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Elopez216

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    I’ve always been interested in computers. Can I get my bachelors in computer science/ engineering prior to applying to medical school, is it more advisable to see a pre med counselor ? If I finished my undergrad in CS would it set me back from my medical school goals ?
     

    hellothere69420

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      It depends on your school. Try reaching out to people at your undergrad who have managed to do it if you can. The biggest issue is getting medical school pre-reqs done at the same time as the CS degree.

      It may be a good option to do a non-CS degree but take CS courses on the side if that appeals to you.

      Also, look at it this way: how does your CS degree inform your future career? Are you looking to combine CS and medicine or are you solely interested in computers?
       
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      KnightDoc

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        I’ve always been interested in computers. Can I get my bachelors in computer science/ engineering prior to applying to medical school, is it more advisable to see a pre med counselor ? If I finished my undergrad in CS would it set me back from my medical school goals ?
        At my school, and, in fact, at most schools, this is highly discouraged due to the fact that it is REALLY hard to consistently receive the grades in engineering courses, and, by extension, an engineering major or degree, that would allow you to be a competitive med school applicant. And, as you will see by seaching other threads, no, schools do not make allowances for this in evaluating candidates.
         
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        Elopez216

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          At my school, and, in fact, at most schools, this is highly discouraged due to the fact that it is REALLY hard to consistently receive the grades in engineering courses, and, by extension, an engineering major or degree, that would allow you to be a competitive med school applicant. And, as you will see by seaching other threads, no, schools do not make allowances for this in evaluating candidates.
          Do you think it’s more recommended to get a non CS degree ?
           

          ismyexistenceamemeyet

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            Do you think it’s more recommended to get a non CS degree ?
            Unless you can make a super-awesome argument for majoring in CS and potentially combining it with med, I'd look at minoring in it. It saves you a lot of stress and time and will likely give you fewer hits to your GPA. Do you have any interests outside CS?
             
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            SunBakedTrash

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              Disagree with previous posters. When I did admission committees as a medical student, we looked favorably at non-premed degrees. Even if the GPA is lower, we knew engineering and CS degrees were tougher. It adds diversity, a different angle of critical thinking, and is beginning to play a huge role in the future of informatics and biotechnology which are quickly becoming fundamental pillars of modern medicine. Furthermore, it provides an adequate fallback that is actually marketable if you decide to drop or don’t get in. If you actually like CS, I would go for it over a traditional pre-med degree. Taking the medical pre-reqs shouldn’t be that difficult.
               
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              ismyexistenceamemeyet

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                Disagree with previous posters. When I did admission committees as a medical student, we looked favorably at non-premed degrees. Even if the GPA is lower, we knew engineering and CS degrees were tougher. It adds diversity, a different angle of critical thinking, and is beginning to play a huge role in the future of informatics and biotechnology which are quickly becoming fundamental pillars of modern medicine. Furthermore, it provides an adequate fallback that is actually marketable if you decide to drop or don’t get in. If you actually like CS, I would go for it over a traditional pre-med degree. Taking the medical pre-reqs shouldn’t be that difficult.
                I totally agree with you on how non-premed degrees can be highly marketable and even preferable to the normal bio/chem degrees that applicants often come in with (I was an accounting major myself). That being said, imo, it wasn't easy managing my degree + medical prereqs. Some of my courses, like income tax and auditing, were FAR from easy and were time-intensive, but I felt like I spent much more time on physics and ochem. Those courses require very different ways of thinking and were pretty tough. I was fortunate that outside my core accounting and some of my upper-level business courses, I had a manageable courseload and could squeeze in 1-2 prereqs per semester. I'm not sure I would have been so successful had I went the CS route, just due to the increased time and stress involved in taking CS classes.

                From what I've read (and perhaps you or other adcoms can provide some perspective on this), I thought adcoms didn't differentiate between applicants' GPA based on their degrees? Say you had a 3.4 GPA CS applicant and a 3.7 business applicant. All factors equal, who would the adcoms choose? Sure, CS > business in terms of difficulty, but where would you draw the line? I'd say it's a different story if you're comparing a 3.5 CS grad and 3.6 business grad, but...

                @Goro I'm sure this issue has been beaten to death on these forums, but would love your input...
                 
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                SunBakedTrash

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                  We looked at every application so GPA was only a component of the package. Unusual degrees certainly caught our eye, as did courses most applicants had not taken. Based on this, I wouldn’t hold a B- in “advanced thermodynamics II” against someone as much as a B- in some basic biology course. It’s subjective, no doubt, and not all schools will see your degree the same way. Nevertheless standing out is critical. Not being the 273rd 4.0 biology major of the day with no job experience and a personal statement explaining a vague dream of being an interventional pediatric neurodermopthamalagist is refreshing to the poor sap screening applications and deciding who should get an interview.
                   
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                  KnightDoc

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                    Do you think it’s more recommended to get a non CS degree ?
                    Yes. I actually asked about this myself, since, like you, I had an interest in computer science and did well in it in HS. I wanted to minor in it, and the premed advisor told me lots of people start UG with that in mind and then drop it due to the difficulty of the classes and the difficulty in maintaining the necessary grades in CS in addition to all the premed prereqs. Contrary to what is now being posted here, I was specifically told that med schools do NOT make allowances for the difficulty of off the beaten path, interesting majors, so YMMV, but I would not count on receiving slack for a lower GPA in engineering, unless, maybe, you are coming from somewhere like MIT or Cal Tech.

                    As others will tell you, med schools really do not care what you major in, as long as you do well. It's just that engineering classes tend to be grade deflated, and they are difficult, so when you put those two together it's tough to wind up with the 3.7+ GPA that you really need to be competitive for med school. There are always exceptions to this, but it's counterproductive to set this obstacle up for yourself at the outset.

                    Bottom line -- your really can major in anything at all and be successful. It's just more difficult if you choose an inherently difficult subject where it is also difficult to consistently earn top grades.
                     
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                    KnightDoc

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                      We looked at every application so GPA was only a component of the package. Unusual degrees certainly caught our eye, as did courses most applicants had not taken. Based on this, I wouldn’t hold a B- in “advanced thermodynamics II” against someone as much as a B- in some basic biology course. It’s subjective, no doubt, and not all schools will see your degree the same way. Nevertheless standing out is critical. Not being the 273rd 4.0 biology major of the day with no job experience and a personal statement explaining a vague dream of being an interventional pediatric neurodermopthamalagist is refreshing to the poor sap screening applications and deciding who should get an interview.
                      That's fine for the one thermodynamics class, but when the thermonuclear engineering major's cGPA ends being a very respectable 3.3, was your school still wowed by the fact that it wasn't the 273rd 4.0 in bio? My premed advisor has explicitly stated that would not be the case, at least not for premeds at my UG based on their experience.
                       
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                      JanetSnakehole

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                        Disagree with previous posters. When I did admission committees as a medical student, we looked favorably at non-premed degrees. Even if the GPA is lower, we knew engineering and CS degrees were tougher. It adds diversity, a different angle of critical thinking, and is beginning to play a huge role in the future of informatics and biotechnology which are quickly becoming fundamental pillars of modern medicine. Furthermore, it provides an adequate fallback that is actually marketable if you decide to drop or don’t get in. If you actually like CS, I would go for it over a traditional pre-med degree. Taking the medical pre-reqs shouldn’t be that difficult.

                        I more or less agree with you, but engineering is SO difficult. GPAs in the low 3.0s are considered competitive for engineering fields, but that’s really low for medicine. It sounds like your school really walks the holistic application review walk, but I don’t know that a low engineering GPA would fly at other medical schools.

                        @Elopez216, I think you should major in something that interests you and that you like, but if you have your heart set on medicine, you need to keep your GPA up as high as possible. 3.5+ is solid for DO, 3.7+ is good for MD. If medicine is your goal, pick a major that supports this.
                         
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                        LizzyM

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                          An engineering degree might get you the equivalent of a 0.1 bump in GPA meaning that a 3.2 in engineering will not, even with the bump, be enough to get you in but a 3.7 or 3.8 in engineering might be as good as a 3.8 or 3.9 in biology.
                           
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                          Elopez216

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                            Yes I do agree CS would be a difficult major to excel in. But I’m not sure what other major I would be interested in if it’s not that. I would like to major in something that I would be fine with IN CASE I couldn’t get into medical school. Thank you all for your replies and advice.
                             
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                            KnightDoc

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                              Yes I do agree CS would be a difficult major to excel in. But I’m not sure what other major I would be interested in if it’s not that. I would like to major in something that I would be fine with IN CASE I couldn’t get into medical school. Thank you all for your replies and advice.
                              Are you still in HS? If so, this is a tough one, since you really should major in something you enjoy.

                              Becoming a doctor involves putting up with an incredible amount of crap along the way, and most people do it because they can't imagine doing anything else. If you are not there, it might be smart for you to go for the CS degree, where you absolutely will not have the same grade pressure that you will have as a premed. If you do really well and still want to pursue medicine, great, it will be there for you. If not, you can have a great career as a computer engineer without a 4.0.

                              Most people on this journey are not thinking about Plan B before they even start, and it might be an early signal that this just won't be worth it to you.
                               
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                              Elopez216

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                                No I’m going to start my undergrad hopefully by the end of this year. I have taken a lot of gap years and I finally decided medicine is something I have always been passionate about. However when I got out of HS a couple years ago , i took courses in criminal justice, psychology, and CS and CS and criminal justice interested me the most.
                                 

                                KnightDoc

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                                  No I’m going to start my undergrad hopefully by the end of this year. I have taken a lot of gap years and I finally decided medicine is something I have always been passionate about. However when I got out of HS a couple years ago , i took courses in criminal justice, psychology, and CS and CS and criminal justice interested me the most.
                                  Given this information, I totally suggest you start off CS, since you really do seem more passionate about it than medicine. If you have a 3.5+ GPA and check all the other boxes med schools look for (volunteering service to others, clinical experience, physician shadowing, leadership, etc.) you can be an excellent candidate.

                                  If not, or if you just lose interest, you will have a career that you will be very happy in. This sounds like a win-win to me, as opposed to settling for another field just to maybe position yourself to have a stronger med school application.
                                   
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                                  Elopez216

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                                    Given this information, I totally suggest you start off CS, since you really do seem more passionate about it than medicine. If you have a 3.5+ GPA and check all the other boxes med schools look for (volunteering service to others, clinical experience, physician shadowing, leadership, etc.) you can be an excellent candidate.

                                    If not, or if you just lose interest, you will have a career that you will be very happy in. This sounds like a win-win to me, as opposed to settling for another field just to maybe position yourself to have a stronger med school application.
                                    Thank you so much. Would you recommend taking an EMT course as well for medical school application? I’ll be taking one in August.
                                     

                                    KnightDoc

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                                      Thank you so much. Would you recommend taking an EMT course as well for medical school application? I’ll be taking one in August.
                                      I haven't, but it seems to be a very popular option, since working as an EMT looks great on an application. The work will also give you an up close look at what medicine is all about, which will give you something to compare CS to.

                                      By the way, I just found your other thread. Do you know where you will be attending school yet? (Don't disclose the name if you want to preserve anonymity.) I realize everything seems very overwhelming now, but, depending on where you end up, the pre professional and career guidance offices might end up having some really good, really experienced people (depends on the school and the counselor -- some are great, others suck) who can help you sort through everything.
                                       
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                                      JanetSnakehole

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                                        Yes I do agree CS would be a difficult major to excel in. But I’m not sure what other major I would be interested in if it’s not that. I would like to major in something that I would be fine with IN CASE I couldn’t get into medical school. Thank you all for your replies and advice.

                                        I also vote for CS then. I hope I didn’t sound like I was discouraging you from pursuing it, you just need to be aware that you’ll have to work a little harder than, say, a psych major to keep your grades up. You owe it to yourself to do something you like - it’s also easier to maintain a high GPA when you’re enjoying what you study.
                                         
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                                        candbgirl

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                                          Thank you so much. Would you recommend taking an EMT course as well for medical school application? I’ll be taking one in August.

                                          You already took it and didn’t do well. Why take it again? There are lots of other clinical experiences you can do . Get yourself squared always in college and see what happens. You have lots of time and frankly would you really want to be doing EMT shifts while trying to keep your GPAS up? Your grades have to come first. Everything else can be worked on as you move along in school.
                                           
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                                          mdng2017

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                                            Yes I do agree CS would be a difficult major to excel in. But I’m not sure what other major I would be interested in if it’s not that. I would like to major in something that I would be fine with IN CASE I couldn’t get into medical school. Thank you all for your replies and advice.

                                            You can do a B.A(CS) major in college of Arts and Sciences and still do all pre-med prerequisites. Some classes may be counted towards your B.A like Math, Physics etc. CS is more or less a Math oriented major. You can even get 4.0 in CS. As you said, CS is a back up option to medicine. Go for CS.
                                             
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