Choosing a College Major

by Melissa
(South Pasadena, CA)

I was recently accepted at ucsd as an undergraduate, and my major is aerospace engineering. I was wondering if you thought that this major would put me at a disadvantage when applying to medical school, or if it would be a better idea to change to bioengineering? I really love aerospace but I think I probably will want to be a doctor down the road, so I was wondering if you thought aerospace/premed to med school was do-able because I haven't heard of anyone else pursuing this major and going on to medical school.


Thank you!

MY RESPONSE
First of all, congratulations on your acceptance into UCSD! I'm sure you must be very excited.

As an entering student for college you are in a very good place, you are already planning what course of action to take and using considerable foresight for the future.

When it comes to your college major, the advice is very simple: major in the course which interests you the most. Therefore, I think pursuing aerospace sounds like a very good plan.

The only requirement you will have to do is complete the basic requirements for medical school which include:
*general chemistry
*biology
*organic chemistry
*physics
You will want to take each of the above courses for a year as well as their associated laboratories. Some medical schools may require calculus or biochemistry, but this is something to think about much later.


From your message you stated, you would major in Bioengineering because it is more traditional and you believe it will give you a better shot of getting admitted.

Please don't pursue a major for the sole purpose of getting admitted to medical school. You want to engage in a course of study which is interesting to you, you're passionate about, and enjoy.

Why?

You're more likely to excel in your course of study i.e. better grades which we all know will help you when applying to medical school.

Also, medical schools like students who bring something unique to their entering classes so having a degree in aerospace can allow you to stand out in a very positive manner. As a side note, there is a specialty of medicine called: Aerospace Medicine which may be of interest to you in the long-run too.

Finally
Don't be afraid of change or new ideas/concepts while in college. For instance, if you find out your original ideas of a major are not what you like you can always change. I know many premeds and college students in general who have changed, switched or were undecided about their major.

The overall goal is to become a well-rounded student while completing the requirements for medical school.

~Jason

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