whodenie

Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2002
30
0
341
Visit site
Status
I was just wandering if there is anyone else out there who is applying to MSTP and does not have a BS. I have a BA in philosophy. Just curious to see if I am the lone wander.
 

Neuronix

Total nerd
Staff member
Administrator
15+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2002
12,909
1,989
581
the beach
Status
Attending Physician
I hold a BA in Psychology and I'm working on my BA in Biological Sciences right now.

I know, how does one get a Bachelor of ARTS in Biological SCIENCES? Sounds pretty silly at first. It's just a Biology major that requires less labs and is less structured. I shoulda taken the BS, but I didn't even know about MSTP when I started my med school route and they told me that a BA would make me well rounded.
 

CaNEM

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2002
635
4
241
Status
Originally posted by whodenie
I was just wandering if there is anyone else out there who is applying to MSTP and does not have a BS. I have a BA in philosophy. Just curious to see if I am the lone wander.
Many MD/PhD programs prefer your degree is in a science, and a few require it, but not all.
 
J

jot

i am gettin a ba in history and bs in bio --- but i know someone on this board with a ba in history alone and is doing excellently (all the top schools). the person is taking a year off to do research (on scholarship) and has limited undergrad research i think. nevertheless, as long as you can explain your research, show that you are dedicated to it, its not a problem. may take a little more convincing, but quite possible.

-jot
 

ItNeverEnds

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2002
112
0
0
Visit site
Status
There are a few MD/PhD and DO/PhD programs in which you get your PhD in a non-science field. Dartmouth's MD/PhD program offers a PhD in Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine's DO/PhD program offers a PhD in Health Policy. I'm sure there are more.

For the record, I was a psychology major in college and do think psychology is a science. This is especially true today as the field is blending with traditional sciences such as neuroscience, pharmacology, and physiology.
 

atsai3

10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 15, 2002
1,283
9
251
Boston
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I met a student at Wisconsin who is under the MSTP program and getting a MD/PhD in epidmiology. I'm not sure how that works, since I had assumed that the MSTP was for basic sciences only.

Harvard has a MD/PhD in health policy program. Your PhD years are funded but not your MD years. But that will be typical of non-MSTP MD/PhD programs.

CWRU has a MD/PhD in health services research funded by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; both your MD and PhD years are fully funded along with a small stipend. I have heard that Minnesota and Yale are also developing similar programs.

-AT.
 

TheRock

Junior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2002
24
0
0
39
Illinois
Visit site
Status
I believe the issue at hand was whether or not non-science majors can apply to mstp programs, not considering what field one enters into for a phd. With this in mind, I have never heard of a program requiring a science major for their entrance into mstp... name some if they exist as I would be curious to know. Moreover, it is my personal opinion that students who strictly major in science miss a liberal arts education.... assuming thats the purpose of college (to receive a liberal arts education). I feel sorry for individuals that spend 4 years in school, yet have not read classical literature and cannot even dialogue about ideas and philosophies that have shaped our world today. I think modern educators are relatively lazy in that greek and latin are no longer required in one's education, along with studying plato, aristotle and socrates. Anyways, thats all to say that a friend of mine used to work at the U of Chicago admissions office and said "admission officers crave non-science majors applying for mstp." There are few, but their presence is known in graduate programs.
 

DoubleDoctor

Ceder Dog's Daddy
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2002
510
0
0
39
Ohio
Visit site
Status
I have a BS is biochem and a BA in micro and I took a carload of other courses like modern architecture, 2 years of latin, history,philosophy, psychology, fine arts, and classic literature. It is required by the Miami Plan and the college of arts and sciences so just becauseyou have a science degree it does not mean that you aren't a well rounded student with knowledge about the classics, humanities, etc.
 

sluox

15+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2002
1,708
766
381
Status
Attending Physician
I go to U of C and I want to present another side of the argument.

Is it really necessary to have a liberal arts education? I mean, any intelligent people can read philosophy on their own, but very few could study organic chemistry or quantum mechanics without taking a course and having support from teaching assistants, laboratory excersizes, and so forth. Often I felt that the resource of the university was wasted on things that could've been done without even having a classroom.

That being said, it's not true that everything in the humanities/arts realm could be learned autodadectically. Music and performance art, for instance, demand one-on-one instruction.

Now, what is truly annoying to me is that people just assume that science majors don't know any literature, or they can't make a cogent argument, or etc etc, just because they "didn't receive a liberal arts education". This is simply not true. Honestly I, as a hard science major, can go into any Ph.D. program, in humanities or in sciences, with a high degree of confidence. Now can you say that a straight English or philosophy major can do a Ph.D. in physics or engineering? I don't think so. They will FAIL OUT ON THE FIRST DAY. Tho, to be fair, I know excellent geneticists who were English majors in college.

Originally posted by TheRock
I believe the issue at hand was whether or not non-science majors can apply to mstp programs, not considering what field one enters into for a phd. With this in mind, I have never heard of a program requiring a science major for their entrance into mstp... name some if they exist as I would be curious to know. Moreover, it is my personal opinion that students who strictly major in science miss a liberal arts education.... assuming thats the purpose of college (to receive a liberal arts education). I feel sorry for individuals that spend 4 years in school, yet have not read classical literature and cannot even dialogue about ideas and philosophies that have shaped our world today. I think modern educators are relatively lazy in that greek and latin are no longer required in one's education, along with studying plato, aristotle and socrates. Anyways, thats all to say that a friend of mine used to work at the U of Chicago admissions office and said "admission officers crave non-science majors applying for mstp." There are few, but their presence is known in graduate programs.
 

DoubleDoctor

Ceder Dog's Daddy
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2002
510
0
0
39
Ohio
Visit site
Status
I agree with you sluox because although I thoroughly enjoyed many of the classics and humanities that I took, I really don't see how they benefit me greatly thus far. I use my science background every day. It may be different for me because I have always been well rounded with interests across the spectrum. I truly enjoy history, the arts, and literature of all types. I can see the benefit of these courses if you had limited knowledge in those areas because they will expand your understanding of the world in general. I think it is pretty stereotypical to think that science majors can't put together a coherent essay or know nothing about philosophy and other things that shape our world.
 

whodenie

Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2002
30
0
341
Visit site
Status
Without being pulled into the debate over the merits of various types of education I am still wandering if there are anymore people out there that know the type of looks you get when you try to explain how you can have a degree in philosophy (or something along those lines) and study K+ channels (or other basic research). I am currently applying to MSTP programs and personally know no one else applying much less a person with a degree in a non science field. Just looking for some sympathizers.
 

TheRock

Junior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2002
24
0
0
39
Illinois
Visit site
Status
The purpose of the previous was not to divide one another, but to unite us in one spirit, love, and harmony, in order to carry out the goal of kicking cancer out of society and eliminating AIDS from our galaxy.

Seriously, I never said that there are science majors that have studied other subjects...because some have, however, I sense an apparent "science" trap that all one needs is science classes to be well learned... which I beg to differ.

Anyways, to the previous poster, you probably couldn't tell that I too am a non-science mstp applicant who will be applying in the next cycle (Ancient languages). Currently I am somewhat apprehensive in applying because of the simply fact that I do not have a science degree... to be honest, I'm scared sh$tless because other students took ecology, plant taxonomy, and biological systems, when I opted for language and philosophy. I really don't know, someone who has been through the process ought to comment here... but from what I have read and to people I have spoken to, the degree doesn't matter, but the vested interest in research is, which is why I'm going the mstp route. I have a friend that worked alongside the adcom commitee at the U of Chicago and he said the adcom's loved the non-science folks because there were so few of them and they like the well-rounded idea... in the end, nobody knows what our lives will be like in 10 years... anybody else out there in cyber-world that can provide us non-science nerds (geeks) with some advice? Thanks
 

exigente chica

7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 28, 2002
1,330
0
0
Visit site
Status
I happen to love learning new things, not only science releated! I am an epistomoligist for life and jump at the chance to take classes outside of my school. I always take at least 2 philosopyh's criminology, socioly, humanities and u name it...this is one of the only time that u will be able to study things other than science before enterint med or grad school, so take advantage of it:clap:
 

bailey39

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 16, 2002
54
0
0
Visit site
Status
Medical Student
Hi-
It is entirely possible to be an MSTP candidate as a humanities major. As long as you have taken extensive science coursework and proven your commitment to research, you should be fine. As a history major I had one year of lab research in undergrad, did one year at the NIH and am now in another lab. I was worried schools would look at my major with some questions (for MSTP), but I don't think that has been the case.

IF (and this is a big if) schools like non-science majors, it is because we may have unique reasons for entering science. Also, quite a few PIs I have talked to on my interviews (Hopkins, Cornell, Pitt, Yale) seem to have been humanities majors. And someone at Cornell reminded me that Harold Varmus (ex-Nih head, Nobel Laur, Sloan-Kett chief) majored in English, just to make sure I knew there were many of us humanities folk floating around the science departments of NY. It?s a big secret:)
Good luck to all of you!
 

pathdr2b

Membership Revoked
Removed
15+ Year Member
Aug 21, 2002
2,192
1
0
112
Visit site
Status
Originally posted by DoubleDoctor
I agree with you sluox because although I thoroughly enjoyed many of the classics and humanities that I took, I really don't see how they benefit me greatly thus far. I use my science background every day.

You might not see how this background helps you now and I also didn't "see" how the BA I have in Religion (concentration in Easter Philosophy) would help me either when I was your age and I'm assuming you under 30 (I'm thirty something).

I can tell you without a doubt now that I'm older, that having a non-science degree has helped me both professionally and personally. As others have mentioned, a nonscience background makes you a well-rounded individual and as you get older and have other life experiences you'll begin to see other pluses. For example at job related functions, you'll to be able to comment on something intelligently other than science which I can assure you will impress your boss even if they never acknowledge it. It will also be useful on the verbal section of the MCAT. I can also tell you from personal experience having talked to adcom members at Harvard and other schools, this particular school is definitely interested in students that stand out from the crowd. Finally on every interview I've had since earning my degrees, my nonscience education always comes up and makes it easier for interviewers to remember me. Talking about it takes the "edge" off the interviewing process.

These are just a few of the many advantages having a nonscience background has helped me. You might not see it now but believe me you'll see it one day and see that it is/was worth the extra effort.

PS- I'll be an MSTP applicant next year.