Jump to content
bctnln1059

BS Biomedical Science or Biology?

Recommended Posts

My daughter is currently doing biological research at a university where she is dual enrolled as a high school junior, and at this point is interested in translational biomedical research as a career, possibly in industry. One of the colleges she is most interested in offers a Biomedical Science degree as well as a Biology degree. From the lists of professors and their research interests, it looks like she may have more possibilities for undergraduate research in a more translational lab in the Biomedical Science department. However, we were just told that 90% of the Biomedical Science majors at this college are pre-professional. If she pursued the Biomedical Science degree, do you think grad schools would assume she started out intending to do pre-med and was unsuccessful? If she explained in an SOP about choosing that degree because of the translational research opportunities, would that overcome the potential negative perception? Thanks for any advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think she'll have to justify that degree choice. Have her go for whichever one interests her more in terms of coursework and research. I started off as a premed student, and decided to pursue a PhD in the beginning of my senior year. I was very open about that fact, brought it up in both my personal statement/statement of purpose and during some interviews. There was no negative perception, or any sort of assumption that I had "failed" in any way. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Choosing to major either biology or biomedical science does not affect how the admission committee views her future Ph.D. program application. Just make sure she doesn't major in the liberal arts. Ph.D. admissions committees don't take too kindly upon that. They want to make sure the prospective applicant has as much science background preparation as possible for graduate school. It is very important that she continues to show investment in research by continuing to do research throughout her undergrad, make the best grades possible (to get into top Ph.D. programs 3.5 GPA or above for a shot - I have encountered a lot of ignorant premeds that either don't realize or deny that the Ph.D. application process is super competitive as well because of funding), and definitely make sure that she presents poster or oral presentation at national and local conferences as an undergrad. Very excellent conferences for undergrad is ABRCMS and SACNAS. At these two conferences, there are a lot of Ph.D. programs that are hungry to recruit students. Many of these Ph.D. programs at these two conferences will give you an application fee waiver and have your name so they can remember you. I got recruited to apply to top programs at the SACNAS conference and at many of my interviews, a lot of faculties know SACNAS and ABRCMS very well. It would be a nice add-on if she can get a publication, but not necessary at all. She doesn't need to explain why she choose to major in biomedical science. Focus more on explaining research projects, what she learned from her research experience, what is expected of her in graduate school, and why she wants to do a Ph.D. on her SOP to Ph.D. programs. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My major was almost entirely pre-med, and I never wanted to go to med school. No grad program will penalize a good applicant for what their science major was, whether or not they intended to go to med school. I did have a few interviewers ask me if I was ever pre-med, but it didn't matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On that topic, 90% of the people in my undergrad major were pre-med (in fact, in the senior thesis capstone class the prof asked us to raise hands if we weren't pre-meds and I think all of 4 people raised hands), and depending on what school your daughter is attending, this may be the case with any biological sciences-focused major. I wouldn't worry too much about perception. PhD programs don't tend to 'look down' on people interested in medicine anyway -- it may turn out to be a benefit to have more of a 'biomedical' background especially because she might bring a more translational perspective which can help with the public health relevance statements required in some grants. 

Like ChallengerSwimmer said, as long as she's focused on what she wants, it barely matters what her degree is in, as long as it's still sciencey. Her research and academic record in general will matter a lot more. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, eevee said:

On that topic, 90% of the people in my undergrad major were pre-med (in fact, in the senior thesis capstone class the prof asked us to raise hands if we weren't pre-meds and I think all of 4 people raised hands), and depending on what school your daughter is attending, this may be the case with any biological sciences-focused major. I wouldn't worry too much about perception. PhD programs don't tend to 'look down' on people interested in medicine anyway -- it may turn out to be a benefit to have more of a 'biomedical' background especially because she might bring a more translational perspective which can help with the public health relevance statements required in some grants. 

Like ChallengerSwimmer said, as long as she's focused on what she wants, it barely matters what her degree is in, as long as it's still sciencey. Her research and academic record in general will matter a lot more. 

Can second as a classmate of eevee's- only 4 of the like 36 in our neuroscience thesis capstone class were not premed. We both got into graduate school and not once was I questioned if I was previously premed and have other interests. Other institutions won't know the % premed at whatever school your daughter is at, and the implications of that % premed for graduate admissions should definitely not be a concern when picking undergraduate schools. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting enough, I'm actually pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Sciences right now, and it has absolutely nothing to do with medical school or anything of the sort. Biomedical science does not mean pre-med, just as biology doesn't mean pre-med. While you may have to take extra courses in your undergrad designed for pre-med school programs, the schools themselves don't view the major in those regards. So your daughter could get a degree in Biomedical Science or Biology, and no school would view her application as a student who was pursuing  pre-med and was "unsuccessful". 

At the end of the day, your undergraduate degree doesn't matter as much as the research you do for grad schools. I am a Chemistry major and have never taken a biology class in my life, but as I stated I am pursuing a Biomedical Science PhD. This is because I have had some undergrad research in the field. Classes, programs, and degrees do not matter as much as research experience. Personally, if your daughter is planning on pursuing grad school for a PhD, I'd highly recommend a biomedical science program. It will open a lot more doors for her. I'd also stress the importance of getting into research labs as early as possible (I'd recommend sophmore year). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.