Science major for premed?

Hi everyone,

I’m wondering what the best major for premed is. I know that there isn’t “one size fits all” but in general.

I don’t want to major in math or anything like that; I want to major in the sciences. My number one choice as of now is Biology but I want to consider other options to make my application a bit more unique.

What’s a neuroscience major like? Relative difficulty to biology? Preparation for MCAT?
Same with Chemistry and Human Biology (offered at some T20s)

Here’s the good news: this is not something you have to decide until sometime in your 2nd year of college. As you are planning to take the courses required for med school, you will have to do the Bio / Chem / Organic / Physics run at whatever college you end up at. That will give you a chance to know the topics better- and (importantly) how you like the departments at your specific college. You don’t have to apply with a major to most undergraduate programs, and equally, you can put down ‘Biology’ as a potential major and nobody will ever follow up to see if that’s what you actually do.

Hand on heart, your best path is to get to college, take the intro classes, and follow your interests. If you get there and the Bio prof is a bust but the Physics prof makes the whole subject exciting, take another physics class- and see how it goes. The med school AdComms won’t care at all- but you are not only likely to do better if you are studying things that are genuinely interesting, but you will have a happier 4 years as well.

You can major in anything you want (eg history, Spanish, bio, etc.), it does not matter to med schools. You should consider a major that interests you as if you like material you are more likely to do well GPA wise which is something med schools care, in part, a great deal about. You should also consider a major (and schools) that offer(s) you a Plan B as most premeds change their career goals. Most choose bio, perhaps out of interest, but also because of course overlap (ie you are completing major and most premeds reqs at same time). A bio major (or neuroscience or chem or Human Bio major) may offer an advantage as strong UD grades in your major (aka As) may help offset early struggles with science grades as opposed to say a history major who would not have UD science courses as part of their major and would have to find a way to squeeze some additional science courses in. As to difficulty, difficulty can be in the eye of the beholder (aka you), who you professors are. Premed courses provide background material for MCAT. When time comes you’ll have to get study materials and prep on your own, or take formal review course (eg Kaplan). As you mentioned T20s and these schools can be expensive, consider that most med students borrow their way through med school which is crazy expensive. Trying to graduate college with little to no debt should be a consideration. Good luck.

@Jugulator20 @collegemom3717
Thanks for your responses! Another question of mine is does the major actually hinder your chances of getting in? I know some universities do admissions by college (like Carnegie Mellon) and you’re accepted into a certain school based on what you apply into/major in. Do other universities employ a similar method where listing bio major may make admissions harder than if I went undecided?

Most colleges do not admit by major and the ones that do tend to be for specific majors / categories of majors. Usual suspects include engineering and comp sci. Even at CMU* they admit by school not major (so, Mellon College of Science, where you can choose which science once you get there.

Engineering & comp sci are frequently ‘impacted’ majors (ie, heavily oversubscribed), and (esp at state universities) often have higher effective admissions standards.

*Been a few years since I knew somebody not in comp sci there, so this might be out of date

Won’t matter. Med schools don’t care