Humanities Indicators
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Workforce  >  Earnings & Occupations of Humanities Majors
 
Humanities Majors and the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) did not draw many of its examinees from the ranks of humanities majors, who must do significant work in science, in addition to fulfilling the requirements for their major, in order to be prepared for the MCAT and apply to medical school. Even though they were in the minority, the humanities majors taking the test were strong performers relative to majors in other fields.

Findings and Trends

  • From 1991 to 2009 approximately 3–4% of those taking the MCAT were humanities majors (Indicator III-5c).[1]
  • From 1991 to 2000 humanities majors were the highest-scoring group of majors on the MCAT, and from 2001 to 2009 only math and statistics majors scored appreciably higher (Indicator III-5d).
III-5c: Medical College Admission Test Examinees’ Fields of Undergraduate Study, 1991–2009*

* Over the time period depicted here, the majority of MCAT examinees majored in the biological sciences. Biology majors are excluded from the figure.
** Includes performing arts and library science majors. Excludes history majors.

Source: Data provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges at the request of the Humanities Indicators.

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III-5d: Medical College Admission Test Mean Score,* by Examinee’s Field of Undergraduate Study, 1991–2009

* Average of verbal reasoning, physical sciences, and biological sciences exam scores. The MCAT is scored on a scale ranging from 1 to 15.
** Includes performing arts and library science majors. Excludes history majors.

Source: Data provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges at the request of the Humanities Indicators.

About this DataRelated Indicators
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Endnotes

[1] The graph excludes the percentage of examinees who reported an undergraduate major in biology. These students are the majority of MCAT test takers. The Association of American Medical Colleges, the entity that administers the MCAT, defines the humanities field rather differently than the Humanities Indicators. The former considers library science and the performing arts to be humanities disciplines but treats history as a social science discipline.