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Q&A: med school perspective with a spanish and biology degree?

by tom44 on May 7, 2014

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Question by emma: med school perspective with a spanish and biology degree?
i’m in undergrad pursuing a degree in both spanish and biology (a double major.) i’m having a hard time in my biology classes (no c’s, but lots of b’s) and my current gpa is a 3.47. i haven’t taken the mcat yet, but i’d like to get into a decent medical school, maybe university of tennessee at memphis, university of alabama at birmingham, or university of southern florida. can anyone tell me how much it helps to have a language degree? i’m told that bilingual students, and especially students who hold a degree in a foreign language, have a good shot at med school because of it. please be honest; i want to get a good idea about how much i’m going to get out of all this hard work. only kind (but truthful) answers please. i know none of you can say if i will or will not make it into med school, and not knowing an mcat score makes it harder too. but thank you very much!

Best answer:

Answer by RoaringMice
You don’t need to major in a science. You can major in anything you’d like, including Spanish, and get into med school. So if being a bio major isn’t helping you out… don’t be a bio major.

It’s important that you do complete all the med school pre-req classes, which are:
– 1 year bio w. lab
– 1 year gen chem w. lab
– 1 year organic chem w. lab
– 1 year physics w. lab
– math through stats, ideally through calc
– 1 year English
– other science classes – certain med schools want specific classes beyond what I’ve listed.

So long as you do that, you can major in Spanish, no problem.

I see no real advantage to having a Spanish degree instead of, say, music, or English, or history. But it’s certainly different from the sea of bio majors med schools normally see, and that can be a good thing. In addition, being bilingual Spanish/English will certainly help you once you start to practice medicine, and can help you find jobs. It’s an advantage.

I would like you to bring your overall GPA up to around a 3.6 to better your chances at med school. I also want you to increase your science GPA by quite a bit. Get tutors if you need to – it’s that important. Your 3.47, with Bs in your science classes, is not good enough to get you into a US med school right now.

Do physician shadowing, health-related volunteer work, other volunteer work that involves helping people (serving soup at a soup kitchen, etc.) If it interests you and you have the opportunity, get involved in a professor’s research on campus.

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