How much do "hard" majors help?

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Marisa5252
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How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby Marisa5252 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:13 pm

I've got a 3.51 from a top public university. I majored in chemistry and physics. What's the feeling on whether this gives my gpa a little bit of a boost? I scored a 173 on the LSAT so for the schools I'm hoping to get into (waiting to hear from upenn, columbia, nyu, gtown...already got into uva) I know my gpa is rather low...

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Pankun
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby Pankun » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:21 pm

Everybody on here says that it doesn't matter and that science/math/engineering are as difficult as any other major. Based on the stats you see on LSN, I'm tempted to believe that the actual major doesn't matter but I don't really know for sure. Good luck.

EDIT: In fact, many schools have an formula that uses GPA and LSAT to arrive at an "index." I'm guess they use the index to rank and prioritize certain applicants. So for schools like that, I'm sure major doesn't play as big a role as schools that don't use a formula

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WhiskeyGuy
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby WhiskeyGuy » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:25 pm

It seems a hard major matters only to a couple of the highest ranked schools.

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Aeroplane
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby Aeroplane » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:29 pm

Seems like math/sci/engineering majors appear to get cut more GPA slack than others when their LSAT is very good. But not a lot more.

driveshaft
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby driveshaft » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:33 pm

Totally guessing here, but I've always imagined that schools do care, but only in the context of someone with a similar GPA. I think they'd take a 3.51 chem/physics major over a 3.51 poli sci major.

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tinman
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby tinman » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:23 pm

Marisa5252 wrote:I've got a 3.51 from a top public university. I majored in chemistry and physics. What's the feeling on whether this gives my gpa a little bit of a boost? I scored a 173 on the LSAT so for the schools I'm hoping to get into (waiting to hear from upenn, columbia, nyu, gtown...already got into uva) I know my gpa is rather low...


Unfortunately, I don't think the difficulty of major matters very much at all. I majored in bio/chem, which is probably not as bad as chem/physics, but at least we don't have it as bad as some engineering majors. At a lot of places as 3.5 in engineering is equivalent to a 3.8 in other fields. But schools do not seem to see it this way. I would like to think it has to do with administrative ease (and issues of equity) rather than concern over US News rankings, but I suspect the latter might be a large factor.

Congrats on UVA. and good luck on the others.

Marisa5252
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby Marisa5252 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:30 pm

Thanks everyone for your responses. Sounds like it probably won't help me but here's hopin'! Guess I'll just have to wait and see...

EricM
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby EricM » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:06 pm

tinman wrote:I majored in bio/chem, which is probably not as bad as chem/physics, but at least we don't have it as bad as some engineering majors.


What eng. are you talking about specifically?

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Kiersten1985
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby Kiersten1985 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:11 pm

I think the general consensus is that law schools like eng. majors. One could perhaps consider being an eng. major a weak soft. If you have a 4.0 in eng., it might be stronger.

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:16 pm

3.51 in hard sciences is better than 3.51 in political science. It's not as good as 3.8 in political science.

tesoro
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby tesoro » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:20 pm

ScaredWorkedBored wrote:3.51 in hard sciences is better than 3.51 in political science. It's not as good as 3.8 in political science.


+1. Adcomm panel of GULC, GWU and Mason at work was unanimous: engineers / "hard" majors get more life with a high LSAT score than do poli sci majors. If 10/230 applicants with a 173/3.51 are to get accepted at columbia, i've been led to believe that 7 of them will likely be "hard" major students.

This is the only boost I'd expect you to see. I'm a fellow "hard major" applicant and this has been my experience so far.

BearDownChicago
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby BearDownChicago » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:20 pm

I know Dean Pless at UIUC is big on difficult majors. He said he would prefer someone with a lower gpa but a hard major (engineering/accounting/math) than a higher gpa but cupcake major (advertising/history/communications)

edit: obviously within reason
Last edited by BearDownChicago on Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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prezidentv8
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:21 pm

I'd bet it puts you over the top at a couple places you've got borderline numbers.

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MC Southstar
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby MC Southstar » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:24 pm

Prolly helped me, how much iuno.

JP001
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby JP001 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:29 pm

As someone who reviews law applications - it really doesn't matter that much.

Marisa5252
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby Marisa5252 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:31 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:I'd bet it puts you over the top at a couple places you've got borderline numbers.



This is what I'm hoping. I'm like RIGHT on the line for UPENN (my #1 choice) if I look at LSN - maybe there are few more of those lovely little green dots around me than the red ones but it's very very close.

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prezidentv8
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:33 pm

Marisa5252 wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:I'd bet it puts you over the top at a couple places you've got borderline numbers.



This is what I'm hoping. I'm like RIGHT on the line for UPENN (my #1 choice) if I look at LSN - maybe there are few more of those lovely little green dots around me than the red ones but it's very very close.


Man, Philly rocks. Hope you get in.

Marisa5252
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby Marisa5252 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:40 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:
Marisa5252 wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:I'd bet it puts you over the top at a couple places you've got borderline numbers.



This is what I'm hoping. I'm like RIGHT on the line for UPENN (my #1 choice) if I look at LSN - maybe there are few more of those lovely little green dots around me than the red ones but it's very very close.


Man, Philly rocks. Hope you get in.


Philadelphia does rock. I actually work in a lab at UPENN

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prezidentv8
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:41 pm

Marisa5252 wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:
Marisa5252 wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:I'd bet it puts you over the top at a couple places you've got borderline numbers.



This is what I'm hoping. I'm like RIGHT on the line for UPENN (my #1 choice) if I look at LSN - maybe there are few more of those lovely little green dots around me than the red ones but it's very very close.


Man, Philly rocks. Hope you get in.


Philadelphia does rock. I actually work in a lab at UPENN


Nice. I spent a summer out there, and it was great. Arguably one of the most underrated big cities in the country imo.

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MC Southstar
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby MC Southstar » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:42 pm

Marisa5252 wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:
Marisa5252 wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:I'd bet it puts you over the top at a couple places you've got borderline numbers.



This is what I'm hoping. I'm like RIGHT on the line for UPENN (my #1 choice) if I look at LSN - maybe there are few more of those lovely little green dots around me than the red ones but it's very very close.


Man, Philly rocks. Hope you get in.


Philadelphia does rock. I actually work in a lab at UPENN


I'm glad you actually call it UPENN like I'm used to. It seems no one else on this board says that.

Marisa5252
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby Marisa5252 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:44 pm

shadowfrost000 wrote:
Marisa5252 wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:
Man, Philly rocks. Hope you get in.


Philadelphia does rock. I actually work in a lab at UPENN


I'm glad you actually call it UPENN like I'm used to. It seems no one else on this board says that.


People who call it Penn are TTT

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MC Southstar
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby MC Southstar » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:45 pm

Marisa5252 wrote:People who call it Penn are TTT


Hahaha. <3 Good luck getting in.

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84Sunbird2000
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby 84Sunbird2000 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:46 pm

tesoro wrote:
ScaredWorkedBored wrote:3.51 in hard sciences is better than 3.51 in political science. It's not as good as 3.8 in political science.


+1. Adcomm panel of GULC, GWU and Mason at work was unanimous: engineers / "hard" majors get more life with a high LSAT score than do poli sci majors. If 10/230 applicants with a 173/3.51 are to get accepted at columbia, i've been led to believe that 7 of them will likely be "hard" major students.

This is the only boost I'd expect you to see. I'm a fellow "hard major" applicant and this has been my experience so far.


So, can these people who believe their major was "hard" rank the majors? I'm constantly befuddled by the notion that science majors think their major was harder than liberal arts students, and I kinda take umbrage with it. However, I'd like to see this hierarchy spelled out specifically.

Marisa5252
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby Marisa5252 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:47 pm

shadowfrost000 wrote:
Marisa5252 wrote:People who call it Penn are TTT


Hahaha. <3 Good luck getting in.


Hahaha seriously. Thanks!

Marisa5252
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Re: How much do "hard" majors help?

Postby Marisa5252 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:50 pm

kwhitegocubs wrote:
tesoro wrote:
ScaredWorkedBored wrote:3.51 in hard sciences is better than 3.51 in political science. It's not as good as 3.8 in political science.


+1. Adcomm panel of GULC, GWU and Mason at work was unanimous: engineers / "hard" majors get more life with a high LSAT score than do poli sci majors. If 10/230 applicants with a 173/3.51 are to get accepted at columbia, i've been led to believe that 7 of them will likely be "hard" major students.

This is the only boost I'd expect you to see. I'm a fellow "hard major" applicant and this has been my experience so far.


So, can these people who believe their major was "hard" rank the majors? I'm constantly befuddled by the notion that science majors think their major was harder than liberal arts students, and I kinda take umbrage with it. However, I'd like to see this hierarchy spelled out specifically.



"Hard" doesn't translate to "difficult" here. "Hard" describes the major as having a basis in the "hard" sciences vs. the "soft" sciences. Hard sciences = bio/chem/physics and in this case engineering. Soft sciences = polysci, sociology, anthro, etc. Soft sciences also equals "social sciences," whereas hard sciences also equals "physical sciences." No one is judging your english major.




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