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Medical School Admissions’ Best Premed Major

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Picking an undergraduate major is an essential step to medical school. 60% of MCAT candidates have backgrounds in biological sciences, but you need a deeper academic base to do well on the test. Biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, and society are all crucial subjects. You won’t just learn the skills you need for the MCAT through a single major; this varied program does that.

To help you make an informed choice for a successful medical school journey, this guide goes into detail about the different majors that can give you the information and skills you need.

The Best Premed Majors for MCAT Success

Premedical (premed) majors are college programs that people who want to go to medical school often choose to prepare for. There isn’t a special “premed” major, but most students choose majors that cover the things they need to know to get into medical school and the things they will be tested on the MCAT.

Here’s an overview of what major best prepares you for the MCAT:

  1. Biological Sciences: Encompassing majors such as biology, biochemistry, and neuroscience, this field provides a comprehensive understanding of living organisms, which is crucial for medical studies.
  2. Physical Sciences: This category includes majors like chemistry and physics, focusing on the fundamental laws of nature, pivotal in medical diagnostics and treatments.
  3. Social Sciences: Majors such as psychology and sociology fall under this category. They offer insights into human behavior and social structures, vital for understanding patient care and healthcare systems.
  4. Humanities: Including majors like English and philosophy, the humanities develop critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and communication skills, all valuable in the medical profession.
  5. Interdisciplinary Studies: These programs combine elements from science, social science, and humanities, providing a well-rounded education that can be tailored to individual interests and the requirements of medical school.

Finding the right premed major is a significant decision for students who want to go to medical school. The question often arises: what are the best pre-med majors for MCAT preparation? The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) says that, besides your GPA and MCAT grades, your choice of major doesn’t have a big effect on your chances of getting into medical school.

Average MCAT Scores by Major

To figure out how undergraduate majors affect MCAT results, it’s helpful to look at the average scores that students from various fields of study get. Based on figures from the AAMC for the 2022–2023, here is a summary:

Major Average MCAT Score (Applicants) Average MCAT Score (Matriculants)
Biological Sciences 506.4 511.7
Humanities 509.0 513.2
Math and Statistics 510.9 514.9
Physical Sciences 509.3 513.4
Social Sciences 506.2 512.1
Chemistry 503.6 510.6

While these statistics provide a general idea, MCAT performance can vary substantially depending on several factors. Study habits, test-taking skills, and MCAT integration into major curricula are examples. The best prep courses online offer structured study schedules, detailed content review, and test-like practice examinations, which can boost a student’s performance.

The Role of Major in Medical School Admissions

Although GPA and MCAT scores are important indicators of success in getting into college, the different acceptance rates for different majors often have something to do with how well students do in those subjects. Choosing a major doesn’t seem to have much of an effect on admissions decisions when academic records are similar.

Interest vs. Difficulty

When considering which majors do best on MCAT, it’s important to balance your academic interests with the potential challenges of the major. Many students think that getting a difficult major will help them get into college. However, students should remember that doing well in a difficult major may get you some extra attention from admissions teams. But if this choice makes you do worse in school, it might not make up for the fact that medical school admissions are very tough and many applicants have great academic records.

A Personalized Approach

The key takeaway is to pick a subject that you are really interested in and that you can do well in. Don’t take a major just because it “looks good” on your resume. Your main goal should be to do well in the subject you’ve chosen, which will help you keep a high GPA and build a strong base for studying for the MCAT.

Well, while there’s no definitive answer to the best majors for MCAT, your focus should be on selecting a major that fits your hobbies and academic strengths. This will likely help you the most in both your undergraduate experience and your application to medical school.

Picking the best major for MCAT is the first step on the way to medical school. With 55,188 applicants for medical school in the 2022–2023, it is essential to know which fields get people into medical school.

We looked into data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to give you information on the most popular pre-med majors based on their matriculation rate. This will help you make an informed choice about your medical path.

Major 1: Biological Sciences

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If a student wants to do well on the MCAT, they should major in biological sciences. This major includes a lot of different subjects that are important for understanding health and illness in people. For this major, General Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, Biochemistry, Psychology, and Sociology are all considered to be the best classes to take for MCAT. Also very helpful are advanced classes in Genetics, Molecular Cell Biology, Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Molecular Cell Biology.

Biology majors can choose to focus on molecular biology, immunology, or microbiology as a specialty. These skills help people learn more about certain areas that are essential to medicine. Biology students also get useful lab training that helps them a lot when they go to medical school. Pre-med students in this major also often take anatomy and physiology classes, which give them useful knowledge about the human body.

Outside the classroom, biology majors often engage in research projects or internships in hospitals or public health clinics. These experiences not only provide hands-on learning but also facilitate networking in the medical field, enhancing their medical school applications.

Majoring in Biological Sciences, combined with the best MCAT test courses in Canada, provides a strong foundation for MCAT success. This approach ensures a thorough understanding of key scientific principles, practical experience, and strategic test preparation, all of which are essential for aspiring medical students.

Major 2: Chemistry

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As a pre-med major, chemistry gives students a deep understanding of both physical and biological concepts, which is important for doing well in medical, dental, optometry, or veterinary school. Majors in chemistry learn a lot of subjects that are closely related to the MCAT. This helps them improve their problem-solving skills, which are very important in health and medicine. This major encompasses a variety of courses, including:

  • General Chemistry I and II, with laboratory sessions.
  • Organic Chemistry I and II, accompanied by practical lab work.
  • Analytical Chemistry and Biochemistry, including Biochemistry Laboratory.
  • Courses in Physical Chemistry and seminars in Chemistry and Biochemistry.
  • Additional courses in Biology, such as Molecules to Cells​.

Chemistry majors benefit from hands-on experiences in state-of-the-art laboratories, faculty-mentored research projects, and opportunities to present their work at conferences. These experiences not only solidify their understanding of chemical principles but also provide networking opportunities and professional growth. By graduation, students often have developed close mentoring relationships with faculty and gained significant research experience, both of which are highly valued in medical school applications​​.

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To complement this robust academic foundation, students should also consider using the best MCAT prep books, such as The Princeton Review MCAT Complete Box Set, Kaplan MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review, and The Berkeley Review. These resources offer comprehensive information, practice questions, and strategic advice for nearly every MCAT subject, ensuring that students are well-prepared for the exam.

Major 3: Humanities

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If you want to figure out what majors do best on MCAT, majoring in the humanities is a unique and helpful way to get there. People who study humanities, such as English, history, and philosophy, do well on the MCAT, especially on the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills (CARS) part. Students in these areas learn crucial competencies, like how to think critically, reason analytically, and read widely, that are very helpful for the MCAT.

Humanities students learn how to read and understand difficult texts, which is a skill that is essential for the MCAT’s CARS part. They also learn how to write well, which improves their general capacities for interaction. A major in the humanities gives you a lot of different ways to look at cultural and moral problems, which is good for getting the all-around understanding that medical professionals need.

Interestingly, data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reveals that humanities majors are among the top performers on the MCAT, alongside students from math and statistics, and physical science backgrounds. This demonstrates the significant role humanities play in preparing for the MCAT and medical school.

Also read: Is Khan Academy enough for MCAT content review?

Students can improve their chances of getting into medical school by doing things outside of school like study projects, healthcare internships, or volunteer work. In the medical field, these events are great ways to learn by doing and make connections.

Major 4: Physical Sciences

This major includes classes that are necessary for understanding the basic rules of physics, which are a big part of medical science. Before taking the MCAT, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, and Biochemistry serve as prerequisite classes for this field. These studies give you a deep understanding of the physical and chemical processes that make biological systems work.

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In the physical sciences, students can choose to focus on chemical engineering, astronomy, or environmental science, among other things. These studies give you in-depth knowledge of certain areas of science. They help you understand more about different parts of physical science and how they can be used in medicine. Majors in physical sciences also learn useful lab skills by doing a lot of hands-on research and analyzing data.

As a way to learn more about how the physical and biological sciences interact, students in this major who are planning to become doctors often take advanced classes in molecular biology or biophysics. This method that draws from different fields is especially helpful for the MCAT, which tests knowledge in many scientific areas.

Students majoring in physical sciences often do study projects and internships outside of school in labs or research institutions. Not only do these experiences teach you things in the real world, they also give you chances to add to scientific progress and make connections in the scientific community.

Major 5: Math and Statistics

Some students might think about focusing in Math and Statistics to score well on the MCAT. This major equips students with critical analytical and quantitative skills, essential for the data interpretation and problem-solving questions on the MCAT. For example, calculus, algebra, advanced statistics, and probability are all common classes that teach vital abilities like logical thinking and critical reasoning.

Majors in math and statistics can often choose to focus on theoretical math, applied statistics, or computational models. With these specializations, they can better understand, maybe sometimes with the best MCAT tutors, complicated data, which is a critical skill in medical practice and study. In addition, students in this major often work on study projects that give them real-world experience with analyzing and interpreting data.

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By the way, while not a traditional pre-med major, students in Math and Statistics can complement their studies with essential science courses, thus gaining a comprehensive academic background beneficial for the MCAT. This interdisciplinary approach marries the precision of mathematical thinking with the practical knowledge of biological and physical sciences.

Beyond academic coursework, Math and Statistics majors can benefit from internships or collaborative projects in scientific research or healthcare analytics. These experiences not only offer practical applications of their skills but also open avenues for networking in the medical and research fields.

Major 6: Social Sciences

Majoring in the social sciences is a smart move for students who try to understand what majors score highest on MCAT and where you can get them. This major covers a wide range of topics, like psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

People who major in social sciences usually have to take psychology and sociology classes. These classes are very valuable for the MCAT’s Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior part.

Students in the social sciences often choose to focus in areas like public health, social behavior, or clinical psychology. By doing this, they learn more about how people behave and how society affects health. They also engage in research and data analysis, honing skills valuable for medical school.

Outside the classroom, these majors frequently participate in internships or volunteer work in community health settings, gaining practical experience and networking opportunities in the healthcare field.

Also read: Best MCAT podcasts

By majoring in social sciences and using the best MCAT prep apps, students equip themselves with a thorough understanding of human behavior and social dynamics, alongside strategic MCAT preparation.

FAQ

What Med School Has the Highest MCAT?

Numerous medical schools have high average MCAT scores for their new students in 2023. Notably, both the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said that their students’ average MCAT results were 521. Additionally, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons stated that their students had an even higher average MCAT score, with a score of 522.

Do Med Schools Look at Best MCAT Score?

Medical schools can weigh MCAT scores differently. There is no uniform way medical schools analyze multiple MCAT scores. Schools may use the most recent, highest, or lowest score, based on their admissions standards. The highest MCAT score is usually considered by most medical programs. They focus on the top score and accompanying subdivision scores for each attempt. This permits retaken MCAT applicants to show their highest performance to admissions committees.

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