain receptor or the way epinephrine works, biochem either covers it or serves as a basis for it.

so my vote is neither neuro or bio but biochem. if it has to be btwn neuro and bio, i'd say neuro since i'd be more interested in that.
 

braluk

SDN Surgerynator
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2006
11,823
65
The Big Easy
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Your priorities
1) Grades
2) Enjoyment of the classes

Yes # 1 and 2 go hand in hand and often correlate positively together, but at the end of the day, no matter how much you enjoy something, it doesnt necessarily mean you will do well at it. Yes there is always an active debate about how learning is paramount, etc..etc.. but in the end, its grades that count for getting into med school. The most important thing you need to keep in mind is that what adcoms are looking for is doing well in the prereqs. There are plenty of people who are not even science majors, do well in the prereqs and on the MCAT, get a decent amount of clinical exposure and subsequently get into medical school. Thus, the key thing to remember is that you should do well in your prereqs and then major in whatever it is you enjoy, as long as you can see yourself doing well in it and maintaining good grades. Being one major over another, at least based on heresay evidence from student feedback through interviews and acceptances, doesnt seem to confer much of any advantage at all, as long as the prereqs are in good shape.

As for taking classes on the idea that it may help in medical school- I believe there is a thread on this in preallo floating around. There is debate about whether or not undergrad classes confer any significant advantage in medical school, given that medical school classes is a beast of its own.

In short: Balance. Find balance between finding a major that you can see yourself doing well in, but at the same time, is an interesting topic. If the prereqs dont fit into this particular major, it is ok as long as you do well in them.
 
About the Ads

sejin8642

Full Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2006
345
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
How about major in Religion? It sounds like a good major for premeds lol.
 

spreebee

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2006
271
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Post Doc
Hey guys,

i'm debating between majoring in biology and minoring in psychology OR majoring in neuroscience and minoring in something else.

from a purely pragmatic point of view, it seems the latter would be better for medical school since I will be taking a variety of classes (gerontology, sociology, psychology, and biology) as opposed to the massive amounts of pure biology courses. This would probably enable me to get a higher GPA.

But, biology also has more opportunities to raise my science GPA

Neuroscience also seems good because I like bio and psych, and by doing neuro, i would be able to minor in something else I liked as well.

I know a lot of you will probably say, "don't think about pleasing the admissions committee and do something you like"

But i'd also like some commentary on the pragmatic part.

Thanks

Major in Neuroscience. I am... It's a mix of chemistry, psychology, and biology. In some cases, you can double major. At my school, its so close to molecular biolgy you can triple major in neuroscience, molecular biology, and psychology and still graduate in 4 years.
 

spreebee

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2006
271
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Post Doc
Hey guys,

i'm debating between majoring in biology and minoring in psychology OR majoring in neuroscience and minoring in something else.

from a purely pragmatic point of view, it seems the latter would be better for medical school since I will be taking a variety of classes (gerontology, sociology, psychology, and biology) as opposed to the massive amounts of pure biology courses. This would probably enable me to get a higher GPA.

But, biology also has more opportunities to raise my science GPA

Neuroscience also seems good because I like bio and psych, and by doing neuro, i would be able to minor in something else I liked as well.

I know a lot of you will probably say, "don't think about pleasing the admissions committee and do something you like"

But i'd also like some commentary on the pragmatic part.

Thanks

Major in Neuroscience. I am... It's a mix of chemistry, psychology, and biology. In some cases, you can double major. At my school, its so close to molecular biology you can triple major in neuroscience, molecular biology, and psychology and still graduate in 4 years. That's exactly what I'm doing to (A triple major)...Also, even though medical schools say they don't care about your major they have told me they are impressed.
 

psipsina

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2005
1,812
8
N'awlins
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I agree that you should do whatever interests you most, since any benefit from undergrad major is relatively minor in the scheme of things and certainly not worth altering four years of your undergrad life over . . .

That being said, between the two choices you presented, I vote for a neuro major, . .. but I'm biased because I was a neuro major (because I love neuro, not because I was contemplating gunneresque advantages btw). But in the long run I found that thru neuro I got an understanding of alot of complex biological concepts like second messenger systems, ionic gradients, negative feed back, etc in a way that was more interesting and therefore stuck better in my mind. Its a huge advantage in your med neuro course, which is only one course but a major struggle for many medstudents. Also all my neuro classes (even the ones thru the psych department) counted to my science gpa for amcas and actually significantly raised this number for me. I've also heard that a neuro major is a minor boon if you are considering neurology/neurosurg as a possible specialty choice (which is obvioulsy way too far off for a young one like you to seriously contemplate but just an fyi).
 

XRanger

Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 27, 2005
517
23
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
I was contemplating the same thing but I decided to go with biology because if gives me more options and flexibility to take the classes that I enjoy. neurobio is also the hardest bio major in my school

If I major in neuroscience, most of my classes are gonna be neurobio like molecular neurobio, cellular neurobio, neuropharmacology, etc...
But with biology, I can take wide range of classes like immunology, virology, anatomy, etc..

But if you really enjoy neuroscience and don't mind taking all neuroscience classes, then take it.
 

excalibur

Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 15, 2005
655
7
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
You can get good grades in either. You can take neuro classes in a bio major, and bio classes in a neuro major. When psipsi said she got all that second messenger stuff in neuro, I got all that as a bio major taking physiology. As a bio major you can take physio, histo, anatomy (of some sort), embryology, biochem, cell biology/molecular biology, and so on. All these are med school classes if you haven't noticed. But guess what you can probably take most of those classes as a neuro major.

With that said, you don't even have to take any of those classes to do well in med school. The prereqs are all you need.

Neuro will prepare you well for med school. Bio will prepare you well for med school. You can get good grades in BOTH MAJORS. It all depends on you!!!

Haven't you noticed already people are saying go bio...no do neuro. Isn't this a clue that it doesn't freakin' matter? So this pragmatic view that you're searching for isn't gonna happen, and the bottom line is..........

TAH-TAH-RAH-TAHN!!!!! DO WHAT YOU LIKE!!!!!!

That's right I said it.
 

move2west

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 11, 2007
47
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I was a biology and psychology double major. The benefit of doing this was that you acquire a more broad understanding of the two fields. If you do a bio major/psych minor, you can take classes such as social psych and immunology which you can not going the neuroscience route. You also get to know two different classes of people in the psych and bio departments. Personally, the psych background was a great opportunity to meet clinical psych people and learn how that field functions. We will work with clinical psych people as a physician, and I think my psych background will be advantagous for this reason.

The down side is that all the neuroscience classes you take for psych credit can not help your science GPA. I took ~20 of these science credits for psych credit. Unfortunately, admin committes do not know that this is the case and my science GPA is lower than it would have been with a neuroscience major.
 

BDNF

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2006
248
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I read all your comments. Thanks a bunch.

another question. Biochemistry is strongly reccomended by med schools, I would normallly take it during the spring of my junior year, but I've been told its really hard and that I Want to take a light courseload that semester so that i can study for hte MCATS. Therefore I want to push that prereq to senior year. Will med schools care? I just tell them what classes i'm taking senior year right?

Well another difference between bio and neuro is the fact that Bio has more opportunities for biology, but neuro you have to take some non (BCPM) classes. therefore there are more opportunities to raise your grade in biology, yet more chances to screw up as well.

Thanks everyone.
 

armybound

urologist.
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2007
4,827
490
Uranus
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I took biochem as a senior.

My opinion as a neuroscience major: I missed out on a lot of good biology courses that helped me a lot. As a graduate student I had to take molecular genetics and immunology, which are both courses that undergraduate biology majors have to take. I think they're really good courses and I'm somewhat bitter about not taking them as an undergraduate. I had to take more psychology courses, which I could care less about, and I didn't learn as much relevant stuff in biology.

If you enjoy neuroscience, I'd go with it. But I'd also try to get in some of those upper level biology courses, if you have any slots open for extra courses.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 14 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.