should I create my own major? Please help!

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

nembry

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2016
Messages
52
Reaction score
4

Members don't see this ad.
I attend UT Austin and was invited into the Honors Humanities program. the program itself looks very appealing: you pick a topic of interest and create your own curriculum, you're guaranteed scholarship money--and study abroad scholarship money, and you graduate with honors. However, all students in this program are required to conduct a senior research project and thesis their senior year. the thesis is usually 50-80 pages long over 2 semesters.

Is this program worth it? It will probably make me graduate later, which is a con. I want to go to med school more than anything. Currently i am a Psych major and i like it, though I feel that doing this program will really set me apart and build my resume! although, the thesis sounds dreadful. Does this count as research experience? What would y'all decide?

my thesis topic would be: Psychology in Diagnostic Medicine
 

numbersloth

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2015
Messages
459
Reaction score
171
Currently i am a Psych major and i like it, though I feel that doing this program will really set me apart and build my resume!

Can you not design your own "psych" major in this program?

although, the thesis sounds dreadful.

If you already think thesis-ing sounds awful, don't do it. Even people like me who have been planning to thesis since Freshman year and went into it really excited usually end up kind of hating the experience by the end. Its the slowly dwindling fire that gets your through, but you need that fire there in the first place.

Is this program worth it? It will probably make me graduate later, which is a con. I want to go to med school more than anything.
Will you have to pay for an extra year? Medical school is expensive, so it doesn't seem worth it. Also, if med school is what you want most of all, I would imagine that instead of spending extra time on this program, you should expend your energy on research, volunteering, and getting high grades.

I know it can be hard to say no when accepted to "special" programs, but in the end the only people who really give a f**k are people at your school who know about it. Employers and med schools probably don't care.
 

jesie

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
May 2, 2016
Messages
208
Reaction score
209
Is this plan 2 or something like that?

And in what way can you see this causing you to graduate later..? I'm in a very similar major/program and what I will say is that if you want to do MD/PhD, steer clear of it. If med school is your goal, it's a great setup. Do your thesis your junior year if possible (I did, many do).
 
D

deleted781806

Why would the program make you graduate later if you are conducting research/writing a thesis during your senior year? Also, would the scholarship money off-set any financial burden imposed by the potential of having to take a fifth year for your Bachelor's?

I really don't see any problem with pursuing the program, if that is what you are passionate about. However, your hesitation about writing a thesis is something you should think long and hard about, because it is a *long* process and it's not always a great time. I had been planning on writing a thesis for a year or two, and now that I'm finally nearing the end the only thing I can think about is finishing it and never wanting to do it again, but ymmv. The study abroad opportunity through the program sounds nice though, and that's always helpful I think.

Doing well in your classes (whichever track you choose), as well as non-clinical and clinical service are the factors that are really going to make/break your application. So if you want to take on the Honors program for your own fulfillment, then go for it, but I don't know how much of an edge it will truly give you.
 

nembry

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2016
Messages
52
Reaction score
4
Doing well in your classes (whichever track you choose), as well as non-clinical and clinical service are the factors that are really going to make/break your application. So if you want to take on the Honors program for your own fulfillment, then go for it, but I don't know how much of an edge it will truly give you.

thanks for your response. does the research project and thesis not have any significance toward a med school app? I figure it being such an extensive research project, it would be counted as research experience. is this not true?
 

nembry

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2016
Messages
52
Reaction score
4
Can you not design your own "psych" major in this program?

I know it can be hard to say no when accepted to "special" programs, but in the end the only people who really give a f**k are people at your school who know about it. Employers and med schools probably don't care.

thanks for the response. Yes i actually do plan on designing my own specific psych major in this program. You mentioned employers and med schools probably don't care about this on a resume. is this really true? you know, conducting a year-long research project and thesis about diagnostic medicine seems like it would be good for an application for med school. what do you think?
 

nembry

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2016
Messages
52
Reaction score
4
Is this plan 2 or something like that?

And in what way can you see this causing you to graduate later..? I'm in a very similar major/program and what I will say is that if you want to do MD/PhD, steer clear of it. If med school is your goal, it's a great setup. Do your thesis your junior year if possible (I did, many do).

it's VERY similar to Plan 2. I truly have no idea what the difference is. do you feel like being in a program like this helps you for the possibility of getting into med school?
 

jesie

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
May 2, 2016
Messages
208
Reaction score
209
it's VERY similar to Plan 2. I truly have no idea what the difference is. do you feel like being in a program like this helps you for the possibility of getting into med school?

I have not met an interviewer that didn't think my major was really unique and an advantage in my education. You just have to make sure you keep doing difficult things. Some kids use the flexibility to slack, but if you use it to push yourself and create an interdisciplinary perspective for yourself, it can make a good narrative.

The thesis is definitely research (even if you did it in Sociology like me).

If this allows you to do more than just a psych major, go for it. (I used it to do grad-level stats, Spanish, and physics alongside a more traditional bio curriculum)
 
D

deleted781806

thanks for your response. does the research project and thesis not have any significance toward a med school app? I figure it being such an extensive research project, it would be counted as research experience. is this not true?

Yes, the project could be counted as research experience on your application (but I believe there needs to be some kind of scientific component to it, rather than just compiling others' knowledge, it'd be best to check with an AdCom). The thing is that most (not all) medical schools only put a medium or low priority on previous research involvement for their admissions decisions, other factors such as academic performance, clinical experience, and volunteerism have much greater sway on the average medical school than a long research project. While I was in an Honors program at my school, and had a lot of bench-top research through it. But I have no idea how much of an impact it made on the decisions I received this past cycle. Also, AdComs on SDN have said (paraphrasing): "We don't care what you did, we care that you did it well" in reference to choosing an undergraduate major.

*Edit*: As always, just make sure you are able to meet all of the prerequisite coursework for admission to medical school, and whatever undergraduate program you choose will be alright.
 

nembry

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2016
Messages
52
Reaction score
4
I have not met an interviewer that didn't think my major was really unique and an advantage in my education. You just have to make sure you keep doing difficult things. Some kids use the flexibility to slack, but if you use it to push yourself and create an interdisciplinary perspective for yourself, it can make a good narrative.

The thesis is definitely research (even if you did it in Sociology like me).

If this allows you to do more than just a psych major, go for it. (I used it to do grad-level stats, Spanish, and physics alongside a more traditional bio curriculum)

How was the process of writing the thesis? do you think it's a bad idea for me to pursue this since i'm so against the whole thesis factor?
 

Terry Toma

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2015
Messages
355
Reaction score
1,055
A 50 page thesis isn't as large a project as you might think. The way academic writing is formatted, you'll probably hit 50 pages with 20,000 words or so once you've double spaced and set your margins to 1.5" or whatever your schools standard is. So that's basically like writing 4 term papers over the course of a year...in exchange for thousands of dollars.
 
Top