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Picking a Major When on a Pre-Med Track

by Amaliya Rakhmatullina, Content Manager

a stethoscope in black and white.

Starting the journey to become a doctor is a daunting task. From recognizing your interest in the field in high school, to maximize time to finding a college that has a good STEM program, to going to med school and completing residency, it is no secret that the process has many steps. So how do you make your educational path more manageable? Picking a major in your undergraduate studies that will correspond well with medical school is just one of the many ways!

First, it is important to find a college that has a strong STEM program- ideally one that has a pre-medical track as well. Although in most colleges “pre-med” is not a major, those schools that do have this option provide advisors that will make sure you hit all necessary checkpoints for applying to med school along the way. Additionally, finding a school with a focus on science in research (as opposed to let’s say, finance and business) will better provide you with the educational background necessary for further education.

Once you are at your school of choice, you (eventually) have to declare a major. Although a pre-med track does not restrict you from any majors, picking one such as biology, chemistry, biochemistry, or neuroscience will make the process of applying to med school less overwhelming. This is because the above-listed majors have significant overlap with the pre-medicine requirements, meaning that classes will fulfill major requirements as well as fulfilling courses required to apply to medical school. If completely unrelated majors are pursued (ie: English), your course load over the four years of undergrad will be greater due to the two sets of requirements you will be trying to fulfill with minimal to no overlap.

Many colleges provide the opportunity for students to have a minor in addition to major. So if English (just as one example) is something that interests you but you would like to focus more on pre-medicine, consider minoring in it! I am a student studying Integrative Neuroscience at Binghamton University on a pre-med track. This major gives me the best of both worlds by combining my love for biology and psychology and is a major that has substantial overlap with the pre-med requirements.

At the end of the day, your educational career is in your own hands. If being an English major and going to medical school is what you really want to do, it is possible! Just be sure you are prepared and willing to work hard to get it done.


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