Pre-Health Requirements

Early during freshman year, students interested in a career in healthcare (medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, nursing, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, etc.) are urged to consult with a member of the Pre-Health Advisory Committee. Members of the committee can assist in developing a program of studies and timeline for completing courses needed for your particular interests. During the spring semester of the junior year, pre-health students should arrange an interview with the Pre-Health Advisory Committee to evaluate the student’s qualifications and preparation for a career in their chosen field. This evaluation will be used as part of your application materials and will be submitted to the professional schools you are interested in.

It is the responsibility of the student to consult the websites, course catalog, or call the schools they wish to apply to for specific programmatic requirements. Generally, the courses below fulfill the prerequisite requirements of most medical, dental, and other health profession programs. However, many schools now use "end-point" course requirements (example...you must complete Biochemistry I, Genetics, Physics II and Calculus).

  • Biology: one year
  • General Inorganic Chemistry: one year
  • Organic Chemistry: one year
  • Physics: one year
  • Mathematics: one year
  • Calculus or Pre-calculus Biochemistry: at least one semester

In addition, the following courses are strongly recommended:

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Advanced courses in the natural sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Mathmatics, Neuroscience, and Physics)

Millsaps College and the majority of medical and dental schools strongly recommend that the student obtain a baccalaureate degree in an area of interest. It is not required that this degree be in a science, and students are encouraged to achieve a broad background in the humanities and social sciences. However, taking the minimum number of required science courses is strongly discouraged.

Note for Medical School Applicants: The newly revised Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) emphasizes reading comprehension, critical thinking, and knowledge of the social sciences (human behavior in particular). The pre-health honorary, Alpha Epsilon Delta, frequently provides opportunities to discuss the changing requirements of the health care professions.

Pre-health students should meet with members of the Pre-Health committee on a regular basis to ensure adequate academic progress, to arrange internships and shadowing experiences, and to prepare for interviews. The Millsaps Medical Mentoring Program helps connect students to local health professionals in your area of professional interest.

Admission to medical and dental programs as well as other health-related programs is highly competitive. Success involves:

  • Superior Grade Point Average (both total and science/math – generally speaking, most schools will want to see around a 3.500 science GPA);
  • Competitive score on the appropriate professional exam (e.g., MCAT, DAT);
  • Experience or substantial exposure to the health field;
  • Faculty and pre-health committee letter of recommendation;
  • Non-academic accomplishments (including both campus activities and work experience; especially activities demonstrating leadership and responsibility);
  • Research activities;
  • A successful interview with the professional school.