English major?

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    I am thinking about majoring in English Lit with a writing emphasis–where can I go to see if this is an ok major for med school?

    I *love* to read and I love to write, I just would really enjoy this. Plus it would force me to become a better writer and help with critical thinking skills I think.

    Of course I will still have all my med school pre-reqs on top of all that too 🙂

    But I was thinking that if I never got into med school I could teach college level English and write on the side and I would be happy with that as well.

    What are you all majoring in? Do you think English is a good pre-med major?



    It has always been supported that you pick a major the interests you. Sounds like too, in event of not getting in med school (which I hope does not happen) you would have a career that you love and are interested in regardless.

    It probably would help you in the grasping of concepts, probably a better fell for the VR on the MCAT.

    I say go for it!


    I majored in French Language and Literature, minor in Business the first time around. Now, I’m working on the pre-reqs. I don’t regret going this route because I love languages and literature…I am annoyed that it wasn’t as great of an asset in finding jobs as I was lead to believe.

    Do what you love to do! Once you get into med school you won’t have an opportunity to take any English classes, nor will you have much extra time to read a non-scientific book!!


    Well, you need to know what your fallback position is, assuming you DONT get into medical school. If your fallback is to teach college level English, then you need to PUBLISH, PUBLISH, PUBLISH, during college, or you will never get a job at a university. If your fallback is to teach below the college level, than you need an education degree. Practically speaking, I am telling my thirteen year old that she should consider either engineering, education, or nursing as her college majors, (I expect her to be fluent in Spanish as well), as all of the above are of use even if you never go to med school.


    you only need a degree in education if you plan to teach K-12; for college level, you just need a masters degree in your field (it’s my pet peeve, actually, that University professors aren’t required to learn how to teach, since we all know that being an expert at something doesn’t automatically grant that you can adequately explain it to someone else).

    As for majors, it IS important to major in what interests you, not everyone you treat will have been a bio or chem major (although there’s always the thought in the back of my mind that if I don’t get accepted right away, or ever, I will have no idea what to do with my degree in Human Development); it’s better to study English and have a 3.9 than study Chemistry for a 3.3…and the prereqs prove you’re capable anyway.

    I just read an article that said that medical programs are increasingly looking to introduce a Humanities component to help doctors relate to PEOPLE and not just their diseases, and I’d certainly prefer a doctor I could potentially talk to about things other than my terminal illness, should the mad desire strike me :p

    So yeah…I’d say go for it


    Hi Marilyn,
    I say go for it!
    I was a Music/English major, and when I started doing pre-med in post Bach, all the MD’s I talked to said, “Oh, Med schools will LOVE your music/English degree!” Just like Law schools are delighted and surprised to find the rare engineering major applicant among the swarms of philosophy and poli sci majors, Med schools that are usually swamped with science majors welcome the different point of view brought by a humanities degree.
    My advice would be to minor in science and take tones of technical writing courses. There’s thousands of Md’s out there under pressure to publish who can’t write worth a penny. And boy oh boy, will YOU be a popular girl when it comes time to write that student research paper in Med school! 🙂



    Wow thanks so much for the encouragement everyone!!



    Hi Marilyn!
    I also agree to choose the major that most interests you. I would strongly recommend, however, that you take not only your core pre-med courses, but courses in biochem and cell biology. An anatomy and immunology course may be beneficial as well. I had only the basic courses (gen bio, chem, orgo etc) and found it much more difficult to grasp the material without ever having it before. I struggled somewhat with the courses but managed to muddle my way through. Many of the students at my school come from biology/chem backgrounds (although there are more than a handful that are like me- big class of 267). It would really make your life a lot easier your first year. From talking with many of the students that have had these courses, most of the material presented in class was a crash course review for them. Hope this helps! Good luck in your endeavors!


    English is a terrific pre-med major:

    1. You have a serious advantage on the MCAT, and not just on the verbal. The MCAT is largely a reading test and many kids in my prep class had a hard time just getting through all the passages in the alloted time. And you’ll skate through the verbal section. Cake!
    2. When I applied to medical school a couple of years ago, quite a few of my interviewers had been English majors too. Even those who weren’t English majors were very supportive of my choice. One even said, “In a couple of years, what you know about Shakespeare will be much more important than what you know about biochemistry.”
    3. If you go to medical school, do a residency, and practice medicine for a number of years, science will be your daily companion. Why not spend a few years with literature while you can??

    Best of luck with you choice!

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