1. You Don’t Need To Be a Science Major

Surprise! Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be a science major to be on the premed track.

Cesar was admitted to NYU as a Neural Science major but quickly became a a Psychology major. It was only after talking to many people in the Premed community that Cesar learned premed students do not have to major in science to be on the premed track. Medical schools tend to focus on an individual’s interest in medicine and will not necessarily be preferential to students with specific majors. 

He has since met many premed students who are majoring in Sociology, Social and Cultural Analysis, and even majors in the Silver School of Social Work. Rather than majoring in Biochemistry or Physics, it is more important to declare a major that suits your interests. 

Another perk of declaring nonscience majors is that students can allocate more time toward their extracurricular activities. Rather than focusing solely on academics, you are able to become a well-rounded applicant. Whether it’s partaking in research, clinical, or leadership opportunities, declaring a nonscience major can be extremely beneficial for some students. 

After all, taking premed courses is already academically rigorous. Being able to find balance between studying and real life experience is critical to shaping a premed student’s experience.

Cesar smiles in front of the Center for Neural Science and Psychology Buildings on NYU’s campus.

2. Find Community and Mentorship

Being a premed student comes with a lot of sacrifice. At times you may find yourself prioritizing your work over having fun. This is precisely why it is important to find a premed community you can rely on for academic and personal support. These are some of the peers that you will be taking classes and sharing similar experiences with. 

As a first-generation Hispanic student, it was incredibly important for Cesar to find a space where he could feel supported by other students from a similar background. Luckily, he found the Gentlemen of Quality and What’s Good Doctor programs under the Academic Achievement Program. There, he met other high achieving premed students from underrepresented backgrounds. Regardless of the background you come from, it’s important to find a premed community that will enhance your entire college experience. 

Check out other popular premed communities.

Students in suits standing for a group portrait.
Students standing in front of a monument for a group photo.

3. Don’t Do Everything at Once

The premed track is a marathon not a sprint. Overpacking your schedule will do you more harm than good. 

So, it is important to start with a strong academic portfolio and build from there. Being too ambitious to do everything your first year could lead you to burn out. Even having one or two extracurriculars your first year is a solid start. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself—opportunities will keeping showing up!

Students at a conference table studying.

4. Reach Out and Maintain Relationships

Many professors are adjuncts who work in major NYC hospitals or conduct research at NYU. Reaching out and meeting with them may lead you to your next internship or spark interest in a new field.

Cesar took Child and Adolescent Psychopathology with Professor Jess Shatkin under the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies (CAMS) department during his second year. During this class, he connected with his professor, which led to a leadership position offer in the CAMS On Campus club. 

Students holding puppies and smiling.
CAMS on Campus Puppy De-stressor event
Students enjoying puppies at a CAMS event.

5. Weave Together Your Narrative

There is a difference between being busy and being competitive. All premed students are busy, but being competitive means you can present yourself and your story in a way that is not only compelling but also meaningful. 

As a premed student at NYU, it is important to find your story and the reason behind why you want to pursue a path in medicine. On paper, you can have an abundance of experience with internships and research positions. However, if you can’t speak about how these experiences led to your medical school application, they may not get you where you want to be. 

To All the Aspiring Premed Students...

Best of luck! The road is long but worth it. Always remember to be intentional with every single decision you make during your premed path. NYU’s premed community is full of helping hands eager to help out a fellow premed. If you’re curious, learn more about the premed track at NYU!

Sabrina Hsu (she/her) is a Senior from Taipei, Taiwan studying Education Studies specializing in Entrepreneurship with a minor in Public Policy and Management. She is interested in the realm of higher education and college access. Outside of the Admissions Ambassador program, she is a Resident Assistant (RA), Wasserman Career Ambassador, Give Where You Live service cohort leader, and the Founder and President of Women Founders at NYU. She has studied abroad at NYU Madrid and will be studying abroad at NYU Buenos Aires. In her downtime, you can find her playing Sudoku, attempting to cook, or playing with her turtles.