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What is a pre-med major?

ohhhpleaseohhhplease Posts: 17Registered User New Member
edited December 2009 in Pre-Med Topics
I thought that pre-medicine means just the path that students who plan to apply to med school take in college. So I was going to major in biology in college.
However, in NYU, there is actually a major called "pre-professional medicine" in the college of arts and science.
If I major in this, what will my college life be?
Is there going to be a fixed schedule consisted of only pre-med stuffs?
Isn't it going to be hard to get good GPA?
I think it's very good for pre-med students if the college prepares the path for them, but I'm confused in that there is actually a pre-med major.
Post edited by ohhhplease on

Replies to: What is a pre-med major?

  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Posts: 11,964Registered User Senior Member
    This is not an appropriate major for a premedical student. (Just as "prelaw" is not an appropriate major for a pre-law student.) Take something like biology or the equivalent.
  • ohhhpleaseohhhplease Posts: 17Registered User New Member
    Wait, i don't understand.
    how come it is not an appropriate major for pre-med student?
    Isn't "pre-professional medicine" supposed to help pre-med students the most?
    What is this major for then?
  • norcalguynorcalguy Posts: 7,541Registered User Senior Member
    There are several reasons to not major in premed:

    1) It is vocational. A lot of the courses are applied biology (like anatomy and physiology). That stuff you will learn in med school. In fact, some med schools discourage taking anatomy in college because it is often taught poorly. What you want from college is a good foundation in basic biological principles.

    2) Health science majors have the worst acceptance rate to med school by a sizable margin.

    3) If you don't get into med school, there's not much you can do with a degree in "premed" since such a degree essentially only qualifies you to apply for med school.

    4) If you want a degree that encampasses a lot of the med school prereq's, then major in biology.
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Posts: 11,964Registered User Senior Member
    Isn't "pre-professional medicine" supposed to help pre-med students the most?
    You would think.
    What is this major for then?
    Nothing. It is utterly useless and places should stop offering it.
  • mcat2mcat2 Posts: 3,644Registered User Senior Member
    It is utterly useless and places should stop offering it.

    Although I agree with you on this, it seems to me that some schools may offer some departments like this with a department name that is a little bit more academic-like, not so vocational, but "softer" than the traditional academic majors.

    For example, not history, but history of sciences or medicine; not biology, but human biology or biomedical sciences (BTW, these are department names that really exist.) Some common threads among these "innovative" departments are: inter-discipline, and more importantly, the major requirements beyond the medical school pre-regs are somewhat lighter than those required by a traditional academic major (like biology or chemistry).

    Ironically, these departments seem to attract more and more premeds in recent years. At some schools, if you compare the graduation requirements among several departments (i.e., those major requirements beyond the pre-reqs), they are not equal in their course load. For example, at some schools, the major/graduation requirements for a psychology major may be lighter than the traditional science majors. (BTW, many students actually believe psychology may be a "good" major for a pre-med, who is not so interested in taking sciences classes beyond the medical school pre-reqs, except one or two additional "lighter" upper-division biology classes.)

    I wonder what the medical school adcom may think about this new phenomenon, that is, more and more premeds major in a somewhat "softer" academic discipline (but still in a department with a non-vocational department name.)
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 21,296Registered User Senior Member
    Are you sure NYU offers a BA/BS in premed studies? I could not find it a major in the NYU's CAS Bulletin.

    http://www.nyu.edu/provost/pdf/CAS%20Bulletin%202008-2010.pdf
  • shades_childrenshades_children Posts: 2,206Registered User Senior Member
    NYU's never had a "pre-professional medicine" major. As an NYU alum, I have no idea what the OP's talking about.
  • ohhhpleaseohhhplease Posts: 17Registered User New Member
    NYU > Undergraduate Admissions > Academic Programs > College of Arts and Science

    On the list, there is "Pre-professional Specializations in: Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Optometry, Podiatry". Also, on common app for NYU, if i choose college of arts and science, "pre-professional medicine" is one of the majors i can choose.
    Maybe this is a new major for this year?
  • shades_childrenshades_children Posts: 2,206Registered User Senior Member
    No, it's still not a major. If you look in the bulletin (the master lists for all NYU CAS courses and majors/minors), you'll see that on pages 21-22 there is no "pre-professional specialization in medicine". I imagine that it's listed only on the admissions website so that pre-pre-meds who at this point don't know much about applying for medical school get the message that NYU offers "pre-med". You're still not going to major in "pre-med", because it's not a major.

    That's probably also why the Common App lists "pre-professional medicine" as a major - it's a headsup to the school that you want to be pre-med.
  • schriztoschrizto Posts: 4,099Registered User Senior Member
    A lot of schools, when you apply, will ask you what your career objective is and there is the option to select pre-medicine. This isn't a major, they're just asking for informational purposes. I'd imagine this is the case for NYU's app.
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