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Education for a virology student

Spam tsweeney at iastate.edu
Thu Jun 23 17:00:12 EST 1994

In <2ub1il$el1 at news.delphi.com> deager at news.delphi.com (DEAGER at DELPHI.COM) writes:

>Hi. My name is Jason Thomas. I am a junior in high school and I'm 
>planning on going into virology/biochemistry. Could someone give me an 
>idea of what education I should take  when I get to college? So far in 
>high school I've taken Biology,Chemistry; this year I am taking Chemistry 
>II and Physics and next year I'm planning on taking Biochemistry and 

>Any comments would be appreciated.

>Thank you,

>Jason Thomas
>(deager at delphi.com)

Well, I wouldn't consider myself an authority on the subject, having only
graduated from college last year myself, and right now being just a 'potential
grad student'.  However, I think you've got a lot of options, which you will
no doubt be discussing with an advisor once you get to college.

I took the liberal arts route, which is probably not the most popular among
'hardcore scientists', but it was what I wanted.  I went to a small private
liberal arts college and majored in biology and Russian.  I didn't get the
intensive science-based education that some get, but took classes in a lot of
different subjects.  Then again, one of my major goals for my undergraduate
years was to get a good, well-rounded education.

I think the more popular route is to go to a university and major in, say,
microbiology or biochemistry (perhaps picking one as a major and one as a
minor).  In any case, you'll be taking a lot of biology classes, a lot of
chemistry, and probably at least a modicum of calculus, maybe computer
science, physics, stuff like that.  (Having only attended universities during
summer sessions and so forth, I don't have much of an idea of how they work.)
Most universities have core curricula which include some English, perhaps some
foreign language, forensics, etc.  Then again, you could probably go to a
place like an 'institute of technology' branch of a university, where liberal
arts are emphasized even less than at a traditional university, and your
education will be even more science-intensive.

Anyway, all your options will have advantages and disadvantages, and these are
the sorts of things you'll want to look into when looking for a college.  If
you're planning on going to graduate school, find out how the colleges you're
interested in prepare their students for grad school.  If not, find out if
they have job placement programs, co-op programs, things like that.

I hope this has helped somewhat.  I'm sure other people will have more helpful
things to say, but I thought I'd give you my two-cents worth anyway.  :)  Good

- Tisha Sweeney:  tsweeney at iastate.edu, mrszambezi at aol.com

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