I received a B.A degree in political science with a minor in natural resource conservation & management last year but after an internship in Washington D.C. and looking through job postings I have decided that I studied the wrong thing and would like to make a career change already. Ultimately i would like to do research in a lab with plants in regards to nutrition (which my internship opened me up to the possibility of) but since I got a B.A and not a B.S I am lacking in a strong science foundation that would help me get into a science graduate program. I would study Food Science and Nutrition now instead but ever school has such different course offerings I'm not sure what classes to take to help me get in to grad school. My GPA was average when I graduated but I am now really passionate about this new career field and need to go back to school I think I order to make this shift. Do I take a lot of random science prerequisites at a community college and then transfer them to the university I apply to to show I have taken the necessary steps? Too bad there is not a post-bacc program for non-medical majors. Any advice on what I need to do?? Thanks

  • Some schools will allow students to take graduate (and undergraduate) classes without being formally admitted into a graduate program.
    – DLS3141
    Mar 16, 2016 at 16:35
  • There are post-baccalaureate pre-med programs, designed to fill the holes, mainly in science classes. A pre-med program would likely be overkill, but in a good program the science classes will be stringent enough to give you a solid background in the sciences.
    – mkennedy
    Mar 16, 2016 at 20:40
  • There is a new proposal in area 51 that may address your question more properly: area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/97164/…
    – Devin
    Mar 30, 2016 at 1:21

2 Answers 2


First, do some research on graduate programs you're interested in, to see what the entrance requirements are. Since students come from different majors, programs want to make sure you have the right background. Anything you don't have, you'll want to take as a course, so it depends on how many holes you have to fix.

Side projects and volunteering opportunity in your area, are great to gain experience and show interest, and ensures your passion is solid. Show you have a good work ethic -- since your GPA is average, find other examples to convince graduate admissions that you work hard. Look at what you've done during college and figure out how show you've developed soft skills (communication, leadership, presentation skills...), and so on.

The overriding theme is you need to convince the admissions representatives that you are as likely to succeed as students who took this as their undergraduate degree and did well. This means you will probably need to get a better foundation, as well as experience in the field to document interest.

You can read other related questions for related advice. For example, check here Is it possible to attend graduate school in pure math after undergrad in CSE?


Other than what Nate B suggested, another way may be to enroll in a graduate program in a community college, and then transfer to an accredited university of college down the road.

  • While this sounds interesting, can you name 3 community colleges with graduate programs?
    – virmaior
    Mar 16, 2016 at 4:51

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