Biology, Biomedical Engineering, or Business for pre-med?

Hi! I recently applied to colleges and I am starting to question if I should change my intended major. As of now, for all my schools I applied to the science colleges as an undecided major. I am between three majors at this time: Biology, Biomedical Engineering, and Business/Health Policy Administration (all with pre-med prereqs). I notice that Biology is considered as more of the straight forward and general pre-med major. I am worried that if I do not get accepted to med school/choose not to go to med school for some reason a degree in Biology will not be a good investment. Biomedical Engineering is more of a challenging major, which could result in a lower GPA for med school applications. I am not very educated in terms of a Business major involving pre-med requirements. What major do you suggest starting as? What pre-med major is the “best” for me? If you are/were a pre-med what was your major?

Med schools LOVE bioengineers, because they realize that some of these bioengineers who go to med school will wind up designing the new medical devices/medical inventions of the future. They know that engineering GPAs are usually a little bit lower than other majors. You should choose to study whatever you really love, whatever you can do well at. Bioengineering does have the added benefit that, should you decide against premed (and many start as premeds, finish as something else), you would be highly employable as a bioengineer.

I majored in an obscure family of languages and comparative linguistics. The med schools LOVED it, that I wasn’t yet another Bio major. I have heard that music majors are accepted at a higher rate than any other major. Med schools want human beings. They can teach you medicine - they cannot teach you to be a decent human being.

Any you can get a high GPA in, you’re interested in, and can complete the pre-med requirements with.

@parentologist thank you so much! I have a strong interest in the bioengineering field, so I think that I will switch to that. I have noticed that med schools like well rounded applicants, which is not something I should base my decision on, but I think it will help me out in the application process. It is a relief to know that engineers usually are accepted with lower GPAs because although I am strong academically an engineering major would probably cause me to get a bit lower GPA. Music is one of more core extracurriculars, but I do not want to pursue it as a major in college. I really appreciate your response.

Except @greenelephant this isn’t exactly true…
Medical schools adcomms don’t give engineers a bye on GPA just because they’ve got a “hard” major. Engineers have to meet the same general cut-offs as every other major. (Meaning at least a 3.5-3.6+ sGPA to be a serious contender for MD programs.)

For the most part, adcomms are agnostic about an applicant’s undergrad major. They look at sGPA and grades in the core pre-reqs more than the cumGPA–assuming the applicants meets all the other criteria for having a strong application.

(FYI, I had not one but two kids with “hard” undergrad majors–physics, mathematics/applied mathematics-- who applied to medical school. Neither got any special consideration for their major. )

The one thing to check before committing to a business major (in the College of Business) is how majors in Colleges other than the College of Arts & Sciences are treated in the class enrollment process. At many universities, students enrolled in other Colleges are often placed at the end of line when it comes to enrolling in A&S courses. IOW, you’ll only get a place in the class once all other arts & science majors have been accommodated. This may mean you’ll end up in labs & lectures at undesirable times or with a professor who is less popular or desirable. Or occasionally shut out all together.

I remember med school RECRUITERS coming to my Ivy’s engineering school to recruit engineering students to apply to med schools. They sure as heck weren’t coming to recruit the biology majors! My girlfriend had I think a 3.4 GPA in engineering, got into a fantastic med school that was very inexpensive even for out of state, was dirt cheap for in state. They definitely considered the fact that engineering GPAs are a bit lower than other GPAs.

Study what you love, what you want to study, what you can do well in. If what you want is Bioengineering, then most definitely go with that!

Have you taken any courses related to Engineering at high school. Why do have an inclination towards Biomedical Engineering ? Make sure you do love Engineering before deciding to major in any engineering discipline - Biomedical, Electronics, Electrical, Mechanical, Aero, Civil, Chemical or Computer engineering. Biomedical Engineering may involve aspects of mechanical/electrical/computer engineering.

How recent was this? It seems pretty odd in the modern era, but perhaps not out of line for a few decades ago when getting in was much easier.

To anyone reading, do med schools send out recruiters now - at all? They definitely don’t have to.

Now a days, targeted mailing lists are used as a recruitment tool and some medical schools do send such email to prospective candidates based mainly on MCAT score.

@grtd2010 I have taken an engineering course as well as a Biomedical science course in high school. That being said, I do have some exposure to the field, but very minimal. I enjoyed both courses and found interests. I appreciate how you brought to my attention that nearly all types of engineering are all related in some form. At this time I am not 100% confident engineering is my passion, but I do know science and medicine are important to my studies.

Interesting. I’ll have to ask my now 4th year if he ever got any. It’s certainly possible. His score certainly should have put him in the correct range.

I remember him getting Caribbean mailers (snail mail). They looked so pretty and inviting, but of course, didn’t hold up under scrutiny for what he was looking for.

@greenelephant - where are you applying to school? My daughter is at WPI majoring in biology/biotech. There are kids on the premed track and UMASS Medical School in Worcester is an attractive option.

@ChillDad I applied to Pitt, Rutgers, Penn State, Villanova, UMiami, Clemson, Fordham, Drexel, and UNC. I realize some of those schools have stronger science/premed tracks than others. WPI is a great school, I heard they have a good engineering/science program. I am considering applying to mass area schools.

No, these are US ranked medical schools and you can search in
https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/pre-med-topics/2182636-2020-2021-medical-applicants-and-their-parents.html
There are mentioned in a post.

FWIW, I’m not disagreeing with you. You piqued my interest to know whether my guy received any or not. Pure curiosity - perhaps from boredom because it hardly matters for anything.

I can tell you a 3.7 from an Ivy engineering school does not help a whole lot with competitive medical schools. The reason is that they are compared to others from the same school who do have 3.9 GPAs.

D is a CS major at a T20 school. Their CS major is in the engineering school. She has no interest in BME and said there are more credits requirement for BME and the job prospect is not that great.

Related to the recruiting…D has 3.9 +GPA and 520 +MCAT and she keeps receiving emails from DO schools. She joked that she is equally attractive to MD and DO schools. Lol

OP, only you can decide what major is best for you. But I like how you think about plan B.

Keep in mind that for some Universities you have to be admitted to the Engineering school or the Business school to major in those areas…if you applied to the Arts & Science school it may not be easy to transfer majors. Rutgers for one is like that.