Helpful Hints for First Year Students Interested in Health Care
(From the Medical Studies Committee)
General Course Recommendations
- General Chemistry, two semesters with labs. Chem 107A/108A or Chem 107B/108B. General Chemistry in your first year assures flexibility in choosing a major and completing general education requirements.
- Organic Chemistry, two semesters with labs. Chem 217/218.
- General Physics, two semesters with labs. Physics 107/108.
- Calculus, one or two semesters. Math 105/106 and/ or one semester of Calculus and one semester of Statistics. Statistics is highly recommended at many medical schools. If you have already earned AP, IB or A-level credit for calculus, you probably don’t need to retake it. The Math Department has advice on choosing math courses, and a short, anonymous online placement test.
- Biology, two semesters with labs. Bio 190 and Bio 242.
- English, two courses designated or cross-listed as “Eng” First Year Seminars do not count.
- Biochemistry, is required for some medical schools and most vet schools. This course is helpful background for the biochemistry course you will take in your first year of professional school and biochemistry content is now tested on the MCAT.
- Psychology and Sociology. Content of basic psychology and sociology will be necessary preparation for the MCAT.
Any major is fine. AP credit cannot be used to meet most requirements for admission to many health-related graduate or professional programs. For example, a student who has AP credit that allows opting out of Chem 107 would need to take another Chem course at a higher level or biochemistry, in addition to Chem 108, Chem 217 and Chem 218, to meet the admission prerequisites.
Physical therapy, Veterinary, Nursing, Occupational Therapy and Physician Assistant programs have similar but often additional prerequisites.
All prerequisites need to be taken for a grade, NOT P/F. Grades lower than a C- (C for some programs) do not meet the prerequisites. See an advisor regarding requirements for specific career fields.
Good grades are important. While many students take Chemistry and Calculus in their first semester, you should be mindful of your own abilities and academic background. It is more important to do well than to overload your schedule. If you need help deciding what courses to take, check with one of the Medical Studies Advisors.
Things to Do
- Join the Healthworks list serve to receive pre-health, internship and job information. To subscribe, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. In the body of the message type: subscribe.
- Schedule an appointment: Medical Studies Advisors: Professor Lee Abrahamsen in Biology and Karen Daigler in the Bates Career Development Center (BCDC). Appointments for advising are scheduled through the BCDC by calling (207)786-6232. In person and phone appointments are available.