Yes. At Drew, pre-medical studies is a track, not a major. As a pre-medical student, you can choose from any of the college’s disciplinary or interdisciplinary majors.
Requirements vary among health professional schools, but nearly all programs require the following: two semesters of biology with laboratory (Drew recommends at least three semesters to be prepared for the MCAT), two semesters of general chemistry with laboratory, two semesters of organic chemistry with laboratory, two semesters of physics with laboratory, one semester of biochemistry with laboratory, introduction to psychology, introduction to sociology, two semesters of English/writing, and at least one semester of introductory statistics. We strongly recommend that all medical school applicants also take two semesters of anatomy and physiology with laboratory, one semester of microbiology with laboratory, and one semester of medical ethics.
As a pre-med student at Drew, you will get advising from at least two sources: your academic advisor, who is a professor in your chosen major, and a pre-health professions advisor, who is a member of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions.
Yes. Medical schools prefer that applicants work with a health professions committee, and at Drew this is a group of faculty members and pre-health advisors who provide advice about the health professions and the application process. The committee also prepares a letter of recommendation on your behalf to health professional schools.
A formal articulation agreement between Drew’s College of Liberal Arts and UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School makes it possible for prospective first-year students to apply directly to a special seven-year BA/MD program. Accepted students are admitted simultaneously to both Drew and New Jersey Medical School. They spend three years of study at Drew and then spent four years of study at New Jersey Medical School, enabling them to complete both the BA and MD degree in seven years.
Most health professional schools utilize a centralized application service. Once you are ready to apply, create an account with the appropriate agency.
*Some individual health professional schools do not participate in a central service. You must contact and apply to each of these schools directly.
This timeline outlines the medical school application process, but the procedures are similar for most health professions. You must consult with the appropriate central service and your pre-health advisor about the deadlines and important dates for your specific health professional track. Adjust the timeline accordingly if you will be taking time off between graduating from Drew and entering medical school.
December-February of junior year: Register to take the MCAT in April, May, June, or July. We do not recommend August testing, as this will delay processing of your application.
February 1st: Make sure you have returned the required documents to the Drew University Health Professions Committee (autobiographical packet, resume, transcripts, draft of personal statement, waiver, and academic integrity form).
February: Request letters of recommendation using our Letter of Recommendation Request Form.
It is a good idea to provide your recommenders with your resume and a draft of your personal statement.
February-April: Interview with each of the members of the Drew University Health Professions Committee. We will send you an email how to schedule these interviews and with whom.
April-July: Take/Retake the MCAT.
May: Begin filling out your primary applications.
June: Submit your primary applications as soon as the online portals open. Most medical schools have rolling admissions, so the earlier the better!
June: Notify the Committee that you have submitted your applications by providing pdf copies as well as all required identification numbers and letter request forms.
July-August: Receive secondary applications from individual medical schools. Complete and return these as soon as possible.
September-April of senior year: Begin interviewing at medical school and receive offers of admission!
September-May: Continue improving your candidacy throughout your senior year. Even after you have filed your primary and secondary application, you should continue to update admissions committees with new achievements, such as improved GPA or MCAT scores, new research and clinical experience, awards, and honors.
Medical schools prefer that applicants work with a Health Professions Committee. At Drew this is a group of faculty members and pre-health advisors who provide support, interview practice, and advice about careers and the application process. The services of the Committee are available both to current students and alumni.
In the spring before you begin the application process, you will interview with each of the members of our Health Professions Committee. These interviews serve two main purposes: (1) to provide you with interview practice in preparation for your medical school interview, and (2) to allow the Committee to get to know you better in order to provide a comprehensive Committee Letter of Recommendation to medical schools on your behalf.
Our Health Professions Committee also works as a letter collection service. All of your outside letters of recommendation from professors, employers, and mentors should be sent directly to the Committee. Once you notify the committee that you have submitted your primary application, we will transmit all of your letters along with your Committee letter to the school to which you are applying. Remember to update the committee if you add or remove any schools from your list.
*The Committee typically prepares letters of recommendation for all applicants to allopathic, osteopathic, dental, optometry, veterinary (prepared by Professor Tammy Windfelder), and podiatric schools. Some allied health professional schools do not require or want committee letters. Be sure to consult with the admissions offices at each of the schools to which you will apply.
Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAs) are skilled professionals who usually work in hospital settings under the medical direction of qualified anesthesiologists as part of an Anesthesia Care Team. Their functions include but are not limited to: preanesthetic examinations, assisting with advanced monitoring techniques such as pulmonary artery catheterization, inducing/maintaining/altering anesthesia levels, postanesthesia patient rounds, intensive care unit and pain clinic care, assisting in the use of advanced life support techniques, and clinical instruction/supervision others on the team. AA training involves completion of a master’s level program. There are currently 5 AA programs in the U.S. Click here for the AAAA’s complete list of AA programs.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree and have completed premedical coursework, including general and organic chemistry, advanced college math, general and advanced biology, and physics. Click here to see the requirements for each program:
All AA programs require either the MCAT or GRE.
Chiropractors (DCs) focus on the relationship between the body’s main structures—the skeleton, muscles, and nerves—and the patient’s health. They try to improve the body’s overall function by making adjustments to these structures, particularly the spinal column. Chiropractic medicine is practiced through non-pharmaceutical and non-surgical means. Chiropractors diagnose and treat problems associated with the musculoskeletal system. Due to its emphasis on holistic health care, chiropractic medicine is associated with the field of complementary and alternative medicine. Accredited programs last 4 years. Click here for the ACC’s complete list of member programs.
Applicants must have a minimum of 90 semester hours, although most schools prefer or require that applicants hold a bachelor’s degree. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Prerequisite coursework includes: two semesters of biology with labs, two semesters of general chemistry with labs, two semesters of organic chemistry with labs, two semesters of physics with labs, two semesters of English/writing, one semester of psychology, 15 semester hours of social science and humanities electives. Some schools may also require or recommend certain upper-level science electives, so be sure to check with each program individually.
Some chiropractic colleges participate in ChiroCAS—The Chiropractic Centralized Application Service. For schools that do not participate, application materials must be sent directly to each individual program. Consult the Association of Chiropractic Colleges to find out which schools participate.
Dentists (DDS/DMD) specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases, disorders, and conditions related to the mouth. After completing dental school, most graduates pursue a one-year general dentistry residency before practicing. While many dentists deliver direct patient care in private practices, but many others work in academic, research, military, and public and international health settings. With additional residency training, dental school graduates can specialize in any of nine recognized fields, such as endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, and pediatric dentistry among others.
The perquisite coursework for dental school includes: two semesters of biology with labs, two semesters of general chemistry with labs, two semesters of organic chemistry with labs, two semesters of physics with labs, two semesters of English/writing, and one semester of statistics. Many dental schools may recommend or require upper-level courses such as anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, and others. Applicants should contact the individual schools or consult the ADEA Official Guide to Dental School (available to view in the Center for Internships and Career Development or to purchase here).
Dental Admission Test (DAT). Click here for more information or to register for the DAT.
The ADEA’s Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) provides one central application available to all students applying to the 56 participating dental schools. Click here for more information and to access AADSAS.
MDs are involved with all aspects of healthcare, including examining, counseling, diagnosing, and treating patients and can be trained in any of 126 specialties or subspecialties. MDs can practice in a variety of clinical settings, teach, conduct research, or work for a public agency. To learn more about allopathic medicine, go to The Association of American Medical Colleges. Depending on the area in which they would like to specialize or the population with which they would like to work, students might also consider dual-degree programs, such as MD/PhD (Medical Scientist Training Programs), MD/MPH, MD/MBA, etc.
Applicants must complete the basic pre-medical curriculum: two semesters of biology with labs, two semesters of general chemistry with labs, two semesters of organic chemistry with labs, two semesters of physics with labs, one semester of biochemistry with lab, introduction to psychology, introduction to sociology, two semesters of English/writing, and one semester of college math/statistics. We also recommend that pre-med students take two semesters of anatomy and physiology with labs, one semester of microbiology with lab, and one semester of medical ethics. For program-specific requirements and recommendations, students should consult the Medical School Admissions Requirements or check with each school individually.
Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
The AAMC provides one central application service (AMCAS) for student applying to MD programs. Click here for more information and to access AMCAS. Students should be aware that the state of Texas uses a separate central application service (TMDSAS), and that foreign and “offshore” medical schools do not participate in a central application service, so students must apply to them directly.
MDs and DOs share many similarities and often work side-by-side, but osteopathic medicine is a distinct form of medical practice in the United States. Osteopathic medicine provides all of the benefits of modern medicine including prescription drugs, surgery, and the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each person achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention. DOs can practice in any specialty, but because of its holistic approach to patient care, many osteopathic students choose to go into primary care areas. To learn more about osteopathic medicine go to The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. Click here for a list of DO schools. Many programs also have dual-degree offerings, such as DO/PhD, DO/MPH, and DO/MBA.
Applicants must complete the basic pre-medical curriculum: two semesters of biology with labs, two semesters of general chemistry with labs, two semesters of organic chemistry with labs, two semesters of physics with labs, one semester of biochemistry with lab, introduction to psychology, introduction to sociology, two semesters of English/writing, and one semester of college math/statistics. We strongly recommend that students take two semesters of anatomy and physiology with labs, one semester of microbiology with lab, and one semester of medical ethics. Some programs may also require other electives, so students should consult the Osteopathic Medical College Information Book or check with each school individually.
Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
The AACOM provides one central application service (AACOMAS) for students applying to osteopathic schools. Click here for more information and to access AACOMAS.
Accelerated baccalaureate programs are designed for aspiring nurses who already hold baccalaureate degrees in other disciplines. They allow these students to transition into nursing by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN). Programs generally run 12-18 months. Upon graduating from a state accredited nursing school, graduates of accelerated baccalaureate programs are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN© to become registered nurses (RN). The nurse with a baccalaureate degree is prepared to practice in all health care settings—critical care, outpatient care, public health, and mental health.
In order to be accepted into an accelerated BSN program, applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree. Admission standards for accelerated programs are high with programs typically requiring a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and a thorough pre-screening process. In preparation for an accelerated program, we recommend taking the following pre-health track courses: Two semesters of biology with labs; two semesters of chemistry with labs; two semesters of organic chemistry with labs; one semester of microbiology with lab; two semesters of anatomy and physiology; developmental psychology; introduction to sociology; medical ethics; health care economics; and, one semester of college math/statistics.
Nursing school requirements for admission can be different for each school and can differ according to the degree program you are applying to study.
For a list of all bachelors to doctoral programs and accelerated programs, click here:
Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are advanced practice nurses with additional training around delivering babies and providing prenatal and postpartum care to women. Most nurse-midwives deliver babies in hospitals and in homes. In addition, the nurse midwife provides family planning, birth control counseling, and normal gynecological services such as, physical and breast exams, pap smears, and preventive health screening. In most states, a nurse-midwife can prescribe medications.
Applicants must have a thorough grounding in basic sciences, such as chemistry, biology, and microbiology. In addition, courses in sociology and women’s studies will be very helpful. All programs accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) require a bachelor’s degree for entry. Many also require that applicants be a registered nurse, although 22 programs currently have options for non-nurses. Click here to see requirements for each program.
Nurse Practitioners (CNPs) are advanced practice nurses who provide high-quality healthcare services similar to those of a physician. NPs diagnose and treat a wide range of health problems and typically become certified in a specialty. They have a unique approach and stress both care and cure. Besides clinical care, NPs focus on health promotion, disease prevention, health education and counseling. They help patients make wise health and lifestyle choices. They are truly your Partners in Health.
The entry-level training for NPs is a graduate degree. At this time, NPs complete a master’s or doctoral degree program. This means that NPs earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing (4 years of education), then their graduate NP degree (2-4 years of education). Both types of programs provide the knowledge and clinical skills needed by NPs to perform as independent healthcare providers. Students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree should consider an accelerated BSN-MSN program. For a list of all bachelors to doctoral programs and accelerated programs, click here:
Nutritionists and dieticians (RDs) are experts in medical nutrition therapy. They plan and supervise nutrition plans for an array patient populations and work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, HMO’s, group practice, community and public health, academia, research, the food and nutrition industry, sports nutrition, corporate wellness programs, and media. Click here for the more information for the American Dietetic Association and to find programs.
Students can pursue nutrition and dietetics at a range of degree levels. Students who are completing or have already completed a B.A., should look for master’s programs in nutrition. Many institutions offer combined degree programs, such as M.P.H./R.D., M.S./R.D., M.A./R.D., M.H.S./R.D. Students should have some coursework in biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, computer science, and sociology.
Occupational Therapists (OTs) help patients improve their ability to perform tasks in living and working environments. They work with individuals who suffer from a mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling condition. Occupational therapists use treatments to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of their patients. The therapist helps clients not only to improve their basic motor functions and reasoning abilities, but also to compensate for permanent loss of function. The goal is to help clients have independent, productive, and satisfying lives.
One must earn a master’s degree or doctoral degree in occupational therapy to work as an occupational therapist. Biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, liberal arts and anatomy are all appropriate college majors for those who ultimately want earn a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Click here for a complete list of accredited programs.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
Doctors of Optometry (ODs) are the primary health care professionals for the eye.Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye. They can choose to work in general practice or work in a more specialized area of eye care. Optometrists work in a variety of settings, including group or solo practices, hospitals, community health centers, the military, industry, teaching institutions, and research. There are 20 schools of optometry—19 in the continental U.S. and one in Puerto Rico. Click here for the ASCO’s complete list of accredited OD programs.
All schools of optometry have their own undergraduate prerequisites, so students should check with each program to which they are applying. This is a general guide and may contain courses not required by some schools and may not contain courses required by other schools: two semesters of biology with labs, two semesters of general chemistry with labs, two semesters of organic chemistry with labs, two semesters of physics with labs, two semesters of English/writing, one semester of calculus, one semester of statistics, one semester of psychology, one semester of biochemistry, one semester of microbiology, one semester of anatomy and physiology, and additional social science and humanities coursework.
Optometry Admission Test (OAT). Click here for more information or the register for the OAT.
All schools of optometry participate in OptomCAS—Optometry’s Centralized Application Service. Click here for more information and to access OptomCAS.
Pharmacists (Pharm.D.) play an important role in patient care. They dispense medications prescribed by physicians, advise patients and consumers about the use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, provide expertise to doctors and patients about the composition of drugs, their manufacture and use, ensure drug purity and strength, and make sure that drugs do not interact in a harmful way. While many pharmacists work in community pharmacies, there is a demand for pharmacists in a range of occupational settings, including academic pharmacy, ambulatory care pharmacy, federal pharmacy, hospital and institutional pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences/industry, and many more. Click here to locate pharmacy programs.
The required undergraduate courses vary from one program to the next, so applicants should check with each program to which they are applying. Most pharmacy schools will require two semesters of biology with labs, two semesters of general chemistry with labs, two semesters of organic chemistry with labs, two semesters of physics with labs, two semesters of English, and other humanities and social science electives. To find course requirements by school, click here.
Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). For more information and to register, click here.
Most colleges of pharmacy participate in PharmCAS—Pharmacy College Application Service. For more information about PharmCAS and to find which schools do/do not participate, click here.
Physical therapists (PTs) are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility – in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan, using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.
More than 50% of physical therapy programs specifically require Anatomy and Physiology (minimum one course); chemistry (minimum one course); physics (two courses); statistics (one course); psychology; general biology (minimum one course), and an undergraduate degree. In addition, more that 75% of programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0. Other courses that may be required less than 50% of the time by selected academic programs include English composition; social science; humanities; computers; medical terminology; exercise physiology; human development; kinesiology; organic chemistry; research methods; cell biology, and pathology. It is recommended that you go to the Directory of Accredited Physical Therapy Programs and to review the table of program prerequisites by academic program.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
Most PT programs participate in PTCAS—Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service. Click here for more information and to access PTCAS.
Physician assistants (PAs) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs are trained in intensive education programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) and certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Within the physician/PA relationship, physician assistants play an important role in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services.
Most master’s level PA programs require two semesters of general biology, two semesters of general chemistry, one semester of organic chemistry, one semester of math, one semester of English, coursework in the social/behavioral sciences, and some upper-level sciences, such as microbiology, biochemistry, anatomy & physiology, genetics, or others. The required undergraduate courses vary from one program to the next, so students should check with each program to which they are applying. To find PA programs and their requirements, use the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA).
Patient contact is required. The most competitive applicants will be able to document experience working directly with patients. Examples of the types of experiences that are recommended include, but are not limited to, medical assistants, nursing assistants/aides, nurses, EMTs, patient care technicians, physical therapy assistants, hospice volunteers, etc.
Some programs require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
Most PA programs participate in CASPA—Central Application Service for Physician Assistants. Click here for more information and to access CASPA.
Doctors of podiatric medicine (DPMs) are dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and related structures. Podiatrists often have a general practice but many choose to specialize in fields such as pediatrics, surgery, sports medicine, biomechanics, geriatrics, and public health. Click here for more information and to find programs.
All colleges of podiatric medicine require the following: two semesters of biology with labs, two semesters of general chemistry with labs, two semesters of organic chemistry with labs, two semesters of physics with labs, and two semesters of English.
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Some programs will accept other test scores, such as the GRE or DAT. Check with each individual school to find out if test scores other than the MCAT are acceptable.
There are currently 9 colleges of podiatric medicine, all of which participate in AACPMAS—The American Association of College of Podiatric Medicine’s Application Service. Click here for more information about AACPMAS.
Public Health involves the science and art of creating healthy communities through education, research, and promotion of healthy lifestyles. It focuses on the wellbeing of entire populations, rather than individuals. Public health encompasses a number of disciplines, but some of the core areas are: Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Behavioral Sciences/Health Education, and Health Services Administration. Public health professionals can work in a wide variety of settings in both the public and private sectors. Students can pursue public health on the master’s or doctoral levels.
Coursework in biology and mathematics is highly recommended for students who plan to concentrate in epidemiology or biostatistics. For Behavioral Sciences, Health Education or Global Health, courses in sociology, psychology, education or anthropology are beneficial. Health Services Administration students find that a business background is a plus. A biology or chemistry background is helpful for the study of Environmental Health. All schools of public health require competence in effective communication (both verbal and written); therefore, students should try to take advantage of undergraduate opportunities to hone these skills.
Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
To search for accredited programs and apply, use the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS). Click here for more information and to access SOPHAS.
Veterinarians (DVMs) specialize in animal welfare and provide healthcare for pets, livestock, zoo, sporting, and laboratory animals. Most perform clinical work in private practices, while other work in basic or applied research settings.
Pre-veterinary requirements vary slightly from school to school, so students should check with each program to which they are applying. Generally, pre-vet students must take two semester of general biology with lab, two semesters of general chemistry with lab, two semesters of organic chemistry with lab, two semester of physics with lab, one semester of biochemistry, two semesters of English, coursework in math/statistics, and some upper-level biology courses (such as microbiology), and coursework in the humanities/social sciences. Click here for school-specific requirements.
GRE, MCAT, or VCAT—check with each program.
The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges manages VMCAS–a central application service for all U.S. veterinary programs. Click here for more information and to access VMCAS.
Students may choose to pursue post-baccalaureate studies for a number of reasons: to take/complete pre-health courses, to enhance their academic record, or to boost their application in other ways. There are many different kinds of post-baccalaureate programs. If you are considering the post-baccalaureate route, you should meet with your pre-health advisor to determine which type of program is best for you.
Students on the pre-health track at Drew University must complete coursework in the following disciplines in order to be eligible to apply to medical and most other health professional schools: Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and English. These courses are required by the professional schools. Students should follow one of the schedules below in addition to satisfying their major, minor, and breadth requirements. The pre-health track is intensive, but manageable. Students are able to successfully complete this curriculum while pursuing any major and minor of their choice. Typically, pre-health students aim to complete the basic science requirements by the end of their junior year in preparation to take the MCAT that summer. However, many others opt to take a gap year by spreading the basic science requirements over all four years and then taking the MCAT the summer after their senior year. Students should meet our pre-health advisors in order to determine the best path for them.
The basic pre-health requirements (Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, Math and English) are the same for MOST health professions. However, the required electives may differ. For example, some health professional schools require advanced Biology courses beyond what is listed here, and some require specific social science courses. The MCAT 2015 will also require competency in basic Psychology and Sociology. Even if you take the MCAT before 2015, you should still include these courses because many medical schools already expect you to have competencies in these areas. Pre-health students should consult with a pre-health advisor or the schools directly and adjust their coursework accordingly.
Students do not have to major in a science discipline to go to health professional school. They should select a major based upon their academic interests and strengths. Admissions committees like applicants who are academically and personally well-rounded. To be competitive for health professional school, students should maintain strong GPA’s both in the sciences and non-sciences. They should also cultivate a strong record of clinical, research and community service experience. Many students choose to take a year in between graduating from Drew and entering health professional school in order to enhance their candidacy (a gap year). If this year is used productively (working in a hospital or research setting, volunteering abroad, taking additional science courses, pursuing a graduate degree, etc.) it can be a great advantage to the applicant.
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In addition to meeting with their academic adviser each semester, pre-health students will meet with a pre-health advisor regularly to ensure that they are on track with their course requirements, maintaining a competitive GPA for their chosen health professional track, and preparing appropriately for the application process.
Most medical schools do not accept AP credit in the basic sciences, so most pre-med students with AP credit in Chemistry, or Physics will forfeit the credit and repeat the coursework on the college level. On occasion, if a student has high enough AP scores in one of these disciplines, they will place into advanced courses, but they still must complete one year of coursework with the corresponding laboratory sections in each of these disciplines in order meet medical school admission requirements. Most medical schools that have college math requirements will accept qualifying AP mathematics scores.
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