When should I declare my Major?
As soon as you enroll at Kennesaw State University (KSU)! The B.S. degree programs within our college (Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Mathematics) have pre-requisites for all higher level courses. If you do not take the proper Science and Math courses your first semester, you will fall behind in your progress toward graduation.
For example, the B.S. Chemistry Degree requires CHEM 1211 (General Chemistry) and MATH 1113 (or MATH 1190) during your first semester. A recent survey found that 50% of our majors in this discipline did not take CHEM 1211 in their first year and unwittingly added an additional year to their undergraduate education.
If I am a Pre-Med (or Pre-Veterinarian, Pre-Pharmacy, or Pre-Dental) student, do I have to declare a major?
Definitely yes! Since “Pre-Professional” is not a major, you will want to consider declaring a major in one of the following degree programs: Biology, Biochemistry, or Chemistry.
Another advantage of declaring a major early is to meet students pursuing the same career goals and be introduced to various other career options in the event you change your career direction while still a KSU student. Nationwide, typically two-thirds of students pursuing the above pre-professional tracks change career goals within their first three years.
As part of your preparation for admission into medical school, you will need a degree in one of these four majors. Medical Schools do not require applicants to have a particular major, but rather to have completed a set of courses meeting pre-med requirements as part of the student’s chosen degree program. Your own aptitude and interest for any of these four areas of study, along with the role and contribution you wish to make should guide your decision. Additional requirements for admission into medical schools:
If I have been out of school for over five years, should I go directly into a specific science or math, or would I be better advised to first take the pre-requisites for these courses?
An appointment with an advisor in your intended major to discuss your level of preparedness for these courses will be helpful.
The KSU Math Placement Test (MAPT) is available online. This test will recommend the level of mathematics course sequence for you depending on your test score.
What advice do you have for a science or math major who wants to attend graduate school following their B.S. degree?
Graduate schools will be looking at the number of upper division courses in your major and your GPA in these courses. Additionally, graduate schools look for evidence of undergraduate research experience with faculty. Such experience will help separate you from those who do not have any undergraduate research.
After completing my B.S. degree, should I apply to a Master’s level program or a Ph.D. program if I am planning for graduate school?
If a Ph.D. program exists at the school you are considering, we recommend going directly into a Ph.D. program. Students in the sciences typically begin their Ph.D. research in the second year of graduate school. Going directly into a Ph.D. program can avoid the need for two (M.S. and Ph.D.) dissertations.