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Do i need a second bachelor?

  1. Oct 27, 2009 #1
    Well, i have a B.S in mathematics of computation form ucla. Large part of my education had been taking a whole bunch of mathematics, and computer science courses.

    I don ` t really know what i am going to do with this degree( Well, i know, but i am not very happy about the prospect).

    I have an alot of interest in philosophy, and i might plan to get a master ` s in philosophy, but i don ` t know if graduate school would take me. Should i apply for graduate school in philosophy? Do they need a bachelor in philosophy?

    I am interested in being a neuroscientist, but again, but i am confronted with the same kind of problem. I don ` t have a degree in neuroscience. How can i apply for graduate school in neuroscience? Do i need to get a second bachelor?

    In general, can i apply to to graduate school at subject A, given that i only have bachelor at subject B, such that A is not equal to B? If not, then do i need to apply for a second bachelor at subject A, and then apply for graduate school subject A?
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2009 #2
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  4. Oct 27, 2009 #3


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    In general, it depends on the individual programs' admission requirements, which likely vary. I would suggest you start looking at graduate programs and when you find particular ones you're interested in, look at their admission requirements. You might even want to correspond or speak with graduate advisors in each department to find out where you stand. Some programs may officially require one degree, but may make exceptions for outstanding candidates from other fields whom they feel can pick up a few necessary undergraduate courses along the way.

    Of course, you have to keep in mind that graduate admissions is a competative process, and if you don't fit the exact requirements, you're facing an uphill battle.
  5. Oct 27, 2009 #4
    Are you serious? You don't like your prospects with a computational math degree, so you're going to add a philosophy masters to it? But you can't decide between that and neuroscience??

    You don't need a second bachelor, you need a plan that actually leaves you in a different place than you started.
  6. Oct 27, 2009 #5
    I'm a philosophy major and seriously considered philosophy graduate school. A master's in philosophy will not get you anywhere except potentially into a PhD program. PhD programs in philosophy have about a 50% attrition rate and graduates have slim prospects of getting jobs. Graduates from typical state universities with philosophy PhDs are lucky to get jobs teaching in community colleges. Most philosophy PhDs change careers and do not use their PhDs at all.

    The philosophy PhDs who do find jobs will continue to work like they are in grad school until they earn tenure, which most likely will never happen. They will do so at a salary on average equivalent to the salary paid to undergraduate engineering grads.

    See http://www.philosophicalgourmet.com/perspective.asp for a slightly older view. Things have gotten more competitive since then. Much of what you read about physics PhDs on here applies to philosophy PhDs as well. Note also that admission to philosophy grad school is extremely competitive and a good amount of self selection occurs. Philosophy destined students have the highest GRE verbal and analytical writing scores of any major and the highest quantitative scores in the humanities, above some sciences.
  7. Oct 28, 2009 #6
    Did you take any philosophy at all (like maybe 9 or so credits)? As long as you have that and you did well in your undergrad program, it probably doesn't matter what you did. Do well on the GRE, show you had good grades, and write a decent statement of purpose and you'll be let in.

    But a master's in philosophy? Really? It's extra worthless in a practical sense. When I was going to get a JD, I figured a dual masters in philosophy might hold a little value (because of what law is), but outside of that kind of interest/fascination I can't see why it would matter to anyone.

    I'd try to find a different plan like has been suggested. A computational math degree should be of some value to you. Even if your grades weren't the best. Learn a little more about how to better market the qualities you developed in your program as an undergrad.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  8. Oct 30, 2009 #7
    If you are familiar with applied math and computer science then try getting a job in scientific computing (or perhaps an internship) to get used to the field and what is expected. I am not familiar with your program but have you considered any of the relevant fields like bioinformatics, computational physics, etc? You might need to take some more undergrad courses if you wish to pursue something in those fields (ie taking some biochem and genetics courses to be familiar with bioinformatics) but it would be much less painful than doing another four years in a field you are still unsure of.
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