from the Experts
What It’s Like To Be A Biology
By Tiffany T., Undergraduate Ventures Scholar
I decided on majoring in biology when I was in high
school. I thought about possibly becoming a doctor and
believed that pursuing a major in biology would provide
me with skills needed for medical school or graduate
school. Now as a senior, I have discovered that being
a biology major is not easy, but it is a rewarding and
Before I entered college, I heard that the biology
major was one of the most difficult undergraduate majors.
I thought to myself that if I was able to successfully
complete a major that is deemed to be so difficult,
I would have made a great accomplishment. During my
first year I took many core requirement courses as well
as Concepts in Biology and General Chemistry Part I.
These two science courses were more difficult than I
expected. I was not used to the large volumes of work
and I was worried that I would not be successful as
a biology major. Fortunately, my Concepts in Biology
professor was very helpful. He gave the class tips on
how to study effectively. One of the most effective
tips was “Practice By Doing.” He explained
that the easiest way to learn all of the information
was to read your notes out loud or read notes to someone
else, a stuffed animal, or even the wall. I have used
this technique throughout my college career and I have
discovered that it is very useful, especially in science
classes and classes with large amounts of work.
For me, the worst part about being a biology major
is the fact that we are required to take General Chemistry,
Organic Chemistry, and General Physics. Chemistry and
Physics are my worst subjects and I had to work very
hard to pass these classes. Another reason why the biology
major is thought to be more difficult is the fact that
the major is worth more credits than a liberal arts
major, which means you have to take more courses. This
also means spending more time studying.
Pursuing a major in biology is a great advantage for
those who are thinking about applying to medical school.
I have talked with many medical students who were biology
majors and they say that the major provided a solid
background for their medical studies. One student talked
about how an undergraduate anatomy class allowed him
to successfully pass an anatomy class in medical school.
Also, they say that the large amounts of work that biology
majors are given is a good test to see if a student
will be able to handle the loads of work given to medical
I found many of the biology elective courses to be
very interesting. For instance, I took Human Parasitology
(focus on the parasites that infect the human body)
and next semester I will be taking Introduction to Cancer.
During this school year, I will be applying to graduate
school to pursue a Master of Biomedical Science and
possibly attend medical school after I finish the program
if I decide to do so. I truly believe the biology major
will allow me to be successful in my future studies.
When I tell people that I am a biology major they are
very impressed. The job opportunities for biology majors
are great as well, such as taking part in research at
top pharmaceutical companies.
I highly recommend the biology major to anyone who
is thinking about medical school or anyone who is willing
to challenge themselves. My advice to you is to get
rid of the thought that the courses you have to take
for the major are difficult because if you keep telling
yourself the material is difficult, you will not succeed.
Also, use all resources that are given to you. Visit
your professors and/or TAs (teaching assistants) during
their office hours if you have questions or go just
to introduce yourself. This will allow them to realize
that you are serious about passing their class and they
would be more inclined to provide a letter of recommendation
if you ask for one. Although we have more work than
the liberal arts majors and have to take more difficult
classes, the biology major is a great major because
it demonstrates to others that you are willing to work
hard in order to pursue your dreams. It shows that you
are willing to challenge yourself.