Pre-Med/Pre-Health Professions

Westminster College has a strong tradition of preparing students to enter a variety of pre-professional schools that focus on health and medicine (allopathic, osteopathic, dental, veterinary, optometry, podiatric, etc.).   The Westminster curriculum, in combination with departmental programs (e.g., Biology, Chemistry, Neuroscien, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry), has a proven track record of preparing students for further success in pre-professional programs. Our Medical Professions Advisory Committee (Med PAC) works with our students throughout their four years at Westminster as they plan and prepare for their choice of a medical profession.

Many students are surprised to learn that they can major in a variety disciplines and go to medical school. In fact, medical schools are encouraging students to become more broadly based in their undergraduate education. For most medical schools, the following courses are required: 2 semesters of introductory biology, 2 semesters of inorganic chemistry, 2 semesters of organic chemistry, 2 semesters of physics, l year of English (to include at least one course in writing and grammar), and often 1 semester of calculus.

Even though these are the minimal requirements for most medical schools and graduate health programs, we encourage our students to take additional science courses as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences. Courses in which logic, reading, writing, and analysis are emphasized are especially essential. The development of problem solving skills is critical. Students preparing for medical school most often select a major in the deaprtments of biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, or psychology, but majors in other departments are equally acceptable.

Recommended Sequence of Required Courses and MedPAC Suggestions:

First year:
Register with Med PAC Secretary in the biology department if you have any interest in a health career
Complete two Introductory Biology courses and two courses of Chemistry (two Inorganic or one Inorganic and one Organic)

Second year:
Complete the third Introductory Biology course, Biostatistics, and Organic Chemistry or Physics
Completea Calculus course (if possible)

During the summer, begin to review the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), DAT, OAT, or other professional admissions test, usually taken in the spring of the junior year
During the summer, complete at least one internship (e.g., research, shadowing a professional)

Third year:
Complete the full year of Organic and/or Physics
Complete Calculus course (if not yet completed)
We also recommend a test preparation course during the spring semester of the Junior year (e.g., Kaplan)
At least 6 semester hours (two courses) of Reading and Writing/Composition that emphase verbal and analytic skills
Complete the Med PAC Recommendation Request Form and submit it to the MedPAC secretary before spring break
Apply to medical or professional schools starting June l5, if at all possible; although the deadlines for most schools extend into the fall semester

During the summer, complete at least one internship (e.g., research, shadowing a professional)

Fourth year:
Interviews with schools.