When I applied to Tufts my senior year of high school, I applied as a Biomedical Engineering major. I thought that this was the best major for me to pursue as a pre-med student, while also keeping my parents happy. After getting admitted into Tufts, I quickly came to the realization that engineering was not for me and that I needed to major in something that I would enjoy and be interested in studying. I have a keen interest in learning about people, children, and neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically autism. I loved the idea of working with children with autism and creating more awareness for those with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Once I came to this epiphany, I frantically emailed my Admissions Officer, Sean Ashburn. One thing I love about Tufts is the ability to transfer in and out of the School of Engineering to the School of Arts and Sciences. Tufts made it a very seamless and easy process for me to become an Arts and Sciences student. But I still did not know what I wanted to major in and that was okay. All first-year students are basically “undeclared” until sophomore year when you officially declare your major. This gave me plenty of time to explore the majors Tufts had to offer within the Psychology Department.
What majors did I explore and why were they not a good fit for me?
Cognitive and Brain Sciences: The computer science and philosophy requirements were of no interest to me.
Clinical Psychology: I thought I was going to major in Clinical Psychology for a long time, but this major seemed to be geared more towards students pursuing graduate-level psychiatry after graduation.
Engineering Psychology: I really tried to give engineering a shot again, but it was just not for me!
So what am I majoring in?
Biopsychology! This major encompasses everything that I am interested in and willing to explore. I am able to learn the biological bases of psychopathology, and the requirements give me the freedom to take other classes. I am really looking forward to taking Psychology 117: Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders!! Not to mention, I am able to fulfill a lot of my pre-med requirements with this major.
How did I decide on my major?
Lots of research... and I don’t just mean googling! I found upperclassmen and alumni who majored in what I was interested in. If I had the means, I would personally reach out to them and ask them questions.
My pre-major advisor was another great resource for me. She helped me weigh my options and explore my strengths.
I took classes with professors who specialized in different aspects of Psychology. I reached out to some of my favorite professors to ask questions and to get their feedback on what they thought was the best choice for me.
I also remained honest with myself.
Am I going to double major or minor?
Probably not. Even though I am not adding another major or minor, I am still able to take classes in other departments that I am interested in. Right now, I am taking a biothermodynamics class within the School of Engineering.