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Double major question, worth it or no?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by emttim, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA
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    Ok, so today I finally found a degree program at my university that I like, will allow me to graduate in a reasonable amount of time given my schedule restrictions due to medic school, and most important will allow me to stay in medic school and still do well at Davis at the same time.

    The catch is that I'm going to get a B.A. in Economics which is barely above the unit cap of 180 at 187.5 units with what I'll have completed (187.5 includes finishing out the general bio series). At the end of next academic year, I will have the option of either walking or just not graduating to remain a "continuing student" for purposes of taking the pre-reqs. The interesting thing is that due to how under the max unit limit of 225 I am, I could probably do a double major in biology if I wanted to. I would probably slightly exceed the limit, but I could probably get a petition for that. I'm just wondering if there really is any advantage to that as far as applying goes?

    I'm going to take ochem, physics and some biochem courses..probably microbiology w/lab too. In addition to that, for a BA in Biology, I would need to take about 12-20 units so about 3-5 classes in addition to what I'm going to take already. Although technically it'd be 2-4 classes beyond what I need since I need to do an additional bio class + lab since Davis' first bio class doesn't have a lab to it.

    Alternatively, I could just graduate and then go back under their open enrollment program. I'm not sure if there would be any advantage to that beyond the fact I wouldn't have to worry about declaring a double major and then having my petition to exceed unit limit denied or anything like that.What do you guys think?
     
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  2. flaahless

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    graduate... finish your pre-reqs and then apply.
     
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  3. clinicallabguy

    clinicallabguy PGY5 Oto-HNS
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    If the only reason you are considering graduating with a second major is to be more competitive when you apply to medical school, it may not be worth the hassle.

    If getting a degree in Biology as well as Economics is something that you are passionate about, then don't let anyone sway you.

    I really believe that there are no secret formulae for competitiveness. The most important things are that you can show you are passionate about the things you spent you're time doing, and that you learned to do them well.

    If your answer at an interview to "Why the double major?" is "I thought it would make me more competitive," I think it may hurt more than help. Though, I'm sure you already knew that.
     
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  4. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA
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    Well, my answer would be more along the lines of "never hurts to have more degrees and I like to keep my options open" but you make your point. I would not be passionate about the biology degree beyond the consideration that it would allow me more flexibility in getting a job outside health care if I ever chose to change career paths. However, I've been an EMT for over a year and I plan to be a paramedic until I go to medical school, so I don't really plan on ever going back to an honest job. *shrugs*

    I guess it'd be nice to have the extra financial aid to help pay for taking the pre-reqs, but on the other hand, if I graduate sooner then I can choose to take the pre-reqs from another university rather than UCD. And if I had the option to, and it wasn't too much of a hassle, I'd prefer to do that anyway come to think of it since the education I've received at UCD so far is quite frankly pathetic.
     
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  5. DoctaJay

    DoctaJay bone breaker
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    Having a degree in economics will set you apart from many other applicants who are bio, biochem, or chemistry majors. Adding on biology to the economics major won't really make you more competitive, especially if your overall GPA is lower than someone with just a bio major. I think you should do what you love (which is economics right?), take the prereqs for med school and apply. Your major alone will provide for some interestings convos during your interviews. No need to muddy it up with a bio major. I have a friend who was a math/bio double major, and he finished with a 3.93 GPA. He loved math, so that major was easy to him. If you are the same kind of person who knows that their GPA won't suffer by doing both then I guess its ok, but the overall point is that it won't drastically help you either way. Summer research would probably help you more.
     
  6. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA
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    I'm not sure I would say I love economics, however, I find it very interesting and I think its excellent information. The only academic discipline I really love is medicine but then that's probably true for a lot of us.

    I actually wasn't considering summer research at all. I looked at it, and if I did a couple classes this summer instead of anything else, I could potentially graduate next winter quarter so I would be done in a little over a year....a lot more appealing than research for which I have no interest. Good to know econ will stand out though...I would have thought it's a relatively common major though?
     
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  7. tdittyx2x3

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    Your grades will be more important than your UG major(s) in the app process, in particular for the pre-reqs. It's actually imperative that you do well in them, and it seems like you have a bunch left to take. And your taking them simultaneously - don't underestimate this. Be certain that the 3-5 extra bio classes won't affect your performance one bit before you add a major.
     
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  8. emttim

    emttim Addicted to SCUBA
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    Quite true, but on the other hand, I would think taking all the pre-reqs at the same time would be advantageous. One, there's no way they can claim that the pre-reqs aren't "fresh", two, if I do them all at once it makes a statement that I can handle a full load of science classes, three, I can choose to wait until when I take the pre-reqs to get LORs so those aren't old or outdated either. And I can choose to take the pre-reqs at any time in my lifetime to accomplish all of the aforementioned. The only thing I wouldn't re-do is gen chem because I quite honestly don't think it's changed much in 50 years and I hated it anyway.
     
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  9. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado
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    Don't take two. Take the non bio major and then do well in premed classes and MCAT and you may stand out. But its not likely...
     
  10. 213965

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    I did a similar thing as yourself -- B.A. in Anthropology and B.S. in Molecular/Cellular bio. Nobody gave a crap about my science B.S., yet I was asked twice about my anthro B.A. at interviews. I think it definitely did help me stand out. If I could go back, I would have just completed the B.A. in anthro and the required premed pre-reqs instead of tacking on the extra science major. Some of those extra science classes also brought my GPA down.

    However, I should add that having two degrees (instead of one) did help me in the job market post-graduation. I was able to land a high school teaching position based off my educational credentials alone (with no formal certification), and a research/customer service consultant job with a large biotech company beginning with a very competitive starting salary (>60k). However, I don't think the two degrees helped me with medical school, which is ultimately all we really care about now, right? ;)
     
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  11. Tekbright510

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    I think the bottom line is that you need to have a competitive GPA when you apply for medical school. If you enjoy your classes and can do well in them, by all means go for w/e major or majors you are passionate about.
     

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