2 answers

What can I take in college for majors/minors?

Asked Anaheim, California

Hello, I am a senior in high school and I was curious about the topic of majors and minors for college.
I want to become a doctor later on in my future- perhaps a surgeon, a general doctor, a nurse, etc. But, I have heard that I can major in anything during college, just as long as I have prep for my MCAT for medical school. Is this true?
Also, I want to do other sorts of activities during college. For example, I want to continue taking dance classes in different genres. I want to learn how to paint and draw. I was wondering if I can minor in art, but have a science major? Like biology?
Thank you for your time in reading my question!

2 answers

Amit’s Answer

Hi Crystal,

It is great to see that you have a career in mind. To answer your question, you can really major in anything when you are in college. However, I would research various medical school programs to see what the requirements are, so that you can complete those requirements during your undergrad program. It might be beneficial to major in something like biology, so you can be prepared for the rigor of medical school, and are well versed in its terminology.

Also, each undergrad program has various majors, which will consist of many different requirements. Research your majors of interest and see what classes you would enjoy. In terms of minors, you can also minor in anything. Your minor does not have to be related to your major at all! This is where you can fulfill you desires for art.

Amit recommends the following next steps:

  • Research college majors, whether is it the school or your attending, or planning to attend.
  • Research medical programs for requirements in addition to the MCAT, this may help you figure out courses/majors to target when you are in undergrad.
  • Research minors at your undergrad program for areas you wish to learn more about.
Thank you so very much! I appreciate your time and commitment to your answer :)

Alexandra’s Answer

Hi Crystal, there are many options you have in college. First, I would check if your college allows a double major or major and a minor. Normally, a minor would involve taking a certain number of classes (for example, 7 courses for a minor, instead of 10 for a major). In some cases you may be taking the classes anyway and could just go for a double-major. Generally speaking, you can major in a type of science (biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy), mathematics, a social science (anthropology, sociology, history, economics, political science, environmental studies etc.) or you can major in a language or literature (for example, Spanish literature or Spanish), or art, dance, theater or music (including music theory or art history). If you are interested in going to graduate school for law, medicine or engineering, some colleges would have the so called "pre" programs, such as "pre-med" or "pre-law" where you take certain classes to prepare for your graduate school career. You should also be aware that you can most likely change your major during the second year of college if you decide to go in a different direction. The options are many and they all offer great opportunities. So, for now, I would focus on trying to understand yourself better and exploring your interests and strengths.

Alexandra recommends the following next steps:

  • Think about the possible professions or occupations where you see yourself as a good fi
  • Think about subjects you like in school. Is there something you are good at that you would like to keep doing? (For example, my friend has a degree in economics, but she had a minor in dance because she had been doing ballet for 12 years prior to college.)
  • Talk to someone who has pursued a career you like. (For example, let's say you want to be a theater director but you really don't know what that is like on a day-to-day basis.)
  • Review college course catalogues and options for majors/minors
  • If you really like a college, but they happen not to offer a major you like, research whether they will let you design your own major or study abroad for a semester or year. For example, I wanted to learn Portuguese but my college of choice did not offer classes in it. (So, I looked for an outside program and went to study Portuguese in Brazil)