So all my life, I’ve been interested in the medical field, but then I took AP US History in 10th grade and enjoyed it a lot, and therefore I found myself torn between political science and pre-med as a potential college major. As a safety precaution, I’m looking to visit colleges this spring and summer that have a great pre-med related and pre-law related program for my undergrad years.
In general, I’m a pretty average student. My unweighted GPA is a 3.7 and my weighted is a 4.1, though I have three Cs on my transcript. I’m in the IBDP, but my courses are pretty average with 4 HLs and 2 SLs. I’ve only taken two APs and two honors classes, and my PSAT 10 score was a 1210, though my actual SAT score from the test in October was a 1460. I’ve been in a sport since freshman year, and I’ve been a part of some major clubs at my school since sophomore year- I’m beginning to do independent service projects as a Junior. I’m not really sure what schools are “at my level” so I don’t really know where to look in terms of that. Do you have any suggestions for where I should apply in terms of my academic level as well as my interests?
you can major in polisci and do pre-med too (pre-med is not a major, but med schools have req’s, just research them and make sure to take the right classes as an ungergrad).
google your question by searching “college confidential good poli sci” “… good pre med” (or both) with other parameters you care about (state, size, specific schools, etc). this should get you started. once you have a clearer picture you can ask more specific questions.
you’ll want to target schools that you’re at or above the 75% mark with your scores, then flesh your list out with safeties and reaches.
Start with your college budget. No point in touring schools that are unaffordable so ask your parents what they can afford to pay/year. Also calculate your EFC (Estimated Family Contribution). This number will be the minimum you will be expected to pay.
Home State? Look at your state schools first. They are usually lower in cost and will give priority to in-state residents.
For Medical and/or Law School, you can major in any subject so since you are interested in both areas, look at larger schools with several major options. Also check to see if they offer Pre-professional advising opportunities through their career center.
Until you have some actual scores, it is difficult to advise. You can plug in your stats, interests, location etc… into the SuperMatch feature on this website to get a start on a preliminary list of schools.
I would tour a large in-state public school and a small liberal arts school to begin with to get an idea of your overall impressions and like/dislikes.
Once you have a list, run the NPC (Net Price Calculators) on all schools of interest to get an idea of your costs.
Start by visiting a few colleges in your area of different types. They don’t have to be ones you’re thinking of applying to, you just want to get a sense of the student experience. Large, medium, small. Located in a city, suburb, rural. Take the tour, talk to some current students if you can. A lot of kids think they’d be ok with anything but then they visit and realize there are some settings they either love or could never be happy at.
As for the college app process, with a year in front of you before you apply I suggest you get a book on college admissions so that you get a map of the whole process rather than bits and pieces. A good book will explain how to find colleges that are a fit, understanding financial aid, what adcoms look for in an app, etc. One book I suggest is “Admission Matters”. Good Xmas break reading! I note for example that you said very little about what you prefer so at this point someone may recommend a small LAC standing in an isolated town covered in snow half the year (but where profs make a point of getting to know & help the students), someone else may recommend a school with 40,000 kids where you’d be just a number.
Keep in mind that pre-med and pre-law are not majors. For med school one has to take a set group of coursework in the sciences/calculus – a student can have any major and be pre-med as long as those courses are completed. And there are no prerequisites for law school so any major (including a science major) would be fine.
In terms of finding specific colleges consider things like: what is affordable (given grad school down the road), any limitations your parent’s have (cost, geography), your preferences in a school (which can be anything including size, location, presence (or not) of Greek Life/big time sports etc. I suggest you start by running the supermatch function to the left and then get your hands on some good college guide books (ex.Fiske, Princeton Review) which can likely be found in your guidance dept. or library and start reading. If possible try to visit some different types of colleges and see what environment you prefer.
Besides the above, I’d advise you to spend more time researching both of those careers (medical, polsci) to maybe get a better idea of which one you like. For example, maybe you could take a related college level course (online or at a CC) to see what interests you most, or find out more about the careers related to those. Med is a long hard and expensive road so it’s good to be pretty sure of going down it - though there are many med-related careers that don’t involve being a doctor. I think learning more about the fields and finding what really inspires you may be more important than figuring out which college to apply to right now.