In terms of coursework, most medical, dental or veterinary schools require one year of:
- General Chemistry with lab
- Organic Chemistry with lab
- Biology with lab
- Physics with lab
In addition, one year of math is usually strongly recommended and is required at some schools. Some health profession graduate schools have additional requirements; e.g., Calculus and Biochemistry. The veterinary schools are notorious for having unusual and varied requirements (e.g., Microbiology, Anatomy & Physiology).
Important Note: The AAMC (American Association of Medical Colleges) has been reviewing the content of the MCAT and they tentatively plan to administer a new exam as early as 2015. This updated MCAT will cover the above mentioned topics but will also examine basic knowledge of 1) Biochemistry and 2) Statistics. Therefore a course in each of these areas is strongly recommended.
Tentatively, the new MCAT exam will also examine concepts relating to the behavioral and socio-cultural determinants of health care, so during your career, we suggest you consider taking a sociology course and a psychology course. As plans for the 2015 MCAT solidify, we will update you.
Specific Courses at BC
Minimum Biology Courses and Biology Lab
We strongly recommend that, at an absolute minimum, individuals take the following two one semester Biology courses, plus Biology lab, to fulfill Biology premed/predent/prevet requirements:
- Molecules and Cells (BI200) – offered Fall (F) & Spring (S)
- Introduction to Physiology (BI303 F&S) – or if space is available, Human Physiology offered Spring (BI433S) with Lab (BI434 S).
- Lab: Investigations in Molecular Cell Biology Lab – BI204 – offered Fall (F) & Spring (S)
Increasingly, health professions graduate schools are either requiring or strongly recommending science electives over and above the minimum courses listed above. The two electives that are most often either required or recommended by health professions graduate schools are:
- Biological Chemistry (BI 435F & S) through the Biology Department, or Biochemistry (CH 561F, 562S) through the Chemistry Department (usually taken Junior year)
- A Genetics course (e.g., BI305, BI 319, etc. — see Biology Dept. web site)
- A Statistics course (e.g., BI230, EC151)
Evolution and Ecology
The Biology sections of the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and Dental Admissions Test (DAT) contain questions on Evolution and Ecology. Therefore, in preparation for these exams (if you are not a Biology major), at the very least you should you take time to read and study the chapters on ecology and evolution in a good introductory-biology text. Alternatively, you could choose to take “Ecology and Evolution” (BI201) or another appropriate Biology elective to gain some exposure to this area of Biology.