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

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21 minutes ago, chaboywb said:

But it seems everybody doesn't know that according to this thread. You seem to be saying "math and physics are harder because they're harder". Yeah, obviously everyone knows that it's more difficult to be in the NBA than to bowl a 200+ game because there is a significant fraction of people who bowl that can bowl a 200 vs. the small fraction of people who play basketball that are in the NBA. What about bowling multiple 300s? Completely different skillset, maybe the same portion of the population, very little overlap between the groups. In my mind that would be akin to top minds in science vs. the top minds in English. If you polled the general public they'd probably conclude that science is more difficult than English, but they could also easily be underestimating the difficulty of the latter program.

If we're talking about the percentage of the population that actually HAS each degree as a measure of difficulty, then according to http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/as-sa/99-012-x/2011001/tbl/tbl02-eng.cfm visual arts is the most difficult University program while business is the easiest.

As a commerce major, I think that's the only thing that everyone can actually agree on. As far as the spectrum goes, business/commerce is definitely on the flaccid end of undergraduate difficulty. IMO of course.

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19 minutes ago, NYCLawyer said:

The proportion of people who can complete an English degree is much higher than the proportion of people who can complete a math degree. This obvious to anyone who has sat through a math class and an English class. You’re quite correct that I’m not providing any statistical evidence for this. It’s obvious to anyone and I can’t be bothered. I don’t mind if you disagree. 

I would agree with this, because to take university math you need to have developed a math vocabulary and awareness of math concepts over several years to a greater degree than you need to do the equivalent of for university English. 

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12 minutes ago, TrqTTs said:

As a commerce major, I think that's the only thing that everyone can actually agree on. As far as the spectrum goes, business/commerce is definitely on the flaccid end of undergraduate difficulty. IMO of course.

What b school did you go to?

Edited by Inconspicuous

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Iono, I am also a Commerce major, and like any degree it has a fairly balanced requirement mix of core classes and electives that you still end up with a pretty well rounded education.  Of course not everyone chooses electives like I did, where they overtake all your study time and you wonder what the hell you've done (Note: organic chem & advanced stats are not great elective choices if your goal is just to get the highest GPA for law school, however interesting they may be).  But yes I agree, a lot of the core material (even the more difficult material like finance) is pretty intuitive, especially if you've ever had any kind of job ever, or have ever been exposed to advertising or money, or have even minimal and practically unavoidable understanding of the economy.  I don't know that I would necessarily call it flaccid, but I also think there are much more intensive degree streams to choose from. 

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Well I don't have a dick, but I'm willing to bet that my boobs are bigger than everyone else's in this thread!

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I was going to say that I was afraid to ask what the female equivalent of a dick measuring contest was. Because I was afraid the answer was "there isn't one, we're not morons".  

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14 minutes ago, maximumbob said:

I was going to say that I was afraid to ask what the female equivalent of a dick measuring contest was. Because I was afraid the answer was "there isn't one, we're not morons".  

Metaphorical dicks. Imaginary dicks. Thought I think guys engage contests measuring the latter as well.

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58 minutes ago, providence said:

I would agree with this, because to take university math you need to have developed a math vocabulary and awareness of math concepts over several years to a greater degree than you need to do the equivalent of for university English. 

You mean, not be a recent graduate of the Ontario public schools' quality mathematical education?

But, this ties into another general (not about law school admission) point about STEM education which has previously been discussed. At many (most?) universities, there are arts courses intended for non-arts students, not having prerequisites (except other non-arts student courses), marked against people who similarly aren't majoring in humanities, etc. But with rare exception you don't have the opposite, STEM basic principles for non-STEM types. And if someone does take a course in math (since there's no non-STEM course option), they're going to be graded on a curve against people who are making that the focus of their university degree and suffer for it. So we turn out arts grads who, understandably and reasonably, don't have any STEM education past high school. Which is bad.

I mean, in engineering everyone had to take humanities courses for breadth, shouldn't we have the reverse also, humanities students required to take STEM courses?

Note, there are breadth requirements, see e.g. U of T, but since one can satisfy it without ever taking a mathematical or science course (maybe if anthropology counts to you as science, okay science, but no math), and even if you did it would be half or one credit, that's not really turning out students with a broad education:

https://fas.calendar.utoronto.ca/degree-requirements-hba-hbsc-bcom#BA-BSc

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I don't think there will be a very meaningful resolution to this debate. If STEM classes are apples then the social sciences and humanities are oranges. Some people are good at math and others are good at history. If the crux of this thread is what faculty/major is best for getting adequate grades for law school then the answer is probably what you are good at and enjoy.

Using grades to compare the difficulty of STEM and the humanities is a bit tricky since the humanities grades are influenced by a marker's bias. 

 

 

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People in this thread can't even identify the difference between the research methodology in the social sciences and the humanities. They're not the same degree. They have different research methodologies.

Again, I return to the fact that the majority of the Canadian population does not have a university degree, and that a large segment of the population is functionally illiterate. Who the heck cares about perceived difficulty of degrees at this point? Getting through any university degree is quite challenging (whether you thought so or not).

All I said when this cluster started was that Gender Studies is NOT the easy-peasy degree that redditors say it is. For whatever reason, Gender Studies has become the new Basketweaving degree. Which, I must digress, have you tried weaving a basket!? That shit is hard.

 

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I remember once when I told a premed that my major was psychology he said "that's the easiest thing in the world" (after only taking an introductory psychology class). I didn't let it get to me, mainly because he also showed his ignorance of the field (he said mental illness isn't real--->bad thing for him to say, seeing as psychiatry is a mandatory class medical students have to complete to get a medical degree), but also because all he mainly took was biology, biochemistry and chemistry classes and he had little to no experience with psychology beyond the introductory class he took.

Just my opinion though, why I never let people who talked shit about psychology get to me. I enjoyed my pre law degree in psychology and enjoyed learning about mental illness, uses (and limitations of) IQ testing, psychotherapy, biological aspects of learning and memory, neuropsychology, etc.  And I took some classes in forensic psychology taught by practicing forensic psychologists , which helped me learn a bit about law.

 It's why I think I never really burned out in undergrad , going to lecture and studying was fun for me, and, in my opinion, that's the most important part of a university education. In my opinion, debating the difficulty of a degree is kind of pointless. Study what you love. Don't waste time debating the difficulties of your degree compared to other degrees.

I know many people (including that premed I mentioned in the beginning of the post) who burned out multiple times and hated going to university. 

I liked the Plato quote someone mentioned earlier in this thread about studying for the sake of learning, not just for the financial gains or other extrinsic awards that comes with it.  

 

I'll say it again that this is just my unsolicited opinion. Kind of find it pointless debating the difficulties of different degrees. 

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2 hours ago, epeeist said:

In this thread, presumably we're discussing what's easier to get good marks in for the purpose of getting into law school. Or at least, that's an underlying principle. So along those lines, people should consider what's easier for them to get good marks in, not what's easier for some proportion of the population.

I thought the initial point was actually that someone had a 3.3 GPA in their engineering degree and wanted to know if law schools would give them a boost because engineering is a hard degree (and @conge thinks I suck at reading comprehension! <_< )

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9 minutes ago, octoputin said:

I remember once when I told a premed that my major was psychology he said "that's the easiest thing in the world" (after only taking an introductory psychology class). I didn't let it get to me, mainly because he also showed his ignorance of the field (he said mental illness isn't real--->bad thing for him to say, seeing as psychiatry is a mandatory class medical students have to complete to get a medical degree), but also because all he mainly took was biology, biochemistry and chemistry classes and he had little to no experience with psychology beyond the introductory class he took.

Just my opinion though, why I never let people who talked shit about psychology get to me. I enjoyed my pre law degree in psychology and enjoyed learning about mental illness, uses (and limitations of) IQ testing, psychotherapy, biological aspects of learning and memory, neuropsychology, etc.  And I took some classes in forensic psychology taught by practicing forensic psychologists , which helped me learn a bit about law.

Psych was the biggest undergrad population at my school. 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. 

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15 minutes ago, providence said:

I thought the initial point was actually that someone had a 3.3 GPA in their engineering degree and wanted to know if law schools would give them a boost because engineering is a hard degree (and @conge thinks I suck at reading comprehension! <_< )

I used the thread title as a guide to interpretation of the intent of the initial post. That is, I treated it as substantive, not like a mere heading in a statute. :rolleyes:

I think that hard or not or whatever misses the point. I think a splitter with a high LSAT score and not so great GPA from engineering should have the LSAT weighed more heavily because I think it a better indicator than engineering marks, especially from certain programs. I likewise think that LSAT should be weighed more heavily (or perhaps, allowed to overcome is a better way to put it?) marks from what would be considered an easier program, if that program doesn't involve much reading/writing/analysis. So I would argue for consideration for STEM graduates not because of difficulty, but because of difference. And I would likewise want someone from any program not involving similar skills as in law school given similar benefit, for instance a heavily performance-based degree (which I'm not arguing doesn't involve intelligence and analysis and all that, and history of music or acting or whatever, I'm saying that whether more or less difficult is irrelevant, it's sufficiently different at least outside the history courses that someone with a high LSAT and mediocre grades should be given a more charitable look; I took history courses in engineering that doesn't make it a history degree!).

But as to whether they do, I asked the dean at Queen's at an alumni event and he said he instructed adcoms to try to take into account the nature and difficulty of an applicant's program (this is paraphrased from a recollection, or recollected from a paraphrase, of a years-ago discussion, at an event at which I was drinking... :drinkers:).

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6 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

I bullshitted my way to many A+s in humanities courses throughout my career. I never managed to bullshit my way past a 75 in biochemistry. 

Maybe that speaks more about your aptitude then it does about the difficulty of STEM vs humanities.  People also do better in courses they like. 

I suppose everyone's answer will be experience dependent. 

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58 minutes ago, awesd said:

Maybe that speaks more about your aptitude then it does about the difficulty of STEM vs humanities.  People also do better in courses they like. 

I suppose everyone's answer will be experience dependent. 

It might, but I was a pretty good biochemist and I’m a pretty bad historian, so I’m skeptical. 

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1 hour ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

It might, but I was a pretty good biochemist and I’m a pretty bad historian, so I’m skeptical. 

Yeah but my understanding is that you were within the top of a lot of your classes in 1L, so I’ll assume you being a “pretty bad historian” and receiving a good grade in a history class is more on you than on the class. 

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48 minutes ago, Ryn said:

Yeah but my understanding is that you were within the top of a lot of your classes in 1L, so I’ll assume you being a “pretty bad historian” and receiving a good grade in a history class is more on you than on the class. 

...but he couldn’t bullshit his way to a good grade in biochem, so it’s not so much about him as it is the class...

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Interesting that "abstract math is harder than polisci" is as controversial on here as "law is not that much harder than your undergrad". It's a coincidence, of course, but if you go by the majority opinion on this forum, (a) the degrees that most law students do are as hard as any other degree because no degree is harder than any other who could even come up with such a ludicrous and stupid idea, and (b) law degrees are much, much -  depending on who you ask: overwhelmingly, anxiety-inducingly - harder than your undergrad. Feynman himself could explain probability currents and you'd have law students retort, "okay, but property, you see, is a bundle of rights...and most people just don't get that".

I don't remember Real Analysis, by the way. If you put an exam in front of me I would literally run away like when a cat sees a cucumber. If you put a philosophy essay requirement in front of me, I'd go to the library for a couple days, write for another day, and presumably get the same A I did every other time I did that.

Edited by theycancallyouhoju
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6 hours ago, artsydork said:

Again, I return to the fact that the majority of the Canadian population does not have a university degree, and that a large segment of the population is functionally illiterate. Who the heck cares about perceived difficulty of degrees at this point? Getting through any university degree is quite challenging (whether you thought so or not).

All I said when this cluster started was that Gender Studies is NOT the easy-peasy degree that redditors say it is. For whatever reason, Gender Studies has become the new Basketweaving degree. Which, I must digress, have you tried weaving a basket!? That shit is hard.

Because we're needy, worked way more hours and feel gaslighted. You can rock an A average in math at Harvard and Guelph sociology majors will still argue, passionately, even angrily, that your degrees are equal. I literally had an A average in a humanities program at McGill and people still say, "you arrogant asshole, you still have no more valid a view than I do on whether the math degree you did was harder than the degree I did, even though you also did it".

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