Figure

III-12a: 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.

Performance on professional school entrance examinations can serve as a measure of the extent to which individuals with undergraduate majors in the humanities are prepared for professional employment. While humanities students who take a professional school examination might not actually pursue a career in the tested field, the substantial fees and preparation involved in taking the test suggest the career options humanities students are seriously exploring. Moreover, test results of this kind can provide some measure of the applicability of the humanistic knowledge and skills gained in college to the entrance requirements for various professional occupations. The Association of American Medical Colleges, the entity that administers the Medical College Admission Test, 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.

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