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English and Pre-Med

AspiringmomAspiringmom 9 replies4 threads New Member
This question is about choosing high school classes. Daughter in 8th grade is thinking of majoring in English and taking pre-med courses in college. She is strong in reading and writing and enjoys literature. Also strong in art and music. At the same time, she does well in science and math, enjoys science, and has interest in pursuing medicine career since she was very young. We've read that it's fine to choose humanities major while pursuing pre-med in college. Does it matter whether she takes both AP Biology and AP Chemistry in high school to be prepared for pre-med? Would she fall behind her pre-med peers in college if she were to take only AP Bio in high school? (She plans to complete calculus in high school). Also, when she applies to college, does she have to declare English-Premed major/interest or only English major, and later inform them of pre-med interest? Do high schools generally support this dual path, or indirectly force/guide you to choose a Stem or humanities path?
Thank you for any insights you can provide.
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Replies to: English and Pre-Med

  • silmarilsilmaril 377 replies1 threads Member
    It is fine either way with AP courses. I would even recommend taking the foundational sciences in college (or slightly advanced versions if you receive AP credit for them) since in my experience, my college classes were significantly more rigorous and thorough than any of my AP science experiences. She wouldn't fall behind if she only took AP Bio.

    Depends on the college—many colleges do not have an official premed track or major (mine did not), so all you would have to do is declare the English major, and then schedule in the premed prereqs and check in with your college's premed advising office periodically to make sure you're on the right track. A well-informed premed advising office would not attempt to force a student to choose a STEM or humanities path.

    A general piece of advice I have, especially since your daughter is so young, is to just keep encouraging her natural interests! Going premed is such a neurotic environment that a lot of people get caught up with doing things they think will look good to others, instead of things that they enjoy.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10476 replies124 threads Senior Member
    Your daughter has a long way to go before declaring a college major. Focus on the core high school courses - 4 years of math (trying to reach calculus if possible); 4 years of science: 1 year of bio, 1 year of chem, 1 year of physics and then one of those courses being an AP class (either bio or chem is fine); 4 years of english; 3 - 4 years of history/gov; 4 years of foreign language. If she does that, she'll have her bases covered for college.

    Pre-med is an intention, not a major. Generally speaking, students can major in whatever they want as long as they are also meeting the requirements for med school. But, you are getting way ahead of yourself! Let your D enjoy HS and find her own path.
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  • ChillDadChillDad 275 replies20 threads Junior Member
    @Aspiringmom - I am writing this from the perspective of a high school English teacher (love my lit) and father of a STEM girl who will be entering college this fall as a biology/biotech major (wants to work in research/industry - no interest in med school). You say that your daughter is passionate about STEM in school. Has she engaged in any exploratory STEM programs outside of school to confirm her aspirations, especially as they pertain to medicine? My daughter, a likewise well-rounded high achiever in middle school, took one look at a summer program brochure targeting girls and said that wearing purple gloves and goggles was decidedly uncool. Fast-forward a year - after a school guidance career exercise said that a STEM path was a sold fit - and she was attending that same pre-college program and loving it. In fact, she was so bitten by the biotech bug that the next year she attended a residential program at Brown. One program we looked at locally (Boston area) offers three week in-depth courses in a variety of areas, including the medical field. She didn't pursue it because she landed a coveted spot in another program. This morning she headed out to her college lab internship (second summer in a row; this year it pays a stipend). You no doubt have such exploratory programs in your region - I would encourage her to vet her passion by participating in such a program. https://www.bostonleadershipinstitute.com/medicine/
    As the previous posters have said, she will find her own path - in the meantime, continue support her dreams.
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  • ChillDadChillDad 275 replies20 threads Junior Member
    @Aspiringmom - another thought. It's possible to merge interests (in the following case - it's combining a love of writing and science.) My oldest daughter's high school classmate double majored in biology and creative writing and, now, two years out of school, is a science and health reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
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  • AspiringmomAspiringmom 9 replies4 threads New Member
    I am so very appreciative of your thoughtful and comprehensive advice, especially as an English teacher. I've looked at that program, and felt daunted with the price, but will reconsider if it's going to guide her career decisions.
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