Dec 23, 2013
Seeking guidance for my undergraduate and future academic path. Here is my current situation...

Have an associates in civil technology (3.4 gpa). Currently pursuing a BS in civil engineering (entering junior year w/ 2.9 gpa) at Wentworth Inst. of Tech in Boston. I was accepted for transfer for molecular, cellular and developmental biology program at UC Boulder.

Recently considering a change to prepare for med school. I will not be able to complete all the typical premed courses here, missing 1 gen chem, 2 org. chem. and a second biology course. I have realized that math is not my strongest capability and I am more proficient in science related courses. Only really interested in the environmental side of civil. The move to bio is significant as it would add 1, maybe 2 years of extra undergrad work. I have a strong interest in psychopharmacology, human behavior and effects of environmental stressors. I am interested in psychiatry. Not sure if I should stick with civil for the sake of time and find continuing ed options such as a master’s degree (thinking public health) or a post-bach. program or hop on the opportunity for bio undergrad.

Looking for advice for both academic path possibilities based on the civil route and the bio route. What is my best bet to reach the ultimate goal of med. school acceptance?

Sep 9, 2013
Ft Worth,Texas
I would probably do the bio route. Unless you can continue with the civil route but still take those courses you need. Because you will have to take the gen chem, 2 organics and another bio in order to apply. As long as you have all the prereqs you need for med school you don't HAVE to have a bio degree. Most people do just because that's where all the pre-reqs are. Either way you will probably still need to do an extra year of undergrad just to get those classes under your belt I would think. I graduated with my Bio degree in 2000. But last year I retook both gen chems and both O chems within the year so I could refresh for the MCAT. IT was a beatdown but doable.

I don't know if I answered your question but I hope I helped a little :)

Mad Jack

Critically Caring
5+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2013
4th Dimension
It sounds like if you continue down the engineering route, you will devastate your GPA and put yourself at a real disadvantage for medical school admission. I would do the bio route, as it will likely strengthen your GPA (way less math!) and allow you to get the extra courses in that you will need. Either way you're looking at an extra year, but only one way will boost your uGPA. Going the bio route might also give you some research opportunities, so I say do it while you can.


10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 22, 2008
Attending Physician
As an engineer (thanks crappy undergrad gpa) I can definitively say that your most definitive path to med school acceptance is studded with the easiest As. For your interests that might actually be something more along the lines of psychology, human geography etc. with the intersection you describe. Med schools don't care what field your undergard is in so long as you take the pre reqs, and you'll have a lot more interesting topics to write about and talk about if you do something you're genuinely fired up abot.
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Dec 23, 2013
Thanks for the responses. I will be staying in civil for the time being (too late to accept enrollment for the biology). I'll have this upcoming semester to consider changing majors if civil really isn't working out for me. I have done well in my science/physics courses (3.4 gpa) and not so great in the math which screws up my grades. Thinking maybe bio or chem (biochem?) major and a psych minor might be geared more towards my strengths. I am in the works of setting up volunteer work in a clinical setting so hoping that might help guide me a bit.