Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

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echoplasm
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Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby echoplasm » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:49 pm

Hi, I'm currently a junior in undergrad double majoring in Economics and Mathematics. Although I enjoy math puzzles and the likes, I am not enjoying my math classes at all. :cry: The only reason I stuck with Mathematics is my grades already suffered enough from math classes, and when people hear that my majors are on the more difficult side, they tend to give some leniency regarding my GPA.

What I really enjoy is History. I've gotten As in all my history courses so far. Thing is, when I apply to law schools, there are bound to be many Econ/History majors who have much higher GPAs (thanks to the toll my math classes took).

I'm wondering if I should switch out of Math officially and get my GPA up before it takes more hits, or if I should just stick it out since I've heard that some admissions officers give slack for the "harder" sciences.

Basically, do the benefits of having the "impressive" Math Major title outweigh my GPA, if I were to switch to History instead?

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sinfiery
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby sinfiery » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:52 pm

stick it out and don't go to law school while earning 50-100k/year with minimal/no debt

or


change majors and score a 170+ on the LSAT and enjoy a chance at biglaw with 300k in debt OR unemployed with 300k in debt OR unemployed with a history major and minimal debt


If I were you, I'd stick it out

leroyjenkins6969
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby leroyjenkins6969 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:48 pm

sinfiery wrote:stick it out and don't go to law school while earning 50-100k/year with minimal/no debt

or


change majors and score a 170+ on the LSAT and enjoy a chance at biglaw with 300k in debt OR unemployed with 300k in debt OR unemployed with a history major and minimal debt


If I were you, I'd stick it out



where do you pull this "300k in debt" figure from?

bp shinners
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby bp shinners » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:30 pm

echoplasm wrote:or if I should just stick it out since I've heard that some admissions officers give slack for the "harder" sciences.


While that might be slightly true at the fringes, it's generally not - your GPA will be your GPA, whether it's in math or history. If any slack is cut, it will be minimal.

That's not to say you should drop math - fallback options are better with that major than history. But from a purely law-school-admissions perspective, the better GPA with the easier major will be better.

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Ron Mexico
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby Ron Mexico » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:08 pm

leroyjenkins6969 wrote:
sinfiery wrote:stick it out and don't go to law school while earning 50-100k/year with minimal/no debt

or


change majors and score a 170+ on the LSAT and enjoy a chance at biglaw with 300k in debt OR unemployed with 300k in debt OR unemployed with a history major and minimal debt


If I were you, I'd stick it out



where do you pull this "300k in debt" figure from?


Also the 50-100k figure

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Hipster but Athletic
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby Hipster but Athletic » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:10 pm

You call math a hard science?

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cotiger
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby cotiger » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:00 pm

If you're miserable doing math, then you'll most likely be miserable in the jobs that you need to have a math major for.

If you really enjoy history, then do history. However, there's no point in double majoring.

It sounds like the best course of action for you would be to drop the math major and just take whatever history courses interest you.

echoplasm
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby echoplasm » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:23 pm

Yeah, I thought about it some more and have decided to just drop the Math major and have it be a minor instead. Then I will be free to take other courses that I enjoy. There's a level in mathematics where it becomes relatively useless for real world applications (i.e. the upper-level abstract algebra and topology material...)


Hipster but Athletic wrote:You call math a hard science?

Yes, math is the queen of hard sciences.

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Nova
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby Nova » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:27 pm

echoplasm wrote:Basically, do the benefits of having the "impressive" Math Major title outweigh my GPA, if I were to switch to History instead?

GPA is the second most important part of your app.

Your major generally doesn't matter.

TigerDude
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby TigerDude » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:35 am

Math is a "formal science." Generally natural sciences are considered hard sciences.

There is a reason there is an M in STEM.

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sinfiery
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby sinfiery » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:15 am

Ron Mexico wrote:
leroyjenkins6969 wrote:
sinfiery wrote:stick it out and don't go to law school while earning 50-100k/year with minimal/no debt

or


change majors and score a 170+ on the LSAT and enjoy a chance at biglaw with 300k in debt OR unemployed with 300k in debt OR unemployed with a history major and minimal debt


If I were you, I'd stick it out



where do you pull this "300k in debt" figure from?


Also the 50-100k figure


work for an insurance company, reap dat 50k as a math major focusing on actuary

300k is how much debt you will be in if you go to a T14 school at sticker the day you walk the podium

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cotiger
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby cotiger » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:06 am

sinfiery wrote:work for an insurance company, reap dat 50k as a math major focusing on actuary


If OP doesn't enjoy taking math classes, why would you recommend pursuing a career that is extremely math intensive? That doesn't make sense to me.

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Otunga
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby Otunga » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:29 am

cotiger wrote:
sinfiery wrote:work for an insurance company, reap dat 50k as a math major focusing on actuary


If OP doesn't enjoy taking math classes, why would you recommend pursuing a career that is extremely math intensive? That doesn't make sense to me.


It wouldn't make sense. However, I only think he's declared he hates advanced, 'useless' math courses, whereas we don't know about whether he hates the math courses with practical applications.

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cotiger
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby cotiger » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:59 am

Otunga wrote:
cotiger wrote:
sinfiery wrote:work for an insurance company, reap dat 50k as a math major focusing on actuary


If OP doesn't enjoy taking math classes, why would you recommend pursuing a career that is extremely math intensive? That doesn't make sense to me.


It wouldn't make sense. However, I only think he's declared he hates advanced, 'useless' math courses, whereas we don't know about whether he hates the math courses with practical applications.


It sounds like he's not too keen on anything much beyond what you take in high school. I mean, linear algebra is typically your first post-calculus course, so if he's not digging that..

Granted, I don't know exactly what goes into being an actuary, but I do know that the applied math used for advanced econometrics is just as strange as the stuff you're doing in pure math courses.

I guess we just need to hear what liking "math puzzles" means.

Total Litigator
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby Total Litigator » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:01 am

The correct answer is double major in poli sci and econ

echoplasm
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby echoplasm » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:28 pm

cotiger wrote:It sounds like he's not too keen on anything much beyond what you take in high school. I mean, linear algebra is typically your first post-calculus course, so if he's not digging that..

Granted, I don't know exactly what goes into being an actuary, but I do know that the applied math used for advanced econometrics is just as strange as the stuff you're doing in pure math courses.

I guess we just need to hear what liking "math puzzles" means.


I like the practicality aspect of math, primarily statistics, differential equations, etc. Linear algebra has real world applications but I did not like the proofs / more abstract aspects of it. Basically, proof writing, group theory, etc. are not my thing. Unfortunately my college does not offer an Applied Mathematics track; it's Pure Maths.

I found my econometric courses enjoyable. I haven't taken the advanced econometrics courses so I don't know yet what you're referring to, but at least econometrics has some tangency to the real world.

leroyjenkins6969
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby leroyjenkins6969 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:51 pm

sinfiery wrote:
Ron Mexico wrote:
leroyjenkins6969 wrote:
sinfiery wrote:stick it out and don't go to law school while earning 50-100k/year with minimal/no debt

or


change majors and score a 170+ on the LSAT and enjoy a chance at biglaw with 300k in debt OR unemployed with 300k in debt OR unemployed with a history major and minimal debt


If I were you, I'd stick it out



where do you pull this "300k in debt" figure from?


Also the 50-100k figure


work for an insurance company, reap dat 50k as a math major focusing on actuary

300k is how much debt you will be in if you go to a T14 school at sticker the day you walk the podium


That 300k figure seems inflated.

leroyjenkins6969
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:14 pm

Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby leroyjenkins6969 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:53 pm

echoplasm wrote:
cotiger wrote:It sounds like he's not too keen on anything much beyond what you take in high school. I mean, linear algebra is typically your first post-calculus course, so if he's not digging that..

Granted, I don't know exactly what goes into being an actuary, but I do know that the applied math used for advanced econometrics is just as strange as the stuff you're doing in pure math courses.

I guess we just need to hear what liking "math puzzles" means.


I like the practicality aspect of math, primarily statistics, differential equations, etc. Linear algebra has real world applications but I did not like the proofs / more abstract aspects of it. Basically, proof writing, group theory, etc. are not my thing. Unfortunately my college does not offer an Applied Mathematics track; it's Pure Maths.

I found my econometric courses enjoyable. I haven't taken the advanced econometrics courses so I don't know yet what you're referring to, but at least econometrics has some tangency to the real world.


Perhaps take some coursework in Computer Science?

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Carlo Von Sexron
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby Carlo Von Sexron » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:08 pm

TigerDude wrote:Math is a "formal science." Generally natural sciences are considered hard sciences.

There is a reason there is an M in STEM.
More relevant inquiry: Is it a hard science for the purposes of sitting for the patent bar?

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sublime
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby sublime » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:08 pm

..

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cotiger
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby cotiger » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:23 pm

echoplasm wrote:
cotiger wrote:It sounds like he's not too keen on anything much beyond what you take in high school. I mean, linear algebra is typically your first post-calculus course, so if he's not digging that..

Granted, I don't know exactly what goes into being an actuary, but I do know that the applied math used for advanced econometrics is just as strange as the stuff you're doing in pure math courses.

I guess we just need to hear what liking "math puzzles" means.


I like the practicality aspect of math, primarily statistics, differential equations, etc. Linear algebra has real world applications but I did not like the proofs / more abstract aspects of it. Basically, proof writing, group theory, etc. are not my thing. Unfortunately my college does not offer an Applied Mathematics track; it's Pure Maths.

I found my econometric courses enjoyable. I haven't taken the advanced econometrics courses so I don't know yet what you're referring to, but at least econometrics has some tangency to the real world.


Well then it sounds like you should just drop the math major, go hog-wild in econ (going heavily into the quantitative realm if that's your jam), and take any history classes that interest you. Don't worry about getting a major in history, though. No one cares, and it's not worth the hassle at this point.

It really just boils down to do what you like. Don't do a math major that you dislike (and so will probably do poorly in) just because you think that someday someone might be impressed by it.

If you're concerned about "employability," don't worry. A highly quantitative econ major will be a more highly sought-after degree than a math major in most fields.

bp shinners
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby bp shinners » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:11 pm

leroyjenkins6969 wrote:That 300k figure seems inflated.


People tend to deflate the actual number by not factoring in the interest.

That said, 300K is definitely at the high end.

TigerDude
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Re: Switching from hard sciences in my junior year

Postby TigerDude » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:45 am

Carlo Von Sexron wrote:
TigerDude wrote:Math is a "formal science." Generally natural sciences are considered hard sciences.

There is a reason there is an M in STEM.
More relevant inquiry: Is it a hard science for the purposes of sitting for the patent bar?

It is not a category A qualifier.




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