Baylor University
Department of Classics
College of Arts and Sciences

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Pre-Health


One of the common myths of college is that your undergraduate major should be identical with your career goals. For pre-health, like many other fields, it simply is not true.

Medical schools do expect to see science courses on your transcript, but they do not require an undergraduate major in biology or chemistry. We also recommend that you read "4 Myth about the MCAT" at the Princeton Review.

It is true that almost three quarters of medical school applicants majored in the biological or physical sciences (for 2012, the most recent data set published by the Association of American Medical Colleges, it was 70.3%). But it did not improve their odds of success. Only 40% of that throng actually enrolled in medical school. For the same reporting period, the matriculation rate for Humanities majors was 50%.

In general, the AAMC does not break down MCAT results by specific major, but Dr. Charles Austerberry of Creighton University did gather some specific data on the performance of Classics majors in 1997.

MAJOR Total number of applicants Number and percent accepted Average MCAT score Verbal Reasoning Average MCAT score Physical Sciences Average MCAT score Biological Sciences
Classics 54 27 (50%) 10.0 9.2 9.4
Economics 436 205 (47%) 9.5 9.7 9.7
History 522 243 (47%) 9.9 9.1 9.4
Poly Sci 320 150 (47%) 9.7 8.9 9.2
Religion 120 56 (47%) 9.7 9.0 9.3
English 613 275 (45%) 9.8 8.9 9.1
Chemistry 2505 1057 (42%) 8.4 9.3 9.0
Art 95 38 (40%) 9.2 8.8 9.2
Biology 16337 6219 (38%) 8.4 8.4 9.0
Psychology 2196 845 (38%) 8.9 8.3 8.6
Education 85 17 (20%) 8.0 7.5 7.8

The key lesson here is simple. If you want to enter the the medical field, you will need to demonstrate sufficient scientific aptitude, but you have great freedom beyond that. The key thing that a medical school, or any other professional program, will seek is your readiness for the rigors of their program, and Classics offer a proven foundation for students who want to learn the languages, literature, history, and cultures of classical antiquity.


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