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How is Bio-Chemistry major...

anxiousguyanxiousguy Registered User Posts: 81 Junior Member
I was accepted to Bio-Chemistry major and would like to know the following.

How rigor is the courses?
How is class size?
How is the pre-med advising?
How is the research opportunities for under grad?


It will be good, if current students/past students from this major respond.
Post edited by anxiousguy on

Replies to: How is Bio-Chemistry major...

  • anxiousguyanxiousguy Registered User Posts: 81 Junior Member
    nearly 200 viewers, no response :)!
    Can I atleast get a response from the folks who have some idea about this major at UCR?
  • Integral7Integral7 Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    You know, I'm also perplexed by how over 200 people view this thread (or some of the other threads for that matter) and not say anything. Anyways, I'm a first year Biochemistry major (two quarters completed) so I'll tell you what I know thus far. You are required to take a seminar called Biochemistry 95, in your first quarter, that talks about what you should expect from the major. They tell you that its quite a rigorous major with about 700 (if I recall correctly?) people entering and less than 50 staying and graduating with that major. There are a lot of memorization and thinking involved in the higher division courses in the major, which is why a lot of people end up dropping the major.

    In terms of class size, classes are pretty large for first year. I just finish my biology class and there were about 500 or so people in there. Chemistry is slightly smaller but still relatively large, like 300. These lower division courses are not as difficult, but this is where the "rooting" process starts as people who fail to do well in these classes begin to contemplate about their major.

    As for pre-med advising, the major itself is divided into three emphasizes: biology, chemistry, and medical sciences. As you might have guessed, a large percentage of the people in the major were into medical sciences. With respect to medical sciences, I don't recall much "advising" aside from a mention of research and high GPA. If you really want pre-med advising, you should join this one program/community called MSP. I joined them, and they are extremely helpful because they provide many events related to the medical field, many research opportunities, and many community service opportunities.

    Also, if you stick with the medical sciences emphases, you are required to take another seminar in your spring quarter, called Biochemistry 96. From what I've heard, its more of a pre-med advising than compared to 95. However, I haven't taken it yet so I have yet to comment.

    In conclusion, this is a major not to be taken lightly. You need to understand what you are getting yourself into, and commit to it.
  • anxiousguyanxiousguy Registered User Posts: 81 Junior Member
    Integral7: Thank you very much for your response. Its very informative. Its true that class size is big in almost all the UCs. I know medical admission is hard, but I am really committed to do pre-med. Is the Thomas Haider Program still exist? I know it is hard to get into this program. When is the UCR med-school is coming up?

    Now I have to decide between UCR and University of Washington (UW), seattle.

    UCR: pros: in-state, chancellor scholarship ($$), excellent weather, good academics
    cons: city ?!

    UW: pros: good academics, good pre-med advising
    cons: weather, out of state ($$$),
  • deee2016deee2016 Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    This has helped me also, considering that I am also a Biochem major. 700 to 50, that's insane. Hopefully I'll be one of the 50.
  • Integral7Integral7 Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    The Thomas Haider program should still be running as long as the UCR Medical School doesn't open yet. However, I hear its going to open very soon, possibly later this year if not for sure next year. As thus, when the Medical School opens, they're going to change the Thomas Haider program; instead of transferring to UCLA after your first two years as a graduate at UCR, they're going to keep you at UCR but guarantee you admission to their UCR Medical School for all four years. This might be a con if you're not looking forward to UCR as your medical school. However, this is a pro since you will be guaranteed to "a" medical school, which is something a lot of medical hopefuls will take rather than having nowhere to go when they apply for medical school.

    I also noticed in your pros list for UCR, you listed excellent weather. If I may comment, the weather here at UCR is rather bipolar; at night, during the winter, its pretty cold, like 30-40 F. In the summer, it is extremely hot, like close to 95-100+ F. On some days when its windy, it can get REALLY windy with gust, loud sounds, and everything. On rainy days, it can rain really hard with a chance of a small flood. As result, depending on where you come from, this might not be a problem but as for me (I come from LA), this weather was a little extreme because of how much hotter and colder it was compared to LA.
  • haha438haha438 Registered User Posts: 97 Junior Member
    Biochemistry Major:
    How rigor is the courses?

    Enough to make you work your ass off. The major itself has a lot of requirement, and a lot of ways in which you can be removed from the major. You are required to take a seminar course in the fall of your freshmen year, and one in the spring of freshmen year (spring one for medical emphasis only). By your 3rd year, you must finish the biochemistry 110 series, which consists of A, B, and C. A is only offer during fall, B for winter, and C for spring, so failure is not really an option.

    How is class size?

    intro courses and ochem consists of a class size of 200-300 students per class, but such size will be cut down drastically during upper division courses

    How is the pre-med advising?

    Not exactly sure about pre-med advising yet, but the medical emphasis for biochemistry does get you well prepared for medical field

    How is the research opportunities for under grad?

    depends on how active you are. There are opportunities all around campus, but you have to look for it
  • ahuynh91ahuynh91 Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    First, consider why you want to be a biochemistry major. You might want to take a class first. If I were you, I'd start off in biology or chemistry depending on which you're more interested in. It's hard to graduate with a biochemistry degree, and unless you're really passionate about it, or want to do something with it after you get your degree, I wouldn't recommend it. If you're looking into the medical schools or the Haider program, stay with biology and keep your GPA high.
  • kalon12kalon12 Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    i disagree with ahuynh, biochem is very doable. biology is very broad and every pre-med needs a backup plan. a bachelor's in biochem would by far get you more job opportunities than one in biology. the professors in biochem dept are awesome, and i duno where the 700/50 stats come from, but trust me, there are A LOT more than 50 senior majoring in biochem and will successfully graduate with the degree haha. it is a lot of memorization and those who drop out/change majors are not premed material anyway, so don't go by their standards. GREAT research opportunities in biochem, lots of support from the department and friendly faculty. i know a research associate who got his bachelor's here, did his masters here, been staying since '97. :) ucr grows on you.

    oh also, the reason for his stay was his awesome research professor whom he's worked since his sophomore yr at ucr. i can agree with him because i love working with my current research professor and would love to continue to work with him. :)
  • lulubeelulubee Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    I know that the biology major is not letting anyone switch from undecided to bio major but I still want to take some Bio classes so that I can be a nutritionist. But what I am confused about is that do I have to take the MAE placement exam? UCR said that these were the only majors need to take it:
    Pre-Business/Business Administration
    Psychology
    Neuroscience
    Art History/Administrative Studies
    History/Administrative Studies
    Sociology/Administrative Studies
    Liberal Studies
    Economics
    Economics/Administrative Studies
    Economics/Law and Society
    Business Economics
    Political Science/Administrative Studies
    Some concentrations in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • ConnorR15ConnorR15 Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    To comment about the Thomas Haider program, I spoke with one of the faculty advisers from the program and she told me that it was more than likely that the UCR medical school will open and begin accepting applicants for the following (2013-2014) academic year. I don't know whether or not this has been a recurring theme -- if they've been saying the same thing for a while now: "It'll open next year" -- but she seemed pretty confident. She also shared that the 24 guaranteed spots would open to 50 spots for UCR undergraduates, which is good for people who are just looking forward to guaranteed admission but unfortunate for people who were banking on the UCLA Med degree and didn't have a second back-up school to fall back upon (this is the situation in which I find myself).
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