As you look at your school’s catalog, I am sure you are overwhelmed with how many majors there are to choose from. There are the social sciences, like Politics and Sociology, Foreign Languages, Art, Music, History, Religion, and Business, not to mention the natural sciences, like Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, Kinesiology, Psychology, Neuroscience… Having brain overload yet? These are only a few of the many majors schools offer. So, what is the difference between them, and how will you know which one to choose? I hope this post is able to clear up some of the confusion and help you make the important decision of choosing your major.
Which major do medical schools recommend? Medical schools do not require a specific major, not even one in the natural sciences. It has even been said that medical schools look highly on students who have not majored in science, because this shows they are well-rounded. However, students are still expected to complete all of the science requirements before entering medical school, so majoring in something other than science could mean a lot more work. By majoring in a natural science, you will already be required to take many of the pre-requisites for medical school. Even if you do decide to major in science, I would highly recommend taking classes in other fields you are interested in. For example, one of the doctors I have shadowed recommended taking business and accounting courses. Doctors who start their own practice are responsible for managing the finances, as well as treating patients. A doctor who has taken some business courses will find it easier to manage this aspect of owning their own practice. Because of this, I took an accounting course as a Freshman, absolutely loved it, and now am minoring in Accounting.
Why are there so many science majors? Is there a difference? Most science majors require the same core classes, however differ in what the upper-level courses emphasize. Biology focuses on the cell, its organelles, and cellular processes. Chemistry focuses on how elements and molecules react to each other, like what bonds form between two molecules and why. Biochemistry serves to combine these two by showing which chemical reactions are present that cause the cellular processes to proceed. Personally, I initially started school as a Biology major however, later switched to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I felt that I would be more engaged in a class when learning about the detailed processes specifically within the human body. While once you have declared a major the majority of the classes you take will be based on that subject, you still will have the opportunity to take other courses. Make sure to take advantage of this. For example, although I am not majoring in Kinesiology, I just could not pass up the chance to take Responding to Emergencies. Who wouldn’t love to get CPR credit through going to class? Also, at my school, neither a Biology nor Biochemistry major requires taking Anatomy, which is a Kinesiology class. However, I feel that taking Anatomy as an undergraduate will be extremely helpful when taking it in medical school, especially with lab experience. So, I will be taking both Anatomy I and II next year.
No matter which major you choose, make sure it is something you love. You do not want to find yourself majoring in Chemical Physics, taking Thermal Physics and Advanced Analytical Chemistry, unless it is something you absolutely cannot live without.
Which major are you leaning toward, or have chosen, and why? Leave a comment or question below. I would love to know your thoughts.
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