Doing a grad program different from undergrad program

<p>Hey everyone!</p>

<p>Hope you guys can provide me with some valuable advice. How does it work if you focused on one thing during your undergrad and once your thinking about grad school, its a totally different career/program you wanna pursue? </p>

<p>I was a chemistry major in college last yr, graduated, worked a bit with my degree, and now thinking about switching careers to a health sciences field. I really gave myself a break to focus on what my true "passions" are. After working in a lab technician setting and felt what others were doing in my lab work environment, (scientists, lab aids, etc) I totally knew that being in the physical science field is truly not what I wanna do in the long term. In college, I did research each yr related to chemistry and medicine since junior yr. I thought about going into dentistry, pharmacology, medicine, but it seems like my mind changed alot during that time. After college, I really saw that my experiences in jobs related to chemistry have not been that rewarding and great, which leads me to see that I must switch careers. </p>

<p>Right now, I've really thought pursuing a career in the health sciences, since I've always loved fitness/health. I really think that it is something that I could really succeed in and love in the long term. Based on that, I was wondering if you think it would be wise for me to just go straight to pursuing a masters degree in the health sciences, such as kinesiology, even though my undergrad is in the chemistry field. I know that those that are into kinesiology/health science go into a personal training career, but I'm also considering other related health science careers in a hospital setting and private practice. </p>

<p>Hope I'm not totally confusing you guys! Just been difficult to really decide career paths and going to the next step in terms of grad/professional school. Thanks!</p>

<p>@ hackerdiety003</p>

<p>It is very common to pursue a graduate degree in a field unrelated from your undergraduate degree. You may meet a history major who pursues a Sociology PhD. Or you may see a biology major who pursues master's in public policy or public health. It depends on your coursework, career goals and research interests. If you want to enter into a new field, volunteer or take up a position in the area. See first if you like it and can see yourself in the field. If you want to pursue a career in it, apply your interest to graduate school.</p>

<p>Absolutely, I don't see why not! So long as you have the necessary stats and research experience and can provide the adcoms with an explanation in your statement about what prompted your interest/switch, I think you'll be good to go.</p>

<p>this might help: Switching to different fields after undergrad
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<p>my take on it: it's common. and i kind of did the same thing as you -- chem undergrad, but with a slew of biochem on the side, then grad school in pharmacology/biochem/structural bio. it's been a fun ride.</p>

<p>I'm currently an undergrad in biomedical engineering, but I'm thinking of going for a masters in materials science for grad school. My school doesn't have a materials science minor or anything, so I'm wondering what else I can do to prepare for applying for such a program. Would I have to specifically find research in this field? What about the jobs I look for in between graduating and applying to grad school?</p>

<p>Another field-switcher chiming in here! I did my undergrad in neuroscience/cognitive science and am now doing computer science. Computer science grad programs usually expect substantial undergrad preparation in the subject, so I am doing a post-bac certificate first and planning to use that as a springboard to a grad degree program.</p>

<p>What exactly is a post-bac and what does it usually amount to in terms of accreditation compared to a degree?</p>

What exactly is a post-bac and what does it usually amount to in terms of accreditation compared to a degree?


<p>A post-bac is a short program that you do after your bachelor's degree (hence the name) that brings you up to speed in a field that you weren't in, or haven't done for a long time. As far as I can tell, the most common post-bacs are premed. My post-bac program is five classes long, and the description is:</p>

<p>"The program is particularly well suited for individuals preparing to re-enter the workforce, mid-level professionals looking to move into the field of computer science, and those preparing for graduate school. Accepted students are required to develop an individualized plan of study with their advisor, based on your academic history and professional goals."</p>

<p>It amounts to less than a degree, which is why I plan to switch into a degree program once I have proved myself with the post-bac. Without the post-bac, I would be highly unlikely to get into any computer science grad degree program. It serves as a bridge.</p>

<p>So, I'm currently a biomedical engineering major as an undergrad, but I'm thinking of perhaps going for a masters in materials science for graduate school. How would I go about preparing myself for this? Would I be qualified for doing undergrad research in materials science or chemical engineering without having taken related courses? Or would I be better off sticking with my current field without getting sidetracked? How exactly does one go about switching from one field to another?</p>

<p>Definitely common. The example of a History Major switching to something like Law post-grad can be found at every school. Undergrad gives you more than just the background information associated with your major, many times it instills in you critical and analytical thinking skills, a healthy study habit, determination and the ability to work under pressure etc. These traits carry over from major to major. Your undergrad degree will still be more useful than it seems I think even if you do something like Health Sciences afterwards.</p>

<p>I'm a field-switcher too! Chinese studies undergrad, with a pile of history and anthropology on the side, switching to theoretical linguistics at grad school. I've actually found that my undergrad background has been very helpful in my new field - I can think 'outside the box' in linguistics much easier than people who haven't been exposed to varied fields of study. The language background obviously helps, but I personally think that the analytical and critical skills I learned in history and anthro classes have been even more useful.</p>