What Majors Can Prepare ME to Become a Pediatrician?

There are no bachelor's degrees in pediatric medicine, and medical schools don't have set requirements for what undergraduate degree you must have. However, pre-med students wishing to become pediatricians usually choose to major in an area of science, which allows them to get the proper prerequisite education needed for medical school. Schools offering Health Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Education Options

Various undergraduate majors can help you prepare for medical school and for a future as a pediatrician. A common way to choose an undergraduate major is by considering the admission requirements of your chosen medical school.

Important Facts About Pediatricians

Required Education Four years at an accredited medical school plus three years in a pediatric residency program.
Key Skills Patience, empathy, sympathy, intelligence and a strong work ethic
Professional Certification Must pass the official board certification administered by the American Board of Pediatrics; recertification through completion of the boards must occur every seven years
Median Salary (2018) $170,560 (for all general pediatricians)
Job Growth (2016-2026) 15% (for all general pediatricians)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Medical School Admission

Your undergraduate education helps to prepare you for entry into medical school and is one factor used to decide if you'll be granted admission or not. Medical schools are well-known for being highly selective in the students they admit. Most schools have lengthy admission requirements with extensive prerequisites.

Each school will have different admission requirements, but you can be sure that most schools will have a list of science prerequisites. You'll likely be required to have completed college-level courses in biology, chemistry, and physics. Within those courses, you may be expected to have studied genetics, cell biology, pharmacology, homeostasis, organic chemistry, biochemistry, kinetics, thermodynamics, and quantum theory.

Some schools may also require laboratory experience in which you have completed experiments and practiced problem solving. Mathematics is another common requirement with courses in calculus, algebra, and trigonometry. Another subject that is typically part of medical school prerequisites is communications with work in analytical writing. Schools may also want or recommend that you have completed courses in a foreign language, the arts, social sciences, and humanities.

Possible Majors

Some schools do provide majors specifically in pre-medicine, but such majors aren't common. You may also find some medical schools that offer a combined undergraduate and pre-med program. In most cases, though, you'll have to choose your own undergraduate major. Medical schools often recommend choosing a major that interests you, but also one that will help you to satisfy prerequisite requirements. With that in mind, many students choose to major in biology or another science. Some schools design their biology programs to fit the needs of pre-med students.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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