Choosing Your Major

If you want to major in science:

Washington University’s biology, chemistry, earth and planetary sciences, environmental studies, and physics are all excellent programs, with faculty members and students doing exciting research. You may also consider a traditional engineering major or biomedical engineering or an interdisciplinary major like biochemistry, molecular biology, or philosophy–neuroscience–psychology (PNP).

You will want to choose science if your plans include an M.D./Ph.D. program in preparation for a career as a physician–scientist. The Washington University Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) is one of the most outstanding in the country.

“The M.D./Ph.D. program is designed for students who want careers in biomedical research,” says Wayne Yokoyama, M.D., program director. “The stunning advances in the biological sciences make it an exciting time to enter this field.”

If you are interested in majoring in the humanities or social sciences:

Do you love English literature, history, or performing arts? Are you interested in business, art, or engineering? You may major in any of these academic disciplines, or others, and still pursue the pre-health curriculum. Or you may construct a double major.

In fact, medical schools and other graduate health programs show strong interest in students who have chosen to major in subjects outside the sciences. Poets, anthropologists, musicians, and political scientists all have been admitted to the top medical schools, including our own.

Even if you choose to major in science, we encourage you to expand your interests by exploring the many subjects that interest you.

At Washington University, this exploration is made easier because we offer flexibility across all the undergraduate schools. For example, you can major in biology in Arts & Sciences while also studying public health, the humanities, or any other Arts & Sciences subject; health care management in the Olin Business School; biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science; or art, architecture, or both in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

Course Planning for PreHealth Students

Many different arrangements and sequences of basic pre-requisite coursework lead to medical school, dental school and other science-intensive graduate professional programs.

Click here for examples