2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Deciding On A Major

Hi! I'm a sophomore in high school and I know I still have a lot of time until I have to choose what I want to major in for college, but I want to get a head start because there are two main majors I want to major in: Forensic Science, and Music Education. I know these are two completely different majors which is why this really tough. I am really into both but after this school year of just starting orchestra, I feel more attracted to music more than forensic science which I've been wanting to do since 8th grade. The main thing I've heard from people is, "Do you like math?" or "How much math can you take?" I don't really mind it but it's definitely not something I enjoy doing. I've also looked at how long it takes to become a forensic pathologist (forensic science job), and it takes much longer. I also know I and do a major and minor, which I have put some thought into it, but I kind of want to focus on just one and stick it so I get the most out of either major. So I need advice from a college student or at least someone in high school who has decided already on what they're going to do and how they came to their decision.

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Hey love!! Good on for thinking about this already. Since you still have some time before you have to apply for schools, I would try to find opportunities to engage with both of these as soon as possible. Maybe there is a camp you can work at this summer teaching kids music or maybe you can find shadowing opportunities in forensic science or a similar field. Those are just examples, but I have learned the best way to actually figure out what you want is to get experience doing it, especially if you are on the fence about something. On that note, if there is an aspect of either of these careers that you are wary of in terms of practical application, try to gain experience with that, because that way you can identify if it is something you may never come to love, or you actually really enjoy it, and that may be a good indicator of what you want to pursue. Second, I would recommend looking for schools that offer programs in both, and potentially have larger, less structured core class requirements, like many liberal arts schools, that would allow to try out both areas in the classroom. I know that FS and Music ED are pretty different programs, but if you can find places where they are both offered, it might give you some more time. (I'd also apply to schools with good programs in both, even if you feel set on a path come application time, cause you never know if your mind might change.)

If you are concerned about math but find your heart is really in forensic science, try to remember that math is only a little piece of the major and if you believe you would be happier with FS at the end of the day, don't sacrifice it over a few courses. (Same goes for the time it takes) And lastly, please don't feel any pressure from anyone to go in a certain direction. I gave into that for a long time and was never happy, but as soon as I recognized and shared what I really wanted, my whole college experience got so much better. Yes, money and titles are one thing, but we need every type of job and people who are passionate about them. If you are truly satisfied with something, I have all the confidence that you can make it work.

I hope this helps, and good luck!

2 years ago

I would take electives in both classes and see which one you truly enjoy.

I think that forensics pays more than music education so I would take that into consideration as well. Maybe major in forensics and then minor in music and education? Or maybe there’s an option to double major? Forensic pathologist takes quite a few years to finish so maybe once you get your minor in music ed, you can teach music on the side while getting your masters/phd in forensics. (Not sure what qualifications you need to teach music sorry !!)

I’ve been interested in neuroscience and CS. I realized that I could do a lot with neuroscience (become a doctor, pa school, psychologist, etc) but I could also do a lot in CS due to the job market. I decided that since neuroscience would probably pay more in the long run, I’m going to major in neuroscience and get a minor in CS / maybe just get some certificates in web design or something. That way, I can do what I enjoy (psych, stem, etc) while being able to do something else I enjoy on the side (making websites, coding etc) with less commitment!

Hope this helps :)

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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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