Top 8 Best Majors for Med School


Selecting the right major is a crucial step for students who aspire to attend medical school. It necessitates balancing the prerequisites for admission to medical school with personal interests and long-term career objectives. This challenging task can either make or break your journey towards pursuing a career in medicine. 

If you’re planning to apply to medical school, you should carefully consider which major to pursue. In this blog post, we will discuss the essential factors that pre-med students should consider, including the best majors for med school and their relevance.

What is Med School?

Medical school is a pivotal step in any doctor’s career. It is a graduate-level education that equips aspiring individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to become doctors. Typically lasting four years, medical school is divided into two main parts: the first half focuses on classroom learning about basic sciences (preclinical phase), while the second half involves hands-on training in hospitals under the supervision of experienced doctors (clinical phase).

An undergraduate degree, preferably in a scientific-related field such as biology, chemistry, physics, or math, is a prerequisite for admission into medical schools. So, choosing the right major is critical in preparing for medical school, as it can build a solid foundation of knowledge for understanding complex medical concepts.

Top 8 Best Majors for Med School

While maintaining a good GPA and writing a standout personal statement is surely important when applying for medical school, the admissions committee usually looks beyond that. As a pre-med student, it’s crucial to pick a major that demonstrates your commitment to medicine and makes you look like a strong candidate. Here are the top 8 best majors to get into medical school.

1. Biology

Biology is a popular major that focuses on life and living organisms. It covers subjects like genetics, microbiology, and anatomy. Many students choose this major as a preparation for medical school, as it provides an in-depth understanding of the human body and disease processes. In fact, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), it is the most popular pre-med major. Biology majors develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills through lab work and research, which are crucial for diagnosing and treating patients – the primary duty of a doctor.

2. Biochemistry

Biochemistry is a field of study that focuses on the chemical processes that occur in living organisms. It’s an ideal major for those who aspire to attend medical school because it delves deeply into the molecular-level functions of the body, such as DNA replication and metabolism. Biochemistry students acquire strong analytical skills and precise laboratory techniques, which are essential for medical research and clinical diagnostics. This knowledge and expertise will prove invaluable in medical school, particularly in pathology and pharmacology.

3. Chemistry

Chemistry focuses on the substances that constitute matter and the reactions they undergo. This major is particularly beneficial for those who plan to attend medical school, as it lays the foundation for comprehending drug interactions, bodily functions, and diagnostic tests. Essentially, chemistry equips students with analytical skills and a thorough understanding of chemical principles, which enhances their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities in medical settings. These skills are vital for pharmacology and clinical medicine courses in medical school.

4. Psychology

Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior, which includes exploring how people think, feel, and act. It plays a crucial role in the field of medicine as it helps aspiring doctors comprehend mental health issues and the psychological aspects of illness. Graduates of psychology gain valuable insights into assessing mental health, understanding patient behaviors, and applying therapeutic principles. This knowledge is particularly important in fields like psychiatry and pediatrics and for improving doctor-patient communication. Understanding psychological theories and practices enables physicians to provide comprehensive healthcare by addressing both the physical and mental aspects of their patient’s health.

5. Neuroscience

Neuroscience delves into the workings of the brain and nervous system, examining how they control everything from movement to thought. It is a crucial field for medical practice as it helps aspiring doctors comprehend the underlying causes of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and depression. The knowledge obtained through a neuroscience major is vital for specialties like neurology, psychiatry, and neurosurgery. By understanding the complexities of the nervous system, students are better equipped to diagnose and treat conditions that affect millions of people, making neuroscience an increasingly relevant and impactful area of study.

6. Biomedical engineering

Biomedical engineering is another potential major to consider if you’re interested in becoming a doctor. This major combines engineering techniques with medical sciences to design modern solutions for cures, which is essential in today’s technology-driven world. Biomedical engineering equips students with the ability to create advanced medical equipment and even develop artificial organs. These innovations are crucial for effectively diagnosing, treating, and preventing illnesses. For aspiring medical students, studying biomedical engineering offers a unique perspective by combining problem-solving skills with an understanding of biological systems, potentially leading to groundbreaking medical contributions.

7. Nursing

Nursing is a field that closely relates to medicine as it focuses on caring for individuals, families, and communities to maintain or regain good health. It is an important major for medical school as it offers practical experience in providing direct patient care. Nursing students receive training in administering treatments, managing patient interactions, and understanding healthcare protocols. This training helps them develop vital skills in effective communication and empathetic caregiving, which are essential for any medical professional.

8. Public health

Public health encompasses more than just caring for individual patients. It involves educating students on improving health at both community and global levels. The focus is on preventing diseases and promoting overall health and well-being through organized efforts. Public health students learn about the various factors that affect health in large populations, such as environmental issues, policy, and cultural practices. A major in public health also provides students with a comprehensive understanding of how to address and manage health issues that affect large groups, making them an invaluable asset in the medical field and beyond.

Tips on Choosing a Major for Med School


When choosing a major for medical school, there are several factors to keep in mind. First and foremost, consider the prerequisites required for medical school. While traditional pre-med majors like biology, chemistry, and biochemistry cover these courses directly, it’s important to keep an open mind and explore other fields that may spark your interest, such as psychology or anthropology. It’s recommended that you explore different subjects early on in your college career to discover what truly captivates you. This exploration can help keep you motivated and engaged throughout your studies.

In addition, talking to other professionals can also be impactful. Seek guidance from academic advisors and talk to current medical students or professionals to gain insights into how different majors can benefit your medical career goals.

Lastly, consider your long-term career aspirations and choose a major that not only prepares you for medical school but also enriches your desired path in the medical field, whether it’s research, clinical practice, or a specialty area. By taking these factors and others into consideration, you can choose a major that effectively prepares you for medical school while also paving the way for your future career in healthcare.

The Bottom Line

To ensure that you are both well-prepared and passionate about your path toward a medical profession, it is important to choose a field that meets medical school prerequisites and aligns with your personal interests and career goals. To make an informed decision, you should explore various subjects, seek guidance from experienced individuals and mentors, and consider how each major can shape your future in medicine. By following this approach, you can ensure that you make the right choice and are well on your way to becoming a successful doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the difference between a major and a program?

A major is a specific area of study focusing on a particular subject within an undergraduate degree, while a program refers to the entire course of study, including all majors and general education courses required to earn a degree.

Do med schools prefer certain majors?

Med schools do not prefer any specific major. They are primarily concerned with the courses completed and how well they prepare students for medical studies.

Do med schools prefer BA or BS?

Med schools generally do not have a preference between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS). They value the content of the courses taken more than the type of degree.

What GPA do med schools like?

Med schools typically look for a high GPA, ideally above 3.5, but they also consider the difficulty of the coursework and improvement over time.

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