Is biology important for math students too

Catalog of questions for prospective students

We asked for you students - they answered. Below are a few small impressions from life as a bio student on the LMU campus of the University of Munich.

How difficult is the study in itself?

  • That is so stupid it sounds "a matter of opinion". Of course you need a certain scientific understanding, but it's a good mix of practical work and theoretical expertise. You have to learn by heart as well as do exercises and understand them.


Which subject do you personally find the most difficult and why?

  • Organic chemistry because it is the most extensive.


How difficult are math / chemistry / physics?

  • The subjects are of course demanding - especially for biologists with an affinity for nature. But you have exercises and tutorials in all subjects in which you can ask questions and do tasks. If you stick with it and are diligent, then it pays off and under certain circumstances can also be independent of true understanding.


Can you work through that if you had germ chemistry and physics in upper school?

  • Yes, definitely. I only had chemistry in ninth and tenth grades. I also took physics in high school as soon as I could. I managed it too - I had to sit down a bit more, but it's definitely doable. The professor starts from scratch, but then goes through with the material relatively quickly.


How intensive is the study?

  • So it's not a walk in the park. You have to stay tuned and sometimes it's a lot at once. However, it is the same for the whole year and you can quickly find friends among those who have suffered, with whom you can share summaries or learn to get together.

 

What is the diarrhea and dropout rate?

  • Differently. All in all, the exams can definitely be described as fair. In general, I would say the failure rate is 20-60%. Compared to MaschBau and its> 85%, that's actually quite humane. If people drop out, it is usually before Christmas. So we have 180 BSc. Students and are now around 100 in the 5th semester - 40% would say dropouts.


Can you choose all the elective modules you would like, because at some universities this is not possible for organizational reasons?

 ...


How busy is your schedule?

  • It all depends on the semester. At the beginning you are completely overwhelmed, it just seems full to you, in the second it is really ok. The third and fourth semesters are exhausting - but you already have enough time for sport, work and friends, that's not the way it is. You just have to pull yourself together a bit and learn or work effectively.


How high is the practical component (internships / laboratory work)?

  • I would really say 50:50. You have a lot of learning material, but there are internships, exercises and / or tutorials for ALL subjects.

I'm interested in neuroscience, how much neuro have you had so far?

  • In the fourth semester you have animal physiology - there is a lot of neurology involved. Nervous systems and transmission mechanisms are also dealt with in other subjects. Only then with the elective modules in the fifth Smester can you really choose Neuro. You can still grab internships or HiWi jobs if you want to do more in the subject.


Do you think there is a wide range of electives to choose from?

  • Yes, it is very versatile - quality often suffers from quantity. But that is not the case here, as the subjects are offered by different chairs and working groups and accordingly everyone deals intensively with the course.


How long and how intensively do you prepare for an exam (when do you start learning and how much)?

  • Much too late (hahaha). In principle, you should always take part in the exercises and lectures at the same time, then a week or a few days is enough to learn ... But if you have to catch up on the material, a week is usually not enough to be able to do everything well.


How stressful is it during the exam phase?

  • If you start too late, definitely very much. But you always have enough time to prepare - whether you use it or divide it up in a meaningful way is more the problem.


What is your everyday university life like?

 ...


How is the general organization at the university?

  • Because the faculty works with the chemical and physical faculties, especially in chemistry and physics, it can sometimes be opaque. It can also happen that courses overlap and the grades or lecture slides are published in different ways. But once you've come to terms with it, you'll always find what you're looking for.


How is the library equipped?

  • So the bib definitely has all the books you need for your subjects. You can also find a lot of trade magazines and such. And because the medical professionals have courses with us, there are also a lot of books. the chemistry faculty is not far away either, which also has a few other books.


How are the laboratories equipped?

  • Already very good. So you work at most in groups of three and actually always have enough functional utensils. You don't have to buy anything, except a smock and glasses. Great attention is paid to the scientific equipment.


What is the condition of the buildings?

  • Since the campus is relatively new, the buildings are accordingly good, flooded with light and modern. It's also pretty clean.


How is the price-performance ratio in the cafeteria?

  • It has just switched to a new system that is a bit worse than the old one. The food is really good and fresh, but not cheap either. Lunch like this costs between 3 and 10, depending on how much you put on your plate.


How is the atmosphere at the university?

  • Well. It's a bit impersonal because it's big. But if you are there for a year or two you will know a lot of people and teachers over time, that's really nice.


What's the city like?

  • Munich is really a "cosmopolitan city with a heart" - big, but still a village - but I grew up here too. I love the versatility - you can do a lot in terms of culture, sport or celebration. The only drawback is the prices. So you can find affordable corners, but unfortunately they are rather rare.


What do you plan to do after you graduate? You always hear of very bad career opportunities
How important do you think it is to get a doctorate?

  • That is definitely not the case. There are just so many options to choose from. The problem is that you have to take care of it in good time and get involved in the area. It can also be that you have to take detours - so your career will not necessarily be straightforward. But that there are "no jobs" is simply a falsehood.


In hindsight, do you think biology is too general? You often hear that everything is only sketched out and is too unspecific?

  • Bio is a general education subject, that is correct. And with the general bachelor's degree, employers cannot determine exactly what you are now qualified for. That is also true. But mostly you do a master’s degree, which you then choose specifically - that is then specific.


Can you do a semester abroad?

  • Yes. You can do LMUexchange or Erasmus. Without problems - the LMU has a lot of great collaborations. The only problem is that it is difficult to get credit for subjects that you have studied abroad. So you have to expect that you will study an extra year.


Do I have to know anything else important about the university?

  • The Biocampus is not in the city center, but outside in Martinsried - approx. 30 minutes away from the city center. That can be annoying at times.