One of your goals as a pre-health student will be to acquire the necessary academic background to assure success in medical, dental, veterinary or other health professions school. Besides the general academic skills in which you will be expected to show high proficiency, you will also have to demonstrate good results in a basic core of math and science courses.
Medical, dental, and veterinary schools are interested in how well you are able to handle a full and demanding curriculum. They will want to see evidence that you can carry a normal full-time course load with science labs, and with a reasonable amount of outside activities to show you have broad interests.
- 2 semesters of Biology with lab
Students typically enroll in Introductory Biology I and a second biology course with a lab. Students can choose from courses such as Introductory Biology II, Genetics, Mammalian Physiology, or Microbiology. Students in the School of Nursing and Health Studies meet this requirement with Human Biology I & II.
- 2 semesters of General Chemistry with lab
- 2 semesters of Organic Chemistry with lab
- 2 semesters of of Physics with lab
- One semester of Biochemistry (Biological Chemistry) is now required at many medical schools.
- 2 semesters of Mathematics. At least one semester each of calculus and statistics is recommended. AP credit can satisfy one of these courses.
- At least one semester of English
These are the typical minimum requirements at most medical and dental schools; they are adequate if grades are uniformly strong. Individual schools may require additional courses or fewer courses.
Some dental, PA and veterinary schools require courses such as:
Some medical schools may only require one semester of Organic Chemistry and one semester of Biochemistry.
Students should consult individual school websites or check available reference materials to review specific requirements.
Coursework above the minimum requirements is generally recommended if there is space in your schedule.
Advanced Undergraduate Courses
There is a strong tendency for medical schools (especially the more competitive ones) to prefer additional coursework above the minimum requirements, so you may also wish to take advanced science courses, such as: Genetics, Mammalian Physiology, Microbiology, Cell & Developmental Biology, Immunology, Neurobiology, etc.
Texas Medical Schools Additional Requirements
The University of Texas system currently requires 14 credits in biology; four, 3 credit lecture courses and two, 1 credit lab courses for admission for both medical and dental schools.
At this time, we feel that the prudent path is to complete the general requirements as listed above that apply for most medical/dental and other health professions schools and take additional courses as needed. The bottom line is that you must do some research to ensure that you have met the requirements for any specific school to which you wish to apply.
Georgetown University has a one semester writing requirement (WRIT-015) as well as an University Integrated Writing requirement that is built into each major. In addition, there is a one semester Humanities: Arts, Literatures, and Cultures requirement for all students. The requirement as described in the Undergraduate Bulletin states: [These courses require the student] “to see, evaluate, interpret, and communicate human experience through literary texts, artistic creations, material objects, and critical concepts.” In addition to courses in the English Department, courses satisfying this requirement are offered by the departments of Art, Music and Theater, Classics, the modern languages, and interdisciplinary programs. All students graduating from Georgetown University have fulfilled this requirement, as well as at least six courses of history, philosophy, and theology, all of which require expert proficiency in (and further hone students’ skills in) spoken and written English. Therefore, you do not need to take additional courses as they are covered by the core curriculum and your major.
CHEM 001/009 General Chemistry I and lab
CHEM 002/010 General Chemistry II and lab
CHEM 115/117 Organic Chemistry I and lab
CHEM 116/118 Organic Chemistry II and lab
BIOL 103/113 Foundations of Biology I and lab
BIOL 104/114 Foundations of Biology II and lab
NHS Students may take
HSCI 101 Human Biology I (lab included)
HSCI 102 Human Biology II (lab included)
BIOL 151 Biological Chemistry (lab included)
PHYS 101 Principles of Physics I (lab included)
PHYS 102 Principles of Physics II (lab included)
MATH 035 Calculus I
MATH 036 Calculus II
MATH 006 Stats with Exploratory Data Analysis
MATH 040 Probability and Statistics
Common Advanced Electives
BIOL 152 Genetics (lab included)
BIOL 363 Cell Biology
BIOL 175/176 Mammalian Physiology and lab
BIOL 364/361 Microbiology and lab
If you are not a biology major, it is recommended that you take one of the Common Advanced Electives with lab as your second biology course instead of BIOL104.
The math and science courses listed above should be taken before the MCAT or DAT. If you intend to matriculate into medical school immediately following graduation, you should schedule the courses in your first three years so that the exam can be taken in the spring of your Junior year or the summer before Senior year. Students planning on waiting a year or more after graduation to apply should consider taking the MCAT at a later date. These are very individual plans and a pre-med advisor can help with your scheduling.
Here are some sample schedules for completing pre-requisite science courses. You should be aware that there is no single schedule that is right for everyone and you should plan your schedule in consultation with your dean and your faculty and pre-health advisers.