What is the best premed major? I know that biology or other hard sciences are the most common, but I kind of want a major that would be useful on its own as well as preparing me for med school and helping me get into a good school. I’m thinking about three as my first choices (healthcare administration, health information management, and medical laboratory sciences), but I’m open to other suggestions too!
You can take pre-med courses alongside any major, although majors that are very voluminous with non-overlapping requirements (e.g. most engineering majors) may be difficult to add pre-med courses into available schedule space.
Biology is the most common because it is “convenient” (i.e. its major requirements automatically cover many of the pre-med courses), but its major-related job and career prospects at the BA/BS level if you do not get into medical school are not that good. Other science majors have some overlap, although you may have to take more difficult versions of some courses (e.g. physics for physics majors instead of physics for biology majors). Humanities and social science majors generally have enough room for pre-med courses alongside (some of which can fulfill science general education requirements). Arts majors may be very time consuming, however.
Colleges with very voluminous general education requirements that do not overlap with either pre-med courses or your major courses may be more difficult to schedule all of your courses into your four year course plan.
Choose your undergrad major based on what you like, there is no “best” premed major. Being practical as well in choosing a major with opportunities in the event you are in the majority who do not go on the medical schools is good. True decades ago when I went and true now. You will find physicians with a wide variety of undergrad majors because a wide variety of people choose to become physicians- and there is a wide variety of specialties that attract different people.
If you’re strong in math, Applied Math or Statistics, or Data Analytics, can be excellent premed majors. They provides a strong foundation if you decide to do something more business-y, or go into research and/or public health. And with Evidence-Based being the prime directive in medicine nowadays, having a strong data analysis background is a terrific attribute for a doctor as well. A major like this is a little more abstract than something like HIM, so the coursework is likely to be a little more flexible and less specifically pre-professional, but you’ll still graduate with enough of a skill-set to be employable, much more so than if you had an undergrad bio degree.
Public Health, Global Health, and the like can be good too, especially if you take rigorous epidemiology and research design/analysis classes.
I wouldn’t recommend any of those, they aren’t hard academic majors. Don’t major in anything that you think is “good” just for med school. Major in something you like and will do well in. Your GPA will be VERY important for a med school application. Major in something that will suit you for your future, in case you dont get into med school, which is more likely than not. My kid majored in Classics, and had they not got into med school would have been a HS Latin teacher.
Picking a major based upon Plan B is always what I recommend. As others have said, any major works for med school, but at this time, more than half who apply to US MD med school end up going with Plan B. Then add in all of those who change their mind prior to applying.
Picking what you like also has the advantage of helping your GPA with the fact that students almost always do better studying what they like vs what they feel they must.
The best Pre-med major is:
- One you like
- One you can fit in the pre-med required courses (Bio, Chem, Org Chem, etc)
- One you can get a good GPA in
- One you might be able to do something with if you don’t end up going to med school