Academic Preparation

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Registering with Pre-Med/Pre-Health Advising

All students interested in pre-med/pre-health should make an appointment with Pre-Med/Pre-Health Advising. This should be done regardless of your academic major. Students should also sign up for the Pre-Med/Pre-Health newsletter and announcements listserv.

Majors and Pre-Med/Pre-Health

The University offers a standard pre-medical/health curriculum, which meets all of the requirements necessary to apply to health professional school. There is NO PRE-MED/PRE-HEALTH MAJOR. You should select a major that is interesting and challenging and allows you to pursue a variety of different career opportunities. You should select a major in the field of your greatest interest and ability. This should be done no later than the second semester freshman year.

What classes should I take?

Any major is acceptable as long as it allows the student to complete the minimal science/math pre-professional requirements, which are the following:

  • Introductory Biology (Biology 151, 152) 7 credits and lab (Biology 153) 2 credits
    • AP Biology score transfers only as Biology 110.
  • General Chemistry (Chemistry 111, 112 or Chemistry 121H, 122H)
    • AP credit is not accepted by medical or dental schools for chemistry.
  • Organic Chemistry (Chemistry 261, 262, lab 269 [Chemistry majors: 265, 266, 267, 268])
  • Physics (Physics 131, 132) 8 credits or (Physics 151, 152) 8 credits
    • AP credit is accepted for the first semester of physics.
  • Mathematics (Math 127 or 131) 3-4 credits and Statistics (any ONE of the following: Stats 240, Psych 240, ResEcon 212, PubHlth 390B)
    • AP scores are accepted for calculus and statistics.
  • Biochemistry 420 for pre-med, pre-dent, and pre-PA students who are not biochemistry majors.

Highly recommended General Education courses include:

  • Psychology 100: Introductory Psychology (Gen Ed: SB)
  • Sociology (any 100-level class)

Optional electives for students interested in a health career

  • Anthro 104 (SB, G)
  • Anthro 312
  • Classics 250 (HS)
  • Nursing 312 (SI, U)
  • Nutrition 130 (BS)
  • Nutrition 140 (BS)
  • Philosophy 164 (AT)
  • Public Health 129 (SB, U)
  • Public Health 160 (SI)

PA and pharmacy schools have additional requirements that can only be determined by visiting the websites of individual schools.

Advanced Placement Courses

Many medical schools will not accept AP scores as a substitute for requisite premedical science courses. They will, however, accept advanced course work of comparable length in the same discipline in which the student has an AP score.

Thus, if you have AP credit in chemistry and decide not to take General Chemistry, you should plan on taking advanced course work in chemistry (or perhaps biochemistry) equal to a full year with laboratory. Organic chemistry does not count in this case since it is already one of the courses required for admission to medical school.

UMass BaccMD Pathway Program

The UMass BaccMD Pathway Program is a partnership between the UMass Medical School and UMass Amherst.