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Undergraduate Programs: mine is harder than yours: The Great Debate

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8 hours ago, Psychometronic said:

 It's not very difficult at the undergrad level but getting into grad school is hard. Grad school hopefuls would have to get into the Honours steam and finish with a 4.0 or very close to a 4.0 to be competitive. They also need to have publications in their undergrad and the capacity to get grant money. It's the only professional degree that requires a PhD. 

My brother knew someone in med school who tried 3 times to get into a graduate clinical psychology program. Kept on getting rejected, so he did the pre requisite courses for medicine and got into med school as a backup plan to become a psychiatrist. I agree, psych grad school (in particular the clinical programs) are difficult to get into. 

I did a BSc in psychology, a lot of the psychology classes through the department of science that I took had a lot of "hard" science, biochemistry, genetics, neuroscience. Some psychology classes required memorization of cell cycles and chemical structures of neurotransmitters. And other psychology classes taught the use of programs like MATLAB. In my opinion psychology's a very diverse field, not very easy to pigeonhole in content matter or difficulty. 

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12 minutes ago, octoputin said:

My brother knew someone in med school who tried 3 times to get into a graduate clinical psychology program. Kept on getting rejected, so he did the pre requisite courses for medicine and got into med school as a backup plan to become a psychiatrist. I agree, psych grad school (in particular the clinical programs) are difficult to get into.

It's brutal getting in and brutal finding work after. Your brother has better job prospects in med.

My employer did his PhD in Social Psych but landed work with a Clinical Psychologist. Most of the training is really on the job. But this was decades ago, you wouldn't be able to do that nowadays.

I leaned toward the arts stream of Psych because that's what I was interested in. From what I recall, 80%-90% of the Psych dept. was arts and 10%-20% was sciences so kudos to you.

Edited by Psychometronic
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If i've learned anything in this thread, it's that I regret not going into STEM and/or* psychology. Maybe I'll work for a bit, pay off my degree, go back and get an undegrad in STEM, and report back to you all comparing it to my BComm. 

 

*because i'm controversial like that.

Edited by pzabbythesecond
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As a lurker on this forum for several years, I have noticed that some users here get offended too easily at seemingly uncontroversial things.

I'll give you some examples: 

Regarding the difficulty of different undergrad universities in Canada, people on this forum will claim it is impossible to distinguish difficulty between each university since the majority of people did not attend more than one. But to any non-delusional person, it's clear there are differences in difficulty. Same goes for the distinction between different majors. 

Regarding attending a school like UofT vs HYS or T6 in the US, people on this forum will suggest UofT most of the time, when for the majority of people, attending HYS would lead to better long-term outcomes. Some would even be offended at the mere mentioning that US is a better place to work than Canada. Similar sentiments when you mention differences between Canadian law schools-- People will claim that they are all equal and disregard anything suggesting that some are better than others. 

When people talk about getting jobs at prestigious firms or anything regarding prestige, people get defensive quite quickly and then make some "hurr why not Morgan's it's the most prestigious" joke as if to try and nullify the importance of prestige. I go on TLS sometimes (the American version of this site) and believe they place too much emphasis on prestige, but this site is like the polar opposite. Even when you make a thread about income/salary, it's a given that there will be some guy saying, "life is not all about money dude." Like come on lol. 

I feel like most of the sentiments I mentioned above are being propagated by a few users with high reputation points, and eventually they stick, even though they aren't really accurate representations of the real world. 

TLDR; stop being so easily offended peeps 

just my opinion. 

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1 hour ago, gopz said:

As a lurker on this forum for several years, I have noticed that some users here get offended too easily at seemingly uncontroversial things.

I'll give you some examples: 

Regarding the difficulty of different undergrad universities in Canada, people on this forum will claim it is impossible to distinguish difficulty between each university since the majority of people did not attend more than one. But to any non-delusional person, it's clear there are differences in difficulty. Same goes for the distinction between different majors. 

Regarding attending a school like UofT vs HYS or T6 in the US, people on this forum will suggest UofT most of the time, when for the majority of people, attending HYS would lead to better long-term outcomes. Some would even be offended at the mere mentioning that US is a better place to work than Canada. Similar sentiments when you mention differences between Canadian law schools-- People will claim that they are all equal and disregard anything suggesting that some are better than others. 

When people talk about getting jobs at prestigious firms or anything regarding prestige, people get defensive quite quickly and then make some "hurr why not Morgan's it's the most prestigious" joke as if to try and nullify the importance of prestige. I go on TLS sometimes (the American version of this site) and believe they place too much emphasis on prestige, but this site is like the polar opposite. Even when you make a thread about income/salary, it's a given that there will be some guy saying, "life is not all about money dude." Like come on lol. 

I feel like most of the sentiments I mentioned above are being propagated by a few users with high reputation points, and eventually they stick, even though they aren't really accurate representations of the real world. 

TLDR; stop being so easily offended peeps 

just my opinion. 

Maybe actually find good arguments to defend those points (why you think people are wrong to say X and Y) instead of just calling the people who makes those points offended?

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17 minutes ago, Xer said:

Maybe actually find good arguments to defend those points (why you think people are wrong to say X and Y) instead of just calling the people who makes those points offended?

The reason why I don't bother arguing is that it turns into a 10-page thread debating something that should be rather obvious (like this thread). Now, you can say that since I don't feel like arguing at length for 10 pages I have no right to complain. That's fair, but I was just stating my observations. 

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3 hours ago, gopz said:

As a lurker on this forum for several years, I have noticed that some users here get offended too easily at seemingly uncontroversial things.

I'll give you some examples: 

Regarding the difficulty of different undergrad universities in Canada, people on this forum will claim it is impossible to distinguish difficulty between each university since the majority of people did not attend more than one. But to any non-delusional person, it's clear there are differences in difficulty. Same goes for the distinction between different majors. 

Regarding attending a school like UofT vs HYS or T6 in the US, people on this forum will suggest UofT most of the time, when for the majority of people, attending HYS would lead to better long-term outcomes. Some would even be offended at the mere mentioning that US is a better place to work than Canada. Similar sentiments when you mention differences between Canadian law schools-- People will claim that they are all equal and disregard anything suggesting that some are better than others. 

When people talk about getting jobs at prestigious firms or anything regarding prestige, people get defensive quite quickly and then make some "hurr why not Morgan's it's the most prestigious" joke as if to try and nullify the importance of prestige. I go on TLS sometimes (the American version of this site) and believe they place too much emphasis on prestige, but this site is like the polar opposite. Even when you make a thread about income/salary, it's a given that there will be some guy saying, "life is not all about money dude." Like come on lol. 

I feel like most of the sentiments I mentioned above are being propagated by a few users with high reputation points, and eventually they stick, even though they aren't really accurate representations of the real world. 

TLDR; stop being so easily offended peeps 

just my opinion. 

You know what they say about other people's opinions being like assholes...

Some more so than others. 

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10 hours ago, gopz said:

As a lurker on this forum for several years, I have noticed that some users here get offended too easily at seemingly uncontroversial things.

I'll give you some examples: 

Regarding the difficulty of different undergrad universities in Canada, people on this forum will claim it is impossible to distinguish difficulty between each university since the majority of people did not attend more than one. But to any non-delusional person, it's clear there are differences in difficulty. Same goes for the distinction between different majors. 

Regarding attending a school like UofT vs HYS or T6 in the US, people on this forum will suggest UofT most of the time, when for the majority of people, attending HYS would lead to better long-term outcomes. Some would even be offended at the mere mentioning that US is a better place to work than Canada. Similar sentiments when you mention differences between Canadian law schools-- People will claim that they are all equal and disregard anything suggesting that some are better than others. 

When people talk about getting jobs at prestigious firms or anything regarding prestige, people get defensive quite quickly and then make some "hurr why not Morgan's it's the most prestigious" joke as if to try and nullify the importance of prestige. I go on TLS sometimes (the American version of this site) and believe they place too much emphasis on prestige, but this site is like the polar opposite. Even when you make a thread about income/salary, it's a given that there will be some guy saying, "life is not all about money dude." Like come on lol. 

I feel like most of the sentiments I mentioned above are being propagated by a few users with high reputation points, and eventually they stick, even though they aren't really accurate representations of the real world. 

TLDR; stop being so easily offended peeps 

just my opinion. 

4

In fairness, I'm pretty sure that Hedgis only spliced this thread to give us a place to punch each other in the face, while other people talk about things that matter. And if you click on something entitled, " Undergraduate Programs: mine is harder than yours: The Great Debate," then well, I think you got your money's worth. I'm not really sure what you were expecting here.  

I agree that we manage to turn uncontroversial topics into lengthy debates (there's irrefutable evidence of that). And I think that you've probably given a solid characterization of this thread (albeit one that was pretty thoroughly articulated by Hoju). But dismissing a bunch of views across several different topics as "being offended" is Trump-age bullshit. If you disagree with something, say why. If you think something is irrelevant, ignore it. Or don't. But if you need to belittle your opponents to make your case, then I refer you to Bob's comment above. 

TL;DR: I'm offended.

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9 hours ago, gopz said:

The reason why I don't bother arguing is that it turns into a 10-page thread debating something that should be rather obvious (like this thread).

It’s not obvious, because if it were, there’d be no need for debate. 

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I don't disagree that some majors certainly require different skill sets. Math is challenging and requires practice and applying abstract theories to the problems. Some of the indicators that people have cited is the sheer amount of time spent. People may not realize how much time I spent in the darkroom, shooting on location, researching photos and art theories for shoots and the like. It was not unheard of for us to spend 15-20 hours per week for a single project. We tended to take 2-3 studio courses per semester, so generally 60ish hours devoted simply to our craft.

I agree with Hoju in that some programs are quite challenging. That is not to say other programs are easy. Each require their own skill set. And that tends to be why people get up in arms - our respective programs certainly present some challenges. And we work hard for our grades so no one likes to be told that it was a basketweaving/bird course. People don't like to have their work undervalued.

So... we can ho, we can hum, but at the end of the day, we're all awesome. Except Economics. Because it's depressing. Who cares about the economy? Just get a credit card. Duh.

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21 minutes ago, artsydork said:

So... we can ho, we can hum, but at the end of the day, we're all awesome. Except Economics. Because it's depressing. Who cares about the economy? Just get a credit card. Duh.

Mrs Horwath, don't you have an election to be campaigning for?

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I have a music degree. I don't know if it's the hardest degree, but in addition to studying and performing your craft, it has elements of many areas of study: 

Math: Elements of music theory (tone rows, counterpoint etc)

Science: The anatomy and physiology of the body, study of sound production, kinesthetics

Psychology: Performance psychology, visualization, stage fright etc.

Foreign languages: 3 were required, including study of both grammar and literature

History: Courses and writing essays on music history, art history, social history

Critical studies: discussion, writing essays etc on critical race theory (orientalism in music, cultural appropriation/borrowing etc), gender studies (women in music, gender roles/themes in music, homosexual roles/themes in music, class studies etc)

Fine arts: Theatre, improvisation, movement, dance etc

Emotional intelligence: Communication, feeling and conveying emotions, etc

Entertainment/fashion: Looking your best, taking care of yourself, presenting yourself a certain way, selling music in general to the public

Business: Marketing and promoting your events and yourself, planning and executing recitals etc

I'm sure I have missed a lot. If the test of "hardness" is that the average person couldn't complete a course in the subject, then I am pretty sure music qualifies (ditto fine arts, theatre, creative writing, dance etc.) 

If the test is workload, then music students have a heavy one. You take more credit hours than everyone else, you have class time, homework which includes writing essays, studying for tests, doing assignments, listening to music and journaling, and then you have your private lessons, daily practice time, and memorizing music for school productions as well as practising piano for the practical tests, planning and promoting your recitals, and more. 

If the test is that it's very hard to impossible to get a perfect score in a class, music again qualifies. You can always be better and no professor is going to give you 100%. 

There are lots of real world applications for this degree. My favourite part of my law firm interviews were when some partner invariably asked me "You have a degree in music? Was that strange switching to law?", thus giving me a golden opportunity to sell myself by providing the above information.

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9 hours ago, artsydork said:

I don't disagree that some majors certainly require different skill sets. Math is challenging and requires practice and applying abstract theories to the problems. Some of the indicators that people have cited is the sheer amount of time spent. People may not realize how much time I spent in the darkroom, shooting on location, researching photos and art theories for shoots and the like. It was not unheard of for us to spend 15-20 hours per week for a single project. We tended to take 2-3 studio courses per semester, so generally 60ish hours devoted simply to our craft.

I agree with Hoju in that some programs are quite challenging. That is not to say other programs are easy. Each require their own skill set. And that tends to be why people get up in arms - our respective programs certainly present some challenges. And we work hard for our grades so no one likes to be told that it was a basketweaving/bird course. People don't like to have their work undervalued.

So... we can ho, we can hum, but at the end of the day, we're all awesome. Except Economics. Because it's depressing. Who cares about the economy? Just get a credit card. Duh.

Right. But I don't have any difficulty saying that learning a craft like that is harder than learning to get As on history papers. I don't know why that's the tricky part. I am very comfortable with someone telling me that their 60 hour a week program makes 2L and 3L, or my polisci course, look like bird watching; I'd be comfortable if you told me it makes calc 1 & 2 look like pretty easy courses to push through; and first-year-of-undergrad-Hoju would have been comfortable if someone told him real analysis makes calc 1 & 2 look like high school (well...he was nervous when people said that). Things can be more difficult than other things.

There are two forms of arrogant, at least. One is needing to think that getting 180 on the LSAT means you're a more valuable person who should ride around in a horse-drawn carriage. The other is needing to think that being a humble corporate law associate is just as intellectually challenging as being a physicist. They're both obnoxious. 

The idea that we are all co-equal in all relevant ways is dehumanizing, not enriching. Humanity is myriad.

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@lioness I don't follow. Are you arguing that I'm right and music is another one of those programs that's harder than history? Because if so, I agree. It's a very different kind of challenge than math, even as there are overlaps. But yes, my friends in the music program worked very hard, showed great talent, were very committed and were reviewed harshly. None of those happened to me in philosophy at all. 

Edited by theycancallyouhoju
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I found it was harder for me to do well in arts classes than in science classes.

I found science easier because I knew how to study the textbook, work through practice problems, follow instructions in labs and memorize shit for an exam. For me the science (and calculus) I took was formulaic, and I knew what I needed to do. Arts got easier for me as I picked up on the formulaic elements of paper writing, but I still can't write an A paper in a policy sci course, or couldn't last time I tried. My legal research and writing results were great though, because again, formulaic. 

I also plan to do my best to stay away from any "and the law" classes or classes with no exams. 

Edited by feraenaturae
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Ok, let's not even compared to science and art.  In some engineering school, some school engineering students think particular engineering is harder than other regular stream or  other stream of engineering program.  One or two report they generally got higher mark than regular stream of ECE  students by 10 to 20 percent more in exams , when meager with ECE in higher years.  

ok , even in science, there is saying physics major may be harder than subject of mathematics. Or even in same subjects of physics, there is just saying theory physics is harder other type of physics. So john hawking did theory physics more challenging so he chose to do that..

(most prestigious  ivy school curved to A,  an engineering focused mxt school curved to B, there is just no really bad student in either school. Ivy student spoke that he did right thing that he didn't go mxt because, 3.6 gpa has more chance to go on professional schools upon graduation)

 

But at the same time I think art is definitely not an easy major and it's very hard to master major. 

Even at the point I think all of my llb professors, who probably just major in  llb (probably something similar to an art program ) in early beginning of their early education , then go to some t14 US law school to further their study or mostly attend Germany (because it's nearly free education and law largely reference of German law )  to study their final degree and back , radiate scholarly spirit . Be a scholar and write many journals, teach with enthusiasm and excellence. 

so I reserved my comment on this.

Edited by akulamasusu

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9 hours ago, theycancallyouhoju said:

Right. But I don't have any difficulty saying that learning a craft like that is harder than learning to get As on history papers. I don't know why that's the tricky part. I am very comfortable with someone telling me that their 60 hour a week program makes 2L and 3L, or my polisci course, look like bird watching; I'd be comfortable if you told me it makes calc 1 & 2 look like pretty easy courses to push through; and first-year-of-undergrad-Hoju would have been comfortable if someone told him real analysis makes calc 1 & 2 look like high school (well...he was nervous when people said that). Things can be more difficult than other things.

There are two forms of arrogant, at least. One is needing to think that getting 180 on the LSAT means you're a more valuable person who should ride around in a horse-drawn carriage. The other is needing to think that being a humble corporate law associate is just as intellectually challenging as being a physicist. They're both obnoxious. 

The idea that we are all co-equal in all relevant ways is dehumanizing, not enriching. Humanity is myriad.

[emphasis added]

Maybe some of the difficulty is lack of definition of terms. Is harder/easier, more or less difficult, for the specific individual, for the average person, in terms of what gives better marks to the average or specific person, or in terms of (assuming one gets marks high enough to be admitted) what gives better preparation for law school, or what gives better preparation for a career in law (assuming good marks in law)?

Because it's not necessarily the same answer for those things. For instance, I would say - just picking history and physics - that for a specific individual history might be harder and physics easier; for the average person, history easier and physics harder; in terms of better preparation for law school, history; and in terms of better preparation for a career in law, physics (if only because it's rarer, in terms of opening some doors).

I left out what gives better marks, because that's where I see (from my limited knowledge) a huge degree of variability between universities, professors at those universities, and specific courses. In some situations, one would work harder but get better marks in physics, in other situations work less but get better marks in history, or vice versa.

In one social discussion with a very specialized surgeon (a subspecialty of neurosurgery?) they were dismissive of med school difficulty, they said that med school was much easier than engineering (their first degree) because it was mostly a lot of memorization more than problem solving (that's how they put it), and they thought the transition from engineering to law was much more difficult (in context, they weren't merely being polite and self-effacing, they really said they were surprised by the relative ease of med school). Now, I think they were definitely wrong for the average person, and wrong for me (law was much easier than engineering), but for them, specifically, med school was easier than engineering.

I found humanities generally easier than STEM subjects, except that some STEM subjects were easier than some humanities (both in terms of effort required and marks achieved, even some maths compared to some humanities), which is part of why, based on personal experience, I think it unhelpful for individuals considering what program to go into (assuming law school is a goal) to base their decision on so-called prestige or difficulty for the average person, or even difficulty simpliciter for them; their focus should be on what do they think they will get good enough marks in to get to law school (and ideally like, have an alternative career, etc.).

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On 5/26/2018 at 7:46 PM, maximumbob said:

Why would we look at the unadjusted average grades?  Surely the adjusted grades are what matters (aside, you think final grades in the arts and sciences are unadjusted?  I once marked an econ final where the average was 60%. That was not the final class average).

Do we actually have any evidence that there are system difference in Aveverage GPA/distribution  between programs.  

At UofT, anyone taking an Arts degree has unadjusted grades; anyone in engineering has adjusted grades. I cannot speak for where you went to school.

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2 minutes ago, JohnP said:

At UofT, anyone taking an Arts degree has unadjusted grades; anyone in engineering has adjusted grades. I cannot speak for where you went to school.

The exams I graded were at UofT. In the economics department.  You are wrong. 

Edited by maximumbob
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9 minutes ago, JohnP said:

At UofT, anyone taking an Arts degree has unadjusted grades; anyone in engineering has adjusted grades. I cannot speak for where you went to school.

Yeah, this doesn't make sense to me either and I've done lots of undergrad teaching.  For an upper year undergrad class that is graded on the basis of papers and longer essay questions on exams, you don't really have to adjust the grades because you can assign grades in a way that adheres to something resembling a curve (i.e. the middle of the pack ones get a B and go from there).  However, in a class that relies on multiple choice questions, the class average might end up a bit high or a bit low and require adjusting.

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