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Switch major from Pre-Pharm

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by rage, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Duncan McDonuts

    Duncan McDonuts Contributing Member

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    Yeah, like QdoubleA said, don't listen to that post.

    I graduated from UT in 3 years and am in my last year of optometry school. I came in with enough credit to make me a sophomore, and if I were your daughter, I sure as hell would not listen to those counselors and take my credit hours that I earned.

    They're telling her not to take it so she spends another year at the college and they get more of your money. Your daughter should take the credit, and if she plans all her classes out correctly, taking the prereqs she needs, she'll be able to graduate early and at least on time.

    Also, don't do law school. No work there. The new JD grads are finding jobs as paralegals and not being paid what their education's worth since there's no market.
     
  2. rage

    rage Member

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    We still need to talk to other counselors at different colleges about taking credits for the AP exams she took. This one counselor from UT said since Pre-Pharm is only 2 yrs, cutting it shorter is not advisable. She also advised against taking credits for science courses that are directly related to her field. It makes sense somewhat.

    She has credits for AP Human Geo (not used by anyone), US Hist, World His, Eng 3. Those can certainly be used, I don't think college can teach her anything else in those areas. AP Calc AB and AP Stat can probably be used, they should be good enough for Pharmacy. AP Bio is a question mark but she does not like to retake it.

    This year she is taking 5 more AP classes, Gov, Eng 4, Calc BC, Chem, Env Science. She is comptemplating whether she should take all exams if they are not going to be used.

    Does anyone know if these AP classes in HS and college course are equivalent or should she take them again?
     
  3. K mf G

    K mf G Contributing Member

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    i usually advise student to take calculus courses and some of their science courses over, 1 it gives them familiarity with courses and a comfort zone to adjust to the transition of high school life to college/university life, 2 it will give them an opportunity to have a class in which they should make an A and the freshman year has the most impact towards GPA, in programs where GPA is of more importance this is an important decision for students
     
  4. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    Calculus is calculus whether you learn it in 1st or 12th grade. If you get a 5 on the AP test you get an A credit and it isn't that hard to get a 5 on the calculus AP. It kind of seems schools are trying to milk money from their students. I pretty much took none of the lower level prereq classes in college. That probably saved my a good 11-12k with tuition boarding etc. which is probably even more now days.

    I took EE which is probably along with physics and math among the most math intensive majors and I didn't have any problems with the Math or Science in those classes which my high school knowledge.
     
  5. K mf G

    K mf G Contributing Member

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    in high school you get the whole year to complete the calculus courses, in college you only get 15/16 weeks, its a huge adjustment to most students in dealing with the rapidity in which courses are taught, it's advice not requirements we offer a lot of scholarships to students who perform well, and this is to help them have the best chance at success, i make sure they understand it's a recommendation not a requirement
     
  6. rage

    rage Member

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    You both have very good points.
     
  7. Medicine N Music

    Medicine N Music Contributing Member
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    Pre-Pharm is NOT 2 years. It may be 2 years if you have AP credits taking summer courses as well. Pre-pharm is the equivelant of at least 3 years of college courses, and it is preferrable that she has a degree.

    From your posts, it seems like your daughter just wants to rush through college and pharmacy school as fast as possible. This is good, but it's not always the best plan. For example, back when I applied, pharm school did NOT count AP credit as GPA, so even if you received a 5, you did not get a 4.0. Often these beginning courses are the "GPA boosters" that make your daughter's application a little stronger. Also, since these are important courses to evaluate an applicant, I would view your daughter's application negatively if she came in without many of the courses taken at a university. If she had a 3.8 GPA with many AP credits, I may be more inclined to take a person with a 3.6 GPA without any AP credits since they show what this person acheived in college.

    What your daughter need to concentrate on is getting some experience and making sure she likes pharmacy. Get this experience in both a hospital and retail setting because they are miles apart.

    You asked in a prior post how "close" pre-pharm is with other healthcare careers. It's not close to any, but the courses that she takes are. For example, if your daughter decides to do medicine, dental, optometry, or physician therapy, many of these science courses will be the exact same requirements.
     
  8. Medicine N Music

    Medicine N Music Contributing Member
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    Saturation is everywhere, not just pharmacy. You can go on the radiology boards and look at how hard it is for even radiologists to find a job. This also can be said about nurses in Houston. Saturation is often self correcting. There was a huge surplus of pharmacists in the 80s, so many pharmacy schools closed or reduced class size due to not enough interest. This led to the huge shortage in the late 90s/early 00s. As you stated in your post, she should really get some experience first and figure out if this is what she wants to do. Healthcare is "relatively safer" than other demand fields since we will be definitely needed in the near future.


    I am very surprised by this post, actually quite shocked. You have basically an above average application and you should have gotten into at least one pharm school in Texas. Did you receive any interviews? The only potential problems may be red flags in your application, such as bad recommendation letters, bad science GPA or downward trend in GPA, bad personal statement, bad interviewing skills, not applying broadly, or any combination of these. Nonetheless, I still can't believe you didn't get in with these stats.
     
  9. rage

    rage Member

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    I know UT's pre-Pharm requirements is only 2 yrs.
    http://www.utexas.edu/pharmacy/admissions/curriculum.html
    I also know Pharm schools on the West coast req a degree.
    Good points.
    Thanks for the info.
     
  10. bejezuz

    bejezuz Contributing Member

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    My point was that it's very difficult at most schools to switch from a science-based degree plan to an engineering or business degree plan. Too few of your credits transfer and courses have to be taken in a more rigid sequence that puts you behind if you try to transfer in after working towards a different degree. If your daughter starts off doing pre-pharm and doesn't like it, her quickest path to graduation is to stay in natural sciences.

    A BS degree on its own isn't worth a whole lot in the job market, IMO, except that it is rare among law students and a prerequisite for practicing patent law, the highest paying entry-level legal specialty out there. As far as oversaturation in the legal field, it's hard to predict where job markets will be 5 to 10 years from now, but there's always seems to be a demand for patent attorneys, and they make WAY more money than a pharmacist.
     
  11. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    I personally echo these sentiments. I think it's good to have an idea of what you could go into (healthcare) but making a big deal about majors when she hasn't even started college is a bit much.

    I think you need to sit down and have a (semi) serious talk with your daughter about what her goals and expectations for life are. Does she see herself married by the end of college? Does she see herself married by age 30? 35? 40? Does she plan to have kids by the end of college? By age 25? By 30? Does she expect her career to be her number 1 priority in life? What salaries would give a 'comfortable', 'wealthy' and 'poor' lifestyle?

    These are all tough questions but they will play a strong factor in the career she picks. Like it or not, she will have to contend with the fact that she's female and that means biological clock should play a role in her decision-making.

    She's lucky; she's intelligent. That both opens doors and keeps door open longer if she's indecisive. But the fact is there is so much more to picking a career than because she's smart and can handle it.

    I read your post before my 40 min drive home from work. I came up with tons of topics to type up but really, it would fill up pages and pages themselves. My advice is calm down, let her get into college, take a class or two and then start planning the rest of her life.

    -Asian male, 4th year medical student, son of two doctors, master of science in biology, top 20 undergraduate school alumnus, surgical residency applicant.
     
  12. Duncan McDonuts

    Duncan McDonuts Contributing Member

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    There are some schools that offer a combined undergrad/pharmacy degree where it's 2 years of undergraduate courses and 4 years of pharmacy classes. I have a few friends who did this program at separate colleges and they're practicing.

    I also know that some schools that require an undergraduate degree have a 3-year pharmacy program.

    It all depends on the school she goes to, but pharmacy degrees have more flexibility than other healthcare degrees.
     
  13. Medicine N Music

    Medicine N Music Contributing Member
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    Pre-pharm by itself is almost never 2 years. The courseload at one school may be, but there are so many other factors involved. I understand that UT's program and some other programs may be 2 years as well, but for most people it is not, unless you apply to one school, or you take extra classes. For example, UT, Houston, and Tech all have different requirements, and if you were to try to do them in 2 years, it will be very difficult to get in. If you apply in the Fall, you basically have a little more than a year to show how you've volunteered, had work experience, done research, etc....all in college. It's pretty difficult to do this when you have your 3-4 sciences courses per semester, PCAT, and other stuff to do. A combined program may be different, but that's why it's combined. Even combined medicine tracks can be 6 years, but you don't say pre-med is 2 years.

    As far as 3 year pharmacy programs, there are only a few in the US. I actually got into Albany's program but I turned it down. Again, this is not the norm.

    Bottom line, for most people a 2 year pre-pharm experience is not the norm without AP credits, summer courses, and extra courses, all of which can harm your application. I understand that it "may" be possible, but to do all this and to have working experience and volunteering is asking a little much.
     
  14. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    My mom got her Pharmacy degree in '93 and worked as a floater at Eckerd's in Houston metro for a few years. After I graduated high school, she took a job with HEB Pharmacy in Brownsville for higher pay at a more stable location. Being an immigrant I don't think she really minded moving for work or living down there. After 3 years down there, she came back up to Houston to work a graveyard shift (10 pm - 7 am) at LBJ, then five years later she was in Corpus Christi and have been back down at a clinic in Brownsville ever since.

    My father was a Chemical Engineer for thirty years and only had trouble with work in '94; he was with Bechtel in Huntington Beach, California and the either the projects, defense spending (which I think some engineering firms out there might be more dependent on) or the economy dried up, so he spent a year looking for jobs at the same pay, but ended up going back to Bechtel to work on a long-term project in Algeria. Actually, the two family vacations we had outside of the country: Cancun and Aruba, he was working for Brown & Root and S&B doing local projects for Pemex and then a Coastal refinery and the company footed the bill; so I think being willing and able to work overseas was a key factor in his employ-ability.

    Ultimately I think two years if your daughter ends up switching majors in you should let her just pick her own between those two; the most important thing is that she's still kept her grades way up in time for internships during summer after Sophomore and Junior years. With degrees like Pharmacy and Engineering you can get work anywhere if you're willing to move around. Engineering might be a little better because I think it's a little easier to get overseas visas but I won't presume to know about that.
     
  15. Shrimz

    Shrimz Member

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    I was a pre pharm major at UH but switched to biology after working retail pharmacy for a couple years now.

    The pre pharm curriculum allows you basically to switch to any biology or chemistry major.
     
  16. rage

    rage Member

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    The trouble is what you are going to do with a biology or chemistry degree? It seems you have to continue with grad school of some sort.
     
  17. morpheus133

    morpheus133 Member

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    It's great to have a plan and research the job market for that career path before she starts. That being said, it's hard to make a plan, and a fool proof back up that won't waste any time or money, if that plan changes. Especially without knowing why the plan might change.

    No matter what career she decides to go after, it is hard to say what the job market will be once she finishes. Many currently saturated job markets were recommended high demand career paths when the now graduated students started. It is reasonable to expect that some of the degrees that are currently listed as high demand will be saturated in the future, while some that are not in demand now may increase as less people enter that field of study.

    At least part of the question needs to be why does she want to be a pharmacist? Does she enjoy the subject matter and likes how the job duties have been described to her? Does she know any pharmacists, and has she asked them what the average work week is like? Or did she just pick it because she felt she had to pick something, and this was the first job that came to mind, or because a friend is doing the same degree?

    If she enjoys the field she is studying then she will have an increased chance at success regardless of the job market. Likewise if she is just entering a field because the job market looks good, but doesn't enjoy the work, then it will be tougher to stay focused.

    If she changes degrees after two years, the big question will be why? Why she decided to change degrees will have a big effect on what classses may carry over to her new degree, regardless of what field she starts off in. For example, if she decided she doesn't really enjoy science after all, or does really poorly in science, then it won't matter how many other science degrees she could switch to. The same with any other field of study.
     
  18. SoSoDef76

    SoSoDef76 Contributing Member

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    There is always a demand for experienced patent attorneys who can join a firm and immediately start billing. However, entry level patent law jobs can be very hard to come by.
     
  19. rage

    rage Member

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  20. Johndoe804

    Johndoe804 Member

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    I majored in Economics and I haven't regretted it. I just wish I'd been more studious in my statistics courses. Econometric forecasting and statistical methods can be employed in a variety of fields ranging from Medicine, to Sales, to Sports, and so on.
     

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