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Is a degree in a natural science like chemistry or biology more beneficial than a degree in something like psychology? Does one prepare you more for PA school than another?

I was going to go to college for a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Personal Health. Obviously, my end goal is to become a PA. I’m currently in the process of becoming a surgical technician, and would like to be a surgical PA.

When I look at actual PA programs curriculum (at least near me), they don’t seem to be heavily science-based in terms of like Organic Chemistry, Biology, etc other than the prerequisites to get accepted. Once you get accepted though, the context looks a lot less detailed on those things. Am I missing something?

From my perspective, a psychology degree would be just as beneficial as biology. Am I wrong?

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Is a degree in a natural science like chemistry or biology more beneficial than a degree in something like psychology? Does one prepare you more for PA school than another?
I was going to go to college for a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Personal Health. Obviously, my end goal is to become a PA. I’m currently in the process of becoming a surgical technician, and would like to be a surgical PA.
When I look at actual PA programs curriculum (at least near me), they don’t seem to be heavily science-based in terms of like Organic Chemistry, Biology, etc other than the prerequisites to get accepted. Once you get accepted though, the context looks a lot less detailed on those things. Am I missing something?
From my perspective, a psychology degree would be just as beneficial as biology. Am I wrong?
Well, if I already knew I was planning to apply to PA school when I was getting my bachelor's I definitely would have done natural sciences. It's not that you wouldn't benefit from social sciences, it's more that you will have to take all the natural science prerequisites anyway, so why not use them toward your major instead of paying for them to be extras on top of required courses for your major?

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Hi, @DarcyJ! My main concern with it is because I may do just average or slightly above average in those. Psychology on the other hand is a subject I’m very familiar with, I actually just finished my 6th book on the topic (along with lectures and research), so I feel like I’d naturally do better in that overall. I believe with a psychology degree, I would have around a 3.8+. If I did biology, probably around 3.4, to be realistic. It’s always been a little more difficult for me. Not impossible by any means, though.

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How much college do you have under your belt right now?

Hopefully some PAs or PA students will chime in since I just applied for the first time and can't speak to that level of experience yet.

I know a lot of people have gotten into PA school with GPAs of less than 3.8, they tend to have higher GPAs in their prereq courses however. So, if you think you can only do average in those sciences a good cGPA won't be as helpful.

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@DarcyJ I’m only about 8 hours in - literally just started. My biggest concerns are that I’m naturally not the best at any sciences that involve extensive math. I’m also going to Arizona State through their online program, so I’m thinking it may be a little harder versus a normal classroom setting. I currently have a 4.0, but like I said, I haven’t taken many classes at all. And I don’t think I would do bad in any natural science classes, I just don’t think I would do AS good as others. My GPA with the prerequisites would be probably 3.4 to 3.6. Everything else would be a borderline 4.0.

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A degree in chem or bio may prepare you more for PA SCHOOL, but a psych degree will prepare you better for PA PRACTICE, especially in primary care.  Never had to care about the Krebs cycle once in practice, and likely won't ever.

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@rev ronin I appreciate your response. Honestly, I thought that would be the case. I feel like a degree in biology may kind of over-prepare, in a sense. When looking at the curriculum, literally none of the classes were related to anything that seemed to mirror traits that a class in organic chemistry would help me out more in. Anatomy and physiology, possibly, but I saw a list of classes like:

Applied Learning Experiences
Clinical Procedures
Fundamentals of Surgery
Medical Literature
Essentials of Behavioral Medicine
Clinicals
Etc

I think in a way that psychology would be a little more of an edge, as it's a different degree than something more common as bio or chem. I'm naturally not going to do the best at something like chemistry anyways. Again, I appreciate your insight. Thank you!

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I did medical anthro for undergrad. 3 required lower division and 8 required upper division courses + a thesis. out of 36 classes for a BS. lots of electives. I ended up with more bio classes(11) than my bio major wife(9) because I didn't have to take the extra math, physics, and chem that she did

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If you major in a social science and are still able to fit in all the pre-reqs plus additional upper level biomedical courses (patho, pharma, genetics, immuno, etc.) then do that. However, if you think your schedule won't allow for additional science courses beyond the pre-reqs, then I would say do a science major and if your schedule allows, take psychology/sociology/philosophy classes (yes, I said philosophy because I think that's one of the most useful fields of study to be a smart human being). 

But obviously do what YOU think is the best decision for yourself. 

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