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Major in Mechanical Engineering, minor in psychology?

picotheguyyopicotheguyyo 0 replies2 threads New Member
I'm planning on majoring in mechanical engineering, and possibly minoring in psychology as well; my ultimate goal however, is to end up in medical school. Is this doable? I'm also a very good cellist, and I don't want to drop it when I go to college either; what should I do?
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Replies to: Major in Mechanical Engineering, minor in psychology?

  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 8043 replies85 threads Senior Member
    edited July 30
    Are there people who do MechE and....

    ....end up getting into med school? yes
    ....also minor in an unrelated subject? yes.
    ....also continue a performance art? yes

    Are you one of them? no way for us to be able to answer that. Questions to ask yourself:

    - Why Mech E + Med school? are you looking at BME?

    - What is important about "minoring" in Psych, vs taking some psych classes?

    - At what level do you want to continue with cello? there is a big difference between being in the orchestra, and making a quartet with some friends.

    - Med school admissions cuts starts with GPA & MCAT. Engineering GPAs tend to be lower than average (for example, at UCB, the average MechE GPA is a 3.36). For Med school admissions the average GPAs are: 3.64 in science subjects, 3.79 in non-science subjects, and a 3.71 CGPA. Will you be somebody who is leading the curve as an engineering student?
    edited July 30
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2488 replies42 threads Senior Member
    edited July 30
    Engineering curriculum can be tough, with minimal room for minors, but it can be done. Most schools have GenEd requirements - in my D’s coursework, she could have used 3 Psych classes To meet their requirements, plus she had one free elective. I suspect that’s typical. I just checked and her school requires 5 courses for a Psych minor. So an AP credit, summer course, etc., and you could do it.

    Cello depend on what you want to do. Actual coursework with the music department would be tough with the above. But most big schools have many, many music groups as extracurricular activities.
    edited July 30
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  • boneh3adboneh3ad Forum Champion Engineering 7520 replies134 threads Forum Champion
    The biggest question is "why?" Sure this can be done but you are making things harder on yourself so you better have a good reason you wish to do it.
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 42376 replies2288 threads Super Moderator
    I was a very good pianist and almost majored in piano performance. But I picked engineering with every intention of continuing to study piano during college. About one week into my freshman year, I knew THAT wasn't happening. Engineering is very demanding. If I were you, I would decide what I REALLY want to do, and concentrate on that. You can't do everything.
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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1272 replies3 threads Senior Member
    Robotics, Biomedical Engineering, psychology and AI all merge in the robotics/bioengineering majors. Yes it can be done and is done.

    Possible advantages:

    1. You are pursuing what really interests you;
    2. You are discovering fields that actually have real employment options:
    You still need to get the grades! You still need to pull a 3.6 GPA in a demanding environment.

    To better understand this approach read: https://www.wpi.edu/academics/departments/biomedical-engineering and associated research in this area

    and associated research robotics and AI @ https://www.wpi.edu/academics/departments/robotics-engineering/research

    and associated research in psychology @ https://www.wpi.edu/academics/study/programs/psychological-science/research

    Think of Johns Hopkins for your MD. You will fit right in!

    If you do not maintain the 3.7 GPA and do not achieve /select med school, you will still have great employment opportunities. This area is exploding.

    There are no easy answers for med school. The work load will be lighter if you really are fired up by your studies.

    If WPI interest you, you will need to learn the vocabulary of PBL, MQP, IQP and a possible SS to get a handle on the program design at this particular university.

    CMU would be another university well suited to this approach. See https://www.cmu.edu/bme/Academics/Undergraduate Programs/index.html

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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2488 replies42 threads Senior Member
    boneh3ad wrote: »
    The biggest question is "why?" Sure this can be done but you are making things harder on yourself so you better have a good reason you wish to do it.

    I think an interest in a subject is a good reason for "why". And I don't think that taking one extra course is exceedingly demanding.
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  • boneh3adboneh3ad Forum Champion Engineering 7520 replies134 threads Forum Champion
    RichInPitt wrote: »
    I think an interest in a subject is a good reason for "why". And I don't think that taking one extra course is exceedingly demanding.

    Where did it say that his motivation is "interest?" Interest is great, but if the goal is medical school, which still has an old-school fixation on GPA with little consideration of other factors, I'd argue that simple interest is not a strong enough reason if the ultimate goal is medical school. Self-studying without the regimented requirements of a a graded series of courses would be less risky.

    Also, where does it say only one additional course? That would be a very strange situation for someone in engineering to be able to earn a minor in psychology with one extra course. Usually even a math minor requires several, and that has a lot of overlap.
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  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1272 replies3 threads Senior Member
    All WPI degrees, including all of the engineering degrees, require a second project in addition to the project in their major field. It is called the Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP). The IQP is equivalent to 18 semester hours of class and project work. The supporting coursework is selected to help address the students" selected problem and often focuses in the Social Sciences. In this example, the student does not need to take an overload, but may select appropriate psychology courses to address their chosen problem.

    Prior to the pandemic, most of these projects were finished at off campuses locations all over the world at no additional cost to the student. Prep classes are taken prior to leaving campus. These degree requirements are not likely to change. There are likely to be many more on campus projects during the Covid-19 pandemic. As an early participant in this process, the IQP I worked on focused on the application of economic analysis to environmental impact studies. No overload here for the student who wishes to use psychology. IQP project teams are often made up of students from different disciplines. The IQP is baked into our ABET accredited engineering programs.

    For IQP examples see: https://digitalcommons.wpi.edu/iqp/

    For pre-med see: https://www.wpi.edu/academics/undergraduate/pre-professional/pre-health#prospective

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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 9504 replies83 threads Senior Member
    Engineering is a tough route to engineering... it can be tough to keep GPA high enough. If you go that route, I suspect your few non-engineering electives will be consumed by filling med school prerequisites. It's good you are thinking about this early. That will allow you to do research and plan accordingly. Good luck!
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 7636 replies36 threads Senior Member
    So you want your cake and eat it also. https://lsa.umich.edu/lsa/academics/lsa-degrees/joint-degrees/joint-degree-in-liberal-arts-and-b-s--in-engineering.html

    This is just an example of a dual degree taking 10/11 semesters. Not sure if this is what your talking about.

    At my son's school after the "first" midterm students left some classes after getting their grades saying "looks like I won't be an engineer or doctor" muttering on their way out the door. The amount of students in his classes thinned out after that. Welcome to freshman year for engineering....😉🎉

    You can play your music and take classes depending how your school is set up or join a student band /orchestra.... Take lessons.

    Taking classes to minor in.. Sure... My son will have a entrepreneur engineering minor and engineering sustainability certificate (3 classes).

    He took just about 18 credits each semester and took 2 classes over freshman summer. His engineering study abroad he took 2 classes (one for sustainability).

    I just can't figure out when he would take the extra classes required for medical school? He worked and is very involved on campus. Went to all the football games.

    But I know some kids do it. BTW avg GPA at his school for engineering after 4 years is 3.3. That's not getting you into medical school.

    You will need a serious schedule set up with your counselor. You could always attempt it. See how it goes. But you might need to give and take a bit. Maybe do online cello master classes when you can fit it in. If you have incoming AP credits or the like then it might be easier to accomplish.
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