Going to medical school opens up a wide range of career opportunities that lead towards some of the most stable job choices available. However, medical schools are notorious for being extremely selective and highly competitive for accepting students into their programs. Before applying to medical school, it is important to complete all of the prerequisites and receive a bachelor’s degree that will be excellent preparation for the rigorous coursework in medical school. The following are some of the most popular bachelor’s degree majors that can help students achieve their dreams of becoming a medical doctor.
Biology or Microbiology
As the primary traditional undergraduate preparation for students pursuing careers in health-related sciences, biology is the scientific study of living things at the cellular, organism, and systems levels. A major in biology provides students with a broad foundation in various biological sciences with coursework in microbiology, cellular biology, genetics, immunology, anatomy and physiology, ecology, and physical sciences. In addition to educating students on the theoretical concepts of the human body, the major helps students foster laboratory and research skills that are essential in medicine. Most degree programs in biology also offer internships that count toward course credits for experience that will garner attention from medical school admissions officers.
Chemistry or Biochemistry
A major in chemistry or biochemistry is very suitable for students who wish to prepare for professions related to the health care industry. With the laboratory emphasis of the chemistry major program, it is an excellent option for those interested in a career in the medical field. Students with a degree in chemistry demonstrate that they can work well with their hands, think critically, and solve problems effectively. All of these characteristics are well-respected by medical schools and essential for careers in medicine. Since chemistry is among the hardest majors though, it is suggested that only students with a passion and fascination for the subject choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.
Second to biology majors, psychology majors constitute the second largest student population within medical schools in the United States. Psychology is particularly an excellent choice for students who are interested in pursuing medical professions in neurology, psychiatry, or behavioral sciences. Although the psychology curriculum delivers students a valuable understanding of the human mind, behavior, brain anatomy, and body mechanisms, it is recommended that psychology majors still take elective coursework in the health sciences.
While these are the most common undergraduate degrees to prepare students for the coursework involved in medical school, it is important to remember that medical school admission committees are not overly concerned with the major chosen for the Bachelor of Science degree. Medical schools are more interested in applicants with a strong grade point average, solid MCAT score, extracurricular activities, and prior related internship or work experience. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, students who are accepted into medical school have an average GPA of 3.44 in science majors or 3.66 in non-science majors and a MCAT score of 28.3. Therefore, it is highly recommended that prospective medical school students focus on choosing a degree program that allows them to excel and peaks their individual interests.