Are you interested in becoming a doctor? If so, then you should be aware that medical schools value certain majors more than others. But which majors do medical schools prefer? And what is the best major for pre-med? In this article, we’ll explore the different majors that can help you prepare for medical school, as well as how to choose the best major for your career goals. So read on to learn more about the best majors for medical school.
What Majors Do Medical Schools Prefer?
When it comes to getting accepted into medical school, some college majors can give you an advantage. A new study analyzed the admissions rates of different majors between 2015 and 2017 and revealed that students with certain backgrounds have higher odds of getting accepted. Here’s what the research found.
For starters, amongst all academic fields, there are three that stand out with regards to admissions success. These academic groups, referred to as humanities, math and statistics and physical sciences, have the highest admission rates into medical school, with admissions rates greater than 40%.
Students majoring in humanities can expect an impressive 43% acceptance rate into medical school. This includes subjects such as history, English and philosophy among many others. Math & Statistics does even better at 48%, suggesting that quantitative and analytical skills are highly sought after by medical schools.
Finally, Physical Sciences bring up the rear but still manage an excellent 41% for admission rate. Majors like Chemistry, Physics and Biology are popular choices for medical school candidates due to their natural overlap with healthcare topics.
So if you’re looking to ace your admissions process this year consider doing one of these majors.
- Humanities: Leads the pack at a 43% acceptance rate.
- Math & Statistics: Has the second highest rate at 48%.
- Physical Sciences: Third highest at 41%
Which Degree Do Medical Schools Most Accept?
For those aspiring to apply to medical school, the acceptance rate for various majors can play an important role in choosing where to study and can even impact chances of success. Here is what prospective medical students should know in order to maximize their chances of acceptance:
- Biological Sciences– Biological sciences offer a 41.5% acceptance rate, making it one of the most popular fields when it comes to medical school admissions.
- Humanities – Humanities majors have an impressive 47.9% acceptance rate, making this education path a great option for many aspiring medical professionals.
- Math and Statistics – Math and statistics also offer a 45.6% chance of acceptance, making it almost as attractive as humanities for many applicants.
- Other Studies – The 39.8% acceptance rate for “other” studies suggests that with some careful research on the subject matter, many applicants will represent themselves well when applying to medical school.
- Physical Sciences – Physical sciences come in with an equally impressive 47.9% acceptance rate, suggesting that physical science majors can make a strong case when applying to medical school.
- Social Sciences – The acceptances rate for social sciences stands at 41.4%, giving those with a social sciences major confidence when applying to medical school.
- Specialized Health Sciences – The lowest acceptance rate of 38.9% is given to specialized health sciences majors. However, even for these students, the prospect of being accepted is still realistic if done with due diligence.
Biology Majors: Are Med Schools Impressed?
When applying to medical school, applicants with a background in the sciences, such as Biology, are often at an advantage. However, the latest report from the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) indicates that may not be the case.
Applicants from all pre-med majors actually fare similarly – what makes the difference is a strong GPA and MCAT scores. Even those who majored in biology will not have an admissions advantage over someone from another pre-med major with higher grades and scores.
The importance of a Biology major is instead in whether it helps or hurts an applicant against their competition. For instance, if a large proportion of other applicants majored in Biology as well, then it may be harder to stand out without it. But if very few applicants had Biology backgrounds, then having one could be quite useful in showcasing unique credentials.
That being said, mastering one’s medical school prerequisite courses is crucial to sucess regardless of major. In addition to having functional knowledge of key topics like anatomy and physiology, solid grades are needed to demonstrate your academic ability and commitment to a potential medical school.
- Focus on acing your classes
- Go for higher grades than needed minimums
- Read up on any unfamiliar material
Overall, the main takeaway from the AAMC report is that a Biology major should not been looked at as an admissions “hack” for getting into medical school. Rather than worrying about which major to choose, focus on cultivating a solid portfolio with excellent grades and MCAT scores.
Simplifying the Selection: The Easiest Major for Med School
Are you looking for a straight forward path to medical school but aren’t sure which major to choose? Many students are unsure of what groundwork to lay in order to succeed in their medical school pursuits. The biological sciences are often touted as the most convenient majors for pre-med students, including cell biology, molecular biology, and neuroscience.
These three majors offer several courses that map onto the typical prerequisites of medical school. This explains why nearly 60% of all applicants major in one of these disciplines. Graduates who major in these subjects may have an advantage when they apply to medical schools, as they will be ahead of their peers when it comes to having already completed some specific prerequisite courses.
If you’re set on a career in medicine, then it’s important to understand which scientific disciplines relate directly to one another. Courses like biochemistry, genetics, and anatomy can help build a strong foundation for your medical school application. Many doctors recommend taking statistics and physics courses as well, both of which play an important role in many fields within the healthcare industry.
Since taking the necessary courses is only one part of navigating the medical school admissions process, you should also make sure that you have other experiences that can set your application apart from the others. Extracurricular activities related to medicine or any volunteer experience can be invaluable assets.
In general, if you want to pursue a career in medicine then focusing on the biological sciences is a great choice. Not only will it help you prepare for entrance requirements and score higher on the MCATs, but it can also provide valuable connections with key individuals in the field that could be beneficial contacts once you enter medical school.
Benefits of Focusing on Biological Sciences:
- Overlap with Medical School Prerequisites
- Academic Preparation
- Increase Chances of Acceptance into Medical School
- Build Foundation for Health Care Career
- Increase Graduate Level Understanding of Biological Sciences
- Network within Medical Community
Getting Prepared: Identifying the Best Major for Pre-Med
Getting into medical school is a big undertaking, and requires plenty of planning ahead. One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is what major to pursue if you’re aiming for a pre-med path.
Biology or chemistry are both great choices for those looking to take their pre-med education further. Both fields have many useful applications in the medical field and provide excellent foundational knowledge. Additionally, they help develop critical thinking skills, problem solving abilities, and other desirable qualities sought after by medical schools.
It’s also important that you keep in touch with your pre-med advisor. They will be able to give you advice on which courses to take and what requirements you need to meet before taking the MCAT.
For those interested in pursuing a pre-med major, there are some specific courses you should consider:
- Human Anatomy
- Organic Chemistry
- Cell Biology
- MCAT preparatory classes
Check with your pre-med advisor to ensure your course selection is a good fit with the medical school requirements.
Pre-med majors require a lot of hard work and dedication, but studying the right curriculum can help put you one step closer towards achieving your goals. With careful planning and thorough research, you can make an informed decision about the best major for pre-med that is right for you.
What Degree Gives You an Edge in Med School?
Have you ever wondered if a particular major or degree was essential to get into medical school? The answer is yes, depending on the specific requirements of the school. For example, the Association of American Medical Colleges finds that over half of all 2021-2022 medical school applicants had majored in biology or biological sciences for their undergraduate degrees.
Majoring in biology can make it easier to fulfill certain prerequisites for medical school. Prerequisites include science classes such as anatomy and physiology, plus laboratory work. So with a degree in biology, you can be better prepared for entry into a medical school program.
In addition to being well-versed in science and able to fulfill necessary prerequisites, there are several other ways to put yourself at an advantage when applying to medical school. Here are a few tips:
- Form relationships with faculty members. Building relationships with your professors is always important but it’s especially beneficial when applying to med school. If a professor is familiar with your academic strengths and accomplishments, they can act as a reference and endorse you as a good candidate for medical school.
- Participate in extracurricular activities. Participating in extracurricular activities related to the field of medicine – such as starting a health blog or volunteering at a nursing home – can help show admission committees that you have genuine interest in the field beyond coursework.
- Ensure a holistic application. From your test scores and letters of recommendation to your GPA, every part of your application should be closely examined. Make sure to review everything closely before submitting it.
- Demonstrate leadership skills. Leadership potential is an increasingly important factor when it comes to med school admissions. Teamwork skills and an interest in taking initiative should come through on your application (if applicable).
Ultimately, no one degree will guarantee admission into med school – rather, it’s important that you take courses inside and outside of your major that will demonstrate your aptitude for higher-level learning. As well as building up your knowledge base and academic portfolio.