3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Extracurricular help (reposted)

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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2 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

Hey @Shr3D! Based on your current extracurriculars, I do not think your chances of getting a bio-related major are going to be affected!

You have done Science Olympiad for 7 years, which shows us that you love science and you have the skills necessary to succeed in a science-based major, like biology. Similarly, you have been doing FIRST Robotics for 6 years, which indicates that you have the expertise to succeed in an engineering-based major, like computer science. So you definitely have both bio and comp sci covered with your extracurriculars. I also think both of your current internships have a huge focus on medicine/bio, so they’ll look great on your application!

@abcabcabcabc has some good recommendations about starting bio related clubs or creating a bioinformatics magazine for your school, so if you have the time to do that, definitely go for it. However, since you are a rising senior, I think it might be difficult to start something from scratch in the time that you have. If you are already involved in any bio-related clubs or organizations, I suggest possibly organizing events for the club/org that mesh your interests in bio and computer science. For example, for a service-oriented club, you could organize workshops for middle-schoolers to expose them to bio/comp sci fields.

Hope this helps!

3 years ago

In my opinion, if you already took biology classes for 1-2 years, you wouldn't need extra years of preparation to win a bioolympiad. AP Biology and 2 weeks of extra studying were enough for me to get silver in a regional bioolympiad, so don't be pulled back from trying !!

Maybe you can create a Biology related club and hold some biology experiments within the club, or create a bioinformatics magazine for your school and write articles about what you learned from your internship. You can also attend seminars for high schoolers related to your major since many of them are opening online due to covid and maybe even try giving a presentation in it (i thought this is was a pretty valuable experience) You might also want to try talking to your biology teacher and start your own research project.

Hope this helped !

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