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Is there a downside to getting a specific undergraduate degree?

Asked Farmington Hills, Michigan

I want to go into genetics, and instead of getting a biology or chemistry degree, I'm looking at a genetics degree. If I find out that genetics isn't what I want to go into, what will I have to fall back on? #undergraduate #genetics

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Aleksandr’s Answer

Updated Davis, California

Hi Mia, excellent question. Most universities won't have a specific degree called 'Genetics' (at least I don't think so). You might be able to specialize/ minor in genetics in the Biology or Chemistry department. The way majors work is there is a set of classes that you have to take in order to fulfill that major. In addition, there is a set of optional classes from which you can choose in order to fulfill your requirements. Most likely you will find genetics specific classes in this list of optional classes. Thus, even if you get a 'Genetics' degree but then find out you don't want to do genetics, you will have a diverse skill set. Because your degree will be a bachelor of science and you took a lot of general science courses, you will be able to apply to most graduate, medical and law schools, etc. If you decide not to continue with schooling, you will be able to find a job as a technician in laboratory, academic or industry. You can look up the requirements a university has a for a specific major. That way it will help you see which program/ school is right for you. Hope that helps.

EDIT: Sorry, I misunderstood your question. You can have a genetics major, just not a genetics degree. The degree will be from Biology or Chemistry etc. department. For example if you major in genetics from the Bio department, you will take general bio classes, specific classes related to the genetics major and then choose other upper level classes from a list of potential classes where you can further specialize. Sorry for the confusion.

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