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Suggestion of Interdisciplinary Major+Minor w/o Lots of Math

YuyingWangYuyingWang 6 replies2 threads New Member
My son will apply his college in this fall. We don't start with the traditional non-STEM majors like Business, Economics, Journalists, etc. We like this major+minor can build strong foundation of Science in his undergraduate education to well prepare his medical school or to be flexi in various career path in business, financial or consulting industry.

The Liberal Arts is a good option. Beside that, is any non-STEM interdisciplinary majors there like the Cognition Science to prepare either Medical School or other industry?

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom!
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Replies to: Suggestion of Interdisciplinary Major+Minor w/o Lots of Math

  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3573 replies85 threads Senior Member
    edited May 19
    He can major in anything and be premed. He just needs to take the premed course regimen alongside his major. Some colleges call that track "prehealth" because those courses can lead to vet school, dentistry, and other health careers. As a result he could be a theater major, English, art history, urban planning, economics, or anything else. Because premed tends to involve a lot of sciences, most students become science majors to make their lives easier.

    Some students come to the medical profession late. They don't complete the necessary courses during their B.A. There are programs they can take after graduating with a BA called post-bacs, one year long, that help students pick up (or do grade repair on) courses they missed in college. Some post-bacs are expensive (Columbia U has one) and some are cheaper (CUNY Hunter has one).
    edited May 19
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7764 replies82 threads Senior Member
    The wonderful thing about the US system is that at most colleges your son does not have to make a final commitment as to any major / minor / combination until the 2nd year. So, he can enroll either with a proposed major, and change if he finds something that suits better OR apply as 'undecided', in which case he will be given an advisor who will help him to identify courses that will meet his pre-requisite requirements while exploring his interests.
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  • YuyingWangYuyingWang 6 replies2 threads New Member
    Thanks Collegemom3717!!! I heard of the 'Undecided'. Could an applicant have lower change of acceptance when he/she undecide the major in the application?
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  • YuyingWangYuyingWang 6 replies2 threads New Member
    Thank you Dustyfeathers! Post-Bac is a new and valuable message. I will keep it in my mind. Thanks again.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7764 replies82 threads Senior Member
    I would say a flat "no", but there are so many colleges and some other CC'er might know of an exception!

    I don't know what sort of college he is looking at, but I know that Cornell had a great program for undecided students, and I have heard particularly good things about Carnegie Mellon, Brown, Boston U, UWa, and Amherst for undecided students. Schools with relatively open curriculums (like Brown, Vassar, Hamilton, Wake Forest and more) are a good bet.
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  • YuyingWangYuyingWang 6 replies2 threads New Member
    His target are UVA and John Hopkins.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7764 replies82 threads Senior Member
    Both are fine for undecideds! At JHU *all* first year Krieger students are undecided :) At UVa you don't declare until the end of 2nd year,
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3573 replies85 threads Senior Member
    Are you in state for Virginia? The costs would be very high for out of state (OOS) students probably.

    Also, you may want to consider that he attends a slightly lower-ranked school for premed. On this forum there is a commonly held idea / advice that admissions to med school depends on GPA + MCAT score. Johns Hopkins is both a top school and is known as an extremely competitive school.

    Attending a top school such as Yale and Princeton for premed makes getting the GPA he would need that much harder. He would be attending classes with students at his caliber for perhaps the first time in his life. I've known people who have had their premed dreams crushed freshman year at Yale when they were shocked by the level of competition. Similarly a friend of mine's children (one at Harvard one at Princeton) had terrible experiences attempting to get the grades they needed at those institutions. The Harvard/Princeton mom said that she wished that she'd known this. She recommended to me that my DD (interested in premed at the time) attend Ionia. DD would then compete with students that weren't quite as strong as DD, the theory was.

    I suggest posting the question on the premed thread on this forum. The question would be whether a premed student should attempt to attend the highest ranked school possible or if they're better off attending a school where they are the highest=performing student at a slightly lower ranked school.

    Many schools are excellent for premed while being lower ranked.

    A second issue is the culture of the schools. Sometimes the cultures are supportive and sometimes competitive. Johns Hopkins is a wonderful school but the culture is competitive. Students compete with each other. Swarthmore is on the competitive side of things, as is U of Chicago. I do not know how competitive UVA is or isn't.

    A more supportive school might be Skidmore, Muhlenberg, Haverford (very supportive and excellent), Williams, Amherst, Bates, St. Lawrence, Hobart and William Smith, Hamilton, Vassar, Connecticut College, U of Rochester, Whitman, Colorado College, etc.
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  • YuyingWangYuyingWang 6 replies2 threads New Member
    Thank you Collegemom3717! I understand UVA allows students to determine the major by the end of Sophomore. But in the Common App, UVA requests the applicants to declare the schools/programs and the area of first and second interests under the school. No option for 'Undecided'. Does UVA accept the application based on the choice of school? or on the area of interest? As some less competitive but some more like he School of Engineering is much hard to get in, To get in UVA for Pre-Med, the applicants need to avoid the competitive school/area to increase the chance.
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  • YuyingWangYuyingWang 6 replies2 threads New Member
    Thank you Dustyfeathers! Both two are valuable points. Lower ranking, good pre-med program and supportive schools will be the pool for applicants to form the list.
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  • juilletjuillet 12783 replies163 threads Super Moderator
    I checked out UVa's admissions page and FAQ. UVa is one of those universities at which you need to apply to the individual school/college within the university. So yes, your choice of major in those cases can affect your chances of admission - because in any given year admission to the College of Engineering, for example, might be more competitive than admission to the College of Arts and Sciences.

    But that's in a broad sense. If your son knows he is interested in a science field, he could apply to the College of Arts and Sciences; most of the sciences fields at UVa (like astronomy, biology, chemistry, cognitive science, computer science, environmental sciences, human biology, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, or statistics) are located in that college. Several of those programs have sub-majors under them (like physical chemistry or biostatistics), so I would have your son check those out and see if anything calls to him.

    Within A&S, though, he would likely just be competing with everyone else who is applying to that college, regardless of major.
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