Written by Clara Sun
One of the most common questions college students get asked is, “What’s your major?” Coming out of high school, it’s difficult to know exactly what you want to pursue, and many students switch majors in the middle of their college experiences.
For pre-meds specifically, it may seem imperative that you pursue a science degree to impress medical schools. However, that is a myth that I am always happy to debunk! Do med schools care what you major in? No! The criteria that should be important to you includes completing medical school prerequisites and majoring in a discipline you are really passionate about.
After writing about medical secondary essays in a previous UWorld blog post, I’m excited to address this pre-med concern, elaborate on how I chose my major, and show you how you can leverage your undergraduate studies to distinguish yourself among applicants.
How I decided on my college majors
- Heading into college, I was unsure what I wanted to study, but I tentatively chose neuroscience. I knew that I was not excited by pure biology, chemistry, or physics. I also knew that human behavior and our thought-process fascinated me, so I stuck with neuroscience.
- At the end of my freshman year, I added economics as a second major. I decided this after my friend introduced me to behavioral economics and my freshman extracurriculars reinforced my passion for the business aspect of healthcare.
How to make the most of your college courses
- College is your opportunity to explore different career possibilities, immerse yourself within new cultures, and engage in a variety of endeavors.
- Use your four years to take classes in different topics! Explore the course catalog for classes you may not have initially considered. My favorite classes weren’t my pre-med classes, but studies in religion, economics, on death & dying, and game theory, respectively.
How your major can help you stand out
- One of the reasons why studying what you’re passionate about is important, whether it’s a science topic or not, is that it will also help you craft your medical school application. Your major, along with extracurricular activities that reinforce your interests outside of medicine, can help you stand out from the thousands of applicants.
- For example, there were consistent themes of entrepreneurship and business throughout my application, and I related these interests to why I wanted to be a physician. My passions were reinforced through my second major in economics and my activities in business throughout college. This not only paints a vivid picture of who I am for the admissions committee, it also proves that I was engaging in activities meaningful to me.
How this advice reflects in med school
- Medicaland schools value the uniqueness and diverse experiences of individual students in an incoming class. Admission committees would not want to accept a class of students who all have the same majors and are interested in the same hobbies and research. Connecting and interacting l with other students who have diverse passions is advantageous because you can learn from each other.
- In my class, we have a variety of undergraduate majors. I have met anthropology, chemistry, biology, religion, spanish, engineering, english, music, theatre majors, and more!
- As long as you can complete the required pre-med classes, I encourage you to major in whatever excites you!
To hear more general pre-med advice, MCAT tips, learn about the application process, and see what life is like as a medical student, check out my Instagram: @the.medisun.blog. I’m happy to answer any questions, so feel free to message me anytime. Best of luck!
Clara is a first-year medical student and is a recent graduate from the University of Miami. She started her Instagram @the.medisun.blog to offer pre-med, MCAT, application, and medical school advice. Every month she shares stories from colleagues in different aspects of healthcare and career stages, such as nursing, PA, resident, healthcare consultant, etc. She also hopes to engage with others who share her passion for the intersection of business, medicine, and technology. Follow her on Instagram @the.medisun.blog for more insights!
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