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Physiology and Neuroscience vs. Psychology B.S. with a Specialization in Cognitive Psychology

spykrifyspykrify Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
Hi guys, I'm having trouble deciding which major I would like to put down on my application. I want to take a major that includes both psychology and biology, which both majors have. However, I am also deciding to go the pre-med path and do not know which one would benefit me more either GPA wise and more time to do pre-med reqs. Although neuroscience does have more reqs for the natural sciences, psychology b.s. has less units to fulfill. I am interested in both, but does anyone have detailed descriptions of both majors (pros and cons)? Thanks in advance!

Replies to: Physiology and Neuroscience vs. Psychology B.S. with a Specialization in Cognitive Psychology

  • baktraxbaktrax Registered User Posts: 2,563 Senior Member
    Psychology having less units to fulfill seems irrelevant to me. The upper division requirements for both majors are comparable (both have 14 courses required as upper-division requirements). The Physio and Neurosicence major has more lower-division requirements, but you will have to take these courses anyway as prerequisites for med school so it really doesn't matter.

    I think it really just depends if you want to take more biology courses or psychology courses in college. I tend to ere on the side of encouraging biology majors for students who want to go into any allied health field because I think the greater amount of upper-division biology courses is beneficial and provides a better foundation for advanced learning in the field (such as medical school). I double majored in both biology and psychology and went into graduate school in a healthcare field, and I found my biology courses to be much more useful. I loved psychology, but if I had to pick one to major in, I still would have picked biology. Again, this is just my personal opinion, but I personally think the classes required in Physio and Neuroscience are all great courses and will provide you with a good foundation for medical school courses, whereas I can't say the same thing about the Psych major. Also, remember, that you can major in one and take courses of interest in the other (perhaps even getting a minor in the subject or double majoring). In my opinion, majoring in biology and handpicking courses in psychology that you think would be most beneficial to you or are most interesting (getting a minor or double major if you have time, but it's certainly not necessary), unless you really love psychology more than biology. But that's just my opinion! You certainly don't have to do that =D

    That being said, you'll get a higher GPA in the field that you like more and are better at. Your course selection would be similar for both majors in the beginning, so you have time to decide after you start taking classes. It's not a bad idea to take a class in cognitive psychology before committing entirely to it. I know many students didn't necessarily understand what cognitive psychology really was (and how it differed from other fields) until they really started to study it.

    It also doesn't really matter what you put down on your application. Switching majors is easy as long as neither is impacted (and I don't believe the biology majors are impacted anymore). It also doesn't effect your admission in any way. Put down whichever one you like.
  • spykrifyspykrify Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    Thank you so much for the info! I'm leaning more on the neuroscience side based on my interests and also your input about the bio classes being a good foundation. :)
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