Jun 29, 2016
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Pre-Dental, Pre-Medical, Pre-Optometry
If I take pre-med courses but major in something outside of science, will it be hard for me to get research position in labs?

Also, what kind of research do med schools look for? Can I do sociology/ public health type research and have it valued the same as doing biological research?
 

mw18

5+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2014
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If I take pre-med courses but major in something outside of science, will it be hard for me to get research position in labs?

Also, what kind of research do med schools look for? Can I do sociology/ public health type research and have it valued the same as doing biological research?
n=1 but I did sociology/public health research and go to a major research school. I didn't get here solely on my research chops, but it won't completely hold you back. I did have trouble finding research opportunities with an outside major, but I honestly didn't put forth the most effort to track down a basic science lab spot. I didn't want to wash dishes. I wanted to work with someone on a project I picked and really know a lot about it. For me the benefits of not having to be a science major and take classes in things I wasn't interested in far outweighed any negatives. If you have an interest in a different major, I would go with it.
 

starspells

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Dec 28, 2015
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If I take pre-med courses but major in something outside of science, will it be hard for me to get research position in labs?

Also, what kind of research do med schools look for? Can I do sociology/ public health type research and have it valued the same as doing biological research?
It will depend on the professor. Some Biology professors might prefer Bio majors, for example.

Yes, public health/soc research will be just as valuable.
 

Mongoosie

2+ Year Member
Jul 8, 2016
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
1.Although being in a science related major can help with connections to professors, it shouldn't really be a detriment to your chances. Just make sure to call around and not get discouraged!

2.To my understanding the type of research doesn't matter so much as your results or what you learned from it.
 

Doctor-S

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Jun 9, 2016
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If I take pre-med courses but major in something outside of science, will it be hard for me to get research position in labs?

Also, what kind of research do med schools look for?
You can find research positions in labs - for science majors, as well as for non-science majors - depending on the nature of the lab itself. As an undergraduate student, your goal will be to gain knowledge (and appreciation for) the process/logic/methods/analysis involved in scientific research. So, feel free to look around for labs that actually interest you; and for which you are prepared to offer your time, services and assistance. Show initiative.

Some people assume that non-science majors won't be able to find research opportunities in science labs. Sometimes, that is an accurate statement. For instance, a lab might reserve some of its most coveted undergraduate research positions for students who are required to complete a stint in a science lab for graduation (e.g., a biology major). Otherwise, I am aware of science labs (e.g., neuroscience, exercise science, genetics, biomedicine) that often include non-science majors (e.g., psychology majors who are applying to MD or PhD programs) as student research assistants in the labs. Yes ... public health, sociology and psychology labs provide research opportunities/experience. Once again, exercise initiative.

Thank you.
 
Jul 6, 2016
4
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Pre-Medical
computer science major here- got into a virology lab having only taken gen chem. I attend a heavy research undergrad so ymmv; definitely contact very many labs . . I think out of ~50 I got 2 positive responses?
 

Ixacex

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Apr 27, 2015
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If I take pre-med courses but major in something outside of science, will it be hard for me to get research position in labs?

Also, what kind of research do med schools look for? Can I do sociology/ public health type research and have it valued the same as doing biological research?
Just research what the professors at your school are researching and if you find it interesting, send a professional email and see if you can come in for an interview. I wasnt a science major but I got a research position on the first try. Just be mature, intelligent, and excited when you do talk to the professor.
I would say focus on the medical side of research. Some researches focuses Alzheimer's, cancer, behavioral, and bunch of other interesting topics.
 

aymar

2+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2015
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Medical Student
I was a business major and was involved in sports medicine research! Definitely reach out to professors whose research interests you, because showing genuine interest is the best route to convincing them to take you on.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Jan 11, 2016
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Was a math major. Worked in a physical chem lab and a neuroscience lab. All I did was go talk to the professors. I told the phys chem prof I was interested in learning basic lab techniques, and I actually had a strong interest in neuroscience, which I expressed to that prof. Was welcomed in as part of the team both times.