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Thread: Changing Major but now Minoring in Bio...

  1. #1 Changing Major but now Minoring in Bio... 
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    I was dead set on a Bio degree but I've changed my mind. I've decided to focus on an anthropology degree. The reasons are a.) I won't have to take physics or calculus b.)I can get a degree quickly c.) I can minor in Bio and still take higher level courses d.) the subject matter is more diverse and therefore more interesting in my opinion than hard science alone :P


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Few things hurt me more than to see people choosing an area in science because it's "easier" or "there's no/less math" or "it's soft science not hard." To pursue the study any area with depth and rigor is difficult. To conduct research in any field you will always be better off if you have a strong grasp of the tools you'll need to do quality research, namely math and statistics. (In my evolutionary anthropology program this semester I needed to use multivariable calculus.) And in every field of science, having practitioners who deem it "soft" is a detriment to the advancement and legitimacy of that field.


    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Paralith is right of course, if your goal is to be a scientist one day. However, some people just want to get any Bachelor's degree so they can get their foot in the door for a job, not because they want to be scientist.

    Also, there is something to be said for studying something you personally find more interesting and readily accessible. Some people have different aptitudes to different fields.

    Studying anthropology because you find it more interesting and have a passion for it is a great reason to switch majors. Studying it because it's easy is unlikely to pay off unless your goal is simply to get any Bachelor's degree.

    Edit: Calculus isn't nearly as hard as people make it out to be though, I've always hated math even though I was able to get good grades in it.
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  5. #4  
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    @paralith:

    I understand that. The problem I have is that it would take me forever to get a Bio degree while I already have credits which would go toward an anthropology degree. I have to be realistic...I don't have time to focus on school and work right now if I'm taking a courseload such as "Introductory Physics II, Organic Chem I, Cell Biology, Calculus" which I would need to do in order to get a degree in three years. I'm not saying that I won't return to school for a second degree either..I may return for the BS in Bio. A major reason for changing wasn't the reason that I won't have to take as much math...the thing that really got me thinking about anthropology was that I feel that I have been focusing solely on science for a long time and would like to focus on a more diverse major. Anthropology would allow me to learn about history and achaeology as well as science. Besides, human origins is the reason I got into Biology in the first place. I can become a biological anthropologist and study primates along with a researcher at my college. Here is a synopsis of what some of the classes will entail (names of chapters of some of the texts):


    Science, evolution, and culture

    Symbology

    Evolution: Emergence, variants, and alternatives

    Genetics, Mendelian and molecular

    Microevolutionary principles

    Molecular evolution

    Native American history and rituals

    The emergence of diversity

    Adaptations of the primates

    Primate behavior and ecology

    The origins of modern humans

    World religions

    Patterns of human diversity

    Folk ideologies of heredity


    And no, my decision is not yet final. I will think deeply about it and probably change my mind several times before finding an answer. I know that an anthro degree would be extremely interesting yet likely not lucrative. But the same may be said for a Bio degree and it would be very difficult to obtain a Bio degree for me while working 30 hours a week. I could probably only manage to take two classes at a time. I'm torn. I love Biology yet I also value my sanity and free time.


    My main concern with majoring in Biology is having to experience the anxiety I will put on myself while attempting to get good grades. I'm a depressed, self-deprecating OCD kind of person and honestly I don't want to have a stroke because I'm worried to death about grades. The worthlessness I'd feel if I failed Organic Chem or Calculus would be too much for me to bear. I would feel pathetic and hopeless. I could potentially lose financial aid and a chance at getting my first degree. Also, I am distant from friends and family when I'm forced to spend the majority of my time studying. I'm already distanced enough and need to focus on forming valuable relationships outside of academia. No one wants to talk about evolution or parasites with me outside of class (not even the other students). It's lonely being the only (wannabe) scientist on the block...

    Quote:
    paralith wrote:
    Few things hurt me more than to see people choosing an area in science because it's "easier" or "there's no/less math" or "it's soft science not hard." To pursue the study any area with depth and rigor is difficult. To conduct research in any field you will always be better off if you have a strong grasp of the tools you'll need to do quality research, namely math and statistics. (In my evolutionary anthropology program this semester I needed to use multivariable calculus.) And in every field of science, having practitioners who deem it "soft" is a detriment to the advancement and legitimacy of that field.


    I really do hope to get my Bio degree. Only time will tell. You know very well that rationality and truth mean everything to me and that lacking the proper tools to measure empirical data due to a lack of mathematical prowess would not be acceptable in my eyes. I wasn't deeming anything as "soft". I was simply stating that since anthropology involves history and archaeology (which regretably includes the subfield of biblical archaeology ) that it isn't considered a "hard science" like Biology, Chemistry or Physics. However, I can still study Biology and use it as an anthropologist. I would still get to study the past like I've always wanted to do but anthropology would portray things in a new light.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Do whatever you want to do. When you have your Masters or your PhD you can always switch. There is a paleontologist walking around here at the moment doing molecular biology.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  7. #6 Re: Changing Major but now Minoring in Bio... 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Gottspieler isnt that succumbing to natures rule of "Path of least resistance"?
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    Forum Freshman CrimsonViper's Avatar
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    Im not sure how this works in America but Im going to study Biology at University of Manchester in September. After my first year I can switch to any Biology related degree and carry on with my second year on a different degree. The point is even if you decide on a course you could always change on you first year. I fall into the "I can't do physics because of the Maths involved" but that was advice I got one of the lecturers at the Uni.
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  9. #8 Re: Changing Major but now Minoring in Bio... 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Gottspieler isnt that succumbing to natures rule of "Path of least resistance"?
    Not really..the easy way out would be majoring in a subject that's easy for me yet boring, like English or Psychology. Anthropology will still be challenging. Also, I still plan to take invertebrate zoology, neuroscience, mycology, vertebrate zoology and cell biology as part of my minor. I may take chemistry as well if my schedule allows for it.
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  10. #9 Re: Changing Major but now Minoring in Bio... 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottspieler
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Gottspieler isnt that succumbing to natures rule of "Path of least resistance"?
    Not really..the easy way out would be majoring in a subject that's easy for me yet boring, like English or Psychology. Anthropology will still be challenging. Also, I still plan to take invertebrate zoology, neuroscience, mycology, vertebrate zoology and cell biology as part of my minor. I may take chemistry as well if my schedule allows for it.
    I was kinda joking with that comment, yet you insulted me without knowing it haha As ive chosen to major in English to become an english teatcher. (English is my second language out of 3)

    That is also the "Easy way" for me though, as i need a job fast to pay for further studies. Ironic that i live in the best country in the world as seen here yet i am forced into taking an education that provides work to be able to study further. Anyway as i say gott, i was kinda joking. The most important thing is that you do what you want to do ofcourse.
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  11. #10  
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    That's good to know. I also like English (got a 30 on my ACT ) but it wasn't my favorite subject and I found it tiresome after a few years. Once you learn grammar in school and read novels for a few years you learn that every story follows a predictable pattern and that it isn't worth spending hours of your life on something if it isn't novel or fun anymore. I mean horror stories follow a certain pattern, mysteries, even sci-fi and if you read 100 or more books from various genres you find that common themes arise...only so many events can happen in only so many ways. In murder mysteries, for example, a.) someone is killed b.) the search for the killer is on c.) the killer is found out and happens to be an unexpected character d.) the end...sci-fi is more interesting because it often deals with the potentialites of modern scientific research, however, I tire from the common themes of time travel, space exploration and mass extinction/apocalypse now scenarios.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    I think you'll find physical anthropology can include as much biology as you want. I know anthropologists that are working closely with physicians in researching medical issues; others that are looking at pathogens; still others that are interested in the taxonomy and speciation of early Homo and talk about things like the Red Queen hypothesis.

    For some things you'll need varied levels of math, depending on how you want to tailor your research and answer your research questions. But you could always collaborate with a math geek for this stuff when you're working on a dissertation. They're always looking for examples of applied mathematics for their own purposes.

    Do what's fun, interesting and affords you the time to excel.

    Anthropology is fun and as academically challenging as you're willing to make it.
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  13. #12  
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    Hey Crimson Viper,
    I am a Biology undergraduate at the University of Manchester... i think you will find our Faculty excellent

    Tridimity.
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  14. #13  
    Forum Freshman CrimsonViper's Avatar
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    Haha nice. I heard it was good. Second in research into Life Sciences or something. Good Uni, better city 8)
    Edukayshun haz fayled meh.
    "Let's eat Grandma" or "Let's eat, Grandma". Punctuation saves lives. FACT
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  15. #14  
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    I've decided to go ahead and take Chemistry I and vertebrate zoology if classes are still open by the time I get to register (June 25th). I will see how things go. Then I'll take Chem II and invertebrate zoology my second semester. If I can maintain a 3.0 If things go well, I'll probably continue along the Bio path...however, if I make it to Calc and Organic Bio and fail either of them I will be discouraged and consider changing programs...
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