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Pre-Professional Preparation

Pre-law Studies

Although there is no specific pre-law curriculum, a strong foundation in the liberal arts, with emphasis on such subjects as English language and literature, political science, sociology, philosophy and logic, history or economics is highly recommended.

Virtually all law schools require the Law School Admission Test for admission. Students intending to go to law school directly after graduation should visit the Career Center to receive assistance with program planning and with the law school application process.

Pre-medical and Pre-dental Studies

Medical schools prefer students who have a broad background in the humanities and social sciences. The following courses, specified in the Medical School Admissions Requirements, are most often the minimum required by professional schools in the United States and Canada. These courses should be completed by the end of the junior year.

  • BIOL Courses: 8 credits of biology at the 200 level (BIOL 202 and BIOL 203 are recommended)
  • CHEM 101 and 102: General Chemistry I and II
  • CHEM 209 and 210: Organic Chemistry I and II
  • ENGL 100, 101 or 110-139: English composition course, plus another semester of a writing-intensive course
  • PHYS 101 and 102: General Physics (requires MATH 120) or PHYS 203 and 204 Introductory Physics I and II (requires calculus)

The courses listed below are strongly recommended, but not strictly required, by professional schools. These courses are also best completed by the end of the junior year in order to prepare for the Medical College Admission Test or the Dental Admission Test. Each student should decide, in consultation with a member of Hood’s Health Professions Advisory Committee, whether or not to take additional science courses.

  • BIOL 307 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIOL 316 Genetics
  • BIOL 331 Microbiology
  • BIOL 339 Cell Biology
  • CHEM 301 Biological Chemistry I

Most schools require a year of English, some require calculus and many encourage the study of philosophy or ethics.

Hood’s Health Professions Advisory Committee members not only provide advice on preparation for medical, dental and veterinary schools, but also write composite letters of recommendation to accompany an eligible student’s applications.

Students considering graduate school in one of the health professions should register with the Catherine Filene Shouse Career Center.

Although biology, biochemistry and chemistry are the majors most often chosen, the student may major in any area. In any case, the student must earn a competitive grade point average (3.5 or higher is typical of successful candidates) and must show proficiency in the sciences. The selection of courses and choice of major should be discussed with the health professions adviser or a member of the Health Professions Advisory Committee early in the student’s program.

The MCAT and DAT tests are given throughout the year. The appropriate test should be taken in the spring or early summer of the junior year after the student has had the minimum science courses listed above.

Five important factors in being admitted to medical or dental school are:
  1. The undergraduate cumulative average;
  2. The results of the Medical College Admission Test or Dental Admission Test;
  3. Evaluations from Hood faculty and the Health Professions Advisory Committee;
  4. A personal interview, if the professional school requests it;
  5. Off-campus experience in community service or in health professions activities.

For more information, please feel free to talk with the health professions adviser or any member of the Health Professions Advisory Committee.

Pre-Veterinary Studies

Admission into a veterinary school is among the most difficult of any post-baccalaureate program. Veterinary medical schools require students to be prepared with a strong grounding in the sciences (in particular biochemistry, chemistry and microbiology) balanced by coursework in the humanities, social sciences and mathematics.

In addition to demonstrating exceptional ability in the classroom, most veterinary schools also expect students to have had hands-on experience under the tutelage of an experienced veterinarian.

Students interested in entering the veterinary profession should contact the Health Professions Advisory Committee and the Career Center for information about the application process and veterinary schools.