PolSci Major in Undergrad

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Fish127
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PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Fish127 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:39 am

From what I understand, Political Science is currently the most popular choice for undergraduate students interested in attending law school. Despite (or perhaps because of) this, I notice that a lot of people pursuing law school, or connected to the legal field in some other way, have a somewhat negative opinion of it. I've heard it called a joke major, cookie cutter, and generally useless compared with other options. In my current situation, at my current school, political science is really the only major available to me that I'm both interested in, and confident in my ability to maintain T14 grades with. The other options I considered were English or History, but neither of them really interest me as much as polsci. Anyway, as far as my issue goes I have three question for anybody with experience regarding the major, or T14 admissions in general.

1) Did having political science as a major help to prepare you in any way for the LSAT or for Law School in general?

2) Did having political science as a major hurt you in any way? In other words, was it looked down at on a major by selective schools, more specifically T6 and up?

3) Given the choice, would you have chosen something else?

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Danger Zone
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:41 am

Poly sci, history, and English? Scrap all that useless bullshit and get a STEM degree. Or B school if you are so inclined.

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mr. wednesday
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby mr. wednesday » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:44 am

It hurts you because there are a ton of poly sci JDs, especially around DC/government, and the degree gives you no skills or expertise that you wouldn't learn in law school anyway. It also makes law school one of your only options because you can't actually get a job with just a BA in polysci.

Of course it doesn't prepare you for the LSAT. It will, however, prepare you to argue pedantically about some policy issue no one cares about in law school while your classmates desperately hope you stop talking.

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Danger Zone
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:45 am

If anything would be useful for the LSAT, it's the Logic courses that are available to Philosophy majors. But don't major in philosophy. Just take a few logic courses.

Fish127
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Fish127 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:48 am

Danger Zone wrote:Poly sci, history, and English? Scrap all that useless bullshit and get a STEM degree. Or B school if you are so inclined.

Just going to add, please do not give me suggestions about what major you think I should pursue, unless accompanied by an informed answer to one of my three initial questions. If all I wanted was a 100% solid career path I'm well aware that the best option would be something in high demand like comp science or hard sciences then med school or something of that nature. As I believe I said in the OP, I want to study something that interests me. My main concern here is whether it will cause tangible harm considering so many other applicants choose it.

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Danger Zone
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:52 am

1. No.

2. Yes, because they are shit majors and every shit-for-brains k-JD has one of those choices on their résumé.

3. Yes, and I just told you what the best choices are.

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mr. wednesday
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby mr. wednesday » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:53 am

Economics, that'd be a better major for law school. It will actually help you understand two or three classes, which is more than you can say for political science. Less useless than the other options, anyway.

But if you are committed to a true joke major, I'd pick English and focus on editing/writing over literature. Studying something useless because it interests you is boomer flame.
Last edited by mr. wednesday on Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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redsox
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby redsox » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:54 am

Fish127 wrote:Just going to add, please do not give me suggestions about what major you think I should pursue, unless accompanied by an informed answer to one of my three initial questions. If all I wanted was a 100% solid career path I'm well aware that the best option would be something in high demand like comp science or hard sciences then med school or something of that nature. As I believe I said in the OP, I want to study something that interests me. My main concern here is whether it will cause tangible harm considering so many other applicants choose it.


You should pursue a degree in economics.

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Danger Zone
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:55 am

I can get behind Econ. I'm glad we could all come together and choose OP's major for her.

Fish127
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Fish127 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:03 am

redsox wrote:You should pursue a degree in economics.

mr. wednesday wrote:Economics, that'd be a better major for law school.

The school I'm attending has a terrible economics department. This was actually my major before I switched to polisci, and I did so because after taking a few classes I realized that it was going to kill my GPA and I wasn't going to learn anything. If I wanted to keep the major I would have to transfer to a larger school, which would mean having to get a new apartment because of the distance issues, and I'm not really in a position to do this right now. I meant it when I said my options were limited.

2. Yes, because they are shit majors and every shit-for-brains k-JD has one of those choices on their résumé.


This is what I'm the most interested in. Are you just assuming this because so many people choose polsci or have there been actual cases where having it as a major has hurt applicants with otherwise impressive numbers? I'm not saying that I don't believe you, rather I'm just trying to gauge the amount of damage having it as a major would do to my résumé, and balance that against the problems that some of my other options would present me with.

rad lulz
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby rad lulz » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:06 am

You are literally about to forego majors that can get you a real job to major in... poli sci

lol, just lol

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mr. wednesday
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby mr. wednesday » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:07 am

Worry less about what schools will think (they don't care) and more about whether you will be gainfully employed after graduation from college or with a JD. Getting into a school is only the first step and it's almost completely about your LSAT.

After that's happened, you'll just be another insufferable policy wonk trying to convince an employer that you aren't dumb despite devoting four years to an incredibly easy shitmajor.

Fish127
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Fish127 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:12 am

mr. wednesday wrote:Worry less about what schools will think (they don't care) and more about whether you will be gainfully employed after graduation from college or with a JD. Getting into a school is only the first step and it's almost completely about your LSAT.

As I said, what the admissions people will think is my only concern with regards to this topic at the moment. I'm not here for life advice, just to get a specific question answered. I'm more than aware of what job prospects are like, but if I don't get into the type of law school I want then I'm not going to bother going and I'm not go be in any debt from UG, and I already have options for employment or further education if that's what I choose to do. I just want to know if having this as a major will detract from having otherwise good numbers. And I could do without the ad hominem insults.

Ti Malice
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Ti Malice » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:13 am

PoliSci isn't going to cause you to underperform your numbers in law school admissions. But understand that going to law school is about the only thing you'll be able to do with the degree. And if your LSAT isn't high enough, law school will be a very bad idea.

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redsox
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby redsox » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:18 am

Fish127 wrote:And I could do without the ad hominem insults.


Tough luck. That's what you get when you start a thread about doing a joke major. A bunch of jealous people who wish we could go back in time, undo our real majors, get a 4.0 in political science, and drink 5 nights a week for all of college.

Okay, that's a lie, undergraduate-level economics is a total joke too. It's just that not everyone knows that, so I can sometimes pretend.

Fish127
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Fish127 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:23 am

Ti Malice wrote:PoliSci isn't going to cause you to underperform your numbers in law school admissions. But understand that going to law school is about the only thing you'll be able to do with the degree. And if your LSAT isn't high enough, law school will be a very bad idea.

Thank you, this is what I wanted to know. I'm not going to go to law school if I can't get into a T14 school at the very least. If I decide to go after other options I'm probably going to go back to school for a bit longer or take a position offered in a friend's company.


Tough luck. That's what you get when you start a thread about doing a joke major.

Thing is dude, when I say from the beginning that I'm aware of the attitude about polisci, and that I have limited options otherwise, and people still insist that I go with a STEM major, even after I said in black and white that it's not an option for me, I find the implication that I'm the stupid one kind of hypocritical.

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redsox
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby redsox » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:29 am

Fish127 wrote:Thing is dude, when I say from the beginning that I'm aware of the attitude about polisci, and that I have limited options otherwise, and people still insist that I go with a STEM major, even after I said in black and white that it's not an option for me, I find the implication that I'm the stupid one kind of hypocritical.


I'm not saying it's fair. It's TLS. If you didn't say from the beginning that you knew how people look at political science, then you would have just got the standard "major in whatever will yield the highest GPA" answer (with maybe a few "good God, you still have a chance to major in something that will allow you to avoid law school? DON'T GO TO LAW SCHOOL" answers mixed in).

But saying that you know people think it's a joke major invites people to troll that it's a joke major. Get it?

Fish127
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Fish127 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:41 am

redsox wrote:I'm not saying it's fair. It's TLS. If you didn't say from the beginning that you knew how people look at political science, then you would have just got the standard "major in whatever will yield the highest GPA" answer (with maybe a few "good God, you still have a chance to major in something that will allow you to avoid law school? DON'T GO TO LAW SCHOOL" answers mixed in).

But saying that you know people think it's a joke major invites people to troll that it's a joke major. Get it?

I understand that, but it doesn't mean that I find that level of immaturity from perspective law students, supposedly those aiming for the upper echelon of the field, any less frustrating.

I feel like every decision I make is based around what will help or hurt me in the future. With law school in mind, I just wanted to take a major that I would enjoy, in contrast to the goal oriented attitude I have in making most other decisions. I really just wanted to know whether admissions shared the opinion of polisci that a lot of people here do, and more importantly, if this attitude would cause me to underperform my numbers.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Mal Reynolds » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:43 am

Admissions committees won't care what major you are.

I'm curious how your school has a "terrible economics department" and yet it has a state of the art poli sic department, worthy of your time. Sounds more like you didn't understand intro to econ and were scared you would get bad grades. This sounds troubling for your GPA and future LSAT score.

Fish127
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Fish127 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:51 am

Mal Reynolds wrote:Admissions committees won't care what major you are.

I'm curious how your school has a "terrible economics department" and yet it has a state of the art poli sic department, worthy of your time. Sounds more like you didn't understand intro to econ and were scared you would get bad grades. This sounds troubling for your GPA and future LSAT score.

I never said that my school had a great political science department. I took a few econ classes and I got As in them. The grades weren't the problem so much as the fact that I didn't learn anything. Everyone in the first class I took basically bullshitted their way through the joke tests that were given. Honestly I learned more about Microsoft Excel than I actually did about economics. I realized that if I kept going I would slam into a brick wall when I got to the upper level classes that actually required me to build off of the information I was supposed to be learning in the base courses.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Mal Reynolds » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:53 am

Fish127 wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:Admissions committees won't care what major you are.

I'm curious how your school has a "terrible economics department" and yet it has a state of the art poli sic department, worthy of your time. Sounds more like you didn't understand intro to econ and were scared you would get bad grades. This sounds troubling for your GPA and future LSAT score.

I never said that my school had a great political science department. I took a few econ classes and I got As in them. The grades weren't the problem so much as the fact that I didn't learn anything. Everyone in the class basically bullshitted their way through the joke tests that were given. Honestly I learned more about Microsoft Excel than I actually did about economics. I realized that if I kept going I would slam into a brick wall when I got to the upper level classes that actually required me to build off of the information I was supposed to be learning in the base courses.


So as an alternative to people bullshitting their way through tests you're going with poll sci? What do you think poll sci tests are like? And you think you're going to learn something in poll sci as opposed to economics? LOL, just LOL.

Fish127
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Fish127 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:58 am

Mal Reynolds wrote:
Fish127 wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:Admissions committees won't care what major you are.

I'm curious how your school has a "terrible economics department" and yet it has a state of the art poli sic department, worthy of your time. Sounds more like you didn't understand intro to econ and were scared you would get bad grades. This sounds troubling for your GPA and future LSAT score.

I never said that my school had a great political science department. I took a few econ classes and I got As in them. The grades weren't the problem so much as the fact that I didn't learn anything. Everyone in the class basically bullshitted their way through the joke tests that were given. Honestly I learned more about Microsoft Excel than I actually did about economics. I realized that if I kept going I would slam into a brick wall when I got to the upper level classes that actually required me to build off of the information I was supposed to be learning in the base courses.


So as an alternative to people bullshitting their way through tests you're going with poll sci? What do you think poll sci tests are like? And you think you're going to learn something in poll sci as opposed to economics? LOL, just LOL


I don't have to justify my choice. I wouldn't have even bothered to explain to you why I dropped the econ major if I knew you were just trying to troll me. I enjoy the classes, and I enjoy the environment so far.

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Ron Mexico
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Ron Mexico » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:59 am

Fish127 wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:Admissions committees won't care what major you are.

I'm curious how your school has a "terrible economics department" and yet it has a state of the art poli sic department, worthy of your time. Sounds more like you didn't understand intro to econ and were scared you would get bad grades. This sounds troubling for your GPA and future LSAT score.

I never said that my school had a great political science department. I took a few econ classes and I got As in them. The grades weren't the problem so much as the fact that I didn't learn anything. Everyone in the first class I took basically bullshitted their way through the joke tests that were given. Honestly I learned more about Microsoft Excel than I actually did about economics. I realized that if I kept going I would slam into a brick wall when I got to the upper level classes that actually required me to build off of the information I was supposed to be learning in the base courses.


I mean, it's not like you're going to learn anything (worthwhile) in Poli Sci classes.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby Mal Reynolds » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:01 am

Well what if I told you econ majors are highly regarded amongst adcomms and poll sci majors are considered common? It sounds like you chose poli sci for non-substantive reasons. Then you come in here and ask advice about majors with no intention of listening to it. Doesn't make any sense.

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redsox
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Re: PolSci Major in Undergrad

Postby redsox » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:05 am

Fish127 wrote:I never said that my school had a great political science department. I took a few econ classes and I got As in them. The grades weren't the problem so much as the fact that I didn't learn anything. Everyone in the first class I took basically bullshitted their way through the joke tests that were given. Honestly I learned more about Microsoft Excel than I actually did about economics. I realized that if I kept going I would slam into a brick wall when I got to the upper level classes that actually required me to build off of the information I was supposed to be learning in the base courses.


You're overestimating the difficulty of upper-level undergraduate economics courses. You will be able to continue to bullshit your way through joke tests as long as you avoid courses like "Advanced Econometric Techniques for Mathematics PHDs" and "Macroeconomic Theory as Performance Art".

There are a lot of nice things about being an econ major. You don't need to do any reading, because the classes are generally building a model rather than requiring you to learn a bunch of random facts, and this model will be demonstrated in lectures in enough detail to do well on exams. You don't need to write essays. All you need to do is show up to class, do a few problem sets, and take a couple tests. It's cake.




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