Do some schools like non-science majors more than others?

randombetch

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When I look at some statistics, it seems like some schools give more preference to non-science majors than other schools. For example, only about 23% of UCLA's med school class are composed of non-science majors, while around half of Yale's med school class majored in a non-science field.

Do such preferences exist? If so, are there any schools with known preferences?

I'm curious because I'm an economics major, and I'm disheartened to find so few non-science majors admitted to UCLA.
 

MDtobe31311

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I was recently at this shmancy dinner and I was introduced to this one guy because he used to be on the admissions committee of some med school up North - he said that any person that applied to the school with a business degree with decent stats/MCAT was in for sure! Just because it was so rare to see non science degrees.

I wish he'd told me that 4 years ago!
 
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I was recently at this shmancy dinner and I was introduced to this one guy because he used to be on the admissions committee of some med school up North - he said that any person that applied to the school with a business degree with decent stats/MCAT was in for sure! Just because it was so rare to see non science degrees.

I wish he'd told me that 4 years ago!
which school was that lol?
 

Dbate

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Those figures are heavily skewed. I am a freshman at Yale and the majority of those matriculating at the med school hail from other Ivy league colleges. At such schools, is is VASTLY more common for none science majors to pursue a premed curriculum given the ease of taking the sciene courses in spite of not majoring in a science. At states schools--given the higher population of undergrads--there is usually considerably more redtape, so people will be more likely to major in a science to ensure that the prerequisites are fulfilled. Schools like UCLA have a lower number of top school matriculants and therefore have a lower number of non-science majors.

Science people can get into top schools though, one of the freshman counselors here is going to Johns Hopkins for med school next year despite being a biology major.
 

boaz

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Those figures are heavily skewed. I am a freshman at Yale and the majority of those matriculating at the med school hail from other Ivy league colleges. At such schools, is is VASTLY more common for none science majors to pursue a premed curriculum given the ease of taking the sciene courses in spite of not majoring in a science. At states schools--given the higher population of undergrads--there is usually considerably more redtape, so people will be more likely to major in a science to ensure that the prerequisites are fulfilled. Schools like UCLA have a lower number of top school matriculants and therefore have a lower number of non-science majors.

Science people can get into top schools though, one of the freshman counselors here is going to Johns Hopkins for med school next year despite being a biology major.
True, perhaps. But if you look at all med schools, from Harvard and WUSTL down to Podunk State SOM there is a wide distribution of science vs. non-science ratios. For example, at Mt Sinai, 55% are non-science, whereas at WUSTL only 22% are. At UT San Antonio, 59% are non-science, whereas at Penn State only 20% are.

I think all med schools are heavy with graduates of Ivy-League types.
 
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where is nonsciencemajor when it is actually kind of appropriate for him to mouth off about how wonderful non-science majors are...

your major doesn't matter. no one cares at all as long as you take the pre-reqs and MCAT. the adcoms aren't sitting around a table, planning to only admit a certain percentage of each major...they admit people who fit the school mission, have strong grades and scores, great ECs, interview well, etc.

the differences in listed percentages likely vary from year to year, and are probably be sensitive to different school features that attract applicants to the school in question in the first place. (for example, mt. sinai has a humanities and medicine early acceptance program, which could disproportionately draw and commit humanities majors to their school. UCLA could be attracting science majors more than it attracts non-science majors for a variety of reasons).

EDIT: here is a similar thread, with a response from lizzym to allay your fears: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=8242498&highlight=major#post8242498
 
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Marcus Brody

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They might indirectly "prefer" non-science majors just because of the baggage that generally comes with it, being nontraditional, lacking research experience, having a different resume.
 

Dial71

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Science people can get into top schools though, one of the freshman counselors here is going to Johns Hopkins for med school next year despite being a biology major.
I find this really funny. "Bless his heart, the boy tries, despite being a biology major!"

Since when did it become a handicap to study science? I understand that Medicine is a softer science, but why is there a perception that Art-types with scientific bents are more capable than Science-types with Art bents?

Related question, what about Math and Physics majors?
 

flip26

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I find this really funny. "Bless his heart, the boy tries, despite being a biology major!"

Since when did it become a handicap to study science? I understand that Medicine is a softer science, but why is there a perception that Art-types with scientific bents are more capable than Science-types with Art bents?

Related question, what about Math and Physics majors?
You are looking down the wrong end of the barrel.

First, your label of "art" types is too narrow. There are plenty of non-sci fields that have nothing to do with art.

Second - it isn't that non-sci majors are deemed more capable - they are perhaps deemed "differently" capable, and their addition to the class will help with diversity of thought, diversity of experience and background, etc.
 

Dial71

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You are looking down the wrong end of the barrel.

First, your label of "art" types is too narrow. There are plenty of non-sci fields that have nothing to do with art.

Second - it isn't that non-sci majors are deemed more capable - they are perhaps deemed "differently" capable, and their addition to the class will help with diversity of thought, diversity of experience and background, etc.
I just meant Art in a general sense. Arts (Language, Philosophy, Visual and Performing Arts, History, etc.) vs Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, and Engineering).

My contention isn't that I believe that medical schools judge any one major as greater than another, just that the perception exists among pre-meds (especially on SDN).

Why is it that students seeking a "vanilla" Biology degree are often advised to consider other options? If the study of Biology or any other science excites you, then why should you feel pressured to study subjects that you don't enjoy and are much lower yield in preparing for medical school?

For that matter, what is the advantage of diversity over conformity? Many bandy around that term without ever defining it.

Say that a school instituted strict pre-reqs which included advanced biology and chemistry courses in addition to the standard pre-reqs. This would effectively restrict their class to science majors only.

You would expect, however, that these students would be exceptionaly well-prepared for their pre-clinical coursework. In such a program, class room time could be reduced, leaving more room for clinicals or other education. Clearly, conformity has its advantages.

I don't endorse these views, and I think that a diverse class will produce more personable physicians, but I am weary of people using the concept without thinking. You can't accept diversity a priori. Especially not when equating diversity of majors to true diversity.

Or so says the philosopher in this chem major.
 

flip26

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I just meant Art in a general sense. Arts (Language, Philosophy, Visual and Performing Arts, History, etc.) vs Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, and Engineering).

My contention isn't that I believe that medical schools judge any one major as greater than another, just that the perception exists among pre-meds (especially on SDN).

Why is it that students seeking a "vanilla" Biology degree are often advised to consider other options? If the study of Biology or any other science excites you, then why should you feel pressured to study subjects that you don't enjoy and are much lower yield in preparing for medical school?

For that matter, what is the advantage of diversity over conformity? Many bandy around that term without ever defining it.

Say that a school instituted strict pre-reqs which included advanced biology and chemistry courses in addition to the standard pre-reqs. This would effectively restrict their class to science majors only.

You would expect, however, that these students would be exceptionaly well-prepared for their pre-clinical coursework. In such a program, class room time could be reduced, leaving more room for clinicals or other education. Clearly, conformity has its advantages.

I don't endorse these views, and I think that a diverse class will produce more personable physicians, but I am weary of people using the concept without thinking. You can't accept diversity a priori. Especially not when equating diversity of majors to true diversity.

Or so says the philosopher in this chem major.
You don't seem to understand what med schools value in applicants.

Instead of worrying about the 'perceptions' of pre meds, you might want to spend some time figuring out what will make you the most attractive applicant possible in the eyes of med school adcoms, and that goes well beyond the classroom and whatever you major in.

Good luck.
 

IDoIt4Love

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it's really weird that you mention this, because, as a non-science major, I always kinda worried in the back of my mind that adcoms wouldn't take me seriously, even though everyone says that your major doesn't matter. i knew the vast majority of people applying to med schools were bio or chem majors, and that I would very much be a minority, as a psych major. but here's the thing:

when I got to my interviews, a LOT of my fellow interviewees were NOT biology majors! i would say a good 30-40% of the interviewees I met along the way were random other majors-- business, anthro, history, english, soc, and yes, psych! i think the reason is simply this: non-science majors are trained to think in ways that science majors are not, simply because the subject matter you are studying is WAY different. however, as a doctor, you need to know how to think in all kinds of ways, with respect to lots of different factors: not just science, but cultural issues, gender issues, political issues (esp. when it comes to healthcare and insurance) etc. Hence the saying that medicine is both a science and an art. i think schools like non-science majors because they tend to think in different ways than science majors, but also because they're DIFFERENT. when you apply to schools, you need to stand out in a sea of thousands of applications--many of which are from biology majors. the more unique you are, the better (granted that you are unique in ways that don't compromise your scores or are offensive in any way), because you are better remembered.
 

IDoIt4Love

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ultimately, pick a major you love and are passionate about. it will up your chances of doing well and being happier while you're in college. it will also give you some great topics to discuss with your interviewers that will make you memorable in the admissions cycle.
 

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There's a lot of baggage that comes with being non-science. As a science major you might spend most of your internship in labs, etc. As a non-science major, you might be projecting business expenses, helping with investment banking, performing in community theater, etc. All of which are vastly more "interesting" than the 1000th biochem major with a summer of research applying.
 

flip26

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ultimately, pick a major you love and are passionate about. it will up your chances of doing well and being happier while you're in college. it will also give you some great topics to discuss with your interviewers that will make you memorable in the admissions cycle.
This is all that matters.

If you love science, and are passionate about, fine: be a science major.

The real key is "passion." There is no substitute for this. I have no doubt that my passion for my non science major, which led to some amazing ECs and post college experiences, made me a very interesting applicant - certainly not a cookie cutter pre med.