3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Extracurricular help

Hello, I am a rising senior and looking to major in something comp sci and bio-related - maybe bioinformatics or something else. While I have ample comp sci ecs (I have been doing FIRST Robotics for 6 years and Science Olympiad for 7 years, with international qualification and national level awards, respectively), I don’t have many biology ecs.

My school offers iGem, Biolympiad, and some other related ecs but most are test-based and I won’t have enough time to actually do well in them considering it usually takes 1-2 years to get any relevant results. Also, because I am a US non-citizen, some of my opportunities are limited. Moreover, I switched high schools mid-way, so I have spent one year at my new high school completely online and this upcoming year will be the first time I'll ever go on campus.

Would this affect my chances for a bio-related major type? Currently, I have two internships as well: one is using AI to help with disease diagnosis and the other involves me creating a medical device prototype to help reduce the detrimental effects of a medical condition. These are more comp sci/bio oriented, but I was wondering if you all had any other bio ecs (1-2) that I could do to build the bio side of my resume.

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1 answer

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

I don't think you're going to have your chances impacted too much by the lack of bio ECs to be honest. Based on your profile it seems like it will be clear to admission officers that you have a strong interest in comp sci (you've probably seen this referred to as a SPIKE) and your science olympiad and two internships help demonstrate you're also interested in biology.

I think it makes sense to consider iGem, the biolympiad, or the other ECs that your school offers even if you don't think you have the time to do well in them. I think it will still help demonstrate your interest in biology and I also think admissions officers will understand you didn't have a ton of time to excel in those ECs because you switched schools and had to deal with covid. While not totally bio related maybe check out this article to see if any of the ECs mentioned interest you: https://blog.collegevine.com/extracurriculars-for-high-schoolers-interested-in-studying-medicine/

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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