Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Quick Rant About Undegrad GPA

As I consider enrolling in graduate school yet again, my horrific undergrad GPA is an issue.  There are reasons for it.  I took all my exams 2 weeks early one year to go home because my grandfather was dying.  I got straight Cs that semester. 

However, one of the other reasons is that I bopped around in some majors that just weren't that easy.  I started off as a pure Computer Science major.  I ended up majoring in Information Systems. 

This is a strange distinction that most people would probably think is splitting hairs, but Computer Science generally means studying in the math department.  Information Systems is a similar program, but you study in the College of Business.  Between the two, Information Systems is, hands down, the easier. 

To put a finer point on it:  the Information Systems guys are learning how to program in programming languages.  The Computer Engineering guys are the ones figuring out how to make the hardware and software interact.  The Computer Science guys are the ones who are contemplating the theoretical, abstract principles behind the concept of electronic computation.

Now, even though Information Systems (or more commonly called Information Technology, today) was easier than either Computer Engineering or Computer Science, it was, hands-down, the hardest business discipline.  It would be possible for Finance to be harder, but it isn't, at least not the way it's taught at most undergraduate programs.  Perhaps at elite schools, it is, but not for anything outside, say, the Nation's top 10 or 20 schools.

Okay, all that whining to say what?  To say that if I had this to do all over again, with Law as my goal, I'd go major in communications and leave school with a 3.85 gpa. 

Medicine doesn't care what you majored in, but it does require you to take a core set of classes and the classes are generally not anybody's idea of a blow off.  For instance, you usually have to take 2 semesters of calculus based physics.  4 semesters of Chemistry.  You get the idea, here.  So, yeah, you can fluff off your other classes and get a degree in whatever, but you can't escape having to take some really hard classes.

Business school?  The first tier takes your work experience into consideration for admission.  So, it'd be hard to have a basket-weaving degree and get into the very best b-schools.  Though, you could almost certainly get into a school in the 2nd tier with a high enough GPA and a good GMAT.

By majoring in something relatively difficult and demanding, I really hosed myself for graduate admissions, later.

So, this is a long ways around saying that all those humanities guys who graduated with completely unemployable degrees?  If they knew all along they were going to law school, they probably played this just about right.

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