• Graduation Year: 2024


Rithikas Professional Headshot square Major: Biological Sciences 

How did you decide on your major? 

I wanted to explore lots of different scientific fields. As a Biological Sciences major, I’m required to take classes in topics like CBN, genetics, ecology, and so many other areas that I didn’t think I was interested in. This major allowed me the greatest freedom to go beyond my prerequisites for medical school and explore new fields!

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

I think my background and identity play a big role in choosing my career path. As an international student whose early education was extremely scattered, I looked at medicine from a very different perspective until college. My goal as a physician is to bring awareness to my patients and help make medical education accessible to everyone, including others like me.

Do you have favorite class/professor within your major?

Systems Physiology was the first class that made me think “wow, this is what medical school is going to be all about,” and I loved it! Dr. Nelson goes above and beyond to get to know her 300 person class, and I think a professor that cares makes the class even better. I would recommend it to any student considering a future in medicine!

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

 My research at the Rutgers Institute of Translational Medicine (RITMS). Translational Medicine is often referred to as “bench-to-bedside” research, and this was part of its appeal to me as a pre-med student. It really got me thinking about how much research goes into each medication or therapy a physician prescribes, and it’s really cool to see how a small experiment that you do can have big implications on someone’s life in the future! 

What are your other Rutgers activities?

I’ve been with the First Year Interest Group Seminars (FIGS) program since I was a sophomore. It’s a great way for me to step away from medicine and focus on my other passions. I also love being a mentor to younger students as Vice-President of Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), the pre-health honor society. In my time away from Rutgers, I volunteer at a 911 EMS squad, a group home for adults with motor and neurological disabilities, and a hospice. My volunteer work is as important to me as my classes are, and I’m happy to have been a part of impacting so many lives.

What are your plans following graduation?I

I plan to take a gap year where I will continue my research and clinical work, but also take time off to spend with my family and friends. I also want to take this opportunity to make progress on goals I’ve been putting off, like my writing. After my year off, I will hopefully be starting at a medical school in Fall 2025!

Anything else you would like to share?

Biology is an exciting field that will allow you to explore so many different areas. The department is lovely and always there if you need help! As a pre-med student, I’m thankful that I chose a major that allowed me to explore these classes while also having time to dedicate to my other activities, all contributing to being a well rounded applicant!

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