Santa Clara University

Pre-Health program

Selecting A Major

Students often feel a medical school or other graduate medical program will judge their application for admission based on undergraduate major.  This is simply not the case; admissions committees are very holistic in their examination of a candidate's credentials.  They want students who will succeed in their program and be passionate about their education and subsequent career, regardless of undergraduate major.  That being said, it is often the case that pre-health students major in a natural science, since it is often their strongest academic interest.  However, it is not unusual for a student majoring in an area within the humanities or social sciences or engineering to successfully pursue a graduate health program.  Such students generally carry higher quarterly course loads or make use of SCU summer school in order to fit in the natural science course requirements for their graduate medical program along with their major requirements and Core requirements.  Many medical schools are impressed by applicants who can perform well in science courses, yet still major in philosophy or history.  They like the intellectual breadth displayed by such applicants.  But still, bottom line: major in that about which you are most academically passionate! 

Within the natural sciences, the majors most frequently chosen by SCU pre-health students are Biology, Biochemistry or Chemistry, and Public Health SciencesPsychobiology is also an excellent pre-medical major, particularly for students interested in psychiatry.