Choosing a Major

No one major is required or favored by health profession schools. Rather, they look for students who have met their prerequisite requirements and have demonstrated the academic and interpersonal abilities required to be a competent health care provider.  The following questions may help you as you consider what undergraduate major to pursue: 

1)  What subject is the most interesting to you?  Studying something that interests you will make it easier to succeed in your coursework and will make school more enjoyable.  Consider what your interests are and what you want to learn more about.  To explore majors at USU, you should visit the find a degree page of the USU website. You may also look at the list of majors previous students completed prior to entry to professional schools.

2)  Will this degree function for you as a backup plan?  You will be working toward this goal for a number of years, but your plans may change or you may not be competitive enough to apply to professional school.  Roughly 45,000 students apply to medical school every year and about 18,000 get in.  With only 40% of applicants accepted on average,  it is in your best interest to plan for all outcomes.  Choosing a major that also functions as a backup plan is a wise decision.

3)  What knowledge might prove helpful in your medical studies and career?  Students with a background in business might go on to become doctors working as health administrators.  Students with an engineering background might use these skills in designing implants or medical devices.  This is a journey of  personal development and knowledge building and your major should provide specific, functional knowledge for your individual needs.

4)  What prerequisites are required by your professional schools?  A student that chooses a science degree will have many of the prerequisites included in their degree program.  If you choose a non-science degree you will add 50-60+ science credits to your degree program requirements.  The goal of the applicant should be to take enough science coursework to prepare for the admissions exam and a rigorous medical school curriculum.  More science typically means a stronger foundation for good performance in graduate school.

5)  What courses will prepare you for your admissions test?  The various admissions tests don't all cover the same topics.  It is important for you to know the content of the test you will be taking and the courses you will need to take before the exam date.  It may be helpful to choose a major that will allow you to complete that coursework.

Your undergraduate education should be a time of exploration, learning, and choice.  Take advantage and choose a major that makes you happy!