I have a question about medical school. If you get an undergraduate degree in business, can you still apply to medical school?
Yes. As long as you have the prereqs / MCAT / LORs / clinical experience / community service, you can major in whatever you want.
For this to work in practical terms, you need to check on 2 items:
- Does you child’s college allow students in the business college to cross enroll in other colleges?
1a) Are science classes/labs impacted and thus restricted to only those students who need them to fulfill graduation requirements?
Be aware that students not in the college of arts & sciences will probably be given the lowest priority for enrolling in science classes/labs.
- Does your child’s major have space to allow the 13 required pre-reqs for med school to fit into their schedule (bio 1&2, gen chem 1&2, ochem 1&2, biochem, stats/biostats [business stats is not an acceptable substitute], calc 1, physics 1&2, soc, psych)?
Do not assume that AP credits for will be an adequate substitute for actual college coursework. Med schools require or strongly recommend that for each AP credit used that the student supplements it with an equal number of college credits in the same department. (IOW, if a student received AP credit for Bio1, then the student is expected to take Bio2 plus another 4 credit bio class w/lab to supplement the AP bio credit.)
But aside from that, med schools have no stated preference for majors in applicants.
as WOWM posted, it is possible to be admitted by med school with any major.
However, as a business major and a MBA, graduate from a Big 4 accounting firm after 10 years, I have a few things to add.
- Business majors do not mix well with medicine intent, even if the business school allows you take courses in A&S. For example, in Accounting, if you want to be a CPA, now a days, you need 160 credits and majority of them are accounting related. Its hard enough to squeeze in 160 credits in 4 years, let alone you need to take about 30 credits in Sciences, providing math and english are taken care of in the business degree. Most CPA major has to get a Master to get enough credit for the certificate, nevermind the two years related work experiences post graduate.
- Marketing is one of the subject in business most likely have the flexibility to have a premed track on the side. However, if you want to work in that field, you need all the spare time in internship. Without that, you will have difficulties to gain meaningful employment in Marketing. That alone is in conflict with premed track, because you need to make every efforts in medical ECs, including research, shadowing, clinical volunteering, etc. The same should apply to Finance and other business majors.
- Even if you can put in time to take premed requirements, you should know those are all lower level courses and are attended by hundreds of premed hopefuls. Basically they are weedout classes in which not very many As are given. In premed, you need high GPA to apply for med school. So, if you have a slip in two or more premed requirements, you have no buffer or time to do GPA repair by taking higher level science courses.
- Med school is look for conviction in medicine, it is hard to juggle between a business major and premed track to show them your conviction in medicine, not in business.
All in all, if you are straight A student in UG with a high Mcat, med school will open arm for non-bio majors to apply. OTOH, you should reconsider your strategy.
@artloversplus thank you for this response. I will let my D get this side of it.
Another option would be a post-baccalaureate program to earn the science/math credits. WashU and Johns Hopkins are 2 schools that have such programs.
The advantage is that you will be focused on taking just the necessary chemistry, biology, and math requirements. Some programs have relationships with medical schools where if you get a certain GPA and a qualifying MCAT score, you will be automatically admitted.
CPAs have a 150 hour requirement, but those hours can mostly be in anything. I needed about 45 hours of accounting and business classes to be CPA-eligible with a completely unrelated degree. Five semesters of part-time night school. CPAing is good career-changer work, because you don’t need any particular major.
That said, CPA requirements are utterly irrelevant, because you don’t become a CPA before going to med school if you plan to go tomed school as a young person.
My H has a friend who left the business world for med school, but she did take a post-bac at Columbia to get the med school requirements. It was a longer road that way, but she did it.
I would agree with @artloversplus that it may be hard to get the med school requirements done in an undergrad b-school program. Business schools have their own core curriculum (in addition to the core curriculum/distribution requirements to graduate from the college) that must be taken leaving fewer free electives for pre-med coursework. (FWIW I’m a CPA, worked for a Big 4 firm so I have a b-school background)
What about students who major in engineering, music, philosophy etc.? Many if not most medical students do not major in science. Why are you singling out business majors as a group who would not have a “conviction in medicine”?
Business school is a professional school, medical schools do not take too many graduates from professional schools. because the students are difficult to show their conviction and dedication in medicine. It is hard for business school students to do both business related interns and medical related ECs in the same time. This also applies to professional schools such as Nursing, Engineering (except bio-engineering), BFA and architecture schools. Liberal Arts degrees are different, because there is not much “professional” elements in their curriculum.
For example, my D was a bio major, she had a lot of research hours in college, upon graduation, she did not immediately apply for med school because she felt she did not have enough clinical experiences, so it took her a whole gap year to make up that aspect.
I did not say business majors cannot apply for med school, all I was saying is that within the 4 years time, it is hard for a business major to gain enough medical ECs to be medical school worthy. If you are dead head for med school as a business major, you may have to take year or two to make up the prerequisites, GPA, Mcat or medical ECs before applying for med school. That may have defeated the purpose to go to a business school.
I also used CPA as an example to show how business and medicine do not mix well. If you want be a CPA, basically you cannot be a physician or vis versa. You could, after few years as a public accountant, go back to a post bacc program and get into medical school, as the person went to Columbia post bacc in the above post.
Sorry, but you’re wrong…
Of the 21,338 med school matriculants in 2017, 11,534 of them were bio majors. Another 2182 were physical science (chem, physics) majors. If you want to count math as a science, then add another 162.
So science majors make up the vast majority (~75%) of med students.
The next largest major was “Other” (3789 matriculants) which includes engineering, business, and all applicants who have multiple majors (one of which may be a science major).
And in @artloversplus defense, adcomms do question the commitment to medicine of students who majored in subjects that lead directly to a professional career (like business, engineering, music performance, specialized health sciences). “If you wanted to be doctor, why did you study ____?” This is a question they’re guaranteed to get during interviews. If the student has a good answer, then no harm, no foul. If they don’t have a good answer, or if they say that X is their back-up career in case they don’t admitted to med school, then their answer hurts their chances for admission.
Adcomms don’t want admit anyone who isn’t fully committed to becoming a physician.
Post bacc programs are wonderful for people who decide late in their college career or after graduation that they want to pursue medicine, but formal post baccs are expensive (most are in the $40K+/year range) and even at programs with linkages, a med school acceptance is never a sure thing. (Only the very top few students are admitted via the linkage.) Plus all post baccs are high risk-high reward scenarios. Do well, finish with 3.7+ GPA and you have a 50-50 chance of getting a med school acceptance. (Or about the same chance as students applying to med school in the traditional path.) Don’t finish with the necessary GPA–you can kiss any hope of med school good bye.
For any undergrad who knows from Day 1 of college they want pursue med school, planning for a career changer post bacc is foolish and expensive. You’re paying for extra years of college AND you’re losing the years of physician’s salary by postponing entry into career.