3 months ago
Admissions Advice

Do I need to take physics to go Pre- med?

I understand it would probably be useful since I will take some physics in college but I just wanted to know if it would be necessary at most private schools. (Looking at Duke, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Ivys, etc.)

I am also currently a sophomore and picking classes for next year. I have an elective I could change for physics but I am also taking college bio.


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Accepted Answer
3 months ago[edited]

Physics is great for STEM majors as it uses a lot of math, so many think it is useless for pre-med but that is not true! For a pre-med, I would focus on taking as many life sciences as you can (Like bio/psychology) as well as chemistry. If your school offers AP/IB I would take those options to show you can handle a rigorous course load and are serious about pre-med. When you say taking college bio, I do not know if you mean AP or an actual college class. Either way, that's good.

Buuuuuuuut, on the other hand, you are looking at T20 schools, and they all value physics. Most of the students applying would have/plan to take the highest level of science courses their school offers (such as chem, bio, and physics). If your school does not offer a lot of life sciences/medical courses, taking physics can show your passion with science. Physics is difficult and different from other sciences. Since it is difficult, doing well can be impressive to T20 schools. Many medical programs require you to have a physics prerequisite, so I assume you will take physics eventually. Taking physics at this level will not only be impressive to colleges, but it will also help you when you take physics in undergrad (unless you receive college credit). Doing well in undergrad can help boost your chances of getting into an awesome medical school, another plus in taking it now.

To summarize: no, you do not NEED physics to go pre-med, but I highly highly suggest it (especially at the schools you are looking at). But do not pick physics over another class that is better for your major (like bio or chem). Physics is also difficult, and junior year is very important. I would optimize your junior year to be the most impressive to colleges but also make sure you are able to maintain a good gpa. If you can't take it junior year, you could always take it senior year.

Hope this helps! :)


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