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Undergraduate Student FAQ

 


Traditional Students:

Q: I want to go to medical/dental/veterinary/pharmacy school. Do I have to be a Biological Sciences or Biochemistry & Molecular Biology major?

A: Both the BA in Biological Sciences and the BS in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology include much of the pre-requisite coursework required by health professions programs. Many of the students (75% or so) who apply to medical school from UMBC complete a degree in one of the life sciences because they enjoy science, excel in it, and the amount of course overlap is convenient.

However, you do not have to be a Biological Sciences or Biochemistry & Molecular Biology major to pursue these professions. Some students pursue other degrees because they wish to enhance the education that they plan on receiving in professional school. There are mechanical engineers who wish to work on the development of prosthetics and other devices for assisting patients with physical limitations. Health administration & public policy and political science majors may have a desire to address health issues at the local, state, national, and international level. Other students choose a major outside the sciences because they feel that this may be the last opportunity they have to study subjects outside the sciences until they have finished their professional degree.

Medical, dental, and pharmacy schools are looking for well-rounded students who are good critical thinkers and have a combination of good grades, extracurricular activities, health-relevant experience, and high entrance exam scores. You can demonstrate that you have these attributes no matter what your academic major.

Q: I have taken Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate/College-Level Examination Program exams. How can I receive credit?

A: First, an official report of your score must be sent from the appropriate testing agency to the UMBC Office of Undergraduate Admissions. These scores will then be evaluated according to the standards listed in the UMBC Undergraduate Catalog.

Q: I’m not interested in a health profession. What kind of job can a Biological Sciences/Biochemistry & Molecular Biology/Bioinformatics & Computational Biology major make me qualified for?

A: That is a very difficult question to answer! The kind of job that you are qualified for at the end of your degree depends a lot on you. You have choices to make about your learning experiences, both in and out of the classroom. Do the research and use extra-curricular activities, co-ops and internships to get some experience that will help you figure out what you do (and do not) want to do.

Don’t think that majoring in the sciences only qualifies you to work in science, either. Through your major and general education requirement courses you’ll learn and enhance your collaborative, critical thinking, and communication skills. These kinds of skills can be applied in whatever career you choose after you’ve completed your degree at UMBC.

If you’d like more specific information about the kinds of jobs that may interest you, UMBC’s Career Services Center is a wonderful resource for all of our students.  Or visit our Alternative Careers alumni page to read accounts of what UMBC alum are doing with their education.

Transfer Students:

Q: I have an A.A./A.A.S.; what kind of GPA/coursework do I need to be accepted into a Bachelor’s degree program in Biological Sciences/Biochemistry & Molecular Biology/Bioinformatics & Computational Biology?

A: For B.A./B.S. students in Biological Sciences and B.S. students in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, admission to UMBC is considered “acceptance” into the desired program. Continued enrollment as one of these majors is contingent upon the student completing major requirements in accordance with the academic regulations listed in the UMBC Undergraduate Catalog.

For B.S. students in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, a minimum GPA in a defined group of introductory-level courses (called a “gateway”) is required before students may continue enrollment in the major.

Q: I received course credit for Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate/College-Level Examination Program exams at my previous institution. Is it possible to receive credit from UMBC as well?

A: UMBC does not accept another institution’s assessment of AP/IB/CLEP exam scores for credit. In order for a student to receive credit for any of these exams, an official report of the student’s score must be sent directly from the appropriate testing agency to the UMBC Office of Undergraduate Admissions. These scores will then be evaluated according to the standards listed in the UMBC Undergraduate Catalog.