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does a biology major decrease your chances of getting into medical school?

So i'm considering in going into medical school, and becoming a doctor.

i was thinking of majoring in biology, but have come across an article saying that it decreases your chances of getting into medical school, because everybody right now wants to go into biology. I heard that medical schools look down upon biology, and chemistry majors, and it's harder to get in because of the competition.

I have read that you can major in anything, and still become a doctor, because the MCAT is based on pre-med courses, not the major you major in correct?

But i would like to major in something else other than biology because what i've heard.

Say that i majored in history i would still have to take pre-med courses along with that major, but would some majors be more than 4 years? like if i took history and pre-med would it take longer than if i majored in biology?

i would just imagine the load... But i say that most people choose biology because some pre-med classes are already incorporated in there. i don't know what to major in, and i'm just scared that i won't get into medical school bc of what i majored in.

i don't know how this works... if you could help me a bit that would be great thanks!


thanks to all who posted, this has got me thinking. But the information really helped, i appreciate all the info.

I gave everybody thumbs up.

5 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    General advice: You should major in what interests you. The most important thing is to have a high GPA, good relationships with your profs for letters of rec and a med school essay from the heart. You can't do these things well if you major in something you don't like. But if you have a genuine interest in your major, your likelihood of getting into med school will be highest. If you like Biology, then take it.

    Advice if you have interest in a non-science: What you've heard is somewhat true. Biology majors don't stick out to med sch admissions (unless they find clever ways to do so,see below). If you have interests aside from Bio, I recommend minoring in Biology and majoring in say History as you suggested, or a language like French/Spanish/German etc. This way you can still have biology classes from your minor and stick out from the crowd with your History major. If you go this route make sure History (or whatever it is) is something you truly like (otherwise, just major in Bio, there are other ways to stand out from the crowd, see below).

    To answer your question about majoring in it won't take longer if you plan your pre-med classes carefully with your history classes. I had a friend who majored in English, took all her pre med classes and finished undergrad in 3 yrs. Now she is in Med School aiming to become a Pediatrician. It can and has been done, majoring in a non-science and getting into med school.

    You may have to take some summer classes to lighten the load.

    Advice if you like Bio the most: So if you really like Biology and not History....I would still major in Biology and distinguish myself in others ways....with a cool minor....or study abroad or volunteer in science-related programs, or start a new science organization or community project on campus etc. I hope this helps. What ever you decide, make sure you stick to your genuine interest!!! As long as you follow your interest you will have the X Factor that can get you into any med sch or grad sch of choice. Most ppl live their lives without heart. Don't be one of them. All the best.

    Source(s): Took all pre-med classes. Biology major.
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  • 4 years ago


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  • Rohan.
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    Do you like biology? If you do it is always better to study a major that you actually enjoy.

    Regarding biology majors not getting into medical school, or medical schools frowning upon them, that is not true. Biology majors make up almost 60% of any given medical school class (at least, most are up to 75%).

    But biology majors acceptance rate is artificially low. Let me explain why. The classes in a science major are very demanding, and many people were told when entering college that to go to medical school they had to be a biology major, therefore they had to study something that necessarily didn't enjoy as much and that lowered their GPA, which is important to medical schools. This meant that there are a lot of people that apply with a biology major that do not get in, majing their acceptance rate low, but medical schools do not have a bias against them. The advantages of a biology major though is that they (along with chemistry and biochemistry) generally test better on the MCAT than non-science majors and as you said the pre-reqs are built in.

    If you want to major in something else go for it! With a history degree (which is generally a little light in coursework) you should be able to fit in all the required courses no problem (maybe taking summer classes one time). The MCAT is generally (The biological sciences part has a couple questions from advanced biology classes you will not take) based on the pre-med courses so you will be ok there (you just will need to study a little harder for it since you will have fewer science courses).

    Major in something you enjoy, and you will do better in class, making you a stronger candidate for medical school. Picking a major based on a "fall-back" plan is pointless for medical school, unless you are not 100% sure you want to go (which you should be).

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  • 10 years ago

    The best advice is to choose a Major which facilitates pre-med courses but also offers a good fallback career if Medical School doesn't happen. (Most people who want to get into Medical School don't make it).

    Here are five Majors that meet these criteria:

    Bioprocess Engineering

    Biological Engineering

    Biomedical Engineering Technology

    Chemical Engineering

    Pharmaceutical Sciences

    Note: Biology is NOT on this list.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Theoretically, yes. But, since you're not a US citizen it may be very difficult. And, there is no financial aid for med school, even for US students. You take out huge loans and then spend many years paying them back. You may or may not qualify for such loans, as a foreign student. Med schools will accept students with almost any major, as long as they have the pre-requisite math, science and English courses. Have you taken O-chem? That's the weed-out course for med school. I know docs who, as undergrads, were music, history or English majors. Those med schools you mention are even more competitive for admission than most. You'd need top grades, top MCAT score, fantastic recommendation letters, and impressive undergrad relevant research experience. And, those schools may not even be the best match for what you want to do. Harvard is mainly a research-oriented med school, for instance.

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