Apr 8, 2010
37
0
0
New Hampshire
Status
Pre-Medical
I am one of those non-trads in a post bac program who has a bachelors degree in English Teaching, of all things. I have heard myths and legends here and there that having a liberal arts degree such as this helps you stand out from the pack of micro majors, etc. and that some med schools like this. However, I would also imagine this puts me at a slight DISADVANTAGE, as I will not take the upper level genetics, micros, etc., and will stick to my pre-reqs, and of course, my prior BA in English.

As a freshman in college, my English teacher (who, for whatever reason, double majored in biology) suggested I declare "premed" while also getting an English degree. This sounded insane at the time, but it is, essentially, a few years later, what I'm doing.

Any thoughts?
 

chman

5+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2009
3,003
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Pre-Psychology
The general rule it that major won't help or harm you. If you do great in all your pre-reqs then you really won't have anything to worry about. It isn't a bad idea to take one or two upper level sciences just to prove they are no problem. Liberal Arts degrees are becoming a lot more common...but an English degree is something different than they normally see, so at the very least it is a topic for interviews. Bottom line, it is a very small part of the process, and probably the least of your worries.
 
Mar 21, 2010
21
2
41
Status
Medical Student
Hey! I'm an English lit major, and I don't think that my major hurt my chances at all. I think it helped in that I didn't have to do much work for the writing and verbal sections on the mcat. Why I decided to go into medicine with an English degree was asked about in interview though. Otherwise, seriously, from what I have seen, a person's major doesn't make a difference in the admissions process. I know other english majors and even art majors who have applied and gotten in. Just make sure to really study for the science portions on the mcat. As long as you do well in those (and your pre-reqs) the admissions committee shouldn't really question your aptitude for the sciences. HTH!
 
Apr 8, 2010
37
0
0
New Hampshire
Status
Pre-Medical
Did you take any additional science courses before the MCAT? I am planning on only taking the required year of bio, chem, ochem and physics, since I'm currently in post-bac hell and have to pay for every credit out of pocket. I just don't have the money, or the time, to be in post bac forever! Do you think that this will hurt me too much on the MCATs, or will sufficient prep take care of the higher level sciences? So far, I have done quite well in my pre-reqs (4.0), but the MCATs are certainly a challenge!
THANK YOU!
 
Mar 21, 2010
21
2
41
Status
Medical Student
I didn't take any other science courses before the mcat, but I took a kaplan course last spring before the test. The course was helpful for the practice tests, and for some of the review material. I did take a biochem course after the mcat this past fall semester, and through the whole course I kept thinking about how helpful it would have been before the mcat. I'm taking a genetics class and a neuro/psych class this semester (done with the english major, so I don't have many classes take) but I don't think that either of these classes would have helped much on the mcat. If you have the time, biochem may be helpful, but by using the review materials and tests from kaplan, I was able to do well on the mcat. Also, the practice AAMC tests were reeallly good!
 
Apr 8, 2010
37
0
0
New Hampshire
Status
Pre-Medical
I didn't take any other science courses before the mcat, but I took a kaplan course last spring before the test. The course was helpful for the practice tests, and for some of the review material. I did take a biochem course after the mcat this past fall semester, and through the whole course I kept thinking about how helpful it would have been before the mcat. I'm taking a genetics class and a neuro/psych class this semester (done with the english major, so I don't have many classes take) but I don't think that either of these classes would have helped much on the mcat. If you have the time, biochem may be helpful, but by using the review materials and tests from kaplan, I was able to do well on the mcat. Also, the practice AAMC tests were reeallly good!
Do you mind my asking how you did on the MCATs without the additional sciences? Also, did you feel like the Kaplan class was worth the ridiculous amounts of money, or would you say that a tutor or self-teaching would be equally as beneficial?
 
Mar 21, 2010
21
2
41
Status
Medical Student
I got a 10 in the physical and 11 in the biological section, and a 12 in verbal. I don't really think the course itself helped much- I think buying review books and AAMC practice tests and putting yourself on a study schedule would produce similar results. I took the test in the middle of June, and so I was also able to focus a lot on the test when my spring semester was over. I think if you have the time and the self-control to study for the test, you probably wouldn't need the class. good luck!
 
Apr 8, 2010
37
0
0
New Hampshire
Status
Pre-Medical
I've struggled with the practice tests I've taken so far. Obviously, I've only completed my bios, so I've stuck to the "bio" section of the practice tests. I've noticed that I am familiar with a lot of the information and facts, but when it comes to applying them to the passages and the questions related, I fall flat. Any advice? Am I wrong to be taking these practice sections when I only have bio done? I think the bio section incorporates Ochem as well?
 

ArkansasRanger

10+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2009
1,504
5
0
Arkansas
Status
Pre-Medical
I am one of those non-trads in a post bac program who has a bachelors degree in English Teaching, of all things. I have heard myths and legends here and there that having a liberal arts degree such as this helps you stand out from the pack of micro majors, etc. and that some med schools like this. However, I would also imagine this puts me at a slight DISADVANTAGE, as I will not take the upper level genetics, micros, etc., and will stick to my pre-reqs, and of course, my prior BA in English.

As a freshman in college, my English teacher (who, for whatever reason, double majored in biology) suggested I declare "premed" while also getting an English degree. This sounded insane at the time, but it is, essentially, a few years later, what I'm doing.

Any thoughts?
Where's the issue? The prereqs are what they are, and the MCAT is centered around material learned in the prereqs. Learn that material, and you'll be fine. Extra courses can't hurt. They can only help you out if you can pull good grades.
 
Apr 4, 2010
425
1
41
Status
Pre-Medical
I just graduated last year and applied this cycle as an English major. One thing that really helps you in this process is being unique and being a major other than a science definitely makes you stand out. I was told this from a dean of admissions I personally know. Like others have said though, a couple upper level classes will help you out because if you do well, it shows you can hang with those science majors in their more difficult courses.
 
Apr 8, 2010
37
0
0
New Hampshire
Status
Pre-Medical
I just graduated last year and applied this cycle as an English major. One thing that really helps you in this process is being unique and being a major other than a science definitely makes you stand out. I was told this from a dean of admissions I personally know. Like others have said though, a couple upper level classes will help you out because if you do well, it shows you can hang with those science majors in their more difficult courses.
Did you take additional sciences? If so, what were they?

THANKS!
 
Apr 4, 2010
425
1
41
Status
Pre-Medical
Yeah I only took one...cell and molecular biology. My plan was to also take physiology in my last semester before I graduated, but I decided against it since I took the mcat in the first week of May, one day after my final exams ended. Physiology at my school was very demanding so I felt it would be better to focus solely on my mcat studying. Plus, as I'm sure you know, upper-level english classes are no joke so physiology wasn't about to happen. Although I only took one upper-level science class, it was a 400 level cell bio class and my professor gave me an amazing recommendation since I got the highest grade in the class. Everyone else in the class was a bio major so he looked highly upon me and it definitely reflected in his LOR...I know this because my interviewers said so.
 

URHere

10+ Year Member
Nov 20, 2007
1,775
546
281
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Resident [Any Field]
This is how I view the english major:

With respect to admission, medical schools aren't likely to care what your major is. Yes, they see tons of science majors, but variations of the english major aren't exactly rare either. However, if your english background afforded you more of an education in writing and composition, that may shine through in the written part of your application - which can only help you.

As for the MCAT, if you take the prerequisite courses and you buy a review book or two, you will have seen all the material you need to do well on the exam. No, it may not have been pounded into your head over and over again through upper-division courses, but it is debatable how much all of that extra background will help you on the MCAT anyway - after all, they're not exactly asking you the basics of intracellular vesicle-associated protein function, are they?

The only real downside I can see to lacking those advanced science courses is that you will have more ground to cover once you hit medical school. Sometimes, that extra background can be very helpful.
 

rem6775

7+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2010
205
3
141
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Doesn't matter in the least. I was an economics major. If anything, it'll help you because you'll have skill sets others won't, but science is irrelevant because you'll all be on the same level.
 
Jan 27, 2010
28
1
0
Status
Academic Administration
I would like to offer an opinion based on the research that I did for a recent book on medical school admissions. If you divide applicants into three groups: science majors, liberal arts majors, and fine arts majors, approximately 43% of each group gets accepted to medical school each year.

Now it is true that there are many many more science applicants per year than there are applicants in the other groups, but the percentages are what they are.

What we look for is that someone chose a major about which they were passionate. Medicine requires dedication, pursuit beyond requirements, and execution. An applicant who CHOOSES a major and then performs less than outstanding within that major presents a red flag to most programs. State programs with limited numbers of applicants will be an exception to this rule.

And consider this. A science major with > 100 hours of science coursework and a 30 MCAT will lose every time to an arts major with 40 hours of science and a 30 MCAT. The former applicant has shown us their ceiling, while the latter applicant seems capable of many things.

Best wishes.