• 7 months ago •
Admissions Advice

If I get a Biology major, specializing in Genetics, is it equal to a Genetics major ?

Hey guys, I was looking up colleges with Genetics majors and found that the University of Chicago offers a Biology major, with a specialization in Genetics. Being an international student, I'm confused if they are worth the same.

It would be great if you guys clear up the confusion, thanks (:


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Accepted Answer
• 7 months ago

Do they entail the same things? More likely so. Are they worth the same? Perhaps not, regarding the degree you hope to pursue.

With a major in biology, the broadest for life sciences, you are essentially stating that you’d like to earn knowledge regarding some of the many fields biology offers. Hence, you are more likely working toward a “Biology Degree BS” (and of course you can concentrate your studies). With a major in genetics, this is more specific than biology, you are stating that you’d like to learn about everything regarding genetics. By this way, you will more likely be working toward a “Genetics Degree BS”. Perhaps the only difference, as far as the job field may be concerned, is that biology is broad and genetics is specific. But in academic study, there may only be slight differences in class requirements, and henceforth, the classes you take.

Meanwhile here are some sources from PayScale regarding what each degree can earn you based off of averages: Biology ( https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Bachelor_of_Science_(BS_%2F_BSc)%2C_Biology/Salary ) and Genetics ( https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Bachelor_of_Science_(BS_%2F_BSc)%2C_Genetics/Salary ).Again, the only difference being one is more specific than the other, but all the while generally the same.

Moreover, there are “certificates” that some colleges offer. I’m not too sure of what exactly a certificate does, but from what I’ve learned, it seems like formal certification stating that you’ve had education exposure to that field. (i.e there are Bioethics Certificates, Genetic Certificates, etc.). These can be obtained while on the path to attaining your degree and typically require as much classes as a minor, except you are earning a certificate.

About UChicago, here is a helpful site that lists their Biology Major on one page: ( collegecatalog.uchicago.edu/thecollege/biologicalsciences/#Specialization%20in%20Genetics ). Scroll around to see the other concentrations.

From all of this, anyhow, I personally wouldn’t stress about whether it’s a Major or a Concentration, because in all honesty, you’ll fundamentally be earning the same thing—an education. The difference of course is whether you’d want a specific degree or a more broad one. So by worth of knowledge, yes it’s the same. By worth of the degree, there will be a slight variation.

Hope this helps!


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