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Academic Preparation

The Bates Pre-Health program assists students in pre-professional preparation for careers in the medical sciences including medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, physician assistant, physical therapy, public health and other allied health professions.

Because each of the medical sciences professions requires specific preparation, students must work closely with the Pre-Health Advisors to plan a suitable program of study. This generally involves understanding course requirements, securing internships and volunteer service opportunities and shadowing professionals.

Admission to most health professions schools is extremely competitive, requiring strong academic performance, satisfactory scores on standardized admissions test (e.g., MCAT, DAT, GRE, etc.), and evidence of leadership, service, and some knowledge of the health profession.

Academic preparation generally includes a minimum of two semesters each of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and general physics. At least one semester of Calculus and English are typically required. To complete this preparation at Bates College, the following courses are recommended:

  • Biology - Biology 190 and Biology 242
  • General Chemistry – Chem 107 A or B and 108 A or B
  • Organic Chemistry – Chem 207 and 208
  • General Physics – Phys 107 and 108
  • Math - Some medical schools require calculus, college math and/or statistics.  Note that Physics 107 at Bates requires Math 105 or its equivalent such as AP, IB or A-level coursework.
  • English – must be writing intensive

Many health professions schools also strongly recommend or require biochemistry and statistics and additional biology electives such as genetics, physiology and comparative anatomy.

With careful planning, a student may study abroad and complete the premedical coursework in combination with a liberal arts major.


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