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Choosing a Major


“Where’s the pre-med major?”

At SFA, you’ll get the education and experience you need to apply for medical school. You’ll have opportunities to participate in research projects that solve real-world problems. You’ll work side-by-side with your professors in our world-class laboratories. You’ll land killer internships and expand your network through memberships in career-oriented clubs and organizations.

But you won’t do any of those things as a “pre-med” student.

Surprised? The truth is, the idea of the “pre-med” major is outdated. Today’s medical schools (and dental, veterinary and other medical professional schools) are looking for students with diverse interests and a wide range of academic interests and life experiences. Sure, biology and chemistry are solid choices for future med students. But so is political science. And psychology. And history.

Follow your interests

There isn’t one “right” way to prepare for a career in medicine, and there’s no single major that will guarantee acceptance to the medical school of your dreams. But there are a few things you can do to make the most of your time as a pre-health student at SFA:

  • Study something you like. Your GPA will matter when you apply to medical school. If you choose a major that truly interests you, you’ll be more likely to work hard and put in the extra effort if you’re struggling.
  • Don’t study something you don’t like. This sounds obvious, but some pre-health students feel that they must major in chemistry or biology – even if they find those majors boring or difficult. A 2.5 GPA in chemistry doesn’t look nearly as great as a 4.0 in sociology.

Not sure what to focus on? A good way to decide is to ask yourself one question: “If I couldn’t go to medical school, what would I want to do instead?”

Would you want to be a math teacher? Would you prefer to study archaeology? Could you see yourself working as a statistician or a history professor? Remember, medical schools like unique, well-rounded students. Be true to yourself, and study what you love.


Do I have to major in chemistry or biology?

Absolutely not! You’ll take plenty of science courses, which are prerequisites for admission into a professional school. However, those will not accrue sufficient hours to form a major. The best way to select a major is to decide which major will become your “career insurance” should medical school not be possible in the future.

In other words, ask yourself, “What would I want to do if I didn’t get into medical school?”

What if I want to major in political science? Or English?

Students with any degree may apply to health profession schools. The science and math requirements must be completed, however, regardless of major. Just make sure that your major is something you truly enjoy. Think of your major as “career insurance” in case you don’t go to medical school.

Do I need a minor as a pre-health student?

All students are required to obtain an academic minor for graduation. You can choose any minor you wish. For most pre-health students, the minor will be a combined sciences minor, which is the professional requisite science courses bundled into a minor.

What’s the difference between pre-health and pre-nursing?

Students seeking careers in nursing are required to take two years of coursework defined as pre-nursing courses that must be completed before being accepted into the final two clinical years of nursing school. Students seeking careers in other health professions are advised in the pre-health professions office. 

What GPA do I need to have for medical school?

With the competitive nature of medical school admissions (and all health profession programs), the higher your GPA, the more competitive you will be. For the past several years, the average GPA of those accepted into Texas medical schools was above a 3.7. 



Pre-Health Professions Program

Physical Address:
Miller Science Building
Suite 127

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13076, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962