DeadliestSnatch

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I've encountered quite a few people who think Psych is a major people pick just because it's easy. What are your perceptions? Do you think adcoms would even care? Am I just paranoid?

I ask because I'm torn between Psychology and Chemistry as a major. I like both equally. Don't want to/don't have time to double major...I'll minor in whichever one I don't pick. Opinions?
 

rockaction

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Psychology is a cake major. But adcoms won't care, really.

Pick the major you really like. Chemistry is going to be considerably tougher. Since no one will care, if you like psych more, go with that. And vice versa.
 
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I'm biased, and see non-engineering majors as "cake" ;)

Seriously though, picking Chemistry would also you prepare you really, really damn well for the MCAT/and such.
 

dru2002

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I have found every class I took in the behavioral or social sciences to be cake. Can't say that means the major is cake because I haven't taken any upper-level classes. Do what you think you will enjoy more. Most ADCOMS won't give a hoot as long as you have good grades.
 

scattun

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Psychology is a "cake" major for scientifically minded people, because a lot of times the classes take a very scientific approach. However, a lot of people who are typically humanities minded have a hard time with it, for the same reason.

Edit: But adcoms aren't going to care
 
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dukemed22

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Yes, psych is generally considered to be an "easy" major. No, adcoms will not care.

Chemistry on the other hand, I think is a pretty tough major at most schools. It also involves a lot more math than a psych program would require, so this may make it even more difficult for those who don't enjoy math. If you enjoy psych, definitely go for it!
 
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Chem major? Really? Go psych. Adcoms don't care. I would even venture to say all other factors being equal, they would much prefer the psych major.
 

Evergrey

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The entire concept of a "cake" major is a ludicrous notion. Science majors like to call other majors easy but the truth is different majors emphasize very different things. Chemistry may be heavy in mathematical and spatial reasoning, but Psychology requires more creativity, insight, and analysis. Don't believe the myth. There are a lot of science majors (engineers, biochemists, neuroscience, etc, included) that would outright FAIL upper division humanities and social sciences courses. Then, there are people who are really smart and good at both. And of course, many psychology majors that are good at the social sciences and not at hard science.

Ultimately, the notion of a "cake" major, IMO, is a value judgment (aka OPINION) regarding what is more valuable and difficult knowledge to acquire. In other words, ignore it. Be what major you want to be. Obviously your school thinks the major study is worthy for the conferral of a bachelor's degree from their institution, and the admissions committees would agree with you. The most important thing is to study what you LOVE, and get good grades. You may *never* again have the intellectual freedom that you do in college. Take very good advantage of it, and pursue what you're passionate about learning. Do not be swayed by the unsagely advice that one major can be better, or even more rigorous, than the other. The best major is the one that stretches your imagination to the limits and hardens you into a cold-blooded analytical mastermind.

I was a Humanities major in UG, so I saw both camps (did humanities as well as chemistry research). For the record, I switched to premed too late to be anything other than the major I had already chosen. Science classes do have more rigor in terms of coursework, but writing papers and understanding abstract concepts like postmodernism and hegemony are something that most science majors struggle with an incredible amount. In my experience, many science majors don't have the writing and analytical skills to even write a high-quality lab report. Writing my thesis was very hard, harder for me than anything I ever did in my science classes. I can imagine that it's the same with Psychology (my friends that were psych majors had to work extremely hard on their theses also). Science is my love and my passion, but I am still extremely grateful for my Humanities major background. It will definitely serve me well in the future (hopefully in a career as a physician).

If you wanna pick on a major, pick on Theater. But before you do, realize although it may not be as intellectually rigorous, theater majors put in more manhours and have more time commitment to their studies than basically any other major (yes even science majors with labs).

So, bottom line -- don't listen to geeks who tell you that Psychology is a cake major. They're insecure and they want to think that their work was more valuable than others' work.

(Now, if you were to ask a question about what major would be more useful to you after you graduate and before you go to medical school, that is an entirely different debate).
 

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It depends on the psychology department at your school.

At any rate, if you take the pre-reqs and excel in them, does it really matter what your major is as long as your GPA is high? I don't think so.

However, if you want to get a job (outside of medicine) with a degree in psychology, good luck.
 

SirGecko

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I'm biased, and see non-engineering majors as "cake" ;)
+1
If you ask me there are two categories: engineering and everything else. You are either awesome or you have a [Arnold] girly man[/Arold] major.

That said major in what you want to op. Either way you are still not an engineer! ;) (seriously though it doesn't matter enough to dictate what you study, do what you like and you are more likely to do well)
 

kikiu

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I second Evergrey. :)

I don't think a Psychology major is a "cake major", in all honesty. If you are passionate about it, I would definitely say "Go for it!" I am considering switching from Bio to Psych, simply because my passion really does lie within psychology, as I absolutely find it fascinating. Med schools would NOT look down upon it as a "cake major", in my opinion, as long as you get good grades in it! I'd say--Go for it, if that is what you strongly want!

Do what you want in life, and don't listen to those who try to belittle your decisions. Just follow your own intuition.

At my school, psychology is actually not even a cake major. It's a very challenging major with really tough teachers that teach the core requirements, which is making me thing of, ironically, staying with biology. hahah :)
 

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Honestly, if you don't plan on using your Chem degree, Psych can help you get into the minds of your patients better than your average science degree. As long as you can excel in upper level courses to prove your pre req worth, you're all good.

Pscyh is considered easy, but it's also considered valuable for interpersonal skills, empathy, etc. All very important for physicians.

Also, a higher GPA + easy major >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> a lower GPA + very hard major.

Trust me.
 

Narmerguy

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Also, a higher GPA + easy major >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> a lower GPA + very hard major.

Trust me.
The sad truth.
 

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psych is indeed a cake major. upper div psych classes i've taken are a joke compared to upper div real science classes.

if you like psych, be a psych major. you'll enjoy the topic and be less stressed, all the while maintaining a high gpa! only do it if you like it though
 

shiftingmirage

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I think people bash psych because everyone knows someone who was a pre-med bio major that was doing terribly and switched to psych and is doing better. The 'logical' reason that the same person can be more successful in one major versus another is because that major must be easier. But like others said, the two fields are different. Also, with pre-meds, everything is a competition. I'm better than you because of x.

Adcoms don't care what your major is. That being said, I think they are more understanding of science majors with lower GPAs than a psych majors with the same GPA.

Pick the major you like. College is just not the req for med school, it's the point of your life to go have some fun. No reason to bog yourself down with a major you don't like to impress the adcom.
 
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At UW seattle, the psych major is necessarily easier than science majors because of the curve. The average for science classes (math, chemistry, physics, biology) are all preset for 2.6+/-0.2 whereas in psychology, it isn't.

That being said though, I don't think this says much about the value of a psych degree vs. a science degree.
 

NoMoreAMCAS

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Yeah it's a cake major. I've had several friends switch from science to psych for just that reason. I'm guessing admissions people wont care though, they actually love the non-science majors.
 

NoMoreAMCAS

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I think people bash psych because everyone knows someone who was a pre-med bio major that was doing terribly and switched to psych and is doing better. The 'logical' reason that the same person can be more successful in one major versus another is because that major must be easier. But like others said, the two fields are different. Also, with pre-meds, everything is a competition. I'm better than you because of x.

Adcoms don't care what your major is. That being said, I think they are more understanding of science majors with lower GPAs than a psych majors with the same GPA.

Pick the major you like. College is just not the req for med school, it's the point of your life to go have some fun. No reason to bog yourself down with a major you don't like to impress the adcom.
You can also tell psych is easier because the chicks are so much hotter. Sitting in upper level biology or chemistry courses......not a pretty sight.
 

TopSecret

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You can also tell psych is easier because the chicks are so much hotter. Sitting in upper level biology or chemistry courses......not a pretty sight.
Psychology is a good area of study to boost your GPA, graduate summa cum laude, get on Phi Beta Kappa and meet hot girls.
 

ziggydoc

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As a psych major, I will have to disagree with the notion that the whole major is "cake" compared to biology and other hard science degrees. This is simply because the range of psych classes one can take to obtain the degree can vary a great deal. I am going to assume many of the friends that you guys mention took fairly easy psych courses to obtain their psych degrees and thus it seemed "easier" than a bio degree. However, if your UG doesn't have a separate neuroscience department, it is often filed under clinical psych, and trust me, a 3000 level psych/neuroscience course is much more difficult than your typical biochem class. For example, I took a 3000 level behavioral genetics class at UG at the same time as biochem, and every lecture, the statistics used in my Be-Gen class made my head spin. Furthermore, classes like physiological psych is at least the equivalent of any bio course.

Anyway, like many others have said, do what you like, and I suggest you pick a major in the social sciences or other areas unrelated to science if you have interest in them, most often these majors will teach you a lot about life a hard science major can not. And you will NEVER have that freedom to explore the subjects you want in post college education regardless of the field you chose to be in.

Althogh, I have to agree that even tho I took both upper division bio and psych courses, engeering scares me, more due to the fact that my buddies often sit there for two or three hours figuring out ONE problem, a lot of patience lol.
 

shiftingmirage

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You can also tell psych is easier because the chicks are so much hotter. Sitting in upper level biology or chemistry courses......not a pretty sight.
Hey, this is two way street. The science guys don't know how to have a convo with a member of the opposite sex, that is assuming they realize there is an opposite sex.


One of the downsides of psych- Pavlov's dog. Every psych class I have taking has discussed this ad nauseam. I don't car that the dog salivated.
 

ziggydoc

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Hey, this is two way street. The science guys don't know how to have a convo with a member of the opposite sex, that is assuming they realize there is an opposite sex.


One of the downsides of psych- Pavlov's dog. Every psych class I have taking has discussed this ad nauseam. I don't car that the dog salivated.
pshh, it's the same as every bio class talks about evolution, it IS the beginning :laugh:
 

NoMoreAMCAS

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Hey, this is two way street. The science guys don't know how to have a convo with a member of the opposite sex, that is assuming they realize there is an opposite sex.


One of the downsides of psych- Pavlov's dog. Every psych class I have taking has discussed this ad nauseam. I don't car that the dog salivated.
Yeah, im sure the science dudes are ugly too.

And I completely agree with the awkward thing. Cant hold a conversation and dress funny (many like old men) are the two things I've noticed the most from science dudes.
 

TopSecret

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Hey, this is two way street. The science guys don't know how to have a convo with a member of the opposite sex, that is assuming they realize there is an opposite sex.


One of the downsides of psych- Pavlov's dog. Every psych class I have taking has discussed this ad nauseam. I don't car that the dog salivated.
You were conditioned to dislike the dog.
 

PinkIvy08

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Was mine the only school where all the neuroscience classes fell under the psych dept? Those science majors always hate on those who took more liberal paths...
 

ziggydoc

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Was mine the only school where all the neuroscience classes fell under the psych dept? Those science majors always hate on those who took more liberal paths...
Negative, my UG was like that as well, and I took a "somewhat" neuroscience heavy course load.
 

TopSecret

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:laugh:

Psych definitely has the potential to be an incredibly difficult major, but I don't think many schools make it so.
I took Intro to Psych as a college sophomore and that was it. I got the second highest total test score and was quite happy with my performance. But I didn't want to major in it. It was a good department, though.
 

URHere

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People have debated whether or not psych is a "cake" major, so I won't go there. What I will say is that many universities require fewer classes and credits to earn a psych degree than a natural science degree (I mean hours in the major, not total hours required for graduation). Personally, I was finished with the requirements for my psych degree by the end of first semester sophomore year. The good thing about that is that you may have more time to pursue other classes that interest you if you choose psych.

Basically, though - it boils down to what you enjoy.
 
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As a psych major, I will have to disagree with the notion that the whole major is "cake" compared to biology and other hard science degrees. This is simply because the range of psych classes one can take to obtain the degree can vary a great deal. I am going to assume many of the friends that you guys mention took fairly easy psych courses to obtain their psych degrees and thus it seemed "easier" than a bio degree. However, if your UG doesn't have a separate neuroscience department, it is often filed under clinical psych, and trust me, a 3000 level psych/neuroscience course is much more difficult than your typical biochem class. For example, I took a 3000 level behavioral genetics class at UG at the same time as biochem, and every lecture, the statistics used in my Be-Gen class made my head spin. Furthermore, classes like physiological psych is at least the equivalent of any bio course.

Anyway, like many others have said, do what you like, and I suggest you pick a major in the social sciences or other areas unrelated to science if you have interest in them, most often these majors will teach you a lot about life a hard science major can not. And you will NEVER have that freedom to explore the subjects you want in post college education regardless of the field you chose to be in.

Althogh, I have to agree that even tho I took both upper division bio and psych courses, engeering scares me, more due to the fact that my buddies often sit there for two or three hours figuring out ONE problem, a lot of patience lol.
3000? :confused:
 

ziggydoc

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You can also tell psych is easier because the chicks are so much hotter. Sitting in upper level biology or chemistry courses......not a pretty sight.
I sat through seven psych courses and never saw that many hotties. Most of them were over in business or nursing.

Psych is easy though. I'd say about 40% of each course covered the same stuff. I didn't have to write a single paper, and the bulk of most tests were multiple choice for us. That translated to not having to study since I'm good at the multiple guess, lol. Granted, I really don't recall much of it, but at the time (seven years ago) I didn't care. I made I think 6 A's and one B in all of it, and oddly enough the B was in physiological psych.

Oh, btw, our premeds were all biology majors / psych minors. Minors were required at that university for most all majors.
 

bannie22

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u gotta be kidding me. psy a bird major?

if not for psy my gpa will be 0.02-3 higher than it is right now

**** psy.
lower year courses great
upper year courses ****ed up if u do the interesting ones
unless ure one of them wimps that only wanna take all the bird courses in the world


i say.

do what u really wanna do.
if psy is ur calling. do it.
 

surftheiop

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Im an engineering major and often regret the fact I never considered psych before it was too late :(

1) Most importantly- Its actually interesting, not dry equations/number crunching.

2) The professors seem to be really nice/understanding.

3) Its easier and less stressful. (I took a 300 level psych class w/o taking any pre-reqs and did about 1/7th of readings and easily made an A)
 

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Considering 5 out of the 6 graduating 4.0s in my class were Psych majors....

There are certainly difficult Psych classes. However, in my school, you can graduate with a Psych major with 42 credits. Bio/Chem/Physics majors need between 80 and 90. In short, it is certainly possible to be a hardcore Psych major. However, it is also easy to get a Psych major taking only "easy" classes. This is my school, YMMV.

Unfortunately for me, I breezed through every class I took in the Humanities/English/Classics/History/Psych/everythingthatisnotascienceclass including many in the 300 and 400 levels. Science, not so much. I was afraid to reveal that I was a science major in my non-science upper level classes as the students in that major actually had to work to get good grades. But C'est la vie, GPA be damned, I love science (not that I'm complaining about a 3.8 science GPA killing my overall)

Of course for the OP, major in what you want. It shouldn't be viewed any worse by ADCOMs, but it would be better if you do enough to take it out of the equation. Do well in all your classes, across all fields and all levels, and you won't give them a chance to question your major.
 

shiftingmirage

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I don't know if this has been mentioned, but if you do psych, you wont have as many labs. You'll still have to do the prereqs, but you'll have less labs than if you did a chem major and more time to enjoy the college experience. Lab reports kind of lose their luster.....who are we kidding, they are just annoying.

You could also just double major.
 

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You should instead get a chemical engineering degree with a biotech focus.

1. Chemistry, Ochem, Pchem, Bio, Physics, Thermo you are the master them all. Oh look, all the main sections on an MCAT.
2. The most social of all engineers. We make alcohol duh
3. If you don't get into med school, your starting salary is 80k/year
 

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But psych is actually quite challenging compared to Anth and Sociology. Sociology is the Kinesiology of the behavioral sciences.
 

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If you ask me there are two categories: engineering and everything else. You are either awesome or you have a [Arnold] girly man[/Arold] major.
Engineering? Really? Does it bother you that you take the "watered down" course load of a math and/or physics major? As far as I'm concerned those are the two most difficult majors to walk away "alive" with coming out of undergrad.
 

dukemed22

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Engineering? Really? Does it bother you that you take the "watered down" course load of a math and/or physics major? As far as I'm concerned those are the two most difficult majors to walk away "alive" with coming out of undergrad.
Each individual physics or math class may be harder than an engineering class, but in my opinion, what makes engineering so difficult is just the sheer number of courses that you are required to take. You basically have to take a full load of engineering courses each semester, and even then you may not graduate in 4 years. Whereas with my physics degree, I had plenty of room to fill my schedule with a bunch of fluff classes (if I so wished), and I will still easily graduate on time.
 
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Diggidy

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If sheer amount of work is a qualifier then I vote for a competitive architecture program being most difficult. Seriously, I know guys in their junior and senior years in arch. and they don't sleep for days, just in the arch. building working on projects, and the cuts for their program are so strict; usually cutting half the class after each year.
 

dukemed22

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If sheer amount of work is a qualifier then I vote for a competitive architecture program being most difficult. Seriously, I know guys in their junior and senior years in arch. and they don't sleep for days, just in the arch. building working on projects, and the cuts for their program are so strict; usually cutting half the class after each year.

Well maybe... this whole discussion of which program is the "toughest" or which one is the "easiest" is pretty silly anyway
 

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I actually enjoyed getting a degree in Psych. I did a double major Psych and Bio, but went with an emphasis on neuroscience. It is a nice change of pace from the straightforward science classes. But oddly enough, my GPA in psych was lower than my GPA in Bio.
 

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I've encountered quite a few people who think Psych is a major people pick just because it's easy. What are your perceptions? Do you think adcoms would even care? Am I just paranoid?

I ask because I'm torn between Psychology and Chemistry as a major. I like both equally. Don't want to/don't have time to double major...I'll minor in whichever one I don't pick. Opinions?
For the 1,000,000,000th time, major in what you like and what you can do well in. In the end, it's your uGPA, that will determine your fate, not the subject matter of your major. An engineering major with a 3.0 will not be as successful as a psych major with a 3.7 period. Do well in all of your studies and submit a competitive MCAT score with one take only. After that, make sure that you AMCAS/ACCOMAS is well-written and competitive.

As a member of two admissions committees, I don't care about your major. Please do not try to pattern your undergraduate career with the idea that you will impress or not impress an admissions committee. In three to four years, you may not even WANT to enter medicine so major in what you enjoy and what you can do well in. A strong undergraduate performance is impressive all on its own.
 

SirGecko

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Engineering? Really? Does it bother you that you take the "watered down" course load of a math and/or physics major? As far as I'm concerned those are the two most difficult majors to walk away "alive" with coming out of undergrad.
Nope. I took the physics and math required for engineering. Just because the math that math majors take is harder doesn't necessarily make the major harder. That said I have respect for physics and math majors. That stuff about engineering being the only real major was said in jest, there are a few other majors (like architechture) that are almost as cool as engineering. :p