Premedical/Predental/Prehealth Advising for New Students, 2013/14
Listed below are important guidelines for your initial course selection. Please follow the information on your departmental pages, in conjunction with these guidelines.
NOTE: There will be a premed/predent/prehealth orientation on Tuesday, August 27 at 9:00 am to answer questions and explain course requirements in further detail. This meeting is essential for all students considering careers in medicine or dentistry. If you need to change your schedules before school starts, advisors will work with you during this time to help you get the classes you need for a successful start.
- Students need to prepare a total academic portfolio, including courses in the natural sciences, social sciences, mathematics, English, and the humanities.
- Strong academic success in the first year is important. Getting "Cs" in the basic sciences does not preclude a student's eventual acceptance to medical school, dental school, or other graduate programs, but may impact the timing of an application and matriculation.
- Given the need for a strong start, it is not always advisable to take both biology and chemistry in the freshman year. Students should consider the strength of their high school preparation before choosing their courses.
- Some students have strong backgrounds in physics and/or mathematics. They might consider substituting one of these courses for either biology or chemistry in their freshmen year.
- Cornell provides several excellent options (listed below) for premed/predent students to fulfill their general biology requirements.
Preparation for careers in public health varies in accordance with the area of interest pursued. Refer to the "Careers in Public Health Guide" in Human Ecology's Career Exploration Center, 162 MVR.
- Premed and predental students must complete a total of 8 or 9 credits of biology lecture and laboratory. You may complete this requirement through the two options listed below. Please note that you can only take one lecture course each semester; BioMG 1350 cannot be taken in conjunction with BioG 1440 or BioG 1445.
BIOG 1500 – Biology Laboratory (F or S, 2 credits)
BIOMG 1350 – Principles of Cell and Developmental Biology Lecture (F or S, 3 cr)
BIOG 1440 – Intro to Comparative Physiology Lecture (F or S, 3 cr)
BIOG 1500 - Biology Laboratory (F or S, 2 credits)
BIOMG 1350 - Principles of Cell Developmental Biology Lecture (F or S, 3 cr)
BIOG 1445 - Intro to Comparative Physiology, Auto-tutorial lecture & laboratory (F or S, 4 cr)
Students choosing Option 2 should have well-developed time management skills. More information will be given about this course during the orientation on August 27.
Some medical schools require two biology labs. Students choosing Option I will have many opportunities as upper classmen to take additional laboratory courses.
- AP credit for general chemistry is rarely awarded for premedical students.
- Basic science sequences (biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics) should not be taken during the summer unless there is a reasonable explanation (study abroad could be a reasonable factor). In the past, medical schools have been somewhat flexible regarding summer classes in physics. Due to increasing competition for entry to medical school, as well as the re-defining of science and math competencies, summer classes in physics and mathematics are not recommended unless otherwise indicated.
- Students who wish to study abroad are encouraged to do so, but should work with advisors to plan their science sequences and other relevant requirements such as their MCAT exams and HCEC applications.
Students should work with their department Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) and premed advisors in the Office of Student & Career Development for advising questions and concerns throughout their undergraduate years. These are the people who maintain the most current information about premedical/predental/prehealth academic advising issues. Because requirements are continually evolving, advice from doctors, parents, medical school students, upper classmen, or peers can be outdated or misleading.
Office of Student & Career Development
172 MVR Hall