Poliscidoc

7+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2009
1,783
77
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I start undergrad this fall as a Biology major with a pre-professional concentration. I'm planning on changing my major after my freshmen year to neuroscience. But I was wondering, do I really need to double major if I want to get into a top 20 medical school. From what I have read here a lot of people have been double majoring which helped increase their chances. I really want to get into Baylor (#17). Also, is having a minor important for medical schools?

Thanks
As long as you keep your GPA up and have awesome MCAT scores, it really shouldn't matter... But this being said it’s a toss up.

From a personal perspective, I would argue that if person double majors the majors should be somewhat apart on the spectrum. But that’s just me (I am a Poli Sci and Biology Double Major) and I feel as if I have the best of both worlds (science and the humanities)
 

LiveUninhibited

MS-2
10+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2009
830
2
Status
Medical Student
I start undergrad this fall as a Biology major with a pre-professional concentration. I'm planning on changing my major after my freshmen year to neuroscience. But I was wondering, do I really need to double major if I want to get into a top 20 medical school. From what I have read here a lot of people have been double majoring which helped increase their chances. I really want to get into Baylor (#17). Also, is having a minor important for medical schools?

Thanks
Necessary? No. Useful? Yes. They like well-rounded applicants and there are a lot of ways of doing that. Do what interests you, as you'll probably excel at it more.
 

Naijaba

10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2007
1,057
107
Status
Pre-Medical
I start undergrad this fall as a Biology major with a pre-professional concentration. I'm planning on changing my major after my freshmen year to neuroscience. But I was wondering, do I really need to double major if I want to get into a top 20 medical school. From what I have read here a lot of people have been double majoring which helped increase their chances. I really want to get into Baylor (#17). Also, is having a minor important for medical schools?

Thanks
I don't know if this is necessarily true; from what I recall, SDN people either have 3.9+ GPAs and a single major, 3.75+ GPAs in closely related majors (e.g. chemistry and biology), or 3.6+ GPAs in two highly different majors (e.g. humanities and biology). Yes it will help you get in, but not if it lowers your GPA. I was a triple major and ended up with a 3.68. While I wouldn't trade any of my majors for that extra 0.1-0.2 GPA, I believe adcoms WOULD. That is to say, they value a 3.8-3.9 GPA higher than two or three majors at 3.6.

My advice: If you really like both majors, DO BOTH. If you like just one, DO JUST ONE. If you like neither, do the one that will help you do well on the MCAT and will be easiest to get a high GPA.
 

Pinkertinkle

2003 Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2003
5,004
79
Status
Attending Physician
better off spending the time you save NOT doing a double major working on extracurriculars
 

scattun

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2007
225
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I don't know if this is necessarily true; from what I recall, SDN people either have 3.9+ GPAs and a single major, 3.75+ GPAs in closely related majors (e.g. chemistry and biology), or 3.6+ GPAs in two highly different majors (e.g. humanities and biology). Yes it will help you get in, but not if it lowers your GPA. I was a triple major and ended up with a 3.68. While I wouldn't trade any of my majors for that extra 0.1-0.2 GPA, I believe adcoms WOULD. That is to say, they value a 3.8-3.9 GPA higher than two or three majors at 3.6.

My advice: If you really like both majors, DO BOTH. If you like just one, DO JUST ONE. If you like neither, do the one that will help you do well on the MCAT and will be easiest to get a high GPA.
Well here is one triple major with a 3.9+, so adding another major does not necessarily lower your GPA. I agree, though, that the extra major is definitely not worth .1-.2 gpa points in the eyes of Adcoms. I also agree with the poster who said that time can be better spent towards e.c.'s. However, if you are like me who had to take classes to fill elective time and interesting classes made up a major anyway, go for it. Especially if it is something really unique i.e. photography, theatre or creative writing, you may never know, that may make the difference between you and the guy who get waitlisted.
 

littlealex

little tiny alex
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2007
2,101
8
Status
Resident [Any Field]
My feelings from the application cycle was that majors doesn't really matter, and if you are going to get a double, doubling in a science and something obscure is better. Some of the most prized applicants are BME/Piano Performance double majors or soemthing of that matter.

The best bet is to major in something and do very well in it and also having the time to do significant research and spend time in nonprofit organizations. If you can start a project and drive it to success it tends to look pretty good.
 

red10

7+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2009
1,429
23
Status
Medical Student
If you have 2 or 3 majors and adcoms ask why and you tell them it was because you wanted a better shot at med school, you're going to look like an idiot.

How about studying what you enjoy, maybe getting a minor if you feel like it and spending your free time doing strong EC's and HAVING A LIFE! No school is going to want you no matter how many majors you have if you've spent all of college on studying lock down and don't have the social skills to fill a teaspoon.
 

Naijaba

10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2007
1,057
107
Status
Pre-Medical
Well here is one triple major with a 3.9+, so adding another major does not necessarily lower your GPA. I agree, though, that the extra major is definitely not worth .1-.2 gpa points in the eyes of Adcoms. I also agree with the poster who said that time can be better spent towards e.c.'s. However, if you are like me who had to take classes to fill elective time and interesting classes made up a major anyway, go for it. Especially if it is something really unique i.e. photography, theatre or creative writing, you may never know, that may make the difference between you and the guy who get waitlisted.
Crazy SDN kids. j/k well done son!
 

Podalarius

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 26, 2008
84
0
Status
Pre-Medical
1) Study what you like. You're more likely to do well in it.

2) I double majored in engineering and a social science. I really enjoyed it, but it did limit the number of electives I could take.

3) Only about 15% of my classmates double majored, about 50% just majored in the sciences, and the rest only in the humanities. Bottom line, your major isn't going to determine whether or not your go to medical school, in and of itself, unless you use it do something interesting.
 

shiftingmirage

10+ Year Member
Sep 2, 2007
1,027
61
Status
Medical Student
A double major may get you brownie points but is not an excuse for lower grades/ECs.

You haven't even started your freshman year yet. Your mind may change. Lots of people (including myself) change their plans during their college years. I wouldn't worry about it until the end of your freshman year.
 

LiveUninhibited

MS-2
10+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2009
830
2
Status
Medical Student
If you have 2 or 3 majors and adcoms ask why and you tell them it was because you wanted a better shot at med school, you're going to look like an idiot.

How about studying what you enjoy, maybe getting a minor if you feel like it and spending your free time doing strong EC's and HAVING A LIFE! No school is going to want you no matter how many majors you have if you've spent all of college on studying lock down and don't have the social skills to fill a teaspoon.
You'd look like an idiot if that was your response to ANY question, except maybe if it relates to the MCAT.

A better response would be: I was very interested in both majors and thought they would bring insights that will be useful to my future classmates and career in medicine. Like if you wanted to be a psychiatrist and you majored in chemistry+psychology... or if you were interested in being a MD/MPH and you majored in biology+sociology. Or you want to practice in southern california so you majored in biochemical engineering and Spanish. Or if you wanted to practice in a rural area and be able to set up telemedicine so you major in biochemistry+computer science.