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Which biology major to choose?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DoctorWannaBe, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. DoctorWannaBe

    DoctorWannaBe Senior Member
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    I am currently a non-science major and am considering adding a second major in Biology. I have to decide between General Biology, Molecular and Celluar Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, or Microbiology. Does anyone have any recommendations on these or can anyone clarify the differences between them? Does anyone have any idea which would be the best major if I decided to be a marine biologist if I don't get into med school? Thanks!
     
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  3. gower

    gower 1K Member
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    With respect to your medical school outlook, you should be consulting the premed advisor at Arizona. Nancy Stiller, 347 Modern Languages. 520/626-7241.

    With respect to your second question, you should be consulting advisors in the biology department, reading journals in the library to discover what really interests you, attending open seminars where there are invited speakers.

    The choosing of a career in biology is no different than choosing any career. It can't be done blindly just because it seems interesting.

    Adding a second major now is potentially damaging. If you are a bright, disciplined student with sufficient motivation, you might be able to successfully handle both majors. If not, you may damage your chances of being admitted to either or both medical school and graduate school.
     
  4. lattimer13

    lattimer13 good boy!
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    i too did my undergrad at UA. i ended up majoring in general bio and liked it alot. reason was because you get to choose alot of the upper division science classes you take. whereas, with molecular bio., or microbio, you have to take the classes the respective departments tell you to take. general bio and ecol. and evol. bio are very similar with the requirements. ecology and evol bio offer both a BA and BS and i know the BA is a bit easier to attain, especially if you are considering a double major. i'm pretty sure you don't even have to take calc I or II. either way you should make an appointment to see sue whitworth or one of the other advisors in ecol and evol bio.

    again, general bio was great because i pretty much got to pick and choose what upper div sci classes i wanted to take to complete the requirements. you can take mol bio and micro classes that fufill the requirments for the general bio major without being in one of those majors. also, ecology and evolutionary bio are two of the core classes required in a general bio or ecol and evol bio major. even though i know i will never use any of the info i learned in either class, both were very interesting. in comparison to some of my friends that majored in mol bio or micro, i found general bio to be very broad where i got educated in all of the various fields of bio but not as in depth.

    as for marine bio, i'd say gen bio or ecol and evol bio are geared more towards that field. again, go talk to one of the advisors and they can help you. that office is great. hopefully this info will help you. good luck.
     
  5. DoctorWannaBe

    DoctorWannaBe Senior Member
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    Gower, why do you say that a second major would be damaging? Is it because of the double workload or do medical schools look down on 2 majors? I only have 3 classes remaining in my first major, so basically I would be working on one major all next year while I wait through the medical school admissions process.
     
  6. lattimer13

    lattimer13 good boy!
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    nope, i'm applying right now. i pray that i get an acceptance from UA. funny, you sound lots like i was in undergrad. i was originally a bus. management major and then had a life altering experience and started the pre-med route. i ended up changing my major the summer before my last year to general bio simply because i liked science more than business. i ended up minoring in bus. i thought i was going to double major too but decided against it because i didn't like it. business was just a safety net because i had no idea what i wanted to do.

    if you want to major in bio then do it. but before making any major decisions like that, go by Gower's advice and talk to Nancy Stiller in the pre-health office in mdrn. languages. also, be sure to visit the ecol and evol bio office in bio sciences west or the department of whichever other 2nd major you are considering. just make sure you get as much info as you can on each major. you got to figure out which bio you would be most interested in. don't worry to much about if and how they would apply to medicine though. but remember, you know that you don't need to major in a science to get into med school. so just be sure you want to do it for the right reasons.

    also, regarding your interest in marine bio. a girl i knew during undergrad was a general bio major and wanted to be a whale trainer at sea world. last i heard she was on her way to playing with the whales and dolphins. so i guess a gen bio education is applicable to that since there are all those animal anatomy and physiology courses to take as a gen bio major. you can actually take some really in-depth courses that count towards that degree. sorry for rambling, but make sure to look into it before making your final decision. PM me if you have anymore questions and good luck with your decision. either way, let me know what you decide. hope i helped.
     
  7. paean

    paean Senior Member
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    What part of biology interested you most when you took introductory courses?

    And, do you have to declare a second major, or could you just take the classes in each major that interest you most? If you are already set to graduate, and plan on getting an advanced degree, having a bio major on your diploma won't matter much. And if you want to work in a bio field before going to medical school (sounds like not, but just in case) you could show your competency with your transcript rather than a degree.
     
  8. dr. deez

    dr. deez Senior Member
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    hi! first of all you don't need to be a bio major to get accepted into medical school (this is a misconception)... i have a friend who graduated from business, completed premed requirements and got into multiple medical schools.... these days you can even major in dance and get into medical school... just study what you love and would love to do (in case you don't get in).
    as for what these majors might focus on:

    general : broad overview of biology... perhaps more ecology than anything.
    molecular: dna stuff and cell elements... depending on the school/teachers it may involve problem solving at multiple levels.
    ecology: plants, animals, insects and other stuff pertaining to desert life.
    micro: study of microbes and pathogenesis etc...

    if you are not sure about biology my advice is to try an upper division class... and go on from there... did you take your mcat already? remember that every dept should have major advisors so you can contact them too. good luck!
     
  9. DoctorWannaBe

    DoctorWannaBe Senior Member
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    Thanks for all your advice everyone. I know that I don't have to be a bio major to get accepted, but since I don't really like the major I'm in now, I thought I might try to get a bio degree too in case I don't get into medical school. I guess I will do more research on each major and decide if that's what I want to do. Good luck all!
     

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