“What do you want to study?”
“What major are you?”
“What do you want to be in the future?”
I hated these questions. I knew my interests–including science and business—but I could never pinpoint what I want to major in college. My reluctance to commit to one single field of interest made me the business-pre-med-double-major I am today. I hope my experience serves as a useful guide to students who are still deciding.
Test the Waters with High School Courses
Although a high school course schedule is A LOT different from a college schedule, it’s still a great way to explore your interests and test out possible majors. I selected a mix of science and business-oriented courses during my years in high school (AP Physics, Biology, Micro/Macroeconomics, etc.) after starting to consider the double major path. I struggled a little with the workload at first, but I became more comfortable with and interested in the classes as the year went on. I dissected cats in biology, loved the microeconomics games, and really took my chances with physics equations (can’t look at Big Bang Theory the same way again). Looking back, I’m glad I pushed myself to take on a challenging schedule; it really gave me more confidence in my capabilities and a sense of what a double major is like.
Planning Makes Perfect
Since business and pre-med (mostly biology and chemistry) majors aren’t in related fields, there aren’t many required courses that will overlap. Therefore, good planning is essential to a successful double major experience.
Claim as many AP credits as possible
AP credits are extremely useful because they can cover most of the university core courses (if your school has a core). With most of the basic courses out of the way, you will have room for required courses from both majors.
Map out your four year plan
There are a few exams for business and pre-med students, most prominently the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) and the CPA exam for accounting majors. Both exams required more than one year of intense, time-consuming preparation. If you are planning to take any of the professional exams, you need to plan your prep time around difficult courses or important events from the second major.
But nothing is set to stone! Many private colleges are very flexible with adding/dropping courses for multiple major students, and a lot of public universities have honors programs that will do the same. Even if you forgot to cram in an intro course or lab times, there are always ways to fix it.
Steer Yourself into a General Direction
Although double-majoring will give you a variety of options for your future career, you still need to find a general direction for the purposes of finding residency, internships, jobs, etc. Here are a few most popular career options for a business/pre-med student:
- Healthcare finance
- Medical/pharmaceutical sales
- Medical business management
- Research management
Don’t be Scared
Many students are often discouraged from pursuing a business/pre-med double major due to the daunting number of required courses, the fear of not graduating in four years, the two drastically different field, etc. To be honest, I’ve also had those doubts before I made my decision, but I became more and more confident as I researched and planned out my years of study. I’m positive that a double major will help me grow as a more well-rounded student and give me a variety of career options in the future. TP readers, please allow yourself to explore your interests, even if it meant choosing a rigorous double major or minor!