bae2017

2+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2015
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Pre-Medical
I'm currently a neuroscience and philosophy double major, going into my senior year this upcoming Fall. I was wondering if I could get some advice on whether or not I should drop my neuroscience major. I have 3 classes left in neuroscience. Neuroscience is interesting to me, and I'm taking two upper-level neuro electives in the fall that I'm really excited for, but the last neuro class that I would have to take in the spring consistently has horrible ratings/reviews of the professor. I've taken my fair share of courses with poor professors, and would really love to not have to go through that again, especially in my senior spring. Instead, I've got my eye on an advanced organic chem/drug synthesis class (awesome reviews, super interesting), and it's at the same time as the last neuro class I would have to take (can't register for both). I've gone through my undergrad career taking a bunch of neuro and bio classes, and I've been working in a neuroimaging lab for the past 2 years, likely with a publication or two coming out of that research before I apply to med school next summer.

Has anyone been in this kind of situation before? Advice? Should I suck it up and take the last class, or should I just drop neuro now, take the two interesting courses I'm registered for, and not have to worry about the class in the spring? I figure college is my last chance to take super interesting courses that I'll never be able to take ever again, so why waste it on a bad class/bad prof, but I'm so close..........?????
 

Doctor-S

Grand Rounds
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Jun 9, 2016
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I have 3 classes left in neuroscience. Neuroscience is interesting to me, and I'm taking two upper-level neuro electives in the fall that I'm really excited for, but the last neuro class that I would have to take in the spring consistently has horrible ratings/reviews of the professor ... Has anyone been in this kind of situation before? Advice? ... I figure college is my last chance to take super interesting courses that I'll never be able to take ever again, so why waste it on a bad class/bad prof, but I'm so close..........?????
I will repeat your own words: "I'm so close." I agree with you.

After investing so much time, and studying (exams, quizzes, reports, etc.), and personal labor and dedicated effort in your quest to earn a neuroscience degree - and with only 3 classes to go before you earn a degree in neuroscience - it is in your best interests to actually "complete" the neuroscience degree. To your credit, you're nearly done and it's advisable to complete things - especially since you're planning to apply to medical school next summer. Medical schools want you to "complete" all of your med school courses, too.

By the way, you will probably encounter some disagreeable profs in medical school who may have received (allegedly) poor reviews from students. Oh, well ... you're still going to be enrolled in classes with these allegedly disagreeable professors.

Plus, consider this hypothetical for a moment: you're seated in an interview and you're asked *why* you didn't bother to finish the very last course required for your B.S. degree in neuroscience? It's going to sound pretty immature (or worse) if you respond with something like, "I didn't want to take the last course because I heard that other students didn't like that professor. So, I didn't finish my B.S. degree ... even though I never even met that professor." This type of decision-making (or lack thereof) does not reflect very well on you. Just saying, that's all.

Here is some promising news: college will not be your last chance to take super-interesting courses. To the contrary, you can audit an advanced o-chem/drug synthesis class in the future, or attend conferences, go to seminars, industry lectures, etc. In fact, some of the most interesting learning experiences can be achieved by auditing classes (at colleges or universities) or by attending conferences/lectures that are not required for one's academic degree.

Thank you.
 

efle

not an elf
5+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2014
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That's a good point. I'm applying to a couple competitive fellowships for masters in phil of med/bioethics, so hopefully something works out there, but if not then my options are either to continue working at the same lab, except full-time (funding shouldn't be a huge issue, I don't think), or working as an ED tech (if I can find a job). Other than that I haven't really thought much about gap year jobs. How much do you think that changes things?
If you might end up applying for outside basic lab tech jobs, clinical research assistant or medical tech jobs, etc, then having a bio science degree would help imo. Tough it out for the one class so you don't kick yourself for it later.
 

Dandine

7+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2012
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Lots of valid points here; wanted to add since there was a post here that talked about a similar topic and so I have similar opinions to your situation as I did theirs.

Because you are planning on a gap year I would think about the path you plan on taking with either degree. It seems outside your bioethics major you would be fine with either if not both, and if things don't work out your neuro degree appears to take precedence, assuming you'd be working in your lab for another year.

If you are that close from finishing a degree I'd say go for it, especially since thus far you've showed a lot of involvement in that major. If it seemed like you really weren't invested in it I'd recommend not, but because you've already built up that work and are interested in a biological perspecive on philosophy, you probably have the motivation to complete it regardless of that one course. That's just what I took from what you've mentioned. If you dislike the idea of finishing your major that much, I'm wondering if there's also the option to minor if you have it.

So all of that, seems like it probably would be more advantageous for you to complete the major, on both a personal fulfillment level and a future plans level. The only other thing to add is that dropping the major wouldn't necessarily look bad to schools if you could explain coherently your reasons for your interest in ethics and philosophy as a major (you could probably find several legit reasons). But based on your own interests it seems completing the major would work in your favor.
 

7331poas

2+ Year Member
Jun 16, 2015
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Honestly I wouldnt bother with the degree. If you already have one you are wasting your time. Same thing with the Masters too. Dont bother with them.
 

JustAPhD

Not a hummingbird expert
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Jan 5, 2016
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I would finish your neuro major.

I would consider "what if medicine doesn't work out for me"? Worst case scenario if it doesn't work out and you need a backup plan, will a BA in philosophy be enough to explore your potential plan B jobs? I suspect a BS in neuro with your BA in philosophy will make you a more attractive candidate for bioethics or med ethics, but it depends on what your end goal would be.
 

Mongoosie

2+ Year Member
Jul 8, 2016
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While the neuroscience major may not seem like a big deal at your school, it's still a neuroscience major. By finishing it you really do give yourself a lot more opportunities in the real world, and you have quite a bit more hiring potential. Just take that class and graduate as a double major, it'll be super sick.
 

JustaDO

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May 22, 2015
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Makes posts asking if one should drop neuroscience major or not, and then after advice, proceeds to debate reasons why OP still feels like he/she should drop.

I'm not sure if OP wants SDN to convince him/her not to drop, as it seems like OP's mind is settled already.
 
Mar 21, 2016
141
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I would finish the major. See if you can get in contact with the professor of the drug synthesis class and ask for a syllabus. Get the readings on the syllabus and learn it yourself. I've done this with a lot of classes that I was interested in taking but just could not because I had a double major and a minor, so I often had mandatory classes that conflicted.