College info.

Cindy Brunner brunncj at
Wed Feb 5 10:03:59 EST 1997

> On 1 Feb 1997, MsNetsirk wrote:
> Im a sophomore in high school and have already decided the primary
> field I want to study in college:  Immunology, and its counterpart, 
> Pathology...

Dear MsNetsirk:

1) Take all the high-level science and math you can get in high school.  If 
these courses are good, they will make the corresponding college-level courses 
easier.  Don't skimp on the rest, however--get a well-rounded education.
2) Major in microbiology in college, but be sure you get lots of 
biochemistry/cell biology/molecular biology in your program (well, as much as 
you can get as an undergraduate...).  Modern immunology and pathology are very 
3) To BE an immunologist, you will most likely need a graduate 
degree...  But, even as an undergraduate, you can gain valuable experience by 
working in an immunology lab (clinical or research) part-time during the 
academic year and full-time in summers.  You cannot imagine how much this 
exposure will help you figure out what you like and dislike, teach you 
important laboratory techniques, and introduce you to the people who will be 
writing you letters of recommendation   :-)
4) To work as a pathologist, you will have to go to medical school or 
veterinary school, and then do a residency after that.  Even just to take a 
course in pathology, you will have to be enrolled in a program that is 
affiliated with a medical or veterinary school (with some exceptions).  It's a 
fascinating field, however, and there are ways to get pathology experience and 
education without becoming an MD or a DVM (unless, of course, you want to 
become an MD or DVM).

Cindy Brunner, PhD (immunology), DVM
(I normally leave out the degrees but maybe this time they're relevant.)
Dept. of Pathobiology
College of Veterinary Medicine
Auburn University, AL

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