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TCNJ's sciences, need reviews

MACmiracleMACmiracle Registered User Posts: 1,162 Senior Member
edited November 2017 in The College of New Jersey
TCNJ is on the list. In terms of academics, it possibly the best on D's list. But I have some concerns.

1. D wants to study neuroscience. They don't have a neuroscience major but you can major in psychology and study psychobiology that way. But D doesn't want to major in psychology.

2. D likes biochemistry as a back up, but the TCNJ biochemistry degree is a only a BA degree through the chemistry department, not a BS. I don't know anything about TCNJ's chemistry department and I don't know if a BA would be regarded as less than having a BS.

3. D likes molecular biology. I've heard that biology at TCNJ is a capped major and very competitive. D really does not want to be in a competitive environment.

I've been pushing D to get that TCNJ app in because I thought it would be a good option for her, but she has to apply with a major on her app and I don't know what advice I can give.

She'll be applying to Rowan, and has already applied to Ursinus, Lebanon Valley College, and St. Vincent College hoping for their best scholarships.

@MYOS1634 ?
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Replies to: TCNJ's sciences, need reviews

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 33,506 Senior Member
    Biology IS capped. It wouldn't be a good major for someone who doesn't want a super competitive environment.
    BA means more flexibility in terms of electives and, typically, a foreign language requirement - nothing prevents her from taking the same upper classes as BS students, the difference would be that she could pick and choose. It is a bachelor's degree, neither better nor worse than the BS (which is more prescriptive).
    Look up the catalog and compare the psychobiology major to the biology and psychology major : are there enough classes that'd interest her?

    Look at Elizabethtown, Muhlenberg, Wheaton (MA). All test optional if necessary.
  • HootieAHootieA Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    edited November 2017
    TCNJ has opened a new STEM facility and it is pretty darn impressive. Along the same selectivity, University of Scranton is probably the nicest school in the area. If there is a better science facility in the Northeast I have yet to see it. Visited Ursinus with my younger son and we left it is very depressing and falling apart. It wouldn't be an acceptable facility for even an average NJ high school.

    Muhlenberg is a great school and fantastic campus but TCNJ for a NJ resident is a gift.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 33,506 Senior Member
    ^seconding UScranton!!
  • MACmiracleMACmiracle Registered User Posts: 1,162 Senior Member
    @HootieA and @MYOS1634 ,

    Thanks for your very helpful thoughts.

    My oldest D graduated from Elizabethtown and I love it. We are hoping to visit tomorrow to find out more about their sciences. The faculty looks very strong and it's a nurturing place.

    Muhlenberg is also on the list. She went to a camp there and loved it. The NPC price is lower than most other CSS Profile schools. But I wonder if they are also hyper competitive because it seems like pre-med heavy.

    That's sad about Ursinus, but I thought they just updated the lab facilities recently. When did you visit @HootieA ?

    Scranton had a high NPC result and I think it might be too urban for her.

    I've thought about adding Susquehanna. It's been on and off the list. But it might be nice to have another neuroscience option.
  • user4321user4321 Registered User Posts: 114 Junior Member
    Maybe consider a straight major in chemistry ?
  • jerseygirl188jerseygirl188 Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    Rutgers has neuroscience.
  • MACmiracleMACmiracle Registered User Posts: 1,162 Senior Member
    @user4321 What is the chemistry department like? Less intense than bio?
  • HootieAHootieA Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    edited November 2017
    @MACmiracle Last year, same day as Scranton visit. They are very close to each other I would say less than 45 minutes apart. Was like night and day. Scranton gives pretty good merit aid which may not be reflected in the calculator. Scranton is impeccably maintained and the food was excellent. Happy well dressed kids everywhere. Lots of kids in scrubs. Academically very solid. It is in downtown Scranton but it feels like a small town actually, Everyone can form their own opinion but we thought Ursinus was among the worst tours we went on. In terms of Muhlenberg, I would discount this notion of 'competitiveness' in schools. Kids compete against themselves not against other students.
  • MACmiracleMACmiracle Registered User Posts: 1,162 Senior Member
    @jerseygirl188 I'm a Rutgers alum and I think my D would be better off in a smaller, more nurturing environment. She wants close relationships with her professors.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 33,506 Senior Member
    Muhlenberg doesn't have a competitive vibe, although bio always tends to be more so anywhere due to the premeds.
    but at least it's not multiplied by additionally selective entrance.
    Note however that bio, alone, has one of the worst ROI for students unless they go to grad/med/law school afterwards.
    Susquehanna is very friendly, down to earth.
    UScranton does have good merit for all kinds of academics levels/achievements.
    Have you run the NPC on Wheaton (MA)?
  • jerseygirl188jerseygirl188 Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    @MACmiracle that's why I'm applying to TCNJ and not Rutgers as well.
  • jerseygirl188jerseygirl188 Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    What are your daughter's stats?
  • user4321user4321 Registered User Posts: 114 Junior Member
    I would suppose so, but science programs attract strivers so there will always be an element of intensity
  • MACmiracleMACmiracle Registered User Posts: 1,162 Senior Member
    @jerseygirl188 SAT 1370. 4.6 W/ 4.0 UW GPA. Good rigor for her school. Unusual EC with awards. Significant leadership. Job. Unconventional essay. I think her LORs should be good. A teacher showed me one and I could have fallen over. The impression her app will give is that she is a hardworking, bright kid who thinks for herself, cares for others, and is not afraid to be different.
  • MACmiracleMACmiracle Registered User Posts: 1,162 Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    @HootieA and @MYOS1634 .

    Scranton has direct costs around $58,000. Top merit is $23,000, which D would not get. We might get a some FA since they are a FAFSA school and won't consider equity in our home. It might be worth a try with the free app since I was told their average package is around $30,000, which would bring it down to TCNJ level.
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