Switching Majors

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zdamico
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Switching Majors

Postby zdamico » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:46 pm

Hey everyone,

I'm currently a Psychology/Criminal Justice dual major at Villanova University looking to go to law school, preferably a T14. My GPA is at 3.8 and I am prepping in the 170 range (which I can hopefully achieve on the actual test.) I am just going into my junior year.

I decided a while back to take an upper level Philosophy/Logic course, and possibly a few more in my time, because I was interested in the lower level one I took and I know it will look good if I am on the fence, or if they are comparing the specifics of my application to another's. I read "How to get into top law schools" and the quotes from admissions directors said as much.

Anyway, I have been contemplating a switch from CRJ to Philosophy as my second major. As I am only a junior, I have only taken two classes towards the CRJ major specifically, and I have enough credits to easily finish if I switch.

Pros: It will look better to law schools, it will probably prepare me better for law schools.
Cons: It will be much harder. More writing, more subjective grading, and probably just more work overall.

I can do a Cognitive Philosophy Path or a Pre-Law Philosophy Path (you must choose a path, those are my to best options) which are both great options.

What do you guys think?

Edit: The other option would be to remain as is and add Philosophy as a minor. Not sure if this would do much an advancing my application, but not totally sure.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:51 pm

CRJ kinda sucks as a major, but if the Phil classes will cause your gpa to drop, that will be much much worse.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:53 pm

Since none of those will get you a job if the law school thing falls through for any reason, it doesn't matter. Law schools care about GPA, period. A second major is barely a soft factor, and minors might as well not even exist. Major in whatever you can get the best GPA in.

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chem
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby chem » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:56 pm

zdamico wrote:Hey everyone,

I'm currently a Psychology/Criminal Justice dual major at Villanova University looking to go to law school, preferably a T14. My GPA is at 3.8 and I am prepping in the 170 range (which I can hopefully achieve on the actual test.) I am just going into my junior year.

I decided a while back to take an upper level Philosophy/Logic course, and possibly a few more in my time, because I was interested in the lower level one I took and I know it will look good if I am on the fence, or if they are comparing the specifics of my application to another's. I read "How to get into top law schools" and the quotes from admissions directors said as much.

Anyway, I have been contemplating a switch from CRJ to Philosophy as my second major. As I am only a junior, I have only taken two classes towards the CRJ major specifically, and I have enough credits to easily finish if I switch.

Pros: It will look better to law schools, it will probably prepare me better for law schools.
Cons: It will be much harder. More writing, more subjective grading, and probably just more work overall.

I can do a Cognitive Philosophy Path or a Pre-Law Philosophy Path (you must choose a path, those are my to best options) which are both great options.

What do you guys think?

Edit: The other option would be to remain as is and add Philosophy as a minor. Not sure if this would do much an advancing my application, but not totally sure.


I don't think it matters at all in this instance what major path you decide on. In regards to law school applications, major choice is negligible compared to what is more important to it (LSAT, GPA, PS, WE, LOR). by the time you get down to it, it won't really matter if you were psychology or basket weaving. The only legitimate reasons to switch majors are if a)you are interested and want to learn it, b) you don't want to go to law school and want a marketable degree, c) you want to be predisposed to a certain area of the law (accounting for tax, science/engineering for IP)

So the only reason I see to switch majors is if you are interested in CPP or PLPP

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emciosn
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby emciosn » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:56 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:Since none of those will get you a job if the law school thing falls through for any reason, it doesn't matter. Law schools care about GPA, period. A second major is barely a soft factor, and minors might as well not even exist. Major in whatever you can get the best GPA in.


pretty much this.

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cinephile
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby cinephile » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:03 pm

Even though GPA is important, I'd make the switch to philosophy. Taking classes in logic will be great LSAT prep (and LSAT is arguably more important than GPA).

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chem
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby chem » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:06 pm

cinephile wrote:Even though GPA is important, I'd make the switch to philosophy. Taking classes in logic will be great LSAT prep (and LSAT is arguably more important than GPA).



Might as well switch to Physics/Math then. Or economics


shortporch wrote:Here is a chart of LSAT scores by major from 2007-2008. But seriously, don't think that reading a philosophy treatise will suddenly improve your chances on the LSAT. That's already a profound failure in logic.

Rank, Major Field, Average Score, Number of Students
1 Physics/Math 160.0 577
2 Economics 157.4 3,047
3 Philosophy/Theology 157.4 2,581
4 International Relations 156.5 1,520
5 Engineering 156.2 2,197
6 Government /Service 156.1 578
7 Chemistry 156.1 632
8 History 155.9 4,169
9 Interdisciplinary Studies 155.5 652
10 Foreign Languages 155.3 1,084
11 English 155.2 5,899
12 Biology/Natural Sciences 154.8 2,201
13 Arts 154.2 1,438
14 Computer Science 154.0 682
15 Finance 153.4 2,267
16 Political Science 153.1 15,181
17 Psychology 152.5 4,355
18 Liberal Arts 152.4 3,892
19 Anthropology/Geography 152.2 808
20 Accounting 151.7 1,439
21 Journalism 151.5 3,408
22 Sociology/Social Work 151.2 3,123
23 Marketing 150.8 1,574
24 Business Management 149.7 4,629
25 Education 149.4 484
26 Business Administration 149.1 1,984
27 Health Professions 148.4 703
28 Prelaw 148.3 1,078
29 Criminal Justice 146.0 4,016
Note: Grouped by major field with at least 450 students taking exam.

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ahduth
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby ahduth » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:09 pm

zdamico wrote:Pros: It will look better to law schools, it will probably prepare me better for law schools.
Cons: It will be much harder. More writing, more subjective grading, and probably just more work overall.


It won't look any better to them, and the preparation thing... I dunno, if you're worried about being prepared, you should probably just get a job for a couple years after school.

The cons have it here decisively.

freestallion
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby freestallion » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:15 pm

I say do whatever you can to get the highest GPA possible.

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zdamico
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby zdamico » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:29 pm

ahduth wrote:
zdamico wrote:Pros: It will look better to law schools, it will probably prepare me better for law schools.
Cons: It will be much harder. More writing, more subjective grading, and probably just more work overall.


It won't look any better to them, and the preparation thing... I dunno, if you're worried about being prepared, you should probably just get a job for a couple years after school.

The cons have it here decisively.


I'm not worried about being prepared, I just know having to read and write critically in the volume and quality most philosophy classes require would help quite a bit for law school. But if I don't switch, it's not a huge deal..

Otherwise, there seems to be a pretty solid consensus not to switch, haha. I've already enrolled in this Logic and Critical Thinking class, which I am interested in. I plan on either just doing that, or adding one other philosophy class for this semester, and seeing how much I like it and how I perform in these classes. This will help me decide whether to switch, a decision I will make end of this semester.

Thanks for all the help, everyone

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Perdevise
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby Perdevise » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:41 pm

I agree with everyone who has said that keeping your UGPA up is paramount.

I think its super ironic that pre-law majors have amongst the lowest average LSAT score.

bp shinners
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby bp shinners » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:02 pm

I've heard from several members of admissions committees that Crim Justice isn't exactly their favorite major to see from an applicant. Obviously, if your GPA is going to drop from the switch, don't do it. But if you can switch and keep your grades up, I think it would benefit you (not much, but a bit).

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ahduth
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby ahduth » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:22 pm

bp shinners wrote:I've heard from several members of admissions committees that Crim Justice isn't exactly their favorite major to see from an applicant. Obviously, if your GPA is going to drop from the switch, don't do it. But if you can switch and keep your grades up, I think it would benefit you (not much, but a bit).


They'll tell you they shit rainbows if they think it'll raise their reported LSAT and gpa medians. Treat them like HR people - ignore them unless you need some paperwork completed.

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bport hopeful
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby bport hopeful » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:34 pm

I only read OP, but I need an answer right freaking now to this question.

Is criminal justice actually easier than Philosophy? Is anything actually easier than philosophy? As a philosophy major who walked the fence of alcoholism in UG, im gunna be pissed if I could have done less and had better grades.

acapulco980
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby acapulco980 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:03 pm

chem wrote:
cinephile wrote:Even though GPA is important, I'd make the switch to philosophy. Taking classes in logic will be great LSAT prep (and LSAT is arguably more important than GPA).



Might as well switch to Physics/Math then. Or economics


shortporch wrote:Here is a chart of LSAT scores by major from 2007-2008. But seriously, don't think that reading a philosophy treatise will suddenly improve your chances on the LSAT. That's already a profound failure in logic.

Rank, Major Field, Average Score, Number of Students
1 Physics/Math 160.0 577
2 Economics 157.4 3,047
3 Philosophy/Theology 157.4 2,581
4 International Relations 156.5 1,520
5 Engineering 156.2 2,197
6 Government /Service 156.1 578
7 Chemistry 156.1 632
8 History 155.9 4,169
9 Interdisciplinary Studies 155.5 652
10 Foreign Languages 155.3 1,084
11 English 155.2 5,899
12 Biology/Natural Sciences 154.8 2,201
13 Arts 154.2 1,438
14 Computer Science 154.0 682
15 Finance 153.4 2,267
16 Political Science 153.1 15,181
17 Psychology 152.5 4,355
18 Liberal Arts 152.4 3,892
19 Anthropology/Geography 152.2 808
20 Accounting 151.7 1,439
21 Journalism 151.5 3,408
22 Sociology/Social Work 151.2 3,123
23 Marketing 150.8 1,574
24 Business Management 149.7 4,629
25 Education 149.4 484
26 Business Administration 149.1 1,984
27 Health Professions 148.4 703
28 Prelaw 148.3 1,078
29 Criminal Justice 146.0 4,016
Note: Grouped by major field with at least 450 students taking exam.


Philosophy would be number one if not grouped with theology majors. I think Philosophy majors make up so little of the general college populace that they needed to be grouped with theology majors. Also, it's easier to maintain a high GPA in Philosophy classes then Physics/Math.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby lawyerwannabe » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:42 pm

acapulco980 wrote:
chem wrote:
cinephile wrote:Even though GPA is important, I'd make the switch to philosophy. Taking classes in logic will be great LSAT prep (and LSAT is arguably more important than GPA).



Might as well switch to Physics/Math then. Or economics


shortporch wrote:Here is a chart of LSAT scores by major from 2007-2008. But seriously, don't think that reading a philosophy treatise will suddenly improve your chances on the LSAT. That's already a profound failure in logic.

Rank, Major Field, Average Score, Number of Students
1 Physics/Math 160.0 577
2 Economics 157.4 3,047
3 Philosophy/Theology 157.4 2,581
4 International Relations 156.5 1,520
5 Engineering 156.2 2,197
6 Government /Service 156.1 578
7 Chemistry 156.1 632
8 History 155.9 4,169
9 Interdisciplinary Studies 155.5 652
10 Foreign Languages 155.3 1,084
11 English 155.2 5,899
12 Biology/Natural Sciences 154.8 2,201
13 Arts 154.2 1,438
14 Computer Science 154.0 682
15 Finance 153.4 2,267
16 Political Science 153.1 15,181
17 Psychology 152.5 4,355
18 Liberal Arts 152.4 3,892
19 Anthropology/Geography 152.2 808
20 Accounting 151.7 1,439
21 Journalism 151.5 3,408
22 Sociology/Social Work 151.2 3,123
23 Marketing 150.8 1,574
24 Business Management 149.7 4,629
25 Education 149.4 484
26 Business Administration 149.1 1,984
27 Health Professions 148.4 703
28 Prelaw 148.3 1,078
29 Criminal Justice 146.0 4,016
Note: Grouped by major field with at least 450 students taking exam.


Philosophy would be number one if not grouped with theology majors. I think Philosophy majors make up so little of the general college populace that they needed to be grouped with theology majors. Also, it's easier to maintain a high GPA in Philosophy classes then Physics/Math.


Amen. I was a math major with a philosophy minor and can attest to the accuracy of that last sentence.

bp shinners
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby bp shinners » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:08 am

ahduth wrote:
bp shinners wrote:I've heard from several members of admissions committees that Crim Justice isn't exactly their favorite major to see from an applicant. Obviously, if your GPA is going to drop from the switch, don't do it. But if you can switch and keep your grades up, I think it would benefit you (not much, but a bit).


They'll tell you they shit rainbows if they think it'll raise their reported LSAT and gpa medians. Treat them like HR people - ignore them unless you need some paperwork completed.


I know they're never really off the clock, but these conversations were in a context where I'm willing to take what they said at face value. Especially because the advice actually lowers their GPA median if they take a non-CJ major with a slightly lower GPA.

firemed
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Re: Switching Majors

Postby firemed » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:41 am

Do whichever you enjoy more. It is unlikely to effect law school admissions.




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