Curious about medical school acceptance rates by major? Want to know the best medical majors? Do some look better to the admissions committees than others? Are there certain majors that will increase your chances of admission? In this blog, we'll answer these common questions and go over medical school acceptance rates by major to help you decide which undergraduate major is the best for you.

>>Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here.<<

Article Contents
8 min read

Medical School Acceptance Rates by Major Which Premed Major is Best? How to Choose a Premed Major FAQs

Medical School Acceptance Rates by Major

1. Physical Sciences

  • Acceptance rate: 49.5%
  • Applicants: 4,228
  • Matriculants: 2,095
  • Total Applicants: 8.04%
  • Total Matriculants: 9.11%

2. Math and Statistics

  • Acceptance rate: 52.3%
  • Applicants: 344
  • Matriculants: 180
  • Total Applicants: 0.65%
  • Total Matriculants: 0.78%

3. Humanities

  • Acceptance rate: 51.8%
  • Applicants: 1,661
  • Matriculants: 861
  • Total Applicants: 3.16%
  • Total Matriculants: 3.7%

4. Biological Sciences

  • Acceptance rate: 43.4%
  • Applicants: 30,054
  • Matriculants: 13,050
  • Total Applicants: 57.1%
  • Total Matriculants: 56.7%

5. Social Sciences

  • Acceptance rate: 42.6%
  • Applicants: 4,844
  • Matriculants: 2,065
  • Total Applicants: 9.2%
  • Total Matriculants: 9.0%

6. Other

  • Acceptance rate: 41.5%
  • Applicants: 9,064
  • Matriculants: 3,767
  • Total Applicants: 17.2%
  • Total Matriculants: 16.4%

7. Specialized Health Sciences

  • Acceptance rate: 40.5%
  • Applicants: 2,382
  • Matriculants: 964
  • Total Applicants: 4.5%
  • Total Matriculants: 4.19%

Mean GPA by Undergraduate Major

Mean MCAT Score by Undergraduate Major

Medical School Acceptance Rates by Major: Which Premed Major is Best?

As demonstrated by the medical school acceptance rates by major stats above, acceptance rates vary between 40-49%. In total, the average medical school acceptance rate is around 43%.

Specialized health sciences majors have the lowest acceptance rate while math and statistics majors and most common medical majors have the highest acceptance rates.

Biological science majors are the most popular in terms of both applicants and matriculants. Interestingly, math and statistics majors are the least common applicant type, with only 344 applicants, however, they have the highest acceptance rate of 52.3%.

Does My Premed Major Matter for Med School Admissions?

The truth is your premed major doesn’t affect your chances of med school acceptance as much as other factors. Based on the statistics, it’s fair to say that no premed major has a huge advantage over the others when it comes to medical school acceptance rates by major. All the premed majors have comparable MCAT scores, GPAs and acceptance rates across the board.

Naturally, most premeds are inclined towards the physical sciences or biological sciences, since these are the most closely associated with the practice of medicine. However, medical schools do not list strong preferences or requirements for any major. Medical schools are most concerned with your academic performance and whether you’ve completed all the prerequisites for medical school.

“MCAT and GPA are important as screening tools … they are often that first look. Doing well in undergrad, maintaining a solid academic record, and a high MCAT score shows schools that you can handle rigorous academics. However, the other pieces of your application are what differentiate you from a crowd and will ultimately be why a school chooses to accept you.” – Dr. Monica Taneja, MD, University of Maryland School of Medicine.


Picking certain majors does make it easier to complete the required premedical coursework, but these medical school requirements shouldn’t restrict your choice of undergrad major. The most important goal of your premed coursework is to achieve stellar grades and complete the courses required by your target medical schools.

And regardless of your major, you'll be a more competitive applicant if all areas of your application stand out, including your grades, test scores, extracurriculars for medical school, medical school personal statement, and medical school secondary essays.

Here's some tips on how to choose a premed major:

Do Medical Schools Prefer Science Majors?

Some students believe that they should major in biological sciences because they think admissions committees favor these individuals. However, according to data from the AAMC, students with majors outside of the natural sciences have comparable rates of acceptance. In fact, humanities majors have the second-highest acceptance rate of all the premed major categories represented, even higher than biological sciences majors.

A study published in the Medical Education journal found that medical students with humanities and social sciences backgrounds performed better in communication and interpersonal skills (CIS) tests than those with natural science backgrounds, suggesting these individuals may be better at interacting with patients.

The desire to have a diverse medical class with varied educational backgrounds is becoming more and more popular across medical school admissions. The addition of the MCAT Psychology and Sociology section in the new MCAT also lends to the fact that admissions have changed to become more inclusive.

Medical School Acceptance Rates: How to Choose a Premed Major

When choosing your undergraduate major, the most important questions to consider are:

  1. Where can I excel academically?
  2. What will best prepare me for medical school and help me meet the requirements?

Let’s take a look at some of these considerations in more detail:

What are you interested in?

What's important is that you pick your major based on your interests. If you love chemistry, you're likely going to invest the time and effort required to perform well in chemistry-related courses. You want to ensure that whatever major you choose will keep you engaged and motivated during your undergrad studies. It's not about choosing what you think the admissions committee wants you to choose, it's about choosing what you want to do and maximizing your strengths.

Our admissions expert, Dr. Shaughnelene Smith, DO, shares why she chose to pursue a bachelor's degree in psychology instead of a more traditional premed route:

"When I decided to pursue psychology ... I genuinely enjoyed my studies, which positively influenced my grades. Psychology, at its core, is a scientific field; therefore, I understood the realities of evidence-based concepts and trends in human behavior. [And] I also participated in several research projects, which resulted in conference presentations and journal publications." Dr. Shaughnelene Smith, DO, Bachelor of Science Honours Degree (Psychology) 

Can you get a high GPA?

Your GPA is one of the key determinants of whether you’ll be accepted or not. Getting into medical school with a low GPA is more difficult, as you’re competing with hundreds of students with stellar grades. Choosing a major where you know you can excel academically will not only make the transition from high school to college easier, but it will help you keep your grades at the level you need. It’s far more likely that a major you enjoy will be one you can excel in.

"During my undergraduate studies ... most students wishing to study medicine pursued my institution's 'Life Science' Degree, but I knew this wasn't my route. Psychology was my favorite first-year course, and I wanted to ensure that I would enjoy my studies as this would ultimately equate to a more competitive GPA." Dr. Shaughnelene Smith, DO.

Will it help with MCAT prep?

You might a physical sciences major would have a leg up on MCAT prep, and these majors do tend to have the highest MCAT scores. But remember that the MCAT subjects cover more than just the physical sciences. Humanities, social sciences, psychology and many more subject areas are covered, especially in the CARS section, notoriously the most difficult for physical science majors. Humanities and English majors actually have an advantage, since the dense CARS passages may be more familiar to them. Taking courses in biology, chemistry and physics are certainly important in preparing for the MCAT, but your background doesn’t need to be in biochemistry to ace this test, either. Review what’s on the MCAT and even take a diagnostic test to see where your weakest subject knowledge lies.

"My major helped me to prepare for the MCAT by giving me a strong foundation of knowledge to build upon. When I was studying for the MCAT, a lot of it became a review as I had seen the content before." – Dr. Neel Mistry, MD, Double major in Biology for Health Sciences and Chemistry.

Can you meet all med school requirements?

Meeting all the medical school requirements is important, so whatever major you choose, you should still plan to take all required courses—they may be outside your major requirements, in some cases. Even if you apply to medical schools without prerequisites, think about what introductory coursework will best prepare you for medical school study. If you have little to no foundational coursework in biology, medical school classes will be much harder, for instance. If you didn’t take any humanities or social science courses, you may struggle more with the patient interactions and clinical work in medical school. Be sure to balance your course studies.

"Most students in 'Life Science' Degrees automatically had medical school prerequisite subjects incorporated into their curriculums (i.e., organic chemistry, biochemistry, etc.). Because these subjects were not required for a psychology major, I had to be strategic and ensure that these were my elective courses. The most significant challenge for me was that some of the medical school prerequisite subjects were scheduled when I had mandatory psychology core classes; therefore, I remember contacting my institution and requesting a way to work around this. Luckily, my institution was very accommodating, and we found a collaborative solution through some online work." Dr. Shaughnelene Smith, DO.

Will it strengthen your medical school applications?

Taking the right coursework, regardless of your major, can help you strengthen your medical school application. Here’s an example: medical schools ask for recommendation letters, and often at least one of these needs to come from a science faculty member of your university. Enrolling in and engaging in a science course is the first step to building a relationship with your professor and securing a strong medical school recommendation letter.

Making connections with your professors and your peers—both inside your major and outside—also allows you to find extracurricular activities, pursue research opportunities for premeds and get connected with opportunities to fulfill clinical hours. All of these activities can help your medical school application stand out, so don’t let your major or area of interest stop you from branching out to other departments.

"Before my undergraduate studies, I had no idea that psychology was so closely tied with research, which ultimately led me to work with several laboratories, including a Behavioural Neuroscience Lab, a Computational Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory, and a Sexuality and Gender Lab. Through these experiences, I set myself up to understand what it truly means to be in an evidence-based field and the nuances of scientific endeavors. This ultimately led me to become a more competent writer and made certain areas of the application write-up and medical school more manageable as I was more confident in this area of my abilities." Dr. Shaughnelene Smith, DO.

Will it help you succeed as a med student?

Part of what medical schools search for in admission is how well you fit with the AAMC core competencies. These competencies are used to evaluate potential medical school students to see if they will be successful students, and eventually successful doctors. In looking at these competencies, you may notice that a thorough understanding of biology or chemistry is just the tip of the iceberg in the skills that good doctors need. You need a comprehensive and well-rounded set of skills to get through medical school study.

"I will be honest – despite doing a double major, most of my courses were geared towards chemistry which did not really help me prepare for medical school. However, I did have an intense schedule because of these courses so the work ethic and discipline built in undergrad helped me to overcome the challenges of medical school." – Dr. Neel Mistry, MD.

Your undergraduate major will not define your time in medical school, or how well you’ll perform. Your GPA might be an indicator of your academic ability, but your interests, skills, abilities and experiences will tell the admissions committee far more about you than what you chose to study in college. 


1. Which major has the highest acceptance rate into medical school?

Math and statistics majors, humanities majors and physical science majors have the highest acceptance rates into medical school. However, biological science majors remain the highest number of applicants to medical school.

2. Which major is the best for medical school?

There is no premed major that is inherently the best, and your choice of major will not guarantee your acceptance to medical school. However, you should carefully consider your undergraduate major when planning for medical school to ensure you earn a high GPA and complete all prerequisites.

3. Which major is best for the MCAT?

There is no single “best” major to prepare you for the MCAT, since the MCAT subjects include a combination of both physical sciences on the MCAT biology, MCAT chemistry and MCAT physics questions, as well as humanities and social sciences questions featured on the MCAT psychology and MCAT CARS sections. 

4. How should I choose my premed major?

No matter what premed major you choose, make sure you can complete the necessary coursework and earn a high GPA. Medical schools care more about your grades and experiences than what your major is.

5. What are the prerequisites for medical school?

Prerequisites for medical school include undergraduate courses in the physical sciences, including biology, chemistry and physics, but most medical schools also require humanities and social science coursework, too. Some even require math or statistics coursework.

6. What if I haven’t declared my major yet?

If you begin college without declaring your major straight away, don’t worry. Medical schools admissions committees look at your GPA and your coursework credits, not when you declared your major and what it was.

7. If I switch majors, does that affect my med school chances?

Generally, no. Changing majors is not a big red flag on your medical school application, although you may be asked about why you changed majors in your medical school interview. 

8. What GPA do I need to get into med school?

The mean GPA of medical school matriculants is 3.77. Medical school GPA requirements are typically a minimum of 3.0, but for the best chance of getting into medical school you should aim for a GPA above 3.5.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

Want more free tips? Subscribe to our channels for more free and useful content!




Apple Podcasts




Like our blog? Write for us! >>

Have a question? Ask our admissions experts below and we'll answer your questions!



what category does engineering fall under?


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hi Matt! Thanks for your question. Engineering would fall under the category of "Other". While it involves a lot of math and physical sciences, like physics, it would still be considered as a separate category. Hope this helps!



What would nursing fall under?


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hi Audrey! Thanks for your question. It would be considered as "Other", especially since nursing is not an undergraduate degree, but a professional degree.



Is human biology a good pre med studies?


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Yam! Thanks for your question. Anatomy or any type of biology major is a great way to prepare for medical school. However, do not forget to complete the non-science course requirements listed by your school. 



Can radiology accepted for med school?


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hi Elizabeth! Do you mean that you have already completed a medical residency in radiology abroad?


Ahmed AL Husaini

What category does exercise science fall under?


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Ahmed! Thanks for your message. If the program covers kinesis, anatomy, etc., then it would probably be categorized as Physical Sciences.



Can canadian students apply to these Pre-Med Schools in USA . will thet get scholarship and will they be treated as Out of province or international student?


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Bob! Thanks for your question. In short, it depends on the school. Some colleges view Canadians as out-of-state students, some as international. It is possible to get a scholarship, but again, it's on a case-by-case basis.