JustK

Doc in 2025 or so...
Jun 11, 2009
50
0
Illinois
Status
Pre-Medical
What majors/major would be best suited for college, based on the hope of going to medical school? Does it really matter as long as you take your pre-reqs.? or should you stay more into science and math? or is pre-med a good major to take?

Advice appreciated.
 

ksmi117

GEAUX TIGERS!!!
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2008
21,960
179
Status
Resident [Any Field]
You can major in whatever you want as long as you take the pre-reqs. The only thing that might make a science degree more desirable is that you'd have to take no classes outside of what is already required for the degree. If you do something like music, you'll have to use your elective credits on the pre-req courses, but it's def. worth it IMO.

Actually, I think you should stay away from a "pre-med" major. It's totally not transferable to another job, and I'm fairly certain that it is looked upon as easier than a biology degree, so if you want a pre-med degree, just go with biology like most everyone else. But if you want more out of your college experience, major in anything: music, political science, underwater basket weaving, whatever interests you.
 

fMRI

10+ Year Member
Dec 30, 2008
189
0
Status
MD/PhD Student
Doesn't matter, major in what you're interested in. Get your pre-reqs done (and do well in them) and it won't make a difference.

Correct.

Major in whatever you love most. If you enjoy it, you'll get better grades more easily, thus better your chances of getting into med school.
How about majoring in your "other love" subject? Say, what would you do if there were no more medical schools to go to? What would the alternative be, for you?

If it is a language with a minor in science and your alternative would be heading to journalism grad school, do that. It is NOT a back-up plan, think of it as your other academic love. ;) Do all the pre-reqs and ECs and you'll end up as a "well-rounded" applicant. :D
 

EyEnStein 07

Senior ɸ Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2008
837
5
East Coast
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Pre-Med is not a major...its just a program or a pathway that shows you what classes you need to take. You can technically be "pre-med" whether you are a biochem major or a business major.
 

Narmerguy

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2007
6,878
1,298
Pre-Med is not a major...its just a program or a pathway that shows you what classes you need to take. You can technically be "pre-med" whether you are a biochem major or a business major.
Not true. Some schools have a "pre med" major. It's uncommon but still present.

OP, I'd listen to the conventional wisdom of doing what you're most interested in and thus more likely to do well in. However, I also submit that you consider doing a non-science major. Many medical schools are looking to diversify their classes and it's an easy way to have something different to talk about in interviews/essays than the usual "and then I pipetted 20mL of blah blah blah" If you don't have a sincere interest in something non-science than don't do it. But if you do, I'd defintely go for it. You'll see plenty of science in med school and the added benefit from having a science degree is nominal at best.
 
OP
JustK

JustK

Doc in 2025 or so...
Jun 11, 2009
50
0
Illinois
Status
Pre-Medical
Ok so mainly I should take something totally unrelated to medical or something that involves around medicine like biochem, biology, etc. ?

I know this may sound like a silly question, but what are the classes you need to take for your pre-reqs?

Just trying to learn.

Thanks to all who responded.
 
Jul 25, 2009
9
0
Status
Non-Student
What i think they're trying to say is get a major that interests you (can be anything) just take pre-requisitites.
Like i had this dilemma too. would i have to dedicate the four year to sciences but i learnt that you can major in anything that makes you happy and be on top still. It makes me want to be a doctor even more.
I think i want to major in african history/medicine or something similar and that could give me a good opportunity to work in Africa or maybe go back to my home country jamaica and be a doctor for a while.
It's kind of an incentive majoring in something you like.
 
Dec 21, 2008
1,291
14
Status
Attending Physician
Ok so mainly I should take something totally unrelated to medical or something that involves around medicine like biochem, biology, etc. ?
They're saying that you shouldn't feel as if you're confined to science majors in order to prepare for medical school. If you enjoy Spanish, major in Spanish and make sure to take all the prereqs. If you enjoy biochemistry, major in biochemistry. In other words, major in whatever you want while making sure to take the prereqs.

I know this may sound like a silly question, but what are the classes you need to take for your pre-reqs?
Typically, the commonly-shared prerequisites are one year of general chemistry w/ lab, one year of organic chemistry w/ lab, one year of biology w/ lab, and one year of physics w/ lab. Other classes (math, social sciences, and humanities) may also be required, depending on the school.
 

EyEnStein 07

Senior ɸ Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2008
837
5
East Coast
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Not true. Some schools have a "pre med" major. It's uncommon but still present.
ok...but yeah its not very common...and besides....what is the point of going for a pre-med major? it rules you out of everything as opposed to if you majored in history, business, chemistry, bio as examples. I think everyone should have backups for degrees (incase they want grad school and stuff) and even if "Pre-Med" does allow you to go onto a masters program....its probably mostly bio classes they took in this major and if science is the real interest then Bio or something would probably be better.

By the way...i tried to google it but can you give me a school that has a pre-med major? would like to read up on the type of stuff it offers. So far all the results i received were Pre-Med with "Physics, Bio, Chem" option.
 

NickNaylor

Thank You for Smoking
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
May 22, 2008
16,804
7,595
Deep in the heart of Texas
Status
Attending Physician
Ok so mainly I should take something totally unrelated to medical or something that involves around medicine like biochem, biology, etc. ?

I know this may sound like a silly question, but what are the classes you need to take for your pre-reqs?

Just trying to learn.

Thanks to all who responded.
You have to look at the websites of individual schools to know exactly what the pre-reqs are, but here's a fairly general list that is true of nearly all schools:

-2 semesters of biology (with lab)
-2 semesters of chemistry (with lab)
-2 semesters of physics (with lab)
-2 semesters of organic chemistry (with lab)
-one or two classes of English

Many schools will add courses onto this list, but that's a fairly normal set of pre-reqs.
 

Narmerguy

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2007
6,878
1,298
ok...but yeah its not very common...and besides....what is the point of going for a pre-med major? it rules you out of everything as opposed to if you majored in history, business, chemistry, bio as examples. I think everyone should have backups for degrees (incase they want grad school and stuff) and even if "Pre-Med" does allow you to go onto a masters program....its probably mostly bio classes they took in this major and if science is the real interest then Bio or something would probably be better.

By the way...i tried to google it but can you give me a school that has a pre-med major? would like to read up on the type of stuff it offers. So far all the results i received were Pre-Med with "Physics, Bio, Chem" option.
I'm not disagreeing that it's a stupid major to choose but that it would be a stupid major to choose would require there to be a major to choose in the first place.

Eh I'm not sure what schools offer it, I've really only paid attention in passing to brochures/websites etc that I saw when I was applying to colleges.

Edit: For those who were considering majoring in something outside of a science, here's an article you might find of interest. It highlights some of the advantages of such a major.

http://www.butler.edu/sts/?pg=4266&parentID=4265

Below is another article as well.

http://www.yaledailynews.com/articles/view/13924

Just pick what you enjoy while acknowledging that you'll have to take the prereqs no matter what. Feel free.
 
Last edited:

Rendar5

15+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2003
6,999
625
Florida
Status
Attending Physician
some schools require 1 semester of biochem, and some require 1 semester of statistics.

I didn't take either and it didn't affect me whatsoever. Also, biochem is not really that useful in school (you learn enough from bio pre-req and in studying for MCAT), and statistics is mildly useful (for understanding clinical research and epidemiology). So take those classes if you have an interest and time to spare, don't if you don't.
 
OP
JustK

JustK

Doc in 2025 or so...
Jun 11, 2009
50
0
Illinois
Status
Pre-Medical
Few more questions..

I read that the pre-med major is just a program that guides you...so is it an actual major per say?

Does anyone know of any good websites that feature majors and explain them?

In what order does the testing go that you have to take, SAT.. MCAT etc..

Thanks.
Much appreciated.
 
Dec 21, 2008
1,291
14
Status
Attending Physician
Few more questions..

1. I read that the pre-med major is just a program that guides you...so is it an actual major per say?

2. Does anyone know of any good websites that feature majors and explain them?

3. In what order does the testing go that you have to take, SAT.. MCAT etc..

Thanks.
Much appreciated.
Added numbers to make answers easier to write.

1. "Pre-med" isn't usually a major at undergraduate institutions, and even if it was, you'd be better off not roping yourself off under such a category. The best advice I can give is to choose a major that you like, take the medical prerequisites, and declare yourself as a student interested in the health professions. That way, your advisors will be aware of your academic intentions and (hopefully) keep you updated on what you need to be doing throughout undergrad to put yourself in a good position when the application cycle rolls around.

3. You take your SAT junior year in high school, your MCAT (ideally) during your junior year in college before AMCAS opens up its primary application for the cycle you'll be applying for (if you plan on trying to get in right after graduating), your USMLE Step I late to right after your second year of medical school, your USMLE Step II after your fourth year of medical school, and your USMLE Step III after first year of residency, I believe.

You probably weren't that interested in the USMLE exam times, but I thought I'd throw it in there for good measure.
 

DrYoda

Space Cowboy
10+ Year Member
Jun 22, 2008
13,817
109
Dagobah System
Status
Attending Physician
Does anyone know of any good websites that feature majors and explain them?
Your best bet for this is probably university websites. They will tell you the required classes (which will differ some between universities), and commonly will have some info on possible career opportunities with that degree.
 

Narmerguy

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2007
6,878
1,298
Your best bet for this is probably university websites. They will tell you the required classes (which will differ some between universities), and commonly will have some info on possible career opportunities with that degree.
Wikipedia also isn't a bad place to start if you have absolutely no idea what a major entails :shrug: