Most medical schools don’t require any particular major. Students planning to attend medical school should choose a primary major that best fits their interests. Regardless of major, medical programs are looking for students who have done well in their coursework and demonstrate intellectual curiosity. Be certain to incorporate all necessary prerequisite coursework into your degree either through the major itself or as electives.
Students with the intention of going to medical school can declare any undergraduate major in which they have interest and aptitude. The most common degrees are usually in the sciences such as Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Physics and Psychology. In these degree programs, students will declare a pre-medicine concentration. Medical schools will accept any major as long as the student has taken the prerequisite course work, and also completed the necessary extracurricular experiences such as shadowing and volunteering. Due to the extensive application preparation, students pursuing a pre-medicine concentration are highly encouraged to seek out their assigned faculty advisor immediately.
IS THIS CAREER RIGHT FOR YOU?
- Are you are interested in the sciences and learning about how the body works?
- Do you care about people?
- Are you a good listener?
- Do you like a challenge?
- Do you mind studying and working long hours?
- Select a major that interests you and in which you will perform well. If your major does not include medical school prerequisite courses, be sure to take them as electives.
- Connect to tutoring, supplemental instruction, attend professor’s office hours to ensure you are mastering the material covered in all courses.
- Establish a strong GPA from your first semester.
- Start shadowing a physician.
- Become familiar with medical school admission requirements.
- Become involved on campus through social and academic organizations.
- Continue keeping a strong GPA and building relationships with faculty. Start thinking about who you will ask for letters of recommendation.
- Consider becoming involved in undergraduate research.
- Gain additional shadowing experience in a variety of medical settings.
- Begin to research and identify the medical schools to which you think you will apply.
- Ideally, complete the courses necessary to be successful on the MCAT.
- Study for the MCAT throughout the third year.
- Register for the MCAT.
- Continue gaining shadowing experience.
- Visit the medical schools to which you plan on applying.
- Line up and submit letters of recommendation.
- Begin working on your personal essay. Have a faculty member read over your essay before submitting.
- If all materials are ready, apply through AMCAS in summer between junior and senior year.
- Be sure to submit secondary application materials, if necessary.
- Prepare for interviews.
- Research alternative graduate programs, post baccalaureate premedical programs, and jobs to have parallel plan if not accepted by a medical school on the first attempt.