Should I change majors with one semester left?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
LateNight
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:08 am

Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby LateNight » Mon May 03, 2010 10:58 pm

I am a political science major w/ spanish and economics as minors.

My advisory pretty much told me that since most law schools fill by major that it would be to my advantage to not major in political science, since 50% of law school applicants have that degree. I have one semester left of college.

I originally went into political science because I wanted to go into the campaign side of politics. You know, politics.

My option is to stay in school an extra semester and take some brutal economics courses that would probably bring down my GPA from its current 3.75 and get a [strike]triple[/strike]double major, with economics as my primary major.

Is this stupid? Is it worth taking the the hit on the GPA to get another major in Economics which I have no intention on ever using? I really don't want to put myself though advanced econometrics.

Economics Major with 3.6 gpa > Political Sciene major with 3.75 (3.8) gpa?
Last edited by LateNight on Mon May 03, 2010 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

johndhi
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:25 am

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby johndhi » Mon May 03, 2010 11:00 pm

If it lowers your GPA, it is stupid. Law schools don't care about your major. They care about your LSAT and your GPA. Look at lawschoolnumbers.com and it is very, very obvious what matters.

gugi13
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:36 pm

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby gugi13 » Mon May 03, 2010 11:00 pm

your major does not matter, your gpa does, keep the poli sci major.

shock259
Posts: 1737
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:30 am

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby shock259 » Mon May 03, 2010 11:01 pm

You should get a new advisor. GPA > major.

LateNight
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:08 am

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby LateNight » Mon May 03, 2010 11:02 pm

Would getting a Spanish double major help? It wouldn't bring down my GPA, but it would cut down on LSAT study time. I would just assume focus on the LSAT.

Edit: Saw your posts. You guys are much better than a pre-law advisor, who never went to law school.... I am just going to finish up the final semesters very strong and continue to focus hard on the LSAT.

User avatar
rosco
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:52 pm

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby rosco » Mon May 03, 2010 11:11 pm

finish up the final semesters very strong and continue to focus hard on the LSAT.[/quote]

TITCR

User avatar
amputatedbrain
Posts: 341
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:21 pm

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby amputatedbrain » Mon May 03, 2010 11:58 pm

It's true that Poly Sci is a common major in law school applicants, but economics isn't even close to being uncommon enough to justify a GPA hit. Even if you were talking about something truly rare in law school, like electrical engineering or astrophysics, the higher GPA is almost always the better bet. The only way I would say it's a good idea is if you're not sure about going to law school in the first place. If you end up making that decision, the economics major will probably be more handy than Poly Sci.

PS: As far as I'm aware, there is no such thing as law schools having "degree quotas" in their admissions process, either formally or informally (other than wanting to have a diverse class). I'm not sure your pre-law advisor knows what they're talking about. From my experience, many of them don't. At my school, the pre-law advisor was a regular advisor just thrown into the law role with no training or information.

BenJ
Posts: 1353
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:58 pm

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby BenJ » Tue May 04, 2010 12:57 am

Political science majors tend to do poorly in law school admissions. However, this speaks more towards the general demographic of poli. sci. majors as well as the general low quality and rigor of the academics in the major than any direct impact on a individual applicant. Assuming you are a bright, interesting and studious poli. sci. major, being a poli. sci. major won't hurt you.

The Spanish major couldn't hurt, but don't do it if you think it will actually impact your LSAT score. (I'm of the opinion that, beyond a certain amount of studying, more studying for the LSAT doesn't achieve anything, but others disagree.)

LateNight
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:08 am

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby LateNight » Tue May 04, 2010 1:22 am

BenJ wrote:Political science majors tend to do poorly in law school admissions. However, this speaks more towards the general demographic of poli. sci. majors as well as the general low quality and rigor of the academics in the major than any direct impact on a individual applicant. Assuming you are a bright, interesting and studious poli. sci. major, being a poli. sci. major won't hurt you.



Is it fair to assume that you are basically saying that political science students tend to do more poorly on the LSAT and take academics less seriously than most other majors?

If this is the case I totally agree. Many poli-sci majors tend to think they are going to law school no matter what, they don't study for the LSAT, and never have had any truly rigorous course work. In addition, many of these political science majors do not care what law school they go to because they are special and will get a job writing policy in Washington D.C. straight out of TTTT Law School, because "I know someone... and it doesn't matter where you get your degree it matters who you know..." This is a broad generalization, but something that I see every day. I imagine this elitism (for lack of a better word) exists in other majors as well, but I feel it would be less likely in more reality based majors in the math and sciences where students know they be evaluated on WHAT they know, not WHO they know. And besides, it doesn't matter who you know, it is who knows you.

For example, I asked a classmate if he is taking the LSAT and he said that he is in October. I asked him if he was studying for it yet. He replied no, but he was going to take a four-week Kaplan course in the fall. He mentioned he took a PT and got a 155, to which he followed with: "I should be able to get a 170 with a little bit of study..." I really hope he keeps that mindset because it is one less person I have to compete with. If he plans to get a 15 point bump with four weeks of study he is living on another planet.

I digress... could I do it all over again and not major in poli sci, I would. I could have spent my time doing something more interesting and useful than talking about why Mexicans vote the way they do.... Asi es la vida.

User avatar
im_blue
Posts: 3276
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:53 am

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby im_blue » Tue May 04, 2010 2:00 am

To echo other posters' comments: pick whichever major gives you the highest GPA, and your advisor needs to be fired.

LateNight
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:08 am

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby LateNight » Tue May 04, 2010 3:46 am

im_blue wrote:To echo other posters' comments: pick whichever major gives you the highest GPA, and your advisor needs to be fired.


Tenure.

User avatar
im_blue
Posts: 3276
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:53 am

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby im_blue » Tue May 04, 2010 5:05 am

LateNight wrote:
im_blue wrote:To echo other posters' comments: pick whichever major gives you the highest GPA, and your advisor needs to be fired.


Tenure.

If I were a tenured professor, I'd probably dick around with pre-laws' futures too. :roll:

User avatar
gwuorbust
Posts: 2087
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:37 pm

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby gwuorbust » Tue May 04, 2010 12:16 pm

im_blue wrote:
LateNight wrote:
im_blue wrote:To echo other posters' comments: pick whichever major gives you the highest GPA, and your advisor needs to be fired.


Tenure.

If I were a tenured professor, I'd probably dick around with pre-laws' futures too. :roll:


why do pre-law advisors never check these forums ? I'm pretty sure it would be a very informative experience for most of them.

User avatar
KibblesAndVick
Posts: 541
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:29 am

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby KibblesAndVick » Tue May 04, 2010 1:00 pm

As other posters have said, in terms of law school admissions having your GPA drop slightly would be worse than majoring in Political Science. 3.75 PoliSci is better than 3.70 PoliSci/Econ.

However, you should keep in kind that upper level econometrics will probably be the most useful course/courses you take in college. If you aren't 100% set on law school these classes will make you more employable (I'm assuming you'll learn how to do data analysis in SAS or something else worthwhile). If your heart is set on law school and you just want to maximize your chances of admission don't bother risking your GPA. But, if law school is just one option you should really consider taking econometrics. If you want to take a gap year or two and work it would serve you well.

LateNight
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:08 am

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby LateNight » Tue May 04, 2010 5:54 pm

I would rather put a bullet in my head than work in the economics field.

User avatar
Unitas
Posts: 1387
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:03 pm

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby Unitas » Tue May 04, 2010 6:39 pm

KibblesAndVick wrote:As other posters have said, in terms of law school admissions having your GPA drop slightly would be worse than majoring in Political Science. 3.75 PoliSci is better than 3.70 PoliSci/Econ.

However, you should keep in kind that upper level econometrics will probably be the most useful course/courses you take in college. If you aren't 100% set on law school these classes will make you more employable (I'm assuming you'll learn how to do data analysis in SAS or something else worthwhile). If your heart is set on law school and you just want to maximize your chances of admission don't bother risking your GPA. But, if law school is just one option you should really consider taking econometrics. If you want to take a gap year or two and work it would serve you well.


+1, econometrics is just fun, well except for the data collection part, which is just tedious. And if you do a great job on original products and there is a demand you can sell your results.

User avatar
Rock Chalk
Posts: 593
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:11 pm

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby Rock Chalk » Tue May 04, 2010 6:47 pm

.
Last edited by Rock Chalk on Wed May 16, 2012 3:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

rundoxierun
Posts: 1893
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:46 am

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby rundoxierun » Tue May 04, 2010 7:43 pm

LateNight wrote:
BenJ wrote:Political science majors tend to do poorly in law school admissions. However, this speaks more towards the general demographic of poli. sci. majors as well as the general low quality and rigor of the academics in the major than any direct impact on a individual applicant. Assuming you are a bright, interesting and studious poli. sci. major, being a poli. sci. major won't hurt you.



Is it fair to assume that you are basically saying that political science students tend to do more poorly on the LSAT and take academics less seriously than most other majors?

If this is the case I totally agree. Many poli-sci majors tend to think they are going to law school no matter what, they don't study for the LSAT, and never have had any truly rigorous course work. In addition, many of these political science majors do not care what law school they go to because they are special and will get a job writing policy in Washington D.C. straight out of TTTT Law School, because "I know someone... and it doesn't matter where you get your degree it matters who you know..." This is a broad generalization, but something that I see every day. I imagine this elitism (for lack of a better word) exists in other majors as well, but I feel it would be less likely in more reality based majors in the math and sciences where students know they be evaluated on WHAT they know, not WHO they know. And besides, it doesn't matter who you know, it is who knows you.

For example, I asked a classmate if he is taking the LSAT and he said that he is in October. I asked him if he was studying for it yet. He replied no, but he was going to take a four-week Kaplan course in the fall. He mentioned he took a PT and got a 155, to which he followed with: "I should be able to get a 170 with a little bit of study..." I really hope he keeps that mindset because it is one less person I have to compete with. If he plans to get a 15 point bump with four weeks of study he is living on another planet.

I digress... could I do it all over again and not major in poli sci, I would. I could have spent my time doing something more interesting and useful than talking about why Mexicans vote the way they do.... Asi es la vida.


You can easily bump 15 points in four weeks of studying if you are starting from scratch. Once you learn the concepts and get used to the wording its just repeating the same thing over and over. Some people dont need the repetition as much. Of course, Its a bit harder if you have studied for a while and you are scoring 155.

EDIT: +1 to econometrics. Im interning in data analysis for a home insurance/product warranty company this summer. Unfortunately, I have forgotten a most of the little econometrics I knew. If your an econ major you usually dont have time to get real mastery of that stuff til grad school.

LateNight
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:08 am

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby LateNight » Tue May 04, 2010 8:19 pm

I am not saying that it isn't possible. But, it was the highly arrogant and self-assured manner in which he said it.

This guy is in three of my classes. Not exactly an intellectual heavy-weight.

terrybhs06
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:19 am

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby terrybhs06 » Tue May 04, 2010 8:34 pm

LateNight wrote:I am not saying that it isn't possible. But, it was the highly arrogant and self-assured manner in which he said it.

This guy is in three of my classes. Not exactly an intellectual heavy-weight.


Haha, oh one of those guys.. I have a guy at my school who is currently in his 12th semester(will be back for a 13th) and loves telling people his goal is to go to Harvard Law. Once he told me he was retaking all his intro classes to get higher grades for law school, he had no clue that both grades show up at our school. Its finals week now, so he is probably walking around telling people about how he needs a 98 on the final in one of our classes to get an A.

yeff
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:32 pm

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby yeff » Tue May 04, 2010 11:54 pm

OP,

As others have stated, your advisor is misinformed.

Also, going from a 3.75 to a 3.60 from one extra semester translates into roughly a 2.5 gpa for that one semester. Is this really what you're predicting?

With your GPA, delaying graduation to take extra classes will have very little benefit. Even a perfect 4.0 semester will only bump a 3.7/3.8 gpa to 3.73/3.82.

For law school admissions, by far the best use of your time at this point is in extra LSAT prep. Everything from CCN on down will be possible if you get a high enough LSAT.

LateNight
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:08 am

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby LateNight » Wed May 05, 2010 1:42 am

I am about to rock a 4.15GPA this semester with 21 credit hours (7 classes). This is equivilant to 20% of all my other classes! GPA bump will be .07! To a solid 3.81 with two semesters left.


Edit: My target is WUSTL with a reach for Northwestern.

User avatar
gwuorbust
Posts: 2087
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:37 pm

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby gwuorbust » Wed May 05, 2010 8:25 am

LateNight wrote:I am about to rock a 4.15GPA this semester with 21 credit hours (7 classes). This is equivilant to 20% of all my other classes! GPA bump will be .07! To a solid 3.81 with two semesters left.


Edit: My target is WUSTL with a reach for Northwestern.


Northwestern considers work experience a major soft and if you are coming right out of undergrad you would have to have really ballin numbers to compensate for the lack of experience..and even then you would be facing an uphill battle.

yeff
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:32 pm

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby yeff » Wed May 05, 2010 8:30 am

I always forget the >4.0 nonsense. Didn't even know it existed post-high school until I came to TLS.

But good on you to finish strong.

Do you have an official LSAT score already? A GPA above 3.8 gives you at least some chance everywhere, given a high enough score.

But for NW you need to wait at least a year and work.

ScaredWorkedBored
Posts: 409
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Should I change majors with one semester left?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Wed May 05, 2010 8:31 am

Your advisor is brain dead. Major just isn't a factor compared to GPA.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], retromuse, Snuffles1 and 4 guests