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Choosing a pre-med major

Choosing a pre-med major

Students can apply to medical school with any major, including non-science areas, as long as they take the required courses listed by the school to which they apply. Generally these include a year each of General Chemistry, General Biology, General Physics, and Organic Chemistry with in-person labs. (OHSU and other schools also require Genetics and Biochemistry). Other classes such as PSY 201 & 202, SOC 204, and statistics are also highly recommended. Liberal arts requirements often include a year each of humanities, social sciences and writing. It is important to study both sciences and liberal arts courses to prepare well for the MCAT. Broad reading is also important.

Some majors have an option (a concentration) in pre-medicine that can be declared. Although an official option is not required to be admitted to medical school, options are often optimized to deliver a combination of required prerequisites and beneficial electives for medical school.

Common majors for pre-medical students in the College of Science

Biochemistry/Biophysics

Biochemists and Biophysicists solve problems at the intersection of biological and physical sciences. Biochemists focus their questions on cell-level processes. Biophysicists use the physical sciences to study life processes at the molecular level. Students receive thorough training in biochemistry, chemistry, physics, biophysics, mathematics and computational sciences.

This major offers an official Pre-Medicine option.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB)

Molecular biologists address the same questions as the Biochemistry and Biophysics major, but with a specific emphasis on life processes at the molecular level. Students are trained in the molecular biological advances that are having a powerful impact on our world.

This major offers an official Pre-Medicine option.

BioHealth Sciences (BHS)

The BioHealth Sciences major consists of a solid biological and physical science core combined with a variety of health, microbiology and social sciences courses in a unique blend formulated to meet the needs of students interested in a career in a variety of health care fields.

This major offers an official Pre-Medicine option.

Biology

Biology is a comprehensive life science curriculum covering coursework ranging from biochemistry and molecular biology to organismal biology, ecology, and evolution. It works well for students who want to have a breadth of life sciences background that can be used for a variety of career goals.

This major offers an official Pre-Medicine option.

Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of the behavior of atoms, molecules, electrons, and ions. You will gain fundamental knowledge about chemical processes that affect the real world from energy to clean air, medicine and materials for technological devices. Research in chemistry could apply to the treatment of diseases.

This major offers an official Pre-Medicine option.

Microbiology

Microbiologists study a large and diverse group of microorganisms- bacteria, viruses, protozoa, algae, and fungi. Study the world's smallest organisms to solve the world's biggest problems from health, safety, food, and the environment.

This major offers an official Pre-Medicine option.

Majors outside the College of Science

Other common majors for pre-med students include those in Engineering (e.g,, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Health Physics, etc.), Public Health and Human Sciences (e.g., Kinesiology, Nutrition, Public Health), Agricultural Sciences (e.g, Bioresource Research) and Liberal Arts (e.g., Philosophy, Psychology, Spanish, etc.). Medical schools are looking for academic rigor and depth, so choose a major that interests you.