Choosing a pre-med is a crucial decision since it is a major initial step in your journey to medical school. Determining the best choice can be a hassle; I recall that’s exactly how I felt. You want to avoid that, so here’s how to choose the best pre-med major.
There are several opinions regarding what pre-med major offers you the best chances of admission into medical school. While some believe that a major in biological sciences is the surest way to get into medical school, others believe that physical sciences majors are the best bet.
The truth is that pre-med students can choose a major in any discipline they want, as long as they meet the prerequisites for their med school and med program. However, one major factor that impacts your choice of a pre-med major is the college you attend, as this determines what courses you can access.
For instance, many universities in the US offer a wide curriculum that allows you to meet your med-school prerequisites while also majoring in any course of your choice, whether related or unrelated to science. You may check out this Chapman University rank list to get an idea of potential pre-med courses that are usually offered.
Aside from this, however, there are many other things to consider when choosing a pre-med major. Here are a few of them:
- Know your medical school prerequisites
- Follow your interests
- Talk to your academic advisor
- Reflect on your career goals
The prerequisites you need for med school may vary depending on the medical school and medical program you’re considering. Therefore, it is essential to determine your specific prerequisites to determine what major course you can comfortably take alongside them.
Most of your subjects should align with your prerequisite courses if you’re considering a science major. However, suppose you’re considering majoring in a non-science course. In that case, finishing your prerequisite courses as quickly as possible is advisable to allow yourself more time to focus on your major.
Your interests and passions do play a huge role in how enjoyable and exciting you would find your academic experience. So, rather than limit yourself to a sciences major simply because it’s the traditional path, it is advisable to follow your interests in other areas, whether or not they are science-based.
One advantage of choosing a unique, non-science major you love is that it could make your med school application stand out and greatly increase your chances of getting picked. Additionally, it helps you go through college stress without losing interest or burning out.
Sometimes all you need is insight and guidance from your college academic advisor or other qualified professionals. These people can help ensure you have all the credits you need to meet your med school prerequisites and graduate.
They can also help you break down the course load for the majors you’re considering, so you can know what exactly to expect and decide just how much you can successfully handle.
Your career goals and the future utility of a course are arguably the most important things to consider when choosing a pre-med major. The truth is only a fragment of what you learn in college, especially as a life science major, actually matters in medical school. Therefore, you want to major in a course that will impact your career.
For instance, if you plan on entering private practice, a major in business or economics will equip you with some of what you need to establish and manage your health establishment. Also, majoring in a foreign language can help you connect better with a certain patient population when you begin your medical practice.
The most common prerequisites for medical school are two semesters of organic and inorganic Chemistry with lab, two semesters of Biology with lab, two semesters of Physics with lab, two semesters of English with lab, two semesters of Maths with lab, and one semester of Biochemistry. These prerequisites may vary slightly depending on medical school and program.
The most common pre-med majors are Biological sciences, Physical sciences, Social sciences, Specialized health sciences for science-related disciplines, and Humanities and Mathematics and statistics for non-science-related disciplines. Although the non-science majors have little to no relationship with the pre-med track, they are usually considered by medical schools because they promote well-roundedness and diversity in students.
The truth is that no specific pre-med major best prepares you for your MCAT. Regardless of your major, your pre-med curriculum will provide everything you need to pass the MCAT. However, according to recent data from the AAMC, students in math, statistics, physical sciences, and humanities have the highest overall MCAT scores.
Deciding what course to major in on your pre-med journey could be difficult, as it plays a huge role in your medical career path. However, the tips above will assist you in making the right choice.