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What should I take for my undergrad degree


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Hi! Grade 12 student here. I was just wondering if taking psychology as a major would be good for med school. There are some people who say that it’s frowned upon and some people who say that it’s good since you can get a good average. Please let me know 

Thank you!!

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Whatever you think you can get the highest GPA in. This doesn't mean pick the easiest major out there, because if you have zero interest in a "bird" major, your grades will reflect that. Most premeds admittedly people go the bio/biochem route- pros include becoming well-versed in the scientific background you need for the MCAT & medical school as well as developing study habits that'll serve you well in med school. Cons- they're decently difficult majors, and you could end up with a GPA that won't get you in medical school. Psychology is okay, extremely easy (at least it was at my school), gives you lots of time for ECs, but you will need to self-teach bio/biochem/physics/chem for the MCAT.

Also, no major is "frowned upon." Med school admission does not factor in what you majored in beyond making sure it qualifies (which means, for most schools, a 4-year degree). Only your GPA matters.

edit: something else to consider is that certain schools require you taking certain classes, so make sure you follow those requirements as well.

Edited by whatdoido
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I would agree with whatdoido for the most part- there are definitely no "frowned upon" majors (except maybe in some Quebec schools). Everywhere except maybe Quebec, med schools don't care at all about what your major was, they just care about GPA. However, I would argue against psychology being an easy major- it definitely depends on the school but at my university, it was decidedly not easy. The more social-psyc type classes (on the arts side) involved lots of essays and assignments that are marked subjectively and can be quite hard. The more neuroscience/neurobiology-type classes (on the science side) were just as difficult as any other science course in many cases. Of course there were some easier courses, but the same is true of any major. Overall, at least at my school I definitely wouldn't consider psyc an "easy major", but I would agree with whatdoido's sentiment of just majoring in what you enjoy! 

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I think something like a health sciences vibe would be nice. Which would give you a mix of bio, biochem, physiology, sociology and psychology. I'd stay away from something super focused on the hard core sciences like straight up a biochem degree. A good health sciences program is kinesiology and health sciences at york. I've seen their curriculum and it encompasses alot of different areas of health (listed above) but doesnt dive too deep into hardcore stuff. It will help for MCAT, med school prep etc. and the interest in these courses can reflect on a good GPA

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In my experience there is no such thing as an "easy degree". Every program is difficult in its own way and how difficult you find it depends on how much you enjoy the material and your own strengths. I would suggest that instead of approaching this as what program you think med admissions would like best, you consider what you are most interested in. You will likely do better and work harder if it is something you genuinely want to learn. Admission policy and committees change and will likely be different 4 years out when you complete your undergrad. So instead of trying to game the system, find something you want to learn and you might want to pursue as a career as med acceptances are no guarantee. Good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi there. 

There isn't a "good" undergrad for med school (except for McMaster Health Science). This is a common mistake high school students make. Given that you'll want a 3.9+ GPA to be competitive for Canadian medical schools, I would recommend 

1. Take a program you are interested in. If you like Psychology, do psychology. Psychology isn't easier than Biomed/Life Sci (despite what high schools think). It's equally as hard, just in a different way. Psych tends to be heavy in memorizing VERY small details and having to do vast amounts of textbook readings a week. This makes it VERY difficult to get a 3.9. Biomed/LifeSci programs tend to be heavy in math courses (chem, physics, calculus, statistics, etc.) and memorization courses (biology, biochem, cell bio, etc.). This makes it difficult to get a 3.9 in Biomed/Life Sci. 

Given how brutal getting a 3.9 can be, you should study what your interested in. 

2. Go to a primarily undergraduate school (Brock, Trent, Carleton, etc.). These schools tend to be easier as the students there tend to have gotten 70's in high school and in general are less competitive than students at schools like UofT and Western. To see the difference, look at the assignments and tests between these schools on a site like course hero or stucdoc. 

Good luck!

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