A lot of times we hear students express interest in becoming doctors and so they look for that major that will best prepare them for their goals.  More times than not, they choose Pre-Med as their major.  There is only one problem.  Pre-Med is not a major.

Pre-Med is what a student declares to let the University know of his/her intentions to go on to med school after they get their undergraduate degreee.  The student would still need to declare a major and that could be any major as long as the student is taking the necessary pre-requisites to get into med school.

Some people believe that you have to major in Biology to get in to med school and that is not true.  While Biology is a great major to prepare you for the sciences you will face once in med school, it is also good to have a back up plan in the event you change your mind about going to med school once you graduate.  I knew of a young man that had planned on going to med school his whole college career and even majored in Biology.  It wasn’t until after he graduated and even had taken the MCAT that he decided he did not want to be a doctor.  What now?  This young man did not want to do research and nor did he want to teach, which were his two best career choices with an undergrad in Biology.  After working several odd jobs for two years he finally found something he enjoyed but probably could have landed that job earlier if he had a different major.

My point is to have a backup plan.  If you want to go into med school and you are 130% convinced that you will not waiver from that goal then go for a major in the sciences if that is what you enjoy.  If you are not too fond of the sciences and think there is a slim possibility you might change your mind then I would suggest possibly majoring in something that might rival your interest in pursuing medicine.

Let’s just say that you decide to major in Business, you still plan on pursuing medicine, you have a 3.87 GPA when you graduate, a 4.0 in all your prerequisites for med school and you have a fairly high MCAT score.  A friend of yours, who plans on pursuing medicine too, majored in Biology, has a 3.1 GPA, a 2.8 in all the prerequisites for med school and has an average MCAT score.  Don’t you think you have a better chance of being considered for med school?  Of course you do.  Now all you have to do is nail your interview.

I hope that this helps explain some of the confusion that comes with Pre-Med.  I am sure that does not answer all the questions that are out there but it is a start. Also, you will find below what courses are required to sit for the MCAT.

2 semesters of Biology with lab
2 semesters of Physics with lab
2 semesters of Chemistry with lab
2 semesters of Organic Chemistry with lab
2 semesters of English
1 semester of Calculus

If you have any other questions post a comment with an email address and we will get back to you.

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