What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What should I know about being premed in college?

I'm considering a career in medicine, and I want to know more about the premed track in college. What can I expect in terms of coursework and extracurriculars?

6 months ago

As a premed student in college, your experience will involve a combination of coursework, extracurricular activities, and preparation for medical school. Here's an overview of what you can expect:


Premed students typically major in a science-related field, but you can choose any major as long as you complete the required prerequisite courses for medical school. Commonly required courses include general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, biology, physics, and calculus.

Many medical schools also require or recommend coursework in psychology, sociology, and humanities. It's crucial to maintain a strong GPA, as medical school admissions are competitive, and your academic performance will be a significant factor.


As a premed student, you should engage in extracurricular activities that demonstrate your commitment to medicine and help develop the skills necessary for success in the field. These can include:

1. Clinical experience: Gain hands-on exposure to healthcare through shadowing physicians, working in hospitals or clinics, or participating in medical mission trips.

2. Research: Participate in scientific research projects, which can be in any field but ideally related to biology or medicine. This can lead to publications, conference presentations, or simply a strong foundation in the scientific process.

3. Volunteering and community service: Regularly participate in volunteering activities, especially those related to healthcare or underserved communities, to demonstrate empathy, altruism, and a dedication to improving people's lives.

4. Leadership roles: Seek leadership positions in clubs, organizations, or on-campus initiatives, showcasing your ability to lead, manage, and make an impact.

MCAT Preparation:

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is an important part of the medical school application process, and you'll need to dedicate time to prepare for it. The MCAT assesses your knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, and sociology, as well as critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Most students take the exam during their junior or early senior year.

Letters of Recommendation:

Cultivate relationships with your professors and supervisors to secure strong letters of recommendation that attest to your aptitude for medicine and capacity for success in medical school.

Overall, being premed in college means you'll need to strike a balance between maintaining a strong GPA, participating in meaningful extracurriculars, preparation for the MCAT, and building relationships to secure strong letters of recommendation—all while keeping your long-term goal of medical school in mind. While the premed journey can be challenging, it can also be incredibly rewarding as you gain the knowledge and skills necessary for a fulfilling career in medicine.

6 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.