Frequently Asked Questions about Pre-Health Studies
Q. What major should I declare if I want to go to a health professions school?
A. You can be any major that you have a real interest in studying. For many health professions schools you will need to take many science courses, which is why most students are science majors, but there is no requirement to be a science major. You should study something that you love and in which you will do well.
Q. What science courses should I take as a freshman if I plan to go to medical school?
A. If you have ANY interest in applying to medical school you should take General Chemistry (CHEM 111-112) and General Chemistry Lab (CHEM 115-116) your first year of college. As a science major you should also take General Biology (BIOL 130-131) in your freshman year.
Q. What science courses should I take as a freshman if I plan to go to a health professions school that is NOT medical school?
A. This can be quite variable depending on what you are interested in doing and what your major is. You should speak with your advisor if you are not sure what to take.
Q. When should I apply for medical, dental or veterinary school?
A. Applications for medical, dental and veterinary school are submitted more than a year before the summer or fall in which students would begin attending. For example, students applying to begin in September of 2022 should have their applications completed and submitted in June or July of 2021 (preferably June).
Q. When should I take admissions exams?
A. The general rule is that admissions exams should be taken in the spring before the summer in which you plan to apply to the health professions school of your choice. This is especially true of the MCAT and the DAT.
Q. What is the average GPA needed to get into a health professions school?
A. It depends on the type of school that you are interested in attending. The average student accepted to medical, dental or veterinary school has an A- average. For other types of schools it is typically in the B+ to A- range.
Q. Will health professions schools accept AP or IB credit?
A. While it depends on the individual schools, some will accept the AP or IB credit as long as you have done well in higher level science courses. There will be health professions schools, however, that do not accept AP or IB credit for required courses so it is very important to get in contact with the schools you are interested in attending and ask them directly if they will accept AP or IB credit.
These are a few of the questions that we get asked regularly. If you have others please e-mail Professor Lisa Stephens, AHP, at Lisa.Stephens1@marist.edu.