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Does doing double-major increase your chances?

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novawildcat

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If you are thinking about double majoring don't do it because "it might help your chances to get into med school" but do it because you simply want to do it out of sheer enjoyment/curiosity. Taking 22 credits a semester=not fun. I doubled majored in mathematics and chemistry and as a result had to spend a couple thousand dollars more and an extra semster of 20 credits. Do I regret it at all???? Nope. If I had more time and money I probably would have gotten a degree in economics as well, just because I like it so much. But our time is limited on this earth.
 

ADeadLois

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XRanger said:
between double-major or doing research, which one would be more helpful?

Do what you want to do. Don't double major or do research because you think it will increase your chances. It will be very transparent. Do it because you're genuinely interested in two majors, or because you have specific research goals.
 

Duchess742

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XRanger said:
between double-major or doing research, which one would be more helpful?

that's a terrible question!!! doing research! duh!

btw, it's far far better to be distinguished in one major than an avg (or even decently good) student in two.
 

thinknofu3

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TheFreshPrince said:
probably not and research is definitely better.
I don't necessarily agree with the blanket statement that "research" is better - I'd say it's much more important to do what you like. I ended up adding a minor (called Science in Human Culture, I don't know if similar programs exist at other schools) and chose a theme of medicine in society, which allowed me to take all sorts of classes related to aspects of medicine other than science (Bioethics, healthcare economics, health communication, gender issues in health, etc). I *loved* these classes, and I know they made me more well-rounded applicant, and it came up as a positive in all my interviews. So while I'm not suggesting you do exactly what I did, if you can find something related to medicine that you love and enjoy, that will show through much more than something that you did just to do it. If you like research, go for it. But if you don't really care about it and it comes up in interviews, I promise as much as you try to hide it it will show more than if you talk about something that you're passionate about.
 

Mister Pie

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It'll look impressive if you pull off good grades. On the other hand, if you don't, it might look like that you don't really understand your own limits.
 

TheFreshPrince

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thinknofu3 said:
I don't necessarily agree with the blanket statement that "research" is better - I'd say it's much more important to do what you like. I ended up adding a minor (called Science in Human Culture, I don't know if similar programs exist at other schools) and chose a theme of medicine in society, which allowed me to take all sorts of classes related to aspects of medicine other than science (Bioethics, healthcare economics, health communication, gender issues in health, etc). I *loved* these classes, and I know they made me more well-rounded applicant, and it came up as a positive in all my interviews. So while I'm not suggesting you do exactly what I did, if you can find something related to medicine that you love and enjoy, that will show through much more than something that you did just to do it. If you like research, go for it. But if you don't really care about it and it comes up in interviews, I promise as much as you try to hide it it will show more than if you talk about something that you're passionate about.

You're right my response was in haste. It depends. I guess if you double major in 2 science disciplines it's probably not going to be a big deal. However, if you have one science and one humanity then maybe it will help you get noticed. When I said research is better I meant that it is something many schools require to be competitive. A double major isn't something schools require so in this sense it is. This doesn't take away from the fact that a Double Major can be a strong asset to an application and even greater than research. Sorry, i should have clarified my reasons for my opinions. I completely agree with that you need to be passionate about whatever you're studying. The gist i got from the OP is that he/she is considering a double major simply to improve his/her application. With regard to this I felt research would do her application more good. Sorry for any confusion. :)
 

MossPoh

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I am a double Major now...mainly because I got too far in my major I changed into to really get out of it..so I just tagged on what I like. I guess schools run stuff differently. If you do a double major you only have to do gen-ed requirements for one of them so you can skip past extra courses. (Which for two bachelors of science probably gets both counted anyway..but I am getting a science and art so the gen eds are different) I have never had to take 20 or more credit hours..I pretty much stick around the 18 mark...and I've gotten to the point where if I have less than 18 I actually do worse for some reason. I dropped a course last semester and didn't know what to do with myself it seemed. I am doing a postbacc type thing for a majority of my premed courses though so I'll tell you if it helps me then.lol I have to say Information Science and German Literature aren't two degrees that people usually have together though. :p
 

TheFreshPrince

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MossPoh said:
I am a double Major now...mainly because I got too far in my major I changed into to really get out of it..so I just tagged on what I like. I guess schools run stuff differently. If you do a double major you only have to do gen-ed requirements for one of them so you can skip past extra courses. (Which for two bachelors of science probably gets both counted anyway..but I am getting a science and art so the gen eds are different) I have never had to take 20 or more credit hours..I pretty much stick around the 18 mark...and I've gotten to the point where if I have less than 18 I actually do worse for some reason. I dropped a course last semester and didn't know what to do with myself it seemed. I am doing a postbacc type thing for a majority of my premed courses though so I'll tell you if it helps me then.lol I have to say Information Science and German Literature aren't two degrees that people usually have together though. :p

Indeed, you should stand out when you apply. :thumbup:
 

Bluntman

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No doubt - Research.

You want to be well-rounded, and 1 major with research certainly does this better than 2 majors with 0 research.

Double majoring doesn't do sh¡t for admissions unless it is in some crazy non-science-related field (in which case it is helping with the well-roundedness), and even then its effect is small. Research will always be a much more high-yield endeavor.

btw: I doubled in bioengineering and molecular bio, and it didn't do anything for me admissions-wise.
 
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kevster2001

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I'm a chinese / bio double major and I dont think it's hurt me. I had a lot of humanities requirements to fill and the ones that interested me the most were the ones that contributed to a Chinese major so it was one of those whynot things. I think it wont hurt me since i hvae research also and it didn't force me to take that many extra classes. If anything it'll be an interesting talking point during teh interview
 

Rafa

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I vote for the double major. Research can be interesting, but if you pursue your passions in two different fields as majors, you'll definitely stand out.

Bluntman said:
btw: I doubled in bioengineering and molecular bio, and it didn't do anything for me admissions-wise.

Perhaps adcoms viewed both majors as extensions of one another. You did have the word "biology" in the title of each major. :)
 

Law2Doc

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XRanger said:
between double-major or doing research, which one would be more helpful?

No. Nobody will care. Majors don't matter. GPA matters. Get good grades and do some strong ECs (research or otherwise), and you are good.
 

Addb

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I'm double in Biomed sciences and German. Though I did test out of the low level german courses (and my university language requirement), so the only real reason I'm getting the degree is to learn more about the culture and history. The study abroad next summer will definately be an interesting experience.

Oh, and I hate laboratories. I avoid them like the plague.
 

bioboy2007

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XRanger said:
between double-major or doing research, which one would be more helpful?

Echoing on the thoughts of others, don't do it simply to pad your application. Study and research things that you are passionate about...something I learned the hard way. Why not do both? I am doing research in both social science and biology disciplines, while pursuing a double major, too...it's awesome if you like what you are doing
 

novawildcat

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If you can pull of decent grades w/ a double major it might set you a little bit apart from "the rest". Med schools like to see intellectual curiosity, hardwork, and motivation. Many med schools explicity state on their websites the amount of students that they have accepted from the previous year that had double majored, so you know that they are paying attention somewhat to what you studied and how difficult it was.
 

Slide

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Do research and other off-the-wall activities. If you want to show well-roundedness academically, take some other classes completely unrelated to your major; it'll show up on your grade sheet.
 

annamoo

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I also did both and have no regrets. It is possible to do a microbio major, a photojournalism major, and do 2 years of hard research. If you like what you're spending your time doing, it's totally worth it. I was able to spend my time around people with different types of mentalities, not only science people all the time, which was wonderful. I think it definitely made my application more interesting and gave me something totally different to talk about in my interviews, as well as exposing me to different socioeconomic circumstances in undergrad by doing more socially-motivated photojouralism that I would never have seen if I had spent all my time in the lab!

There is a huge difference between double "majoring" and actually getting a dual degree, which is what I did, I have a BS and a BJ, which the interviewers see and know that there was very little overlap...a lot of work but also very interesting
 

Law2Doc

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novawildcat said:
If you can pull of decent grades w/ a double major it might set you a little bit apart from "the rest". Med schools like to see intellectual curiosity, hardwork, and motivation. Many med schools explicity state on their websites the amount of students that they have accepted from the previous year that had double majored, so you know that they are paying attention somewhat to what you studied and how difficult it was.

Perhaps, but you get much better dividends if you spend your effort on a cool EC than on a second major. Because the prereqs practically get you a minor anyhow if you are a nonsci major, schools tend to be less impressed with the few who take the handful of other classes needed to get that second major as with those who spend that same amount of time doing research, additional charitable/civic volunteering, and the like.
 

LizzyM

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Here's the funny part... I never look at major when I'm deciding to recommend an interview or offer admission. I look at the list of courses taken. Depth? Breadth? some liberal arts courses? anything interesting? any honors level courses (if offered at that school)?

thinkofu3's courses sound interesting whether or not they qualify as a "minor".

research is important, particularly if you are looking at a school that prides itself in requiring or encouraging research by its students.
 
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