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Pre-Health Program

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Information for Students Interested in Medical School

Marist has a strong record of placing students into medical schools. In the last decade, 70 percent of Marist applicants were accepted to at least one medical school. Over the years, alumni of the School of Science have gained admission to both allopathic (M.D.) and osteopathic (D.O.) medical schools throughout the United States. These institutions include Georgetown Medical School, Albany Medical College, New York Medical College, SUNY Upstate Medical Center at Syracuse, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (formerly New York College of Osteopathic Medicine), Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (formerly the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey), Medical College of Virginia, Downstate Medical Center, and the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, to name a few. In addition to a challenging academic curriculum which provides a strong scientific foundation for Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) preparation and further study in medical school, Marist provides specialized advising and several special programs for pre-medical students. For further information regarding preparation for medical school, please contact Pre-Health Program Co-Coordinators, Prof. Kristin Dragos or Dr. Michael Powers.

Most students interested in pre-health studies at Marist have the final goal of becoming a physician. There are two pathways for becoming a licensed physician.

Allopathic medicine is what most people think of when they think medicine; this program leads to the MD degree.

Osteopathic medicine emphasizes holistic treatment, wellness, and preventative care. DOs practice in all fields of medicine; however, many DO schools support the education of primary care physicians as part of their missions.

Requirements for Applying to Medical School

When applying to medical school, the schools will be considering each applicant's level of competency in several areas. These areas include:

  • Interpersonal competencies: Service orientation, social skills, cultural competence, teamwork, and oral communication
  • Intrapersonal competencies: Ethical responsibility to self and others, reliability and dependability, resilience and adaptability, and capacity for improvement
  • Thinking and reasoning competencies: Critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, scientific inquiry, and written communication
  • Science competencies: Living systems and human behavior

Marist can help you to gain competency in these areas a variety of ways.

  • Interpersonal competencies: We offer options including study abroad attachments related to social service and medical care, local social service activities, mock interviews, and the pre-health fraternity Delta Epsilon Mu, to name a few opportunities.
  • Intrapersonal competencies: Marist has always strived to instill these values in our students
  • Thinking and reasoning competencies and science competencies: Through the courses you take at Marist, you will grow in these competencies if you take advantage of the assignments that are given by your instructors. To meet these competencies, it is not enough to cram before exams and do the minimum required work.

For a detailed explanation of each of the competencies and their subsections visit the AAMC website.


At one time, all medical schools had the same basic requirements, but that is changing rapidly. The MCAT has also changed in terms of its content; see details at the AAMC MCAT website. As a pre-med student, you can study any major, but you need to be prepared to take the following courses in addition to the courses required for your major.

Minimum Courses Needed for MCAT:

  • General Chemistry I and II plus labs (CHEM 111 & 112 plus 115 & 116)
  • Organic Chemistry I and II plus labs (CHEM 211 & 212 plus 215 & 216)
  • Biochemistry I (CHEM 420) or Principles of Biochemistry (CHEM 301)
  • General Biology I and II plus labs (BIOL 130 & 131)
  • General or College Physics I and II plus labs (PHYS 201 & 202 or 211 & 212 plus 213 & 214)
  • Introduction to Psychology and Introduction to Sociology (PSYC 101 & SOC 101) plus 1 or 2 more psychology courses

Other courses often recommended and sometimes required by medical schools:

  • Statistics
  • Calculus
  • English
  • Other 300-400 level biology courses

Please see your advisor to obtain a flow chart and pre-requisite course checklist to aid in your course planning.