Looking for second biological major to complement Computer Science/Machine Learning

Hello. I am planning to attend Michigan State University in the fall semester. I am currently enrolled as a computer science major and plan to focus heavily on machine learning/artificial intelligence. I have a strong passion for the biological sciences as well, and would love to combine these two worlds. Any suggestions for a second major? (I thought genomics and molecular genetics could provide a good avenue.) I am also a member of the honors college, so I have some increased flexibility in my course selection. Thank you!

I love these non-problems! Here’s the thing: this is not a decision that you should make now.

IIRC MSU has some biosciences baked into the compsci degree- so take those and follow your interests. See what you genuinely enjoy, and keep taking those classes. As you get to know the classes and the profs, look at what courses are required for the various major(s). You might decide to that enough of the courses are interesting to you to do the less- interesting courses (pro-tip: every major has some less-interesting courses!). Or you might end up with enough for a minor but not a major. Or you might just end up taking a handful of classes that add to your overall college experience. Or…you might find that some other area has captured your interest.

The great thing is that the main people who care about your major(s)/minor(s), etc. are college students. Grad schools will care about specific classes, skills and experience- not the name of your major/minor/etc. Employers won’t really care either- if they want somebody with CS + AI + Genomics they will say so, and your experience (via internships, for ex), possibly backed up with coursework will be more important.


If you’re planning to turn us all into cyborg slaves, I’ll have to start a resistance. Being in the tech industry myself, computers and biology don’t play very well together. I guess it’s because we’re already equipped with organically grown supercomputers. At this point, cybernetics is still uncharted territory. I’d say, take whatever interests you. If you find a way to create fully functional droid limbs for amputees, let me know, and I’ll invest in your company :slight_smile:

Are you thinking about the bioinformatics or computational chemistry/biology routes? These are already and will continue to be the mainstay in science. Ken Merz’s research in the Chemistry Department in Michigan State might be of interest to you, calculations with structured-based drug design, for example.