So, you're thinking about a career in medicine, dentistry, optometry, or veterinary science...

Did you know that you can become a health care professional without being a science major? However, you still need to take certain courses and do well on your MCAT, DAT, OAT, or GRE to attend a health professions school upon graduating from Lafayette. Please see the required and additional course information listed below.

Email Health Professions to register your interest in the health professions

Once you have registered, you will receive email notifications about our health professions program meetings, events and special opportunities. If you do not receive an email by the first week of September, please be sure to stop by the Health Professions Advising Office, 105 Scott Hall to leave your name, email, and other relevant contact information. It is your responsibility to self-register. While you can sign up anytime throughout your undergraduate studies, the sooner you do so the better prepared you will be to attend a health professional school.

While you may select any major, you must complete the requirements for admissions specified by each school in your area of interest (e.g. medical, dental, veterinary, etc.) to ensure that you will be on track to apply to their particular programs in the future). It is critical that you discuss course selection options with your Academic Advisor and major/minor department faculty to make the most sound choices.

Medical School Preparation Coursework (allopathic, osteopathic, and podiatric)

Required:

  • 1 year of broad based biology with labs (e.g., Biol 101/102 or higher)
  • 1 year of general chemistry with labs (e.g., Chem 121/122)
  • 1 year of organic chemistry with labs (e.g., Chem 221/222)
  • 1 year of Introductory physics with labs (e.g., Phys 111/112 or Phys 131/13X or Phys   151/152)
    1 year of English composition/writing-intensive courses
  • 1 semester of mathematics/calculus or statistics based (e.g., MATH 125, 141, 161, 162 or 186. MATH 186 may be replaced by PSYCH 120 or biostatistics courses by petition)

*To enable subsequent course completion, students are advised to complete the first year of chemistry prior to beginning their sophomore year.

Additional required coursework for students applying to medical school and for their performance on the MCAT:

  •   Biochemistry (CHEM 351)
  •   Psychology (e.g., PSYCH 101)
  •   Sociology (e.g., A&S 103)

Dental School Preparation Coursework

Required:

  • 1 year of broad based biology with labs (e.g., Biol 101/102 or higher)
  • 1 year of general chemistry with labs (e.g., Chem 121/122)
  • 1 year of organic chemistry with labs (e.g., Chem 221/222)
  • 1 year of Introductory physics with labs (e.g., Phys 111/112 or Phys 131/13X or Phys 151/152)
  • 1 year of mathematics/statistics (e.g., Math 125 and 186, 161 and 162, or 161 and 186; 186 may be replaced by Psych 120)

Strongly Recommended:

  • 1 semester of biochemistry

Veterinary School Preparation Coursework

Required:

  • 1 year of broad based biology with labs (e.g., Biol 101/102 or higher)
  • 1 year of general chemistry with labs (e.g., Chem 121/122)
  • 1 year of organic chemistry with labs (e.g., Chem 221/222)
  • 1 year of Introductory physics with labs (e.g., Phys 111/112 or Phys 131/13X or Phys 151/152)
  • 1 year of mathematics/statistics (e.g., Math 125 and 186, 161 and 162, or 161 and 186; 186 may be replaced by Psych 120)
  • 1 semester of Biochemistry

Strongly Recommended:

  • 1 semester of Microbiology (e.g., Biol 225)

Optometry School Preparation Coursework

Required:

  • 1 year of broad based biology with labs (e.g., Biol 101/102 or higher)
  • 1 year of mathematics/statistics (e.g., Math 125 and186, 161 and 162, or 161 and 186; 186 may be replaced by Psych 120)
  • 1 year of general chemistry with labs (e.g., Chem 121/122)
  • 1 year of organic chemistry with labs (e.g., Chem 221/222)
  • 1 year of Introductory physics with labs (e.g., Phys 111/112 or Phys 131/13X or Phys 151/152)

Highly Recommended Courses

The College offers a broad array of health-related courses, a few of which are required or recommended by individual HP schools. While we do not proscribe any given set of classes, we urge students to enroll in useful and interesting offerings across many disciplines/departments (e.g., ethics, anthropology/sociology, economics, and bioinformatics). More importantly, engaging in research (course-based, independent study, internships, paid or volunteer, externships) is increasingly important for gaining admission to health professions schools of all kinds. Please visit the “electives” section on our website for more suggestions and details.

Read course-planning and timing advice for matriculation to health professions schools

In addition to the required courses listed above, please note the following:

* AP credit: Schools vary significantly in their willingness to accept AP credit, especially within the core science courses. If you want to use AP credit in biology (requires a “5” score), physics, math or chemistry, we recommend you immediately take more advance level courses in that discipline (e.g., instead of BIOL 101 & 102, you should take 2 upper level biology course with labs).  You should discuss this with your Academic Advisor, and with the HP Advisor (Prof. Prof. Haug) if an unusual need or question exists.

* Pass/fail: In no instance should you take a science or mathematics course pass/fail or credit/no credit.

* Summer school: In general, you are strongly advised to avoid taking any of your science with lab courses during the summer. This is because health professions schools want to know that you are able to handle the science laboratory coursework with a full semester course load. In general, you are strongly advised to avoid taking any of your science with lab courses during the summer. Therefore, before taking a required science class during the summer, discuss the idea with a Health Professions Advisor (Prof. Ken Haug).

* On-Line and Community College coursework: These are fluctuating requirements and recommendations. In general, very few schools accept on-line credit for any core requirement but both on-line and community college course instruction is reviewed at many schools on a case-by-case basis. Check with the individual schools on your “apply to list” to learn more about their policy regarding on-line or community college coursework.

* Prerequisites/course selection: Keep in mind that some courses have prerequisites. It is your responsibility to investigate and educate yourself to make sound course choices.