Getting into medical school is extremely competitive, with acceptance rates often dipping into the single digits. As a pre-med student, choosing the right major is crucial to build a strong med school application.

If you’re wondering which majors to avoid when applying to medical school, here’s a quick answer: the worst majors for med school admissions are performing arts, education, visual arts, communications, business, and anything too obscure or unrelated to science.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss in detail the pros and cons of various college majors when it comes to med school admissions. We’ll provide tips on how to strengthen your application no matter your undergraduate field of study.

The Worst Majors for Pre-Meds

Choosing a major can play a significant role in your journey towards medical school. While there is no specific major required for admission, some majors may present more challenges than others when it comes to gaining acceptance. Here are the worst majors for pre-med students:

Performing Arts

Pursuing a major in performing arts may be a passion for many, but it can pose difficulties for pre-meds. The demanding nature of this major often requires a significant time commitment, leaving little room for the rigorous coursework and extracurricular activities that medical schools look for.

Additionally, the lack of science-related courses may make it harder to meet the prerequisites for medical school.


While a degree in education can be fulfilling for those interested in teaching, it may not align well with the requirements for medical school. Education majors typically have a heavy workload that focuses on pedagogy and classroom management, leaving less time for the science courses and research experiences that medical schools value.

Admissions committees may also question the commitment of education majors to pursuing a career in medicine.

Visual Arts

Similar to performing arts, a major in visual arts can be time-consuming and may not provide the necessary science background that medical schools prefer. Artistic pursuits often require a lot of practice and dedication, which can make it challenging for students to balance their coursework and extracurricular activities.

It may be necessary for visual arts majors to take additional science courses to meet the prerequisites for medical school.

Communications & Journalism

While communication skills are important in the field of medicine, majoring in communications or journalism may not be the best choice for pre-med students. These majors typically focus on writing, reporting, and media production, which may not provide a strong foundation in the sciences.

It can be challenging for students in these majors to find time for the necessary science coursework and research experiences.


Although a major in business can be valuable in many career paths, it may not be the most suitable choice for aspiring medical professionals. Business programs tend to have a heavy workload and require a significant time commitment, which can make it difficult for students to excel in their science courses.

Admissions committees may also question the dedication and commitment of business majors to the field of medicine.

While these majors may present challenges for pre-med students, it is important to remember that admission to medical school is not solely based on your major. Admissions committees consider a variety of factors, including GPA, MCAT scores, extracurricular activities, and personal statements.

It is possible to overcome the challenges associated with these majors by excelling in other areas and demonstrating a genuine passion for medicine.

Why These Majors Are Seen as Less Ideal

When it comes to applying to medical school, certain majors are viewed as less ideal by admissions committees. While there is no strict rule about which majors are acceptable for medical school admissions, some majors may present challenges or biases that make it harder for students to stand out in the competitive application process.

Lack of Pre-Medical Coursework

One reason why certain majors are seen as less ideal for medical school admissions is the lack of pre-medical coursework. Majors such as English, History, or Art may not require the same science prerequisites as majors like Biology or Chemistry.

Admissions committees may view applicants from these majors as lacking the necessary scientific foundation to succeed in medical school.

Perception of Inadequate Preparation

Another reason why some majors are seen as less ideal for medical school admissions is the perception of inadequate preparation. Majors that are not directly related to the sciences may be viewed as lacking the rigorous academic training necessary for medical school.

Admissions committees may question whether applicants from these majors have the critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and scientific knowledge needed to excel in a medical program.

Difficulty Demonstrating Commitment to Medicine

Applicants from certain majors may also face difficulties in demonstrating their commitment to a career in medicine. Majors like Philosophy or Psychology may not have direct connections to the medical field, making it harder for students to showcase their passion and dedication to becoming a doctor.

Admissions committees may be more impressed by applicants who have majored in subjects that align more closely with medicine, such as Biology or Biochemistry.

It’s important to note that these perceptions and biases are not set in stone, and there are always exceptions to the rule. Admissions committees evaluate applicants holistically, taking into account their academic performance, extracurricular activities, personal statements, and letters of recommendation.

Ultimately, what matters most is how well an applicant can demonstrate their readiness and suitability for a career in medicine, regardless of their undergraduate major.

For more information on medical school admissions and selecting the right major, you can visit websites like or

Tips to Strengthen Your Application

Take Additional Science Courses

If you are considering applying to medical school with a major that is not traditionally aligned with the sciences, taking additional science courses can be a great way to demonstrate your commitment to the field.

While it may require some extra effort, it can show admissions committees that you are willing to go above and beyond to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. Look for courses in biology, chemistry, anatomy, or physiology to bolster your scientific foundation.

Additionally, consider enrolling in advanced science courses or pursuing a minor in a related field to showcase your dedication and academic prowess.

Get Clinical & Research Experience

One of the key aspects that medical school admissions committees look for is hands-on experience in the healthcare field. To strengthen your application, seek out opportunities to gain clinical experience, such as volunteering at hospitals or shadowing physicians.

This will not only provide you with valuable insights into the medical profession but also demonstrate your commitment to patient care. Additionally, getting involved in research projects can showcase your analytical and critical thinking skills.

Consider reaching out to professors or joining research groups to gain practical experience and enhance your application.

Highlight Relevant Skills

While your major may not directly align with medicine, it’s essential to highlight any transferable skills that can be valuable in a medical career. Communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership are all skills that are highly sought after in the medical field.

Reflect on experiences from your major and extracurricular activities where you have demonstrated these skills and include them in your application. Additionally, emphasize any relevant volunteer work or community involvement that showcases your compassion, empathy, and dedication to serving others.

For more information on strengthening your medical school application, you can visit AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges). They provide valuable resources and guidance on the admissions process.

Majors That Check the Pre-Med Boxes


Biology is one of the most common majors chosen by students pursuing a career in medicine. It provides a strong foundation in the sciences and covers topics such as genetics, physiology, and microbiology.

Having a background in biology can be beneficial for medical school admissions as it demonstrates a solid understanding of the human body and its functions. Additionally, biology majors often have opportunities to participate in research projects, which can further enhance their application.


Chemistry is another major that aligns well with the requirements for medical school. It focuses on the study of matter, its properties, and how it interacts with other substances. A strong foundation in chemistry is essential for understanding pharmacology and drug interactions, which are crucial aspects of medical practice.

Chemistry majors also gain valuable laboratory skills and analytical thinking abilities that can be advantageous in a medical career.


Biochemistry combines the principles of biology and chemistry, making it an excellent choice for students interested in pursuing medicine. This major delves deeper into the chemical processes that occur within living organisms.

Understanding the biochemical basis of diseases and the mechanisms of drug action is vital for aspiring physicians. By majoring in biochemistry, students develop a comprehensive understanding of the intricate workings of the human body at a molecular level.


Neuroscience is a field that focuses on the study of the nervous system and its functions. It examines the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves, providing a deep understanding of how these structures influence behavior and cognition.

Majoring in neuroscience can be advantageous for medical school admissions as it demonstrates a strong interest in the workings of the brain, which is essential in diagnosing and treating neurological disorders.

Public Health

While not a traditional pre-med major, public health can provide a unique perspective on healthcare and medicine. This field focuses on promoting and protecting the health of communities and populations.

Studying public health can give aspiring physicians insight into the social determinants of health, healthcare systems, and epidemiology. A background in public health can help medical school applicants stand out by demonstrating a broader understanding of healthcare beyond the individual patient level.


While course of undergraduate study matters for med school admissions, it’s not the only important factor. With strategic planning, research experience, and compelling essays, applicants from less traditional majors can still build a strong case for acceptance.

Focus on demonstrating your passion for medicine, interpersonal skills, and academic excellence regardless of your college major.

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