Planning to pursue a career in medicine? Our blog provides a comprehensive guide to the best colleges for pre-med programs. We showcase institutions known for their exceptional medical curriculum, research opportunities, and clinical experiences. Discover the colleges that prioritize your preparation for medical school and offer the resources to excel in your pre-med journey. From renowned research universities to liberal arts colleges, we present a diverse range of options tailored to your academic and career goals. Visit our blog now and find the perfect college that will lay the foundation for your successful medical career.
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The United States healthcare industry is the country’s largest employer. Every year, a new class of students aims to add their unique contributions to the growing tally of workers in the overall field of medicine.
Whether you’re interested in becoming a surgeon, a medical researcher, a chemist, or a good old-fashioned doctor, the first step to entering the healthcare industry – as with most industries – is obtaining a quality education.
Of course, this line of work requires more education than most – especially if you’re planning on becoming a doctor, surgeon, or some other type of critical medical specialist.
Nonetheless, if you’re prepared to dedicate a considerable amount of time and effort to this honorable pursuit, you’ll want to set yourself up for success by beginning your educational career at one of the nation’s best pre-med programs.
So, which colleges have the best pre-med program? What is the best major for pre-med? And is a pre-med major worth it to actually pursue this type of career?
Keep reading to explore Empowerly’s answers to all of these questions and more, as we delve into some of the best practices for getting into the best pre-med program for you.
Top Three Reasons to Pursue a Pre-Med Program
If you’re in the midst of figuring out the best colleges for pre-med, which colleges have the best pre-med program, or what is the best major for pre-med, the first thing you need to think about is your “why” – a.k.a., why are you pursuing a career in the medical field in the first place?
Too many students start down this path for the wrong reasons – external forces like familial pressure, peer pressure, or a simple dollar sign. They’re then discouraged to find out that healthcare isn’t actually their passion, and realize they’ve wasted a significant amount of time and money on something they aren’t actually interested in.
To avoid this, we encourage you to explore the following top three reasons for pursuing a pre-med program, and really think about how your interests and desires line up before making a major move:
- Following Your Passion
Before you start exploring the best colleges for pre-med studies or looking into which colleges have the best pre-med program, we recommend you first ask yourself this fundamental question: does pursuing a career in the medical field align with your passions?
It’s okay if you have more than one passion, or aren’t 100% sure yet. Internal motivation is the number one reason to pursue any career, whether it be in the healthcare industry or otherwise. Will a lifetime – or at least a significant chunk of it – in this sector make you happy? Will you feel fulfilled and proud of the work you’re doing every day? If the answer isn’t easily “yes,” you may want to reconsider investing a considerable amount of time and money going down this career path.
However, if the answer is indubitably affirmative, get ready to learn more about how you can achieve this imperative first step – a.k.a., figuring out which colleges have the best pre-med program.
- Helping People
If pursuing a career in the healthcare industry is truly your passion, it’s safe to say you’re probably passionate about the idea of helping people in need. This is another incredibly important reason to go down this career path. If you enjoy helping people and want to make a lifestyle out of it, this is a great option for you.
People turn to healthcare providers for all sorts of reasons: mental support, emotional support, and, of course, physical support. Whether you want to aid one of these, a couple of them, or all of the above, the healthcare industry needs you and your energy for imparting knowledge and experience to those who need it most.
For anyone passionate about helping people on a daily basis, you’ve come to the right place to take that first step.
- Contributing to the Advancement of the Medical Field
Even if you aren’t planning on working on the frontlines of healthcare by becoming a doctor or surgeon, there are plenty of ways to save lives within the industry and contribute to the overall advancement of global medicine.
Maybe you’re interested in medical research, chemistry, physics, or some other form of inter-industry innovation. Whatever your area of personal interest may be, it’s important to assess how you feel about this aspect of your career path. This is especially true if you’re beginning to look into the best colleges for pre-med, or trying to find the answer to the question, “Is a pre-med major worth it?”
In this sort of world-changing field, it’s important that your passion extends outside of yourself. Wanting to pursue this career to satiate your own needs is incredibly important, but it’s equally imperative that you maintain a larger perspective on your ethical responsibilities, as well.
There are too many people who find themselves trapped in careers for all of the wrong reasons. In the case of healthcare, that’s a devastating mistake you don’t want to make. Ask yourself the hard-to-answer questions, be honest, and move carefully as you continue to explore which colleges have the best pre-med program for you.
How to Prepare: What is the Best Major for Pre-Med?
Many people make the mistake of assuming that pre-med is a major one takes during college, but it’s actually an entire program that leads aspiring medical school students down the right path.
That being said, a pre-med program will cover all of a student’s science and laboratory requirements when it comes to pursuing continued education in the healthcare or medicine field.
If you’re in the midst of trying to figure out the best colleges for pre-med and which colleges have the best pre-med program, you’re probably also wondering, “Is a pre-med major worth it?” The first thing you’ll want to do is look into the medical school of choice.
Requirements will vary from school to school, and that will help you determine which colleges have the best pre-med program for your needs. That being said, most pre-med programs include the following types of courses:
- Biochemistry (with lab)
- Biology (with lab)
- Cell biology (with lab)
- Chemistry (with lab)
- Physics (with lab)
- Genetics (with lab)
- Organic chemistry (with lab)
Are you a high school student applying for undergraduate school and wondering what to major in to best pursue the pre-med program of your dreams?
There is no specific major that you have to pursue; ultimately, your GPA and academic distinction are more important. Nonetheless, most pre-med program experts recommend you major in one of the following undergraduate programs:
- Biological sciences
- Social sciences
- Physical sciences
If you’re trying to figure out what is the best major for pre-med, we recommend following your pre-existing passions that (hopefully) align with one of the above majors.
The Best Colleges for Pre-Med Programs in the U.S.
What determines the best colleges for pre-med? Which colleges or universities have the best pre-med program for future healthcare workers? What is the best major for pre-med? And, of course, is a pre-med major worth it for pursuing a career in the healthcare industry?
College experts around the world have both posed and answered these questions, resulting in a master list of eight of the most prestigious pre-med programs in the United States.
The following list of schools each contains these key factors for determining whether or not a school has a high-quality pre-med program that’s worth your time as a student:
- quality pre-med advising,
- research and publication opportunities,
- clinical experience opportunities,
- rigorous curriculum,
- and, most importantly, a strong admissions history for medical schools.
Let’s dig into Empowerly’s top picks:
- Harvard University
Harvard University is one of the most popular colleges for students pursuing a pre-med program. While only 17 percent of the university’s pre-med class will apply to medical school, pre-med students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher have an average medical school acceptance rate of around 93 percent.
Harvard’s medical school is ranked #1 in the United States, and also has incredibly strong biological science programs for interested students. So, if you’re asking, “Is a pre-med major worth it?” It’s safe to say that Harvard’s absolutely is.
- Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University is perhaps best known for its medical research, which has a strong reputation throughout the world. The school’s medical program is also incredibly robust, and highly popular among students trying to determine which colleges have the best pre-med program.
The school has dedicated resources designed for aspiring medical students to be admitted to medical school, with the ability to really hone in on their specific area of interest during their time at Johns Hopkins’ pre-med program.
- Stanford University
Stanford University’s pre-med program immerses itself in the local community, offering students clinical and research opportunities with nearby hospitals and programs.
This is great for anyone interested in a hands-on, realistic experience leading up to a foray into medical school.
- Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University boasts a pretty high acceptance rate for pre-med graduates applying to medical schools – 71 percent got in on their first try in 2019.
The school’s pre-med program is pretty extensive, including focuses like medicine, health and society, molecular and cellular biology, neuroscience, and biomedical engineering.
- University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania’s pre-med program is another popular option for students trying to determine which colleges have the best pre-med program.
The school offers its pre-med students a wide variety of research opportunities, and 72 percent of its students are accepted to medical school.
- Columbia University
Columbia University has a great pre-med program and medical school, and interested students are thrown into the mix from the very beginning. Undergraduate medical majors will be assigned a pre-med advisory, who helps guarantee admissions to medical school via practice curriculums, study opportunities, and other invaluable advising services.
- Duke University
Duke University’s pre-med program offers study abroad opportunities, hands-on research experiences, and other unique and applicable chances to learn more about the healthcare industry as students inch closer to medical school.
Wondering, “Is a pre-med major worth it?” At Duke, it definitely is.
- Cornell University
Cornell University also has an impressive pre-med program: 76 percent of its students with a GPA of 3.4 or higher got accepted into medical school in 2019.
The school’s program offers advising, unique field learning opportunities, valuable information, and much more.
Is Pre-Med Worth it?
Once you’ve scoured the best colleges for pre-med, determined which colleges have the best pre-med program, and figured out what is the best major for pre-med, it’s time to ask yourself the most important question: “Is pre-med worth it?”
As we mentioned earlier, it’s incredibly important for you to ask yourself some serious questions in regard to why you’re pursuing a pre-med program.
If this is truly a passion of yours and something you want to spend your life dedicated to, then you should absolutely look into pre-med programs and get started on this track. This is a great way to dip your toes into the medical school experience and get that much more prepared for a lifetime as a valued contributor to the healthcare industry.