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Is anthropology a bad major?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by gebremaryam, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. gebremaryam

    gebremaryam Junior Member
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    Hey, I'm still contemplating what major I should take. My eventual goal is the med school, and I thought that personally I could do a lot better GPA-wise if I majored in anthropology instead of biology. So instead of being an average biology student I could be excellent anthropology student, since I have more background and natural talent in that.
    Any others who have gotten into med school with majors other than bio or chem?
     
  2. dsblaha

    dsblaha Senior Member
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    In answer to your question. .. .Yes, anthropology is a worthless major.

    1. What are you going to do if you don't get into medschool?

    2. I took anthropology because I wanted to get to know the professor so I could be accepted into a travel course to the amazon and andes. It was the most worthless class I have ever taken. It is a bunch of psychobabble, politically correct bs with no redeeming value. Btw, being "ethnocentric" is the worst crime you can commit.
     
  3. MoCookiess

    MoCookiess Hater of Biochemistry
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    You can major in anything you want. All pre-meds have to take the same basic classes, but the rest of your classes are up to you. GPA does matter quite a bit, however you must realize that a so-so GPA in anthropology isn't going to compare to an so-so GPA in biology. Grades are going to be more important when you major in what some people would call a "soft" major (as opposed to say biochem). In all honesty, major in what you want to, I know too many bio major premeds who dislike their major and are only in it because they think it will make them a better applicant (it wont).

    I must say, as a neurobiology major, that I felt better prepared for the MCAT than I would if I hadn't taken quite a few bio and chem courses past the requirements. Best of luck to you. Feel free to PM me; I do tons of peer advising on stuff like this.
     
  4. maxheadroom

    maxheadroom Rhinestone Cowboy
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    I've read (several years ago) that anthropology is actually the best major (statistically) for admissions.

    I did a dual BA in English and Philosophy. Took lots of bio/biochem/chem etc. Take what you want and do well in your premed stuff.
     
  5. dsblaha

    dsblaha Senior Member
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    A bit more advice. ..

    Do not view college as a means to and end. College is a worthwile venture in itself. You will meet new people and grow at an amazing rate if you apply yourself. Be sure to enjoy yourself.
     
  6. Zweihander

    Zweihander Billygoat Gruff
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    Science is not required, beyond the premedical coursework. Enjoy yourself and take something you like -- you may never get a chance to study anthro again.
     
  7. Fish3715

    Fish3715 Senior Member
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    Good advice :) College has been frustrating me lately (see the "I don't like school" thread), so hopefully future years will be more enjoyable.
     
  8. dustin04ag

    dustin04ag Member
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    Just major in something you enjoy!! I wouldnt pick something just because I think I could do better GPA-wise. And by the way..... at one of my interviews the doctor who was interviewing me asked if I had ever taken any anthropology courses.... and I had not. I thought it was a wierd question but maybe he was a big fan of anthropology majors.
     
  9. Sharkfan

    Sharkfan Senior Member
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    No, anthropology is not bad!! I am an anthropology and english major, and have been accepted to med school complete with scholarships. My Anth major even helped me land a summer (clinical) research position; several people were interviewed, and my soon-to-be supervisor said that my background in anthropology was what made me the best person for the job. There is a definite new trend in the medical field towards humanism and cultural sensitivity, and anthropology is right up this road. Plus, I had some really cool anth classes (like medical anthropology) which I really enjoyed and found to be very enlightening. (I guess this might vary by school though.)

    Bottom line: anth is not bad. If you want to cover your bases, you can always double major. Do what interests you!!!!!
     
  10. boomuntilnoon

    boomuntilnoon Senior Member
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    Anthro is an interesting major, but watch out for your flakey fellow peers... anthro/sociology majors (especially at my school) are notorious for being flakey and stoned... pseudoactivist is also a good term to describe them.
     
  11. twinklz

    twinklz Lover of Lagomorphs
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    If I could go through college again, I would definitely be an anthro major (instead of an English major). Particularly focusing on the evolution of linguistics, but that is neither here nor there.

    Yes, there is quite a lot of PC jargon in certain types of anthro classes (more so in the "sociology" type anthro classes than the "history" type anthro classes) but I find the stuff to be very interesting. And don't worry about not having upper level bio and chem classes. Your science major friends might have a leg up on you in BS and PS but you'll be ready for VR.
     
  12. bjolly

    bjolly Senior Member
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    if you like anthro, there's no reason not to major in it. I was an anthro and English major, and I got in to my school of choice by early decision. My interviewer was very interested in my anthro background (probably because it wasn't the run of the mill premed thing) and asked me a lot of questions about it. As long as you get your science prereqs and do well in them, it doesn't matter what you major in.
     
  13. GBFKicks

    GBFKicks Senior Member
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    Anthro is an amazing major. I'm an anthro/bio double major and if I had to go through it again I would choose to do it in a second. There is so much to be learned in anthropology and it really teaches you to think differently and openly about many issues. If you're unsure you can always specialize in medical anthropology, however, I would advise against taking it just because of GPA issues. Thay may backfire on you. If you're not trully interested in majoring in anthropology, then you should not do it. I would at least take a couple of classes if you are interested.
     
  14. gebremaryam

    gebremaryam Junior Member
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    Hey guys and gals, thanks for the replies! You rock!

    Dsblaha, I find it intresting how you saw your anthropology class as "politically correct bs". Could you tell me what school you attended? Do you think anthoropology study is following that same trend in other schools as well? If that's the case, I will re-think anthropology. There's nothing I dislike more than politically correct pseudo-academic counter-racism. Especially if I would have to blindly "agree" with that for four years, or face the consequences of getting bad grades...

    MoCookiess, I'd take anthro, because I know I can be able to get hotshot GPA at anthropology, but realistically thinking only "good" GPA at biology.
    By the way, is anthro really considered "soft" major? It's not nearly as soft as literature or things like that.

    Maxheadroom, do you remember where you read that anthro would be (or would have been) the best major statistically? That's really intresting.

    Dustin, oh yeah I'm definitely trying to have a major I can enjoy, because that's the only good way to get through college with good grades and good mental health.

    Sharkfan & GBFKicks, I'd love to read more about your study plan, ie how you combined premed requirements to your anthro major.
    And yes, I'm not just into the idea of majoring in anthro for the GPA, I'm into it, because I absolutely love anthropology.

    Thanks everybody! If somebody still has something to say about anthropology, I'd love to hear it! :)
     
  15. Nutmeg

    Nutmeg Green globule
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    1) I think anthro does have an above average psychobabble content and ineffectual finger-pointing requirement in the major.

    2) Humanities and social science majors can do well on the MCAT--generally better than bio majors.
    http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/examineedata/char99.pdf

    3) If you enter college with a policy to avoid a real challenge and only study things you're already good at, it will be apparent to the adcoms.

    4) A boring major is more likely to be a hindrance to your progress than an atypical major is.

    No easy answers to the major question.
     
  16. indianboy

    indianboy Call me, Baby.
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    The only thing that currently makes me more sad than your post, is that I shan't be the first (nor last) person to tell you, that you, sir, are a twit[1]. While I will agree that in my experience the demographic that pursues anthropology tends to be bimodal with regards to intelligence, it is quite obvious where you lie. Though your efforts are appreciated, we recommend that the feeble minded stay home next time.

    Hope that Helps.

    P 'Imagining a Community[2] without You' ShankOut


    Works Cited:
    [1]David Harvey,Selections [pp 44-53, 356-359] from The Condition of Post-modernism [Blackwell 0631162941]

    [2]Benedict Anderson [37-46]: Imagined Communities. [Verso 0860915468]
     
  17. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    I took alot of anthro in ugrad and my g/f at the time was an anthro major. Here's my take on it.

    Sure there's alot of fluff in social science majors. So what? Medical anthropology is very relevant to medical school topics. Classes at our undergrad like human osteology or forensics were way more applicable to what I do in medical school now than most of what I did in Biology or Psychology. Further, alot of Medical Anthropology research focuses on things like disparity in health care, health care differences, etc. I think it's also important to understand human evolution in order to put our bodies in context, which is something you won't get from a Biology major (at least I didn't) or in medical school. Not to mention things like social anthropology/psychology which in many cases helps you to appreciate the differences between cultures and the basis of those differences and how to approach them.

    Another advantage to anthropology as a major is learning how to critically read and evaluate. There's a reason why social science majors do better than Biology majors on the MCAT. You'll have plenty of time to try to memorize 32847984072809475209547 pointless facts in medical school. You might as well try to understand the world in a broader context and learn how to reason before you get here.

    Another point, your medical school is not going to care that your 3.8+ was in an easier major like Anthropology. They'll consider you the same as any other 3.8+. So do well, get involved, and you'll be at no disadvantage when you go to apply.

    BTW, I thought my one major in Psychology was wayyyy more psychobabble and more useless than Anthropology. Oh, and ROFL at indianboy's last post.
     
  18. bidster

    bidster Senior Member
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    Do what interests you. Anthropology interested me as a freshman, so I signed into the anthropology and human biology major (basically just biological anthropology); I am now at the end of my third year and not regretting it a bit. Keep in mind that MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY is a growing field and a great way to link health issues with society, culture, evolution, etc. if this is what you are interested in. Also keep in mind that you can major in anthro--or any other humanities major--and still do a whole lot of science classes on the side if you're worried about that....I'm going to have gone over the number of classes needed for my major, but still managed to take two sems gen chem, two sems orgo, two sems physics, one intro bio, genetics, biochem, physiology, calc II and stats. It's just a matter of planning/balancing!
     
  19. dsblaha

    dsblaha Senior Member
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    I went to St. Mary's College in CA. I only took one lower division anthro class as a sophomore and I do not follow the discipline closely. I cannot speak to trends at other schools. My school has a very small anthropology department and I didn't have the best attitude going in.

    Very important: Please don't make your decision on your major based on anything I might say. I felt I was actually dumber for having taken the class because it was full of fluff and ridiculously easy. But that does not mean it is totally without merit. As others have mentioned there may be some redeeming aspects that are relevent to real-world experiences.

    I don't know where you go to school but keep an honest eye out for the extreme liberalism that infects many social sciences at universities. An important buzz-word to watch out for: Sensitivity.

    If you study anthropology because you like it no one will hold it against you. In fact people are impressed and enjoy talking to others who are passionate about something and put forth a real effort to understand it.
     

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