A pre-med program is a course you take to qualify for medical school. The course may be a major in sciences, art, or humanities. There are numerous majors that a student can take, but certain majors work better than others, such as biology and chemistry. Not every major has to be difficult; some are easier than others and offer a pathway that can give you a more holistic college experience and knowledge.
Biology, chemistry, and other sciences are makers that can get you into med school, but they aren’t the only ones. If you would like to pursue another major to enter med school, you can choose more accessible disciplines. Out of the available options, four majors help get you into med school.
Liberal arts degrees are an easy option for pre-med students to complete. Students need to keep med school prerequisite courses in mind for the medical program they want to apply to eventually. A liberal arts major will likely not offer all the required prerequisite courses, so a student will have to take some courses separately. You can consult with an advisor or inquire at the med school to find more information. Generally, they may ask for the following standard prerequisites:
- Inorganic or General Chemistry (With Labs)
- Organic Chemistry (With Labs)
- General Biology or Zoology (With Labs)
- Physics (With Labs)
- College-level Mathematics (Preferably Calculus or Statistics)
Liberal arts studies include majors in history, literature, sociology, psychology, writing, philosophy, creative arts, and more. The disciplines help you formulate compelling arguments, solve problems and communicate well.
Liberal arts give you a perspective that is important for diagnosis, as you can pick up what others may miss; keep in mind that medicine is a science and an art. It also helps students develop empathy, which is essential when you need patients to open up.
Doctors will find themselves in culturally and ethically sensitive situations, so recognizing and thriving in these situations will make the student a better doctor.
Humanities is the study of humanity; it includes disciplines like language, history, religion, art, law, philosophy, archeology, and anthropology. Like the liberal arts, humanities help you empathize and understand humans better. A patient is more than their symptoms; you will need to connect with them and understand their environment to diagnose.
Be aware that a humanities course may not have all the pre-med prerequisites you need. So consult with an advisor and your intended med school to learn what you need to add.
Biological science is the study of organisms from the micro to the macro scale. Biology sciences study living organisms (man, plants, bacteria, and animals) and their environment. It is by far the most popular pre-med major among students. Almost half of all students accepted into medical school have a biology major.
Its popularity is due to the subject matter, which lends itself well to what you will be studying in med school. The course may also have most of the science pre-med prerequisites you need for applications.
Academic strength is something med schools don’t compromise on. Your scores must be very high for any med school to consider your application. They have minimum GPA and MCAT scores that you must meet as part of your application process. If you struggle with your major or need to shore up your scores, take up some MCAT prep courses.
Social science is the study of communities and the relationships that they form. It gives students insights into how society works and all relationships in between. They help students develop critical thinking skills and enhance their social understanding. Doctors are key members of the community whose opinions society holds are highly regarded, so they must develop skills to become active, responsible, and reflective members of society.
Take the Scenic Route To Med School
Med schools look for diverse candidates, so you can approach them with any major as long as you have the prerequisites and high academic scores. If you are struggling with a major with a plan to get into med school, you should consider taking an easier one.
You can pursue a major that will appeal to your interests and possibly use it later in life; many new roles appear like medical writers (journalism majors). So the major you pick will give you more career options and make you a better doctor down the road.