Bachelor's Degrees in Medicine
If you're interested in pursuing a career in medicine, before you apply to medical school, you'll need to start by earning a bachelor's degree, usually in a science-related field because bachelor's degrees in medicine are rare. Read on to learn about the undergraduate education requirements, typical coursework and degree options.
Can I Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Medicine?
Bachelor degree programs specifically with a major in medicine are not common in the United States. However, at least one American school does offer a joint Bachelor of Science in Medicine and Doctor of Medicine program, which requires four years to earn a bachelor's degree and another four to earn an MD. Undergraduate students in this joint program are typically required to maintain a specific grade point average and meet all degree requirements before moving to the second phase of the program. This program is not available online.
The majority of those entering the field of medicine usually pursue a bachelor of science degree in a field such as biology, organic chemistry or physics. These programs are designed to prepare you for the medical school entrance exam while allowing you to pursue the bachelor's degree of your choice. After completing your undergraduate studies, you can then apply to a medical school program.
|Degree Programs||Bachelor of Science in biology, organic chemistry, or physics; Joint programs BS-MD (Doctor of Medicine)|
|Common Courses||Microbiology, anatomy, immunology|
|Med-School Requirements||MCAT results, bachelor's degree, completion of applicable advanced courses, related volunteer/work experience.|
|Median Salary (2018)||$208,000 (for all physicians and surgeons, general )|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||13% growth (for all physicians and surgeons)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Kinds of Courses Will I Take?
Most pre-medicine programs will require you to take a heavy load of science classes with respective laboratories. Medical schools look favorably on applicants that have taken a range of advanced science courses in addition to their required coursework. Advanced mathematics courses in statistics and calculus are usually required, along with an English course. Some core topics you can expect to complete include:
- Cell Biology
- Developmental biology
How Do I Get Into Medical School Once I've Gotten My Degree?
To apply to most medical schools, you'll start by taking the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT, a multiple-choice examination required by almost every school. Your scores will come from four key areas: biological sciences, physical sciences, writing and verbal reasoning. In addition to your MCAT scores, admissions officials will look for the completion of advanced science courses and a 4-year degree. Hospital volunteer experience is also preferred.