Applying Undecided or Engineering?

<p>Hi there! I am a current senior and plan to apply to competitive schools such as JHU, the UC's (Berkley, UCLA, SD), CMU, Northwestern and Cornell. </p>

<p>Throughout my high school career, I have always done things geared towards engineering/technical fields. For example, I am a veteran of my school's science Olympiad building squad, and co-president of my school's Applied Engineering Club. I am also secretary of Solar Cup, a competition that requires entrants to build a 16-feet boat powered completely by solar energy, and I plan on writing an essay on the competition. </p>

<p>Although I am highly interested in the field of engineering, I do not wish to pursue an engineering degree because of its extremely difficult coursework and grade deflation. I instead want to be a physician after my undergrad. </p>

<p>Because most of my extracurricular are essentially engineering-based( along with my essay on building a boat), would it be best just to apply to engineering and perhaps switch out? Or will it be more beneficial for me to apply Undeclared or a more traditional Pre-med major like Biochemistry?</p>

<p>Some schools do not admit you by major. At these schools, the major you put on the form is used only for statistical purposes; they don't really have any reason to care what you put.</p>

<p>Some schools do admit you by major. At these schools, major changes are not necessarily guaranteed, and engineering admissions are typically harder.</p>

<p>So either it won't matter whether or not you apply as an engineer, or you will be at a disadvantage if you apply as an engineer. Just apply as whatever major you'd actually like.</p>

<p>(It's also kinda weird that you want to become a doctor instead of having difficult coursework and grade deflation. Medical training is not a trivial task, and everything seems grade deflated when you want a 4.0.)</p>

<p>Thanks for the response amarkov. I do understand that Pre-Med( assuming I take a traditional Biology/Chemistry major route) can be just as stressful as Engineering, but I feel like doctors, after Medical school, have it easier than engineers in that Doctors get paid more on average and they don't have to compete as much for a job( I don't have a preference for any specific residency/specialty as of now). </p>

<p>Anyway, would anyone suggest applying Engineering and switching out due to my E.C focus in building? Or would straight up Undecided/Science be better.</p>

<p>Any advice on this matter will be highly appreciated.</p>

<p>At Berkeley, at least, it is much harder to switch from the College of Letters and Science to the College of Engineering than the other way around. Admission to the College of Engineering is by major; the more popular ones (reportedly bioengineering, EECS, and engineering undeclared) are likely to be more selective than the College of Letters and Science.</p>

<p>Note that no specific major is required to do pre-med; you can take the pre-med courses alongside any major. However, doing so alongside an engineering major other than bioengineering or possibly chemical engineering may be difficult to fit into your schedule. But note that if you do not get into medical school (like most of those who enter college as intended pre-meds), a biology or chemistry degree has poor job and career prospects.</p>

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<p>But competition is fierce to get into medical school, and medical school and residency are no cake-walk either. Plus, medical school is expensive, and much of the large physician's pay after completing residency goes toward paying off huge medical school debt (primary care specialties are not very popular partly due to many new physicians not being able to afford to go into them because they must seek the highest paying specialties to pay off their debt). Indeed, counting the cost of medical school and the large number of years in school and in low paid residency, a financial analysis may not turn out favorable for lifetime net earnings as a physician, compared to many other careers.</p>

<p>Do you really want to be a physician, for reasons other than the money?</p>

<p>^ Thanks for your detailed response. My parents are both doctors, and I have been shadowing a close family friend( a cardiologist) in his work as well as volunteering regularly at the clinic my dad works at. It seems to be a compelling profession, one that challenges you regularly while having the added bonus of immediately benefiting another person's life. I believe this environment is better suited for me( particularly the people's aspect), and would honestly be less monotonous than being, say,that of a civic engineer. </p>

<p>Now that you guys know why I'm interested in pursing medicine vs engineering, does anyone know if I applying undecided will hurt me with all these engineering ec's?</p>