neurosciencegal

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Jul 22, 2009
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It will be my senior year, and I am currently conducting a meta-analysis in my lab that my professor is going to co-author and publish with me in the fall. I will also be studying for the MCATs and taking 2 neuro classes. I also wanted to take a public health class that has an extensive research commitment to it and is extremely time consuming, but also life-changing for many students. Basically, I can't take that class AND write a thesis on my work while doing everything else. I need to choose. I will already have a publication on my research, so will a thesis look that much better? I was extremely excited to take this intense public health services course, but I'm worried about how I will look to medical schools. Also, I already have lots of clinical and research experience, so I'm not worried about that. But, I didn't get the best grades in bio and chemistry my freshman year... Help!! Thesis or class??
 

Evergrey

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Dec 27, 2008
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My school has a thesis requirement for graduation (or written or oral exams, depending on the department). My advice: if it's not mandatory, and it's not important to you personally, don't do it. Spend time as a senior appreciating your classes, friends, and in general having fun. I think a thesis is only important if you wish to concentrate in the area of your thesis in graduate school (if you wanna go into a Philosophy PhD program, you had better write a philosophy thesis).
 

Mobius1985

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Apr 4, 2007
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A publication trumps a thesis.

Maybe you could audit the Public Health class and not be obliged to do the research either so you can devote more time to MCAT study.
 

Mattabet

Doctor Thunder
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Jun 8, 2008
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:thumbup: the above sentiments.

Writing a thesis is a big, big project and a major hassle. Doing it even though you don't really want to on top of a bunch of other large time-siphons could make for a really terrible situation.

I think you've got enough on your plate as it is.
 

GoSpursGo

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Unilaterally, every single person I've met who did a thesis regretted it. It's a huge time commitment, and you can get meaningful research without a thesis.
 
Jun 29, 2009
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Valeria
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My undergrad requires a thesis for graduation (engineering).

The best part? I can't even talk about its subject matter because its a classified military contract my company has...should be good for the interview.

"I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."
 

DrYoda

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A thesis was optional at my undergrad. Not writing one was probably the best decision I made my entire undergrad career. I wouldn't recommend a thesis unless it's something you really, really want to do (which from your post it sounds like it's not).
 

Evergrey

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Dec 27, 2008
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A thesis was optional at my undergrad. Not writing one was probably the best decision I made my entire undergrad career. I wouldn't recommend a thesis unless it's something you really, really want to do (which from your post it sounds like it's not).
Yeah, theses are rough. They consume your life. I was putting in 60-70 hours of studying in the 4 weeks or so preceding the due date of my thesis (coursework along with thesis research and writing). Let me tell you -- Organic Chem 2 and thesis do not mix well together :scared:
 

NickNaylor

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I think a lot of it depends on what you want out of a research experience. Theses take lots of time, true, but there's something satisfying about seeing a project through the end (or at least an acceptable "end").

You have to want to do it to enjoy it. You have to want to get really familiar with a subject and agree to eat that subject for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to enjoy a thesis. If you don't think the above points apply to you, I would recommend against doing a thesis.