NOT being a pre-med at WashU

<p>An overwhelming majority of what iv heard about washu is about premeds. I understand that the premed tract is very difficult and stressful, but what about other academic fields? If I want to major in Psychology or PNP will I be doing the same amount of work as premeds? Also, for you non-premeds, does being at a school with so many premeds have an effect on you at all? I'm just wondering this because I have heard so much about the premed culture at WashU, and while I obviously want to be challenged by academics, I don't want an insanely stressful environment, and am wondering if people who aren't pre-med are worked as hard or as stressed out. Thanks so much! </p>

<p>I’m not sure why you think majoring in Psych or PNP means you will have the same amount of work as pre-meds. They don’t have similar requirements, so you won’t be taking any of the same classes. The pre-med requirements are difficult for a reason - chem will be hard at every university. It’s not so much about the “pre-med culture” at WashU that makes it challenging, it’s just that those foundational science courses are hard. Other courses of study are challenging at a university like WUSTL, as I am sure they are at similar caliber schools. In general though, WUSTL has a very friendly and collaborative culture. </p>

<p>Many students enter WUSTL as pre-med - they are initially drawn to the university because of our strong pre-med program and opportunities for research and volunteering at the medical school. However, many students also change their mind once they get here because of the wide variety of options and experiences they are exposed to. In fact, I would say that’s an advantage of a liberal arts education and the WUSTL curriculum because you get to take classes in many different areas and that helps you explore your interests. It’s hard to make a decision for what you want to do for the rest of your life when you are 18 years old and a college freshman. Only about 10% of students actually go straight to medical school, so I definitely wouldn’t say this is the overwhelming majority. Additionally, I think you are worrying too much about stereotypes of schools. At any mid-sized school, there will be a diversity of interests and backgrounds so you will be able to find whatever it is that you are looking for. </p>

<p>Great schools offer rigorous curricula in all fields. Wash U admits roughly 15% of the best and brightest, regardless of major. You will be pushed hard in whatever field of study you choose and, perhaps more to the point, great students push themselves hard. Whether you are stressed or not is up to you. Having said that, however, Wash U seems to be a more collegial atmosphere than many other strong academic schools.</p>