PreMedder

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I am currently nearing the end of my second semester of first year in undergrad and have come to the conclusion of a few possible options in terms of major/minor routes to take. The two options are either majoring in math, or majoring in biopsychology (5 courses in bio / 5 in psych) with a minor in math. The double major is simply not feasible considering credit restraints (10 classes for both that I have yet to take) on top of the remaining b 4 distributions credits I need to graduate.

Which route do you think would be more ideal? I really like math, and would take a few upper level bio classes like genetics and physio if I majored in it. I also enjoy biopsych, but the intro to psych class I'm in now isn't all that i hoped for. But, the scheduling for a biopsych major/math minor seems pretty manageable.

Any thoughts about which route to take? Thanks so much.
 

loveoforganic

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I mean, it just depends what your interests are. Outside of 'interest area' alone though, I will say that psych classes give you more knowledge on the principles of actual research/setting up experiments than any other major, as far as I've noticed. So if research is your cup of tea, that could be a weighing factor. You also get some insight into how people work, if that's valuable to you. I'm not sure what you 'get out' of upper level maths, but I'm not a math person.

As far as med school, doesn't really matter.
 
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I mean, it just depends what your interests are. Outside of 'interest area' alone though, I will say that psych classes give you more knowledge on the principles of actual research/setting up experiments than any other major, as far as I've noticed. So if research is your cup of tea, that could be a weighing factor. You also get some insight into how people work, if that's valuable to you. I'm not sure what you 'get out' of upper level maths, but I'm not a math person.

As far as med school, doesn't really matter.
Don't take psycology courses in the hope of learning how to set up research. I would suggest something along the lines of microbiology, straight bio, or biochem, that are much more straightforward inthey scientific approach. Psycology tends to be more survey or " let's trick people and see how they act".

To the op, your major won't affect your chances of getting intoed school assumig your grades are also unaffected so go with whichever one you find the most interesting/easy.
 

PreMedder

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Okay I see. I was discussing about majoring in math with my professor (calc 2 at the moment) and he was telling me about possibly getting involved with research with him/others in the department, since the math dept. at my school isn't that large (not nearly as large as the bio dept). Would research in math areas be, i don't know the word, 'accepted' or looked down upon by medical schools? Would they prefer research in more bio related areas? Thanks for responses.
 
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IMO, colleges like to see any sort of research. It shows that you take an active interest in what you are learning.
 

loveoforganic

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Don't take psycology courses in the hope of learning how to set up research. I would suggest something along the lines of microbiology, straight bio, or biochem, that are much more straightforward inthey scientific approach. Psycology tends to be more survey or " let's trick people and see how they act".

To the op, your major won't affect your chances of getting intoed school assumig your grades are also unaffected so go with whichever one you find the most interesting/easy.
:laugh: It all depends on what kind of research you're interested in.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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Don't take psycology courses in the hope of learning how to set up research. I would suggest something along the lines of microbiology, straight bio, or biochem, that are much more straightforward inthey scientific approach. Psycology tends to be more survey or " let's trick people and see how they act".

To the op, your major won't affect your chances of getting intoed school assumig your grades are also unaffected so go with whichever one you find the most interesting/easy.
Sorry there's no major that'll prepare you for research then psychology. Biology doesn't prep you for any scientific understanding outside of the understanding of how to do control, iv,dp and easy stuff. In psychology is plain out opperationalization of variables. Psychology has many more methodologies then surveying, if you've ever taken statistics you'll know how many more methods there are.
 

Evidence Based

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Don't take psycology courses in the hope of learning how to set up research. I would suggest something along the lines of microbiology, straight bio, or biochem, that are much more straightforward inthey scientific approach. Psycology tends to be more survey or " let's trick people and see how they act".
I'm glad to see people on SDN have such a nuanced understanding of Pysch research. Deception, as it is formally called, is used in <1% of modern psych research. The study of human behavior can hardly be answered with just survey methodology. And if the OP is going into Biopsych, my guess is that he/she will focus more on the brain and physiological questions. But I digress.

OP, a psych major may actually give you more of an insight into the "scientific mindset" than a straight bio or chem major would. Since the variables studied are so complex and hard to control, you really have to think long and hard about your experimental methodology. It takes more than clean test tubes and a fume hood to do good psych research.

But in terms of med school? I'm pretty sure they couldn't care one iota about what you major in, as long as you're into it and you do well.
 

RogueUnicorn

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I'm glad to see people on SDN have such a nuanced understanding of Pysch research. Deception, as it is formally called, is used in <1% of modern psych research. The study of human behavior can hardly be answered with just survey methodology. And if the OP is going into Biopsych, my guess is that he/she will focus more on the brain and physiological questions. But I digress.

OP, a psych major may actually give you more of an insight into the "scientific mindset" than a straight bio or chem major would. Since the variables studied are so complex and hard to control, you really have to think long and hard about your experimental methodology. It takes more than clean test tubes and a fume hood to do good psych research.

But in terms of med school? I'm pretty sure they couldn't care one iota about what you major in, as long as you're into it and you do well.
probably because it's such a fcking pain in the ass to get IRB approval :laugh:
 

chman

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OP, what just about everyone will tell you will be to major in what you like the most. I am partial to psych, but that is my interest, not yours... I think psych is very applicable to medicine as well as many other things. Contrary to what some may think, you can most definitely get involved with good research, especially if you are doing a bio concentration. Any type of research is a plus (it does not have to be chem or bio). If you are equally interested in both then choose the one that would jive best with the pre-reqs, schedule, chance of high GPA, etc.

I don't think that you can judge a major off of an intro course. You may have a bad professor, bad book, etc. However, if you find none of it very interesting then that is a problem. There were plenty of things I found boring about intro to psych and plenty of things I found very interesting.
 

chman

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probably because it's such a fcking pain in the ass to get IRB approval :laugh:
That's right. Half of the famous studies that were done would never make it today.
 

Evidence Based

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probably because it's such a fcking pain in the ass to get IRB approval
That's right. Half of the famous studies that were done would never make it today.
Ah, for the days where you could trick someone into believing they had almost killed a person with electric shocks. Or the ability to create a prison in the basement of a psych building.

I can only imagine the fits my IRB would throw if I were to propose a replication of the Stanford Prison Experiment for my senior thesis. Psychologists just don't have any fun anymore...
 

loveoforganic

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I'm not sure it would be too much of a fit. More like a "hahaha, right."
 

phonyreal98

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I'm not sure what you 'get out' of upper level maths, but I'm not a math person.
If you want to be a physician....not much. From what I hear, the abstract logic used in upper level math classes sort of puts you "out of touch" with the more practical applications of science. I don't know how to explain it, I haven't had math past the first part of Calc III, but my friend (who is premed and a math major) and his dad (who is a physician and was a math major in college) have both said this.
 

PreMedder

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Biopsych!! That's my major :)

Are you from a UC btw?
Haha nope, east coast

If you want to be a physician....not much. From what I hear, the abstract logic used in upper level math classes sort of puts you "out of touch" with the more practical applications of science. I don't know how to explain it, I haven't had math past the first part of Calc III, but my friend (who is premed and a math major) and his dad (who is a physician and was a math major in college) have both said this.
This is a pretty interesting point. My professor actually brought up a somewhat similar thought to this one today in class. Would there be any way to elaborate?

And thanks for everyone for your input. Still not sure which path to take yet - so more advice/thoughts are definitely appreciated
 
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I would look at the upper level classes for each major and look at how interested you'd be in those. I know people who quickly dropped their chem major just because of one class- physical chemistry- they would later have to take.
 
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Sorry there's no major that'll prepare you for research then psychology. Biology doesn't prep you for any scientific understanding outside of the understanding of how to do control, iv,dp and easy stuff. In psychology is plain out opperationalization of variables. Psychology has many more methodologies then surveying, if you've ever taken statistics you'll know how many more methods there are.

Sorry, I should qualify this by saying I'm speaking from the perspective of my UG experience. Apparently most universities have bio majors that actually don't teach you anything substantive about research which is unfortunate. In several of my classes and those of others we were requires to co
e up with our own projects for the semester about an actually unanswered question, as well as methods for answering said questions. These were written up in "mini" grant proposals. Psych majors did nothing of the sort. But that's just at my university.
 

TooMuchResearch

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Sorry, I should qualify this by saying I'm speaking from the perspective of my UG experience. Apparently most universities have bio majors that actually don't teach you anything substantive about research which is unfortunate. In several of my classes and those of others we were requires to co
e up with our own projects for the semester about an actually unanswered question, as well as methods for answering said questions. These were written up in "mini" grant proposals. Psych majors did nothing of the sort. But that's just at my university.
This sounds a lot like my school. We also had grant proposals, and some classes actually had the grant proposal used as a semester long project worth >25% of the final grade. I also remember a lot of upper division bio tests that asked questions about research design. We spent a good deal of time reading/breaking down papers from Nature and Science. There is some serious BS published in those major journals sometimes. I wouldn't have even been able to get away with some of that stuff in my undergraduate, liberal arts college thesis.

Of course, most profs in the psych department gave extra credit for showing up to class...

Edit: OP, I know math majors who are now in medical school and beyond. Study what interests you!
 

Evidence Based

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Of course, most profs in the psych department gave extra credit for showing up to class...
You know what would be great? Generalizing one person's experience to cover the entirety of a field.

Bottom line: Any path you choose is what you make of it. You could major in Bio and never touch experimental design, or major in Psych and learn a ton about the scientific process. On the other hand, the complete opposite could happen. Just depends on what you decide to put into your work and what focus you want to have.
 

CaliGirl14

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So obviously you're interested in both majors, right? Then you should go ahead and pick which ever major won't hurt your GPA. From my understanding, math majors have it really tough, and psychobiology is considered one of the 'easiest' pre-med majors.

I mean unless you are a God at math, don't do anything that might ruin your GPA. Afterall, once you're in med school, what your undergrad degree was will never matter.
 

PreMedder

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Ah okay I see - so the general consensus is that research in the math department would be equivalent in I guess, value?, to that of the typical pre-med research? (Sorry, not really sure how the research part works, as I have no prior experience)
 

loveoforganic

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As far as applying to medical school, my opinion is yes.
 
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Ah okay I see - so the general consensus is that research in the math department would be equivalent in I guess, value?, to that of the typical pre-med research? (Sorry, not really sure how the research part works, as I have no prior experience)
It's my understanding that med schools appreciate research of any kind; it shows that you're engaged in learning outside of the classroom and demonstrates a passion for learning.

Don't be worried about your research not being in a typical "pre-med" field. Just be sure that you are expressing your interest in medicine in other ways (i.e. volunteering, club work, etc.). I majored in a non-science, but had health-related extracurriculars, so I was able to study what I liked while being a pre-med student.
 

PreMedder

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What kind of research do math people do? Are they making up new numbers? lol
Haha no. A lot of mathematical equations (especially differential equations) have very far-reaching applications, even physiology-based applications. Some of the research I'd be interested in is in the relatively new field of computational neuroscience, led by my current professor.

At this point, I think I might be leaning towards a major in biopsychology and a minor in math - but I'm not completely sure yet. Thanks so much for everyone responses, they've all been very helpful.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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What kind of research do math people do? Are they making up new numbers? lol
Well statistic's is a form of research based math. However idk, honestly I used to think that a math degree is essentially a degree in physics
 

ArkansasRanger

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Haha no. A lot of mathematical equations (especially differential equations) have very far-reaching applications, even physiology-based applications. Some of the research I'd be interested in is in the relatively new field of computational neuroscience, led by my current professor.

At this point, I think I might be leaning towards a major in biopsychology and a minor in math - but I'm not completely sure yet. Thanks so much for everyone responses, they've all been very helpful.
If you minor in math you're going to be light years beyond others when it comes to mathiness. I don't even know what "differential equations" means. :oops:
 

ArkansasRanger

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Well statistic's is a form of research based math. However idk, honestly I used to think that a math degree is essentially a degree in physics
I took a course in business statistics about three years after I got my degree. I was 24 at the time and I recall it being the easiest math class I've ever had although I did only get a B and walked away with no understanding of practical applications for it all. :rolleyes:

If it's not mean, median, or mode then I don't care, lol.
 

chman

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Haha no. A lot of mathematical equations (especially differential equations) have very far-reaching applications, even physiology-based applications. Some of the research I'd be interested in is in the relatively new field of computational neuroscience, led by my current professor.

At this point, I think I might be leaning towards a major in biopsychology and a minor in math - but I'm not completely sure yet. Thanks so much for everyone responses, they've all been very helpful.
Hey, there is nothing that says you need to decide right away. At least you have it narrowed down to two. That is way better than a lot of people. Don't rush is. Just take classes you need, and let it marinate with you for a while.
 

ksmi117

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Ah okay I see - so the general consensus is that research in the math department would be equivalent in I guess, value?, to that of the typical pre-med research? (Sorry, not really sure how the research part works, as I have no prior experience)
Yes. My interviewers seemed very impressed by my math research, probably because they didn't understand it. :laugh: Just be sure you can explain the practical application of the research. "Why does this research matter?" was a question I heard a lot.

What kind of research do math people do? Are they making up new numbers? lol
It depends. There are A LOT of fields of mathematics. My research is in applied math - mathematical modeling of wave scattering. Other things could range from pure math (theorems, etc.) to topology to algebra (it gets more complicated too). Just find someone who does something interesting and start working with them.