Joint degree w/William & Mary in IR vs. regular 4 yr at St. Andrews in psychology

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BoomTX
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My daughter got accepted to the William & Mary joint degree program in IR, as well as a standard psychology major. Anyone have thoughts on either option - especially the joint degree? Thanks.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by BoomTX)
My daughter got accepted to the William & Mary joint degree program in IR, as well as a standard psychology major. Anyone have thoughts on either option - especially the joint degree? Thanks.
I didn't know it was possible to apply to 2 entirely different courses at the same university? Unless one application was made via UCAS and the other via the Common App.

It's important for your daughter to decide what subject is her passion. Having said that the joint programme in IR would be a no-brainer for me. IR is St Andrews' flagship degree and I always advise people against doing psychology degrees due to the oversupply of graduates in that subject which harms their employability.

The joint programme will also give your daughter a taster of two systems - one which will have a much heavier physical workload (the US), and one which will have much more challenging exams & self-motivational independent learning (the UK).
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BoomTX
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(Original post by CollectiveSoul)
I didn't know it was possible to apply to 2 entirely different courses at the same university? Unless one application was made via UCAS and the other via the Common App.

It's important for your daughter to decide what subject is her passion. Having said that the joint programme in IR would be a no-brainer for me. IR is St Andrews' flagship degree and I always advise people against doing psychology degrees due to the oversupply of graduates in that subject which harms their employability.

The joint programme will also give your daughter a taster of two systems - one which will have a much heavier physical workload (the US), and one which will have much more challenging exams & self-motivational independent learning (the UK).
Thanks for the insight. FYI, she applied Common App only. I don't know all the ins and outs but apparently she had an option to designate both programs as an option. Perhaps one was listed as a second choice - not sure. In terms of psychology, she anticipates an advanced degree - either a PhD or med school. My only concern with the joint program is having to give up friendships/relationships after a year. Her decision, obviously but I am trying to help her weigh the pros and cons.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by BoomTX)
Thanks for the insight. FYI, she applied Common App only. I don't know all the ins and outs but apparently she had an option to designate both programs as an option. Perhaps one was listed as a second choice - not sure. In terms of psychology, she anticipates an advanced degree - either a PhD or med school. My only concern with the joint program is having to give up friendships/relationships after a year. Her decision, obviously but I am trying to help her weigh the pros and cons.
For med school, we don't really have a concept of pre-med here (we can take medicine as undergrad) but I'd imagine it would require the bio, chem and physical sciences more than psych?

If she's keen on a PhD then Psychology in St Andrews would be a brilliant choice. Our degrees are very specified with no general ed or liberal arts requirements. You just do 3 subjects in your first year & up to 3 subjects in your second year...neither which of count towards your final grade so you have plenty of time to find your feet and have fun; just with the 'dryness' of studying a limited number of subjects, but you become a real expert in your subject at undergrad level unlike in the US where you barely get into your major.

I think leaving your new friends behind is definitely an issue, but some may prefer to prioritise maximising their experiences as a young person with new places and new people...
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by BoomTX)
Thanks for the insight. FYI, she applied Common App only. I don't know all the ins and outs but apparently she had an option to designate both programs as an option. Perhaps one was listed as a second choice - not sure. In terms of psychology, she anticipates an advanced degree - either a PhD or med school. My only concern with the joint program is having to give up friendships/relationships after a year. Her decision, obviously but I am trying to help her weigh the pros and cons.
How's the decision-making going? Let your daughter know she is always welcome to pm me if she has any q's

St Andrews is consistently the #1 uni in the UK for Student Satisfaction in the league tables (or thereabouts) but I'm always keen to highlight pros and cons so any freshers come in with realistic expectations!
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BoomTX
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(Original post by CollectiveSoul)
How's the decision-making going? Let your daughter know she is always welcome to pm me if she has any q's

St Andrews is consistently the #1 uni in the UK for Student Satisfaction in the league tables (or thereabouts) but I'm always keen to highlight pros and cons so any freshers come in with realistic expectations!
thanks! We are planning to visit in March - I assume that we will have a clearer idea after the visit!
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JainaRose
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I think visiting will be very helpful for your daughter. I highly recommend visiting William and Mary as well. I enjoyed the family vacation to Williamsburg, but just sort of knew once I got there that I did not want to study at W+M.

I had a similar application process. I used the Common App and got in to St Andrews/W+M for econ as well as just St Andrews for econ and comp sci. As I said, I decided W+M wasn't for me (and I also wanted to stay in St Andrews for the flexibility of being able to switch degrees and keep a joint honours, plus stick with my friends for all four years), so not doing it was best for me. I know a few people who have been/are doing the programme. One of them dropped out of it and decided to stay in St Andrews for the rest of her time, and the other one started at W+M and is here for her second year. I think she likes St Andrews better as well, though I'm not sure whether or not she will try to drop out of the programme as well to stay here.

Ultimately, it just depends on what she's looking for. I know several people who do Psychology here, and they all say it's really interesting. We have an awesome IR programme that she could likely pursue as well. There's even a joint honours degree in the combination, which she could talk to an advisor about. I'm a big advocate for joint honours (double majors), because you get to study two subjects for the price and time of one.
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BoomTX
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thanks for the note. We actually did visit William & Mary last summer and she has applied there separately. I think she will have a clearer idea once we visit St. Andrews.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by JainaRose)
I think visiting will be very helpful for your daughter. I highly recommend visiting William and Mary as well. I enjoyed the family vacation to Williamsburg, but just sort of knew once I got there that I did not want to study at W+M.

I had a similar application process. I used the Common App and got in to St Andrews/W+M for econ as well as just St Andrews for econ and comp sci. As I said, I decided W+M wasn't for me (and I also wanted to stay in St Andrews for the flexibility of being able to switch degrees and keep a joint honours, plus stick with my friends for all four years), so not doing it was best for me. I know a few people who have been/are doing the programme. One of them dropped out of it and decided to stay in St Andrews for the rest of her time, and the other one started at W+M and is here for her second year. I think she likes St Andrews better as well, though I'm not sure whether or not she will try to drop out of the programme as well to stay here.

Ultimately, it just depends on what she's looking for. I know several people who do Psychology here, and they all say it's really interesting. We have an awesome IR programme that she could likely pursue as well. There's even a joint honours degree in the combination, which she could talk to an advisor about. I'm a big advocate for joint honours (double majors), because you get to study two subjects for the price and time of one.
i have heard SO many people on the joint programme have opted just for St Andrews... I can understand why people love St Andrews but I don't get all the hate for W&M given it's the second oldest university in the US with a lovely warm climate! Granted it looks very sparse and quiet

Also on your other comment St Andrews is one of the modest Conservative unis in the UK!

But conservatism in the UK is very different over here, it's more 'queen, countryside & boarding school' than 'gun rights, taxes & religion' (although British conservatives in the rural areas do lots of game shooting)
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JainaRose
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(Original post by CollectiveSoul)
i have heard SO many people on the joint programme have opted just for St Andrews... I can understand why people love St Andrews but I don't get all the hate for W&M given it's the second oldest university in the US with a lovely warm climate! Granted it looks very sparse and quiet

Also on your other comment St Andrews is one of the modest Conservative unis in the UK!

But conservatism in the UK is very different over here, it's more 'queen, countryside & boarding school' than 'gun rights, taxes & religion' (although British conservatives in the rural areas do lots of game shooting)
For one thing, the "lovely warm climate" is too hot for me. I like cold and rainy. Also W&M might be one of the oldest unis in America, but if you care about the history of an institution when you're picking a university then St Andrews wins hands down. It was founded before our country was even visited by Christopher Columbus!

It's not that people hate W&M, it's just that St Andrews is nicer to a lot of people. And if you really want to study in a foreign country, doing it for four years is twice as good as doing it for two, at least in my opinion. Also I had an asthma attack triggered by the flowering trees when I visited W&M (it prides itself on having lots of diverse trees on campus, which is actually not great for me) and if I remember correctly (it was a few years ago) there is no air conditioning in the dorms–despite being in the South–and the accomodation in general seemed a bit iffy. Not that St Andrews is perfect, but my uni accomodation is probably nicer this year than anything I would have gotten there.

That's interesting that St Andrews is considered moderate. I never would have guessed, but I suppose that just means different things in different countries.
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JainaRose
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(Original post by BoomTX)
thanks for the note. We actually did visit William & Mary last summer and she has applied there separately. I think she will have a clearer idea once we visit St. Andrews.
That's good to hear! I hope you have a great trip to St Andrews. Whether she winds up coming here or not, it's always fun to take a trip to Scotland!
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by JainaRose)
For one thing, the "lovely warm climate" is too hot for me. I like cold and rainy. Also W&M might be one of the oldest unis in America, but if you care about the history of an institution when you're picking a university then St Andrews wins hands down. It was founded before our country was even visited by Christopher Columbus!

It's not that people hate W&M, it's just that St Andrews is nicer to a lot of people. And if you really want to study in a foreign country, doing it for four years is twice as good as doing it for two, at least in my opinion. Also I had an asthma attack triggered by the flowering trees when I visited W&M (it prides itself on having lots of diverse trees on campus, which is actually not great for me) and if I remember correctly (it was a few years ago) there is no air conditioning in the dorms–despite being in the South–and the accomodation in general seemed a bit iffy. Not that St Andrews is perfect, but my uni accomodation is probably nicer this year than anything I would have gotten there.

That's interesting that St Andrews is considered moderate. I never would have guessed, but I suppose that just means different things in different countries.
what would you change about St Andrews then? I spent time in Sallies, Uni Hall, Melville and DRA and tbh i loved all of them in different ways
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(Original post by CollectiveSoul)
what would you change about St Andrews then? I spent time in Sallies, Uni Hall, Melville and DRA and tbh i loved all of them in different ways
I'm in Uni Hall and I love it. If I could change anything, though, I'd extend the heating times (my room is FREEZING when the radiators are off!) and probably also extend mealtimes and/or improve the packed meals. Other than that, I have a lovely large room that I really love and lots of good friends here. I really love St Andrews, so there's not much else I would change.

Except maybe exams, which I'm currently procrastinating from by answering questions on here lol.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by JainaRose)
stion

I'm in Uni Hall and I love it. If I could change anything, though, I'd extend the heating times (my room is FREEZING when the radiators are off!) and probably also extend mealtimes and/or improve the packed meals. Other than that, I have a lovely large room that I really love and lots of good friends here. I really love St Andrews, so there's not much else I would change.

Except maybe exams, which I'm currently procrastinating from by answering questions on here lol.
weird that you say that about the heating times because i've always found the room turns into a sauna by 11/half 11 and by the time i'm in bed by 1 it's still ok! plus cold rooms can be an excuse to go to the library and study socially.

i wasn't keen on the meals in uni hall though... the scots sure do love their potatos. potatos, potatos and more potatos.

yeah get off here and start studying, i will distract you no more :P
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(Original post by CollectiveSoul)
weird that you say that about the heating times because i've always found the room turns into a sauna by 11/half 11 and by the time i'm in bed by 1 it's still ok! plus cold rooms can be an excuse to go to the library and study socially.

i wasn't keen on the meals in uni hall though... the scots sure do love their potatos. potatos, potatos and more potatos.

yeah get off here and start studying, i will distract you no more :P
Wow! That'sinteresting, too bad they can't just shift some of that heat to my room. I know my friend in DRA complains about the heat too, while I'm freezing over here. :P

The food could definitely be better, and I'm quite sick of potatoes, but there are enough good dishes once in a while that I don't complain too hard.
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Okorange
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If your daughter is interested in medical school, I would be careful about doing a degree in the UK. You wouldn't be able to complete the pre-req's for most US medical schools while doing a UK degree because you just don't have the same selection in the UK as in the US. I don't know the joint IR program well, but if her plan is to go to medical school, it would be easier to achieve by doing undergrad in the US as much as possible.
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