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Programs 26 yo pharma journalist looking for hard science masters.

Hi everyone,

My details:
Age: 26
Education: Bachelor's in Mass Media; Post-graduate Diploma in Journalism
Work ex: 5 years for an international news agency covering pharmaceuticals and healthcare.

I loved science in high school and was great at it, but couldn't continue due to some unavoidable personal circumstances. I've been strongly feeling the need to study science over the past year. I applied for a science fellowship last year, but turns out I'm too young for it. So I am now looking to apply for a science masters program next year - something in earth sciences, geology or biology. Obviously, all masters programs require an undergrad in science. Since there is no concept of community college in my area, I've been taking online courses to catch up on physics and bio ... but it's only making me realise how badly I need a classroom environment.

Someone mentioned the BU LEAP program on another thread, but that's only for engineering. Anything like that for science? Or any science masters programs that would accept me with my current academic background?

Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.

Cheers!
 
Last edited:

S.G. Janssens

Science Advisor
Education Advisor
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Hello, welcome here. From googling "BU LEAP" I gathered that you are from the US, is this correct? It may be helpful to know, since people can help you better then.
 
Hello, welcome here. From googling "BU LEAP" I gathered that you are from the US, is this correct? It may be helpful to know, since people can help you better then.
Hey! Actually, I'm not. I'm from India, and my entire education so far has been in India. I just happened to notice the BU thread while looking for similar questions.
 

Dr. Courtney

Education Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2018 Award
2,903
1,814
Hi everyone,

My details:
Age: 26
Education: Bachelor's in Mass Media; Post-graduate Diploma in Journalism
Work ex: 5 years for an international news agency covering pharmaceuticals and healthcare.

I loved science in high school and was great at it, but couldn't continue due to some unavoidable personal circumstances. I've been strongly feeling the need to study science over the past year. I applied for a science fellowship last year, but turns out I'm too young for it. So I am now looking to apply for a science masters program next year - something in earth sciences, geology or biology. Obviously, all masters programs require an undergrad in science. Since there is no concept of community college in my area, I've been taking online courses to catch up on physics and bio ... but it's only making me realise how badly I need a classroom environment.

Someone mentioned the BU LEAP program on another thread, but that's only for engineering. Anything like that for science? Or any science masters programs that would accept me with my current academic background?

Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.

Cheers!
earth sciences, geology or biology

I thought you said "hard sciences."

Anything like that for science? Or any science masters programs that would accept me with my current academic background?

There are graduate programs that admit students without undergrad degrees in science. But this depends on the specific academic background, which is usually evaluated based on the whole transcript and standardized tests rather than just on a degree in an unrelated field and GPA.

A GPA of 3.0 or higher in these courses is a common requirement:

2 semesters of college calculus (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of college physics w/ lab (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of college biology w/ lab (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of general chemistry w/ lab (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of organic chemistry w/ lab (real college, not AP)
Good scores on relevant standardized test for grad school: GRE (general and/or subject), MCAT, PCAT, etc.

There may be some slight variations in specific requirements for specific programs, but if you are short of 8 semesters of lab science and 2 semesters of calculus, I would not be optimistic. Most folks would be skeptical of graduate programs admitting students with less than 8 good solid science courses and a year of calculus. (Most grad programs have higher admissions requirements that are higher than this. Programs with lower requirements are easily identified as diploma mills.)

But you need to do your own homework and get the specific requirements of programs that may be of interest.
 
earth sciences, geology or biology

I thought you said "hard sciences."

Anything like that for science? Or any science masters programs that would accept me with my current academic background?

There are graduate programs that admit students without undergrad degrees in science. But this depends on the specific academic background, which is usually evaluated based on the whole transcript and standardized tests rather than just on a degree in an unrelated field and GPA.

A GPA of 3.0 or higher in these courses is a common requirement:

2 semesters of college calculus (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of college physics w/ lab (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of college biology w/ lab (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of general chemistry w/ lab (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of organic chemistry w/ lab (real college, not AP)
Good scores on relevant standardized test for grad school: GRE (general and/or subject), MCAT, PCAT, etc.

There may be some slight variations in specific requirements for specific programs, but if you are short of 8 semesters of lab science and 2 semesters of calculus, I would not be optimistic. Most folks would be skeptical of graduate programs admitting students with less than 8 good solid science courses and a year of calculus. (Most grad programs have higher admissions requirements that are higher than this. Programs with lower requirements are easily identified as diploma mills.)

But you need to do your own homework and get the specific requirements of programs that may be of interest.
Thanks so much!

I was wondering if those pre-masters courses that are offered by some universities would make up? Such as this one, for example: https://www.kic.org.uk/glasgow/courses/pre-masters/science-engineering/
 

Dr. Courtney

Education Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2018 Award
2,903
1,814
Thanks so much!

I was wondering if those pre-masters courses that are offered by some universities would make up? Such as this one, for example: https://www.kic.org.uk/glasgow/courses/pre-masters/science-engineering/
Translating UK course descriptions to US requirements always has a bit of a challenge, but I don't see anything in your link that looks even "roughly" equivalent to:

A GPA of 3.0 or higher in these courses is a common requirement:

2 semesters of college calculus (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of college physics w/ lab (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of college biology w/ lab (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of general chemistry w/ lab (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of organic chemistry w/ lab (real college, not AP)
Good scores on relevant standardized test for grad school: GRE (general and/or subject), MCAT, PCAT, etc.

US universities are fairly well standardized (not perfect, but fairly consistent) in what college credit in the above courses means. This is because most (or all) of the above courses are REQUIRED components of approved ACS degrees, ABET accredited degrees, admissions into med and vet school, and other degrees approved or accredited by outside agencies.

If you are hoping to gain admission to a graduate science program in the US without a BS in science, I doubt you will succeed with foreign preparation UNLESS the foreign courses you take are widely recognized equivalents to these US courses and commonly accepted for transfer credit.
 
Translating UK course descriptions to US requirements always has a bit of a challenge, but I don't see anything in your link that looks even "roughly" equivalent to:

A GPA of 3.0 or higher in these courses is a common requirement:

2 semesters of college calculus (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of college physics w/ lab (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of college biology w/ lab (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of general chemistry w/ lab (real college, not AP)
2 semesters of organic chemistry w/ lab (real college, not AP)
Good scores on relevant standardized test for grad school: GRE (general and/or subject), MCAT, PCAT, etc.

US universities are fairly well standardized (not perfect, but fairly consistent) in what college credit in the above courses means. This is because most (or all) of the above courses are REQUIRED components of approved ACS degrees, ABET accredited degrees, admissions into med and vet school, and other degrees approved or accredited by outside agencies.

If you are hoping to gain admission to a graduate science program in the US without a BS in science, I doubt you will succeed with foreign preparation UNLESS the foreign courses you take are widely recognized equivalents to these US courses and commonly accepted for transfer credit.
Thanks, this is very helpful.
 

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