Undergraduate Major

taechris

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Ummm. I don't know where to start. To be a doctor, what should a person major in as an undergraduate?

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you should major in
1) what you can get good grades in
2) what can get you a good job as a backup
3) what you are interested in

I see. So even if I were to try and be a regular old doctor I could major in... Psychology or something along that line?
 
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I see. So even if I were to try and be a regular old doctor I could major in... Psychology or something along that line?

Definitely :thumbup: A friend of mine who is now in medical school double majored in art history and biology, and the interviewer for the school she attends now found the art history more interesting than the bio major.
 
Definitely :thumbup: A friend of mine who is now in medical school double majored in art history and biology, and the interviewer for the school she attends now found the art history more interesting than the bio major.

Is there a process for majoring?
 
Is there a process for majoring?


You have to complete all the required classes set by the school. (Such as here: http://www.biology.wisc.edu/Academic_Programs/Biology/ )The school requires 31 credits of biological coursework plus the college requirements for a degree in either their natural sciences or bachelors of science. Those are not the requirements for every college, it changes (but they are all similar).
 
Holy Crap. 31 Credits? Ohhhh snap. And I thought college was laid back fun =.=
 
Bottom line, major in what you enjoy learning about and what you can market once you graduate if you don't get into med school. If you like computers, do computer science or computer engineering. If you like to teach do elementary education or something like that. Just don't major in something that is absolutely useless to society or has no marketability. Trust me, these are tough times.
 
Holy Crap. 31 Credits? Ohhhh snap. And I thought college was laid back fun =.=
You think 31 credits is tough?
You will be required to complete 90 credits to apply to medical schools and 120 credits to receive your bachelor's degree.
 
Holy Crap. 31 Credits? Ohhhh snap. And I thought college was laid back fun =.=

31 Credits may even make it sound light, because I did not list the other part of the requirement... In full it looks like this:

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR
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In addition to fulfilling all university and college requirements, students must fulfill the following requirements for the biology major.

All L&S students must fulfill the college requirement of at least 15 credits of upper-level work in the major completed in residence. All intermediate/advanced biology courses listed below under items 5 and 6 count toward this requirement.

1. MATHEMATICS
Math 171 Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry I (5 cr) and
Math 217 Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry II (5 cr) OR
Math 221 Calculus and Analytic Geometry (5 cr)

AND

Math 222 Calculus and Analytic Geometry (5 cr) OR
Stat 301 Introduction to Statistical Methods (3 cr) OR
Stat 371 Introduction to Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences (3 cr)

2. CHEMISTRY
A. GENERAL CHEMISTRY
Chem 103-104 General Chemistry (4 cr, 5 cr) OR
Chem 109 Advanced General Chemistry (5 cr)
B. ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Chem 343 Introductory Organic Chemistry (3 cr) and
Chem 344 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory (2 cr) and
Chem 345 Intermediate Organic Chemistry (3 cr)
3. PHYSICS
Physics 103 and 104 General Physics (4 cr each) OR Physics 201 and 202 General Physics (5 cr each) OR Physics 207 or 208 General Physics (5 cr each)

The total number of credits in sections 4, 5, and 6 must equal at least 31 credits.

4. INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY COURSES
Option A:
Biology/Botany/Zoology 151-152 Introductory Biology (5 cr each); plus one foundational course

Option B:
Biocore/Biology 301 Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics (3 cr); 303 Cellular Biology (3 cr); 323 Organismal Biology (3 cr); 333 Biological Interactions (3 cr)
AND two of the following laboratory courses:
Biocore/Biology 302 Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics Laboratory (2 cr); 304 Cellular Biology Laboratory; 324 Organismal Biology Laboratory (2 cr)

Option C:
Biology/Zoology 101 Animal Biology (3 cr); Biology/Zoology 102 Animal Biology Laboratory (2 cr); Biology/Botany 130 General Botany (5 cr); plus one foundational course

Foundational Courses:
Agronomy 338: Plant Breeding and Biotechnology
Botany/Genetics/Zoology 466 General Genetics
Biochem 501 Introduction to Biochemistry
Bmolchem 503 Human Biochemistry
Microbio 370 Bacterial Genetics

5. INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED BIOLOGY COURSES (13 CREDITS MINIMUM)
A minimum of three courses (at least 13 credits) at the intermediate/advanced level, selected from three of the five areas listed below, are needed to satisfy the biology breadth requirement. These courses must include at least one lab or field course with three hours or more per week of laboratory/field instruction. At least one course must be from category a or b and at least one course must be from category c or d. The course or courses used to satisfy any category must be at least, or add up to, 2 credits. The third course may be selected from any of the five categories not previously chosen. The course or courses used to satisfy any category must be at least, or add up to, 2 credits. Overall the courses taken should span plant, animal, and microbial biology topics.

Cellular and Subcellular Biology
Organismal Biology
Ecology
Evolution and Systematics
Applied Biology, Agriculture and Natural Resources
For course lists, see this link.

6. LABORATORY OR FIELD RESEARCH EXPERIENCE (2 CREDITS MINIMUM)
Additional laboratory or field research experience is required. Any directed study or research-based senior thesis in a biological science discipline can count, but at least 2 credits must be taken after completing one year of college biology. This requirement can be fulfilled with one or more intermediate/advanced laboratory or field biology courses involving a total of at least 3 hours/week of lab or field instruction beyond that done for requirement 5. "Hours/week" refers to a normal 16-week semester and courses taken in other formats may be substituted where the total time commitment is equivalent. With advisor approval, this requirement also meets the CALS capstone experience. The credits taken for requirements 5 and 6 must total at least 15 and satisfy college requirements for 15 credits in the major in residence.

And there are more requirements that have to be fulfilled as well, but I am unable to access that section of the course catalog.
 
I know I asked this before, but does that mean it doesn't matter at all what I should major in? I can still be a doctor with any undergraduate major?
 
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I know I asked this before, but does that mean it doesn't matter at all what I should major in? I can still be a doctor with any undergraduate major?

Yep, you can major in anything you'd like (as long as you do the required prerequisites for medical school).
 
I know I asked this before, but does that mean it doesn't matter at all what I should major in? I can still be a doctor with any undergraduate major?

I know philosophy majors and dance majors that are now in medical school. Go with what you're interested in and can succeed in academically, which are very often related.
 
I know I asked this before, but does that mean it doesn't matter at all what I should major in? I can still be a doctor with any undergraduate major?

couple things, while in undergrad, I strongly believed this (almost switched to fine arts major in fact, because I love that) but I realize now, if you get a bunch of upper level science classes under your belt, first 2 years of medical school will be significantly easier than if you majored in say history, although it might be of more interest to you, history (or whatever non-science) major may not necessarily get you into the mindset of a physician-scientist. Some may argue well if you are great at sciences, then you wouldn't be an interesting applicant, or good doctor in terms of bedside manner...well from experience I think every medical student I've ever met is extremely interesting no matter what they have majored in. And also, the bed side manner is easy, no need to major in communication or psychology to be good at that. Just my 2 cents
 
After reading the book "Getting into Medical School" this is what I learned:

Science majors have a lower chance of getting into medical school but have a higher science GPA.
As an undergrad study what interests you. If you don't know what you want to major in go in as an undeclared major. That's what I'm putting on my college applications.
Medical schools don't care what you major in, they only care if you got A's in your pre-medical courses and have a GPA of 4.75 or higher.
 
to taechris- as already mentioned you should major in what you have a passion for while completing pre-requiste courses for medical school. the reason why most students major in bio or science related classes is because these classes offer pre-requisite courses for medical school. so students can save time and money by majoring in bio/science related classes. but, again, major what you enjoy and want to learn in college while completing pre-requisite courses :)
 
So should you double major - one in bio/science and one in the other area that interest you- so that you have a better chance of getting into a med school that you want to enroll?:eyebrow:
 
It really doesn't matter what you major in. Just as long as you do well on the prerequisite classes:
2 semesters Biology
2 semesters Chemistry
2 semesters Physics
2 semesters Math (i.e., Statistics and/or Calculus)
2 semesters English Composition.

Some med schools may also require an additional psychology class and/or upper-division bio course such as Biomchemistry or Microbiology, but you just have to check with admissions.

Bottom line, you should have ideally a 3.65 GPA or above on these pre-requisite classes above if you want to have a good chance of getting into an allopathic (M.D. granting) med school in the U.S.

I would major in whatever study you think you'd be strong in, so you'd have the highest GPA in that major as well. You'll know from what classes came easier for you in high school (history? spanish? physics? chemistry? bio? government? english? calculus?)

Hope this helped!
 
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