Would changing to a different Biology major be pointless?

Dec 4, 2013
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I'm currently Human Biology but feel that Cell and Molecular Biology is better revered. I personally better regard the (sound of the) latter and it is indeed representative of my interests - biology/physiology at the cell and molecular level. I understand that it likely won't make much of a difference for Medical School admissions. However, I'm considering a circumstance wherein I may not be accepted into a Medical School immediately and will need to try getting whatever science/lab work that I can after graduating. I'm under the impression that the latter would look best on a resume.

To switch to Cell and Molecular Biology, I would just need to take another biochemistry course (not my favorite admittedly); it would not require much of change. I'm entering senior year.

Am I being silly? Is there much of a difference in your opinion?
 

Tyrese

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Jun 3, 2020
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You're being silly. Pick the major that YOU enjoy. That will be the major you will do the best in (grades, morale, etc.). There is no "prereq" major for med schools (at least the ones I've heard of), as long as you complete the required science coursework for medical schools (check the med schools on your list). You can go for basically any major really. It is just typical to take a biosci related major since those majors contain essentially all the required coursework, and that the student has some interest in said field.

Long story short, there's not too much difference. It's never prudent to pick a major based on how it rolls off the tongue.

Ken: "Hey Joe, why'd you pick Aerospace engineering, I thought you hated physics."

Joe: "I still do, but don't you think that title sounds totally fly dude?"
 
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Jul 29, 2019
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If you want to study the material, then 100% go for the swap. But for anything else, I doubt it matters.

It's meaningless to do it for "prestige," because at the end of the day, it's a bachelor's, and there's nothing prestigious about bachelors. For medical school admissions, it's also meaningless. The major itself will have 0 impact on your chances (but the PERFORMANCE in that major will).
 
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gyngyn

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I'm currently Human Biology but feel that Cell and Molecular Biology is better revered. I personally better regard the (sound of the) latter and it is indeed representative of my interests - biology/physiology at the cell and molecular level. I understand that it likely won't make much of a difference for Medical School admissions. However, I'm considering a circumstance wherein I may not be accepted into a Medical School immediately and will need to try getting whatever science/lab work that I can after graduating. I'm under the impression that the latter would look best on a resume.

To switch to Cell and Molecular Biology, I would just need to take another biochemistry course (not my favorite admittedly); it would not require much of change. I'm entering senior year.

Am I being silly? Is there much of a difference in your opinion?
We really, really don't care. Don't do it for us.
 
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MyOdyssey

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Nov 4, 2015
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@V781

Biochemistry is the most heavily tested subject on the MCAT. It may be worth taking a second semester IF the course has you critically read published research articles and learn lots of laboratory techniques in the fields of biochemistry, cell biology and molecular genetics. The B/B section especially is geared toward passage style questions that are written in the style of published research articles and that require you to understand turgid scientific vocabulary and interpret lots of graphs, charts, and other raw data.

In terms of how this affects employment prospects, your research experience and productivity in your major will matter more than its name when it comes to getting a lab research job between undergrad and medical school. Your experience working with patients as a volunteer or some other capacity will impact your ability to get a clinically oriented job more so than the name of your major.
 
Dec 4, 2013
190
39
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
You're being silly. Pick the major that YOU enjoy. That will be the major you will do the best in (grades, morale, etc.). There is no "prereq" major for med schools (at least the ones I've heard of), as long as you complete the required science coursework for medical schools (check the med schools on your list). You can go for basically any major really. It is just typical to take a biosci related major since those majors contain essentially all the required coursework, and that the student has some interest in said field.

Long story short, there's not too much difference. It's never prudent to pick a major based on how it rolls off the tongue.

Ken: "Hey Joe, why'd you pick Aerospace engineering, I thought you hated physics."

Joe: "I still do, but don't you think that title sounds totally fly dude?"

Quite literally the only difference would be one class (an extra biochem). The upper div bio electives satisfy both majors.

I know Medical Schools don't care but what about paid lab positions during a gap year?
 

MyOdyssey

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Nov 4, 2015
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Quite literally the only difference would be one class (an extra biochem). The upper div bio electives satisfy both majors.

I know Medical Schools don't care but what about paid lab positions during a gap year?

PIs looking to hire a postbacc research/lab assistant/mentee will look at your GPA, especially your sGPA, the sciences courses you have taken and shown excellence in, the quality and quantity of your prior research experiences and the strength of your letters of recommendation. Take a look at the NIH application for postbacc research positions.

I think, on the margins, Cell and Molecular Biology is more meaningful to a PI than Human Biology, which is less specific in what it communicates.

Medical schools on the other hand will not care whether you major in Cell and Molecular Biology v. Human Biology. That's been made abundantly clear by the ad coms posting on this thread.
 

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