bobbyjoey

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I'm not sure if this thread is in the right place so...

Anyways, as an student interested in entering med school, I've been wondering which of the following majors would allow me: a better chance of a higher GPA, time for EC's, time to cover all of pre-reqs, time for MCAT, oh and did I mention higher GPA?

BME, Biochem, Neuroscience, Psychology, etc..feel free to name any other majors.

Having noticed that adcoms won't take increased rigor of a major as an excuse for a low GPA, I've decided that this (high GPA) is one of the most important, if not the most important factor to be a competitive applicant. Another bonus is that I would have extra time to focus on my EC's, application etc. (basically everything to make me a competitive applicant) which would be a direct result of having a *not as intense* major.

Any other tips of advice or "true stories" would be greatly appreciated!
 

NotASerialKiller

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Any engineering degree is notoriously hard. Not for everyone, but as a rule harder.

Other than that you'll do best in whatever program you find genuinely interesting. Sorry but there's no "Ice Cream and Puppies" degree for you to breeze through with straight As and no effort.
 

Doudline

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It depends on your work ethic. One can be successful in any major.

That being said, to maximize your odds if you are unsure of yourself... think twice before choosing engineering, physics, or mathematics. Everything else is fair game.

More than anything, do something you love. Don't come into college with blinders on, thinking medical school is the only path. You have a knack for mathematics? Perhaps a degree in it will be easier for you than a degree in sociology. And perhaps you will discover that there are better options than medicine out there for you.
 
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The thing you are most interested in learning about will, in most cases, translate to the highest GPA, because you'll be more motivated to study for it and thus will be more likely to do well. Just make sure whatever it is, you'll be able to squeeze your pre-reqs in there as well.
 
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GiveMeThatMD

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Basically every person who walks onto our UG campus with Pre-Med in mind is shoved along the Microbiology major path. TONS of classes overlap for MCAT use (Cell Bio, Genetics, 'ology classes, etc...) and it isn't the most difficult thing in the world. Whatever works, tbh. Psychology majors tend to have the highest GPA of the lot of Pre-Meds.
 

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You're going to excel (and get that high GPA) when you major in what you are passionate about. You might take soc101 your freshman year and be intrigued by urban poverty trends, and graduate with a degree in social work with a 3.9 GPA and 300 volunteer hours with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Be open to everything and find a niche. Everything will fall into place. x
 
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gonnif

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Any engineering degree is notoriously hard. Not for everyone, but as a rule harder.

Other than that you'll do best in whatever program you find genuinely interesting. Sorry but there's no "Ice Cream and Puppies" degree for you to breeze through with straight As and no effort.
Actually Cornell College of Life Science has a food science and pre-vet program. The fresh campus-made ice cream is outstanding. And a photo of an applicant smiling with a puppy would just look so wonderful to and adcom
 
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gyngyn

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Actually Cornell College of Life Science has a food science and pre-vet program. The fresh campus-made ice cream is outstanding. And a photo of an applicant smiling with a puppy would just look so wonderful to and adcom
We don't fall for those! Same goes for goats, cats and small children...
 
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GiveMeThatMD

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On the serious for a second... maybe it's just speculation, but I did hear adcoms somewhat prefer majors outside of science such as Music/Business/Education. It adds a great deal of diversity! That does tack on a little extra work outside the major itself for pre-reqs, but it sure does stand out!
 

Glazedonutlove

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On the serious for a second... maybe it's just speculation, but I did hear adcoms somewhat prefer majors outside of science such as Music/Business/Education. It adds a great deal of diversity! That does tack on a little extra work outside the major itself for pre-reqs, but it sure does stand out!
I don't know about prefer..those majors don't have much of an advantage over typical premed majors.

As long as you take enough science classes to show med schools you are capable of performing well in med school, you should be okay.
Also according to AAMC survey, the science gpa is more important than non science so keep that in mind--a 4.0 sgpa is more important than 4.0 in sociology
 

gonnif

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We don't give a rat's ass about what you major in, only that you do well.

Considering that the majority of med school applicants don't get into med school, pick a subject that you enjoy, and that might get help you land a job, because the odds of you going to med school are not in your favor!

I'm not sure if this thread is in the right place so...

Anyways, as an student interested in entering med school, I've been wondering which of the following majors would allow me: a better chance of a higher GPA, time for EC's, time to cover all of pre-reqs, time for MCAT, oh and did I mention higher GPA?

BME, Biochem, Neuroscience, Psychology, etc..feel free to name any other majors.

Having noticed that adcoms won't take increased rigor of a major as an excuse for a low GPA, I've decided that this (high GPA) is one of the most important, if not the most important factor to be a competitive applicant. Another bonus is that I would have extra time to focus on my EC's, application etc. (basically everything to make me a competitive applicant) which would be a direct result of having a *not as intense* major.

Any other tips of advice or "true stories" would be greatly appreciated!
 

gonnif

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Unless of course you used rats as part of a research project that you co-authored a paper on. Then a rat's ass might be worth something as in

Neuroprotective effects of electro acupuncture on hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in newborn rats Ass.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25410062
Alternatively,

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24597531

The urea cycle is important!

"Fischer rats had a greater increase in ASS relative to ALT"

"ASS appeared to increase early in some patients, and declined rapidly in all."
 
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Glazedonutlove

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We don't give a rat's ass about what you major in, only that you do well.

Considering that the majority of med school applicants don't get into med school, pick a subject that you enjoy, and that might get help you land a job, because the odds of you going to med school are not in your favor!
So ominous
 

gonnif

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Alternatively,

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24597531

The urea cycle is important!

"Fischer rats had a greater increase in ASS relative to ALT"

"ASS appeared to increase early in some patients, and declined rapidly in all."
I'm sorry what first come to mind was a bad spoof from a song in West Side Story

"Urea! I just met a cycle called Urea!"
 
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bobbyjoey

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Thanks for all the insight and thoughts, (i dunno about rats tho...)

Greatly appreciated!
 
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bobbyjoey

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Also just wondering what people here majored in, and maybe offer some advice on their choice of undergrad major was a key factor of your admittance to med school (e.x.ability to achieve a higher gpa, courses offered/intensity).

Or any other advice would be great.

Thanks
 

TaroBubbleTea

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Also just wondering what people here majored in, and maybe offer some advice on their choice of undergrad major was a key factor of your admittance to med school (e.x.ability to achieve a higher gpa, courses offered/intensity).

Or any other advice would be great.

Thanks
Under water basket weaving
 
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LizzyM

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Also just wondering what people here majored in, and maybe offer some advice on their choice of undergrad major was a key factor of your admittance to med school (e.x.ability to achieve a higher gpa, courses offered/intensity).

Or any other advice would be great.

Thanks
Haven't been admitted, but I'm running a biology/accounting double major. Did it because my university has a strong business program that preps students for various situations and because I had the time to. Not advisable if you don't have the desire to learn about business, but I've had plenty of fun doing it!
 
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Also just wondering what people here majored in, and maybe offer some advice on their choice of undergrad major was a key factor of your admittance to med school (e.x.ability to achieve a higher gpa, courses offered/intensity).

Or any other advice would be great.

Thanks
I.. also haven't been accepted yet, but I majored in General Studies, took classes to cover a wide range of interests, and did well enough to pursue a Master's in Biomedical Engineering at a highly ranked program. Like everyone is saying, figure out what motivates you and keep up with it. Recognize that your interests may change with time.
 
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frosted_flake

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Also just wondering what people here majored in, and maybe offer some advice on their choice of undergrad major was a key factor of your admittance to med school (e.x.ability to achieve a higher gpa, courses offered/intensity).

Or any other advice would be great.

Thanks
I majored in Biology. I hated it at first, but I was at the wrong school. I transferred, and am now at a better school (reputation wise, and many other factors) and I am so much happier! I truly do love what I am studying (embryology, molecular biology, genetics, human microbiology, biochemistry, etc.) I have not applied to med school yet, but will probably within the next cycle or two. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about being a bio major :)
 

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In my humble opinion as a former director of advising and currently a mental health counselor at a medical school, your major should reflect your interests, skills, and abilities, and adequately prepare you for the rigors of medical school. In medical school, you will be enrolled in courses that are unlike anything you have done before. I have heard the analogy that learning in medical school is like drinking from a fire hose, and I think that might not express the true nature of the learning environment in medical education. I recommend that you do not shy away from taking several difficult science courses concurrently as you will need the experience of having to manage your time, attention, motivation, and energy. Take MORE than the minimum requirement of courses. Take higher level anatomy and a medical terminology. Medical school does not wait for you to catch up. You must hit the ground running and maintain your best marathon pace throughout or you will not make it. You not only have to look good as a candidate, you have to BE a good candidate. The hard part is not getting in to medical school. The hard part is staying there.
 
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Dr.TonySoprano

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Neuroscience if your school recommends or requires Biochemistry as the psych classes will help for the new MCAT
 

Lucca

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In my humble opinion as a former director of advising and currently a mental health counselor at a medical school, your major should reflect your interests, skills, and abilities, and adequately prepare you for the rigors of medical school. In medical school, you will be enrolled in courses that are unlike anything you have done before. I have heard the analogy that learning in medical school is like drinking from a fire hose, and I think that might not express the true nature of the learning environment in medical education. I recommend that you do not shy away from taking several difficult science courses concurrently as you will need the experience of having to manage your time, attention, motivation, and energy. Take MORE than the minimum requirement of courses. Take higher level anatomy and a medical terminology. Medical school does not wait for you to catch up. You must hit the ground running and maintain your best marathon pace throughout or you will not make it. You not only have to look good as a candidate, you have to BE a good candidate. The hard part is not getting in to medical school. The hard part is staying there.
Just here to say that this is a good post but the last line is just false. Medical schools have a 99% graduation rate or something ridiculous and very few people drop for academic reasons. If you want to say the hard part is ensuring that you come out on the other side as a whole person, unshaded, optimistic and still willing to work very hard in spite of now understanding all of the downsides of medicine? Sure, I'll grant you that but the bottleneck is definitely at medical school, we are rejecting candidates who could make it through by the hundreds if not thousands every year.
 
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A few things to consider:

I discovered that in some universities preferences are given to certain majors when it comes to registration for major requirements vs electives. e.g. If you are a bio major and a class in biochem is full they will give bio/science majors wait list preference or consider opening up another section if enough majors (who required it specifically) were interested but wouldn't for non-science majors.

Also consider the impact on your gpa. Majors vary greatly in number of weed out classes and across universities. Some Engineering classes like Statics & Dynamics can have an avg grade of C or D and many F's. I was an engineering major my first time through (years ago) and many of the classes had only a mid-term and final. 4 questions each and no partial credit, miss 1 question and you get a 75 (C), miss 2 and a 50. I was proud of making a C in some of the classes, because I killed myself for it and most others made lower. Taking 4 weed out courses a semester is tough! Deciding whether to drop a class at midterm was a challenge, so many stuck it out and earned an F, which kills the science gpa fast.

My second time though I majored in psychology. In most undergrad psychology classes A's and B's are the norm and if you bomb 1 test there are often 3 or 4 more w/20 questions each. That also gives you time to focus on the med school reqs.

Ultimately, most med schools I've found don't seem to care about the major, as long as you have and do well in the required courses. So do what you enjoy, learn to study hard, and make A's in the science classes! My science gpa w/o engineering courses would have been a 3.8 but with them it was a 3.44, I still was accepted though.

Best of Luck
 

ATStillSOMA

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Just here to say that this is a good post but the last line is just false. Medical schools have a 99% graduation rate or something ridiculous and very few people drop for academic reasons. If you want to say the hard part is ensuring that you come out on the other side as a whole person, unshaded, optimistic and still willing to work very hard in spite of now understanding all of the downsides of medicine? Sure, I'll grant you that but the bottleneck is definitely at medical school, we are rejecting candidates who could make it through by the hundreds if not thousands every year.
Actually the graduation rate for medical students completing their program in 4 years has been around 80-85%. It goes up to 96% within 10 years (who wants to be in medical school for 10 years?!). But yes, that's what I meant: when a medical school loses a student, it's usually not because they couldn't handle the material. There are other factors involved. Depression, anxiety and stress can all become barriers to graduating "on-time" or at all. My point was, don't be fooled into thinking that med school is smooth sailing once you get admitted. You have to prepare on an emotional level as much as on an academic one. Anticipate that it will be difficult, but believe that you can manage it and develop the study, time management, and mood management skills before you get there.
 

leonardoson

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I went into my current college as a Bio major, classic pre-med move. 3 weeks into my physics course, talking to other physics majors and physics professors I'm now a physics major. Why? well everything i want to know about BIO is in the med school curriculum. The required ecology and zoology classes seemed stupid and mind numbing to me. Yes, the bio major works the best for covering all the requirements for med school, but I wanted to take the chance learn some cool stuff I wouldn't be able to otherwise. Also, a physics degree will teach me problem solving skills and enhance the way I sift through information and figure things out. I imagine that will help my ability to think as a doctor. Oh, and do you really want to be another cookie cutter bio pre-med??? :shrug:
 

gonnif

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Actually the graduation rate for medical students completing their program in 4 years has been around 80-85%. It goes up to 96% within 10 years (who wants to be in medical school for 10 years?!). But yes, that's what I meant: when a medical school loses a student, it's usually not because they couldn't handle the material. There are other factors involved. Depression, anxiety and stress can all become barriers to graduating "on-time" or at all. My point was, don't be fooled into thinking that med school is smooth sailing once you get admitted. You have to prepare on an emotional level as much as on an academic one. Anticipate that it will be difficult, but believe that you can manage it and develop the study, time management, and mood management skills before you get there.
For MD, the 4 year rate is about 82%, 5 year rate is just under 94%. More than half of those taking 5 years are those doing additional work, such as research, to be more competitive for competitive residency programs. The 8 year graduation rate, which accounts for dual degree programs, is just shy of 97%. (there is no appreciable increase in graduation rate after 8 years). Once a medical school accepts you, they have a vested interest in seeing you graduate from both the moral responsibility to produce physicians and the accreditation impact of having 5% long-term non-graduation rate.
 
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ditritium monoxide

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Major in whatever you like, but even if you think you'd be good at or like engineering...do NOT do it. Sure, you could earn a very high GPA, but this GPA could have come much more easily from any other major. I was BME very briefly for freshman year, but I had always loved chemistry, so I decided to switch into it, and it is so much less of a time commitment than BME would have been.

And if you think you'd be fit for engineering, I'm sure you'd be fit for at least one of the science majors as well.
 
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We really, really don't care.
We happily accept students with every known major and a few I've never heard of.

Your major is for you, not for us.

I believe that adcoms really don't care. I wonder, do you all even really notice? Is it just a glance of, "Ah, history major, now what's he got?"
 
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To echo what others have said: a major you like and something you can do well in.

I will also say it's helpful to major in something that gives you a back up route. Engineering, CS, Math, Accounting, Nursing, etc. However, most STEM majors are going to be a lot of work. Also, if med school doesn't work out for you, you could always do a second bachelors or masters in something else--if you majored in something that didn't give you a backup. I know some Masters in ChemE programs will accept people with Chemistry degrees--for example.
 

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I honestly wish I followed my guts and majored in chemical engineering. I got scared about my GPA (which still sucks) but I think I would've enjoyed myself a lot more than strictly biology. Because if I didn't get into med school, I would would have love to go into cosmetic industry.
 
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I went into my current college as a Bio major, classic pre-med move. 3 weeks into my physics course, talking to other physics majors and physics professors I'm now a physics major. Why? well everything i want to know about BIO is in the med school curriculum. The required ecology and zoology classes seemed stupid and mind numbing to me. :shrug:

This is very true. I think some high school aspiring premeds think that if they major in bio, they'll be taking upper division classes that they'll love just like they loved their high school bio classes. Furthermore, they think those upper division (non premed prereq) courses will *really* help them with the MCAT.

Major in what you love and will do well in. You won't do well if you, like the poster above, hate the ecology and zoology classes required as a bio major.
 

leonardoson

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This is very true. I think some high school aspiring premeds think that if they major in bio, they'll be taking upper division classes that they'll love just like they loved their high school bio classes. Furthermore, they think those upper division (non premed prereq) courses will *really* help them with the MCAT.

Major in what you love and will do well in. You won't do well if you, like the poster above, hate the ecology and zoology classes required as a bio major.
My pre-med advisor warned me against my move in major because of this. I shrugged her off since she was telling me to take stats for the mcat. :whoa: