The best majors to get into Med School are the most common degrees for medical school applicants that encompass core education majors. Do you want to go to med school? If you’ve always wanted to help people and work to guarantee better health outcomes, you’ve come to the right place. Demand is going up faster than the current supply of medical professionals.
Most aspiring medical students want to know the best pre med major to help them get accepted into medical school. Unfortunately, there is not one specific answer. While the field you major in seems essential, the prerequisite classes undergraduates take to prepare for med school are equally important. So, it is not a coincidence that the most popular majors for med school have classes that meet the prerequisite requirements.
Most Common Majors Accepted into Medical School
So how do you get into medical school? First, you’ll need an undergraduate degree. What should you study? That’s what we will look at in this ranking. The answers might surprise you. First, let’s explore the average medical school acceptance rate by major:
Med School Acceptance Rate : 44%
The average med school acceptance rate for Humanities majors is 44%. Many of those that applied had earned at least a Bachelor’s, but not always. Some med schools will accept students who only have an associate degree, especially if they have a high GPA. Some of the courses you’ll complete in these undergraduate majors include:
These three courses for humanities majors can help you in medical school and throughout your career. You’ll need to communicate effectively with a range of professionals, professors, patients, and their families. Medical students are bound by ethical considerations and will inevitably be governed by them, and finally, a basic understanding of economics will be beneficial throughout your career in medicine.
2) Physical Sciences
Med School Acceptance Rate : 48%
This seems like a no-brainer, considering the hard-skills overlap between physical science and medicine. The average med school acceptance rate for graduates of a physical science program is 48%. Some of the courses you’ll take in this undergraduate major include:
- Quantitative Analysis
Medical professionals are very similar to scientists, and their science is diagnosing and treating human conditions. If you end up working in pharmaceutical medicine, chemistry will be instrumental. Understanding biology lends itself to working with human biology, and much of medicine involves measuring and analyzing your measurements.
3) Math and Statistics
Med School Acceptance Rate : 40%
Like the physical sciences, math and statistics go hand-in-glove with working in medicine. The medical school admissions rate for graduates of a math and statistics program is 40%. Here are some of the courses you’ll take in this undergraduate major:
- Statistical Analysis
- Business Analysis
In medicine, you’ll need to follow precedent but also understand different paths produce different outcomes depending on many factors. Both calculus and statistical analysis deal with using the information you have and information you don’t to make crucial decisions. And once again, a keen analytical mind for business will go a long way in any medical career, especially for those who want to work on the business end of the field.
4) Social Sciences
Medical School Acceptance Rates : 35%
These degrees inspect how humans evolved and how institutions are created. You’ll seek out different perspectives and get out of your own. The average acceptance to medical school for these students is 35%. Some pertinent courses you’ll take with this pre med major include:
- Research Methods
Medical professionals don’t always treat physical health, but they often do. However, understanding human psychology is valuable and helpful for medical professionals no matter where they work. Your medical studies will involve a lot of research, so it’ll behoove you to get good at it. Finally, understanding how society, culture, and human biological and physiological characteristics evolved ties nicely into medical study and work.
5) Biological Sciences
Med School Acceptance Rate : 36%
Biological sciences majors have a lot in common with medical school. Biological science majors might be able to specialize in specific areas like human biology, biotechnology, or pre-medicine. The medical school admissions rate for biological sciences majors is 36%. Sample courses for this pre med major include:
- Cell Biology
- Biological Literature
In all these courses, you’ll become intimately familiar with the basics of life. By completing a degree in biological sciences, you’ll come into medical school with tremendous advantages. If you’re going to treat people, it’s helpful to know how their bodies function and how the cells within them contribute to those functions.
Best Majors by Prerequisites
Admission to a medical program depends as much on fulfilling the prerequisites as on the exact major. For example, humanities majors taking science classes for their electives have an excellent chance of attending a medical program. So, let’s look at the majors that give graduates the most prerequisites for medical school.
You’re not going to do much better than this. By completing a pre-med program, you’ll be ready for a seamless transition to medical school. Furthermore, pre med majors have the most prerequisites of any degree type. Some of the courses you’ll take in this pre med major include:
- General and Organic Chemistry
Pre med majors may also take physics, math, and microbiology courses. Some medical schools might want students to take anatomy, genetics, and more classes. However, you’ll have a considerable advantage over your peers in medical school if you come in after graduating from a pre-med program.
As discussed, biology majors are an excellent fit for med school. A biology major may also have pre-med specializations and areas like microbiology or molecular biology. Sample courses for these science majors include:
- Intro to Biochemistry
- Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity
Graduates in biological sciences can work as medical lab techs, science technicians, and research associates, among other roles. Or they can go directly to medical school. Some med schools might want students to take classes in neurobiology.
There are many forms of nurses and nursing degrees. However, a nursing degree lends itself exceptionally well to medical school. You’d be entering medical school with the qualifications to work in an essential part of medicine. Some of the courses you’ll likely take in a nursing degree program include:
- Nursing Practice and Theory
Nurses have a better sense of what medical school will be like than most of the graduates of programs on this list. Some nurses have written about a stigma about going to medical school from within the nursing field, but others saw their time studying and working as a nurse as a natural springboard to medical school.
Chemistry is a highly analytical field that relies on quantitative work. Many medical schools require two years of chemistry study in a lab compared to a year of biology and physics. These science majors take courses in:
- Physical Chemistry
- Analytical Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry
You might also take calculus and some other physical science courses. Remember, some of the likely prerequisites for med school include biology courses and physics as well. Speaking of which:
As mentioned, many medical schools require a year of physics education with lab work as a prerequisite to entry. You’ll study physics research’s theoretical foundations and history in these degrees. You might specialize in areas like biophysics, quantum mechanics, or astrophysics. These science majors take courses that include:
- History of Physics
- Analytical Mechanics
- Thermal Physics
Physics degrees will teach you to see all observable phenomena resulting from structures and processes. Students in this science focused major learn to quantify and deduce why things happen based on the variables involved. This clinical approach to the world is incredibly useful for a career in medicine.
Other Pre Med Majors
Science heavy majors tend to have higher admissions rates. However, med schools want well rounded applicants, so other majors are also accepted. Listed below are some other majors for medical school.
- Specialized Health Sciences
- Public Health Major
- Social Sciences Majors
- Math Major / Statistics Majors
- Foreign Language Major
Required Prerequisite Courses for Med School
Almost all medicine requires a basic understanding of science, so med school applicants should have specific core prerequisites in biology, chemistry, and biochemistry. The medical school requirements vary from school to school, so check with the school you want to attend to ensure you take the correct classes.
Below is a general example of what prerequisites a future medical student and applicant needs to take to attend medical school.
|Subject||General Requirements||Minimum Credits|
|other||Humanities, Behavioral Sciences, and Social Sciences||varies 12-36 credits|
|Biology||College biology with laboratory||one year or 8 semester hours|
|Chemistry||General college chemistry with laboratory||one year or 8 semester hours|
|Organic chemistry||Organic chemistry with laboratory||one semester or 4 semester hours|
|Biochemistry||Biochemistry minimum of 3 semester hours or 4 if lab is required||one semester or 3 semester hours|
|Physics||General college physics with laboratory||one year or 8 semester hours|
|Math||Calculus and/or Statistics (preferably biostatistics)||one year or 6 semester hours|
|Writing||One year is required||one year or 6 semester hours|
What Looks Good to a Medical School Admissions Committee?
The top med school admissions variables that medical schools consider for admissions are past academic performance and the applicant’s desire to enter the field of medicine. The medical school admissions process is complicated. Below are some of the items that influence the decisions of medical school admissions committees.
- knowledge of health care issues and commitment to healthcare
- MCAT scores (total MCAT test scores or average MCAT scores)
- med school interview ratings
- undergraduate grade point average or GPA
- letters of recommendation
- experience with direct-patient-care or clinical work
- met the pre med requirements
- medical school application / med school application
What is the Job Outlook for Med School Grads?
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a 16% growth in all healthcare occupations between 2020 and 2030. This will mean 2.6 million new jobs in the field.
A study by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) predicted a shortfall of up to 122,000 physicians by 2032. Contributing factors include a large aging population, more Americans living longer, and obesity and tobacco use issues, among many others.
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