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What should I major in?

Hi, I am a sophomore in high school, and I want to be an OB/GYN. I know that I want to attend the University of Georgia, but I want to know what to major in as an undergraduate. I do not know what major would fit with my profession choice, and I need to know what would make the most sense to take. #doctor #medicine #undergraduate #obstetrics #gynecology #hospital-and-health-care #healthcare #biology #higher-education


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Richard’s Answer

In the US, to apply to medical school, you need a bachelor's degree. Any 4-year university should suffice.

Pick a major that interests you so you don't mind devoting a majority of your hours to studying. You will need to get good grades in college in order to apply for medical school. At the medical school I attended, the average GPA is reported to be 3.85, so even one or two B's can hurt your chances of acceptance.

Aside from this, any major is acceptable as long as you complete the prerequisite courses.

Typical medical school prerequisites include:
Biology: Lecture – 4 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
General Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Organic Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Biochemistry: Lecture – 1 semester
General Physics: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Math: Statistics – 1 semester
English: Rhetoric (Composition) and Literature – 2 semesters


I chose biochemistry because there was overlap with the premed requirements and I wanted to complete my degree in 3 years.

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ellyn’s Answer

Good luck! The best news is that *officially* you do not have to major in anything that is science based to get into medical/dental/healthcare professional school. But there are many required courses that are needed for medical school- calculus, biology, microbiology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics etc. That being said, it may be easier to narrow your focus on a biology/chemistry/science track in order to complete the necessary courses. However, when you arrive at college, you aren't married to the major you choose. I would meet with the professional school advisors (that's what they were called at my large 4 year university) early to make sure you are getting all the pre-requisite courses completed as they need to be.

Although many schools enjoy having "well-rounded" students, I found it to be much better for me to be surrounded by like-minded students pursuing medicine, dentistry, veterinary school etc. We had a lot of common ground and therefore were quite focused, and many of us had the same classes so getting a study group that was reliable was easier. As an outlet I pursued a degree in a foreign language, which I believe helps me tremendously in my career and was great for my enjoyment.

Remember, that during your undergraduate time you will also need to plan time for the MCAT, both study time and an appropriate time to take the exam. The exam includes all facets of biology, chemistry and organic chemistry, physics, math, psychology, sociology, reading comprehension and some new changes coming down the pipeline. Again, it may help focus you to obtain a degree in the sciences, but that will definitely be up to your judgement.

What undergraduate degrees have you considered? Are you planning on becoming involved in extra curricular activities? Do you have an idea of what those might be? Those activities can help "round you out" while also giving you a reprieve from the arduous studying.
#college #doctor #medicine #undergraduate #biology #higher-education

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Debra’s Answer

Hi Te'yah, As others have pointed out, there is not a "required" major at the undergraduate school for a future that includes med school, but Biology is very common to see. Other "hard sciences" such as Physics, Anatomy, and Chemistry are also fairly common. It's also important to choose a major that YOU can really excel in because your GPA will be important in getting into Med School. So while the biological sciences might best prepare you for med school, you also need to post really good grades. As you know, medical school acceptance is very competitive, so read all you can about the process. I've included some links for you below that can help. You can review the average MCAT scores and the average GPA's of students who get accepted into med school (MCAT is the Medical College Application Test). For example, the average GPA of accepted students into the Medical College of Georgia is a 3.79. Also - med schools ask you to write at least one essay for your med school application and will look at things like Volunteer experience....and you will be interviewed as well. So you want to be a good well-rounded candidate to be as competitive as possible. And while you may have your heart set on UGA for undergrad school, consider other options and apply to several undergrad schools. Visit the schools and choose the one that is the best "fit" for you. Fit is something many students forget about... but you want to choose a good fit so you're in an environment where you feel supported and where you can excel. As a UGA grad myself, I love my DAWGS , but I also know that it's not the right college for everyone. I didn't start at UGA - I transferred in from a smaller school after my Freshman year - and I'm glad I did that. I might have been a bit overwhelmed if I had gone straight to UGA from high school. Doing my Freshman year at a smaller school helped me adjust to the rigors of college academics which is quite different from most high school classes and curriculum... and most students need time to adjust to being their own "parent". You need to be able to make yourself study and work hard instead of relying on family to push you to do that. You need to be able to push yourself. I wish you the best of luck... and Go Dogs!



Debra recommends the following next steps:

Average MCAT scores and GPA's for med school admissions: http://www.mcattestscores.com/usmedicalschoolsmcatscoresGPA.html
Med school undergrad majors and other info: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-medical-schools/articles/2016-08-23/infographic-4-questions-about-undergraduate-majors-for-medical-school
Not great at Biology? Other med school undergrad majors to consider: https://www.collegemagazine.com/10-good-majors-for-med-school/
First hand stories of getting into med school: https://students-residents.aamc.org/choosing-medical-career/medical-careers/inspiring-stories/

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Bianca’s Answer

Hi Te’yah. So going into you undergraduate degree, you’re going to be a biology major. I’m not sure what you would choose as a minor, if you even have to because your coursework will be extensive. I would talk to you HS counselor and find out what courses they offer to steer you in that direction. Take AP classes and take them seriously, pay for the AP tests your senior year to test out of those pre-requisite courses everyone has to take as well. UGA is a great option, but make sure to do your research on lots of other programs, partnerships, and internships offered. Hope this helps! Bianca :)

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Estelle’s Answer

You have received great advice. Getting into medical school is difficult and requires hard work and dedication. The most important components to your application are GPA, MCAT scores, personal statements, and letters of recommendation. Don't worry about the degree itself. Choose something that you are really interested in so that your grades will stay high and letters of recommendation will truly reflect your dedication.
Good luck!

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