Prospective Students and Incoming Freshman
Should I take AP classes in high school, and if so, which ones should I take?
Yes, there are advantages to taking AP courses including smaller class sizes, more one-on-one attention, and they can count as college credit lightening the course load you may have to take in college. However, it is advised that, unless you score extremely well on the AP chemistry exam, you take general or honors chemistry at Texas A&M. Chemistry is a critical course in the biochemistry and genetics curriculum and it is better to take all core courses at Texas A&M.
Will biochemistry or genetics prepare me for medical school?
Yes, both degree plans include most prerequisite courses for health-related professional schools, including medical school. General elective hours can be used to complete the courses that our degree plan does not meet. In fact, we require more courses than are necessary to take the MCAT. The extra courses will aid in your performance on the MCAT, and prepare you well for the professional school of your choice. About 80 % of our students who apply to medical school get accepted—the best statistics at the university!
What do biochemistry and genetics students do after college?
About a third will attend professional school, another third will attend graduate school for a masters and/or Ph.D., and the remaining third as gone on to work in industry, work in sales, attend law school, etc.
How flexible are the degree plans?
Biochemistry and genetics majors have many required course but also have general elective hours, which provide flexibility. You are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the many courses offered by world-renowned experts on a variety of subjects. Enjoy the process of learning and digging deeper into a topic!
What kind of support services do you provide?
- The Genetics and Biochemistry Enrichment Experience (GaBEE), which is a series of meetings for freshmen where a variety of issues of interest to biochemistry and genetics majors are presented and discussed.
- We send letters of congratulations when you’ve achieved a 4.0, and we also send letters of concern when improvement can be made.
- We have two active undergraduate societies offering students opportunities to gather for numerous intellectual and social interactions.
- Peer tutoring is service avaiulable by contacting the undergraduate office.
I’m concerned about the extremely large class size and that the professors will be hard to approach. Will I be able to get help when I need it?
One of the major drawbacks of a large research university is that undergraduate classes tend to be oversized and the professors are very busy with research. One solution is to register for Honors courses as they tend to be smaller. If you do not immediately qualify for Honors then try to get a semester GPR of 3.5 or better and register Honors in the subsequent terms. Speak with an Honors advisor to see how the process works.
Secondly, take advantage of the instructors’ office hours. All professors have set hours when students can visit for whatever reason. Professors are usually very helpful and accommodating when students approach them for help.
Another option is to utilize Teaching Assistants for the course as they may be more accessible than the professor. Teaching Assistants were probably in your shoes recently and are eager to help.
What’s the recommended load for a freshman?
Course load will differ depending on the background and abilities of the student, but we generally recommend 12 to 15 hours. It’s very important that students are not overwhelmed. All freshmen will take an introduction to biochemistry or genetics course. Generally, incoming freshmen take biology and chemistry and it is recommend to take a math course.
What’s the difference between a double major and a double degree? Can I be a double major and still graduate in four years?
A double degree requires you to complete both degree plans, and earn at least 30 hours in excess of the larger of the two degrees. A dual degree would be difficult to complete in four years unless the student came in with many AP credits and enrolled in summer courses. If you are interested in a double major with biochemistry and genetics, you need only 15 extra hours which can be achieved within four years.
What courses can I take at a junior college? Will they transfer?
You can take any lower-level courses at a community college except chemistry courses after you have been admitted. You can take core curriculum courses elsewhere. Transfer applicants, please view the Admissions website for recommended coursework. If you want to know how a course will transfer, please refer to the Transfer Course Matrix.
What are honors courses, and who can take them?
To enroll in honors courses as an incoming freshman, a student must apply to the University Honors Program and be accepted. This can be done during the time of application to Texas A&M University via ApplyTexas. Once you have been accepted into the program, you can begin taking honors courses but you must maintain a 3.5 to continue. More information can be found via the Honors Program website.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 979-458-1136, if you have any further questions! We are more than happy to assist you!