I am currently thinking of majoring in Biomedical Engineering on a pre-med track, does this sound like a good idea?


You can major in anything you want to major in…if you plan to apply to medical school. You just need to also take the prerequisites courses to apply to medical school or meet the competencies that some Med schools are using.

Biomedical engineering will require an advanced degree for decent employment in the event you don’t get accepted to medical school. Every medical school wannabe should have a plan B…because a lot of Med school wannabes either never apply to medical school or don’t get accepted.

Is there a field of work related to biomedical engineering that you are interested in pursuing?

There are pluses and minuses to the idea.

–many people find it hard to maintain the high GPA necessary for medical school as an engineering major.
– so-called “hard majors” do not get any GPA boost for medical school admission. Your GPA is your GPA whether it’s in sociology or gender studies, or in physics, math or engineering.

–much better post graduation employment potential than a biology major (And every pre-med needs a solid Plan B career option since only 40% of those who apply to medical school get an acceptance)

This is a very personal decision and whether you can carry this off depends on you and your academic preparation, work ethic and math ability.

What other majors would you say have a good post-graduation employment potential that would be good on a pre-med track?

If you are someone who is absolutely certain you want to be doctor and also are confident you will be a competitive candidate to get into medical school, I don’t know why you would do that to yourself. Engineering is typically a harder path, there is very little flexibility in choosing courses and you typically have to take semesters off to do required internships. My DS was discussing future plans recently with a friend who is a bio-engineering major. He is a strong student and has managed to keep a very high GPA through the end of year 3, but has been unable to fit in all the med school pre-reqs and doesn’t feel ready to take the MCAT. Planning to take either take a gap year or finish an MS in the 5th year.

If you are less than certain, want to have a back up plan and have a strong interest in the field then that is a different story. I just don’t think it is smart choice for a kid who is certain they want to be a physician and has what it takes to get in.

Well, I have two math-majors daughters who went to med school. But math does not have much course overlap with med school admission requirements.

Biostatistics and bio informatics have good post-college employment potential. Data science.

All of those are math-intensive and typically require some computer coding skills so they may not necessarily be a better choice than BME if you’re not a strong math student (and like math), though the course sequencing is less regimented than engineering.

Chemistry has slightly better employment prospects than any flavor of biology and has more course overlap than pure math.

One of the big issues for pre-meds is that even if you’re 1000% sure you want to go to medical school, 60% of med school applicants every year do NOT get any acceptances. Even among those applicants with top-drawer stats–GPA>3.8 and MCAT >517 (95 percentile), 18% don’t get any acceptances.

All pre-meds need a Plan B career option that they will be happy to follow if they don’t get accepted to med school.

Also since you stated on another discussion thread, you are an International student, do not expect to continue your Medical school education here in the US, so you need to figure out what major will work for you in your home country for Medical school.

@WayOutWestMom can quote the stats on Medical school admissions for International applicants.

International students are severely disadvantaged for US medical school admissions.

Per AAMC data, only 124 internationals in total were admitted to all US medical schools combined. It’s estimated that 75-80% of those 124 are Canadian citizens.

There are 2 reasons for this low numbers:

  1. only ~60 US medical schools say they will consider international applicants for admission. In practice less than a dozen routinely admit internationals every year. Those 12 are among the most competitive medical schools in the US.

International applicants are segregated into a separate pool and only compete against other internationals for the very limited number of available seats

  1. international applicants must demonstrate that are able to pay 100% of the cost of their US medical education. This is done through either a letter of guarantee from their home country government or by placing a significant amount of money into a US escrow account. (Expect to be asked to deposit between $250K to $500K before you will be allowed to enroll…)

There is very little to no financial aid for international students.

I do not expect to go to Medical School in the US. In the meantime, I am not 100% certain that I want to become a doctor. But if I did want to go to med school, I was thinking of studying in Australia instead, and if I didn’t, I would be glad to have BME as a career. What would you recommend?

My daughter is a BME major /CS minor who is also a pre med student. The job opportunity for a BME major is not that great compare to a CS major.

Graduating in 3 years is possible with CS but with BME /BIOE.

While Australia welcome foreign students into their medical schools, I hope you’re not planning on practicing medicine in Australia. Australia has very high barriers to international students getting internships and junior registrarships. It is essentially impossible for a international to be accepted into specialty training in Australia.

Bio Medical Engineering or any Engineering is hard major for pre-med. As pointed out, it is hard to get a good GPA. Instead do a science major may be Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry or CS.


Major in whatever you want to major in. If it’s something you like, you will likely do well.

Sample of one…my kid will graduate from medical school in a week. Undergrad major was…bioengineering, with a double major in biology. It’s doable.

Too late to edit.

@DarkEgg125 I was reminded…you are an international student. Your likelihood of getting accepted to medical school in this country is very very very small. And your major won’t matter.

Do you really want to go to medical school? Or is this some kind of hypothetical question.

If you don’t want to go to medical school in this country…i would suggest that you look at the requirements for medical schools in the country you plan to attend medical school in.

Major in something you like.

Can you please share which colleges your daughters attended for math majors. Trying to find a good college for maths major .Thanks

My daughters attended colleges where they got the best financial aid, not ones that were necessarily best for math majors.

For both, math was their secondary major.