Pre-Health Profession Academic Requirements

As a Pre-health student at SUNY New Paltz, you will focus on two areas of academic preparation. First, you must fulfill the college-wide requirements necessary to graduate (general education and major requirements); second, you must complete the requirements for admission to a professional school. Consequently, students will complete the general education requirement, a major program of study, and the necessary courses for entrance into a professional school.

Below we have listed the courses required by nearly all health profession schools (N.B. you may also want to consult with the specific website suggested for the particular type of medicinal practice of interest). For example, Pre-DVM students should follow the same course of study and prepare for either the GRE or the VCAT exams. In addition, Veterinary Medicine schools may have additional course requirements, such as a large animal physiology course and/or parasitology.

Students interested in Physical or Occupational Therapy should also take courses in Anatomy and Physiology, Statistics, Medical Terminology, and anywhere between 3-9 credits in the social sciences (e.g. Introductory Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Lifespan Development).

Normally, you should complete these courses by the end of your junior year since the standardized national entrance exams are taken at that time and are based upon the contents of these courses. In addition, it is highly recommended that students take Genetics, General Microbiology, and either Principles of Cell Biology, General Physiology or Biological Chemistry to better prepare for professional school and for the national entrance exam.

Advanced Placement Students: If you receive AP credit for one (or more) of the courses listed below, you must then take another course with appropriate lab in that discipline. For example, if you receive AP credit for General Biology I, you will need to take another biology course (with lab) here at New Paltz. Generally, this is not a problem if you are a Biology major or take the other recommended biology courses such as Genetics, Molecular Biology, Principles of Cell Biology, etc.

Transfer students: If you plan to apply to a U.S. Medical School, these required courses should be taken at an accredited American college or university.

Description of Course Satisfied by SUNY-NP Course
General Biology Biology BIO201 & BIO202 2 semesters
Calculus Math MAT251 & MAT252 2 semesters
General Chemistry Chemistry CHE201 & CHE202 2 semesters
Organic Chemistry Chemistry CHE318 & CHE319 2 semesters
Fundamental, OR General Physics Physics PHY221 & PHY222 OR
Physics PHY201 & PHY202
2 semesters
2 semesters
English Composition English ENG160 & ENG180 2 semesters

Computer literacy and courses in statistics or biostatistics are also desirable, as is a solid writing ability (consider completing your writing intensive course before attempting to take the professional school entrance exam). Many medical schools suggest that you take more science courses, beyond these minimum requirements. Remember: The typical medical school curriculum is intensive and traditionally includes such subjects as physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, anatomy, pharmacology, and embryology; admissions committees are looking for evidence that you are comfortable with these types of subjects.