Which pre-med major will give me the best chance at getting into medical school?
If you’re looking for a fast track to graduation, a degree in the sciences will likely allow you to count your pre-med classes towards your major’s requirements. If you choose a “non-traditional” pre-med major you’ll have to double up your course load—taking your major classes while also satisfying the pre-med requirements. Most medical schools don’t really care what you choose as your major as long as you take the required pre-med classes. It helps, though, if you like science and math!
What floats your boat?
Far more important than the pre-med major you choose is what you do to explore your interests and make serious academic accomplishments while you’re an undergraduate. Doing that won’t be easy if you’re stuck in a major you chose because you thought it would look good on an application. Plain and simple, you won’t be motivated to excel in it, you won’t eat, drink, and sleep it, it’ll be a means to end. And so, likely, in the end, you’ll have a lot less to show for your undergrad years.The same goes for those of you who’ve decided you want to be physicians, but have interests and passions in subjects other than the hard sciences.
Just like the folks who choose non-traditional majors to impress adcoms, if you choose a science pre-med major just because it seems like that’s what most premeds do, you’re going to find yourself bored and burned out with too many classes you don’t really love. And then, again, you’re not likely to really throw yourself into big projects or spend time outside of class expanding your mind.
I have to end by reminding every student out there who’s a sophomore or below, that the 2015 MCAT has a more rigorous set of requirements for coursework, and that may mean choosing something in the science realm will be more of the norm in the future. At least it suggests exceptional planning from your first day of college in order to fit everything in!
The verdict on “The Best Pre-Med Major”:
Your undergraduate years are a time to discover yourself and what you love. Take a few classes in fields you find intriguing, give it some serious thought, and make a choice you can be happy with. If you want to get in-and-out in four years (or close to it), it’s going to have to be science-related so your major/required classes are one and the same!