If medical school is your holy grail, undergraduate programs are available to guide you on your quest for admission. But it’s not a major -- what you choose to major in is up to you.
Students often choose majors in chemistry or biology because they must take several classes in these fields. However, medical schools are also impressed by students with diverse interests. For example, if you have a passion for music, you may want to indulge it before concentrating on your medical studies. As long as you fulfill all of the prerequisite courses for med school, feel free to choose a non-science major.
Premedicine programs provide guidance to students as they prepare for medical school, osteopathic medical training, and podiatric medical training.
“Practicing medicine is an art, and it's not only being competent that's important, but being humanistic too.” Angela, M.D. candidate, University of Michigan
Are You Ready To...?
- Join a campus club for future doctors
- Start an MCAT study group
- Spend lots of time -- on top of a full course load -- preparing for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), a required element of the med school application
- Volunteer with a health organization -- maybe overseas
- Intern at a hospital or another medical facility
- Meet with an advisor to make sure you are doing everything necessary to prepare for medical school
- Get a well-rounded liberal arts education including math and science courses
It Helps To Be...
Self-motivated, confident, and compassionate. Acceptance into medical school is competitive, and you will spend many years studying and training to become a doctor. Along the way, the desire to heal and prevent disease must be a strong motivator.
- Are academic advisors and career counselors actively involved in the program?
- Does the school offer challenging science courses?
- Are science labs well-equipped?
- Is there a hospital on or near campus where you can intern?
- What preprofessional clubs and student organizations can you join?
- Does the school provide any review courses or other MCAT preparation services?
Did You Know?
Many universities offer a seven-year program that combines undergraduate and medical studies and culminates in an M.D.
To get into med school, you’ll need to complete a full year of organic chemistry. In lecture and lab, you’ll study the building blocks of life: molecules of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.
Topics include molecular structure, bonding, and the synthesis -- or creation -- of simple compounds from complex ones. These classes tackle everything from carbohydrates to amino acids, and have many applications in pharmacology and other health-related areas.