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Help me choose a MCB emphasis!!!

calbear2011calbear2011 5 replies5 threads New Member
I've narrowed it down to 2 emphases and I still have no idea whether I should pick Cell and Developmental Biology or Immunology (track 2) as my emphasis for the MCB major. Could anyone who has already taken classes like MCB 130 or MCB 150 please offer opinions as to which emphasis is more interesting, useful (to a career in medicine) and/or more practical?
edited December 2008
11 replies
Post edited by calbear2011 on
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Replies to: Help me choose a MCB emphasis!!!

  • LeftistHominidLeftistHominid 3541 replies265 threads Senior Member
    Okay, it is once again time for my public service announcement:

    MCB is the hardest bio major not including Chemical Biology. Doing MCB does not help at getting into medical school than any other major. Medical schools don't give a flying **** what your major is.

    If you genuinely like MCB, major in it.
    If you think you need to be MCB to be premed, you are horribly wrong. MCB has a good chance of crushing your GPA. Not good for medical school
    If you are doing MCB because you 'just want to be a biology major', reconsider your actions. There are plenty of biology majors and if you just like biology in general, there is not real reason for you to specifically be MCB

    Average departmental GPAs from CampusBuddy

    IB is 3.34
    BioE is 3.51
    EPS is 3.50
    ESPM is 3.45
    ES is 3.39
    PMB is 3.28
    Public Health is 3.62

    MCB is 2.96

    Ok, between Immuno 2 and CDB, I would say CDB. CDB has three electives, and by far the broadest elective choices. Immuno 2 has a very narrow elective breadth. They are all MCB courses or MCB cross-lists.

    Taking into account difficulty alone, CDB would be better because you have three of seven courses which you can take from easier departments. Immuno 2 is 6/6 MCB
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  • whosthat1234whosthat1234 498 replies56 threads Member
    Although that may be true GPA-wise, if you're not planning on going to med school/are planning to work in bio after college, it may be better to have an MCB degree. Just take a look at some job listings. So you may be a little screwed at getting a job if you major in IB as a premed but don't get into med school... Well anyway this is why I plan on sticking with MCB for now.
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  • LeftistHominidLeftistHominid 3541 replies265 threads Senior Member
    all bio majors other than BioE generally only get jobs that make around 50k. As an MCB major your GPA will on average be lower than an IB major. IB classes are generally easier than MCB courses.

    I don't think I have heard of any sources that say an MCB BA is better than an IB BA, especially given that all biology BAs are low paying anyways. Most high quality public HSs even prefer that their science teachers has masters degrees.

    Also many premed bio majors who don't get into med school end up applying for graduate school or for other professional schools.
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  • whosthat1234whosthat1234 498 replies56 threads Member
    I hope you're right, LeftistHominid. I really would rather take the IB path, for my GPA's sake. :P
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  • calbear2011calbear2011 5 replies5 threads New Member
    Thanks for your input, but I'm pretty settled on the MCB major. I considered majoring in Public Health for a while, but then I realized that I need to major in MCB in order to be in the Honors Program. It's still a toss up between CDB and Infectious Diseases, but I think I'll do CDB because of the wider selection of electives. Infectious Diseases/immunology also sounds a little too specific, especially for someone like me who isn't totally sure she likes immunology. And as the website says, CDB is more suited to medicine. So yay...I think I've finally decided.
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  • LeftistHominidLeftistHominid 3541 replies265 threads Senior Member
    You don't need to be MCB to do an honors program. Most majors have honors programs, public health probably has one too. It is utterly foolish to pick MCB for that reasoning.
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  • calbear2011calbear2011 5 replies5 threads New Member
    You don't understand. I want to be in the MCB Honors Program because I'm already working in a MCB lab (on the website it says that you need a MCB faculty sponsor). One of the main reasons my PI hired me was because she thought I would eventually complete an honors thesis, so I would like to fulfill her expectations as well as my own (I want to do this for myself).

    I don't see anything online about a Public Health honors program. But if you find something about it, please let me know.
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  • LeftistHominidLeftistHominid 3541 replies265 threads Senior Member
    oh, you're talking about the MCB honors program in general. I thought you meant an honors program in general.
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  • RectifierRectifier 10 replies1 threads New Member
    Responding to LeftistHominid's list of average grades in different majors: I keep seeing these lists showing that MCB is a GPA killer. Not sure the source of the discrepancy (it may be the passage of time), but here is a current comparison.

    I am a Cal professor and have access from the administration to average cumulative grade data for all majors as well as average major grades for some. Between 2010 and 2013, the average major GPAs at Berkeley for MCB majors was 3.25, and for IB majors it was 3.11.

    In terms of cumulative GPAs here are some averages for the 2010-2013 period:
    IB: 3.28
    ESPM: 3.36
    PMB: 3.15
    Public Health: 3.44
    NST: 3.34
    MCB: 3.42

    So please do not make any decisions based on faulty data! MCB majors do very well.
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  • Moshe1010Moshe1010 137 replies8 threads Junior Member
    @Rectifier Why would a professor have an access to admission and records data?
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