Pre-med major that offers the best chance of getting into medical school
It is somewhat surprising that a large percentage of pre-med students choose non-science majors. In fact, the AAMC identified the top five undergrad majors for pre-meds in 2016-2017 as (1) Biological Sciences; (2) Other; (3) Social Sciences; (4) Physical Sciences; and (5) Humanities. Two out of five is a healthy representation among the non-sciences.
How does one go about choosing a pre-med major?
If you’re looking for a fast track to graduation, a degree in the sciences will likely allow you to count your major’s requirements towards the required classes for pre-med. If you choose a “non-traditional” pre-med major you’ll have to double up your course load—taking major classes while also satisfying pre-med requirements.
With the new MCAT’s more rigorous set of requirements for coursework, choosing a major in the science realm has become more of the norm. Exceptional planning from your first day of college is needed now to fit everything in four years! A major in the non-science realm will likely add an extra semester (or year) to your time as an undergrad.
What floats your boat?
You’ve probably heard rumors that choosing a non-traditional pre med major like, say, English or Anthropology or History, will improve your chances of getting into med school because it will lead admissions committees to think you’re more well-rounded. There may be something to that, but it’s a terrible criteria for picking a major. Most medical schools don’t really care what you choose for your major as long as you take the required pre-med classes. (It helps if you like science and math!)
Far more important than the pre-med major you choose is that you make serious academic achievements as an undergraduate, and take the time to explore your interests. Doing so will be tough if you’re stuck in a major that might 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 only be a means to end. And so you’ll have a lot less to show for your undergrad years.
Whether you choose a non-traditional major or science-based major, if the reason is flimsy (to impress the adcoms or to be like everyone else), you’re going to get bored and burned out with classes you hate. And you’re not likely to throw yourself into big projects or spend time outside of class expanding your mind. So choose a pre-med major that floats your boat!
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, and then 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!
Ask any admissions committee member the top five factors in med school acceptance and the answer is GPA, MCAT score, extracurriculars, personal statement and letters of recommendation. You can dominate all five whether you choose a science or non-science major.