Choosing The Right Major (Pre-Med)

<p>I was accepted into the College of Arts and Sciences as, I think, a Biochemistry major. My dad said I should switch to Biomedical Engineering, which belongs to the Engineering School. At first I was a little uneasy about it, but after visiting the campus I saw BME had its own building and is a growing field. </p>

<p>I know I'm going to go onto medical school, but I don't know which major to choose?</p>

<p>Also, after doing some research I saw it can depend on the school and what research opportunities there are. So I thought I'd ask here.</p>

<p>When I toured WashU, the engineering staff said that the BME course requirements are pre-med compliant with the addition of organic chemistry (which moths of the paths within the major require anyways), therefore you don't have to go out of your way to get ready for the MCAT once a BME student. On the other hand, you could hypothetically take all of the required courses for a pre-med student as a music major or an art history major, they just would be courses not directly required for the majors. Because of this, the major doesn't matter nearly as much as the classes you take. Seeing as none of the require pre-med courses are in the engineering school, you are at no disadvantage as a biochemistry major. Pursue what you're interested in.
(P.S.- I'm matriculating this fall at WashU for biomedical engineering. My housing deposit gets mailed out tomorrow :D I'm very excited. Best of luck in deciding!)</p>

<p>I think the "right" major is the one you're most intrested in, especially since WashU is pretty nice about having very few classes required for a major and few distribution reqs. compared to other schools. You need about 30 credits for most majors and 40 for pre-med...leaving 50 for electives, another major, and distribution requirements.</p>

<p>The major doesn't matter, but let me warn you that BME is perhaps the most difficult major, not only at WashU, but at any college. At multicultural weekend, my host was a BME major and he spent half a day studying for finals he had next week. Prepare to dedicate most of your time to studying and considerably less time to partying than if you were an easier major. BME weeds students out FAST, especially those who don't have any passion for the field at all. Be sure you have a passion for it.</p>

<p>As always, thanks for the input.</p>

<p>Philip1209 - I'm mailing my deposit in tomorrow as well :)</p>

<p>princessbell - This is one of the main reasons I chose WashU. I love the chemistry side of life and really want to be a doctor. However, I also love political science and economics. So I still want to have room to pursue those interests as well. Yet I don't think I'm going to have the time to double major in political science and BME/biochem.</p>

<p>nooob - Don't worry. I know BME is tough, but my passion to be a doctor is strong. I'm also love finding out things work.</p>

<p>I was doing some more research and I read that as a BME major i'll be taking courses that engineering majors would take. Don't remember the specific course name, so thats why I was wondering about biochem</p>

<p>i'm quite sure what you mean in your last sentence?
of course BME majors take engineering classes since it's an engineering major. Most of your classes will be BME classes, engineering in general, physics, mathematics, biology and chemistry. </p>

<p>i'm not sure how hard it is to transfer into engineering but you should try and find out if you can even transfer this early.</p>

<p>You can transfer this early, but only do so if you are really really interested in bme. Not if you think it will look good to med schools- it really doesn't matter all that much to med schools.</p>

<p>For the record, you can party as a bme; but then again, I'm perfectly fine not getting a 4.0 since I have no desire of ever applying to med school. A lot of the hardest partiers I know are bme's.</p>

<p>It's easier to transfer OUT OF engineering than it is to transfer INTO it, while you are a current student.</p>

<p>If you think you have an interest in doing BME/graduating with an Engineering degree, then you should switch now before you take any classes. Later, if you decide it's not right for you, then it's really easy to just switch back into Art Sci and not worry about graduating later.</p>

<p>On the other hand, if you don't switch and you decide that you still really want to pursue BME, it'll be pretty hard to transfer into Engineering and still finish in 4 years. I don't know any one here who is getting a major in the EN school without being a full student in the EN school. I mean, I <em>think</em> it can be done, but if you are going to major in BME then you might as well be in the Engineering School.</p>

<p>I'm going to disagree.
It's not difficult at all to switch into engineering.</p>

<p>You can still take BME 140 without being enrolled in engineering, so you have plenty of time to decide whether or not to transfer.
The only point at which it would be necessary to transfer would be before sophomore year anyway.</p>

<p>Either way, it's easy to switch in or out.</p>

<p>As a high school senior, you probably only have some vague idea what it means to be a biochemistry major vs. a BME major. That is absolutely not an insult, it is just that these are very intricate and sophisticated subjects. It would be really difficult to appreciate what is involved in either, both from the work point of view as well as the actual knowledge/application point of view, as a high school senior. Remember, the reason you don't have to (truly) declare a major right away is so you can explore and find what you really want to do. As Johnson points out, you can take BME 140 to get the flavor for that subject, although the posts on here have that as a famous weed out course. It is more difficult to get the feel of what the study of biochem would really be like, since you have to build up to it more by taking all the pre-reqs first. The survery stuff they cover in high school and freshman General Chem is really barely a hint of what you can get into in biochem. But what you can do is get through most of your freshman year taking the first set of pre-reqs, and then if you are still thinking along the same lines, talk to one or two of the biochem profs and see if they can explain what they are researching, as well as what you would truly study as a biochem major. Without organic chem yet it might be a little difficult to truly grasp, but that's ok. It will either turn you on or it won't.</p>

<p>People that tell you that you should quit worrying about the relationship between your major and getting into med school are absolutely right. First of all you will do better studying something you really like, which improves your chances for getting into med school anyway. Second, as long as you do the med school requirements, you really can be a history or music major and get into med school no problem. They look at your overall GPA, your MCATs, etc. So don't worry about that.</p>

<p>So in other words, should I see how I feel during my first year and then make a more educated decision?</p>

<p>Sorry to go off topic SChoubey, but I had a similar question. I was looking at the P-N-P major and was seriously considering it as it pretty much perfectly fits my interests, but I'm also debating between attending medical school or grad. school after college. I've heard that the P-N-P major doesn't fulfill all the requirements for a pre-med, and I was wondering if anyone knew what extra classes I would have to take outside my major to fulfill those requirements.</p>

So in other words, should I see how I feel during my first year and then make a more educated decision?


<p>Exactly. Spend the first semester getting adjusted, working hard, making friends, getting into your niche. Second semester after spring break, if you are still thinking BME and still curious about biochem, go talk to some of the biochem profs and see what's what. You will be much more equipped to see what direction makes sense. Like I said, you still wouldn't have had Organic Chemistry, which is a critical course for future chem majors of any subdiscipline, be it Biochem, medicinal chemistry, organometallics (your chancellor Wrighton was a world reknowned organometallic chemist, btw. A true superstar. I was also an organometallic chemist, but I wasn't worthy to hold his lab coat, LOL), whatever. But yes, you will be able to make a more educated decision for sure.</p>

<p>johnk91421 - No problem. If you have a facebook, then something helpful would be to get a "Bear Buddy" who is majoring in PNP and going to med school. That way you can ask him or her detailed questions.</p>

<p>fallenchemist - What do you mean "hold his lab coat"? lol but thanks for the help. You rock.</p>

<p>Schoubey - I mean I wasn't even worthy (as a chemist) to even have that title that if that is what he is called. Hero worship, I guess. Mark Wrighton got his PhD from CalTech in 2 years at 22!!!!!! He was at the height of his research at MIT when I was a student, and I read his papers with great admiration. A brilliant, brilliant chemist.</p>

<p>Thanks for the extremely kind compliment. It is my pleasure with students like you that have their head in the right place. You are going to do so great.</p>

<p>SChoubey- it must be really late (and I must be studying too much bio), since I really thought you wrote "beer buddy."</p>

<p>Johnson181 - haha yeah i've been cramming quite a bit of bio as well for the AP exams</p>

<p>fallenchemist - Mark Wrighton must have worked extremely hard! and I wouldn't be too sure about me doing great haha. I have a habit of making bad, yet fun, choices.</p>


I've actually heard that the BME department makes it pretty difficult for people to switch into BME.</p>

<p>Well, even if true, some things in life take determination.</p>