Bananako

2+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2017
1
0
Hello SDN,

I am a rising senior in HS but I thought pre-med forum would answer my question better. This question may sound very naive but I need your precious advice.

I want to major in CS as a pre-med student in undergrad. However, as I know my GPA will suffer if I do them at once, I am planning to focus on my CS major for the four years while volunteering in hospital and in fire&rescue department as an EMT (im certified). Then, I will take my pre-med prerequisites for the next two years (or three years) while researching, volunteering, and preparing for MCAT. So I will apply to med school after 6 (or 7) years of college.

1. Is this even possible?
2. How long do you think the additional years of taking premed prerequesites will take?

Thank you guys
 

pioneer22

2+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2016
402
170
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey,

I am a AI major (so applied CS basically) and your plan sounds ridiculous.

If you are Premed, take the Premed courses alongside CS ones. Bio, chem, Orgo, physics and biochem can easily be fit in with CS reqs and allow you to graduate in 4 years, not 7.

CS is not that bad anyway. Sure, it can have difficult problems occasionally, but that's why it's such a great field to study.
 
Aug 16, 2017
7
7
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello SDN,

I am a rising senior in HS but I thought pre-med forum would answer my question better. This question may sound very naive but I need your precious advice.

I want to major in CS as a pre-med student in undergrad. However, as I know my GPA will suffer if I do them at once, I am planning to focus on my CS major for the four years while volunteering in hospital and in fire&rescue department as an EMT (im certified). Then, I will take my pre-med prerequisites for the next two years (or three years) while researching, volunteering, and preparing for MCAT. So I will apply to med school after 6 (or 7) years of college.

1. Is this even possible?
2. How long do you think the additional years of taking premed prerequesites will take?

Thank you guys
I don't know, but it seems that if you really like cs, your gpa would probably be quite respectable.
 
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ItsAMeMario007

2+ Year Member
Jun 13, 2017
223
209
Status
Medical Student
I've known CS majors in a 7-year direct MD program, who finished CS major and pre-med undergrad reqs in 3 years, while being forced to maintain a 3.5. They did not seem to be struggling, although very smart to get accepted into a 7-year program anyways... I believe it is entirely possible to finish CS major with other reqs in 4-5 years. You can focus on MCAT prep during breaks of college as well. You can then dedicate the gap years after graduating for research/volunteering/shadowing if need be, while getting all the experiences needed to apply to medical school.
 

PreMedMissteps

The Great West Coast
2+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2017
1,664
1,732
If CS is your bag, I don't know why you wouldn't do this concurrently. I've even seen schools with CS/premed tracks (which probably sounds strange).

At most, maybe need a 5th year to graduate, but not the 7-8 years that you've mentioned. If you did need a 5th year, you could still apply after your 4th year.

You could make things a little easier on yourself if next summer you took a couple of non-premed classes, maybe some first year CS courses or if you won't be coming in with Frosh Comp credits thru AP or DE then maybe get those out of the way. You could take them at a local state school or CC.

Are you coming into CS blindly or do you have any CS background?

How strong is your high school science foundation? Taken any AP science courses? If so, what were the results of the exams? What is your math level?
 
Jul 6, 2017
239
145
I think CS ruins GPA is a very common misconception. I go to a grade-deflating undergrad, and there are numerous CS majors graduating summa cum laude (3.9+, top 3-5% of class) each year. I also didn't find the CS class I took harder to do well in than math, Econ, or even most pre-med courses.

The most challenging thing with juggling CS + pre-med is the time you need to put in (coding/debugging takes a lot longer than reading a chapter of biology or completing a chemistry problem set, that's for sure).
 

Princeton Medical Student

2+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2016
908
2,110
Hello. I am a CS pre-med (there are dozens of us! Dozens!)
My suggestion, and what I currently am doing is to just do science courses concurrently with your degree. You have plenty of room hopefully to be able to do that at the same time as the degree. I suggest doing chemistry your freshman year since that is the only class sequence that is a pre-req for some of your other pre-reqs. (orgo, and biochem)
 
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workaholic181

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2017
1,292
818
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hello. I am a CS pre-med (there are dozens of us! Dozens!)
My suggestion, and what I currently am doing is to just do science courses concurrently with your degree. You have plenty of room hopefully to be able to do that at the same time as the degree. I suggest doing chemistry your freshman year since that is the only class sequence that is a pre-req for some of your other pre-reqs. (orgo, and biochem)
Nothing better that Arrested Devlopment quotes on SDN.

OP I too knew a CS major who is a med student now.. picked that major because he loved the material which is the most important thing. You could definitely finish "on time" and be a traditional med student with this major.
 

anhnen5

2+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2015
44
18
Status
Pre-Medical
Is there a particular reason why you want to be a CS major AND Pre-med at the same time?

You should look into Bioinformatics imo for the best of both worlds. Depending on the program of the school, you can specialize in more Math heavy, Computer Science Heavy, or Biological Science Heavy tracks (this would help out with the pre-reqs for med school). If it's the programming component and you like the biological sciences too, maybe look into if the schools you're planning to go to has a bioinformatics program for undergrad. I did programming as a hobby and liked computers, but I also really want to go into the medical field. That is what I did and I really enjoyed it while being pre-med as well.

If you find out you like CS more than healthcare/biological sciences, it's ok! You have a competitive major to work in the field through research or things CS people do (sorry not too knowledgeable about what's strictly CS jobs, just heard from peers). If you want to do Med school, cool! You have all or most of the pre-reqs done with your major.
 

Tenk

10+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2007
2,173
7,137
Status
Attending Physician
Terrible plan. Don't do it. Don't do a CS major. Don't go to undergrad for 6-7 years and expect an easy med school acceptance either. Also huge waste of money.
 
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Princeton Medical Student

2+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2016
908
2,110
I was a Computer Science/Neurobiology double major and have zero regrets - the combination of life science + CS imo is a much better combination than many people give it credit for. This is probably especially true if you're interested in machine learning/computer vision research (and specifically medical imaging research, which is what I focused on), as there is a *lot* of cross-over with those fields and radiology/nuclear medicine (you'll publish in many of the same journals, go to many of the same conferences etc.)

I completed my double CS/Neurobio degree in 4 years without any issues, and I cannot see any reason why you would have any difficulty doing so - CS isn't engineering (which is a whole different ballgame and I definitely wouldn't recommend trying to pair with medschool pre-reqs, unless you're a far more dedicated person than at least I am...), and doing CS + a life science double major, or even just CS + pre-med requirements as electives won't be any more challenging than doing the pre-reqs as part of a typical science major in most places. You should have no trouble maintaining a competitive GPA and looking back, honestly most of all the classes I found difficult were part of my neurobiology major, and not my CS major.

If you pursue undergraduate research in CS, I feel that there's also far more opportunities given to you to publish and make substantive research contributions than in the life sciences too, at least at the undergrad level. I'm absolutely no one special, but did internships at CS medical imaging labs during most of my summers (alongside research in semester) and managed to get 3 papers published (including a first author in a fairly high impact radiology journal, and a 5th author on a Nature Biotech paper for a cross-disciplinary project I worked on), an output that I know for a fact I wouldn't have come close to touching if I opted to do neuro/bio research instead.

Ultimately, the degree made sense to me because I really enjoyed it (and personally felt upper level neurobiology classes alongside upper level artificial intelligence/machine learning classes paired really well from a learning perspective). If CS is something you enjoy, ignore the people who are telling you its not worthwhile and go for it, but definitely try to get everything done in 4 years including the pre-reqs. There really should be zero issues doing this for the vast, vast, majority of CS programs, since most will usually require around 70-80 credits to complete, leaving you with more than enough elective credits to knock off all pre-reqs and then some to even hit graduation credit requirements at most schools. I can't see any real disadvantage this would bring over doing a pure life science degree - you'll still be able to complete all the pre-reqs, it won't preclude you from doing all the typical pre-med ECs, and you'll likely have a far better time if CS is something you feel you actually want to spend time studying during your undergraduate degree.
Holy crap thats an awesome combo. Id never be able to handle that. Thats seriously awesome though.
 

pioneer22

2+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2016
402
170
Status
Pre-Medical
BUMP:
to CS peeps, did you apply with a lower-ish GPA due to CS courses? How did adcoms view the CS degree - similar to other engineering programs?
 
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