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Best major for health related careers

QuietThinkerQuietThinker Registered User Posts: 145 Junior Member
edited November 2012 in University of Alabama
D2 wants to pursue an MD or a Pharmacy degree after UG. What is the best major for this:

Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry or Chemical Engineering?

We visited the campus recently and were very impressed. Chemical Engineering sounds like a great option except that there is a real potential for getting a lower than a desirable GPA ( < 3.7 ) which could eliminate our daughter's chances of going to Med school.

She is a presidential scholar. If she pursues a non-Engineering major she might lose the $2,500 per year scholarship. So, we have to weigh the potential for lower GPA against getting an additional $10,000 over four years.
Post edited by QuietThinker on

Replies to: Best major for health related careers

  • JoyeuxJoyeux Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    I would recommend that she choose do to whatever she is most interested in. I am not sure how pharmacy schools work, but I know for med schools you don’t even have to major in a science as long as you take some science classes (Bio, Chem, Physics, O Chem). I am planning on applying to med school, and I’m an anthropology major/psychology minor.

    If the extra $10000 would make a serious difference for you, that is something to consider. But I wouldn’t recommend studying something for four years (especially something that is very challenging) unless you are genuinely interested in it. She shouldn’t let the possibility of having a somewhat lower GPA deter her from doing engineering if that is what she wants to do. But, to my knowledge, being a Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry or Chemical Engineering major isn’t going to significantly impact her chance of getting into med school.

    In short, she should do what she wants. If she enjoys what she is studying, she is more likely to be engaged and get higher grades anyways. One major isn’t going to give her an advantage over the other. It is no longer true that all pre-med students are Bio majors, or even that they are science majors. If she isn’t sure at this point, I would recommend talking to a pre-health advisor and taking introductory courses (like Bio, Chem, etc) and other general education requirements that are universal between the majors, and then make a decision after a semester or two.
  • parent56parent56 Registered User Posts: 7,658 Senior Member
    quietthinker.. you might want to go over to the premed forum, some good posts over there. joyeux is correct, can major in anything she wants as long as she takes the premed required sciences courses. the primary factor for med school is gpa and mcat score not major.
    Pre-Med Topics - College Confidential

    please note that there is a change to the mcat effective soon and that may imo affect some of the requirements. (also be sure to check the website of any med school she might be interested in..a few do have some additional requirements...)
  • MontegutMontegut Registered User Posts: 6,123 Senior Member
    I work with a lot of doctors and view/review a lot of CVs. Amazing how few are science majors. Just recently worked with a young orthopedist who got his BS in business, specializing in management. He's a partner in a very successful practice and did his training with a renowned orthopedist in the Birmingham area. I've also met some GPs that are professional musicians on the side, from weekend garage bands to classical pianists. But, I live in a very music oriented city.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,627 Senior Member
    It's best just to major in a favorite and strong major. Even if majoring in - say - biology - were to give a small edge, it won't do your D any good if she hates it and doesn't excel in it.
    (just to clarify...there is no edge in bio or any other major).

    Go to the Alabama pre-health website to check for various req'ts for med school, pharm school, etc.

  • QuietThinkerQuietThinker Registered User Posts: 145 Junior Member
    Thanks for the replies. I am quite familiar with majors for premeds in general. I was specifically asking about Alabama. Is it easy to get GPA > 3.7 in Biology or Chemistry? I am seeking answers from premed majors who are currently majoring in one of those two.
  • juniebugjuniebug Registered User Posts: 498 Member
    I don't think it will be easy to get >3.7 gpa in anything. There are a lot of adjustments to be made in college, and there is bound to be an element of luck involved as far as staying healthy and picking professors.

    Unless your DD cannot go to college without the extra $10k in scholarships, she should major in something she loves and is good at. My DD is very good in English, but she doesn't love it. She is a bio major and is getting A+. But she loves it and is good at it. The other sciences demand more work from her. If your D is good at everything, then she will probably be fine no matter what she decides.

    As far as protecting her gpa, it is helpful to make sure each semester is balanced with undemanding classes along with the tough ones.
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