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It doesn't matter what you major in. But to be honest I would keep the Neuro major and minor in English. Neuro would definitely help you a ton down the road and coincides with many pre-reqs you'll take, and english is really helpful to enhance your vocab and writing skills. My university didn't have a neuroscience major so I had to settle with Psych. :/ 

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Oh man, this is a tricky one. I agree with everyone so far, choose what you want but neuro would certainly help in some areas.

But to give you a little of my perspective. Prereqs are the "bare minimum," (plenty sufficient for applications though) but not a particularly well rounded and robust entry into the biological sciences. For instance, I was a bio major and yes I learned a lot from the prereqs but I feel like I learned just as much from other classes and understand what was covered in those prereq classes better because of all the other exposure that I had. Endocrinology, developmental biology, ecophysiology, evolutionary biology, cancer biology, even invertebrate zoology (basically the first part is cellular biology), etc etc. Once you put all of that together the whole picture of biology and life become much more intuitive, I feel like with only the prereqs that the depth of understanding would not be as grand. Sort of like knowing what all the parts of an engine are and how they work vs. knowing why they work and having an understanding of the forces involved and why it isn't a different way.

So I would say if you have a burning passion for English then go for it. If you have a burning passion for medicine, stay with neuro.

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1 hour ago, Anachronist said:

Oh man, this is a tricky one. I agree with everyone so far, choose what you want but neuro would certainly help in some areas.

But to give you a little of my perspective. Prereqs are the "bare minimum," (plenty sufficient for applications though) but not a particularly well rounded and robust entry into the biological sciences. For instance, I was a bio major and yes I learned a lot from the prereqs but I feel like I learned just as much from other classes and understand what was covered in those prereq classes better because of all the other exposure that I had. Endocrinology, developmental biology, ecophysiology, evolutionary biology, cancer biology, even invertebrate zoology (basically the first part is cellular biology), etc etc. Once you put all of that together the whole picture of biology and life become much more intuitive, I feel like with only the prereqs that the depth of understanding would not be as grand. Sort of like knowing what all the parts of an engine are and how they work vs. knowing why they work and having an understanding of the forces involved and why it isn't a different way.

So I would say if you have a burning passion for English then go for it. If you have a burning passion for medicine, stay with neuro.

Some of the "extra" upper level science courses were easily some of my favorite courses. In every interview I attended, my interviewers commented favorably on my science course load. Don't get me wrong though, if switching majors would help boost up your grade in pre-reqs, then maybe go with it, quality over quantity. I would also recommend keeping the major and minoring in English. I took a few extra English courses for fun/interest, alas not even for a minor as another minor took up my schedule.

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15 hours ago, Aware said:

Some of the "extra" upper level science courses were easily some of my favorite courses. In every interview I attended, my interviewers commented favorably on my science course load. Don't get me wrong though, if switching majors would help boost up your grade in pre-reqs, then maybe go with it, quality over quantity. I would also recommend keeping the major and minoring in English. I took a few extra English courses for fun/interest, alas not even for a minor as another minor took up my schedule.

 

I definitely agree with this, but as you said about boosting your grades in pre-reqs, that is very much what I am worried about. I have a lot to pack in my schedule as a Neuroscience major, and I'm not sure I will succeed with the schedule my advisor and I had planned out for me (she is actually the one who suggested I change majors! Of course, she suggested something that pertains more to the field - specifically Psych). I tried working out the next several semesters with the new English major, and I have some room to take extra upper-level science courses outside of the Neuro minor - what do you guys think about that? 

Also, I think with the English major, I'll have more time to spare outside of academics AKA more time to get those badly needed patient care hours! I don't know. I'm still not fully decided yet, lol. 

 

**Wait whoops sorry - this is my first time using this website and I thought it would quote your whole post, including Anachronist's response!

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I mean, you do you; we can only give so much advice without looking at your university offerings, your schedule, etc etc; and that is what your advisors are for.

Just keep these things in mind and then go from there.

1 - Your major as a whole for PA doesn't matter, just the prereqs and if you can compliment those with some additional upper level bio/chem/medically related classes (some of which may be major restricted).

2 - As far as GPA goes, a 4.0 is great, but the real target is 3.5+ (at least from what I've seen). Try not to get C's in anything.

3 - As was mentioned before, think about what your options will be if you decide you don't want to go PA, or if you don't get accepted, or if you decide you want to go to med school. You have flexibility but don't "paint yourself in a corner." Also poke around at a number of PA program prereq websites, there is some variation, make sure you don't miss something important.

4 - For PCE, you might be able to get enough while you're in school and over the summers, but you might not. Get as much as you can and start making connections now, but plan on taking on a full time PCE job once you graduate. I would say apply to the first cycle that you can, jumping through the CASPA hoops and if you get to have a couple interviews is good practice; but be fully prepared not to get accepted due to insufficient PCE and work through that cycle and apply again in the next one. Most of the folks I spoke to at interviews were either second round applicants and/or took a year after graduating to work in some PCE field. Some had PCE then went back for a bachelors, but virtually none were fresh graduates with only the PCE they got during school.

Purley IMHO about psych: I took several psych classes, I enjoyed them and what they taught me was important, but I don't think the major is a particularly good choice for medical practitioners outside of the psych realm. The initial return on investment is high (for anyone in any major), but the upper level psych stuff is largely esoteric. The research methods are not up to the standard of biological or chemical sciences (necessarily so, we as a society don't have the resources to delve that deeply, and human experimentation comes with enormous ethical restrictions) which is why some label it (and sociology) as a "soft science." Also, as our resources do become more advanced, fMRI, the study of receptor mediated responses, and the like; I think "psychology" will be largely absorbed by neuroscience. If your choice is between neuro and psych, I would give very strong encouragement for neuro, it is for lack of a better word "better," unless you want to work in the psych field specifically. 

Disclaimer: If you're a freshman or a sophomore, PA programs are already very competitive and becoming more so, even as new programs open up; this information may be somewhat obsolete by the time you graduate. The prereqs, GRE scores, etc may change in a few years time. If you want to apply to prestigious programs and have several options to choose from, I would say prepare for medical school, including orgo chem 1&2, biochem, physics, and calculus. If I was starting my undergrad now, that is what I would do.

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Ehh Advisors. Idk how helpful they are in terms of coming up with a schedules, and remember you don't NEED to graduate in 4 years and cram everything in and sacrifice your GPA. I delayed my graduation by a semester and spent summers and weekends gaining PCE so the first time I applied I was able to be "competitive" with both my GPA and PCE.

Idk maybe I'm bias cause I wish we had the option to major in Neuroscience :P

But Anachronist above hit it home  

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