Jacqueline Cootes

Jacqueline Cootes at MCU

What’s the best way to reach your career destination?

Take the path that inspires you. Jacqueline Cootes chose MCU’s psychology major on her way to the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC.

A mix that matters

Captivated by understanding how people think, she majored in psychology — but added an extra dose of science courses to land her spot at USC. One minute she’d analyze the persuasive techniques in Super Bowl ads and the next she’d diagram chemical structures. The mix of hard sciences and people-centered knowledge will serve her well as a dentist.

“I always thought science was the only route to dental school. But choosing psychology is great because you’re never stuck in one lane,” she says. “When you get tired of studying biology, you just switch over to abnormal psych!”

Set up for success

Earning MCU’s top designation as valedictorian, she’s also made her mark in campus leadership, in community service and in the field. She inducted members into Psi Chi as president of the psychology honor society. She tutored middle and high school students in math, science and English. And she taught art to middle school students with special needs.

For the past six years, she also interned with a dentist, accumulating more than enough hours needed for her dental school application. That experience has given her a firsthand perspective of what it’s like to work with patients, setting her up for a sparkling career.

With her clearly defined path, Jacqueline is proof that psychology — a major with wide-open possibilities — can take you anywhere.

“I always thought science was the only route to dental school. But choosing psychology is great because you’re never stuck in one lane. When you get tired of studying biology, you just switch over to abnormal psych!”

Jacqueline Cootes

Psychology and biology major