Question & Answer: Pre-requisite subjects for becoming a Psychiatrist


My daughter is interested in becoming a psychiatrist. Please can you advise me what are the subjects required in higher secondary and what degrees etc she should be looking for. Her current grades in chemistry is below average.she is an average student in the rest of her subjects.


From your email it seems your daughter has yet to decide her subjects. Rather than focus on her career choice I would make sure she has a choice of subjects wherein she can change as she grows and discovers more career options. Do consult a college counselor and do a psychometric test to see where your daughter’s natural abilities lie.

If your daughter is keen to become a Psychiatrist then she first has to study medicine and then specialize. She needs to prepare for medical school. Subject’s choices in higher secondary will depend on which country she is planning to apply to. If India she will need all three science subjects. If she plans to go the states she will need science subjects as well arts and social sciences. American universities look at extracurricular activities and community service in addition to SAT scores and the students GPA. For the UK she will need Chemistry and Biology. In the UK, US and India she will have to prepare for the medical school entrance exams.

Your daughter could also opt for doing Psychology as an undergraduate degree if she doesn’t want to study medicine. This would prepare her for various career paths. She could work in counseling, social work, education, Academic advising and Law. To pursue some of these she would need to go to graduate school.

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