minor in spanish or chemistry

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2015
Reaction score
I'm trying to figure out my schedule for next year and I can't decide if I want to finish the spanish minor or the chemistry minor. I did volunteer work in Chile for 2 years where I was able to learn Spanish. When I got back to school, I took an exam that allowed me to pass out of 16 credits worth of spanish courses. If I decide to finish the minor, I will still need to take 5 more spanish courses along with finishing my Microbiology major which will require a very demanding senior year. If I minor in chemistry, I'll have time to take anatomy, and just a couple spanish classes, but not enough to finish the spanish minor. I heard that anatomy is somewhat helpful for preparing for med school and I have always been interested in learning it more in depth.

Is my minor even that important to med schools? If I'm already fluent in spanish, do I really need to get the minor? I'm leaning more towards the chem minor option that will allow me time to take anatomy and a couple spanish courses that interest me.

Members don't see this ad.
My understanding is that minors matter very little. If you have fluency then that's all that matters.

upper science courses, especially those that you will perform well in like anatomy, will only contribute to your science GPA. Unless you have a 4.0, I would say go with anatomy + classes you want to take (these will inevitably increase your GPA because you elected to take them with genuine interest versus part of requirements).

Also in anatomy I learned a lot. I am not in med school, but just going through it really helped me get into the paradigm that you have to operate in. And I learned that the vascular anatomy of the legs is no joke. and just put into perspective how much more I need to study in order to get on med school level. I also tested out of language requirements, but nothing for minor, just so I can free up my schedule.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
It doesn't matter at all, do what you like, but Spanish would be cool if it is actually building on your knowledge in other ways (you mention you are fluent, so more diverse classes are probably needed). I knew nothing about anatomy before med school and I honored it. I thought about chemistry grad school so I liked that was my major but I wish I would have just done something in the liberal arts or even math/physics, something that is interesting. I wouldn't even bother with the microbio haha but I don't know how you really feel about it compared to other options. All relevant info will be drilled into your head in med school anyway.
Members don't see this ad :)
Anatomy in undergrad will not prepare you for med school. Not even close. If you still want to take it for your own interest knock yourself out.

Being bilingual is a huge asset and I honestly think it's the reason I was accepted early decision at a great school. I was a double major in biology and spanish.

Having the degree is a guarantee that it will be noticed. It is very easy to overlook the small checkbox for fluency. This is less applicable if you are Hispanic. But me, I'm as white as copy paper and unless I tell someone there is no way I'm getting pegged as bilingual. It's funny sometimes how the nurses freak out "dr. organ donor you can't go in there they don't speak English!!!" "I know. Thanks. Need me to translate for you?"

If you choose to not pursue the minor, I would be sure that your Spanish speaking ability stands out in other ways. Be that in your personal statement, back it up with some extracurriculars (inner city clinics would chomp at the bit to have a volunteer Spanish translator and it's great clinical experience) or whatever you choose.

To reiterate, being bilingual is a huge asset and you should flaunt it like you would a degree from Harvard, a 39 MCAT, or a 3.9 GPA. Certain schools it will be more positive than others.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
There's been many threads regarding minors.
Med school AdComs won't care about your minor. It's more about what you get out of the coursework involved in the minor. If you became fluent in Spanish without having to do the minor, no need to finish up the minor, I'd say. If in the process of taking courses on the Spanish language and culture, you ended up qualifying for a minor, well, good on you for getting a minor, but at the end of the day, the skill gained from such a minor would be what I imagine is what matters.
I became fluent in another language in college without getting a minor in that language (the minor would have required a couple extra courses on history and civilization of the region, which I wasn't too interested in to take up space in my schedule). AdComs were impressed, nonetheless.
We really don't care about your major (you should, though!)
We really, really don't care about minors.
We really, really care about communication skills and if you can speak Spanish you have just become useful in clinic and on the wards (whatever your deficits may be in other areas).
We'll teach you more anatomy than you'll ever need.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Thanks for all your help everyone! It sounds like I'll learn all the anatomy I will need to know during Med School. I love spanish and would like to take more courses to expound upon what I've learned, so I may just go for the minor. The one spanish class I took was pretty easy after picking up the language in Chile, so I don't think these other classes will be much harder. And to minor in chemistry, I really need just 1 more class, so perhaps I could do both! I will just have a busy senior year! I'm still playing around with my schedule.
Chemistry provides more research options and the option of getting a masters and/or PhD. Of course those aren't the only factors, but the are important if you might want to become a scientist, professor, or something similar, in addition or instead of, becoming a doctor.