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Science majors in Columbia College

EpaminondasEpaminondas Posts: 788User Awaiting Email Confirmation Member
edited June 2009 in Columbia University
Which of the science majors in CC has the least number of requirements (excluding majors like Astronomy, Geology, or Environmental science)? Which science major requires the least number of credits?

Thanks
Post edited by Epaminondas on

Replies to: Science majors in Columbia College

  • EpaminondasEpaminondas Posts: 788User Awaiting Email Confirmation Member
    I'm looking into the majors:
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Physics
    Biochemistry
    Biophysics
    Chemical physics

    To be honest, I don't care which science I end up majoring, as long as it is slightly connected to medicine. I'm just majoring in science to make my parents happy; my interests lie more in the arts/humanities (although I can handle any science/math course). So I'm just asking which science major has the least number of requirements so that I have more room to take the courses I like.

    Any help/advice/info is highly appreciated
  • confidentialcollconfidentialcoll Posts: 2,491Registered User Senior Member
    I'm just majoring in science to make my parents happy

    this is one of the stupidest things you could do, science at C is very different from science in high school, the competition is stiff, the test means are low, the kids are intense, the curriculum is difficult and the rates of attrition ar high, I know of at least 10 kids who came in determined to major in chem or physics or math and switched to econ/philosophy/history etc. If you like the arts and humanities just major in it, and get a good gpa, that will get you into med school. Having a 3.8 in econ is much better than a 3.5 in physics for med school. Some would argue that a 3.8 in econ is easier to come by than a 3.5 with physics. remember, not only do you do badly in science classes (if you aren't passionate and dedicated) but it takes time away from studying you could be doing for those other 4-5 classes. If you want to go to med school, pick the major you will most enjoy and be motivated to study for. Your parents aren't going to be much compensation if you don't get into a decent med school or any med school for that matter [they'll probably be furious].
  • EpaminondasEpaminondas Posts: 788User Awaiting Email Confirmation Member
    I do realize the importance of pursuing one's passions, and so on. I've had this discussion with myself and thought if over. So please spare me this piece of wisdom. Thank you.

    In fact, I enjoy science and a little of math. It's just that I currently enjoy the humanities slightly more. But with the sciences I really don't mind which one I'll end up doing, I'm fairly certain that I'll do well in whatever major it is that I end up with. So I am asking, from the experience of students/alums, with major has the least amount of workload? Plus, I'll be forced to complete the premed requirements, so why not take a few more courses and make it a major?

    I'll most likely also major in a subject I absolutely love: classics.

    P.S. (if only my parents could understand what confidentialcoll said...)
  • confidentialcollconfidentialcoll Posts: 2,491Registered User Senior Member
    So I am asking, from the experience of students/alums, with major has the least amount of workload?

    if you are not a mathematical genius and you put a gun to my head, I'd say Biochemistry or bio is the easiest. but bio at Columbia is one of the most difficult bio programs anywhere.
    Plus, I'll be forced to complete the premed requirements, so why not take a few more courses and make it a major?

    this is delusional. pre-med reqs are by and large very straightforward. something like physics 1201 and chemistry 1403, 1404 are all manageable not time or mind intensive classes, they are graded rigidly so you have to beat the competition to do well, but the competition is not busting its a$$ to survive the class. Higher level science classes are a world different, there is a serious jump between 1000 and 2000/3000 level classes. 3000 level classes are all difficult. I'm saying this as an engineering who was applied physics for a while. I've seen the higher level p-chem exams, there is a ton of math, it's all abstract stuff that gives your average intelligent college student nightmares. If you love science, with hard work and interest you can survive.
  • EpaminondasEpaminondas Posts: 788User Awaiting Email Confirmation Member
    I'm very interested in Biophysics as a major. How doable is it? What is the total number of credits required to complete the major? Any personal anecdotes to share?
  • confidentialcollconfidentialcoll Posts: 2,491Registered User Senior Member
    ^one of my best friends is Biophy, premed. He's a smart kid, placed out of the entire calc sequence when he showed up. He's still in the library most of his life busting his a$$ to get those grades. I don't know how difficult biophy is relative to say biochem. I assume it's slightly more difficult.
  • EpaminondasEpaminondas Posts: 788User Awaiting Email Confirmation Member
    thanks for all the help
  • SkraylorSkraylor Posts: 1,391Registered User Senior Member
    You could find the answer to your question by looking.

    Departments of Instruction | Columbia College

    (Select department at the left then the undergrad reqs tab)
  • EpaminondasEpaminondas Posts: 788User Awaiting Email Confirmation Member
    I have almost read the bulletin from cover to cover (not reading every course, of course). It's just that different departments present their degree requirements very differently. Some are very user-friendly and tell me specifically which courses are needed and how many points in total are needed for the major. Others just give me a list of courses, with some options. Well, I'm a little lazy, so I just want to ask current students which science major, in their opinions, is the easiest, which requires the least courses/points, and which has the lightest workload.
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