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Help, Transfer student

NASA2014NASA2014 Registered User Posts: 2,103 Senior Member
Hello everyone,

My goal is to take the GRE Chemistry in 2020. Unfortunately, I changed majors to Biology with Chemistry and Mathematics minor. What should I do? I'm planning to take Physics in the summer and hopefully take PCHEM. Should I take it or self-study? UAF is my top choice for grad studies in chemistry.

content wise according to the GRE chemistry site.
ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY — 15% (Going to take this class in Fall 2018
INORGANIC CHEMISTRY — 25% Self Study?
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY — 30% In progress
PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY — 30% Self-study?

Replies to: Help, Transfer student

  • xraymancsxraymancs College Rep Posts: 4,278 Senior Member
    Take the PChem class. You cxan self-study up to a point but taking the course is better.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 11,780 Super Moderator
    Legitimate question: If you know that you want to go to graduate school in chemistry, then why major in biology? Why wouldn't you major in chemistry or at least biochemistry? You'll be more competitive as a chemistry major, or at least if you take the same classes that a chemistry major would take. (If the answer is because you prefer biology...then why not get a graduate degree in biology rather than chemistry?)

    Regardless, if you have to take the Chemistry GRE you need to take the classes that are going to prepare you for it without relying solely on self-study. So take PChem AND inorganic.
  • NASA2014NASA2014 Registered User Posts: 2,103 Senior Member
    I'm doing biology just in case I don't get into any atmospheric science grad programs. As a biology major, biochemistry or biology is my backup
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 11,780 Super Moderator
    I'm still confused. In your original post, you said "UAF is my top choice for grad studies in chemistry", which seemed to indicate that you were interested in graduate studies in chemistry. Nevertheless, if you are interested in either chemistry and/or atmospheric science programs, both of those are far more heavily chemistry (and physics, in the latter case) than biology. So I'm still not sure why biology would be an ideal major choice for those career goals.

    Of course, you are free not to answer if you don't want to! And of course you can major in whatever you're most interested in. I'm just curious about it :)
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri Registered User Posts: 5,980 Senior Member
    What do you intend to do with a biology degree? I thought there were so many bio majors that you have to go to grad school to be able to get a job.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,483 Senior Member
    ^^and even then bio jobs are hard to come by. (There are a gazillion bio grads every year.)
  • NASA2014NASA2014 Registered User Posts: 2,103 Senior Member
    edited January 7
    @juillet Kind of odd right, no idea how I end up being a biology major. I could always go back to being a Chemistry major. The reason why I changed it to Biology was that I didn't know I can handle Physics. After seeing a tutor the past few days, my confidence has risen up! Another reason I might go back to being a chemistry major is my professor said, "If you can pass calculus 2 then you can pass any course you want."

    I ended up passing calculus 2 with a B- and Organic Chemistry 1 with a C+
  • NASA2014NASA2014 Registered User Posts: 2,103 Senior Member
    UPDATE: Someone of the advisement office emailed saying they changed back to my original major which was chemistry. So I'm back on track now on taking the required courses for my major. However, I won't know what physics to take and I will be meeting with my former advisor. I felt the reason why I changed it to Biology was that I didn't have the support when I was taking Physics. Having some tutoring the past weeks have given me motivated to pass physics. The only issue was to have the right support. I plan on graduating with a chemistry major and math minor. I'm not sure if I want to do an Atmospheric Science minor. My dream is to go to UAF for my Masters to study Atmospheric Chemistry.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 11,780 Super Moderator
    Good. For the record, as far as I know atmospheric science actually requires a good bit of physics - so if atmospheric science is your dream, then you should make it your goal to become stronger in physics. But you can handle it if you put the time and effort in to practice, seek out help and study! :)

    What do you intend to do with a biology degree? I thought there were so many bio majors that you have to go to grad school to be able to get a job.

    No, this is not true. Most biology majors are gainfully employed straight out of undergrad, with no graduate degree. (Scroll down towards the bottom for unemployment rates by major. And no, most of them aren't in low-skill retail or food service jobs, either.)
    ^^and even then bio jobs are hard to come by. (There are a gazillion bio grads every year.)

    Biology majors don't have to go work in biology. Most of them don't. This visualization from the Census Bureau is pretty great; the majors are on the left side and the careers are on the right. You'll see that only a very small sliver of biological, environmental, and agricultural sciences majors go into life sciences jobs - or even STEM jobs in general.
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