The question of what to major in as a pre-med is extremely common question parents and students asked! There is a lot of different articles out there speaking about which major maybe the best, but here we take an analytical approach to the question.
Acceptance Rates for the Most Popular Majors
Based on 2017-2018 AAMC data, the most popular majors for medical school matriculants were biological sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences. The acceptance rates for these majors were really similar, ranging between 41 percent and 46 percent. The bottom line is that your major does not matter. (On average, only about 40 percent of total applicants matriculate to medical school each year).
What’s Up with Humanities and Math/Statistics Majors?
Acceptance rates to medical schools for humanities and math/statistics majors may appear more impressive at first. Fifty percent of humanities majors and 48 percent of math/statistics majors were accepted this past year. You may be thinking to yourself, “Wow, I should be a humanities or a math/statistics major, because they have higher acceptance rates!” But, keep in mind that students with these majors represent a very small percentage of all medical school matriculants.
Top Majors for Medical School Matriculants
Based on the AAMC data, the most popular major for medical school matriculants was biological sciences (54 percent of total matriculants). Physical sciences and social sciences each only represented 10 percent of accepted students. It is important to know that all math/statistics, humanities, and specialized health sciences majors together only made up about 8 percent of total matriculants.
Why Did Specialized Health Sciences Majors Have the Lowest Acceptance Rates?
Specialized health sciences majors had the lowest average MCAT scores out of any majors. Specialized health sciences majors’ average MCAT score was about 501, compared to 510 for the average person accepted to medical school. That is close to ten points lower! I wonder if this is because top tier schools do not usually offer a specialized health sciences major, so students with this major are generally less competitive students.
Choose Your Major Wisely! GPA Matters
Remember that your GPA matters more than what you major in. It is important to choose a major that you think you can do well in. If you are really interested in biochemistry, but you do not get higher than a B in most of your biochemistry classes, you probably will not have a high enough GPA to be accepted to medical school. The average overall GPA for students admitted to medical schools is 3.71!
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