Possible Majors?

I’m in the process of deciding on a major. Being that I respect the opinions and knowledge of the staff and many readers here, I feel I can get some valid pointers from here. I’m looking for a major that involves kinesiology, biology and nutrition that focuses on the science aspect of it and not completely the physical aspect. What I mean by that is, I wouldn’t want to be a personal trainor, physical therapist or trainer in general, but would want a career involving the scientific aspect of these subjects w/ maybe some involvement in the training aspect. I was thinking about doing chemical engineering w/ a pharmaceutical option, but that wouldnt allow me to study the other areas I’m very interested in, besides being rediculously difficult course work. I would really value the opinion of the staff and anyone else knowledgeable on the subject. Thanks in advance.

Go to pharmacy school and become a pharm.d
(6 years) and an RPh. My biggest regret in
life was switching majors from pharmacy to
nursing. You will get an amazing education
in pharmacy (or potentially one, Bill
Roberts hates teaching pharm students :-).
You will have amazing job security and
5 job offers for mad money ($75K+) when
you get out. You can go to work for the
big drug companies in manufacturing,
drug safety, clinical trials, regulatory,
you name it. You will be a “doctor” and
some folks will refer to you as such. You
will have an easier time getting into
PhD and MD programs. And if you apply
yourself at the basic part of it, years 1
and 2, you will have a solid education in
chem, org chem, biochem, A&P and math. -


Brock it right. My brother and one of my sisters are both Pharm. D.'s. My bro has had sign-on bonus offers of up to $100,000 and even 200,000 in a few cases. Usually $10,000-20,000 is up front and the rest is spread out over a 5 year period or so. There are some places that offer a beamer for a sign on bonus, benz, lexus, etc. The possibilities are endless. Just as a warning though, the highest paying places, are USUALLY the places where very few people want to work. My sister lives in Wichita, Kansas which isn’t the most exciting place around. My brother had an offer of well over $100,000 per year but he would have had to work in Montana or Wyoming, one of those places. Then again, I’ve heard California is in desperate need of pharmacists too. The only thing is deciding what you like more. My sister likes retail pharmacy whereas my brother doesn’t like to interact with people, lol, so he chose to go in to the pharmaceutical industry. As for calling them doctors…just don’t let my brother Mike hear that or he’ll beat the living shit out of you. :slight_smile: He’s an MD, interventional radiologist. Which for him meant 4 years undergrad, 4 years med school, 5 years residency, and a 1 year fellowship. Some MD’s don’t like hearing other people refered to as “doctors.” I don’t care either way, I just choose to stand in the corner when the family gets together. lol
Seriously though, I’d consider going in to pharmacy if I were you.

Thanks alot for the informative responses guys, I really appreciate it. As of today I have switched from the College of Engineering to the college of Health and Human Development here at Penn State. After talking to adivisors and other people, this seems to be exactly what I was looking for. Thanks again

Okay, I’m going to get back on my soap box one more time. People keep looking at “what I want to do” rather than “how I want to live.” I don’t care how “cool” the job you do is, or how much you “love it,” if it doesn’t meet your needs (or your family’s needs) financially, then it isn’t worth your time. My advice – before you go into ANY major or profession, look at how the people who have done that for 10 years live: their cars (and whether they own, lease, or owe on them), their house (and the same considerations here), their free time, their marriage relationship, how their kids are, etc. If that’s how you want to live, then fine, go for it. If not, find the people who DO live how you want to, and follow them. Don’t just look at their income (because as a poor college student, ANYTHING will look great).

Brider: I have to partly disagree with you.
BOTH how much you make AND how much you enjoy
what you do need to be considered when making
career decisions. If you dislike what you do,
then how much you make doesn’t matter as
much. Most people spend the largest part of
their lives working, so it makes sense to do
what you enjoy. For example, I currently work
in the IT industry, and I really don’t like
it anymore. It was kind of interesting at
first, but now I want to do something else.
I make a lot of money, but the stress and
disliking what I spend a lot of time doing
just isn’t worth it. But since I think it’s
normal to change careers in life, as soon as I
can sell my equity in the company, I plan to
either go back to school to do something
else, and/or become a professional investor.
You have to balance how much you make with
what you like doing. If you can do both
great. If you can’t afford to live, but enjoy
your work, well that’s no good. But if you
make a lot of money but hate what you do,
that’s no good either - it just isn’t worth
it. You need balance.

Brock: good to see you can be a nice guy sometimes. Seems like you've mellowed out some. So ... what happened? :-)

Just thought I would chime in here about the whole pharmacy profession. My Dad and Uncle are both pharmacists and make very good money. Actually, its only been in about the last 6-7 years that salaries have really begin to get up there. My Dad worked at Osco Drug (retail) for over 25 years and made about 65,000 per year. He then went to K-mart and now make around 90 per. However, with bonus it goes to 6 figures depending on the sales each year. I thought about going into it for a while, but my Dad always seemed to not really like his job. He enjoyed the money, but always seemed to talk about how he would have gone into this or that if he had to do it over again. The job security is great in that profession and you can make serious money fast. In fact my Dad has close to thirty years experience and makes only a little more than newbies straight out of school. I have some friends in pharmacy school now who really like it, so I guess it just depends on what floats your boat. I would say, make sure you look into things and do some internships or job studies during college to truly make sure whatever it is that you want to do is correct.

That brings me to the SECOND point: Finding the people that have the life you want. That may not be a 40 hour work week. Personally, I run with a bunch of self-made multi-millionaires that built their fortunes on no more than 20 hours a week. I could HATE what I do for 20 hours a week if it provided me with a comfortable lifestyle.

Roughly what is your education and work backround? What did you find most useful, what would you have done differently? What do you enjoy the most about your careers and education? Thanks. :slight_smile:


brider: The people who live the lifestyle I
want are self made millionaires who don’t
have to work at all anymore if they don’t
want to. Within 12 months when I sell my
company equity, I’ll be there. So the THIRD
rule is: you can put up with 70 hour work
weeks of something you dislike for a few years
IF you have a big payoff at the end and get
to “retire” to the lifestyle you want. (Or,
at least that’s my third rule.)

I must agree with the pharmacy suggestion. I am currently in my second year of pharmacy school at Mercer university in Atlanta, and it is definitely a great field to be in both for income (>85K to start)and education that you can relate to strength training/bodybulding in general. You know all those crazy-sounding compounds Bill and Brock are always talking about? GO to pharmacy school and you’ll know what they’re talking about :).
Brock, Bill, or anyone: Does Bill have a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical science? If so, I wonder if he could reccomend the best school to pursue that degree, since I am going to pursue that degree myself.

can someone give me more info on how to become a pharacist. i am a freshman in college right now and still haven’t decided on a major, but this pharacist thing sounds pretty cool. is it just 4 years of regular college and then 2 years of grad school or how does that work. is grad school hard to get into? i was thinking about being a doctor, but for med school i know you have to have a damn good GPA to get in. any info you guys can share would be great. Thanks.

As far as getting in to pharmacy school goes, you have to complete two years of prerequisites, maintain a good GPA in them, and then take a PAT test to get into pharmacy school. Then you go for 4 more years. However, I have friends who got a regular 4 year degree in various science subjects who have applied and got in so you can go either way. I go to Kansas University and know they have a good pharmacy school and its pretty competitive to get into. I talked to an advisor about it a couple years ago and he told me they have around 200 applicants and only let in 50. I think that KU intentionally has small class sizes, so you may want to check with how many applicants are allowed into other schools.

Prior to returning to college at age 31,
I’d worked as a computer programmer,
aircraft mechanic (with 2000 hours of
training and FAA licensed), piano
teacher, radio network producer (of sorts),
and recording engineer. Overall I like my
choice of coursework both undergraduate and graduate and wouldn’t change it, but I would change, if I could, my practice of not studying until right before exams, in favor
of studying on an ongoing basis. I’m sure my
retention of many things would be better now had I done that.

I don’t yet have a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical
sciences (medicinal chemistry) due to not
having yet finished writing my thesis. All
else (classes, research, qualifying exams
etc.) is done.

While I ought to have good advice on what
school to go to for a doctorate in this
field, it’s not something I ever really looked
into except at UF. For what I do, prodrugs,
UF was an excellent choice but there are
certainly other fields where other schools shine.

I’d make my choice based more on what professor I’d presumbaly be working for, rather than what school he was at.

By the way, it’s not quite right that I “hated
teaching pharmacy students.” Brock’s referring to the fact that sometimes – though the students never knew it – I was frustrated by some severe lack of preparation and thinking
skills some of them had, but overall I did
enjoy teaching them quite a bit.

The point made that job satisfaction in pharmacy (as opposed to pharmaceutical sciences) is often poor is, unfortunately,
true. However it depends on your temperament.
One person may be very frustrated having to
keep various records, manage a number of
technicians, etc. while another takes it in stride and is pleased as heck to be making
$85K or better for doing it.

Financially, I’d have to say I’d probably
have done better to pursue the Pharm.D.
route than the Ph.D. route. However,
intellectually and in terms of job satisfaction, I very greatly prefer medicinal chemistry to any sort of pharmacy practice.

Thanks for the info on the Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences. I am currently at Mercer University in Atlanta for my pharm.d., but pursuing a Ph.D. here would be difficult, chiefly because non of the professors are conducting research even remotely interesting to me. I myself am very interested in working with pro-drugs, as well as drug delivery systems. UF seems to have a very strong pharm.d. program as well, as I know several students currently in the program. Plus, Gainesville isn’t too far from Atlanta, which is a plus. So I will definitely look into UF’s program. Thanks!

Poman, I’d really consider finishing the
Pharm.D. before starting the Ph.D., rather
than transferring. It’s 2 extra years I
guess, compared to starting the Ph.D.
immediately after finishing a bachelor’s
degree, but there would be several advantages. In no particular order,

  1. The stipend for a Ph.D. student is not
    so good. You might be able to get by, but
    maybe not. With the Pharm.D., you could
    make excellent money part-time (though part-time work is frowned on for Ph.D. students.)

  2. It would be excellent back-up for the
    future if for any reason employment as
    a pharmaceutical scientist wasn’t what
    you wanted or was problematic – for
    example, you became determined for
    some reason to live in one particular
    city where there were no available jobs
    in pharmaceutical science, but were in

  3. If you go to work at a pharmaceutical
    company, also having the Pharm.D. will
    put you into their Mafia and give you
    more opportunities and money. Pharm.D’s
    who don’t even have a Ph.D. make more
    money than Ph.D’s, inappropriately enough.

If you didn’t read my above post. What is your education and prior work experience? What did you find useful and what didn’t you? Thanks Guys. Thanks again Bill. :slight_smile:


Thanks Bill! I am definitely going to finish my pharm.d. before starting my Ph.D., I was just thinking ahead. I do believe it will takke an additional 2 years. Mercer U. has a dual Pharm.D./Ph.D. program, but like I said, no one is doing interesting research here, and the dual program offers no advantages time wise over doing them consecutively.