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Switching to a non traditional pathway

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I am currently a 1st year Biomedical science student at the university of Ottawa, I am contemplating switching to English and taking my pre requisite classes as electives, I attended an English class and was very interested in the discussion and content of the course. Being this late into the curriculum, is it a bad idea to switch to English? I have taken a total of 10 courses and will be finishing 1st year as a Biomed 

I heard that medical schools like people with a degree different form your typical premed/Biology degree, is this true? 

Any thoughts regarding this matter would be greatly appreciated


PS: I am not sure where I should post this, this part of the forum seemed appropriate, do correct me if I am mistaken


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I’m not sure I would recommend an entire switch of major right now after taking a single class in English, as the field is quite varied. But I suppose it depends on how your school works, what access to the classes you’ll have if you’re in one program vs. the other, etc. Could you take some more courses next semester, maybe at a higher level, and see if you still like it? Lots of people switch majors way later into their degrees than 1st year - it just may take you more than 4 years to finish your degree, although that’s not necessarily a problem either. 

It depends a bit on which schools you want to apply to, but medical schools in Canada increasingly do not care what your background is in, and several have done away with science pre requisites entirely. That doesn’t mean the necessarily prefer non trades though. The main benefit for doing the typical degree is getting some pre-exposure to topics that will be on the MCAT and that will give you some help in medical school. But many people do other degrees and self-teach themselves for the MCAT / catch up in the first year of med school just fine.

I have arts / cs background and it hasn’t been an issue.

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See your post in the other forum for my advice but FYI doing a non-science undergrad does not make you a non-traditional applicant. Non-traditional conventionally means someone who doesn't go to med school following 3-4 years of undergrad. Not a criticism, just in the future some people might be confused if you use that label.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not sure what school you are going to and if the programs are different than what I know, but I don't think finishing first year is by any means "late."  Switch to English if you like it and can see yourself doing it.  Some (very few) med schools have a pre-reqs, so if you want to apply to them, make sure you pick those up.  The science knowledge requirement is tested in the MCAT.

As far as we know, having a degree in English should not harm your chances.  It might make writing the MCAT harder and first year med harder because you have a different background, but they won't throw your application out because you aren't in science.  Now, whether you get bonus points for having a different degree is not stated anywhere by any school, so I would not count on that.

I've said this in several posts, but get a degree that you like!  You will do better in it because you are happier in it.  I know people that changed their programs in third year and still graduated on time.  Worst case scenario, you add one year to your undergrad.

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Uh, if you never get into med school what are you planning to do with your degree in English? I'm not saying you shouldn't do it or that you'll have no options, but do your future self a favour and think about this long and hard first. Is there another route that you can take that will scratch your itch/you can do well in but is more employable right out of undergrad? I'm bringing this up because not only do you NOT want to be sitting on $30,000 of debt making minimum wage in four years (worst case scenario), but you also want to have access to jobs/opportunities that will look more "interesting/impressive" to admissions committees if you have to reapply after undergrad.



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