Choosing a major is one of the most difficult decisions that young college students are forced to make every year. There are an endless number of degree choices, and they each have their own perks and challenges. For pre-med students, choosing what major to pursue can feel particularly daunting. Most schools do not have a dedicated pre-med path, so what major is best? Here are 3 reasons why you should choose to major in biology if you are a pre-med.
1. Biology is diverse with lots of opportunities
Biology is the study of life, from the ecosystems that sustain us to the cells that make up our bodies. Biology is also one of the most popular majors, with over 120,000 biology degrees awarded in 2021, and it is also by far the most common degree amongst premed students and matriculants. So why fix something that isn’t broken?
Because biology is so diverse, you will have plenty of opportunities to find a niche that interests you. During college, I found out genetics fascinated me while ecology bored me to death. I also liked anatomy a lot but hated microbiology. Because biology is such a popular major, you should be able to complete your degree and almost completely avoid the classes you don’t like. During the entire 5 years that I majored in biology, I only took one ecology class and one microbiology class. You will also have lots of opportunities to do research that really interests you. Most professors run labs and are eager to have cheap (or free) college students working for them.
2. Biology will help prepare you for the MCAT and medical school
I didn’t study for the biology portion of the MCAT and ended up doing well above average. In medical school, I often think back to my undergraduate genetics, anatomy, and microanatomy classes to help me understand new topics. Doing well in my biology classes definitely helped prepared me for the MCAT and medical school. But, I had to make an effort to register for relevant classes that I thought would help me in medicine. The sheer number of classes and subspecialties in biology means that it is easy to get side-tracked. If you only take ecology and ornithology classes during your junior and senior years, you probably won’t be prepared for the MCAT or medical school when they come up. Be warned!
3. Biology is way more chill than other “hard” sciences
Biology is not easy by any means, but based off my experience it is definitely less difficult than other science majors like physics, chemistry, math, and engineering. That’s good for pre-meds because you need to get the best GPA that you can in order to get accepted into medical school.
Pre-meds are busy. Between classes and extra-curricular activities like volunteering, research, and shadowing, you’ll barely have time to think. Having an easier major will help you do all these things. I knew more than a few premeds who signed up for the most difficult major they could think of (eg. nuclear engineering) because they thought it would look good on their applications just to end up tanking their GPAs and giving up on medical school. Biology will make your life a little easier.
3. Biology majors are cool!
Because biology is such a popular degree, there are lots of opportunities to build relationships and make friends in your classes and labs. by the time I graduated I knew a lot of the people in my class, and even continued to be friends with them into medical school. I still run into a lot of classmates around town that I haven’t seen in years, and I even met my girlfriend at a party that one of her lab partners invited her to. Because biology is so diverse, you’ll always learn a ton about different subjects from your peers, especially later in your degree. Biology majors are really fun to be around!
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