1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How often are summer internships awarded to pre-meds?

  1. Feb 10, 2015 #1
    Suppose for a moment that, in an attempt to remain competitive for med school, some physics major goes about asking for a summer internship at his/her undergrad. (Said physics major declared that major because the student wanted to do what s/he loved)

    How often are summer research internships in physics awarded to pre-meds, in US schools?

    My own undergraduate physics dept (a non-US one) is avoided by pre-meds entirely, and even if there were some pre-meds majoring in physics (in my home country, one's sole motivation to major in physics as a pre-med would be to take advantage of the greater difficulty), they just wouldn't even try to get one, since grades are everything to get interviewed for med school. But perhaps I would have to deal with such premeds at schools like Minnesota...
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2015 #2

    Quantum Defect

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    There is definitely a desire by people managing the summer programs in Physics to help prepare the next generation of physicists for life as a physicist. If the summer program has funding from a US government agency, I believe that this is a priority to them. Basically, if they "produce" a bunch of physicists, the outcome would probably considered better than if they produced a bunch of MDs. I suspect the professors working with the students would prefer to work with physicists, as well. [Feynman was adamant about only wanting to talk to physicis majors when he visited my little college outside of LA.]

    I think in the US, pre-meds are found mostly in Biology and sometimes Chemistry departments.
  4. Feb 10, 2015 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    If you are physics major than you are going to be just as competative for physics internships as other physics majors. What you plan on doing afterwards is gong to have little bearing on whether on not your are awarded the position - unless of course, you state on your application something along the lines of "I have no interest in learning anythning from this position."
  5. Feb 10, 2015 #4
    Biology, chemistry, biochemistry depts also run such summer programs to help prepare the next generation of biologists, chemists and biochemists for life as a scientist. For them, too, the outcome will probably be considered better if they "produce" a bunch of scientists rather than a bunch of MDs/DMDs.

    Perhaps there are biomedical research labs that would more readily work with pre-meds than the average physics professor (I wonder how many premeds will be capable to fake enthusiasm for a career in physics).

    The professor that last reviewed my personal statement, who earned his PhD at Minnesota, claimed that some students will use physics as a pre-med major anyway because they use college as an occasion to do what they love (or they otherwise see the rigor of a physics major as an asset for med school admissions or once in med school), and that, to the eyes of med schools, research is research, as long as it is in a hard science.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook