Is Psychology a good major for a pre-med student?

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Is Psychology a good major for a pre-med student?

Postby yesmar14 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:05 am

I am a first year student at Ohio University. I understand that the path to Med school and residency is challenging and requires a substantial amount of hard work and intelligence. I haven't actually declared a major yet, but I have been in and plan to focus on psychology courses and the courses required for acceptance to med school. I read somewhere that Psychology isn't exactly considered a great major if one is pursuing a medical career because it is known as an easy degree. I would like to be a psychiatrist. Also, I had trouble in my fall quarter with biology and calculus and plan to take them again. I never studied in high school and good grades came easy to me. I was expecting college to be the same. I am actually really good with calculus and was pretty much repeating it because I took a similar course in high school. I just missed an important test. Biology is another thing. I'm trying to learn better study habits, and I am doing very well in my current classes. So... my questions for you. Is psychology a good major? Would someone with a psychology degree be able to compete with someone with a biology or chemistry degree? If I put my nose in the books that matter and receive a good GPA, would the poor grades from my first quarter of freshman year not look so terrible? I tend to think a lot, and my thinking leads to potential failures, which scares me into choosing an easier career path, but I want a challenge. I don't want something easy, and I don't want to regret not pursuing medicine.

Re: Is Psychology a good major for a pre-med student?

Postby DrDave » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:53 am


It matters very little, if at all, what your major is when applying to medical school. You can major in psychology or film studies and still be a competitive pre-med applicant. While many pre-med students major in chemistry or biology, doing so gives you no advantage. There are several reasons why you find a lot of science majors in medical school. First, most pre-med students like science. Second, once you have completed all of your pre-med requirements, you are much closer to filling the requirements to be a biology or chemistry major than any other field.

If you want to be a psychiatrist, you probably find psychology interesting, which would make that a good field for your major.

You didn't say just how bad your grades were. The general rule is that bad grades your first semester can sometimes be overlooked if you do very well the rest of college. It is common for people to have an adjustment period when they first start college. The problem you face, though, is that there are plenty of applicants for medical school slots who didn't have bad grades their first semester.

One suggestion I make for everyone thinking about medical school is to consider a major that will give you options in case medical school doesn't work out for you.
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