I was originally planning on majoring in neuroscience, but that is a lot of credits to take. Are there any other majors that require fewer credits?
The answer to this question, as it pertains to medical school, is pretty simple. Medical schools don’t care about your major. All that matters is that you demonstrate consistent academic rigor in your schedule and a strong overall/science GPA.
Side note: Well, that’s not all that matters for your medical school application. You need extracurriculars, patient interaction, shadowing, etc…but that’s outside your specific question about major. Come talk to us or Newnan if you have further questions about other medical school considerations!
Keep in mind that when choosing a major, you want to pick the thing you’re most passionate about! If you really love what you’re studying, taking a lot of credits won’t feel like such a burden. Most science majors at U of M are a similar number of credits to neuroscience since the university obviously wants to maintain academic rigor (this is including prerequisites and electives). If you’re interested in the science behind how the brain works, then neuroscience would be a good major. Just to reiterate, you should major in something you like. If you do decide to major in neuroscience, however, it is an added plus that many of the pre-reqs/core classes for the major (bio sequence, physics, chemistry, animal physiology, biochem) are part of the pre-med sequence as well, so you’re not necessarily adding extra course weight to your schedule.
It’s a common misperception that the BCN (biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience) major is an easier neuroscience, but each student has different academic strengths. Some may find the psychology in BCN more difficult than biology in the neuro major, or vice versa. BCN is also nearly equivalent in the number of credits required (neuro = 33, BCN = 32), so if you’re thinking of majoring in one of the two, the decision really comes down to your previous coursework and specific interests. Other common majors are biomolecular science (25 credits minimum after pre-requisites), cognitive science (27 credits after pre-reqs), biology, health, and society (24 credits after pre-reqs), and biology (30 credits after pre-reqs). When researching majors, make sure to look at the list of classes that count for it, both in terms of breadth of topics and your interest/past experience in them.
You should check out our blog post on how to choose a major. You’ll find our advisors’ reasoning on why they chose their majors, what they find most difficult about the line of study, and their favorite classes they took for it! Hopefully this blog post gives you a better feel for common majors amongst pre-meds.
Best of luck in your decision! Choosing a major is a big decision, so come talk to us in office hours or via Q&A if you have further questions.
Anni (advisor, neuroscience major)