Early during freshman year, students interested in a career in healthcare (medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, occupational therapy, nursing, veterinary medicine, or physical therapy) are urged to consult with a member of the Pre-Health Advisory Committee. Members of the committee will assist in developing programs of studies and a timeline for completing courses needed for particular student interests. During the spring semester of the junior year, pre-health students should arrange an interview with the Pre-Health Advisory Committee to evaluate student qualifications and preparation for a career in his/her chosen pre-health field. This evaluation will be used as part of the student’s application materials and will be submitted to the professional schools of interest.
It is the responsibility of the student to consult the websites, course catalogs, or call the schools to which he/ she wishes to apply for specific programmatic requirements. Generally, the courses below fulfill the prerequisite requirements of most medical, dental, and other health profession programs. However, many schools now use “end-point” course requirements (example: you must complete Biochemistry I, Physics II, and Calculus).
- Biology: one year of course work
- General Inorganic Chemistry: one year of course work
- Organic Chemistry: one year of course work
- Physics: one year of course work
- Mathematics: Calculus or Pre-calculus
- Biochemistry: at least one semester
In addition, the following courses are strongly recommended:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Introduction to Psychology
- Introduction to Sociology
- Advanced courses in the natural sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Neuroscience, and Physics)
Millsaps College and the majority of medical and dental schools strongly recommend that the student obtain a baccalaureate degree in an area of interest. It is not required that this degree be in a science, and students are encouraged to achieve a broad background in the humanities and social sciences. However, taking the minimum number of required science courses is strongly discouraged.
Note for Medical School Applicants: The newly revised Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) emphasizes reading comprehension, critical thinking, and knowledge of the social sciences (human behavior in particular). The pre-health honorary, Alpha Epsilon Delta, frequently provides opportunities to discuss the changing requirements of the health care professions.
Pre-health students should meet with members of the Pre-Health Committee on a regular basis to ensure adequate academic progress, to arrange internships and shadowing experiences, and to prepare for interviews. The Pre-Health Committee also invites speakers from the region to discuss admission policies and procedures. These speakers are typically directly involved in admissions to professional programs, and therefore are able to provide useful information for potential applicants.
Furthermore, The Millsaps Medical Mentoring Program helps connect students to local health professionals in the student’s area of professional interest. This is a wonderful resource for our students and is unlike any other shadowing or internship opportunity you will find.
Please Note: Admission to medical and dental programs as well as other health-related programs is highly competitive. Success involves:
- Superior Grade Point Average (both total and science/math - generally speaking, most schools will want to see around a 3.500 science GPA);
- Competitive score on the appropriate professional exam (e.g., MCAT, DAT);
- Experience or substantial exposure to the health field;
- Faculty and pre-health committee letters of recommendation;
- Non-academic accomplishments (including both campus activities and work experience; especially activities demonstrating leadership and responsibility);
- Research activities;
- A successful interview with the professional school.
For more information, contact Millsaps’ Pre-Health Director, Dr. Kurt Thaw (email@example.com)