As a "prehealth" student here at SUNY, you must focus on two areas of academic preparation. First, you must fulfill the general education requirements necessary to graduate; second, you must complete the requirements for admission to a professional school. Consequently, even though you may consider yourself to be "premed" or "prehealth," you must have an approved major and satisfy the general University requirements as defined by your Undergraduate Studies Bulletin. In addition, you must register with the Pre-Health Advisor and set up an active file, in order to receive a Pre-Health Profession Composite letter of recommendation, which is now required by many health profession schools. Note that while some medical schools only require ninety undergraduate credit hours and some dental schools require only sixty, most successful applicants complete their baccalaureate degrees prior to enrolling in professional school. (But check-out our two "7-year" dual degree medical programs for alternatives to the traditional programs.)
Below we have listed the courses required by nearly all health profession schools (e.g., see the AAMC recommendations). NOTE: 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. Check out the requirements of schools you may apply to. A source of Pre-Vet information can be found at: http://http://www.aavmc.org/.
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 (with the exception of the Dental Admission Test which does not test Physics, although it is required for admission to dental school). In addition, it is highly recommended that you take Genetics (Biology BIO320), General Microbiology (Biology BIO350), and either Principles of Cell Biology (Biology BIO325), General Physiology (Biology BIO417) or Biological Chemistry (Biology BIO318) to better prepare for professional school and (especially) 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 #||Semesters|
|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
|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 medical or dental school entrance exam). Many medical schools suggest that you take more science courses, beyond these minimum requirements (see the AAMC's Medical School Admissions Requirements Web Page). 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.
Nevertheless, if you have a real interest and ability in an area outside of the natural sciences, by all means pursue it. You can be a "prehealth" student and still major or minor in humanities, social science, engineering, or any other discipline offered at SUNY New Paltz. Although more than half of the students who take the MCAT major in the Biological Sciences, applicants from every academic area are encouraged as long as their program is rigorous and reflects academic excellence.
A most important consideration: Regardless of your major, your academic curriculum should include at least two science courses (e.g. courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Biochemistry, and Mathematics) each semester. As a prehealth professions student, medical school admissions committees expect you to be a high achiever and this is largely reflected by your solid academic performance while carrying a full-credit load (a minimum of fifteen hours) in demanding course combinations at a 4-year UNIVERSITY.