Anything wrong with a non-science pre-med major?
Non-science pre-med major or not? These days, there is definitely much more pressure to choose a pre-med major that falls within the sciences. The reason is the new MCAT. It’s longer and more intensive, requiring more classes to cover all the material adequately. Which means pre-meds need to begin checking the boxes in their freshman year!
This also means that those who choose a pre-med major like English or Anthropology will likely have to spend five years instead of four getting their undergrad degree when you add non-science major classes to the required pre-med classes.
Medical schools will take an extra long look at someone who is well-rounded, in addition to having good grades. Which is why some pre-meds choose non-science majors. But trust me…you don’t have to choose a non-science pre-med major to be well-rounded. There are various ways to spice up your application, and a non-science major is only one option for diversifying your application. It’s a mistake to think one or two lines on your application will convince admissions committees you’re a super star.
Standing out academically
AdComs will look at your application as a whole, with an emphasis—for better or for worse—on your GPA (especially sGPA), MCAT score, and research experience…then your EC’s like shadowing, volunteering and work in medical settings, followed by an excellent personal statement and superb letters of recommendation. So, if you can accomplish all of those things—a great GPA, noteworthy MCAT score, research experience and some impressive EC’s—a non-science pre-med major is just one more thing to catch the admission’s committee’s attention.
Try to put yourself in the admission committee’s shoes. You pick up the application of a non-science pre-med major with a great GPA and MCAT scores and adequate research hours, but not much else. Then you move on to another applicant (science major) whose GPA, MCAT score and research hours are identical to the first, but they come with diverse healthcare experiences and unique volunteer exposure. Who would you invite for an interview?
Verdict on a non-science pre-med major
So the point is, a non-science pre-med major can add some diversity to your resume and application, but there are better ways to get noticed when it counts! A non-science major is only one way, among many, to spice up your resume. Finally, you do need to LOVE, love, love science if you want to succeed as a pre-med student and ultimately, as a doctor.
For more on this, and on how to prepare for medical school, see these posts: