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Thread: Biotechnology or Chemistry a better undergrad major?

  1. #1 Biotechnology or Chemistry a better undergrad major? 
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    Hi guys. I'm new here and I'll try to keep the story short. I'm looking at undergraduate degrees to do at my community college before finishing the last two years at a state college and hopefully after that I'll be able to get into pharmacy school. My problem is I'm trying to decide if a Biotechnology B.S. or a Chemistry B.S. looks to have better job prospects if I can't get into pharmacy school; take into consideration that I think I'm a tad more interested in biology, but I think a chemistry A.S. would have the ability to transfer to a hell of a lot more state schools than Biotechnology. Lastly, I can't really do a Biology B.S., because I need to do a degree that meets a certain amount of Bio and Chem to satisfy prereqs for pharmacy.

    Basically if you have any information on any of the following I would love to hear opinions, beliefs, facts or experience:
    • Chemistry vs. Biotechnology job outlooks (possibly the salary ranges or degree requirements for both field's jobs)
    • Biotechnology A.S. transfer outlook to state schools towards a B.S.
    • The degree of difficulty of both
    I've done research, but these questions are past me, because I'm not sure where to look. Thanks for your time.


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    Forum Masters Degree mat5592's Avatar
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    First, why do you plan on attending community college your first two years? Be sure the classes you take will transfer to wherever you're planning on going.

    I'd assume a BS biotechnology degree would give more job opportunities than a BS in chemistry, but I really don't have any basis for that assumption. Chemistry and biology degrees have always seemed more like stepping stones to graduate school to me, but ultimately (depending on the school, of course), what you do for your undergrad won't keep you out of grad school. You could major in underwater basket weaving and get accepted into medical school if the selection committee thought you were worthy. If you're worried about not getting into pharmacy school, then yeah, it is important to make sure you can do something with your undergrad degree.

    As long as you get A's in your classes, get good references from your professors, and have a high PCAT score, you don't have anything to worry about. I guess that's easier said than done for some people, though. Also apply to more than one school if you're unsure that you'll get in.

    Oh, and a chemistry degree will probably be harder to obtain than a biotech degree. That stuff can get kind of fuzzy, haha.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    First, why do you plan on attending community college your first two years? Be sure the classes you take will transfer to wherever you're planning on going.

    I'd assume a BS biotechnology degree would give more job opportunities than a BS in chemistry, but I really don't have any basis for that assumption. Chemistry and biology degrees have always seemed more like stepping stones to graduate school to me, but ultimately (depending on the school, of course), what you do for your undergrad won't keep you out of grad school. You could major in underwater basket weaving and get accepted into medical school if the selection committee thought you were worthy. If you're worried about not getting into pharmacy school, then yeah, it is important to make sure you can do something with your undergrad degree.

    As long as you get A's in your classes, get good references from your professors, and have a high PCAT score, you don't have anything to worry about. I guess that's easier said than done for some people, though. Also apply to more than one school if you're unsure that you'll get in.

    Oh, and a chemistry degree will probably be harder to obtain than a biotech degree. That stuff can get kind of fuzzy, haha.
    Haha. I definitely would do a B.A. in underwater basket weaving if it met the prereqs for pharmacy school. Thanks a ton for your help. I was thinking of biotechnology at my community college, because I'm poor and they have an agreement with one of the top three state pharmacy schools in the country to transfer all of that program's courses.

    I guess part of the worry is if I don't get into pharmacy school, but the other part is if for some reason I just hated being a pharmacist for some odd ball reason, I could do a different path. I think it's more of the uncertainty that I have a problem with.

    I'm glad that you said a chemistry degree is probably harder to obtain, because I prefer biology and heard from others that they thought some of the upper level chemistry courses were their hardest in all of their eight years; I was thinking that I'd rather have only one organic chemistry courses to two+. Thanks for your help.
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    Forum Masters Degree mat5592's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 49er477 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    First, why do you plan on attending community college your first two years? Be sure the classes you take will transfer to wherever you're planning on going.

    I'd assume a BS biotechnology degree would give more job opportunities than a BS in chemistry, but I really don't have any basis for that assumption. Chemistry and biology degrees have always seemed more like stepping stones to graduate school to me, but ultimately (depending on the school, of course), what you do for your undergrad won't keep you out of grad school. You could major in underwater basket weaving and get accepted into medical school if the selection committee thought you were worthy. If you're worried about not getting into pharmacy school, then yeah, it is important to make sure you can do something with your undergrad degree.

    As long as you get A's in your classes, get good references from your professors, and have a high PCAT score, you don't have anything to worry about. I guess that's easier said than done for some people, though. Also apply to more than one school if you're unsure that you'll get in.

    Oh, and a chemistry degree will probably be harder to obtain than a biotech degree. That stuff can get kind of fuzzy, haha.
    Haha. I definitely would do a B.A. in underwater basket weaving if it met the prereqs for pharmacy school. Thanks a ton for your help. I was thinking of biotechnology at my community college, because I'm poor and they have an agreement with one of the top three state pharmacy schools in the country to transfer all of that program's courses.

    I guess part of the worry is if I don't get into pharmacy school, but the other part is if for some reason I just hated being a pharmacist for some odd ball reason, I could do a different path. I think it's more of the uncertainty that I have a problem with.

    I'm glad that you said a chemistry degree is probably harder to obtain, because I prefer biology and heard from others that they thought some of the upper level chemistry courses were their hardest in all of their eight years; I was thinking that I'd rather have only one organic chemistry courses to two+. Thanks for your help.
    Well in that case, just do your biotech major, get to know your professors, get good grades, and prepare for the PCAT and you should be good to go
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