Prerequisites

The courses listed below are those most commonly required for admission. The requirements of individual schools must be reviewed after the sophomore year. All require an entrance exam. See the list of Puget Sound curriculum guides (which includes tracks for pre-med, pre-dentistry, and pre-vet).

Medicine


Dentistry

  • 1 year of biology
  • 2 years chemistry (through organic chemistry)
  • Biochemistry
  • 1 year of physics
  • Mathematics (calculus suggested)
  • English writing
  • Recommended: additional biology (genetics and microbiology for instance), an additional English writing course, and foreign language. Some schools are requiring Anatomy and Physiology. Check the specific programs you are interested in.

    See the ADEA's full list of prerequisites for dental schools in the U.S. 

Veterinary Medicine

  • 3 courses of biology including genetics
  • 2 years chemistry (through organic chemistry), plus biochemistry
  • 1 year of physics
  • Mathematics (calculus suggested) plus statistics at some schools
  • English writing course

    See the VMCAS' full list of prerequisites for veterinary schools.


Podiatry

  • 1 year of biology
  • 2 years chemistry (through organic chemistry)
  • 1 year of physics
  • Mathematics (calculus suggested)
  • English writing course
  • Recommended: additional biology (genetics, for instance), biochemistry, foreign language.

    See the AACPM's full list of prerequisites for individual podiatric programs.

Optometry

  • 2 courses of general biology
  • 1 course of microbiology
  • 2 courses of human or animal anatomy and physiology (recommended at some schools)
  • 2 years chemistry (through organic chemistry)
  • 1course of biochemistry
  • 2 courses of physics (recommended)
  • Mathematics (calculus and statistics)
  • 2 English writing courses (most schools)
  • Psychology
  • Recommended: biochemistry, social sciences, computer science, business management.

    See a full list of prerequisites in the ASCO's chart of optometry program requirements for schools in the U.S.

Nursing

Requirements vary by type of nursing program. R.N., Accelerated BSN (for those students with a previous bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field), NP-Nurse Practitioner (nurses who have received masters level training beyond the R.N.), Masters (for those students with a previous bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field). Visit www.aacn.nche.edu, the national voice for America's baccalaureate and higher-degree nursing education programs to learn about specific program requirements.

Pharmacy

Generally, students follow this program for 2+ years before transferring to a college of pharmacy, where four more years are spent in the professional program leading to a PharmD degree. Students need to check individual schools' requirements.

1 year of biology
1 course in microbiology
2 years of chemistry (through organic chemistry)
1 year of physics
Math including calculus (statistics is recommended)
Human anatomy and physiology 
Biochemistry (Bio 361 will work for most programs but UW requires Chem 460 & 461)

See the AACP's full list of prerequisites for individual pharmacy schools.

Physician Assistant

Look into PA programs you want to apply to as early as your freshman year in college.

You’ll typically need to complete at least two years of college coursework in basic and behavioral sciences before applying to a PA program, which is very similar to premedical studies.

The majority of PA programs have the following prerequisites:
Chemistry
Physiology
Anatomy
Microbiology
Biology
Statistics
Psychology

Most PA programs also require prior health care experience with hands-on patient care.

You can get health care experience by being a (not an exhaustive list):

Medical assistant
Emergency medical technician (EMT)
Paramedic
Medic or medical corpsman
Peace Corps volunteer
Lab assistant/phlebotomist
Registered nurse
Emergency room technician
Surgical tech
Certified nursing assistant (CNA)

Most students have a bachelor’s degree and about three years of health care experience before entering a program.