Ronald Robertson

Dr. Aaronn Avit Ajeng

Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Email aaronnavit@um.edu.my
  • AffiliationUniversiti Malaya (UM)
  • ExpertiseBiology and Biochemistry
  • Curriculum VitaeDownload here

Choosing a major in the university

Hello readers, some of you might have known that I recently graduated from a bachelor's degree in Science (Biotechnology) from the University of Malaya. Was biotechnology my first choice when I apply for an undergraduate? Honestly, I had no idea what biotechnology really was. I applied for biotechnology because my senior in foundation did so. I selected the major after being rejected from medical schools. Simply means, I had no other choice. 

Side story: I also have applied to multiple universities in the United Kingdom through UCAS. You can read the whole journey here. The reason why I had to defer all the offers was due to some changes in the government scholarship agreement. 

I love biology, but I also did quite well in the other science subjects (Chemistry, Maths, and physics) during the foundation study. That was why I always wanted to study medicine. My accumulative grades were 1A  (Chemistry ) 3A- (Biology, Maths, and physics). The grades were good enough to study medicine but probably due to high competition, I did not get any offer. I did get one offer from a private university, but let's not count that in. That is one thing you should keep in mind when applying to a medical school. The competition is really high, you need to score above the average during your pre-med year or foundation in science. 

But I was glad that I did not end up in medical school. The problem with medical graduates these days is difficulty in looking for a permanent placement in a hospital as the number of graduates keeps increasing every year. But if you really want to do medicine, then you should set your goals early and study hard to get a place in a medical school. Also, be prepared and keep your expectations low because it is not all about being glamorous while wearing the white coat. There are responsibilities that come with everything you do. 

Choosing a major in the university can be hard, and easy for some people. It will be hard when you do not have a plan. It will be even harder when you do not have a back-up plan or when things do not go according to plan. Always choose a major that you have the confidence in and it is important to note that the major you choose will most likely determine your career path (though this does not really apply for some people with double majors). Also, choose a minor that interests you the most. My major is in biotechnology specializing in microbiology, and I minored in chemistry. 

Another tip would be to choose a major according to your foundation/A-levels/IB/matriculation grades. If you are good in mathematics, you should choose a major in mathematics or business or actuarial science. Or if you are interested in computer science, then you should possess the right qualifications to choose the major. Never choose a major when you do not have the right qualifications. Let's say you did a pre-university study in arts, but you are applying to an engineering major. Then you will most probably won't be getting the offer that you wanted because you do not have the basics of engineering. Somehow, switching from science to arts is always permissible but not the vice versa.  

Thank you for reading this Part 1 on how to choose a major in the university.


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