How do I choose a major?
At most colleges and universities, including Mary Baldwin, pre-medicine/pharmacy/dentistry, etc., are not actual majors, but career intentions. Students who wish to enter one the above professions are expected to declare a regular major. However, it is important for us to know which students are interested in a medical sciences profession, because we want to ensure that they receive appropriate academic counseling and have access to necessary information and resources.
Most professional schools require the students they admit to complete a four-year degree before they enter their program. Although many premedical sciences students do major in biology or chemistry, a growing number of candidates admitted to professional schools completed a degree in a non-science major. We recommend students select their major based on interest and ability. Professional school admissions committees regard well-rounded students very highly. The most critical factors to admissions committees when considering candidates for acceptance to their programs are the student’s academic performance, entrance test scores, and what is sometimes referred to as the “X-factor,” comprised of issues revolving around commitment, motivation, leadership ability, community service, and work experience.
You are strongly encouraged to consult with the premedical sciences advisor whenever you feel he can be of assistance. Working with your academic and premedical sciences advisors, you should create a curriculum that will satisfy all of the prerequisites for your chosen field in the medical sciences and take courses that will lead you to an alternative career should you not be accepted to the professional school of your choice. Whatever course of study you choose, it is recommended that you follow a rigorous curriculum, particularly rich in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, and that you do as much upper-level course work within your major as possible to demonstrate depth of understanding.