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Science Careers Blog

March 10, 2010

Is Physics the Best Major for Pre-Law?

It would seem so, if statistics (free download -- pdf reader required) just published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) are to be believed.

The AIP analysis reveals -- unsurprisingly, to this former physicist -- that physics majors scored 161.5, on average, on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) -- higher than any other major. Math majors came in just a little lower, at 159.7. All of the six top-scoring majors were science related -- assuming that you consider economics to be science-related. The highest-scoring non-science major is English, followed very closely by two more science fields, biology and then computer science. Pre-law, by the way, comes in a distant 12th of 13 majors, and criminal justice guards the rear.

Physicists also do very well on the MCAT -- the Medical College Admissions Test -- but they miss out on the top spot by a hair. The best scoring major on the MCATS is chemical engineering, followed by physics, electrical engineering, economics, neuroscience, and mathematics. Interestingly, English was again the highest-scoring non-science field, again ranking seventh (of 13).

What's the lowest-scoring major on the MCSTs? "Premedical."

An aside: When professional associations start telling you how good preparation in their field is for other careers, you can bet the job market in the field isn't good.

You can download the AIP report, in pdf form.

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